Polish Music Newsletter

November 2013, Vol. 19, No. 11. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California

Anniversaries  | Discography | Festivals | Lutoslawski Year
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2013 Youth Competition winners and judges:
(R-L) Krzesimir Dębski, Sydney Haughian, Ivan Davidek, Bella Oldenburg,
India d’Avignon, Daniel Ha, Evan Lin, Kevin Park, and Marek Zebrowski

The 2013 Paderewski Youth Piano Competition auditions were held at Cass Winery on Saturday, October 26. Fourteen young pianists from three Central Coast Counties (Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey) competed for cash prizes, the opportunity to perform at the Winners’ Concert during the 2013 Paderewski Festival, and consideration for participating in the 2015 Cultural Exchange Program in Poland. Presided by Marek Żebrowski—Paderewski Festival Artistic Director and Director of the Polish Music Center at USC Thornton School of Music—the Competition jury also included composer and conductor Krzesimir Dębski, as well as India d’Avignon, a Cal Poly Professor and Paderewski Festival Board member.

The Youth Piano Competition winners listed below will perform at the Paso Robles Inn on Saturday, November 9 at 4 p.m. in a program of solo piano works by Bach, Chopin, Paderewski, Mendelssohn, Ginastera, Khachaturian and Villa-Lobos. Admission to this concert is free and open to the public.

Biographies of the 2013 Youth Competition Finalists:

Bella OldenburgBella Oldenburg (14, Honorable Mention) lives in San Luis Obispo and has studied piano with Alan Boehmer since she was five. She attended the Los Ranchos Elementary from 2006-2012 and is now a seventh-grader at San Luis Obispo Classical Academy. Bella loves to create and share music by playing piano at retirement homes. She is also a competitive gymnast, an avid dancer, and a devoted student of literature and world history. In her personal essay Bella wrote that, “Music takes me to another place mentally, and I agree with Beethoven when he said: Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.”

Ivan DavidekIvan Davidek (14, Honorable Mention) is a ninth grader at Carmel High School who began to study piano at the age of eight. Currently he studies with Irene Kendall. He has participated in a number of piano competitions, including the 2012 Music Teachers’ Association of CA, Monterey County Colleges of Arts Competition, winning several awards and certificates of merit. For the past two years Ivan has performed as trombonist with the Carmel Middle School Jazz Ensemble, Monterey Youth Jazz Band, and California All-Northern Honor Band. Ivan refers to the piano as “my sanctuary,” adding that “playing piano is an artistic way to let my mind be free.”

Sydney HaughianSydney Haughian (13, Third Place - Junior Division) attends eighth grade at Old Mission School in San Luis Obispo. She started playing piano at the age of five, and her teachers include Iva Svitek and Alan Boehmer. An honor student, Sydney is a two-time recipient of Technology Award for outstanding work in computer class. She has competed in the Paderewski Youth Piano Competition annually since 2010, and performed during the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles as well as in various retirement homes in San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, and Morro Bay. An avid golfer, Sydney has also won local golf championships. In her spare time Sydney pursues graphic design and architecture and cooks for her family and friends.

Kevin ParkKevin Park (12, Second Place - Junior Division), a straight A-plus student at Orcutt Junior High School, has studied piano for seven years, the last four with Dr. Lynne Garrett. He participated in the Youth Competition in 2011 and 2012, and placed among the finalists both times. In 2010 Kevin was the district winner of the Bartok and Honors Piano competitions, and placed second in a statewide MTNA Competition in San Mateo in 2011. Kevin is also an accomplished violinist, who plays in the San Luis Obispo Youth Academy String Orchestra and studies violin with Kasey Hodgson. Math is Kevin’s favorite subject and he is a two-time winner of the North County’s Math Superbowl. In his free time he enjoys baseball, tennis, basketball, and rides his skateboard with friends.

Daniel HaDaniel Ha (13, First Place - Junior Division) began to study piano at the age of nine and for the past three years has been a student of Dr. Lynne Garrett. A district winner of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers Honors Competition, Daniel has participated in the Music Academy of the West MERIT Program in Santa Barbara. He has entered the Paderewski Youth Piano Competition in 2010, 2011 and 2012, receiving the Honorable Mention, First Place, and Second Place in the Junior Division. In June 2013 Daniel participated in the Cultural Exchange Program in Poland jointly run by the Paderewski Festival and the Province of Tarnów. According to Daniel, “Playing with peers that love music as much as I do and being mentored by passionate musicians really inspired me to be the best musician that I can be. I loved spending ten days in Poland, making new friends from Poland and the Ukraine, and experiencing the amazing country.”

Evan LinEvan Lin (16, Paderewski Legacy Award), a four-time finalist in the Paderewski Youth Piano Competition for the past six years and participant in the 2011 Cultural Exchange Program in Poland, attends San Luis Obispo High School. He began to study piano with Torsten Juul-Borre and is currently studying with Alan Boehmer. As the leader of a percussion group, Evan performers regularly with the Honor Jazz Band, shares his talents at various charity events around the Central Coast, and is a community service volunteer, playing for the elderly in nursing homes. Evan’s favorite composers include Beethoven, Mozart and Paderewski, and he would like to use his talent to teach young people to appreciate classical music. He further states that, “Piano has opened my world since fifth grade. I used to be shy and timid, but now I am outgoing and always willing to share my talents with others. I have many friends and they all admire my musicality.”

[Sources: press release, paderewskifest.com]


NOVEMBER 7-10, 2013
Event Details:

The Panic Duo—Pasha Tseitlin, violin and Nic Gerpe, piano—will open the 2013 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles. The Panic Duo Chamber Music Concert will be held at Cass Winery on Thursday, November 7 at 6:30 p.m.  The Panic Duo program includes works by Krzesimir Dębski, Karol Szymanowski, and Henryk Wieniawski.

Panic DuoDescribed as “exciting,” “virtuosic” and “irresistible,” Panic Duo is a Los-Angeles based ensemble dedicated to the music of our time. Since 2009 violinist Pasha Tseitlin and pianist Nic Gerpe have presented an exciting variety of repertoire to their audiences, freely mixing styles and periods, from classical and contemporary to jazz, modernist, and world-music. Over the past few years Panic Duo has collaborated with composers such as Gernot Wolfgang, Donald Crockett, Erica Muhl and Juhi Bansal, commissioning, premiering, and recording new works for violin and piano. Panic Duo’s repertoire also includes such twentieth century classics as Karol Szymanowski’s Mythes, John Corigliano’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, and the lyrical and ethereal Four Nocturnes of George Crumb. Over the past few years, Panic Duo has performed at venues throughout California, and served as the artists in residence for the 2013 New Lens Concert Series.

Krzesimir Dębski’s Sonata for Piano and Violin (2013) will receive its Central Coast premiere at the Cass Winery Concert. Cast in a traditional three-movement form, Dębski’s Sonata explores the virtuoso properties of violin and piano, providing an exhilarating experience for the audience. Karol Szymanowski’s Mythes for Violin and Piano (1915) are a modern classic with three sensuous, evocative musical depictions of ancient Greek themes. First performed in 1916 by Szymanowski and his violinist friend, Paweł Kochański, the composer admitted to creating “… a new style, a new expression of violin playing, a truly epoch-making thing.” Henryk Wieniawski’s Polonaise brillante (1870) is a mature work where lyricism and virtuosity coexist in a perfect balance. Wieniawski performed it on numerous occasions on his North American tour in the mid-1870s with the Russian virtuoso pianist and friend, Nicolas Rubinstein.

Located at 7350 Linne Road on the east side of Paso Robles, Cass Winery is a boutique winery featuring some of the finest and rare Rhone varietals. In addition to tasting facilities, Cass Winery Café is open daily for specialized food and wine pairings. One of the founding sponsors of the Paderewski Festival, the Barrel Room at Cass Winery served as a venue for concerts and other Festival-related musical events since 2006.

Thursday, November 7, 2013 | No host wine reception - 6:00 p.m., Concert - 6:30 p.m., Optional buffet dinner after concert
Paderewski Festival – Cass Winery Series Chamber Music Concert
Cass Winery – 7350 Linne Road, Paso Robles, CA
Tickets: $20/30/50/60  – purchase at www.brownpapertickets.com

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The 2013 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles invites all music students, faculty and general public to a Master class with pianist Karol Radziwonowicz. The event will take place at the Park Ballroom on Friday, November 8, at 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Karol RadziwonowiczKarol Radziwonowicz is a world-famous pianist educated in Poland and in the United States of America, who has performed throughout Europe, North and South America, Australia, and Asia. After graduating from the Chopin National Music Academy in Warsaw with the highest honors, Radziwonowicz was a 1987-1988 Fulbright Fellow at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. A First Prize winner at the Paderewski Piano Competition in Warsaw and the Słupsk (Poland) Piano Competition, Karol Radziwonowicz also received the Audience Award at the Liszt International Piano Competition in Utrecht (The Netherlands) in 1986.

Radziwonowicz was the first pianist in the world to register the complete piano works of Ignacy Jan Paderewski on Selene Records, for whom he also recorded rarely-heard piano compositions by Polish composers Juliusz Zarębski and Karol Mikuli. In February 2010, a recording of Radziwonowicz’s interpretations of Chopin’s music was taken aboard the NASA Space Shuttle mission STS-130 to the International Space Station, an achievement marked by EMI’s release of the disc, “Chopin: the Space Concert.”

A frequent guest lecturer, Karol Radziwonowicz has given master classes at universities and music academies in Europe and the United States. He has served as a juror for the 1998 and 2001 editions of the Paderewski International Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland, the 2006 Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in Estonia, and currently as the Jury President of the Chopin’s Golden Ring Piano Competition in Slovenia. Since its inception in 2004, Radziwonowicz has also served as President of the International Paderewski Music Society in Warsaw.

