|Polish Music Newsletter|
MARCH & APRIL DONATIONS TO THE PMC
After several months of working with fellow composers in Los Angeles, Tomasz Jakub Opałka left the PMC with several important resources related to contemporary music upon his departure. First, he donated a recording of his Symphonic Concert Works, adding to the already donated CD of his Music for Motion Pictures. Second, Opałka donated a DVD of the 2010 Wawel: Musica Festiva gala concert, celebrating the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald. Experienced by thousands in the courtyard of Wawel castle on July 15, 2010, this important concert featured the World Premieres of the winners of the ‘Wawel: musica festiva’ Polish Composers Competition—Zbigniew Bargieslki: Misterium przestrzeni [Mystery of Space], Tomasz Jakub Opałka: Przestrzenie [Spaces] and Łukasz Pieprzyk: Szarże [Charges]—as well as the last performance of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Symphony No. 2 "Kopernikowska" held while the composer was still living. Such recordings are vital to performers and researchers of the newest classical music coming out of Poland.
Opałka also served as the conduit for several other important gifts from composer Krzysztof Baculewski. Prof. Baculewski provided the PMC with Anna Szostak’s new book Musica figurata ad usum publicum: Krzysztof Baculewski – twórczość chóralna w kontekście praktyki wykonawczej [Music Intended for Public Use: Krzysztof Baculewski – Choral Works in the Context of Performance Practice]. As Szostak says of her inspiration to write this book: “I believe that the achievements of composer Krzysztof Baculewski are valuable and original, and still too little known and appreciated.” This book was published in 2012 by Studio Noa – Silesian University, Katowice.
The book donation was accompanied by a CD of selected PDF scores of Prof. Baculewski’s works:
For details on Krzysztof Baculewski and his works, visit his PMC page.
Also donated this past month was composer Paweł Łukaszewski’s latest recording for DUX Records: Musica Sacra 4. The CD features his Missa de Maria a Magdala (2013) performed by the Technical-Humanistic Academy Choir in Bielsko-Biała, Elżbieta Grodzka-Łopuszyńska – soprano, Tomasz Sadownik – baritone and the Silesian Chamber Orchestra. This CD donation was delivered by Kurt Nelson of New York University, one the distinguished presenters at the PMC’s “Sounds from Behind the Iron Curtain: Polish Music after World War II” conference, held at USC on April 6, 2013.
Above: Kurt Nelson (2nd from right) and other presenters, participants
One final donation came from author Barbara Literska, who sent us her new book Tadeusz Baird. Kompozytor, dzieło, recepcja [Tadeusz Baird. The Composer, His Works and Reception]. Literska’s extensive discussion of this nearly forgotten composer was published in 2012 by the University of Zielona Góra Publishing House.
LOVE STRINGS ETERNAL
During the last weekend of April, the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles held three fundraising concerts to help finance this year’s Youth Exchange Program in Poland. Jointly organized with the Province of Tarnów and the Paderewski Institute of Musicology at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, the 2013 Exchange Program will run from June 22 until July 3.
Jack Raventos (13) and Daniel Ha (13), two piano students from Central Coast who are also winners of the annual Paderewski Youth Competition (pictured at right), were selected for travel to Poland this summer. For about a week, these two Americans will join two piano students from the Music School in Tarnów and two students from the School of Arts and Music in Khmilnyk, Ukraine. The entire group will spend a week at Paderewski’s former manor house in Kąśna Dolna, participate in piano workshops and master classes, and perform solo and chamber music at a special concert commemorating Paderewski’s death anniversary on June 29. Other appearances in the region will include concerts in the town of Czchów on June 30 and at the Jagiellonian University on July 2.
While in Poland, the Exchange Program participants are provided by local authorities with room and board at the manor house as well as local transportation and sightseeing trips in the area. The Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles however must cover the cost of international air travel for the two students and a parent-chaperone, as well as hotels and meals during their stay in Kraków. To this end, the Paderewski Festival board relies on a large group of supporters in Los Angeles area and on Central Coast.
The ever-hospitable and elegant home of Stanley and Helena Kołodziey served as the venue for the first concert in the “Love Strings Eternal” series, held on April 26 in Beverly Hills. The hosts had provided the large group of select guests with a truly Polish welcome as well as a delicious cold and hot buffet, supplemented by choice Paso Robles wines provided by Festival supporters at Cass Winery and Hope Family Wines. The evening feast was followed by a concert of chamber music featuring works by Hummel, Debussy and Paderewski performed by pianist Marek Zebrowski and the Upstream II ensemble: violinist Jason Issokson, violist Deanna Lynn, cellist Stella Cho, and bassist Harish Kumar.
Above: at the Kołodziey residence
On April 27, the same excellent musical program was performed in conjunction with an afternoon tea at the spectacularly beautiful home of Ken and Marilyn Riding in Paso Robles. The musicians were heard again on April 28, this time on the East Side of Paso Robles at Cass Winery, one of the main sponsors of the Paderewski Festival during the past 8 years.
Anyone interested in contributing to the Festival and/or to this year’s Exchange Program may do so by visiting the Paderewski Festival website at www.paderewskifest.com, where more information about this year’s events can also be found. The 2013 Paderewski Festival will be held from November 7-10, and will feature piano master Karol Radziwonowicz as the gala performer.
FESTIVAL OF PREMIERES: POLISH MODERN MUSIC
From April 26-28, Katowice was again transformed into the Poland's capital of new music, when this year’s 5th Festival of World Premieres: Polish Modern Music took place. During this edition of the Festival, nearly 30 works by Polish artists representing different generations—from young novices to grand masters of the Polish composer scene—were performed for the first time.
The following works were given their World Premieres during the Festival:
In addition to the organizer—the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR)—the festival featured several leading Polish ensembles, including: the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra of Tychy, the Katowice City Singers’ Ensemble Camerata Silesia, the Silesian String Quartet, Warsaw Cellonet Group, the Orkiestra Muzyki Nowej, as well as soloists Marcin Bronikowski, Magdalena Bojanowicz, Paweł Gusnar, Urszula Kryger, Piotr Pławner, Piotr Sałajczyk, Tomasz Strahl, Gracja Szymczak, Janusz Wawrowski, and Agata Zubel.
