|Polish Music Newsletter|
May 2010, Vol. 16, No. 5. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
HONORING THE CRASH VICTIMS
MUSICIANS HONOR THOSE LOST
Following the tragic crash of the Polish presidential airplane on April 10, 2010 in Smolensk, Russia, the artistic circles in Poland and abroad have been paying their respects to the victims of the crash. The week following the accident was declared a period of national mourning, during which artistic and entertainment institutions were asked to cancel or appropriately alter their performances and events. Numerous operas and orchestras complied with the request and most of the museums and galleries were also closed for the week, including the newly opened Chopin Museum in Warsaw.
Several notable soloists and ensembles have performed concerts honoring the victims of the crash in the last few weeks:
Polish Presidential Tu-154 plane crashed on the morning of April 10, 2010 during a landing approach at the military airstrip near Smolensk. The 96 dignitaries and civilians on-board were members of a Polish delegation joining the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Katyń massacre. In addition to Polish president, Lech Kaczyński and First Lady, Maria Kaczyńska, the victims included some of the most prominent figures of Polish political circles, security service and the plane crew. The complete list of victims is available at www.prezydent.pl.
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On the order of Russian President Medvedev, Katyń-related documents were released online for the first time on April 29. The documents include packet Number One, which contains the Politburo order of March 5, 1940, suspected to be the Katyń death warrant. The documents in Russian are available here: http://www.rusarchives.ru/publication/katyn/spisok.shtml.
Read PMC Manager and Newsletter Editor Krysta Close’s blog post on the international implications of the plane crash in Smolensk at uscpublicdiplomacy.org.
CELEBRATIONS OF THE LATE PRESIDENTS
The Warsaw Archdiocesan Cathedral Boys' and Men's Choir, better known as Cantores Minores, sang for the funeral of President Ryszard Kaczorowski on Monday, April 19, at St. John's Cathedral in Warsaw. President Kaczorowski was the last president of the Polish Government-in-Exile. He was one of the 96 victims who died in last week's air crash in Smolensk, Russia.
TOAST TO PADEREWSKI
On Saturday, April 24, the Board of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles teamed up with Pear Valley Vineyards and Back Roads Wineries to present a concert to benefit the Paderewski Festival Youth Exchange. The “Toast to Paderewski” is an annual concert, wine tasting and silent auction event, of which all proceeds benefit the Paderewski Festival Youth Exchange Program for young pianists. This year’s event was dedicated to the memory of those who perished in the crash in Smolensk, several of whom were supporters of the Festival.
The concert was performed by PMC Director and Paderewski Festival Artistic Director, Marek Zebrowski, and members of the Midnight Winds: Amy Tatum – flute, Andrew Leonard – clarinet, and Maciej Flis – bassoon, with guests Gabrielle Castriotta – oboe and Nathan Board – horn. The program consisted of Krzesimir Dębski’s Film Medley for wind quintet (2009), Grażyna Bacewicz’s Quintet for Wind Instruments (1933), and W.A. Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds, KV 452, as well as I.J. Paderewski’s Ménuet, Op. 14 no. 1 and Légende, Op. 16 no. 1, and F. Chopin’s Contredanse, Opus post., arranged for wind quintet by Mr. Zebrowski. The Chopin arrangement was made especially for this concert and was dedicated to the memory of the First Lady of Poland, Maria Kaczyńska, who was a supporter and friend to the Festival.
In attendance at the concert were several Polish dignitaries representing the District of Tarnów in Poland. The District of Tarnów and the City of Paso Robles signed a Sister City agreement in November 2008, to create business and cultural exchange opportunities between the two regions where Paderewski had owned land. Tarnów District Supervisor Mieczysław Kras and Tarnów City Council President Ryszard Zadło remained in Paso Robles for the week after the “Toast to Paderewski” event to discuss details of the 2010 Youth Exchange, which will bring 2 Polish piano students to California during the Paderewski Festival (Nov. 11-14, 2010). In June 2009, 3 students from California spent a week in the manor once owned by Paderewski in Kąśna Dolna near Tarnów.
In her article “Poland, Paso toasts to Paderewski's legacy” in the Paso Robles Press, Hayley Thomas relays the following about the “Toast to Paderewski” event and visit of the Tarnów delegation.
Read the entire article here: www.pasoroblespress.com. Other related articles: Polish dignitaries honored by city, county officials and Music festival connects Poland and Paso Robles
CHOPIN & PADEREWSKI YEAR
PADEREWSKI COMPETITION IN LOS ANGELES
The Paderewski Music Society in Los Angeles announces the American Paderewski Piano Competition (APPC), to be held from May 26-29, 2010. This competition is open to pianists of any nationality between the ages of 16 to 32. All rounds of the Competition will take place in Thayer Hall of the Colburn School of Music in downtown Los Angeles.
The 2010 Competitors are as follows: Aleksey Artemev - Uzbekistan, Gloria Campaner - Italy, Yang Ding - China, Leonard Gilbert - Canada, Christopher Goodpasture - USA, Beiyao Ji - China, Esther Keel - USA, Nicholas King - USA, Joseph Kingma - USA, Piotr Kosiński - Poland, Martin Labazevitch - USA/Poland, Weiwen Ma - China, Ryan McCullogh MacEvoy - USA, Paweł Motyczyński - Poland, Alexander Nelson - USA, Anna Nizhegorodtseva - Russia, Minkyung Oh - Korea, Igor Pancevski - Macedonia, Sun-A Park - USA, Pavel Petrov - Russia, Jason Stoll - USA, Hsiang John Tu - USA, Francesco Villa - Italy, Przemysław Winnicki - Poland. Find more details about this year’s competitors here.
In the words of Henryk Martenka, the Director of the prestigious International Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland: “Paderewski gained an unconditional respect from the American people, one attributed only to individuals of great success in fighting for the good of a nation, and is one of only a handful of Poles and Europeans that function permanently in the American cultural sphere. The live memory, perhaps even Paderewski’s legend, forever inspires the creation of something new and of great value.” The American Paderewski Piano Competition, which feeds directly into the Competition in Bydgoszcz, is an important part of Paderewski’s legacy in America.
Although the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw has happened every four years since 1927, this year’s events are of particular significance, for performers and audience members, due to the special anniversary year. The eliminations of this XVIth edition continue apace as the “Preliminaries” have just concluded in Warsaw. The organizers allowed for two additional days of eliminations to accommodate the candidates who were unable to fly to Poland due to volcanic ash cloud over Europe. On April 30th, the jury chaired by Prof. Andrzej Jasiński, qualified 81 pianists to take part in the competition.
The most pianists were invited from Japan (16) and Russia (11). Poland will be represented by six young pianists: Marek Bracha, Jacek Kortus, Marcin Koziak, Joanna Różewska, Gracjan Szymczak and Paweł Wakarecy. For a complete list of pianists who will take part in the main competition please visit konkurs.chopin.pl.
The final stage of the XVIth Competition will be inaugurated on October 1 and 2, 2010. Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire will be among the soloists for the inaugural concerts, and both concerts will take place at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. The first round of the competition will take place between October 3-7, second round between October 9-13, third round between October 14-16 and the final round between October 18-20. Forty pianists will be allowed to enter the second round, 20 pianists in the third round and only 10 finalists at the final stage.
