Polish Music Newsletter

May 2017, Vol. 23, No. 5. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California

 Anniversaries | Awards | Discography | Festivals | News | Obituaries | Performances | PMC News

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PMC NEWS
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PMC *WEBSITE REBOOT* UPDATE

Polish Music Center Website Reboot

We’re more than halfway to our goals! Thank you so much to all who have participated in the Polish Music Center's *Website Reboot* fundraiser so far! We are excited to report several things about this ongoing campaign. As of May 2:

  • We have raised over $7K, so we are well on our way to the goal of $10K
  • 39 of our dedicated supporters from around the world have already generously contributed to this effort

BUT we still need to reach 50 donors in order to invoke a very special ANGEL DONOR GIFT before time runs out on May 24! Help us get to that 50 donor threshold by visiting ignite.usc.edu/pmc or texting “pmc” to 41444, knowing that 100% of your donation will go towards digital outreach in the name of spreading knowledge and enjoyment of Polish music. If you have already given, please share this opportunity with your friends and let them know the reason why you support our campaign.

Thank you! Dziękujemy!

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RYTERBAND AT LAMOTH

On May 21, the Polish Music Center and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust will present a concert dedicated to Polish composer and Holocaust survivor, Roman Ryterband. Touring Western Europe on the eve of World War II, Ryterband was able to board the last train to Switzerland, where he took refuge until the mid-1950s. Except for his sister and her son, his entire family perished in the Holocaust.

A master of the chamber ensemble, Ryterband expanded his horizons in North America, where he lived in Montreal and Chicago before settling in Palm Springs. In 2016, his family donated an extensive collection of his personal correspondence and musical manuscripts to the Polish Music Center.

The concert program will be solely comprised of Ryterband’s works, including: Deux Images (Two Images), Trois Ballades Hebraiques (Three Hebrew Ballades), Z Polskich Niw (Song of the Plains of Poland), Three Hebrew Songs, Two American Songs, Spring of Love - Concerto Waltz. The pieces will be performed by pianist Nic Gerpe, violinist Pasha Tseitlin, soprano Kirsten Ashley Wiest, harpist Ko Ni Choi.

Due to limited seating, the Museum asks all guests to reserve a ticket at lamoth.ticketleap.com. Although there is a suggested donation, guests may enter any amount, including $0, to make a reservation. RSVP today to save yourself a seat!

Sunday, May 21, 2017 | 4:00 p.m.
The Music Of Roman Ryterband @ LAMOTH

Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
100 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, California 90036
Suggested Donation: $10
RSVP & Info: lamoth.ticketleap.com

[Source: press release]

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NEW PADEREWSKI DONATION

paderewski-1899-euro-press-noticesFrom Nancy Matulich, we received a booklet entitled “European Press Notices 1899 for Paderewski.” This very interesting and unique publication was found in the contents of an antebellum home in the west bank of New Orleans, in the section of town known as Algiers. The owner of the home is not known. This valuable historical document is not only a fascinating document of great importance in Polish music history but also a veritable treasure trove of information about Paderewski, about whom the PMC has an incomparable archival collection that is accessed by scholars from around the world.

Thank you for growing our collection!

 

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NEWS

WORLD PREMIERES AT MUSICA ELECTRONICA NOVA

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The 8th edition of Musica Electronica Nova - International Festival of Electroacoustic Music (MEN) will take place from May 19-27, 2017, under the subtitle “Identity” at the National Forum of Music (NFM) in Wrocław. Elzbieta SikoraSonosphere III and Sonosphere IV for orchestra and electronics, composed by the artistic director of the festival, Elzbieta Sikora, will be world premiered during the festival by computer and electronic sound engineers Ikue Mori, Sébastien Naves and Luca Bagnoli along with the NFM Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of David Fulmer. The brand new works, commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, will serve as Sikora’s farewell to the MEN festival after serving as its artistic director for the past six years.

The festival will also highlight numerous other world premieres: 

  • Abstract Musicfor wind quintet and electronics by Ryszard Osada
  • VIOLE[nce] + Voice by pianist-composer Rafał Zalech (commissioned by the Polish Composers Union (ZKP))
  • Overfitting I for electronic viola, live electronics, Emotiv steering visualizations and 8-channel projections by Adrian Foltyn (commissioned by the Polish Composers Union (ZKP))
  • Sequenza IV. for viola and computer by Cezary Duchnowski
  • Alternative Music for viola, computer and video by Jacek Sotomski
  • Już? Nie… [Now? Not yet…] for viola and computer and Wybór zamknięty for flute, accordion, percussion and computer by Piotr Bednarczyk
  • AntiBuzz for viola and computer by Adam Porębski
  • Hommage à Carl Czerny for viola and computer by Mateusz Ryczek
  • Another Air for flute, accordion, percussion and sound objects by Kuba Krzewiński
  • Paradoxical Proposal for flute, accordion, percussion and electronics by Ryszard Lubieniecki
  • bol for flute(s), accordion percussion, electronic layer and video by Teoniki Rożynek
  • Instrument spring 2017 Ready-To-Wear for flute, accordion, percussion, electronics and video by Monika Szpyrka
  • c_ut|e_#2 for flute, accordion, percussion, electronics and video projection by Marta Śniady
  • Bal wiosennej pełni /A Ball Under a Spring Full Moon by Cezary Duchnowski (commissioned by MEN 2017)
  • R U N D A N G A by Anna Zaradny

See the full festival program here: nfm.wroclaw.pl

May 19-27, 2017
8th 'Musica Electronica Nova' Int'l Festival of Electroacoustic Music
*World Premieres by C. Duchnowski, R. Osada, E. Sikora, M. Śniady & more
National Forum of Music
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław, Poland
Tickets & Info: nfm.wroclaw.pl

[Source: press release, nfm.wroclaw.pl]

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PREMIERES @ WARSAW MUSIC ENCOUNTERS

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Co-organized by the Warsaw Branch of the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP) and Polish Radio Program 2, the 31st edition of Warsaw Music Encounters "Early Music - New Music” will take place from May 6-12, 2017 at various venues in Warsaw.  The annual festival, founded and directed by composer Władysław Słowiński since 1986, presents important early and new music compositions and promotes the most recent works by contemporary composers, primarily written for this event. In addition to concerts, the Festival will include an interdisciplinary conference on the subject of “Zygmunt Mycielski – the man, his thought and music” to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the composer's birth at the Instytut PAN.

Performers for the Festival include: Lora Szafran– vocal, Bogdan Hołownia – piano, Paweł Pańta – bass guitar, double bass, Sebastian Frankiewicz – percussion, Robert Murakowski – trumpet, the Stoltzer Ensemble, Joanna Freszel – soprano, Jarosław Bręk – baritone, Anna Kwiatkowska and Aleksandra Kupczyk – violin, Joanna Opalińska and Mariusz Rutkowski – piano, Kwadrofonik Ensemble, Alina Mleczko – saxophone, Baltic Neopolis Orchestra with Emanuel Salvador – violin, conductor, Opium String Quartet, Elżbieta Gajewska – flute, Anna Mikołajczyk – soprano, Olga Paciej – harpsichord, and the Wilanów String Quartet.