All concerts were held in the Grzegorz Fitelberg Concert Hall in the Cultural Centre in Katowice, and in the Concert Hall of the Academy of Music in Katowice. Three performances of NOSPR were broadcast by Polish Radio Channel 2.
The Festival of World Premieres Polish Modern Music, a biennial of Polish contemporary music, has been held in Katowice since 2005. The event was conceived by Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa, the Managing Director of the NOSPR. When announcing the first edition of the festival 8 years ago, she wrote: "The aim of the Festival of World Premieres is to present the broadest possible range of the latest works by Polish composers to music lovers – those attending the concerts in Katowice and the loyal listeners of Polish Radio Channel 2." Wnuk-Nazarowa also referred to the achievements of Grzegorz Fitelberg—the founder and original Artistic Director of NOSPR, who himself not only promoted but also stimulated new works of Polish composers. In this way, Fitelberg has become a kind of spiritual father for the Festival.
KOWALSKI WORLD PREMIERE IN KIELCE
The April 26 concert by the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic in Kielce featured the world premiere of Gniew Wiatru [The Wind’s Anger], a work for saxophone and chamber orchestra by Bartosz Kowalski (b. 1977). The work was commissioned by the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic in conjunction with the 2nd edition of the Composer-in-Residence Program, which is funded by the Institute of Music and Dance. Gniew Wiatru was written for saxophonist Paweł Gusnar, who introduced it to the public at the concert in Kielce.
Bartosz Kowalski says that the choice of a solo instrument was quite obvious: “… wind instruments have a lot to do with wind… and the possibility of using the soprano and alto saxophones and the orchestra gives a range of expression from a light breeze to a hurricane unleashed by the entire ensemble.” He added, “In my opinion, there is still a great lack of literature for wind instruments, because many composers continue to write concertos for piano, violin, or cello. It’s great to break that tradition. As for the orchestra, I decided on a chamber ensemble for practical reasons, since it would be easier to organize future performances of this work. In addition to the small group of winds, the ensemble consists of two groups of percussionists, as well as piano and strings.”
The April 26 concert program also included the first performances in Kielce of Krzysztof Meyer’s Hommage a Johannes Brahms and Grzegorz Fitelberg’s Symphony No. 1, under the baton of maestro Janusz Przybylski.
More information about Bartosz Kowalski is available at: www.bartoszkowalski.com
FESTIVAL PREMIERES IN MAY
Many new works by Polish composers will receive their world premieres at festivals in Poland during the month of May. Below is a list of the premieres at the most prominent Festivals.
"Gaude Mater" International Festival of Sacred Music in Częstochowa and surrounding cities (May 1-5, 2013):
Łukasz Farcinkiewicz (L) with Paweł Łukaszewski, Competition Director,
Warsaw Musical Encounters in Warsaw (May 11-18, 2013)
KODY Festival of Traditional and Avant-garde Music in Lublin (May 10-18, 2013)
See the Festivals section below in this Newsletter or individual festival websites for details and performers.
BLECHARZ/SMYTKA PREMIERE – THE ‘P’ PROJECT
The ‘P’ Project is comprised of dla głosów i rąk [for voices and hands] by Jagoda Szmytka and Transcryptum by Wojtek Blecharz—two of the many new operas commissioned from contemporary Polish composers by the Teatr Wielki-Polish National Opera in the last few years. The premiere will be presented at the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw on May 23, 2013 as a part of Terytoria [Territories], a series of meetings with contemporary music in which the Polish National Opera seeks to discover and sketch a new image of opera. The genre is changing its definition today, conquering new territories, drawing new meanings, proposing a new aesthetic. In this cycle we present the greatest works of contemporary music alongside debuts of Polish composers, works that are completely unknown next to classics of the avant-garde, debuts of Polish directors juxtaposed with productions staged by top European names. Opera is alive, doing well, and winking at us with Fenics’ cybernetic eye.
The opera dla głosów i rąk [for voices and hands] is an exploration of how musicians are not transparent conductors of the composer’s ideas to the listener’s ear but are made of muscle and bone. The opera is not a transparent institution serving the spectators such works as the composers create, the directors stage and the conductors lead. Composer Jagoda Szmytka (right)and co-librettist and designer Michał Zadara create the opera and take the spectators on a journey through the anatomy of the sound, the body and the opera. The cast is comprised of: Soloist - Izabella Kłosińska, and Composer - Barbara Wysocka.
Transcryptum is an object, an event or an artistic operation, a procedure containing an imprint of trauma with all the tracks leading to it. The trauma that is the leitmotif of composer Wojtek Blecharz’s project may be interpreted as a kind of space isolating and partially paralyzing memory. Trauma creates a secret place in memory—a crypt that isolates the opera’s heroine from getting to know the absolute truth about herself. The cast is comprised of: Soloist - Anna Radziejewska, and Dancer - Tomasz Wygoda.
BEMBINOW & PRZEZWAŃSKI PREMIERES
On Saturday, May 11, the ForMusic Foundation will present the premiere of several new works at the Frederic Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. The works to be premiered are Miłosz Bembinow (above left) – Vides ut alta and Paweł Przezwański (above right)– Pneuma III. Both of these compositions were created with financial support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage under the "Commissioned Composers," which is administered by the Institute of Music and Dance [IMiT].
These pieces are written for an unusual instrumental ensemble, including: baritone, percussion, saxophone, accordion, and live electronics. They will be performed by the following young artists, known for their unique interpretations of contemporary music: Maciej Nerkowski (baritone), Leszek Lorent (drums), Wojciech Psiuk (saxophone) and Pawel Janas (accordion).