As always, the program of the competition is exclusively Chopin’s music. The 1st round requires competitors to perform two Etudes, a Nocturne or another Etude, and a Ballade, Scherzo, Barcarole in F sharp Major op. 60 or Fantasy in F Minor op. 49. The program of the 2nd round includes a Waltz, one full cycle of Mazurkas, a Polonaise and two works not performed in the first round. The semi-final requires a performance of the Polonaise-Fantasia in A flat Major op. 61, a Sonata and another work not performed in previous rounds. The final round includes a performance of one of Chopin’s Piano Concertos.
The jury of the competition consists of: Andrzej Jasiński – chairman, Martha Argerich, Dang Thai Son, Bella Davidovich, Philippe Entremont, Fou Ts'ong, Nelson Freire, Adam Harasiewicz, Kevin Kenner, Michie Koyama, Piotr Paleczny and Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń.
The concert of the laureates will take place in the Moniuszko Concert Hall of the Grand Theater-National Opera on October 21, 2010. Six of the highest scoring pianists will receive: I Prize -30,000 € and a Gold Medal, II Prize - 25,000 € and a silver medal, III Prize - 20,000 € and bronze medal, IV Prize - 15,000 €, V Prize - 10,000 €, VI Prize - 7,000 €. The remaining finalists will receive 4,000 € each. Additionally there are several special awards: Frederic Chopin Society Award for the best performance of a Polonaise in the 2nd round (3,000 €), Polish Radio Award for the best performance of Mazurkas (3,000 €), National Philharmonic Award for the best performance of a Concerto (3,000 €), National Frederic Chopin Institute Award for the best performance of a Sonata (3,000 €) and an Award of the Provost of the Chopin Music University in Warsaw for the best performance of Polonaise-Fantasia in A flat Major op. 61 (3,000 €).
ANNIVERSARY OF CHOPIN’S BAPTISM
On April 23 at the St. Roch and John the Baptist Church in Brochów, a special mass was held to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s baptism in the very same church. The liturgy was attended by: Bogdan Zdrojewski – Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Waldemar Dąbrowski – Chairman of the Chopin 2010 Committee and, Andrzej Sułek – director of the National Frederic Chopin Institute. During the mass, Villa Musica Ensemble performed Józef Elsner’s Muzyka podczas Mszy Świętej z odgłosem wdzięcznych pieni [Music during the Holy Mass with the Sound of Graceful Songs], with words by Kazimierz Brodziński.
The church in Brochów is a unique architectural treasure, with a design that combines a sacred space with a structure for military defense. It is approximately 10 kilometers from Żelazowa Wola where Chopin was born. In honor of Chopin’s 200th birthday, the church has been carefully restored and the acoustics of the basilica were specially tuned so that it can accommodate concerts.
BALLET PREMIERE: CHOPIN, THE ROMANTIC ARTIST
The fact that Chopin never composed a ballet has not stopped the dancers of the Polish National Ballet from celebrating the anniversary of this great composer. At the initiative of Waldemar Dąbrowski, director of the Polish National Theatre [Teatr Wielki] and coordinator of the Chopin anniversary celebrations, a new ballet has been designed in Warsaw, invoking the great Polish Romantic’s life and history.
CHOPIN, the Romantic artist, a ballet in two acts, will premiere on May 9 at the Grand Opera National Theater. A truly European choreographic world premiere, the inspiration comes from Warsaw but the ballet will look at the legend of the great Polish composer from the point of view of Paris, with which Chopin had such close ties.
The production is choreographed by Patrice Bart, the great French ballet master from the Paris Opera who is one of few contemporary choreographers specializing in the creation of new full-length ballets. The script is the work of writer Antoni Libera and musical concept is created by Stanisław Leszczyński, including not only pieces by Fryderyk Chopin but also composers who were influenced by his work: Hector Berlioz, Sergei Lyapunov, Franz Liszt, and Robert Schumann. The music is set to life by conductor Tadeusz Kozłowski, the Orchestra of the Polish National Opera, mezzo-soprano Agnieszka Rehlis and pianists Krzysztof Jabłoński, Paweł Sobowiec and Sławomir Wilk.
NEW DESIGN FOR CHOPIN.PL
Chopin.pl, a website started in 1997 under the supervision of the Fryderyk Chopin Society in Warsaw, encompasses an extensive wealth of information about Chopin in both English and Polish. Now, in the anniversary year, chopin.pl has a new website design and organizational layout. Please visit chopin.pl to learn more.
CHOPIN MUSEUM OPEN FOR THE PUBLIC
The long awaited opening of the brand new Frederic Chopin Museum in Warsaw took place on March 1, 2010, however the museum opened for the public on April 6, 2010. On the first day an estimated 400 patrons visited this state of the art Chopin center, which requires reservations. According to Łukasz Stępniak, representative of the museum, the reservations are filled until May and there are even requests for days in the next calendar year. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or in person at the museum. There are some interesting photos from the first days at the museum available at www.culture.pl.
CHOPIN & GUESTS FEATURES PREMIERE
On May 2nd, the Celebrity Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Maestro Andrew Rozbicki returns with a magnificent recreation of music by Fryderyk Chopin and world famous arias and songs. Entitled “Chopin and Guests,” this year’s concert features soloists from Poland—mezzo-soprano Beata Wardak, tenor Leszek Świdziński, baritone Tomasz Rak—as well as pianist Elizabeth Schumann.
The program includes Chopin’s, Piano Concerto no.1 in E-minor, vocal and instrumental music and the World Premiere of Walter Buczyński’s Remembrances (Chopin 2010). Composer and pianist, W. Buczyński was the first-ever Canadian to participate in the Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw 1960.
PADERWSKI PLAYS AGAIN
The Polish Museum of America will present a pianola concert given by Rex Lawson, founder of the Pianola Institute in London, on Sunday May16th in the Great Hall of the Museum at 2 pm. The concert will feature a1925 Steinway reproducing piano (or pianola) and a program comprised of piano rolls punched out by Ignacy Paderewski on the works of Chopin, Liszt, and Schubert. Although the founders of the Pianola Institute have given a multitude of pianola concerts throughout Europe and North America, this is the only such concert known to be scheduled for this year.
The concert is dedicated to the memories of the late Polish President Lech Kaczyński and his wife, First Lady Maria Kaczyńska.
VANCOUVER CHOPIN FESTIVAL
The Vancouver Chopin Society and Consulate General of the Republic of Poland will organize a three day Festival 14-16 May, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. The Festival will include lectures, performances and master-classes.
On Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10am, Prof. Irena Poniatowska will give a lecture about Chopin’s Preludes at the Vancouver Academy of Music, 1270 Chestnut Street, Vancouver. Prof. Poniatowska teaches at the Institute of Musicology of the Warsaw University, and is theauthor of many books and over 100 articles published in the leading music periodicals in Poland and abroad.