Below is a listing of the Polish premieres and world premieres that will take place during this year’s Festival:

Monday, May 8, 2017, 7:00 pm, Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio:

  • Roman Palester – Fiat voluntas tua, ofertorium for two violins and piano (1943)*
                                – Napisane wczesnym rankiem do słów Czesława Miłosza
                                   for baritone and piano (1971)*

Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 7:00 pm, Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio:

  • Tomasz Sikorski – Muzyka nasłuchiwania (wersja na dwa fortepiany, marimbę i wibrafon)*
  • Anna Ignatowicz-Glińska – ...et non est pacis for two piano and two percussions (2017)*
  • Aleksander Kościów – Noumen for two pianos and two percussions (2017)**

Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 7:00 pm, Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio:

  • Edward Sielicki – Secondo Concerto per archi “Hortus conclusus” (2017)**
  • Hanna Kulenty – When the Morning Light starts glowing for string orchestra(2017)**

Thursday, May 11, 2017, 7:00 pm, Royal Castle Concert Hall:

  • Iwona Kisiel – Trzy pieśni for soprano and string quartet, to dc. Leśmian Boleslaw (2017) *

* Polish Premiere
** World Premiere; the creation of these works was subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s 'Collections – Composing Commissions' program, which is operated by IMiT.

Other Polish composers whose works will be featured on the Festival program include: Henryk Wars, Władysław Szpilman, Jerzy Wasowski, Karol Szymanowski, Zygmunt Mycielski, Andrzej Panufnik, Roman Palester, Paweł Łukaszewski, Jacek Grudzień, Paweł Mykietyn, Jerzy Derfel, Ryszard Sielicki, Joanna Bruzdowicz, Maciej Małecki, and Władysław Słowiński.

May 6-12, 2017
31st 'Warsaw Music Encounters' Festival
*World Premieres by A. Kościów, E. Sielicki & H. Kulenty
Various venues in Warsaw
Tickets & Info: wsm.art.pl

[Source: polmic.pl]

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ZALEWSKI PREMIERE

Ignacy ZalewskiOn May 12, the Kolberg Świętokrzyskie Philharmonic in Kielce will host the world premiere of a new work they commissioned from their composer-in-residence, Ignacy Zalewski. The work is entitled Concert Overture, and will be paired with Camille Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto (with solo performed by cellist Marcin Zdunik) and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique.” The Świętokrzyskie Philharmonic will be led by Piotr Sułkowski, and the concert is co-organized and co-financed by the “Composer-in-Residence” program run by IMiT.

Friday, May 12, 2017 | 7:00 p.m.
World Premiere by Ignacy Zalewski

Kolberg Świętokrzyskie Philharmonic – Chamber Hall
ul. Żeromskiego 12, 25-369 Kielce, Poland
Tickets & Info: filharmonia.kielce.com.pl

[Sources: ignacy-zalewski.com, filharmonia.kielce.com.pl]

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PTASZYŃSKA PREMIERES

duvall-matthew_whisperOn April 23 and 24, two premieres by Marta Ptaszyńska happened around the world. First at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art on April 23, master percussionist and founding member of Eighth Blackbird Matthew Duvall and guests presented the program “Whisper(s),” an exploration of sound and volume inspired by Merce Cunningham and his collaborating partner, composer John Cage. From the MCA website:

The program begins in the theater with solo percussion works by Erik Satie, Morton Feldman, John Luther Adams, Matthew Burtner, and Yu-Hui Chang; it then moves to the upper floors of the museum, where Duvall is joined by 99 percussionists for the US premiere of Voice of the Winds, a new ambient work by composer/percussionist Marta Ptaszynska. Influenced by John Cage’s fascination with the presence of silence, this work makes an indelible soundscape by using 100 of the loudest instruments at their most ethereal.

Marta Ptaszyńska’s Voice of the Winds for 100 percussionists was the centerpiece of the concert. Dedicated to the memory of John Cage and Merce Cunningham and influenced by the architecture of the MCA, the performance featured groups of percussionists positioned at various levels around the building, creating a spatial musical structure. In an interview for PWM, Ptaszyńska said that, “Voice of the Winds reflects Cage’s philosophy of treating noise as an artistic phenomenon since it recalls his fascination with silence. The percussion players perform their parts as delicately and mildly, creating music that’s ‘feather light.’” Ptaszyńska added that her work is like a “sound sculpture” inspired by John Cage and Morton Feldman, as well as by such visual artists as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, or Mark Rothko.

Watch a brief clip of the performance on www.youtube.com.

On April 24 in Cambridge, UK, the world premiere of another fascinating new work by Ptaszyńska entitled Luna, Stelle was performed on the Cambridge Concert Artists series by four virtuoso players: pianists Vivian Choi & David Christophersen, and percussionists Dave Ellis & Derek Scurll. Their program also included Bartok’s visionary Sonata, one of the 20th century’s greatest masterpieces, as well as an arrangement of Bernstein’s iconic “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story and Borodin’s haunting Polovtsian Dances—a rare opportunity to hear these classic works for an extraordinary combination of instruments.

[Sources: pwm.com.pl, cambridgelivetrust.co.uk]

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ŁUKASZEWSKI WORLD PREMIERE

lukaszewski pawel.On April 27, the premiere of Wings Concerto for two flutes and chamber orchestra by Paweł Łukaszewski took place at the Polish Baltic Philharmonic. Performers included the Fryderyk Chopin Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra in Gdańsk, under the baton of Vladimir Kiradijev, with renowned flute soloists Agata Kielar-Długosz and Łukasz Długosz.

The Premiere was part of the gala ceremony celebrating the Pomeranian Artistic Awards, during which the Marshall of the Pomeranian Province honored the best art creations and the most notable cultural events which took place within the last year. During a pre-concert press conference, composer Paweł Łukaszewski discussed the history of the piece and his compositional process.

[Sources: polmic.pl, opera.wroclaw.pl]

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‘PERSPECTIVES’: AUSTRIAN / MEXICAN / POLISH / ITALIAN PREMIERES

Also on April, a concert of contemporary music organized by the Ensemblage Foundation took place in the Austrian Forum of Culture in Warsaw. The concert was part of the “Perspectives” series, which aims to promote contemporary music and performers specializing in it. The “Perspectives” series is the outcome of the international friendship of members of the young generation of composers. In 2015, four concerts were held as a part of the series: in Lucca, Genoa (Italy) and Warsaw. The 2015 repertoire featured works by Italian and Polish composers.