Located at 1232 Park Street in in the heart of historic downtown Paso Robles the Park Ballroom dates from 1912 and spans the second and third floors of the former Odd Fellows’ Building. For over a century it has been a very popular address for all kinds of civic and social events. The recently-restored premises welcome a great variety of functions, from banquets and meetings to concerts and other artistic events. More information on Park Ballroom at: www.parkballroom.com.

Friday, November 8, 2013 |2:00 p.m.
Paderewski Festival – Master Class with Karol Radziwonowicz
Park Ballroom  – 1232 Park Street, Paso Robles, CA
Admission is free and open to the public – RSVP at www.brownpapertickets.com

* * * * *

Later that evening, the 2013 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles will host a Jazz and Film Music Concert with Krzesimir Dębski and Friends. The concert will be held at the Park Ballroom in downtown Paso Robles on Friday, November 8 at 7:00 p.m.


Krzesimir Dębski is a prominent Polish composer, violinist, pianist, and a celebrated orchestral conductor. Equally at home in the world of jazz and classical music, Dębski is celebrated in Poland for his numerous and highly popular film scores. He is also famous as a songwriter and arranger, and a composer of music for theatre. Since 1980 Dębski toured Europe and North America as violinist with the celebrated String Connection ensemble, giving well over one thousand concerts, including radio and television appearances. Winner of the First Prize in the International Jazz Competition in Belgium, Dębski was also honored by Jazz Forum Magazine with its Best Violinist and Best Arranger Prizes. Listed in 1985 as one of the ten best jazz violinists by Down Beat Magazine, Dębski had since then scored over one hundred films, and numerous TV series. Mr. Dębski’s soundtrack for Ogniem i mieczem went platinum in Poland, selling over two hundred thousand copies. In great demand as conductor and performer, his recent foreign tours included performances in Mexico, India, Brazil, Germany, and the United States. Dębski’s music has been recorded on MAG Music, Pool Music, Pomarton, EMI Classics, Polstar, Warner Music Poland, Polskie Nagrania, Proton, Koch, BMG Poland, Si Music, Universal Music Polska, and Pol Music labels.

In his November 8 concert Mr. Dębski will be assisted by the following artists:

Drummer Darryl “Munyungo” Jackson, one of the most versatile and original percussionists whose extensive recordings include performances with Aga Zaryan, Bill Summers, Billy Mitchell, Christian McBride, Diana Ross, Dianne Reeves, Doc Powell, Fred Ramirez, George Howard, Herbie Hancock, Juan Carlos Quintero, Kenny Loggins, Miles Davis, Norman Brown, Stan Keiser, Stanley Clarke, Steve Wonder, and Sting, among many others. In addition to concert tours and recording work, Munyungo is currently on the staff of the Watts Towers Art Center in Los Angeles, where he helps to present the annual Fall Drum Festival featuring master drummers from all over the world, leads his own band, Jungle Book, conducts local drum clinics teaching ethnic percussion to aspiring professionals, and makes frequent appearances in film and television.

Anna Jurksztowicz, a popular singer and jazz vocalist, became a professional performer at the age of sixteen, sharing the stage with the most famous Polish entertainers. Throughout the 1980s Jurksztowicz was a lead vocalist of a jazz vocal group Music Market that specialized in gospel and spiritual music. She recorded numerous albums, film soundtracks, and toured throughout Europe, North America and Asia. Ms. Jurksztowicz’s latest CD features contemplative music from various religious and spiritual traditions in her own arrangements, recorded for the California-based Spirit Voyage Records.

Guitarist Larry Koonse, a multiple Grammy Award nominee, has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Academy of Music, Disney Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and has been a featured soloist with the L.A. Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and many other orchestras throughout the world. Having been featured on over 250 albums, Larry has recorded with Cleo Laine, Al Hirt, Jimmy Rowles, Bob Brookmeyer, Luciana Souza, Lee Konitz, Larry Goldings, Mel Torme, Alan Broadbent, Ray Brown, Bill Perkins, Toots Thielemanns, Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt, David Friesen, Bob Sheppard, Warne Marsh, Charlie Haden, Natalie Cole and many other jazz artists. His solo guitar work was featured throughout Crazy, a feature film chronicling the life of the great guitarist Hank Garland.

Bassist Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz is one of the most sought after bass players on the West Coast. He performed with Brad Mehldau, Billy Higgins, Pat Metheny, Joe Lovano, Eddie Henderson, Charles Lloyd, John Abercrombie, Bennie Maupin, Lee Konitz, Peter Erskine, Alan Pasqua, Art Farmer, Horace Silver, Alice and Ravi Coltrane, James Newton, Marian McPartland, Bob Sheppard, Joe LaBarbera, Buddy De Franco, Terry Gibbs, Anthony Wilson Nonet, and Los Angeles Jazz Quartet. Darek recorded over 100 albums and performed hundreds of concerts throughout America, Europe and Asia. Several of his recordings were nominated for Grammy Awards. In 2003, he was nominated for the Fryderyk Award in Poland in the category Jazz Musician of the Year. In 2005 Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz was voted the Best Acoustic Bassist in the Jazz Top readers’ poll in Jazz Forum magazine.

More information on Park Ballroom at: www.parkballroom.com.

Friday, November 8, 2013 | 7 p.m.
Paderewski Festival – Jazz and Film Music Concert
Park Ballroom, 1232 Park Street, Paso Robles
Tickets: $10/20/30 – purchase at www.brownpapertickets.com

* * * * *

The 2013 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles announces a documentary film screening about Ignacy Jan Paderewski and an exhibit about the history of Paderewski’s heart. The film screening takes place on Saturday, November 9 at 10 a.m. at the Park Cinema complex in the heart of Paso Robles. The Paderewski Heart exhibit opens on Saturday, November 9 at 11 a.m. at the Studios at the Park, a few steps down from the Park Cinemas building. Both events are free and open to the public.

The documentary film Paderewski—The Man of Action, Success and Fame presents the history of the great Polish patriot, world-famous pianist and composer, statesman, diplomat, politician and philanthropist. Thanks to Paderewski Poland regained independence after World War I. Paderewski’s great and memorable deeds are discussed by several historical witnesses, including U.S. presidents Ronald Regan, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, George Bush Sr., and Poland’s president Lech Wałęsa, as well as by the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Józef Glemp, and musicologists Jerzy Waldorff and Jan Popis. The film features Paderewski’s own piano performances and includes footage of his last journey from Arlington National Cemetery in Washington to the crypt at the Basilica of St. John in Warsaw’s Old Town. The 96-year old General Edward Rowny (U.S. Army, Ret.), negotiator and co-creator of European nuclear disarmament treaties, quotes the opening line of Poland’s national anthem, “Poland is not yet lost, as long as we live,” which serves as the film’s motto. Running time: 40 minutes. In Polish with English subtitles. Directed and produced by Wiesław Dąbrowski.

The Paderewski Heart exhibit traces a fascinating history of Paderewski’s heart, following his burial at the Arlington National Cemetery in 1941. Separated before the burial, Paderewski’s heart was embalmed and interred at the Cypress Hill Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.  Rediscovered in 1960, it was eventually exhumed and reburied at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa in Doylestown, PA in 1983. 23 large panels feature rare photographs and documents further explaining this captivating and little-known story.

Located at 1100 Pine Street, just east of the City Park, Park Cinemas are dedicated to bring the latest films from all around the world to the local audiences. A long-time partner of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, Park Cinemas held screenings of Paderewski’s 1937 feature classic, Moonlight Sonata as well as other films about Paderewski shown in connection with the Festival.

Studios on the Park is a non-profit open studios and art center located at 1130 Pine Street in the heart of Paso’s historic downtown. With nine studios, two galleries and over two dozen artists working in a variety of media, Studios on the Park also conducts educational programs and workshops, and organizes exhibits of local and international artists. Since the opening in 2009, Studios in the Park closely collaborates with the Paderewski Festival as an additional concert venue for young Central Coast talent and by lending exhibit space to the Festival.

Saturday, November 9 | 10 a.m. & noon
10 a.m.: Documentary film screening of Paderewski: Man of Action, Success and Fame
Park Cinemas, 1100 Pine Street, Paso Robles, CA
Noon: Paderewski Heart Exhibit
Studios on the Park, 1130 Pine Street, Paso Robles, CA
Both events are Free and open to the public

* * * * *

The 2013 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles will host the annual Youth Piano Competition Winners’ Recital at the historic Ballroom of Paso Robles Inn on Saturday, November 9. Young pianists from the Central Coast will present a recital of solo works by Bach, Chopin, Paderewski, Mendelssohn, Ginastera, Khachaturian and Villa-Lobos. The concert begins at 4 p.m. and the event is free and open to the public.

Pictured R-L above, the 2013 Youth Competition Winners are: Sydney Haughian (13, Third Place - Junior Division); Ivan Davidek (14, Honorable Mention); Bella Oldenburg (14, Honorable Mention); Daniel Ha (13, First Place - Junior Division); Kevin Park (12, Second Place - Junior Division); and Evan Lin (16, Paderewski Legacy Award).

The historic Paso Robles Inn has been a downtown Paso Robles landmark for well over a century. Built to the highest comfort standards of the day, the Inn was Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s residence every time he visited Paso between the years 1914 and 1939. Rebuilt and reconfigured after a December 1940 fire, the Ballroom is the only original structure from Paderewski’s time, when it served as the elegant dining room for the hotel guests. The Paso Robles Inn has been one of the strongest supporters of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles and since 2007 all Festival Gala concerts were held in the Inn’s Ballroom.

Saturday, November 9, 2013 | 4:00 p.m.
Paderewski Festival: Youth Piano Competition Winners’ Concert
Paso Robles Inn - Ballroom, 1103 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA
Free and open to the public

* * * * *

Also on Saturday, the 2013 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles presents the 2013 Festival Gala Concert with pianist Karol Radziwonowicz. Solo piano works by Frederic Chopin and Ignacy Jan Paderewski will be heard at the historic Ballroom of Paso Robles Inn on Saturday, November 9. The wine reception in the Ballroom lobby begins at 7 p.m. followed by the concert at 7:30 p.m.