On Friday, May 14, 2010 at 8 pm brilliant Polish mezzo-soprano Urszula Krygier will sing Chopin songs at Magee Theatre, 6360 Maple Street, Vancouver. Ms. Krygier has performed these songs in many of the major halls in the world, including La Scala in Milan, and she will give a pre-performance talk at 7 pm. She will be joined by Zbigniew Raubo on piano. The second half of the concert will be a performance of Chopin’s Piano Trio Op. 8 and Cello Sonata, Op. 65, played by Libby Yu – piano, Joseph Elworthy – cello, and Joan Blackman – violin.
On Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 8 pm Don Mowatt and Carolyn Finlay will give a dramatic reading at the Magee Theatre. Entitled "Weeping Muse, Broken Lyre," it is a series of dramatic dialogues, in costume, between composer Frederic Chopin and author George Sand. The words in the title refer to the images on the memorial monument to Chopin in Père Lachaise Cemetery, sculpted by Sand's son-in-law.
On Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm, pianist Zbigniew Raubo will perform an All-Chopin recital at Vancouver Playhouse. He will perform: Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52; Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major, Op. 47; Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp minor, Op. 39; Scherzo No. 4 in E major, Op. 54; Four Mazurkas, Op. 41; and Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58.
For more details, see the Festival flyer at www.chopinsociety.org.
CHOPIN FESTIVAL IN SWEDEN
According to the international news service of Polish Radio:
To read the entire article, visit thenews.pl.
D.C. CHOPIN FESTIVAL
Under the High Patronage of His Excellency the Ambassador of Poland Mr. Robert Kupiecki and His Excellency the Ambassador of France Mr. Pierre Vimont, the Andrzej Markowski Foundation presents the Chopin Festival in Washington, D.C., May-June 2010.
NAT’L PHIL & PALECZNY CELEBRATE CHOPIN & SCHUMANN
On Saturday, May 22, the National Philharmonic and their conductor Piotr Gajewski will perform a program featuring pianist Piotr Paleczny, entitled “The Polish Masters & Schumann.” The program will include Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Piano Concert No. 1 and the Manfred Overture of Schumann.
A judicious merging of the National Chamber Orchestra and Masterworks Chorus on July 1, 2003 created the National Philharmonic, with a 55-year combined history of high caliber musical performances in the local area. The National Philharmonic became the Music Center at Strathmore’s ensemble-in-residence in February 2005. Since then, the Philharmonic has performed more than 100 concerts in the Concert Hall at Strathmore, showcasing world-renowned guest artists in time-honored symphonic masterpieces conducted by Maestro Piotr Gajewski and monumental choral masterworks under National Philharmonic Chorale Artistic Director Stan Engebretson.
AUGUSCIK / CHOPIN WORLD SOUND
The European premiere of the concert series “Chopin 200 - Grazyna Auguscik's World Sound” too place on February 23, 2010, with the Poznań Philharmonic. Polish jazz vocalist Grażyna Auguścik will continue her series with a May 2010 E.U. Tour.
Grażyna Auguścik is known for unusual musical projects of the highest artistic merit and this time is no different. She has invited classical and jazz musicians to integrate jazz vocals with the sound of three trombones, bass and accordion in arrangements created by Jarosław Bestera and Andrzej Jagodziński. The tour features band members Jarek Bester-accordion, Matt Ulery-bass, and the Chicago International Trombone Trio.
Chopin 200 - Grazyna Auguscik's World Sound E.U. Tour
The U.S. premier concert of “Chopin 200 - Grazyna Auguscik's World Sound” will take place on Sunday, July 25, 2010 in Chicago’s Millennium Park.
CONCERTS IN ŻELAZOWA WOLA
From May 2 until the end of the summer, Żelazowa Wola Manor will host a cycle of Chopin recitals every Sunday. Each of the recitals will be performed by world class pianists, including laureates of the International Chopin Competition. To celebrate Chopin’s 200th birthday the manor was extensively renovated. All the additional facilities have turned the manor into a world-class museum.
The concerts at Żelazowa Wola were established in 1954 by Prof Zbigniew Drzewiecki. Until 2005 the Chopin Society in Warsaw was responsible for organization of the recitals, but since 2006 the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute oversees this great tradition.
Recital schedule for May:
For more information please visit www.chopin.nifc.pl.
SKORACZEWSKI AT POLISH EMBASSY
Dariusz Skoraczewski and Michael Adcock will play a cello and piano recital at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington D.C. on May 8. The recital is one of the art and music events of "Embassy series.”
“CHOPIN IS COOL” COMPETITION
Marek Gawdzik and his project "Fryderyk.Ch." has won First Prize the "Chopin is cool" competition for the best advertising campaign to popularize Chopin and his work among young people. Participants in the competition were challenged to prepare a contemporary and unique advertising campaign targeted at people between 18 and 35 years of age.
According to Gawdzik’s project, stickers, posters and gadgets signed "Fryderyk.Ch." would appear in numerous Polish cities. In clubs, pubs and restaurants there would be free postcards with greetings from Fryderyk Ch. from Paris signed "Tęsknię" [I miss you]. Copies of Chopin’s notes and sheet music, signed with request for contact would be scattered around higher education institutions and the Warsaw Subway would be plastered with stickers saying "Stukot niczym Metro Forte. Fryderyk Ch." [The sound of train wheels is just like Metro Forte. Fryderyk.Ch], making a play on words with the musical term, mezzo forte. Similar creative messages would make their way into shopping malls and fitting rooms of boutiques. The web address www.fryderyk.ch would host Fryderyk.Ch’s blog with fragments of his music and daily posts.
The 2nd prize went to Izabela Austin and Paulina Munakova for their project, "Real Chopin." 3rd prize was given to Krzysztof Bętkowski, Iga Szulc and Wojciech Kres for the "Chopin Alternator." The competition was organized by the Bureau of the Chopin 2010 Celebrations in collaboration with The School for the Masters of Advertising.
The new kind of tulip, named “Preludium Chopina” [Chopin’s Prelude], was presented on April 23 in Łazenki Park. The bulbs of the new flower were donated by the Kingdom of Netherlands, the home of tulips, as a gift for Chopin’s 200th birthday. Having been planted back in November 2009, they bloomed for the first time this spring in their lilac color, supposedly loved by the composer.
The creation of “Preludium Chopina,” took Jan Lighart, a well known planter, twenty years to develop by crossing several other strains of tulip. Having developed the light crème-colored “Maria Kaczyńska” tulip, the red “Irena Sendler” tulip and the “Mikołaj Kopernik” tulip, this is the 4th kind to be named after a Pole. To date the Royal General Bulb Growers' Association (KAVB) has registered some 4,500 kinds of tulips.
Polish composer Hanna Kulenty's opera The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams will have its Polish premiere on May 15 and 16 at the Wrocław Opera. The production is directed by Ewelina Pietrowiak and conducted by Wojciech Michniewski. This one-act opera was written in 1995 to a libretto in English by Canadian writer Paul Goodman.The premiere is a part of the Musica Polonica Nova Festival in Wrocław.