GERMAN PIANO COMPETITION FOR POLISH MUSIC
The first edition of the German Piano Competition for Polish Music will be held on July 2-5, 2013 at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, Germany. Initiated by Prof. Hubert Rutkowski (left), the Competition hopes to attract piano students from universities in Northern Germany, including Hannover, Bremen, Rostock, Lübeck, and Hamburg. It follows on the already successful cooperation between the Teodor Leschetizky Music Society in Warsaw, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Hamburg and the Hamburg Music Academy.
The winner of the Main Prize will receive a touring engagement in Poland in October of 2013, including solo performances with orchestras. Other winners will perform in recitals throughout Poland later this year. The winner of the Hofmann Prize will receive a prize of recording of Hofmann’s piano works for the NAXOS label, the Leschetizky Prize winner will receive 2000 Euros for the best interpretation of Polish music, and the Chopin Prize in the amount of 1000 Euros will be given for the best interpretation of Chopin’s music. The jury will be headed by Prof. Adam Wibrowski, who will be joined by Marek Sorgowicki (Hamburg), Prof. Patrick O’Byrne (Bremen), Prof. Konrad Elser (Lübeck), Prof. Marian Migdal (Hamburg), Prof. Christopher Oakden (Hannover), Prof. Bernd Zack (Rostock), Maestro Łukasz Borowicz (Warsaw), the Honorable Magdalena Erdman (Berlin), and Mr. Mike Spring (London).
The application deadline for candidates whose names are forwarded by music schools is May 31, 2013. Individual applicants must submit their CVs and piano concerto repertoire lists by June 5, 2013. Details (in Polish and German only) at: www.dkpm-hamburg.de
[Sources: press release, dkpm-hamburg.de]
SZYMANOWSKI’S VILLA IN ZAKOPANE RE-OPENED
With a special concert held on May 10, Villa Atma—the former residence of Karol Szymanowski in Zakopane—will reopen to the public after a year-long closure. During that time the building was renovated and updated to codes without any changes to the historic character of this architectural gem, typical of Zakopane-style timber residences. The visitors to Karol Szymanowski’s museum housed in the villa will be able to see family photographs, musical scores and memorabilia, as well as films about the composer.
The May 10 program will feature Szymanowski’s vocal and piano works, presented by mezzo-soprano Urszula Kryger and pianist Mariola Cieniawa.
BLECHACZ RETURNS FOR N. AMERICAN TOUR
International praise for Rafał Blechacz’s latest album, ‘Debussy / Szymanowski’:
He presents an utterly compelling reading: splashy, colorful, and almost violent in its concentrated energy
This opens up new intellectual and poetic vistas for an enormously accomplished young pianist
. . . a compelling new album . . . Blechacz once again proves he’s a musician living up to that awards sweep in Warsaw.
Winning the first prize at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2005 opened the doors of the world’s grand concert halls to Rafał Blechacz and since then, this charismatic Polish pianist has developed an impressive international career. The most renowned music festivals—such as Salzburg in Austria, Verbier in Switzerland, La Roque-d’Anthéron in France, Klavier Festival Ruhr in Germany and the Gilmore Festival in the United States—invite Rafał Blechacz to revisit again and again. His appearances have evoked enthusiasm and acclaim from music critics and concert goers around the world. He has also performed with symphony orchestras under the direction of such noted conductors as Valery Gergiev, Mikhail Pletnev, Charles Dutoit, David Zinman, Marek Janowski and Jerzy Maksymiuk.
His 2005 sweep of the Chopin Competition also assured him a contract with the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon recording label, and he has since released four CDs under DG’s ‘yellow label.’ His third recording, Chopin Concerti with the Concertgebouw Orchestra under the baton of Jerzy Semkow, honoring the Chopin anniversary year of 2010, received a “Best of the Year” honor from Gramophone magazine, and the Preis der Deutschen Schalplattenkritik, a prestigious recognition from Germany’s music critics. His latest CD, Debussy / Szymanowski, just received the 2013 Fryderyk Award for “Best Classical Album of the Year,” having gone gold in Poland within a week of its release in February 2012. Rafał Blechacz is one of DG’s best-selling young artists – his stunning albums have sold more than 160,000 units worldwide.
In April and May, Blechacz returns to North America for a tour. His solo recital program will include some combination of the following works – Bach: Partita No. 3 in a minor, BWV 827; Beethoven: Sonata in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3; Chopin: Three Mazurkas, Op. 63, Scherzo No. 3, Op. 39, and/or Two Polonaises, Op. 40; and Szymanowski: Sonata No. 1 in c minor, Op. 8. During the tour, he will also perform Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and John Storgårds, conductor, on May 3 and 4.
GREIVE PERFORMS SZYMANOWSKI
Tyrone Greive—professor of violin at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music and winner in the 1997 PMC Wilk Prize for Research in Polish Music— will be soloist in Karol Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Symphony Orchestra in a free performance on Friday night, May 3, 8:00 pm in Mills Hall on the UW-Madison campus. The program will be repeated in a ticketed performance the next night (Saturday, May 4, 7:00 pm) at the River Arts Center in Prairie du Sac, WI. These concerts will be Greive’s final performances in a full-time UW-Madison role since he is officially retiring from the faculty at the end of this spring term.
[Source: press release]
ANDERSZEWSKI ON TOUR
Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski made his first appearance in London for a little over two years when he joined forces with the LSO and Nikolaj Znaider for a performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No 25 at the Barbican Centre on April 4, 2013. This concert was just the start of a whirlwind few months for Anderszewski, as he will give recitals in all of the major European cities throughout April and May. His recital program includes J S Bach: English Suite No 3 in G minor, BWV 808, and French Suite No 5 in G major, BWV 816; Leos Janacek: On an overgrown path (Book II); and Robert Schumann: Fantasie in C major, op 17.
The cities of Anderszewski’s tour include: Moscow, St. Petersbug, Dijon, Vienna, Geneva, Paris, Brussels (Apr 26), Milan (May 6), Warsaw (May 21), London (May 23), and Madrid (May 28). See www.anderszewski.net/performances for details.