Karol RadziwonowiczKarol Radziwonowicz is a world-famous pianist educated in Poland and in the United States of America, who has performed throughout Europe, North and South America, Australia, and Asia. After graduating from the Chopin National Music Academy in Warsaw with the highest honors, Radziwonowicz was a 1987-1988 Fulbright Fellow at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. A First Prize winner at the Paderewski Piano Competition in Warsaw and the Słupsk (Poland) Piano Competition, Karol Radziwonowicz also received the Audience Award at the Liszt International Piano Competition in Utrecht (The Netherlands) in 1986.

Radziwonowicz was the first pianist in the world to register the complete piano works of Ignacy Jan Paderewski on Selene Records, for whom he also recorded rarely-heard piano compositions by Polish composers Juliusz Zarębski and Karol Mikuli. In February 2010, a recording of Radziwonowicz’s interpretations of Chopin’s music was taken aboard the NASA Space Shuttle mission STS-130 to the International Space Station, an achievement marked by EMI’s release of the disc “Chopin: the Space Concert.”

Mr. Radziwonowicz will present a program highlighting two of Poland’s greatest composers of piano music, Frederic Chopin and Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The Chopin group will include Nocturne Op. 9 no. 1, Mazurka Op. 68 no. 2, Fantaisie-Impromptu, Op. 66, Grand Valse brillante Op. 34 no. 2, and will culminate in Chopin’s Ballade in F minor, Op. 52. The Paderewski selections on this recital will include Menuet Op. 14 no. 1, Cracovienne fantastique, Op. 14 no. 6, and Nocturne, Op. 16. no. 4. Paderewski’s magnificent Sonata, Op. 21 will close the Festival Gala program.

Saturday, November 9, 2013 | Wine reception: 7 p.m., Concert: 7:30 p.m.
Paderewski Festival: Gala Concert with Karol Radziwonowicz
Paso Robles Inn - Ballroom, 1103 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA
Tickets: $15/25/35; under 21 Free – purchase at www.brownpapertickets.com

* * * * *

The final event of the 2013 Paderewski Festival will be a lecture by Marek Zebrowski and tour of Paderewski’s former vineyards. This event will take place on the site of Paderewski’s former vineyards at  Epoch Estate Wines on Sunday, November 10.

Marek Zebrowski is the Director of the Polish Music Center at the USC Thornton School of Music, as well as the Artistic Director of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles. He has also authored such informative books as Paderewski in California and Celebrating Chopin & Paderewski, published by the Tumult Foundation. His “Paderewski in Paso” lecture will illuminate certain interesting facets of Paderewski’s life and work in the Central Coast town that he considered his second home in America, and will be illustrated by rare photographs from the Paso Robles Collection housed at the Polish Music Center USC.  

Founded in 2004, Epoch Estate Wines has quickly developed a big reputation for small production, hand-crafted, artisanal wines with abundant personalities. Epoch crafts their wines with minimal intervention in the winery with fruit from meticulously farmed, estate owned, rocky, hillside vineyards, showing a great respect for the legacy that preceded their own on the historic Epoch Vineyard lands and York Mountain Winery.

Sunday, November 10, 2013 | 10 a.m.
Paderewski Festival: Lecture & Vineyard Tour
Epoch Estate Wines – Vineyard & Tasting Room
Tickets: available as a part of the  Festival VIP Pass ($200, all-inclusive)

* * * * *

For additional Festival information, please visit www.paderewskifest.com or call 805. 235. 5409. For ticket orders, please visit www.brownpapertickets.com
(VIP passes available here) or call 800. 838. 3006.

[Sources: press release, paderewskifest.com]




Below is a calendar of performances of the music of Witold Lutosławski being performed throughout the world in November, as presented by his publisher, Chester Music.

Witold Lutosławski: Dance Preludes [Preludia taneczne], 2nd version
Inagi Municipal Plaza, Inagi, Japan
Philharmonia Tama with Asuka Akinaga and Daniel Smith, conductor
Info: www.enso-ka.com

1-2 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski:
Chain 1 [Łańcuch 1]
Music Sacrum Arnhem
New European Ensemble with Keren Motseri, soprano and Christian Karlsen, conductor
Info: www.mssa.nl

Witold Lutosławski: String Quartet
Munich, Germany
Münchener Kammerorchester with Alexander Liebreich, conductor
Info: www.m-k-o.de

Witold Lutosławski: Fanfare for LA Philharmonic
Rabobank Arena Theatre, Bakersfield, CA, USA
Bakersfield Symphony with John Farrer, conductor
Info: www.bsonow.org

Witold Lutosławski: Folk Melodies [Melodie Ludowe]
Wells Cathedral School
Kokoro Ensemble
Info: www.bsolive.com

10 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Fanfare for LA Philharmonic
Witold Lutosławski: Piano Concerto [Koncert na fortepian ]
Filharmonia Olsztyn, Olsztyn, Poland
Orkiestra Filharmonii Warmińsko-Mazurskiej with Beata Bilińska, piano and Piotr Sułkowski, conductor
Info: www.filharmonia.olsztyn.pl

14 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Dance Preludes [Preludia taneczne], 3rd version
Stavanger, Norway
Studenter Orchester with Morten Wensberg, conductor
Info: www.uis.no

15  NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Musique funèbre [Muzyka zalobna]
Witold Lutosławski: Grave [Metamorphoses for cello and strings]
Leipzig, Germany
MDR Sinfonieorchester
Info: www.mdr.de

15 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Little Suite [Mala suita]
St Alfege Church, Greenwich, London, UK
St Paul's Sinfonia
Info: www.stpaulssinfonia.com

16 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Little Suite [Mala suita]
Covent Garden, London, UK
Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra
Info: cgco.org.uk

17 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Concerto for Orchestra [Koncert na orkiestre]
Witold Lutosławski: Livre pour orchestre [Ksiazka na orkiestre]
Essen, Germany
Duisburger Philharmoniker with Rüdiger Bohn, conductor
Info: duisburger-philharmoniker.de

17 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Grave (Metamorphoses for cello and piano)
Wigmore Hall, London, UK
Natalie Clein (cello) and Tamara Stefanovich (piano)
Info: www.wigmore-hall.org.uk

19 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Musique funèbre [Muzyka zalobna]
Cité de la musique – Salle des concerts, Paris, France
Münchner Kammerorchester with Alexandre Tharaud (piano) and Alexander Liebreich, conductor
Info: www.m-k-o.de

22-23 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra [Koncert wiolonczelowy]
Mainz Philharmonic Hall, Wiesbaden, Germany
Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz with Christian Poltera, cello and Hermann Bäumer, conductor
Info: www.orchester-mainz.de

23-24 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Concerto for Orchestra [Koncert na orkiestre]
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysian Philharmonic with Kevin Field, conductor
Info: www.mpo.com.my

23-24 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra [Koncert wiolonczelowy]
St Peters Church, Shaldon, Devon, UK
Torbay Symphony Orchestra
Info: www.torbaysymphony.org

28 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Symphony No. 4
Auditorio Nacional de Música, Madrid.
Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid with Jeffrey Tate, conductor
Info: osm.es

29 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Slides [Przezrocza]
Diamanten, Copenhagen, Denmark
Athelas Sinfonietta
Info: www.athelas.dk

30 NOVEMBER 2013
Witold Lutosławski: Chain 3 [
University of York, York, UK
University of York Symphony Orchestra
Info: www.york.ac.uk

[Source: musicsalesclassical.com]



lutos_chamberfest2013.jpgTo commemorate the Lutosławski’s centenary, the Academy of Music in Kraków will host the Chamber Music Festival “Witold Lutosławski in the Musical Culture of Poland and Europe” from November 3-9, 2013. Concerts will be held at the Academy of Music (ul. św. Tomasza 43), the Florianka Recital Hall (ul. Basztowa 8) and the Galicia Jewish Museum (ul. Dajwór 18).

From the program notes written by Barbara Skowrońska, via cracow.travel:

Witold Lutosławski was one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, and he has left a permanent mark on the history of music in Poland and around the world. He was an active participant in musical and cultural events, and acted as an ambassador of Polish music abroad. He was granted countless awards and honorary degrees by universities around the globe. To add a human touch to this rather monumental portrayal of Lutosławski, let’s recall that he dropped out of his first university course (he was studying mathematics), provided accompaniment to an ensemble of café revellers, and supported his income by composing popular songs, albeit hiding behind a pseudonym.

Concerts held as part of the festival are an excellent opportunity to hear works from different creative periods of the composer’s life. There will be Variations on a Theme by Paganini for two pianos—his only preserved work from the occupation, when he performed it with Andrzej Panufnik—as well as songs for children written just after the war and set to lyrics by Julian Tuwim, and interpretations of traditional Christmas carols for voice and piano. The programme also includes the aleatoric String Quartet, composed in 1964, in which individual performers play their parts independently of others, choosing their own tempo and lengths of pauses. The composer’s latter decades are represented by Partita and Grave from the 1980s, and one of his last ever pieces: Subito for violin and piano. The background is provided by a musical panorama of the 20th century, intertwining Stravinsky, Bartók and Karłowicz—all of whom were an inspiration for Lutosławski—with his contemporaries Panufnik, Maciejewski, Piazzolla and Bacewicz, as well as his successors Kilar, Penderecki and Górecki.

We will hear leading Polish artists and chamber ensembles, including the soprano Iwona Sobotka, the pianist Janusz Wawrowski, the Dafô Quartet and the Royal String Quartet. The programme is completed by scholarly sessions, when musicologists, critics and leaders of cultural organisations (including Regina Chłopicka, Zbigniew Skowron, Ewa Wójtowicz, Jerzy Kornowicz, Grzegorz Michalski and Andrzej Kosowski) discuss Lutosławski’s work in the broader context of Polish music of the last century.