Hanna Kulenty is a Polish composer, born on March 18, 1961 in Białystok, Poland. Since 1992 she lives both in Warsaw (Poland) and in Arnhem (The Netherlands). She has been considered one of the leading figures on the Polish composers’ scene since the success of her opera The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams at the 5th edition of the prestigious Münchener Biennale in 1996. Of the many awards Kulenty has won, the most prestigious one was the first prize at UNESCO’s 50th International Rostrum of Composers with her composition Trumpet Concerto (2002). To explore the composer’s thoughts on composition, works, recordings and manuscripts in the PMC Collection, please see her PMC Composer Page.
The following are Director Claus Guth’s thoughts on creating the 9 December 1996 premiere performance of The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams, from the website of the Münchener Biennale:
A new composition by Wojciech Blecharz, entitled Hypopnea and written for solo accordion, will be given its World Premiere on May 12 at 7:00 pm as a part of the Musica Polonica Nova Festival in Wrocław. It will be performed by Maciej Frąckiewicz, to whom the piece is dedicated. Frąckiewicz is part of the TWOgether Duo with cellist Magdalena Bojanowicz.
Blecharz recently shared the following details about his new piece with the PMC:
To learn more about Wojtek Blecharz and hear samples of his music, visit his page at myspace.com/wojtekblecharz.
The world premiere of Piotr Moss’ Double Cello Concerto “Passions” will take place on May 6, as part of the 3rd edition of the contemporary music festival, “Île de découvertes,” in the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines theater in the Île-de-France region. Commissioned by the Orchestre National d’Île de-France, the concerto receives its first performance with this orchestra and accompanying cellists Jérôme Pernoo and Raphaël Chrétien under the direction of Kaspar Zehnder.
During the 3 days of the Festival, there will be 10 different public events, including: orchestral concerts, an opera for children, chamber concerts, conservatory student concerts, conferences, meetings with composers, and pedagogical presentations. The theme of this year’s Festival is contemporary Italian music.
To celebrate the 100th birthday of Roman Maciejewski, Poznań Opera is preparing the staging of a new musical monodrama, Maski Władzy. The premiere of the work will take place on May 7, 2010 at the Poznań Opera. Krzysztof Słowiński is the musical director of the project while Sylwester Biraga is responsible for directing the play. The single actor in the play is Tomasz Raczkiewicz, accompanied by the Poznań Grand Theater Orchestra.
During his career, Roman Maciejewski worked closely with theatre directors such as Ingmar Bergman and Knut Strøm. These collaborations resulted in a fair amount of theatrical music which, even when separated from the stage action, remains artistically valid by itself. Musical settings from Caligula by Albert Camus, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the Chinese drama Lute Song by Kao-Tsa-Tcheng went into the creation of the new monodrama. According to Shakespearian formula, the actor plays the whole world. The various sections of the work show a man in different circumstances, wearing different masks—the true face is revealed only rarely. The actor alternates between the tyrant and the victim to show the duality of human nature.
ANDERSZEWSKI’S “SZYMANOWSKI PROJECT”
Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski has undertaken a personal quest to shine a light on the oft-ignored music of Karol Szymanowski, who is recognized as the father of Polish modern music. Anderszewski’s latest endeavor in this journey is the “Szymanowski Project” at Carnegie Hall in New York, during which he is performing Szymanowski’s alluring compositions in three concerts of orchestral music, chamber music, and piano pieces. Playbill writer Harry Haskill shares Anderszewski’s thoughts about Szymanowski’s music:
[Reprinted from PLAYBILL®. PLAYBILL® is a registered trademark of Playbill Incorporated, NYC. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Read the entire article at soundinsights.carnegiehall.org]
Anderszewski also recently discussed the power and depth of Szymanowski’s music with Stuart Isacoff in the Wall Street Journal:
Read the entire article, entitled “Out of Chopin’s Shadow,” at online.wsj.com.
For the first Carnegie Hall concert on April 13th, Anderszewski joined The Philadelphia Orchestra and Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit in a program of Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 4, Op. 60 “Symphonie concertante,” (this piece was dedicated to victims of the Smolensk crash during the concert), Debussy’s La mer, and Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps. Read reviews of the concert at the New York Times and the Classical Music Network.
For the last two concerts in the Szymanowski Project series, Anderszewski is joined by the Belcea Quartet (Corina Belcea-Fisher – violin, Laura Samuel – violin, Krzysztof Chorzelski – viola, and Antoine Lederlin – Cello), as well as violinist Henning Kraggerud and soprano Iwona Sobotka. The May 1st program includes: Szymanowski’s String Quartet No. 1, Janáček’s In the Mists, Szymanowski’s Mythes for Violin and Piano, Op. 30 and Słopiewnie, Op. 46b, and Bartók’s String Quartet No. 1. The May 2nd program features: Szymanowski’s Metopes, Op. 29, Schumann’s Märchenbilder, Op. 113, Bartók’s Three Hungarian Folksongs from Csík, BB 45b, and Szymanowski’s Songs of a Fairytale Princess, Op. 31 and String Quartet No. 2.
Watch an excerpt from Bruno Monsaingeon's 2008 film, Piotr Anderszewski: Unquiet Traveller, during which the pianist discusses his initial reaction to playing Szymanowski’s music. DVD copies of the film may be purchased at arkivmusic.com.
KOSZALIN PHIL NEWS
According to the announcement, the construction work should for the new Koszalin Philharmonic Building begin in July of this year and the completion date is estimated for April 2013. The building will stand in the park near the CK 105 Culture Center, which currently serves as a temporary home of the Koszalin Symphonic Orchestra.
The new Philharmonic building was designed by architects from Poznań. It is supposed to be a four level, 5,5 thousand square meter building with a concert hall and all the necessary amenities. The concert hall will seat 518 visitors and the stage is designed for orchestras up to 70 players plus a 40 piece choir.
The Stanisław Moniuszko Philharmonic in Koszalin was created in 1956. In the beginning the group performed under the name Koszalin Symphonic Orchestra Society. The orchestra consists of 62 full time musicians. The Koszalin Philharmonic has performed with the top Polish conductors and soloists and has 13 CDs to its name. To find out more about the ensemble please visit www.filharmoniakoszalinska.pl.
NY KOSCIUSZKO FDN. CONCERTS
Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm, soprano Lauren Skuce and pianist Marija Stroke will perform in the Chamber Music Series of the Kosciuszko Foundation. Their program features a set of songs by Chopin, commemorating the bicentennial of the composer's birth; and Songs of Life and Love by New York-based composer Bruce Adolphe. The afternoon will include the popular song-cycle Frauenliebe und Leben of Robert Schumann and ends with the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss.
On Friday, May 7, 2010 at 7:30pm pianist Edward Auer will play a special benefit concert supporting the Cultural Fund of the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York. Auer’s program will include Chopin’s Four Ballades, Polonaise Fantasy, Mazurkas and more.
Edward Auer was the first American to win the prestigious International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. He returned to Poland more than 20 times for concert tours, playing in every major city and with every major orchestra. The artist has played solo recitals and concertos more than 30 countries on five continents.
For the past two years, Edward Auer has been working on an ambitious series of recordings of the works of Chopin, to celebrate that composer’s 2010 bicentennial. As currently projected it will consist of at least eight volumes. The first, Chopin Nocturnes Volume 1, was released to great acclaim and a dazzling review from New York Concert Review’s Harris Goldsmith.