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During the April 27 concert, works from Australia, Mexico, Poland and Italy received their world premiere: Somniare by Kirsten Milenko, Órganum by Alejandro Very, Sun-chants by Andrzej Karałow, Four temperaments by Aleksandra Chmielewska, Tagtraum by Żaneta Rydzywska (L-R above), Imaginhearing by Girolamo Deraca and Falling leaves by Antonio Bellandiego.

The concert was performed by the Dziołak/Stankiewicz Duo. Clarinetist Jacek Dziołak and accordion player Mateusz Stankiewicz are students of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. The ensemble is under the artistic guidance of Rafał Grządka, and has been the winner of many international music competitions since forming in 2011.

[Source: polmic.pl]

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PAWLIK’S CANTATA IN WROCŁAW

Wlodek PawlikThe Wrocław Opera will celebrate May 3 Constitution Day with a premiere of Włodek Pawlik’s cantata Myśląc “Ojczyzna” [Thinking “Homeland”], a kind of musical travel through the history of Polish music. According to the composer, “My vocal works describe such historical figures as Mieszko I and Dobrawa, Queen Hedwig, Zawisza Czarny, King Jan III Sobieski and his consort, Marysieńka. But the language I use sounds close to the contemporary musical aesthetics of pop, blues, jazz or soul.” Pawlik’s Cantata has 12 vocal sections that use contemporary texts by Jacek Kowalski and Włodek Pawlik as well as those by great bards of Poland, including Juliusz Słowacki, Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński and Władysław Bełza.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 | 7:00 p.m.
Myśląc Ojczyzna [Thinking Homeland]
 - Włodek Pawlik
Wrocław Opera
Świdnicka 35, 11-400 Wrocław, Poland
Tickets & Info: opera.wroclaw.pl

[Sources: polmic.pl, opera.wroclaw.pl]

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CONSTITUTION DAY CONCERT IN OPOLE

Poland’s Constitution Day, May 3, will be celebrated in Opole with a “Day Of Polish Music” concert commemorating the 226th anniversary of this historically important document as well as the 96th anniversary of the Silesian Uprising. The Opole Philharmonic will perform Bolesław Szabelski’s Toccata (from his Suite, Op. 10), with works by Chopin (Fantasia on Polish Airs, Op. 13) as well as Górecki’s Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra and Moniuszko’s Concert Polonaise in A major. The pianist for the Chopin is Adam Kośmieja and the evening will be led by conductor Jakub Chrenowicz.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 | 6:00 p.m.
May 3 Constitution Day—Day Of Polish Music
Opole Philharmonic Concert Hall
ul. Krakowska 24, 45-075 Opole, Poland
Admission: FREE
Info: filharmonia.opole.pl

[Sources: polmic.pl, filharmonia.opole.pl]

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WORLD PREMIERES FESTIVAL OF KRAKÓW COMPOSERS

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From April 23-30, numerous world premieres were presented in Kraków during the 29th International Festival of Kraków Composers (formerly known as Days of Music by Kraków Composers). The annual Festival aims to promote and present contemporary works by Kraków composers of all ages, through concerts, meetings with composers, and lectures by music theorists of the Academy of Music in Kraków and musicologists of the Jagiellonian University. The artistic director of the festival, Marcel Chyrzyński, described the main concept of the29th edition as follows:

The present time in music is multidimensional, often difficult to define, diverse, but it gives the artist freedom of his choice of sonic worlds that he needs to create a composition. During the act of producing the musical reality, the origin of inspiration often determines the idea of a work. This is why this year I would like to pay attention to this aspect — the origin of inspiration in the context of understanding and emotional experience of musical compositions.

This year’s festival specifically incorporated compositions from Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Denmark, created in relation to the musical tradition of neighboring countries, countries of the European Union and music of the world. The featured guest for 2017 was composer Kaija Saariaho (Finland/France).

Below is a listing of the world premieres that took place during the Festival:

Saturday, April 23, 2017, 6:00 pm, Karol Szymanowski Kraków Philharmonic

Monday, April 24, 2017, 7:00 pm, Kraków Academy of Music – Florianka Hall

  • Kaija Saariaho: Concordia for violin and cello – 1st movement (2017)
  • Jarosław Płonka: Rust / Rdza for violin and viola (2017 – commissioned by 29th IFKC)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 7:00 pm, Kraków Academy of Music – Florianka Hall

  • Michał Gronowicz: Subtilia II for flute, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, violin, viola, cello and piano (2016)
  • Grzegorz Majka: Noc duszy for flute, French horn and string trio (2016)
  • Juliusz Łuciuk: Three Lyrics for mezzo-soprano and piano (2017) to the words by Tadeusz Szyma
  • Józef Rychlik: Octet for flute, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, violin, viola, cello and piano (2017 – commissioned by the Festival and subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as a part of the “Composing Commissions” program, operated by the Institute of Music and Dance)

Thursday, April 27, 2017, 7:00 pm, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art

  • Paulina Łuciuk: Cancion tonta for tape (2017) – 4-channel version
  • Franciszek Araszkiewicz: Explorations for brainwaves network (2017)
  • Eduardo Frigatti: Rose of Hiroshima for tape (2017) – 4- channel version
  • Anton Stuk: Kopernik for violin, video and live electronics (2017)
  • GrupLab: Plejrek 80 for mixed ensemble (2017)

Friday, April 28, 2017, 7:30 pm, The MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Piotr Sarnecki: String Quartet No. 4 (2015)
  • Leo Samama: String Quartet No. 3 op. 93 (2016)

Sunday, April 30, 2017, 6:00 pm, Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic

 [Sources: pwm.com.pl, festiwal.zkp.Kraków.pl]

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STOP THE MUSIC!

 “Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the State always change with them.” Although one may think of this quote as an appropriate and incisive comment on a recent concert at the Poznańska Wiosna Muzyczna [Poznań Musical Spring] Festival, these words were actually set down circa 380 B.C. by Plato in his immortal treaty, Republic.

A Festival concert held at the Poznań Music Academy auditorium in early April was hosting the ElettroVoce ensemble, founded by Agata Zubel and Cezary Duchnowski, two distinguished contemporary Polish music composers. The ensemble was to give a world premiere of Ryszard Osada’s Creation—in addition to voice and electronics, performance of this composition also called for the use of a prepared piano. Such so-called extended techniques (often taking place inside the piano rather than on the keyboard) have been employed by scores of avant-garde composers for about a century and are nothing new. By using various materials (cloth, mallets, and other objects directly on the strings), an unusual variety of sound effects are coaxed from the piano, adding to both the visual and aural drama of performance. Technical riders regarding the use of these techniques are usually specified in contracts and concert organizers agree in most cases to this fact.

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Lidia Zielinska                                        Halina Lorkowska

On April 3 as prof. Lidia Zielińska, a distinguished composer and head of the Electro-Acoustical Department at the Poznań Music Academy, was introducing Ryszard Osada’s piece, prof. Halina Lorkowska, the Academy’s rector, entered the stage and interrupted her colleague by saying she was against the use of the concert grand Steinway for this purpose. When the incredulous public reacted with much mirth to prof. Lorkowska’s words, she issued a challenge to the audience, asking if they were ready to cover the cost of piano repairs and stormed out of the auditorium.