“My efforts are not meant to win over as many listeners and fans as possible,” Lutosławski once said. “I do not strive to unite, but rather to discover. To discover those who, in the deepest recesses of their souls, feel the same as I do.” Let’s allow his extraordinary music to discover us.

[Sources: polmic.pl, cracow.travel]



Derwid_m340.jpgSongs of Derwid | Witold Lutosławski – The Warsaw Hackney Driver
Singers: Jerzy Michotek, Ludmiła Jakubczak, Olgierd Buczek, Regina Bielska, Rena Rolska, Sława Przybylska, Tadeusz Woźniakowski, Wiesława Drojecka, Włodzimierz Kotarba
Polskie Nagrania PNCD 1503

From the Polskie Nagrania website (translated via lutoslawski.culture.pl):

Witold Lutosławski, one of the most illustrious composers of the 20th century, did not shy away from writing light music, mostly songs. Though often marginalized by the composer – as suggested by the fact that Lutosławski wrote his light music pseudonymously – this relatively unknown episode in his career may have provided a stable source of Lutosławski’s income.

In the interwar period, Lutosławski worked as an accompanist at the “Dana” choir. During the occupation, he was performing light music and interpretations of other composers’ miniatures, chiefly in a duo with Andrzej Panufnik, in such Warsaw’s cafes as “SiM,” “Lira,” “Aria,” and “U aktorek.” Immediately after the war, he took up a position at the Polish Radio, where he composed incidental music to radio and theater plays.

In 1957, Witold Lutosławski turned to the Association of Stage Writers and Composers (ZAiKS) for the official approval of his pseudonym “Bardos,” which the composer intended to use when writing light music. It was under this pseudonym that Lutosławski composed five songs: a waltz (“The Circus is Coming” [Cyrk jedzie]), a foxtrot (“The Witch” [Czarownica]), and three tangos (“Faraway Journey” [Daleka podróż], “How to Conquer Hearts” [Jak zdobywać serduszka] and “Silent Heart” [Milczące serce]). However, as “Bardos” turned out to be the name of a living Hungarian composer, Lutosławski changed his pseudonym to “Derwid,” thus successfully concealing his true identity throughout the years that followed.

At the turn of the 1950s, the composer wrote 37 dance songs which enjoyed great popularity at the time. Most of them were written in 1958, including the then popular tangos “How to Conquer Hearts,” “The Captain’s Ballad” [Kapitańska ballada], “In an Amusement Park” [W lunaparku], and “To Fall in Love with the Wind” [Zakochać się w wietrze]. Among these compositions, it was “The Warsaw Hackney Driver” [Warszawski dorożkarz] performed by Olgierd Buczek and “I’m Not Expecting Anyone Today” [Nie oczekuję dziś nikogo] sung by Rena Rolska (honored as the Radio Song of January 1960) that proved to be most popular. Derwid’s songs were also performed by other exquisite Polish singers, such as Sława Przybylska, Ludmiła Jakubczak, Jerzy Michotek, as well as Mieczysław Fogg, Kalina Jędrusik, Halina Kunicka, Irena Santor, Hanna Rek and Violetta Villas.

The “Songs of Derwid” CD contains original recordings of 14 songs by Witold Lutosławski from the 1950s and 60s, including such pieces as ”I’m Not Expecting Anyone Today,” “Stains on the Sun” [Plamy na słońcu], “In an Empty Room” [W pustym pokoju], “The Warsaw Hackney Driver” and many others.

[Sources: lutoslawski.culture.pl, polskienagrania.com.pl]





merkel-angela.jpg| penderecki2.jpg

“Krzysztof Penderecki has made his presence felt in Polish-German cultural relations as a composer, conductor, teacher and adviser, in particular as a highly recognized partner and friend. He is doubtless among the most eminent European artists, and his works are milestones in the history of music,” wrote Angela Merkel in her congratulatory letter on the occasion of Krzysztof Penderecki’s 80th birthday. The German Chancellor stressed the composer’s special ties with German culture, including numerous performances and premieres of his works.

“It is with gratitude and great esteem for Krzysztof Penderecki’s oeuvre that I join the many congratulations on his 80th birthday, wishing him all the best and unceasing creative energy,” wrote Angela Merkel. Congratulations were also offered by Günter Winands, Germany's Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. The letters will be published in a special publication accompanying Krzysztof Penderecki’s Festival in Warsaw.

[Source: press release via beethoven.org.pl]



festiwal_pendereckiego_2013.jpgFrom November 17–23, the music of Krzysztof Penderecki will be celebrated throughout Warsaw on the occasion of the composer’s 80th birthday. The Krzysztof Penderecki Festival – Marking the Composer’s 80th Birthday is organized by the Ludwig van Beethoven Association.

Sunday, 17 November, 6:00 pm
The Royal Castle, Plac Zamkowy 4, Warsaw
3 Miniatures for Clarinet and Piano
Darko Brlek – clarinet; Marek Bracha – piano; Kwartet Dafô [Justyna Duda (violin), Danuta Augustyn (violin), Aneta Dumanowska (viola), Anna Armatys (cello)]; Jurek Dybał – double-bass
Suite for Cello Solo
Danjulo Ishizaka – cello
Sextet for Clarinet, Horn, String Trio and Piano
Michel Lethiec – clarinet; André Cazalet – French horn; Julian Rachlin – violin; Yuri Bashmet – viola; Maja Bogdanovic – cello; Barry Douglas – piano
Info: www.zamek-krolewski.pl

Monday, 18 November, 7:00 pm
Warsaw Philharmonic – Concert Hall, ul. Sienkiewicza 10, Warsaw
Sinfonietta per archi
Sinfonietta No. 2

Massimo Mercelli – flute; Andres Mustonen – conductor; Sinfonia Varsovia
Violin Concerto No. 2 “Metamorphosen”
Julian Rachlin – violin; Lawrence Foster – conductor; Sinfonia Varsovia
Symphony No. 4
Lorin Maazel – conductor; Sinfonia Varsovia
Info: www.filharmonia.pl

Tuesday, 19 November, 7:00 pm
Warsaw Philharmonic – Concert Hall, ul. Sienkiewicza 10, Warsaw
Dimensions of Time and Silence
Jerzy Maksymiuk – conductor; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Double Concerto for Violin and Viola
Fumiaki Miura – violin; Julian Rachlin – viola; Rafael Payare – conductor; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Three Chinese Songs for Baritone and Chamber Orchestra
Thomas Bauer – baritone; Long Yu – conductor; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Symphony No. 2 “Christmas”
Marek Janowski – conductor; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Info: www.filharmonia.pl

Wednesday, 20 November, 5:00 pm
Warsaw Philharmonic – Chamber Music Hall, ul. Moniuszki 5, Warsaw
Quartet for Clarinet and String Trio
Michel Lethiec – clarinet; Shanghai Quartet
Cadenza per viola sola
Grigori Zhyslin – viola
Baumgesang mit Epilog - Aulis Sallinen (1935)
Arto Noras – cello; Barry Douglas – piano
String Quartet No. 1
String Quartet No. 2

String Quartet No. 3 “Leaves from an Unwritten Diary”
Quartet for Clarinet and String Trio

Michel Lethiec – clarinet; Shanghai Quartet [Weigang Li (violin), Yi-Wen Jiang (violin), Honggang Li (viola), Nicholas Tzavaras (cello)]
Info: www.filharmonia.pl

Wednesday, 20 November, 7:00 pm
Warsaw Philharmonic – Concert Hall, ul. Sienkiewicza 10, Warsaw
De Natura Sonoris III
Rafael Payare – conductor; Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Flute Concerto
Łukasz Długosz – flute; Jesús López-Cobos – conductor; Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Largo for Cello and Orchestra
Claudio Bohórquez – cello; Massimiliano Valdés – conductor; Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Symphony No. 8 “Lieder der Vergänglichkeit” [Songs of Transience]
Michaela Kaune – soprano; Agnieszka Rehlis – mezzo-soprano; Mariusz Godlewski – baritone; Jiří Bělohlávek – conductor; Krakow Philharmonic Choir; Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Info: www.filharmonia.pl

Thursday, 21 November, 5:00 pm
Warsaw Philharmonic – Chamber Music Hall, ul. Moniuszki 5, Warsaw
PPP (Penderecki’s Party Piece) - Paul Patterson (1947)
Aleksandra Kuls – violin; Aleksandra Świgut – piano
Violin Sonata No. 1
Agata Szymczewska – violin; Justyna Danczowska – piano
Violin Sonata No. 2
Julian Rachlin – violin; Itamar Golan – piano
Info: www.filharmonia.pl

Thursday, 21 November, 7:00 pm
Warsaw Philharmonic – Concert Hall, ul. Sienkiewicza 10, Warsaw
Canticum Canticorum Salomonis for Sixteen-part Mixed Choir and Chamber Orchestra
Strophes for Soprano, Speaker and 10 Instruments
Psalms of David for Mixed Choir, String Instruments and Percussion
Marek Moś – conductor; Olga Pasiecznik – soprano; Camerata Silesia The Katowice City Singers’ Ensemble; Anna Szostak - choir master; AUKSO Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy
Seven Gates of Jerusalem. Symphony No. 7
Izabela Matuła – soprano; Izabela Kłosińska – soprano; Helena Zubanovich – mezzo-soprano; Adam Zdunikowski – tenor; Wojtek Gierlach – bass; Alberto Mizrahi – narrator; Jacek Kaspszyk – conductor; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Info: www.filharmonia.pl