The Kosciuszko Foundation is dedicated to promoting educational and cultural exchanges between the United States and Poland and to increasing American understanding of Polish culture and history. Your contribution to the Kosciuszko Foundation Cultural Fund helps to support a wide variety of cultural programs including:
CONSTITUTION DAY CELEBRATIONS
Los Angeles, CA
On Sunday, May 2 at 3:00 pm, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles will celebrate the May 3rd Constitution Day with a special mass at the Polish Church in West Adams. This mass will also commemorate the victims of the April 10 crash in Smolensk.
On Monday, May 3, 2010, at 7:00 pm, the Kosciuszko Foundation in Washington, DC celebrates “Constitution Day with Chopin.” The concert of Chopin's music will feature pianist Regina Romanowska, a graduate of Moscow State Conservatory, inspired Romantic and distinguished interpreter of F. Chopin's music. Ms. Romanowska will play a wide variety of Chopin’s compositions, including mazurkas, waltzes and etudes, as well as the Consolation in D flat Major by Chopin’s colleague, Franz Lizst.
San Francisco, CA
The Polish American Community in the San Francisco Bay Area will celebrate the 219th annual commemoration of the May 3rd Polish Constitution of 1791 on Sunday, May 2nd. Poland's constitution was the first democratic one in Europe and the second in the world, after the Constitution of the United States. The San Francisco Polish May 3rd Constitution Festival at the Golden Gate Park is hosted by the Polish American Congress. This is a day for live Polish music, folk dances, original art, jewelry, food and merchandise imported from Poland.
ALL THAT JAZZ EXHIBIT
A photo exhibit entitled “All That Jazz” by Polish-born American artist Ryszard Horowitz is currently on display in Poznań, Poland. According to the international service of Polish Radio:
Ryszard Horowitz is one of the youngest known survivors of the concentration camp of Auschwitz. He was five years old when the camp was liberated in January 1945.
A graduate of the Fine Arts Academy in Kraków, he developed a successful career in the United States, particularly as a forerunner of the computer-aided photo processing. In 1967 he set up his own photographic studio. He made a name as a pioneer of special effects photography prior to digital technology.
In addition to many other legendary jazz musicians, Horowitz had the opportunity to photograph Dave Brubeck in both Poland and the US. Horowitz shares the following excerpt of a letter he received from Brubeck after sending him one of the photos on his website, www.ryszardhorowitz.com:
Horowitz has toured around the world exhibiting his jazz photos. In 2008, he was presented with the Gloria Artis Gold Medal awarded by the Polish Ministry of Culture.
PTASZYŃSKA AWARDED GUGGENHEIM FELLOWSHIP
Polish composer and percussionist Marta Ptaszyńska has received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Award in the Creative Arts - Music Composition category for 2010. Often characterized as "midcareer" awards, Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.
During this year’s eighty-sixth annual competition, the Foundation has awarded 180 Fellowships to artists, scientists, and scholars from United States and Canada. The successful candidates were chosen from a group of some 3,000 applicants. For a list of the 2010 Creative Arts Fellows, please see www.gf.org.
[Source: Guggenheim Memorial Foundation]
FRYDERYKI WINNERS HONOR CRASH VICTIMS
"Artists wanted to express how they feel, and the best way they can do it is through music,”
The presentation of the winners of this year's Fryderyki Awards, the Polish equivalent of the American Grammy Awards, was altered in recognition of this spring’s more somber tone. Instead of the two separate ceremonies that have been the tradition for 15 years, a single concert on April 19 at the Salesian Basilica in Warsaw was performed in the honor of the victims of the April 10 plane crash near Smolensk. The concert was entitled "Fryderyk 2010. Artyści w hołdzie ofiarom katastrofy lotniczej w Smoleńsku” [Fryderyk 2010. Artists for the victims of the plane Crash in Smolensk]. The list of award winners was read, however only near the end of the concert and without the usual hype.
The concert began with playback of the original recording of Czesław Niemen’s song Dziwny jest ten świat [It is a Strange World]. During the evening several Polish pop/jazz/classical stars performed, including Agata Zubel, Bartłomiej Kominek, Janusz Olejniczak, Włodzimierz Nahorny and Wojciech Karolak, Kayah with the Royal String Quartet, Anna Maria Jopek, Staszek Sojka, Dorota Miśkiewicz, and Justyna Steczkowska. Janusz Olejniczak performed some of Chopin’s music and Krzysztof Kolberger recited lyrical texts. The same stage was shared by pop and jazz musicians and the event culminated with a performance of the song Dziwny jest ten świat, arranged by Adam Sztaba for 12 string instruments and performed by all artists participating in the concert, including also: Maryla Rodowicz, Ewa Bem, Kuba Badach and Piotr Cugowski.
The concert was broadcast live by TVP 1. Some photographs from the concert are available at culture.pl. The following artists were honored with the Fryderyk Award:
FRYDERYK 2010 – CLASSICAL MUSIC
Composer of the Year
Album of the Year – Choral and Oratorio Music
Felix Nowowiejski: Missa Pro Pace, Missa Stella Maris (DUX)
Album of the Year – Early and Baroque Music
Album of the Year – Chamber Music
Royal String Quartet – Szymanowski & Różycki String Quartets (Hyperion)
Album of the Year – Symphonic and Concerto Music
Rafał Blechacz – Chopin Piano Concertos (Universal Music Polska)
Album of the Year – Solo Music
Bartłomiej Nizioł – 6 solo violin sonatas, Op.27, of Eugène Ysaÿe (Magnus Ventus)
Album of the Year – Contemporary Music
Agata Zubel – Cascando (CD Accord)
Album of the Year – Vocal Recital
Andrzej Hiolski – Opera arias, Songs & Cantatas (Polskie Nagrania)
Album of the Year – Opera, Operetta, Ballet
Ewa Podleś. Concert with the Polish Radio Orchestra (DUX)
Phonographic Debut of the Year: Marcin ZDUNIK – Haydn & Denisov - Cello Concertos
Outstanding Recording of Polish Music
Rafał Blechacz – Chopin Piano Concertos (Universal Music Polska)
Golden Fryderyk for the Lifetime Achievement: Ewa Demarczyk, Wojciech Karolak
FRYDERYK 2010 – JAZZ
Jazz Musician of the Year
Jazz Album of the Year
Tomasz Stańko "Dark Eyes" / Universal Music Polska / ECM
Jazz Phonographic Debut of the Year
Trio Mania (Piotr Mania, Paweł Żuchowski, Tomasz Sowiński)
For more information about the award please visit galafryderyk.pl.