Although Heinrich Heine once said, “Where words leave off, music begins,” unfortunately, on this occasion it was not to be, and Osada’s piece has to await the world premiere at a more propitious time and at a somewhat friendlier venue. After this interruption, the concert continued with two other works on the program, ending on an encore improvisation by the performers. Almost as soon as the applause had died, public debate in the media erupted, castigating prof. Lorkowska in a negative light. She reacted to it by saying, “I have only one Steinway and have to protect it. It’s some kind of a misunderstanding or insufficient knowledge of the procedures. If there was a question, there would be an answer—any other instrument except the Steinway.”

For her part, prof. Zielińska replied that as the organizer she had asked the Academy to provide the venue and instruments for this concert. She added that, “Preparing pianos had been done for 105 years. Madame Rector spoke about the piano and I’m on her side as far protecting it is concerned. The issue is the disgraceful behavior. All that was needed was to ask for a short technical break.” Presumably, another piano would then be moved in and the concert would continue. Except that, in Poznań, even century-old innovations are not always welcome.

[Sources: poznan.wyborcza.pl, nibytygodnik.pl, youtube.com]

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TRĘBACZ IN SEATTLE

Composer/trebacz_7.jpgOn May 25, Seattle-based French hornist Josiah Boothby and soprano Maria Männistö will perform Ewa Trębacz’s Errai at the Good Shepherd Center in Seattle, as part of the Wayward Music Series. The program consists of two consecutive evenings of electroacoustic music, video and performances by alumni, composers and friends of the University of Washington, including Trębacz and others (Linda Antas, Tom Baker, Donald CraigRyan M. HareBen McAllister, Douglas Niemela, Joshua Parmenter).

Thursday, May 25, 2017 | 7:30 p.m.
Wayward Music Series: Alumni Alchemy, feat. Ewa Trębacz

Good Shepherd Center, Chapel Performance Space
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Tickets & Info: waywardmusic.org

[Source: ewatrebacz.com]

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“FILHARMONIA KOBIET” SOPOT

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The Sopot Chamber Philharmonic (PFK) will present a May 6 concert with works by Tadeusz Kassern and Aleksander Tansman. Featured on the program are two young female conductors, Paulina Dołęgowska and Izabela Burda representing the new generation of orchestral leaders; they will take up the baton in Kassern’s Concertino for Oboe and Strings and Variations on the Theme by Frescobaldi by Tansman. Dołęgowska currently studies conducting at the Gdańsk Music Academy and also plays oboe for the Toruń Symphony Orchestra. Burda is also a student at the Gdańsk Music Academy who recently participated in master classes given by José Maria Florêncio and George Tchitchinadze. The soloists for the evening include oboist Mateusz Kubański and violinist Joachim Oller.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 | 6:00 p.m.
“Filharmonia Kobiet” feat.
Paulina Dołęgowska and Izabela Burda – cond.
Opera Leśna, PFK Hall
ul. Moniuszki 12, 81- 829 Sopot, Poland
Tickets & Info: bart.sopot.pl, www.facebook.com

[Sources: polmic.pl, bart.sopot.pl]

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MAZURKAS LECTURE-RECITAL AT USC

On May 6 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, pianist Jane Park will present a brief discussion of Mazurkas and will perform select pieces by Polish composers Maria Szymanowska, Frédéric Chopin, and Karol Szymanowski, and Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. This lecture-recital is in partial fulfillment of a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 | 8:00 pm
‘Lecture-Recital: Mazurkas’ feat. Jane Park

USC Newman Recital Hall
3616 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA
Admission: FREE
Parking: $12, USC Gate #3 (3501 S. Figueroa St.)
Info: music.usc.edu

[Source: press release]

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FINAL CHOPIN FOR ALL OF THE SEASON

Celebrating their 40th Anniversary Season (1977 – 2017), the Chopin Foundation of the United States and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits will present the final Chopin for All Free Concert of the season, featuring young American pianist Reed Tetzloff in a solo piano recital. Tetzloff, an outstanding young artist, will perform a concert of music by Schumann and Chopin.

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Reed Tetzloff studied under the tutelage of Dr. Paul Wirth, Pavlina Dokovska, and Pavlina Dokovska (Mannes School of Music – The New School in New York City). He made his debut as a recitalist and concerto soloist in 2012 and has performed in three continents alongside numerous orchestras, including the Cincinnati Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Tbilisi Symphony, and the Wayzata Symphony. Tetzloff has won prizes at several international competitions, such as the Beijing International Music Festival and Academy, Cincinnati World Piano Competition, Cleveland International Piano Competition, Schimmel, and the Tbilisi International Piano Competition. At the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015, Tetzloff’s career was given a major boost after being named one of twelve semi-finalists. Tetzloff has been praised as a “young American to watch” by The Cincinnati Enquirer and as an “ebullient” virtuoso by Grammophone Magazine. His rhetorical approach to the music he performs, along with a warmly charismatic stage presence, are trademarks of his communication with an audience. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017 | 3:00 p.m.
Chopin for All Free Concert: Reed Tetzloff, piano

Broward County Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave, Ft. Lauderdale
Admission: FREE
Info: chopin.org

Sunday, May 21, 2017 | 3:00 p.m.
Chopin for All Free Concert: Reed Tetzloff, piano

Granada Presbyterian Church, 950 University Drive, Coral Gables
Admission: FREE
Info: chopin.org

[Source: press release]

 

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AWARDS
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FRYDERYKI 2017

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On April 24, 2017 during the ceremony at the Polish Radio’s Lutosławski Concert Studio, the 23rd annual ‘Fryderyk’ Awards in the ‘Classical Music’ category were presented by Związek Producentów Audio Video (ZPAV). Representing Poland’s equivalent of the Grammy Awards, the ceremony for the ‘Classical Music’ section of the ‘Fryderyk’ Awards was opened and closed with a performance by the Polish Radio Orchestra under the direction of Michał Klauza. Other performers included Piotr Orzechowski (aka "Pianohooligan"), Aleksandra Kuls-Koziak and Marcin Koziak, and the "Camerata Silesia" Choral Ensemble from Katowice directed by Anna Shostak. The Gala was led by Jacek Hawryluk.

The Golden Fryderyk Award for Classical Music was awarded to Piotr Paleczny for his outstanding artistic accomplishments. Other top award winners were the Silesian Quartet and Paweł Łukaszewski, both awarded with two statuettes as listed below.