Friday, 22 November, 5:00 pm
Warsaw Philharmonic -Chamber Music Hall, ul. Moniuszki 5, Warsaw
Agnus Dei (ver. for 8 cellos)
Arto Noras – cello; Daniel Müller-Schott – cello; Magdalena Bojanowicz – cello; Bartosz Koziak –cello; Karolina Jaroszewska – cello; Marcin Zdunik – cello; Tomasz Daroch – cello; Marta Kordykiewicz – cello; Ivan Monighetti - conductor
Sinfonietta No. 3
Viola Concerto (cello version)
Serenade for strings
Rafał Kwiatkowski – cello; Maciej Żółtowski – conductor; Radom Chamber Orchestra
Info: www.filharmonia.pl

Friday, 22 November, 7:00 pm
Warsaw Philharmonic – Concert Hall, ul. Sienkiewicza 10, Warsaw
De Natura Sonoris II
Concerto for Horn and Orchestra “Winterreise” [Winter Journey]
Radovan Vlatković – French horn; Leonard Slatkin – conductor; Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice (NOSPR)
Violin Concerto No. 1
Konstanty Andrzej Kulka – violin; Gabriel Chmura – conductor; Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice (NOSPR)
Olga Pasiecznik – soprano; Alberto Mizrahi – cantor; Daniel Olbrychski – narrator; Alexander Liebreich – conductor; Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Choir; Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice (NOSPR)
Info: www.filharmonia.pl

Saturday, 23 November, 10:00 am
St. John’s Archcathedral, ul. Świętojańska 8, Warsaw
Holy Mass concelebrated by Archbishop Józef Kowalczyk metropolita Primate of Poland and Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz
Missa Brevis
Jan Łukaszewski – conductor; Polish Chamber Choir
Info: www.katedra.mkw.pl

Saturday, 23 November, 7:00 pm
Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, Plac Teatralny 1, Warsaw
Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima
Krzysztof Urbański – conductor; Sinfonia Varsovia
Duo Concertante for Violin and Double Bass
Anne-Sophie Mutter – violin; Roman Patkoló – double bass
Concerto Grosso for 3 Cellos and Orchestra
Arto Noras – cello; Ivan Monighetti – cello; Daniel Müller-Schott – cello; Charles Dutoit – conductor; Sinfonia Varsovia
Valery Gergiev – conductor; Iwona Hossa – soprano I ; Ewa Vesin – soprano II; Agnieszka Rehlis – mezzo-soprano; Krystian Krzeszowiak – tenor; Nikolay Didenko – bass; Warsaw Philharmonic Choir; Choir of the Teatr Wielki – National Opera; Warsaw Boys Choir; Sinfonia Varsovia
Info: www.teatrwielki.pl

[Source: krzysztofpenderecki.eu]



pender_jubilee_olsztyn.jpgOn November 10, the Olsztyn Philharmonic will celebrate the 2013 Lutosławski Year and Penderecki’s 80th birthday with a jubilee concert entitled "Podróże z muzyką. Witold Lutosławski" [Travels With Music - Witold Lutosławski]. Maestro Penderecki as well as the orchestra’s Artistic Director, Piotr Sułkowski, will lead the Olsztyn Philharmonic and soloists  Beata Bilińska – piano, Marianna Vasileva – violin, Robert Kabara – viola in a program of:
Lutosławski’s Fanfare for the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Lutosławski’s Piano Concerto; and Penderecki’s – Double Concerto for violin and viola (2012).

November 10, 2013 | 6:00 pm
Jubille Concert Celebrating Lutosławski & Penderecki
Olsztyn Philharmonic of the Warmia-Mazury Region
Olsztyn, Poland
Info: www.filharmonia.olsztyn.pl

[Source: filharmonia.olsztyn.pl]



Maksymiuk.jpgOn November 9, the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki’s 80th birthday with a concert featuring Jerzy Maksymiuk – conductor and Łukasz Długosz – flute. The program will include Penderecki’s Threnody To the Victims of Hiroshima for 52 String Instruments and his Flute Concerto, as well as the Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10 of Dmitri Shostakovich.

November 9, 2013 | 6:00 p.m.
Celebration of the 80th Birthday of Penderecki
Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Kraków – Philharmonic Hall
ul. Zwierzyniecka 1, 31 - 103 Kraków, Poland

[Source: filharmonia.krakow.pl]






The 25th anniversary edition of Polish film Festival in America (PFFA), the world's most extensive showcase of Polish film and the largest annual Polish cultural event outside of Poland, will take place from Friday, November 8 to Sunday, November 24, 2013 in three major cinematic venues in the Chicago area.  The 25th Anniversary Polish Film Festival in America is possible in part thanks to a generosity of the Polish Film Institute, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, BMO Harris Bank, Star-tech Glass, Muvico Theatres and the Society for Arts.

The VIP Opening Night Gala Screening will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 7:00 P.M. in one of the country's most outstanding and elegant cinema multiplexes Muvico Rosemont 18. The Opening Night Gala Reception with stars of Polish film in attendance will follow the screening from 9:30 P.M. to midnight, and take place at the Society for Arts .The Gala Opening Night of the 25th Polish Film Festival in America will feature extraordinarily beautiful and super talented violinists-singers ALIZMA (Aleksandra – Izabela – Monika) in a special mini-concert. The Closing Night Gala and Award Ceremony will take place in Muvico Rosemont 18 on Sunday, November 24th at 4:00 P.M. For all special screenings and receptions separate invitations are required.

Except for Muvico Rosemont 18, regular PFFA screenings will be held in Facets Cinematheque (1517 West Fullerton Ave.), well-known for its splendid foreign film programming, and Gallery Theatre (1112 N. Milwaukee Ave.), the Festival's primary location for showings of documentary films; the elegant digital space accommodates HD screenings. Occasional screenings are planned for other selected cultural centers, schools and universities in Illinois.

Festival Passes and Opening Night Gala tickets as well as individual tickets are available via  brownpapertickets.com. For more information, call the PFFA at 773-486-9612, visit the official website www.pffamerica.com, or send an e-mail to pffamerica@pffamerica.com

[Source: press release]



copernicus_u-m_40yrs.jpgThe celebrations of the 40th Anniversary of the Copernicus Endowment for Polish Studies at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will include several musical events:

Fri, Nov 1, 7:30 pm
Lecture/Demonstration: The Musical Beauty of Baroque Poland
Featuring Phillip Serna, instructor of double bass and viola da gamba, Valparaiso University and Emily Katayama (MMus ’09), harpsichord.
Koessler Room, Michigan League.

Sat, Nov 2, 8 pm
Concert: Niech Żyje Polska: Long Live Poland!

A concert of Polish Baroque music featuring New Comma Baroque
Tickets & information: www.academyofearlymusic.org
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 306 N. Division, Ann Arbor, MI

Tue, Nov 5, 8 pm
Concert: Hasidic and jazz music by Shofar
Shofar is a Polish ensemble led by reed player and composer Mikołaj Trzaska
Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. 4th Ave., Ann Arbor, MI

This series is sponsored by the Copernicus Endowment and the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies with additional support from the Academy of Early Music, Arts Midwest, CES, CREES, Kerrytown Concert House, U-M Polish Club, and WCED. For a complete list of events in Winter 2014, see www.ii.umich.edu.

[Sources: press release, ii.umich.edu]



National Philharmonic Logo.jpgTen years ago, on July 1, 2003, a musically momentous decision was taken in Washington, D.C. On that date, the National Chamber Orchestra and the Masterworks Chorus decided to merge and form the National Philharmonic. Based in Washington’s northern suburbs, the National Chamber Orchestra was a world-class ensemble with ambitious and varied programming. Led by Maestro Piotr Gajewski, a young and energetic conductor from Poland, the NCO performed around the capital for well over a decade to great critical acclaim.

Less than two years after the merger, in February 2005 the National Philharmonic moved to its brand new headquarters at Bethesda’s Strathmore Music Center. A 2000-seat concert hall offered new opportunities for expanding the Philharmonic’s reach by bringing its audiences excellent programs and world-class artists.

The Washington Post described the Philharmonic as “impeccable, playing with ease and humor” and its Music Director and Conductor, Piotr Gajewski as “immensely talented and insightful conductor, whose standards, taste and sensitivity are impeccable.” Indeed, Gajewski’s musical trajectory in the nation’s capital has been nothing short of spectacular, and he has been widely acknowledged as the chief architect of Philharmonic’s status as one of the most respected orchestras on the East Coast.

gajewski-piotr.jpgBorn in Poland, Gajewski initially studied piano and, after arriving in Boston in 1969, continued at the Preparatory Division of the New England Conservatory while also attending Newton North High School, where he participated in a number of concerts and musical theatre productions. Gajewski later attended Carleton College and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he earned his Bachelor and Master Degrees in orchestral conducting. A 1983 Bernstein Fellow at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival in Western Massachusetts, he continued to study conducting with Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Andre Previn, Gunther Schuller, Gustav Meier, and Maurice Abravanel.

Over the past two decades, Maestro Gajewski has also appeared worldwide as a guest conductor. Returning on numerous occasions to his native Poland, he has appeared with orchestras in Łódź, Katowice and Warsaw, as well as the Royal Philharmonic in Liverpool, England, orchestras in the Czech Republic, Canada, and throughout the United States. A December 2011 review in The Buffalo News saying “Gajewski works flawless magic” is a typical example of lavish praise and standing ovations he gets wherever he performs. Gajewski’s musical achievements have been recognized with a number of awards, including a prize at the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition in New York, and the Montgomery County’s Comcast Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Achievement Award.

Always on a lookout for interesting repertoire selections, Maestro Gajewski has conducted several world premieres of works by such composers as Steven Gerber, Joel Hoffman, Andreas Makris, Gerhard Samuel, and Peter Ware. His recordings of emerging composers’ works for the Koch International label with his original ensemble, the National Chamber Orchestra, also received rave reviews.