TVP KULTURA AWARDS
Winners of 5th annual “Cultural Guarantee Awards” given by TVP Kultura, the Polish Television cultural station, have been announced. Jurors included publicists of TVP Kultura and specialists from several artistic disciplines. The 2009 awards were given in the following categories:
Classical Music: Marcin Zdunik, cellist
Jazz, Rock and other music genres: Mateusz Kołakowski, pianist – for the CD “Mateusz Kołakowski & Dave Liebman - Live at Jazz Standard”
Theater: Karolina Gruszka, actress – for her role in Lipiec by Iwan Wyrypajew
Film: Bartek Konopka, director – for his film Rabbit a’la Berlin
Visual Arts: Jakub Julian Ziółkowski, painter and sculptor
Creative development of children and teenagers: Czarodziejska Kura Magazine
Literature: Dariusz Czaja, essaist – for his book Lekcje ciemności
Additionally two honorary awards were given by the director of TVP Kultura, Krzysztof Koehler: posthumously to Tomasz Merta, former undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and to Mariusz Wilczyński, graphic designer of TVP Kultura, for creating an unique image.
MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN POLISH CULTURE
The Polish magazine Twój Styl has published a list of the most influential women In Polish culture. Magdalena Sroka, director of the Kraków Festival Bureau, was named the most influential woman in Polish cultural life. She is responsible for organization of the Film Music Festival, Sacrum Profanum Festival and Misteria Paschalia Festival.
The top 15 women featured in the article also include: Krystyna Janda, Elżbieta Penderecka, Joanna Mytkowska, Beata Stasińska, Grażyna Kulczyk, Milada Ślizińska, Kayah, Ilona Łepkowska, Agnieszka Morawińska, Aneta Szyłak, Agnieszka Odorowicz, Bogna Świątkowska, Agnieszka Jacobson–Cielecka and Maria Anna Potocka.
RADZIWIŁŁ COMPETITION RESULTS
16 year old Jinman Li of China, currently a student in the Poznań Music Academy, has won the 23rd edition of the Antoni Radziwiłł Tournament for Foreign Piano Stipend Recipients in Antonin, Poland.
Jinman Li was born in 1994, and she has received several awards in Chinese national competitions. Since 2009 she is a piano student of Prof. Alicja Kledzik in Poznań.
The Tournament is open to foreign nationals studying at the Polish music educational institutions. Over the two competition days, artists perform a Chopin program and a free-choice program in two separate concerts. The audience decides the winner. The Tournament is organized by Wielkopolska Chopin Center Antonin in Ostrów Wielkopolski and Center for Culture and Art in Kalisz at the beautiful Hunting Palace in Antonin.
MUSICA POLONICA NOVA
The 27th edition of the Musica Polonica Nova Festival will take place in Wrocław between May 8-16, 2010. The festival is organized by the Wrocław Philharmonic with the help of the Polish Composer’s Union [ZKP] and Polish Radio.
During the 12 concerts there will be over 60 works by 45 composers performed, including 16 premieres (see below). There will also be four discussion forums, film screenings, and historic recordings presentations. The festival will also present numerous different areas of compositional art. A performance of several “mass songs,” a genre promoted by the Communist regime during the early 1950s, will try to answer the question whether these kinds of ideologically-charged compositions should still a stigma. These songs will be performed in juxtaposition with Panufnik’s Symfonia Pokoju [Symphony of Peace] from 1951 and II Symphony “Olympian” by Zbigniew Turski. The latter piece was honored in 1948 with a gold medal in the art category during the Summer Olympics in London, then condemned by the Polish Composer’s Conference in Łagów Lubuski the following year.
During the last few days of the festival, presentations will focus on forms combining music with theater, picture, screen and movement. The culminating moment will feature the Polish premiere performance of Hanna Kulenty’s opera Matka czarnoskrzydłych snów [Mother of the Black-winged Dreams]. Please read more about the Kulenty premiere in the News section. Andrzej Krzanowski’s Suita will be premiered on May 15, it is a concert version of his sensational multimedia mega-opera Audycja V from 1977.
For more information about the Musica Polonica Nova Festival, please visit www.musicapolonicanova.pl.
GAUDE MATER FESTIVAL
The year’s 20th anniversary edition of the Gaude Mater Festival of Sacred Music will take place in Częstochowa, Poland between April 30 and May 6. The program of the festival, entitled “Ars sacra – Dialogue of cultures,” will feature works spanning from the middle ages to the contemporary and from different cultures around the world.
The inaugural concert will feature a special presentation of world-class jazz vocalist and virtuoso, Bobby McFerrin, who will be performing in Poland with an orchestra for the first time. The following day, audiences will hear Haendel’s Messiah performed by the Retrospect Ensemble (Great Britain) directed by Matthew Halls. The final concert will feature a performance of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Seven Gates of Jerusalem conducted by the composer.
This year’s edition will celebrate the 200th birthday of Chopin with a musical play entitled Z fascynacji Chopinem [Out of a Fascination with Chopin], directed by Katarzyna Deszcz. The usual concert of Polish premieres will be replaced this year with a concert entitled "Marek Jasiński in Memoriam," dedicated to the late composer, with compositions by Marian Borkowski, Marek Jasiński, Juliusz Łuciuk, Paweł Łukaszewski, Józef Świder and Romuald Twardowski. A contemporary premiere of Józef Elsner’s Mass op. 22 for male choir and wind ensemble will be performed on May 2, during the “Liturgical Inauguration of the Festival.”
Each year the festival invites highly acclaimed international artists to perform, and this year the roster is also very impressive: Morphing Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Rozaneh Ensemble from Iran, Retrospect Ensemble from Great Britain, James Oxley and Paul Esswood, Vilnius Municipal Choir "Jauna Muzika" from Lithuania, "Schola Gregoriana Pragensis" from the Czech Republic, The Sakala Brothers from Zambia, Joseph Malovany from the US, Old Russian Religious Music Ensemble “Sirin” from Russia, Ensemble "AL-KINDI" from Syria and Turkey, Sandra Trattnigg from Austria, and "De Caelis" Ensemble from France.
Outstanding Polish ensembles will also be featured, including: Cardinal Wyszyński Univeristy Choir, Podlaski Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Częstochowa Philharmonic with Jerzy Salwarowski, Polish Orchestra of the 18th Century, Cantores Minores Choir, Wratislavienses Chamber Choir, Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra, Polish Chamber Choir "Schola Cantorum Gedanensis,” “Camerata Silesia,” and Polish Radio Choir.
The festival will be accompanied by the 3rd International Conference “Man-Faith-Culture,” including a musicology session entitled "Filip Gotschalk – Jasnagóra musician from Silesia" and a seminar for conductors, musicians and musicologists.
The detail program of the festival is available at www.gaudemater.pl.
SOUNDS NEW FESTIVAL
During the Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival, which will take place in Canterbury between May 7 and 16 2010, there will be several Polish accents. On May 13 Polish pianist Barbara Drążkowska will perform a world premiere of Septem – 7 miniatures written especially for her by Szymon Brzóska, as well as Epiphora by Paweł Mykietyn. On May 10, the Cantus Ensemble, Croatia’s leading contemporary music group, will perform the UK premiere of Lidia Zielińska’s Siedem wysp Conrada [Conrad’s Seven Islands]. This year’s edition of the festival is entitled “Symbolism and Numerology in Music.”
A detailed program of the festival is available at: www.soundsnew.org.uk.
FILM MUSIC FESTIVAL
Tan Dun, Leszek Możdżer, music from Disney films and Lord of the Rings trilogy soundtrack with special guest, Howard Shore, are all a part of the program of the 3rd Film Music Festival in Kraków, taking place from May 20-22.