Piotr Paleczny       |        Silesian Quartet       |        Paweł Łukaszewski

Album of the Year: Choral, Oratorio & Operadeprofundis-psalms_accord.jpg

DE PROFUNDIS – Polish Psalms of the 20th and 21st Century (Composers: M.T. Łukaszewski, A. Koszewski, M. Bembinow, M. Jasiński, R. Twardowski, J. Świder, M. Zieliński, A. Bielerzewski, P. Łukaszewski, Ł. Urbaniak). National Forum of Music Choir, dir. by Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny.
Witold Lutosławski NFM / CD Accord 221

Album of the Year: Early Music

J.S. BACH: Sonaty BWV 525-530
Marek Toporowski, Irmina Obońska, Mark Caudle
Stowarzyszenie PRO MUSICA ORGANA / DUX 1339

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SEQUENZA. Janusz Wawrowski – violin (Composers: Eugène Ysaÿe, Bjarne Brustad, Grażyna Bacewicz, Krzysztof Penderecki, Luciano Bario, Tomasz Jakub Opałka, Dariusz Przybylski)
Warner Music Poland / Warner Classics

Album of the Year: Chamber Music

PAWEŁ ŁUKASZEWSKI - MUSICA PROFANA 1 
Ewa Guz-Seroka, Anna Mikołajczyk-Niewiedział, Anna Lubańska, Robert Gierlach, Kamila Wąsik-Janiak, Piotr Hausenplas, Romuald Gołębiowski
DUX 1276

Maksymiuk_Sinfonia_Varsovia.jpgAlbum of the Year: Symphonic & Concert Music

MAKSYMIUK & SINFONIA VARSOVIA (Composers:  Debussy, Prokofiev, Straviński, Baird, Maksymiuk, Jarzębski, Bacewicz, Bach, Rossini, Mozart, Bartok)
Sinfonia Varsovia , Jerzy Maksymiuk cond.
Warner Music Poland / Warner Classics

Album of the Year: Contemporary Music

PAWEŁ ŁUKASZEWSKI - IV Symfonia – Symfonia o Bożym Miłosierdziu [Symphony on the Mercy of God]
Anna Mikołajczyk-Niewiedział, Maciej Nerkowski, Violetta Bielecka, Barbara Ewa Rafałko, Podlasie Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Wojciech Michniewski – cond. 
Musica Sacra Edition MSE 048


Best Polish Album Recorded Abroad

GRAŻYNA BACEWICZ: Complete String Quartets
Silesian Quartet
Chandos 10904 (2CD)

Most Outstanding Album of Polish Music

GRAŻYNA BACEWICZ: Complete String Quartets
Silesian Quartet
Chandos 10904 (2CD)

On April 26, the main Fryderyk Award ceremony celebrating popular music and jazz was held at the Polish Theater in Warsaw and broadcast live on TVP2. Golden Fryderyk Award for Jazz was awarded to Urszula Dudziak, and it was presented in a very moving fashion by piano legend Adam Makowicz, who had flown in from New York just for this special occasion. Other winners in the jazz category were:

Album of the Year: Jazz

ROBERT MAJEWSKI “Tribute to Henryk Majewski”
Performed by trumpeter Robert Majewski (Henryk's son), saxophonists Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski and Henryk Miśkiewicz, pianists Andrzej Jagodziński and Wojciech Majewski (Henryk's son), bassist Adam Cegielski and drummer Czesław Bartkowski
Studio Realizacji Myśli Twórczych

Jazz Artist of the Year

Zbigniew NAMYSŁOWSKI

Jazz Debut of the Year

Tomasz WENDT

[Sources: pwm.com.pl, zpav.pl, zpav.pl, zpav.pl]

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ZAiKS AWARDS

ZAiKSFor almost half a century, the Polish Authors’ rights society (ZAiKS) has recognized many artists with prizes, based on the selections made by their artistic peers. There are eight categories, including literary translations, promotion of Polish contemporary music, a Warsaw-themed prize, promotion of Polish pop music, and achievements in choreography, visual arts, journalism, and art for children. This year’s award ceremony took place on April 23, the World Book Day and Authors’ Rights Day.

In the area of music, Piotr Bakal and Zbigniew Krajewski were awarded for their efforts in promoting Polish popular music and Zbigniew Kozub for his work on behalf of promoting Polish contemporary music, especially through his directorship of the Poznańska Wiosna Muzyczna Festival. This year’s ceremony also featured granting of special awards to composers and musicians Henryk Kuźniak, Zbigniew Namysłowski and Krzysztof Sadowski.

[Source: zaiks.org.pl]

 

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FESTIVALS

KILAR FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC

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The 5th edition of the Wojciech Kilar Festival of Contemporary Music will take place at the Gorzów Philharmonic – Center of Art Education from May 12-26. The event aims to promote contemporary music through various forms of artistic activities and the acquisition of works for the widest possible audience.  As part of the festival this year, there will be a photo exhibition of Wojciech Kilar, patron of the event, displayed in the foyer of the Gorzów Philharmonic (May 12-30).

Marek ZebrowskiOn May 12, PMC director Marek Żebrowski (left) will help launch the Festival with a performance of the Piano Concerto of Henryk Vars, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the composer's death. On May 14, an organ recital featuring classical Baroque and modern organ music of the 20th and 21st century will be presented by soloist Jan Bokszczanin.  On May 19, a contemporary jazz concert full of improvisation, swing dancing and spontaneity will be performed by Atom String Quartet and the Gorzów Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Adam Sztaba.

The program of the festival will also include events aimed at young audiences: The “Tangled in Sound” project for secondary students will explore the combination of classical music with modern sounds of electronic music, featuring project leader and composer-DJ Peter Bukowski (May 21). Gorzów artist, composer, singer and songwriter Błażej Król - one of the most interesting figures of Polish alternative scene in recent years – will present a unique concert of compositions for vocals, guitar, electronics, synthesizer (Iwona Król) and drums (Mateusz Rychlick) (May 13).

Throughout the festival, audiences will be able to enjoy works by Polish composers (Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, Mikołaj Górecki, Wojciech Kilar, Maciej Małecki, and Henryk Vars) and American composer John Corgliano. Among the guests of the festival will be Monika Wolińska, Bartosz Michałowski, Elżbieta Towarnicka, Iwona Socha, Magdalena Idzik, and many others.

May 12-26, 2017
Wojciech Kilar Festival of Contemporary Music
Gorzów Philharmonic
Dziewięciu Muz 10, 66-400 Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland
Info: festiwalmuzykiwspolczesnej.pl

[Source: festiwalmuzykiwspolczesnej.pl]

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ADA SARI VOCAL ARTISTRY FESTIVAL AND COMPETITION

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Co-financed by the Małopolska Region and the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, the Ada Sari International Vocal Artistry 19th Festival and 17th Competition will take place from May 12-21 at the SOKÓŁ Małopolska Culture Center in Nowy Sącz. Since 1985, the event has taken place every two years to propagate valuable music of various styles and genres by means of acquiring correct vocal techniques. The competition, which is the main part of the Festival, has been devised as an educational and preparatory stage for young singers aiming to take up great artistic challenges in their future careers.