ALL-POLISH DMA RECITAL – KINGA AUGUSTYN
Violinist Kinga Augustyn will give her Doctor of Musical Arts Graduation Recital at the Staller Recital Hall of Stony Brook University. Joined by a pianist Matthieu Cognet, she will perform the complete violin works of Aleksander Zarżycki and all major violin works by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. The program features a few works from Augustyn’s upcoming Naxos CD of Polish Music. For the full concert program and other details, visit the event’s calendar page.
[Sources: press release, google.com/calendar]
EDYTA KULCZAK IN CHICAGO
"... Edyta Kulczak was a diamond of passion in a setting of elegance."
On Saturday May 18, the Chicago Chopin Society will host a Gala Concert of Songs and Arias performed by Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Edyta Kulczak, with pianist Jarosław Gołembiowski. The program will include works by F. Chopin, M. Karłowicz, S. Niewiadomski, S. Moniuszko, A. Mozart, G.Bizet, and C. Saint-Saens.
Edyta Kulczak has been a frequent guest singer at the Metropolitan Opera. It was at the Met that she made her debut as Flora in La Traviata (2003). Her previous engagements with the famed company include: Aida, Ägyptische Helena, Carmen, La Forza del Destino, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Lucia di Lammermoor, Lulu, Madama Butterfly and many others.
The mission of the Chopin Society of Chicago is to create a greater interest in Polish and American music through engaging in the active support of composers, performers and arts organizations. The Chicago Chopin Society was established in 2004 driven by a need to celebrate Polish music and present it before the largest Polish American community in the world. The CCS has from its inception cooperated with other music organizations such as The Miami Chopin Foundation, The Chopin Society of Houston, Mostly Music and The Polish Arts Club of Chicago. The CCS has hosted the winners of The Polish National Chopin Competition for the last two years.
KOSINSKI RECITAL – ‘CHOPIN FOR ALL’ SERIES
The Chopin Foundation of the United States presents pianist Piotr Kosinski as a part of their “Chopin for All Concert Series.” The recital will take place on May 18 and 19 in various venues around Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
From Kraków, Poland, the 21-year-old Kosinski has performed in his homeland, Canada, Germany, Italy and Spain. He won First Prize at the 2010 American Paderewski Competition in Los Angeles and currently studies at the Academy of Music in Krakow.
2ND APPC IN LA
The 2nd American Paderewski Piano Competition will open on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, with 27 exceptional pianists representing 12 different countries, some of the best music conservatories in the world, and studios of some of the world’s greatest piano teachers coming to Los Angeles to compete. Winners of this competition may be chosen to advance to the International Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
All events are open to the public and will take place in the Thayer Recital Hall at the Colburn School of Music, Los Angeles. The Competition will be accompanied by the photo exhibition “The Arts in Concert.”
For more details, visit www.ijpaderewski.org.
PWM’S NEW TITLES
Szymanowski—od Tymoszówki do Atmy [Szymanowski – from Tymoszówka to Atma] is the title of a new special edition of the PWM Music Encyclopedia dedicated to the great Polish composer, Karol Szymanowski. It includes a total of 174 entries covering Szymanowski’s life, friends, and a wide spectrum of others associated with the composer and his music in a 136 page paperback volume. This publication reflects the latest scholarship on Szymanowski by Zofia Helman and includes entries on other composers (including Roman Maciejewski and Zygmunt Mycielski), performers (Jadwiga Rappé, Jerzy Semkow, Olga Piasecznik, Andrzej Hiolski, Jan Krenz, Mariusz Treliński, Antoni Wit), musicologists (Adolf Chybiński, Teresa Chylińska, Didier van Moere), and other figures from Szymanowski’s circle, including such literati as Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, James Joyce, Tadeusz Miciński, Józef Opalski, and Julian Tuwim.
Additional subject entries in this Polish language-only edition include Karol and Zofia Stryjeński, Piotr Beczała, Natalia Dawydow, Wincenty Drabik, Mariusz Kwiecień, Reinild Mees, Urszula Kryger, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Stefan Spiess, and Artur Taube.
PWM’s new collection of music for cello and piano presents two volumes with works by Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński (1807-1867), Mieczysław Karłowicz (1876-1909), Zygmunt Noskowski (1846-1909), Ludomir Michał Rogowski (1881-1954), Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831), Henryk Waghalter (1869-?), Aleksander Wierzbiłłowicz (1850-1911) and Władysław Żeleński (1837-1921). Each volume contains commentary in Polish and English and provides an excellent introduction to 19th century Polish repertoire for this ensemble. The music can be ordered on the PWM website.
LUTOSLAWSKI YEAR 2013
'Genius Lutos' is a pilot project promoting social inclusion by fostering the genuine joy of feeling and creating music together. Developed by the Lutosławski Society in Warsaw and the Szczecin Philharmonic, the project’s goal is to stimulate people with intellectual disabilities to participate in musical culture and to break the stereotypes associated with such disabilities. The project is intended as an example of good practice to be disseminated throughout cultural institutions in Poland.
A special role within the project is played by the Gamelan Percussion Orchestra, working with the Szczecin chapter of the Polish Association for Persons with Mental Disabilities (PSOUU). The Gamelan Percussion Orchestra has prepared new repertoire based on Lutosławski’s ideas and inspired by his creative work, and these will be performed in joint concerts with members of the Szczecin Philharmonic.
The final concert in the ‘Genius Lutos’ series will take place on May 5, as a celebration of Dignity of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities Day. On that day, the doors of the Szczecin Philharmonic will be open to all who want to feel the passion and the joy of making music together. Dignity Day was established in 1999 by PSOUU, in order to raise awareness of the diversity of people with this type of disability, to show their capabilities, and to draw attention to barriers.
A permanent result of the project is a Methodology Guide, complete with film documentation of ‘Genius Lutos’ rehearsals and workshops. The Guide provides practical methods for the musical education of persons with intellectual disabilities, as well as teaching suggestions and exemplary arrangements inspired by Lutosławski.
The ‘Genius Lutos’ project is co-organized and co-funded by the Institute of Music and Dance [IMiT] as a part of the 2013 Lutosławski Year.