Works by Polish composers are also close to Maestro Gajewski’s heart and, over the past decade, the National Philharmonic has programmed a number of compositions by Chopin, Moniuszko, Szymanowski, Lutosławski, and Karłowicz, among others. Gajewski frequently invites Polish soloists and guest conductors to appear in concert with the National Philharmonic, including Jacek Błaszczyk, Piotr Paleczny, Dariusz Skoraczewski, Iwona Sobótka, and Magdalena Wór, among others.

In October 2012 the National Philharmonic was recognized with the distinguished American Prize as a “dynamic organization of choice providing the highest quality orchestral, choral and other musical experiences to enrich and inspire the lives of people in Montgomery County, the Washington, DC metropolitan area and beyond through concerts and educational programs for all ages.” Indeed, bringing music to the widest possible audience has been Maestro Gajewski’s longstanding mission. His highly innovative program “All Kids, All Free, All the Time” provides free concert tickets to thousands of young listeners aged seven to seventeen in the District of Columbia and the surrounding area.

With about thirty concerts annually, the National Philharmonic presents a mix of symphonic and chamber orchestra programs as well as choral and orchestral, chamber music and opera productions. Every year the Philharmonic performs for Montgomery County Public School students, runs the Summer Choral Institute in partnership with the Montgomery College/Rockville Music Department, as well as Summer String Institute that gives hundreds of talented young instrumentalists an opportunity to hone their performing skills.

A generous and well-liked personality, Maestro Gajewski’s public efforts extend well beyond music. With a degree in law, Gajewski is also a very successful local attorney and, since 2007, has been actively involved in Montgomery County politics. With excellent contacts, public recognition and support of the local community, Gajewski was elected to Rockville City Council with a solid mandate from the voters and served two consecutive terms. As unusual as it may seem, combining music with politics actually has a precedent in the career of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, a great Polish pianist, composer and able statesman, who was instrumental in regaining his homeland’s independence after World War I.

For the near term, however, Piotr Gajewski’s sights are set mainly on music, with another season of concerts by the National Philharmonic that was launched with a weekend of all-Beethoven concerts on September 28-29, 2013. The Philharmonic’s 2013 Season highlights include: pianist Brian Ganz continuing his cycle of music by Chopin with “Chopin, the Storyteller” (Feb. 22, 2014) and a concert of Chopin and Moniuszko (March 8-9, 2014); violinist Sarah Chang performing Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (May 17-18, 2014); and pianist Thomas Pandolfi performing Strauss masterpieces (May 31, 2014). Bravo, Maestro Gajewski!

[Source: nationalphilharmonic.org]



The Łazienki Palace complex, with its numerous museums, centers and lush gardens located right in the heart of Warsaw, hosts a series of events commemorating the 153rd anniversary of Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s birth. On Monday, November 4 at the Palace Military Review Hall, the opening of an exhibit dedicated to Paderewski’s artistic and political activities was followed by a world premiere screening of the documentary film, Paderewski—The Man of Action, Success and Fame, directed by Wiesław Dąbrowski. The photo exhibit, curated by the noted photographer Czesław Czapliński, will be on display until December 2 at the Open Air Gallery on the Ujazdowski Avenue side of the Łazienki Palace complex.

On November 6, Paderewski’s actual birthday, the Educational Centre at the Łazienki Palace conducts a day-long series of workshops for students of primary and secondary schools on Paderewski at one of the royal salons that houses a number of Paderewski’s memorabilia.

During the weekend of November 9-10, this space will be open to the public, with free guided tours providing additional information on Paderewski’s role in Poland’s history and music.

November 4-10, 2013
Paderewski 153 Celebrations at Łazienki
Łazienki Palace complex
Agrykoli 1, 00-460 Warsaw
Info: www.lazienki-krolewskie.pl

[Sources: polmic.pl, lazienki-krolewskie.pl]



In addition to their recent performance at the 2013 Paderewski Lecture-Recital and their upcoming performance at the 2013 Paderewski Festival, the Los Angeles-based Panic Duo will give two more recitals in Los Angeles devoted entirely to Polish music in November. Their program of works by 20th and 21st Century Polish composers includes: Sonata for Violin and Piano by Krzesimir Dębski (2013 – premiered by Panic Duo at USC on Oct. 20); Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano (1953) by Krzysztof Penderecki; Subito (1992) by Witold Lutosławski; Cantabile (2000) by Krzesimir Dębski; and Mythes, Op. 30 (1915) by Karol Szymanowski.

The first Los Angeles performance of this recital will be at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music on Thursday November 14, and the second will be at Cal State University Los Angeles on Monday, November 18.

Thursday, November 14, 2013 | 7:30 p.m.
Panic Duo Recital: Works by 20th and 21st Century Polish Composers
Pasadena Conservatory of Music - Upstairs Recital Hall (Room 200)
100 N Hill Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106
Admission: Free

Monday, November 18, 2013 | 7:30 p.m.
Panic Duo Recital: Works by 20th and 21st Century Polish Composers
California State University, Los Angeles - Music Hall
5151 State University Dr., Music, Los Angeles, CA 90032
Admission: Free

[Source: press release]



The Modjeska Club of Art and Culture in Los Angeles will host the greatest star of Polish popular music in the inter-war period and a beloved singer of golden oldies, Hanka Ordonowna, known affectionately as "Ordonka." She is the title character of a play written and directed by Kazimierz Braun, Tajemnice Ordonki, which will be performed by the wonderful Polish actress Agata Pilitowska from the Polish Theater in Toronto. Ms. Pilitowska will be joined by Maria Nowotarska on the stage of the Magicopolis Theater in Santa Monica for this one-night only event. 

The performance will take place next Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 5 p.m. in the Magicopolis Theater, 1418 4th Street in Santa Monica. You may park nearby in city parking structures, and note that street parking is not available. Arrive early! Tickets are $15 for guests and $10 for club members.

Kazimierz Braun is professor of theater at State University of New York in Buffalo, NY, and is the author of numerous plays and books on theater and Polish American history.  His series of plays about famous Polish women includes titles about Helena Modjeska, Maria Skłodowska Curie, Teresa Lempicka, Pola Negri and Hanka Ordonowna.  

Please note that the play is in Polish and includes some of the most popular songs from Poland.  For more information about the Salon and Ms. Pilitowska visit: www.teatrpolskitoronto.com

Send your RSVP to Modjeska Club Board Member Jolanta Wilk at jolanta.wilk@modjeska.org.

Sunday, November 10, 2013 | 5:00 p.m.
Performance of Tajemnice Ordonki featuring Agata Pilitowska
Magicopolis Theater
1418 4th Street, Santa Monica, CA
RSVP: jolanta.wilk@modjeska.org

[Source: press release]



Following a successful solo recital on September 27 accompanied by pianist Jacquelyn Helin, violinist Krzysztof Zimowski continues his series of concerts in New Mexico. Concert master Zimowski leads the NM Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Bach's Violin Concerto in A Minor and Violin Concerto in E Major on November 8 in Socorro and November10 in Albuquerque.

zimowski_krzysztof.jpgBorn in Wroclaw, Poland, violinist Krzysztof Zimowski began his musical studies at the age of six. He participated in music schools and programs organized by La Federation International des Jeunesses MusicaIes (International Federation of Young Musicians); he was concertmaster of the Weikersheim and Bayreuth Symphony Orchestras (Germany), working with Franz Paul Decker (OSM). In 1976, Mr. Zimowski joined the L’Orchestre Mondial des Jeunesses Musicales (World Youth Orchestra) in Brussels and Paris.

He was also appointed concertmaster of the State Opera Orchestra in Wroclaw while still a student at the Wroclaw Academy of Music. He graduated in 1977 with a Master’s degree (high honors) in violin performance. During this active career as a student and orchestral musician, Mr. Zimowski continued to be a soloist in high demand throughout Poland, the Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia), and Germany. It was during this time that he became more interested in chamber music, forming many ensembles, and enrolled in masterclasses with eminent violinist Henryk Szeryng.

Following this intense period of study, Mr. Zimowski entered the competition circuit, garnering third prize in the Karol Szymanowski National Music Competition (Warsaw, 1977). Bolstered by his success, he took the international stage, entering both the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition (London, 1978) and the 6th J.S. Bach International Violin Competition (Leipzig, 1980). He then enrolled for advanced violin studies at the Morley College of Music in London under the guidance of Simon Goldberg and Perry Hart.

In 1981, Mr. Zimowski joined the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, receiving critical acclaimed for his solo appearance in a concert dedicated to the victims of Mexico City’s earthquake. He was appointed joint-concertmaster and soloist of Mexico City Philharmonic when they toured Europe, South America, and the United States, the country which eventually became his home in 1986. He moved to Albuquerque, where he formed the Helios String Quartet, an ensemble-in-residence at the Placitas Artists Series.

Mr. Zimowski performed with the Phoenix Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Symphony, and Santa Fe Pro Musica. He was also the concertmaster and soloist of the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque. In October 1986, he began his long association with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, becoming Associate Concertmaster in 1995 and Concertmaster and soloist in 1999. He has been featured soloist in F. Mendelssohn violin concerto during NMSO 12 cities New Mexico tour 2001. In 2009 season he performed New Mexico premiere of the Karol Szymanowski first Violin Concerto.

He currently serves as Concertmaster of the New Mexico Philharmonic and the Opera Southwest Orchestra. During the summer, Mr. Zimowski performs with the Grant Park Orchestra in the world renowned the Grant Park Music Festival at the Millennium Park in Chicago. Along with his wife Urszula, herself an opera singer, he makes his home in Albuquerque.