This year, the Ada Sari Vocal Artistry Competition received a record number of 81 entries from as many as 17 countries: Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, China, Sweden, Germany, Swaziland, Austria, Belarus, France, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, and Lithuania. Finalists will be accompanied by the Krakow Opera Orchestra under the baton of Marta Kluczyń­ska. The prize pool is 70.000 PLN (approximately 17.000 EUR) will be judged by internationally recognized artists and educators, including Małgorzata Walewska (Chairman and Artistic Director of the Festival), Helena Łazarska (Honorary Chairman and Founder of the Festival), Wojciech Maciejowski (Secretary), Constanze Könemann, Peter Schreier, Samantha Farber, Sebastian Perłowski, Wojciech Rodek, Marcin Habela, and Karen Stone.

The Festival will open with a concert performance of P. Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, featuring mezzo-soprano Małgorzata Walewska, tenor Arnold Rutkowski, baritone Mariusz Godlewski and mezzo-soprano Wanda Franek, accompanied by the Polish Radio Choir and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra will be conducted by Francesco Bottigliero. The program will also include performances by actress Krystyna Janda, tenor Mateusz Zajdel, and sopranos Agnieszka Adamczak and Anna Patrys, students of the Krakow Academy of Music and the Baroque Orchestra of the Academy (conducted by Marek Toporowski).

May 12-21, 2017
Ada Sari Vocal Artistry Festival and Competition
SOKÓŁ Małopolska Culture Centre
Dlugosza 3, 33-300 Nowy Sącz, Poland
Tickets & Info: adasari.pl

[Source: press release, adasari.pl]

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GAUDE MATER SACRED MUSIC FESTIVAL

The 27th edition of the International Festival of Sacred Music, Gaude Mater will be held from April 30 – May 7 in Częstochowa. Festival programs range from traditional Gregorian liturgies to Feliks Nowowiejski’s Missa pro pace. This year’s Festival also celebrates the 300th anniversary of the coronation of the iconic portrait of Our Lady of Częstochowa. Associated with Częstochowa for over a quarter of a century, this Festival will also feature concerts in Bydgoszcz, Toruń, and other cities in central Poland. The 13th International Competition for Composers “Musica Sacra Nova” is taking place concurrently with the Festival and the winning compositions will be awarded prizes at the May 3 concert of the Camerata Silesia, a vocal ensemble of the City of Katowice.

April 30 - May 7, 2017
27th International Festival of Sacred Music, Gaude Mater

Various venues in Poland
Tickets & Info: gaudemater.pl

[Source: polmic.pl]


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DISCOGRAPHY
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WARTIME MUSIC BY SINFONIA VARSOVIA

maksymiuk.jpg39’45 – Sinfonia Varsovia
Witold Lutosławski: Wariacje symfoniczne na orkiestrę (1938). Aleksander Tansman: Rapsodia polska (1940). Karol Rathaus: Muzyka na smyczki (1941). Andrzej Panufnik: Uwertura tragiczna (1942)
Sinfonia Varsovia with Renato Rivolta- cond. and Jerzy Maksymiuk – cond.
Warner Music Classics 0190295917517 (17 Mar 2017)

From the Warner Music Classics website:

39’45: breathtaking performances of the renowned Sinfonia Varsovia recorded under the baton of Jerzy Maksymiuk and Renato Rivolta featuring works from the orchestra’s native Poland written during the Second World War by Lutosławski, Rathaus, Tansman and Panufnik.

What is music in the face of war? Its mirror, reflection, or perhaps an escape? Composers who lived in this age of anxiety explored the theme of war in various ways. Some found solace in music, giving vent to their most difficult experiences and memories. Others sought oblivion, expressing themselves in warm, hopeful emotional terms in spite of everything. There were those who saw their music as manifesto, creating ideologically and politically charged works. This album – lasting exactly 39 minutes and 45 seconds – is the first in a planned series devoted to the music composed during the occupation and marked by war. The series will shine the spotlight on long-forgotten and little-known music from the generation of composers who lived through this period of history. The album’s length and title symbolically evoke this tragic turning point in the history of Polish music, framed by the dark years of World War II.

The repertoire encompasses works written by young, promising composers from the period immediately preceding the outbreak of the war, which hampered the development of their international careers, as well as music composed after the war, by artists deeply affected by the trauma that devastated occupied Poland. The album also includes the world premiere recording of Music for Strings [Muzyka na smyczki] by Karol Rathaus while the digital version will deliver a bonus track in the form of Szałowski’s Overture.

[Source: warnerclassics.com]

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NEW ON CD ACCORD

Lutosławski Quartet
Marcin Markowicz: String Quartet No. 4. Andrzej Kwieciński: [P|PE(s)]. Paweł Mykietyn: String Quartet No. 3.
Lutosławski Quartet: Bartosz Woroch – violin, Marcin Markowicz – violin, Artur Rozmysłowicz – viola, Maciej Młodawski – cello.
ACD 233

From the CD Accord web site:

The idea of an album featuring works written specially to the Lutosławski Quartet is strictly connected with the celebrations of the European Capital of Culture Wroclaw 2016. The release includes a CD album and a DVD.

2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the Lutosławski Quartet. This release is a kind of summary of the decade of the Wroclaw-based quartet’s activities. Over the 10 year, the quartet has presented mainly Polish chamber music on almost every continent.

The Lutosławski Quartet musicians collaborate with young Polish composers – this has led naturally to new works being commissioned dedicated to this ensemble. Each composer featured on the disc is closely connected to LQ: Andrzej Kwiecinski (his works were played by LQ musicians even before LQ was founded), Pawel Mykietyn (his String Quartet No. 2 has been included in LQ’s concert programmes in Poland, Asia and North and South Americas), Marcin Markowicz (founder and 2nd violinist of LQ, whose previous String Quartet No. 3 was one of the most frequently played pieces in LQ programmes).

LutosAir Quintet
David Maslanka: Quintet for Winds No. 2. Daan Janssens: Canto 6. Tadeusz Szeligowski: Quintet for Wind Instruments. Fazil Say: Alevi Dedeler raki masasinda op. 35.
LutosAir Quintet: Jan Krzeszowiec – flute, Wojciech Merena – oboe, Maciej Dobosz – clarinet, Alicja Kieruzalska – bassoon, Mateusz Feliński – horn.
ACD 234

From the CD Accord web site:

Chamber music is seen as the highest level of initiation into music making, requiring from players both soloist talent and collaborative skills, a similar understanding of music, a creative atmosphere and sometimes even readiness to compromise. Composing for a wind quintet made up of a flute, an oboe, a clarinet, a French horn and a bassoon, because of their heterogeneous tones, diverse playing techniques and specific features of individual instruments, poses a big challenge to composers. Only in the 20th century did the tone colours of wind instruments begin to be seen as hugely inspiring and valuable, which resulted in composers writing more and more works for this line-up. Two works from the past century feature on this LutosAir Quintet album, alongside two works of new music, written in the 21st century. It is worth emphasising that it was the Wrocław-based quintet that performed the Polish premieres of compositions by David Maslanka, Daan Janssens, and Fazil Say.