INT’L LUTOSŁAWSKI YOUTH ORCHESTRA
The International Lutosławski Youth Orchestra [ILYO] is a project promoting the work of Witold Lutosławski amongst young musicians from Poland and Germany on the occasion of the centenary of the composer's birth. All musicians aged 18-26 years who are citizens or residents of Poland and Germany can register to take part in the online ILYO auditions at ilyo.filharmonia.szczecin.com/recruitment by May 19, 2013.
The purpose of the project is to increase knowledge of and skills in the construction and interpretation of contemporary music, with particular emphasis on the work of W. Lutosławski in a broader cultural context. The members of this Polish-German youth orchestra will participate in a series of workshops and lectures with renowned European musicians and speakers. The result of the project will be a final concert in Szczecin on September 6, 2013, during which participants will perform Witold Lutosławski‘s Concerto for Orchestra, The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten and the premiere of one of the winning compositions from the International Competition for Composers. Although the Competition deadline was in January 2013, due to the large number of submissions, a winner is not expected to be announced until June 2013.
Led by Ewa Strusińska – conductor and the M. Karłowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin, the International Lutosławski Youth Orchestra is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage under the "Lutosławski 2013 - Promise" program, which is administered by the Institute of Music and Dance.
LONDON PHILHARMONIA ON TOUR
The London Philharmonia Orchestra’s celebrations of the Lutosławski centenary continue in Madrid with performance led by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor, of Lutosławski's Musique funèbre—a work which the composer himself described as “my first word in a new language.” The concert continues with Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 and Stravinsky's groundbreaking The Rite of Spring.
Inspired by a primordial vision of an ancient ritual, The Rite of Spring evokes the exhilarating spectacle of a pagan ceremony, in which a young girl dances herself to death as a sacrifice to the God of Spring. This is just one of a number of performances celebrating 100-years since the work’s debut, and Maestro Salonen will conduct the piece in numerous concert halls around the world.
LUTOSŁAWSKI IN ARIZONA
In what is sure to be a bittersweet yet triumphant concert, the Phoenix Symphony will celebrate Michael Christie in his final performance as Virginia G. Piper Music Director, a position he has held for 8 years. In a very personal program, Maestro Christie and the Symphony take stage to perform Dvorák’s Scherzo capriccioso, a celebration in and of itself reflecting nature and the vibrancy of a village festival. This colorful and imaginative orchestration is paired with Mozart’s elegant Symphony No. 38, known as the Prague Symphony and Polish composer Witold Lutosławski ’s Concerto for Orchestra.
AUGUŚCIK SINGS LUTOSŁAWSKI
Angel’s voice, improvisations full of flame and music of grand sound – it is how one could describe in brief the style of the jazz vocalist, Grażyna Auguścik, who never limits herself to one genre. Two years ago she undertook the interpretation of music by Chopin. This year, for Witold Lutosławski’s 100th birth anniversary, Auguścik has developed folk-jazz interpretations of his early works, in which he himself was inspired by Polish folk. The food for these musical pursuits was provided by Lutosławski’s compositions from the 1940s and 1950s, including: “Dance Preludes” (1955), “Bucolics” (1952), “Little Suite” (1951), “Concerto for Orchestra” (1954) and “Ten Polish Dances” (1953).
The concert took place on Sunday, March 24th, at the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio during the 17th edition of the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival. Grażyna Auguścik was accompanied by Jan Smoczyński’s jazz trio, Janusz Prusinowski’s folk trio and the Atom String Quartet, which is famous for its fantastic jazz elaborations of classical music.
Grażyna Auguścik began her musical career in Poland, but gained international recognition in Chicago. After her first record “Sunrise Sunset”, released still in Poland, she enrolled at the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. She graduated from the school with honors in 1992 and was presented with her diploma by Phil Collins and Al Jarreau. The rest of the story of her artistic road is not a secret anymore. The artist quickly won the hearts of the American audience, while critics there hailed her one of the most interesting figures of the international jazz scene. Jazz Times wrote about her: “She’s a music machine!” And they were right because Auguścik not only is a great vocalist and a strong ensemble leader, but also a great composer, arranger and producer. Since 1994 she has been living, creating and concerting in Chicago. That is also where she runs her own record label.
Still, she never forgets her roots. Just like three years ago when we celebrated 200th birth anniversary of Fryderyk Chopin, she now celebrates another great composer from Polish musical history.
2013 FRYDERYK AWARDS
The voting results of the 1,200-member Polish Phonographic Academy were announced on April 25, 2013 during the gala award ceremony in the Warsaw’s Polish Theatre. An honor similar to the American Grammy Awards, the 2013 Fryderyk trophies were awarded in 34 categories of popular, classical and jazz music. Below are the winners that have been announced in the Classical and Jazz categories:
Winners in Classical Music:
Winners in Jazz:
2013 ‘CULTURAL GUARANTEE’ AWARDS
On April 13, 2013, Polish national television’s cultural station—TVP Kultura—presented the winners of its latest edition of the Gwarancje Kultury [Cultural Guarantee] Award. Each year, these awards are given to the most interesting and most distinctive artistic personalities in various artistic fields.
Two “Supergwarancje” Awards were received by major figures in the classical music world. First, Polish composer, conductor and champion of contemporary music, Krzysztof Penderecki (below left) was recognized for: "his courage in crossing the borders of musical conventions, for building new bridges with centuries-old musical tradition, and for a constant openness to experimentation and artistic exploration. His name has been the symbol of the highest artistic quality for years, and his work is an inspiration for the next generation of musicians, not only classical.”
The second “Supergwarancje” Awards went to world-famous conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen (above right, with Lutosławski), who was recognized for: "a persistent promotion of the music of Witold Lutosławskii on the stages of the world and in recordings, and for his celebration of the Lutosławski Year in a series of excellent concerts with his London Philharmonia Orchestra and on the extensive site www.woven-words.co.uk, which presents the figure and the music of Witold Lutosławski in an attractive way to Internet users from around the world."