Friday, November 8, 2013 | 7:30 pm
Violinist Krzysztof Zimowski performs with NM Philharmonic
Macey Center NM - Tech Institute of Socorro
801 Leroy Pl, Socorro, NM 87801

Sunday, November 10th, 2013 | 2:00 pm
Violinist Krzysztof Zimowski performs with NM Philharmonic
Roy E. Disney Center for Performing Arts - Hispanic Culture Center
1701 4th Street SW, Albuquerque, NM
Tickets: www.vendini.com

[Sources: press release, nmphil.org]



ARC_EnsembleOn November 17 in at the Colburn School of Music in downtown LA, the ARC Ensemble will pay special tribute to three Polish composers during their concert “Poles Apart: Chamber Music from the Garden of Exile.” Featured composers include Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996) – Piano Quintet, Op. 18; Szymon Laks (1901-1983) – Piano Quintet; and Jerzy Fitelberg (1903-1951) – Sonatina for Two Violins.  This program provides a wonderful opportunity to hear lesser known works by Polish-Jewish composers. Hailing from the Royal Conservatory in Toronto and dedicated to exploring all aspects of “music in exile,” the ARC Ensemble’s repertoire also currently includes Weinberg's Clarinet Sonata, so the audience may hear this piece as an encore as well!

This same repertoire will be featured again the following night at Arizona State University in Tempe.

November 17, 2013 | 8:00 PM
Poles Apart: Chamber Music from the Garden of Exile, with the ARC Ensemble

Zipper Hall - The Colburn School of Music
200 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Admission: FREE

[Source: press release]



Kurtis_electra.jpgElektra Kurtis and Ensemble Elektra are "cutting through" cultural borders and genres of music, using the essence of Mediterranean music, spiced with Polish, Greek and Arabic flavor, based in contemporary Jazz and Classical music forms. Ensemble Elektra brings a fresh perspective to creative music, fusing the modern beat of New York's life with its members' multi-ethnic roots.

Friday, November 1, 2013 | 7:00 pm
Elektra Kurtis & Ensemble Elektra: Bridges from the East
The Kosciuszko Foundation House
15 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065
Info: www.thekf.org

* * * * *

Rodzinski_TimeCover.jpgMaestro Rodzinski, a documentary film on world-famous Polish-American conductor Artur Rodzinski (1892-1958). His extraordinary career began in Poland and he eventually became the music director of four of the most important American orchestras: the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Rodzinski introduced American audiences to the contemporary music of Szymanowski, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, and Bartok.

Maestro Rodzinski will be presented by director Bozena Garus-Hockuba, graduate of Film and Television Directing at the University of Katowice. For over 20 years, she has been producing documentaries on various cultural and artistic topics, and on famous personalities. She was a Kosciuszko Foundation Grantee in 2008/09 researching Artur Rodzinski, the subject of the presented film. Bozena Garus-Hockuba is co-founder and president of the film production company BiS FILM. 

Friday, November 22, 2013 | 7:00PM
Screening: Maestro Rodzinski
The Kosciuszko Foundation House
15 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065
Info: www.thekf.org

[Source: press release]



krakusypara_sm.jpgOn the occasion of the 35-th anniversary of the election to the papacy Pope John Paul II and celebrating Polish Independence Day, the Parish of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Los Angeles will host an event entitled “A Meeting of Art and Spirituality” on Sunday, 10 November 2013.

Following a noon-time mass to celebrate the beloved Polish Pope, a program of music, dance, song and poetry will be presented by young artists of the Los Angeles folk ensemble Krakusy, led by Art Director Ms. Rosa Kostrzewska-Yoder.

Sunday, 10 November 2013 |noon
Mass & Concert – Art & Spirituality with Krakusy
Parish of Our Lady of Czestochowa
3424 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018
Information: Bogusława Doerr (805) 796-0960         

[Source: press release]



Aga Zaryan

Kulture+ Productions and the Consulate General of Poland in Los Angeles present 3 unforgettable nights of music with vocalist Aga Zaryan and her tribute to Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln—“Remembering Nina & Abbey.” Zaryan will be joined on stage by Polish bass player Darek ‘Oles’ Oleszkiewicz, guitarist Larry Koonse and percussionist Munyungo Jackson.

European vocalist Aga Zaryan conveys the finest of jazz to today's audiences, continuing the traditions of great divas like Shirley Horn, Carmen McRae and Joni Mitchell. She is known for her distinctive style and intimate approach to singing with a characteristic lightness of phrasing and slightly matte-toned voice. Warm, engaging and very personal, she’s the unique interpreter of both contemporary and classic jazz repertoire - “A rare gem” they say.

 Her reputation as a great performer spans from the Europe to Japan. Her bestselling CD’s “Picking Up The Pieces”, "Looking Walking Being" and “A Book of Luminous Things” have been released on Blue Note Records. She was named Jazz Vocalist of The Year in Jazz Forum Magazine's yearly Jazz Top readers' poll in 2007-2012. Yet she is a significant talent that still awaits true mainstream recognition.

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 | 8:30 PM
“Remembering Nina & Abbey” - a tribute to Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln
6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
Info: www.catalinajazzclub.com or 323.466.2210
Tickets: www.ticketweb.com

Thursday, December 5th, 2013 | 8:00 PM
“Remembering Nina & Abbey” - a tribute to Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln
YOSHI’S San Francisco
1330 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Info: www.yoshis.com or 415.655.5600
Tickets: sfyoshis.inticketing.com

Saturday, December 7th, 2013 | 8:00 PM
“Remembering Nina & Abbey” - a tribute to Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln
4275 Mission Bay Dr. at Rosewood St., Pacific Beach, CA 921091
Info: dizzysjazz.com
Tickets: $20 cover / tickets at the door

For more info about Aga Zaryan's US Tour, please visit www.kultureplus.com or www.facebook.com.

[Sources: press release, facebook.com, kultureplus.com]





Review by Krysta Close,

PMC Assistant Director & Newsletter Editor

The Janusz Prusinowski Trio opened the three day-long European Jazz @ UCLA festival held in Schoenberg Hall at the University of California in Los Angeles on October 10, 2013. Supported by the Polish Cultural Institute New York and the Consulate General of Poland in Los Angeles, this enthralling and talented group proved themselves worthy of such backers and of the full house crowd they attracted to the event.

The band’s leader—the multi-talented Janusz Prusinowski who, over the course of the concert, performed on fiddle, voice, dulcimer, and Polish accordion—opened the evening with the simple statement that what they were about to present was “not necessarily jazz, but improvisation and freedom in music from the Polish point of view.” This may have shocked a few members of the audience who thought they were in the auditorium to hear a jazz concert, but as soon as the music started, any momentary disappointment was carried away by the infectious rhythms and spot-on musicianship.

Dispensing also with the somewhat misleading name of “trio” that the ensemble carries, Prusinowski was joined on stage by four other musicians: Piotr Piszczatowski – baraban drum, frame drum; Michał Żak – wooden flutes, shawm, clarinet; Piotr Zgorzelski – folk bass, upright bass, dancing; and Szczepan Pospieszalski – trumpet. Although the chemistry between the original trio of Prusinowski, Zgorzelski and Piszczatowski was undeniable, the addition of Żak and Pospieszalski on woodwinds and brass definitely took the performance to a new level. Żak’s crisp woodwind technique added an ancient authenticity to the group’s sound. Pospieszalski exuded such a beautiful, moving tone on the trumpet that one wished he played on more of the tunes.

The Prusinowski Trio demonstrated their uncanny ability to combine ancient melodies and rhythms learned from their village masters with a contemporary and international awareness, highlighted by their impressive and often extended musical technique, that is capable of drawing in a listener of any age or ethnic background. As Prusinowski promised, the ensemble had presented the gamut of traditional Polish “music for walking”—oberek, mazurka, polonaise, and more—during their concert, but the range of emotions expressed in this music knew no national boundary, and left the audience aching for more. 


Review By Gary Fitelberg

Music permeated this year’s 14th Los Angeles Polish Music Festival, held from October 8-17. Amongst the features, shorts, animations, and documentaries presented this year, some of the excellent films featuring music as a central theme included My Father's Bike, Why Competitions and Canadian Dresses.

One of the best and brightest films with excellent music was the full length film My Father's Bike, which was presented during the Festival’s elegant Opening Night Gala on October 8. Some might first think this film is about Glenn Miller and jazz music, however it is a really a story about father and son and grandson, and the conflicted relations they face. The grandfather is a famous retired jazz clarinetist, and his son is a classical pianist. The grandson seems to have absolutely no musical interest but it develops when he is reconnected with his grandfather. Both have bad relationships and contempt towards the middle generation, the son and father respectively. 70 year old Włodek (the grandfather) discovers a letter from his wife she is leaving. This message comes as a shock and surprise. Włodek loses consciousness and is taken to the hospital. The next day at the hospital, he is visited by his son Paweł, and teenage grandson, Maciek. Paweł, a pianist, lives in Berlin, while Maciek lives in England with his mother where he attends school. The three generations of men have not seen each other nor have they been in touch for a very long time. All three go in search to reunite with Włodek's wife, Paweł's mother, and Maciek's grandmother, only to find disappointment, but also a bond of closeness that has been suppressed by anger and resentment. They are indignant to discover that the missing stronghold of the family, who was truly adored, left Włodek for another man and deep love. Włodek and Paweł are determined to bring her home. The story concludes with a surprise touching ending.

Presented in the Documentaries category at both Cal State Northridge and USC, Why Competitions is a film entirely focused on the world of classical music. None less than Hungarian composer Bela Bartok once declared, "Competitions are for horses, not artists!"  Using the example of the most important piano competition in the world, the Chopin competition in Warsaw, the film looks at such questions as: whether the competitive spirit that dominates music competitions is productive or harmful; whether it is possible for jurors to be truly objective and serve their role according to ethical precepts and principals; whether the prizewinners actually benefit from their success; and what happens to those who are often stigmatized as "losers"!  As a relative of the namesake of one the most prominent and respected music competitions in Poland, the Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors, I have my own insights and opinions, which may or may not agree with this film. I recommend all interested in Polish music to see this film and be your own judge and jury. The film focuses on the scandalous elimination of Croatian pianist Ivo Pogorelich before the final round of the competition in 1980, which caused the world-famous Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich to leave the jury in protest, thanks to which Pogerovich became a star overnight.