Wajnberg
Mieczysław Wajnberg [1919-1996]: String Quartet No. 7 in C major Op. 59; Piano Quintet in F minor Op. 18.
Silesian Quartet: Szymon Krzeszowiec (1st violin), Arkadiusz Kubica (2nd violin), Łukasz Syrnicki (viola) and Piotr Janosik (cello); Piotr Sałajczyk (piano).
ACD 239

From the CD Accord web site:

The Silesian Quartet’s most recent release under the CD Accord label is the first in the series of Mieczysław Wajnberg’s complete chamber works with string quartet.

The album containing the String Quartet No. 7 in C major Op. 59 and the Piano Quintet in F minor Op. 18 (with pianist Piotr Sałajczyk) inaugurates a 7CD-series which will be completed in 2019 – the year of Wajnberg’s birth centenary.

With this series, the Silesian Quartet pays tribute to this eminent Polish artist, considered as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. His impressive output of compositions is now being rediscovered and is increasingly winning acclaim among both musicians and audiences worldwide.

Gems of Eastern Europe
Sergey Prokofiev [1891–1953]: Sonata No. 2 in D major Op. 94 bis for violin and piano. Béla Bartók [1881–1945]: Rhapsody No. 1 for violin and piano. Karol Szymanowski [1882–1937]: Nocturne and Tarantela Op. 28 for violin and piano. Kazimierz Lepianka [1869–1948]: A Dream for violin and piano.
Piotr Tarcholik – violin; Monika Wilińska-Tarcholik – piano.
ACD 229

From the CD Accord web site:

The socio-political situation in Europe in the second half of the 19th and the early 20th centuries facilitated the development of national identities and distinctiveness of individual nations. (...) A significant role in this field fell to music. Historians of music differentiate between two distinct trends; the mainstream current and the peripheral trend (the latter being also labelled ‘national‘), in which the social role of music was fundamental. References to a nation’s past, its heroes, literature, customs, language and folklore resulted in development of national schools (styles) of composition such as: Spanish (Sarasate, Albéniz, Granados), Scandinavian (Gade, Grieg, Sinding, Sibelius), English (Parry, Stanford, Mackenzie), Czech (Smetana, Dvořák), Hungarian (Erkel, Mosonyi), Russian (Glinka, ‘The Mighty Handful’), Polish (Chopin, Moniuszko).

Józef Świder - Music for Wind Instruments
Józef Świder (1930–2014): Lyrical Miniatures for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon (1975); Allegretto for flute and piano (1952); Scherzo for flute and guitar (2007); Andante for oboe and piano (1951); Improvisation for clarinet and piano (1991); Sonata for bassoon and piano (1954); Mini-Quintetto for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon (1993/2005).
Maria Grochowska – flute; Piotr Pyc – oboe; Roman Widaszek – clarinet; Marek Barański – bassoon; Mariusz Ziętek – horn; Eugeniusz Knapik – piano; Wanda Palacz – guitar.
ACD 228

From the CD Accord web site:

The graduate of professor Bolesław Woytowicz’s composition class at the State Higher School of Music in Katowice (diploma in 1955) contrary to his friends of his graduating class: Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Wojciech Kilar or a bit older Witold Szalonek, he never flirted with musical avant-garde – the same he was saved from the difficult return journey ‘towards himself’. A Romantic by nature but with a strong desire of classical order Świder remained faithful to the idiom of musical Neoclassicism with romantic-lyric shade, however which was sometimes the starting point for some outstanding excursions and frequently took a surprising shape. Jolanta Szulakowska-Kulawik in her monography of composer’s artistic output described Świder’s music pointedly as ‘music in waiting for Post modernism’. Just like that: not ‘Postmodern music’ but ‘music in waiting for Post-modernism’. Only today in times of ‘post modernity’ – having the perspective of such penurious ‘achievements’ of the avant-garde Modernist art – we can properly perceive the taste of music created in harmony with ‘being’. This is the outstanding hommage: another generation of Silesian musicians – among them graduates of the already mentioned ‘jolly good fellows’ – presents the collection of chamber music pieces of Józef Świder.

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NEW ON DUX

Fryderyk Chopin Piano Concertos
Fryderyk Chopin: Piano Concerto in e-minor, Op 11; Piano concerto in f-minor, Op 21.
Sinfonietta Cracovia; Jurek Dybał (conductor); Krzysztof Penderecki (conductor); Szymon Nehring (piano).
DUX 1350

 

Bacewicz | Tansman | Penderecki
Grażyna Bacewicz: Sonata No. 4 for violin and piano (1949). Alexander Tansman: Fantasy for violin and piano (1963). Krzysztof Penderecki: Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano (1999).
Bogna Czerwińska-Szymula (piano); Karolina Piątkowska-Nowicka (violin).
DUX 1339

 

Szymon Laks String Quartets
Szymon Laks: String Quartet No. 3 “On Polish Folk Themes” (1945); String Quartet No. 4 (1962); String Quartet No. 5 (1963).
Messages Quartet: Małgorzata Wasiucionek, Oriana Masternak – violin; Maria Dutka – viola; Beata Urbanek-Kalinowska – cello.
DUX 1286

 

Szymon Kawalla Chamber Music
CD1
. Andante for violin and piano (1966); Wariacje na temat Prokofiewa for piano | 1974; Sonata for oboe and violin (1969); Cadenza for violin solo | 1990; Mały kaprys for violin solo | 2006; Liryki miłosne for soprano and piano |text Anna Andrych| (2010).
CD2. Lament i toccata mazowiecka for violin and piano (2009); Dumka od Warszawy – Babicka for violin solo (2006); Kaprys świętokrzyski for violin solo (2006); Impresja arabska nr 1 for violin solo (2006); Impresja arabska nr 2 for violin solo (2006); Scherzo AZ for violin solo (2012); Tryptyk koreański for violin and percussion (2016).
Grzegorz Gorczyca (piano); Joanna Kawalla (violin); Justyna Reczeniedi (soprano); Marek Roszkowski (oboe); Stanisław Skoczyński (percussion).
DUX 1363

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REVIEWS FOR WARSAW PHIL/KURZAK/KASPSZYK

Szymanowski - Warsaw Philharmonic
Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937): Litany to the Virgin Mary; Stabat Mater; Symphony No. 3 ‘Song of the Night’.
Soloists Aleksandra Kurzak, Agnieszka Rehlis, Artur Ruciński, and Dmitry Korchak with Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Jacek Kaspszyk – cond.
Warner Classics (Mar 24, 2017); Available on Amazon.