In the category of "Classical Music," distinguished operatic tenor Piotr Beczała was recognized "for consistency in building repertoire, for his success on the opera stages of the world and for his recently signed contract with the record label Deutsche Grammophon."
In the category of "Jazz, Rock and Other," the award was received by Bartek Wąsik “for arrangements of songs on the new CD Nowa Warszawa—a project of the Nowa Teatr, which included participation of the Royal String Quartet and Stanisława Celińska—where known songs about Warsaw gained a new quality through exceptional performances.” In the category of "manager of culture," Violetta Łabanow—President of the Foundation ‘Muzyka jest dla wszystkich’ [Music is for everyone]—was recognized for “the implementation of the educational project ‘Smykofonia,’ through which children and their caregivers come together in the world of classical music.”
Coinciding with the celebration of the eighth year of TVP Kultura, the “Cultural Guarantee” Award ceremony took place in Studio 1. The ceremony was hosted by director TVP Kultura - Katarzyna Janowska, accompanied by rap artist Marcin Matuszewski known as “Duże Pe,” and featured a concert by Kurt Elling—an international jazz vocalist who performed two works by Polish authors exclusively for TVP Kultura.
INTERNATIONAL OPERA AWARDS NOMINEES
The inaugural edition of the International Opera Awards took place on April 22, 2013 at the London Hilton on Park Lane. Intended to be an honor similar to the ‘Oscars’ for film, the annual ‘Operas’—as they are unofficially called by audiences—are global in scope and awarded in 21 categories, offering a unique chance to compare international achievements in opera.
The following Polish artists were nominated for this first year of the award: tenor Piotr Beczała (category: Male Singer), baritone Mariusz Kwiecień for his solo phonographic debut Slavic Heroes (category: CD – Operatic Recital), and director Krzysztof Warlikowski and set/costume designer Małgorzata Szczęśniak for Lulu at La Monnaie Opera (category: New Production). Although none of these artists were the laureates in their category, it remains an honor to have been named among the prestigious group of 2013 finalists.
Read more about the nominees at www.culture.pl
GAUDE MATER 2013
The 23rd edition of the International Festival of Sacred Music "Gaude Mater" is held from May 1-5, 2013. Centered around Częstochowa, and its famous monastery at Jasna Góra, a new addition to this year’s Festival are concerts in several other Polish cities: Gdańsk, Kraków, Katowice, Radom and Lubliniec. In addition to being a musical showcase of the city and the region, the Festival’s main aim is to present the music of the world’s most prominent monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Thanks to the intercultural dialogue inherent in the presentation of beautiful music from different parts of the world, listeners open their mind to other denominations and learn tolerance. Recognition is the first step to acceptance of dissimilarity and diversity and, at a time of many conflicts based on world outlook, such an event is particularly valuable.
The year’s 10 concerts featuring artists from 14 countries begin with the inaugural concert, entitled “Misa Flamenca.” It is headlined by Spanish guitarist Paco Peña, an outstanding interpreter of flamenco music, accompanied by his company of Spanish musicians and dancers and the vocal ensemble Camerata Silesia from Katowice.
Other highlights include the premiere of Łukasz Urbaniak’s Missa in memoriam Beati Georgii Popiełuszko (May 2, Częstochowa) as well as celebrations of the 80th anniversaries of two of the greatest figures in Polish contemporary music: Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, featured in a concert presented by the Polish Chamber Choir with conductor Jan Łukaszewski in Gdańsk on May 1, and Krzysztof Penderecki, who will conduct NOSPR and the Kraków Philharmonic Choir in his own Credo at Jasna Góra on May 5. This final concert of the Festival will also include the premieres of the 2013 winners of the Musica Sacra International Composers’ Competition: Artur Słotwiński (Poland) Seven Last Words Of Christ, Douglas Pew (U.S.) Kyrie and Łukasz Farcinkiewicz (Poland) Pater noster. Open to young composers throughout the world, Competition submissions are sacred pieces with Latin texts and written for mixed a cappella choir. In addition to premieres in Częstochowa during the Festival, the winning compositions are also performed by Festival partners in London, Vilnius and Gdańsk, and recorded for distribution by Musica Sacra Edition.
In addition to concerts and premieres, Festival events include art exhibitions, theatre and ballet spectacles, scientific sessions, seminars and the Ethno Gaude Mater project.
Therein lies the strength and value of CODES – that this Lublin’s festival attracts different musical circles offering something, and also pulling them into the orbit of their ideas and practices.
Within just a few years CODES festival has been made Lublin associated with musical events of the highest rank.
The 5th edition of the CODES [KODY] Festival of Traditional and Avant-garde Music will be held in Lublin on May 10-18, 2013. The themes of this year’s edition are: ritual-ceremonial and experimental rock.
The first two days of the Festival will be dedicated to The Great Learning, a monumental work lasting seven hours created by one of the greatest English composers of the twentieth century, the musical conceptualist Cornelius Cardew. The third day of the festival is a celebration of spring. It will feature the premiere of Interactive Landscapes (2013) by Pierre Jodlowski, eminent French electronic composer, as well as the premiere performances of a new arrangement of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring created Poland’s fast-rising piano and percussion ensemble, Kwadrofonik, and Rite of Spring Variation (2013) by Jerzy Mazzoll and Tomasz Sroczyński. The fourth day will be dominated by ceremonies and calls to the transcendental dimensions of mysticism and will include premieres by Ignacy Zalewski – The Lightning’s Initial (2013), Cezary Duchnowski – Sadhana (2013) and Aleksander Kościów – Lithaniae (2013), performed by the Lublin Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Szymon Bywalec and guest soloists.
CODES is an international event devoted to the idea of combining the archaic and the new in music. The mixture of two distinctive canons of aesthetics forms a completely unique listening experience where magic and beauty co-exist. The festival gives excellent contemporary music composers and the representatives of the avant-garde jazz an opportunity to meet traditional musicians and artists reconstructing old music. The offer of the Festival includes concerts and the premieres of music projects by recognized artists, as well as young and talented musicians and composers. Lublin-born Jerzy Kornowicz, the commissioner of the Festival, is himself a composer of contemporary music and the president of Polish Composers’ Union.