Certainly the highlight of the Festival will be the first ever live performance of Tan Dun’s soundtrack to the film Hero. Composer Tan Dun has prepared the score especially for this occasion and will lead the Sinfonietta Cracovia and Pro Musica Mundi Choir himself. Tan Dun will also present The Banquet Concerto – a project based on a soundtrack to the famous Chinese adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Also by Tan Dun, the Internet Symphony Eroica will be performed during the festival.
According to the festival website, the Festival of Film Music in Kraków, organized by the Kraków Festival Office and RMF Classic, has been entirely dedicated to music created for the needs of picture. The unique combination of the highest quality of interpretation of film music performed by leading musicians and orchestras, in combination with high quality of projected picture, decides on the uniqueness of the event. The programme of the venture puts its stake on genre diversity: from retrospective reviews and exclusive ceremonial concerts in performance, through monographic concerts of chosen and distinguished composers of film music, and finally at mass outdoor screenings.
The concerts will take place in Kraków’s Blonia Fields. The concerts will be enriched by projections on an 18 meter-wide screen. For more information please visit www.fmf.fm.
ANIMA MUNDI FESTIVAL
The International Anima Mundi Festival is taking place in Kielce, Poland until May 2 under the patronage from the bishop of Kielce, Kazimierz Ryczan. The idea behind Anima Mundi is to showcase the variety of musical cultures, their uniqueness and exoticism, and concerts take place in churches around Kielce. This year’s Festival was inaugurated with a concert of Jewish religious music performed by the Hagada Ensemble. For the first time in Poland, Anima Mundi has brought the brothers Ratko and Radis Teofilowicz to perform traditional Serbian folk music a capella.
Some of the other prominent artists include the Lwów Virtuosi chamber orchestra, Rostislav Wygranienko (Ukraine), Poznańskie Słowiki Choir, Dariusz Przybylski. Bogna Nowowiejska, Sabbaton Choir, Anna Seniuk, Edward Kusztal, and Agata Augustyn.
A concert of the Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra, featuring conductor Iman Resnis and pianist Rinko Kobayashi, will inaugurate the Polish part of the Probaltica Festival of Music and Art of the Baltic Countries on May 1. The 17th edition of the festival will conclude on May 15.
The main idea behind the festival is to promote cooperation amongst the Baltic Countries, especially artistic and cultural areas. Since 2001 the Festival has taken place in all 10 Baltic countries at the same time.
"Probaltica is intended to bring together the citizens of the countries with access to the Baltic Sea through music. Through concerts and international personnel arrangements the musicians get to know each other and performances of works by national composers allows audiences to become familiar with other cultures" – said Aleksandra Iżycka, spokesperson for the city of Toruń.
The program of the festival includes solo recitals, chamber concerts and symphonic concerts. The artists invited to perform include: Eugen Indjic, 4th Prize winner at the 1970 International Chopin Competition, St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra from Wilno with Donatas Katkus, National Instruments Orchestra from Kaliningrad, pianist Ian Hobson, Probaltica European Orchestra, Gotlands Blasarkvintett from Sweden, Multicamerata Ensemble from Toruń, Art Vio String Quartet from Lithuania, Zoom Trio from Denmark, violinist Konstanty Andrzej Kulka with Camerata Vistula Orchestra, and more.
Traditionally the festival also hosts exhibitions, and this year The Court of Artus building will house the exhibit "Tańczące obrazy" [Dancing Images] by Renata Uzarska-Bielawska, graduate of the Fine Arts Department of the Mikołaj Kopernik University, as well as biographical expositions dedicated to Frederic Chopin and Roman Maciejewski.
For a complete program of the festival please visit www.probaltica.art.pl.
KRAKÓW COMPOSER’S DAYS
The 22nd edition of Kraków Composer’s Days will begin on May 23 in Kraków and continue until May 29. The festival is organized by the Kraków chapter of the Polish Composer’s Union.
One of the more important events of the festival will be the concert dedicated to late Prof. Adam Kaczyński, a pioneer of contemporary music and creator of the MW2 ensemble. The program of the festival also includes a concert celebrating the 80th birthday of Roman Berger, a Polish composer living in Bratislava. There will be several premiere performances during the festival including works by Lukas Langlotz and Michel Roth from Basel. There will be a concert dedicated to works of one of the greatest composer’s of the 20th century, Maurizio Kagel. The 150th birthday anniversary of Gustav Mahler will be celebrated by the international project "Mahler.reflected".
The artists invited to perform include among others: Mitteleuropaeische Orchester from Vienna, New Music Orchestra from Katowice, MW2 Ensemble, Cracow Duo (cellist Jan Kalinowski, pianist Marek Szlezer), Airis Quartet and outstanding soloists from Kraków: Elżbieta Stefańska (harpsichord), Barbara Świątek-Żelazna (flute), and Marek Mietelski (piano).
The festival will be accompanied by a series of lectures and meetings with international musicians and musicologists. Concerts will take place in the Florianka Concert Hall, the Kraków Music Academy and at the Musicology Institute of the Jagiellonian University.
The goal of the festival is the presentation of the latest works of composers from all generations of the Kraków school.
GRAND ORGAN OF THE ARCHCATHEDRAL
Beginning on May 1, 2010 until September 25, 2010 (except for Sundays and holidays), the John the Baptist Archcathedral in Warsaw will host daily organ recitals as part of the 7th edition of the "Grand Organ of the Archcathedral" Festival.
Each of the organ recitals will be performed by highly recognized Polish artists, such as Przemysław Kapituła or Piotr Rachoń. Each of the concerts will also present one work of Mieczysław Surzyński, legendary Polish composer, organist and improviser, who has worked at the Cathedral in the early 20th century.
After the concerts there are tours of the church’s crypts and tombs. The Archcathedral is the place of final rest of such persons as: Warsaw Archbishops, King Stanisław August Poniatowski, Polish Presidents - Gabriel Narutowicz, Ignacy Mościcki, and Stanisław Wojciechowski, prime Minister - Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and Nobel Prize recipient- Henryk Sienkiewicz.
For more information, please visit www.kapitula.org.
MAZURKAS OF THE WORLD
The most original genres amongst Frederic Chopin’s compositions has its roots in traditional Polish village music—mazurka, polonaise and kujawiak—which the composer encountered in his childhood, and they created the musical landscape of his times. The ‘Mazurkas of the World’ Festival (5-11 April, 2010) was aimed at reviving and introducing these rhythms and musical phrases into the contemporary musical environment.
In the course of the Festival, artists with different musical backgrounds met: classical pianists performing Chopin’s mazurkas, jazz musicians, and the best village musicians. It was an opportunity to unite musicians and dancers from different countries where the mazurka is played and danced: France, Sweden, Estonia and the Republic of Cape Verde, at events such as concerts, dance workshops and parties. The crowning event of the Festival was Dance Night – a dance party accompanied by the music of Festival performers at Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, near ‘Skwer’ (a branch of ‘Fabryka Trzciny’ Art Centre).