The Guardian’s Erica Jeal gave a four-star rating to the Warsaw Philharmonic’s latest recording of Karol Szymanowski’s music, led by soprano Aleksandra Kurzak and Maestro Jacek Kaspszyk. Below is an excerpt from her review:

Jacek Kaspszyk lets loose the considerable forces of the Warsaw Philharmonic on three of Karol Szymanowski’s vocal works. [In the] introduction, there is Aleksandra Kurzak’s account of the unfinished Litany to the Virgin Mary, two mesmerizing songs sung with limpid beauty. The Stabat Mater, fragrant with incense, finely balances liturgical stateliness with a cathartic emotional tug (Szymanowski was mourning his young niece). Inflections of Polish folk music, glancing memories of North African travels – all are vividly conjured up by Kaspszyk and his players. The singers are excellent, the women of the choir igniting a glowing halo around Aleksandra Kurzak’s soaring soprano. The misleadingly titled Symphony No. 3 ‘Song of the Night’ has all the sensuousness of this but none of the restraint: Szymanowski throws everything at the setting of a 13th-century mystical Persian poet. The orchestra doesn’t hold back, but tenor Dmitry Korchak still scythes through it as he hymns the starry skies.

Norman Lebrecht of Musical Toronto also took notice of the recording, giving it four out of five stars and calling it “pure class... The international Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak opens with a Litany to the Virgin Mary that is slow, devout, soulful and twenty shades lighter than one might expect from a Polish Catholic ritual. Kurzak has never sounded sweeter or more comfortable on record.”

[Sources: theguardian.com, musicaltoronto.org]

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PERFORMANCES
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MUSIC OF OUR TIMES

On April 20, in Aula Nova of the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań, a concert in the “Music of Our Times” series took place. The concert featured works by Dariusz Przybylski (Figure veneziane), Mateusz Śmigasiewicz (Wariacje), Ignacy Zalewski (Kaprys w formie mazurka), Kamil Kruk (Strzępy snu), Aleksandra Kaca (Smugi Cienia), Michał Dobrzyński (Mgnienie III), Szymon Godziemba-Trytek (Contemplation of One’s man Martydom) and Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska (Trzy Tańce Polskie).

The Academy of Music in Poznań co-organizes the “Music of Our Times” project, which is a 4-year long program with the aim of promoting young composers of the XXI century. The organizers of the project are: Stowarzyszenie Akademia im. Krzysztofa Pendereckiego – The International Center of Music, The Krzysztof Penderecki European Center of Music and Polish academies of music in Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Łódź, Poznań and Warsaw and 6 schools of music in Białystok, Bydgoszcz, Konin, Kraków, Radom and Warsaw. The goal of the project is to introduce the audience and performers to the works of young generation composers.

The first edition of the program “Music of Our Times” was staged at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Center of Music in Lutosławice on March 11, 2017.

[Source: polmic.pl]

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CHOPIN PROJECT

Jocelyn SwiggerIn collaboration with the Paderewski Festival, Festival Mozaic presented an afternoon of Chopin’s Etudes on April 29 as part of Festival Mozaic’s WinterMezzo concert series. Pianist Jocelyn Swigger performed all 27 Etudes on two pianos at the Paso Robles Inn ballroom, including one that belonged to Polish pianist, composer and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewksi — now part of the inn’s collection. Audiences were able to view the score of the music and Swigger’s hands on the keyboard as she played these notoriously difficult compositions.

For the past seven years, Swigger has been dedicated to studying and performing the Etudes as a personal challenge she has dubbed The Chopin Project. As part of the project, Swigger has traveled across the United States to play historical pianos similar to the ones Chopin would have played. The pianist discussed the transformation of her life and her musicianship as she undertook The Chopin Project prior to the concert in a TEDx Talk. The full story about The Chopin Project can be read on San Luis Obispo Tribune.

[Source: press release, sanluisobispo.com]

 

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OBITUARY

LIDIA KIEROŃCZYK

Lidia Kierończyk passed away on April 3, 2017 after fighting a long illness. She was a teacher of music theory and since 1999, she was the head of the theory section in the School of Music on Głogowska Street in Poznań. She was associated with the Poznań School of Talents (now called: The Jadwiga Kaliszewska School of Music and General Education in Poznań). For over four decades Lidia Kierończyk was also a teacher of Aural Skills in the Ignacy Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań.

 

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ANNIVERSARIES
BORN THIS MONTH:
  • 2 May 1846: Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI (d. 23 July 1909), composer
  • 2 May 1913: Florian DABROWSKI, composer and teacher
  • 5 May 1819: Stanislaw MONIUSZKO (d. 4 June 1872), composer - Father of Polish Opera
  • 12 May 1805: Jan Nepomucen BOBROWICZ (d. 2 November 1881), guitarist and composer
  • 17 May 1943: Joanna BRUZDOWICZ, composer living in France, 2003 PMC Paderewski Lecturer
  • 18 May 1905: Wlodzimierz ORMICKI, composer, conductor, music theoretician
  • 20 May 1903: Jerzy FITELBERG (d. 25 April 1951), composer, son of the famous conductor
  • 20 May : Juliana GONDEK, Polish-American mezzo-soprano and vocal pedagogue
  • 28 May 1836: Jan KARŁOWICZ (d. 14 June 1903), father of composer Mieczysław
  • 29 May 1903: Marian NEUTEICH (d. 1943, Warsaw), composer and cellist
  • 31 May 1932: Boguslaw MADEY, conductor and composer
  • 31 May 1913: Irena GARZTECKA (d. 14 November 1963), composer and pianist

DIED THIS MONTH:

  • 1 May 1948: Marcel POPLAWSKI (b. 1882), composer and teacher, studied law and engineering before turning to composition
  • 4 May 1896: Józef SIKORSKI (b. 1813), composer and music theorist
  • 6 May 1892: Nikodem BIERNACKI (b. 1826), violinist and composer
    8 May 2012: Roman TOTENBERG (b. 1911), violinist
  • 10 May 1964: Hanna SKALSKA-SZEMIOTH (b. 29 April 1921), composer, student of Sikorski
  • 13 May 1958: Eugeniusz MOSSAKOWSKI (b. 1885), opera singer (baritone)
  • 21 May 1848: Felix JANIEWICZ (b. 1762), violinist, conductor, and composer
  • 21 May 2007: Adam FALKIEWICZ (b. 4 Jan 1980), composer
  • 23 May 1957: Alicja SIMON (b.1879), musicologist
  • 25 May 1917: Edward RESZKE (b. 1853), opera singer (bass), brother of Jan
  • 31 May 2006: Franciszek WYBRAŃCZYK (b. 28 May 1934), co-founder and former director of the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, organizer and promoter of Polish and European music

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Copyright 2017 by the Polish Music Center

Send your comments and inquiries to: polmusic@thornton.usc.edu
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Layout Assistance: Thuy Le, Charles Bragg
Translation Assistance: Marek Żebrowski, Tomasz Fechner

Contributions from:
Chopin Fdn of the US, Tomasz Fechner, Jane Park,
Marta Ptaszyńska, Elzbieta Sikora, 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 Thuy Le & Krysta Close, May 3, 2017


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