WARSZAWSKIE SPOTKANIA MUZYCZNE
First created in 1986, the Warsaw Musical Encounters is an annual festival of early and new music. This year’s 27th edition will be held from May 11-18 in various prestigious venues around Warsaw. The Festival, founded and directed by the composer Władysław Słowiński, is organised by the Warsaw Branch of the Polish Composers’ Union [ZKP] and co-organised by Polish Radio Programme Two.
Warsaw Music Encounters is one of the most important festivals of early and new music, but also the first and only one that has made it a principle to combine these two musical eras on a regular basis. Thanks to this principle, the Festival provides an opportunity for many early music enthusiasts to get acquainted with contemporary works and discover that they “don’t bite” after all. The Festival’s appeal and importance is confirmed by the ever growing interest of Polish and foreign musicians who submit their program offers.
In accordance with its mission, the Festival presents important early and new music compositions and promotes the most recent works by contemporary composers. World Premieres at this year’s Festival are:
* world premiere
** world premiere – work commissioned by the Polish Composers’ Union as a part of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s program “Commissioned Composers” implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance
For the full program of the Festival, visit: www.wsm.art.pl.
MAZURKAS OF THE WORLD
From the website of the 2013 Festival “Wszystkie Mazurki Świata“ [Mazurkas of the World], which will be held in various venues around Warsaw from May 6-12:
PENDERECKI COMPLETE SYMPHONIES RECORDED BY SI
Although music by Krzysztof Penderecki has been extensively recorded for decades, until now there was no complete recording of his symphonies. This omission is has finally been corrected after a three-year long collaboration between the composer and the Sinfonia Iuventus Symphony Orchestra. In one of the interviews, maestro Penderecki admitted that the youthful Sinfornia Iuventus has given the best existing interpretations of his symphonies.
WAWROWSKI DEBUT ON EMI
Janusz Wawrowski, the young Polish violin virtuoso widely admired for his 2007 recording of Paganini’s 24 Caprices (CD Accord 142), was signed on by EMI Classical in 2012. The result of this partnership is a new CD entitled Aurora, featuring music for violin and piano by Karol Szymanowski, Maurice Ravel, Eugène Ysaÿe, and Witold Lutosławski.
The opening tracks are devoted to Szymanowski’s Op. 30, a triptych of three beguiling violin and piano essays cast in a luxuriantly romantic and impressionistic, yet thoroughly modern harmonic language. Ravel’s rarely-heard Sonata for Violin and Piano—a finely-proportioned and fascinating late work—is followed by rarities by Ysaÿe and Lutosławski that complete the soloist’s highly original repertoire selections. The Argentinian pianist, José Gallardo is a fine partner to Wawrowski’s sure-handed approach. A 6-minute promotional video sampling of their recording in the Lutosławski S-2 studio in Warsaw, and interspersed with the interviews by both artists (in English with Polish voiceover) can be accessed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6yVx2yuFQc&feature=youtu.be
Janusz Wawrowski graduated with distinction from the class of Prof. Mirosław Ławrynowicz at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. He also studied with Prof. Yair Kless and Salvatore Accardo. He has awarded many international violin competitions.
Janusz Wawrowski has performed with such orchestras as the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Polish Radio Orchestra, the “Aukso” Chamber Orchestra, Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra “Amadeus”, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra and Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana Simón Bolívar under the batons of such eminent conductors as Conrad van Alphen, Łukasz Borowicz, Gabriel Chmura, Mykola Diadiura, Agnieszka Duczmal, Arthur Fagen, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Tomáš Netopil, Vladimir Ponkin and Antoni Wit.
He has performed in many renowned concert halls (among others Berliner Philharmonie, Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Albert and Victoria Museum in London, The Opera House in Tel Aviv, De Doelen Concertgebouw in Rotterdam) and at many prestigious festivals (among others Chopin and His Europe Festival in Warsaw, Polish Music Festival in Krakow, Carlscrona Chamber Music Festival, Bebersee Festival, Salzburger Festspiele).
Janusz Wawrowski records for Polish Radio and Television. He cooperates with Oscar-winner Jan A. P. Kaczmarek as his solo violinist in film soundtracks (“Evening” and “Get low”). In 2009 he performed the premiere recording of the Violin Concerto “Óneiros” by Dariusz Przybylski, a young contemporary Polish composer.
Janusz Wawrowski is the only Polish violinist who performs the complete Capricci op. 1 by Niccolo Paganini at his concerts. His debut record with 24 Caprices by N. Paganini released by CD Accord in 2007 has gotten many enthusiastic reviews Strings Magazine and The Strad, among others.
Janusz Wawrowski plays on modern instrument made by Wojciech Topa.
[Sources: press release, wawrowski.com]
OTHER NEW OFFERINGS FROM DUX
CD: Mikołaj Górecki Works for String Orchestra
DVD: Madame Curie
CD: Paweł Łukaszewski Musica Sacra 4
2 CDs: Paderewski – MANRU
RECENT PERFORMANCES & EVENTS
COMMEMORATING THE WARSAW GHETTO UPRISING
A Concert for Peace and Reconciliation commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, featuring both Jewish and Polish Music, was presented on Saturday, April 6, at KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation on the south side of Chicago.
The free concert was produced and performed by the Lira Ensemble (right) and included members of Chicago's a cappella.
Next on the program was the Holocaust Memorial Cantata. Lament for all people on Earth in its original setting for chamber orchestra, which was commissioned in 1992 by the Lira Ensemble from Polish composer Marta Ptaszyńska, head of music composition of the University of Chicago. This cantata is sung in English, Polish, Hebrew and Yiddish. The text is a poem by Leslie Woolf Hedley’s “Chant for All the People on Earth” which begins “Not to forget, not to ever forget so long as you live ...”