The educational project ‘Mazurek – Reactivation’ that preceded the Festival was directed at children, adolescents and adults and included teaching traditional dances, singing and playing simple instruments, as well as at popularizing the knowledge about village music and its impact on classical music. Educational activities will continue after the end of the Festival, throughout the year 2010.
POLLINI PLAYS CHOPIN AT CARNEGIE HALL
On Sunday, April 18, Italian pianist and winner of the 1960 Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Maurizio Pollini, played the first of his three successive All-Chopin recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium (other recital dates: April 29 and May 9). The following is an excerpt from Steve Smith’s review of the first recital in the New York Times from April 19:
BLECHACZ D.C. PREMIERE
A Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, the unanimous winner of the 2005 Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition and the first Polish pianist to win since Krystian Zimerman in 1975, is rapidly becoming one of the world's most renowned young pianists. He has made his Washington D.C. recital debut at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater on Saturday, February 27, 2010, as part of the Hayes Series presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society.
According to reviewer Philip Kennicott of the Washington Post:
STAŃKO QUINTET IN BALTIMORE
Sunday, April 18, the Tomasz Stańko Quintet played two sets at An die Musik Live in Baltimore, MD. Like his hero Miles Davis, the Polish jazz master also has an impressive record as talent scout and mentor, and his latest ensemble pools young players from the North of Europe. Tomasz has had strong connections to Finland in particular since the early 1970s when he was part of Edward Vesalas creative circle. Now he welcomes two prodigiously gifted Finns into his group, pianist Alexi Tuomarila and drummer Olavi Louhivuori, both expressive and imaginative players. The rest of the quintet consists of Jakob Bro on guitar, Anders Christensen on bass, and of course Tomasz Stańko on trumpet.
Tomasz Stańko's smouldering Slavic soul music and grainy-toned trumpet finds a new context on his most recent recording, Dark Eyes, which features the same quintet of musicians.
LANDOWSKA IN MEMORIAM
For all harpsichord lovers, 2009 marked the anniversary of Wanda Landowska’s death. Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1879, Landowska died in 1959 at her home in Lakeville, CT. A groundbreaking musician and a visionary performer, Landowska brought the harpsichord and its music back from oblivion. In her honor, on Saturday 24 April 2010, the acclaimed harpsichordist Władysław Kłosiewicz presented a tribute recital in Lakeville, CT that was free to the public. His concert featured music from the "Golden Age of the Harpsichord" - pieces by the French composers Louis Couperin, François Couperin, Jean Philippe Rameau and Johann Jakob Froberger, among others.
The recital was part of an international project "Landowska in Memoriam" led by the Polish Pro Academia Narolense Foundation in collaboration with the Musicology Institute of Warsaw University. It is supported by the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw, Gotham Early Music in New York and Crescendo Inc., in Lakeville. The project will continue in places of Wanda Landowska's life – Warsaw, Berlin, and Saint-Leu-La-Foret (France).
Władysław Kłosiewicz is artistic director and manager of a Baroque orchestra, the Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense. Since 2004 he has led his own international early music ensemble, Narol Baroque. He was professor of harpsichord and Baroque music interpretation at Universitaet für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria for many years. He was a juror at the I and II Wanda Landowska International Harpsichord Competitions. In the opinion of European reviewers, he is one of today's leading harpsichord players and conductors specializing in Baroque music.
A student of Ruggiero Gerlin, Landowska’s closest associate, Kłosiewicz is one of the greatest artistic individuals of our time. He has a rich virtuoso technique strictly subordinated to musical expression. A very talented improviser with a thorough knowledge of Baroque, he is an unrivaled performer of works by Louis Couperin and Johann Jakob Froberger. The artist's realizations of continuo parts are marked by great imaginativeness and stylistic authenticity.
NOWAK STEPS IN FOR RPO
Polish conductor Grzegorz Nowak stepped in for an ailing colleague during a recent concert of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Cadogan Hall in London. The April 9th concert had been billed as a celebration of the music of Shostakovich, made particularly special by the fact that it was to be conducted by the composer’s son, Maxim Shostakovich. Unfortunately, due to illness requiring hospitalization, Maxim Shostakovich was unable to be at the concert. However, neither audience members nor critics seemed disappointed by the replacement of RPO Principal Associate Conductor Nowak on the program.
Below are excerpts from several of the glowing reviews:
AGA ZARYAN ON BLUE NOTE
Aga Zaryan – Looking Walking Being
Aga Zaryan is the first Polish vocalist to have released an album under the Blue Note insignia, the American the label specializing in jazz music. Blue Note is of the most recognized names in the music industry and it is legendary for releasing such esteemed singers as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Diane Reeves. On the day of the release the album achieved gold record status in Poland.
ŚWIĘTOKRZYSKIE PHILHARMONIC CD
Album Polski 4
CHOPIN ON ONYX
Chopin: Piano Sonata No 3
Read a brief review of the CD at: telegraph.co.uk
NEW FROM DUX
Bartłomiej Pękiel. Missa Brevis, Missa Pulcherrima, Motety
POLISH RADIO RELEASES
Roman Statkowski – Maria
Maria is an opera in 3 acts by Roman Statkowski, with a libretto by the composer based on a story by Antoni Malczewski. The premiere of the opera took place in Warsaw on March 1, 1906, with later stagings in Poznań (1919, 1924, 1936), Wrocław (1965) and Bytom (1989). This CD is a recording of the concert that opened the 2008/2009 season at the Polish Radio Lutosławski Concert Studio.
Polskie Radio przypomina vol. 06: Marek & Vacek
A remastered, special edition of the famous album by the piano duo Marek & Vacek. The original LP was released in 1984. This CD release is part 6 of the "Polskie Radio Przypomina" [Polish Radio Reminds] series of re-editions.
Różyczka Original Soundtrack
“The style of my illustration in many ways ties in with the music of the 60s which was very common in the cinema at that time. There is jazz lyricism of the artists that I’ve worked with for many years. Their musicality and abilities are unparalleled. There is the nostalgia of the Jewish theme and the Różyczka’s music-box, which lives its own life (...)” – says Michał Lorenc.
REVIEW FOR PLOWRIGHT’S HOMMAGE
Joshua Kosman’s review of Hommage à Chopin (Hyperion) for the San Francisco Chronicle:
“For this imaginative and superbly played recital disc, British pianist Jonathan Plowright has assembled a baker's dozen of Chopin tributes by composers ranging from Balakirev, Grieg and Tchaikovsky to such latter-day showmen as Leopold Godowsky. The results are simultaneously predictable and surprising, with Chopin emerging as a refractory force for other composers' personalities.”
Read the entire article here: www.sfgate.com.
BORN THIS MONTH:
Copyright 2010 by the Polish Music Center
Send your comments and inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Assistant Editor: Daniel Kamiński
Marek Żebrowski,Wojciech Blecharz
Chris Onzol & Joseph A. Herter
Sources of information: Polish Cultural Institute (NY & UK), Adam Mickiewicz Institute, PWM,
Nowy Dziennik, Polish Music Information Centre - Warsaw, Polish American Journal,
Poland.pl, PAP, ZKP, infochopin.pl, Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza
Formatting by Krysta Close, May 5, 2010.
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