The Holocaust Memorial Cantata was conducted by Lira’s resident conductor, Mina Zikri, and the Janowski work was conducted by Jonathan Miller, founder and artistic director of Chicago a cappella. Miller also served as soloist in the Ptaszyńska work. This moving concert was narrated by Lucyna Migala, co-founder and artistic director of Lira.
NEW HALKA IN BYDGOSZCZ
A new staging of Moniuszko’s Halka served as the opening act of Opera Nova’s 20th Opera Festival in Bydgoszcz (April 27 - May 12, 2013). Director Natalia Babińska described the new staging of Halka as follows: “The opera is in two acts. The first takes place at the castle’s ballroom or in the castle vaults. The second act is placed in the wintry countryside setting. We’re contrasting the opulence of the ball with its fireworks and special effects with the clear and open spaces in the countryside. The first act is very dynamic, almost musical-like, whereas the second is quite static and firmly grounded. We have two worlds of color—the gold for the ballroom scenes and silver for the snowy countryside.” Performers include the soloists, choir, ballet and orchestra of Opera Nova under the leadership of Piotr Wajdak.
IMiT CONFERENCE & REPORT ON JAZZ IN EUROPE
The conference “The Significance of Jazz in the European Culture of the 20th Century” combined with the presentation of the Report on Jazz and Popular Music Education in Poland, took place during the International Day of Jazz (April 30, 2013) at the Kronenberg Foundation of Citi Handlowy in Warsaw. The conference underscored the role of jazz music within the cultural, educational and social context of Europe, with a special focus on the second half of the 20th century.
The Agenda of the conference was as follows:
Part 1 (11am -12:45 pm)
Conference materials will be published as a supplemental brochure in Jazz Forum magazine.
Part 2 (13:15 pm – 15 pm)
Dr Andrzej Białkowski presented the “Report on Jazz and Popular Music Education in Poland,” prepared by a group of experts for the Institute of Music and Dance. Authors of the report: Karol Szymanowski, Stanisław Halat, Piotr Lemański, Krzysztof Sadowski, Dorota Frątczak, Rafał Ciesielski, Włodzimierz Pawlik. The report was available for all participants.
A multimedia exhibition of photography by Marek Karewicz entitled Jazz in Poland was also displayed during the conference.
Organizers: Polish Jazz Society, Institute of Music and Dance, Kronenberg Foundation of Citi Handlowy, Jazz Jamboree Foundation. Patrons: Polish National Commission for UNESCO, Jazz Forum
[Source: imit.org.pl ]
PANIC DUO PLAYS SZYMANOWSKI
On April 26 in Sacramento and May 5 in downtown Los Angeles, the Panic Duo—Nic Gerpe, piano and Pasha Tseitlin, violin—performed a free program including works by George Crumb, Karol Szymanowski, Paul Moravec, and more.
The concerts were a part of the New Lens Concert Series: Rediscovering the Masterworks Through Contemporary Music. A joint project of composer Garrett Schatzer, composer Juhi Bansal and cellist Kevin Krentz of the Finisterra Piano Trio, New Lens is self-described as "music from the classical era through scores finished yesterday, performed without a program and with unexpected juxapositions of works... Without confining ourselves to a single stylistic slant, New Lens presents programs that redefine and embody the connections between these less familiar works and those that audiences are more comfortable with, creating eye-opening juxtapositions that bridge the gap between what the audience does and does not know."
ACCORDIANS AT THE KF
On Friday, May 3, Polish accordion players Tomasz Ostaszewski and Patryk Sztabinski, performed at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York. The program includes works by Albinoni, W. Semionov, V. Zolotaryov, A. Piazzolla, A. Szalayev, and A. Vivaldi.
Ostaszewski and Sztabinski are both laureates of the 2012 IBLA Grand Prize World Music Competition.
[Sources: press release, thekf.org]
‘GAUDE, MATER POLONIA’ IN ILLINOIS
It was said of Wacław z Szamotuł that, "if the gods had let him live longer, the Poles would have no need to envy the Italians their Palestrina..." His works, as well as other gorgeous, rare, and important music of Poland’s great Renaissance composers, were performed on fiddles, bagpipes, viols, trombone, recorder, lute, and a consort of voices during the first weekend in May in Chicago and Evaston, IL.
Entitled "GAUDE, MATER POLONIA - Music from Poland's Golden Age," the program was performed by the Newberry Consort and led by Chicago native and Polish-American early music specialist, Tom Zajac. The program included masterworks by: Wacław z Szamotuł, Mikołaj Gomółka, Jan z Lublina, Wojciech Długoraj, Bartłomiej Pękiel, Adam Jarzębski, Mikołaj Zieleński and others.
Beguiling and intelligent, provocative and classic, ravishingly beautiful and deliciously edgy, the The Newberry Consort has been delighting audiences for nearly three decades. Directed by David Douglass, Newberry Musician-in-Residence, and early music diva Ellen Hargis, the ensemble plumbs the Newberry Library’s vast music collection and assembles a star-studded roster of local and international artists to deliver world-class performances of music from the 13th to the 18th centuries& and occasionally beyond. Affiliated with the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, the Consort also serves as an ensemble-in-residence at both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. In addition to an annual concert series in Chicago, the Consort has an active touring schedule.
Tom Zajac, the guest conductor and creator of the program is a multi-instrumentalist and specialist in medieval and Renaissance music. He is second-generation Polish-American. In August 2011, by invitation of the Polish Cultural Institute New York, he took part in a research visit to hear and meet Polish early musicians and ensembles at two festivals—Narol Festival and the Jarosław Song of Our Roots Festival in southeast Poland. He wrote an article about these experiences that was published in the Winter 2011-12 issue of the Early Music America Journal. He has collected much material on his visit, including music that is rarely if ever heard in the US.
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Send your comments and inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Layout Assistance: Charles Bragg
Translation Assistance: Marek Żebrowski
Gary Fitelberg, Nic Gerpe, Tyrone Greive, Chris Onzol,
Maria Peryt, Hubert Rutkowski and Marek Żebrowski
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 8, 2013.
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