In the Animations category, three selections stood out— The Ballad of Nameless Joe, Once There was a King, and Lullaby. The Ballad of Nameless Joe is a film about rock n'rollers on the road and had excellent music. Once There was a King is a haunting interpretation of a lullaby based on a poem written by Polish poet Janina Porazińska, where the lullaby song by the boy's mother becomes interwoven with his life. Lullaby depicts a slow flight over surrealistic landscapes according to the famous Lullaby by Krzysztof Komeda, as performed on the piano by the composer. This was a very special tribute to a great composer! In the Shorts category Dr. Jazz was a film focused on a grandfather who really wants his grandson to become a real man.

Audiences at the Festival were blessed to hear many superbly talented music composers.  Composers in this year’s Festival included such famous names as Leszek Możdżer (Floating Skyscrapers), Jan A.P. Kaczmarek (The Secret of Westerplatte), Krzesmir Dębski (Siberian Exile) and Krzystof Komeda (Lullaby), as well as some lesser known composers: Gabriel Kaczmarek and Maciej Michalski (Canadian Dresses), Jerzy Satanowski (The Fifth Season of the Year), Mikolaj Stroinski (My Name is Asia), Joanna Halszka Sokolowska and Filip Zawada (The Girl from the Wardrobe), Cezary Kolodziej and Villegas Hernandez (Heavy Mental), Tomasz Gassowski (Imagine), Adam Sztaba (It's a Perfect Night for a Suicide), Michal Wozniak (Manhunt), Wojciech Lemanski (My Father’s Bike), Andezj Izdebski (The Photograph), Maria Sadowska (Women's Day), Jan P Muchow (Yuma), Paweł Lucewicz (Beauty and the Breast), Tomasz Stroynowski (Black Boxand Man at War), Mirek Myo Mardosz and Andrezj Krzeeptowski-Bohac (The Fourth Partition: Chicago), Radosław Luka (I Love a Hooligan),Antoni Komasa-Lazarkiewicz (Mundial, The Highest Stakes), Mariachi de Chicago (Santa Rosa), Miki Wielicki (Balanco), Blazej Heldwein, Mateusz Szemraj and Michal Stawarz (The Ballad of Nameless Joe), Czesław Moził (A Farewell to the Little Warrior),  Milosz Wosko and Adrian Jakuc-Lukasewicz (Once There Was a King), Krzystof Matysiak and Taduesz Kulas (Velocity), Szymon Juzwiak  (What Happens When Children Don't Eat Soup), Stuart Dahlquist and Paweł Cieslak (Ziegenort), Paweł Sek (The Ballerina and the Rocking Horse), Adam Fijolek (Defense Mechanism), Radek Łukasiewicz (The Easter Crumble),  Marek Kucziński (Storm), Michael Music and Marek Tomaszewski (Them), and Bartolomiej Guniak (The Lord of the Carpathians and Twist & Blood).

You cannot have a great film without great music.  Music serves as the foundation of a film, setting the tone and mood. MUSIC MAKES A MOVIE!!!

[Sources: polishfilmla.org]


By Gary Fitelberg

Photo: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / October 26, 2013

Leila Josefowicz knows exactly how to captivate a crowd with her supreme virtuosity. A violinist of Polish-American-Canadian heritage, Josefowicz's amazing mastery of composer-conductor Esa Pekka Salonen's Violin Concerto is a perfect example of her superb talent. This piece is an extremely difficult one and requires skill and technical prowess. Its complex nature and difficulty separate the master musicians from the rest of the crowd, and Josefowicz owns this piece. She has performed it before but this time she showed new maturity in an exceptional rendition that was unsurpassed. She received no less than five standing ovations, returning to the stage when the capacity crowd rose to their feet and offered their thunderous applause. After returning she announced to the audience "Here is another number by Mr. Esa," playing a solo piece to yet another ecstatic standing ovation and applause. One could call the Josefowicz-Salonen team a dynamic duo.

Josefowicz graced the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage with her charm and eloquent musicianship during the Hall’s 10th Anniversary Celebration: Salonen & Sibelius on October 25-27, 2013, together with the LA Phil. As a local lady and graduate of the Colburn School of Music, she is unquestionably one of the most popular musicians to amaze and entertain the L.A. audience with unbeatable and undeniable superb talent.

Lasting approximately one half-hour, the piece does not allow for one moment of rest. It would be interesting to know exactly how many times in this time period the soloists moves her bow. Josefowicz gave the World Premiere of the Concerto on April 9, 2009. I remember her excellent performance well, and there did not seem to be any room for improvement whatsoever at the time. But true to form, she surpassed anyone's wildest expectations with this latest concert performance. WOW!

According to ‘Mr. Esa’:

I wrote my Violin Concerto between June 2008 and March 2009. Nine months. The length of human gestation. A beautiful coincidence. I decided to cover as wide a range of expression as could imagine over the four movements of the Concerto from the virtuosic and flashy to the aggressive and brutal, from the meditative and static to the nostalgic and autumnal. Leila Josefowicz turned out to be a fantastic partner in this process. She knows no limits, she knows no fear, and she was constantly encouraging me to go places I was not sure I would care or dare to go. As a result of that process, this Concerto is as much a portrait of her as it is my more private narrative, a kind of summary of my experience as a musician and a human being at the watershed age of 50.

Salonen seems to have written the piece for Leila Josefowicz in mutual partnership and collaboration and, in recognition of his effort, he was awarded the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in 2012 for this spectacular composition.

Salonen’s body of compositional work began with and comprises several modernist works featuring solo virtuosity. Like other well-known conductors before him—such as Grzegorz Fitelberg, Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss— Salonen’s brilliant compositional career has surely been aided by his talent for bringing other composers to the forefront during his concert programs.

Salonen is both Conductor Laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a great lover of Polish music and musicians. Salonen’s Polish connection is especially strong as a champion of the music of composer Witold Lutosławski, who was one of Salonen's main mentors as a composer. Last season, Salonen launched the Lutosławski Centenary in Los Angeles when he and the LA Phil recorded Lutosławski's Symphony No. 1 (first conducted by the prominent Polish composer-conductor Grzegorz Fitelberg) and Lutosławski's one-minute Fanfare for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Lutoslawski Symphonies Sony 2013which Lutosławski wrote on the occasion of the Philarmonic's 75th anniversary, in a live performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Combined with previous recordings of Lutosławski's three other symphonies, the November 2012 performance allowed Salonen and the LA Phil to complete their Lutosławski symphony cycle, which was released by Sony Classics in January 2013 digititally and as a double CD in Europe. It was released in the USA digitally via iTunes in January and as CDs in March. Salonen recently received the ECHO Klassik “Conductor of the Year” Award in Berlin for his Lutosławski Symphonies collection recorded with the LA Phil. This award is Germany's major classical music award.

Leila Josefowicz defines the term virtuoso. Her concert performances are magnetic, magnificent, and masterful as well as brilliant, creative, dramatic, and energetic. Josefowicz moves me with her mastery of music.

Gary Fitelberg is a musicologist, music critic and historian specializing in Polish music and musicians.

 * * * * *

For another review, see “Esa-Pekka Salonen rekindles his romance with the L.A. Phil” by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times.

[Sources:  laphil.com, latimes.com]



GrubbaGedymin.jpgGedymin Grubba— celebrated concert organist from Gdańsk, Poland—performed several recitals in September and October as a part of his 2013 US tour. In addition to his powerful solo performances, he was also joined on several of his Chicago engagements by the internationally acclaimed cellist from Russia, Ian Maksin, as well as soprano Miroslawa Sojka-Topor and violinist Emilia Sojka-Topor.

Gedymin Grubba, a prominent Polish organist, composer, conductor and producer was born in 1981 in Gdansk. In 2006 he graduated from the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk, where he studied organ with Roman Perucki and composition with Eugeniusz Glowski. Since 2003 he has been the director of the Gabriel Fauré Foundation for Promotion of Culture in Gdansk, which organizes about forty concerts a year, including The International Festival of Organ Music in the Pelplin Cathedral. The Festival is one of the most significant events of that kind in Poland. During the 15 years (1996-2011) Mr. Grubba has given over 500 concerts as a soloist, chamber musician and a conductor. He also regularly gives demonstrations of the world famous organ in the Cathedral in Oliwa. He is a laureate of many organ and composition competitions and in 2009 he was awarded with the prestigious "Mestwin" award for his musical contribution to the Polish culture. Mr. Grubba is a member of the Polish Composers' Union Youth Circle. He has made several recordings for the Polish and European radio and TV (also as a conductor) and also 14 solo CD recordings.

US Tour Schedule:

28th September 2013
Chicago, IL/USA, St Hyacinth's Basilica
Gedymin Grubba - organ  

29th September 2013
Chicago, IL/USA, St Chrysostom's Episcopal Church
Gedymin Grubba - organ 

29th September 2013
Chicago-Lemont, IL/USA, SS Cyril and Methodius Church 
Gedymin Grubba – organ; Miroslawa Sojka-Topor - soprano ; Emilia Sojka-Topor – violin; Ian Maksin – cello    


3rd October 2013
Chicago, IL/USA, the Holy Trinity Cathedral 
Gedymin Grubba - organ; Ian Maksin - cello 

6th October 2013
New York-Summit, NJ/USA, St John Church
Gedymin Grubba - organ 

7th October 2013
Kansas City, KS/USA, Presbyterian Church
Gedymin Grubba - organ 

11th October 2013
Opelousas, LA/USA, Church of Our Lady Queen of Angels 
Gedymin Grubba - organ 

13th October 2013
San Francisco, CA/USA, St Mark Church 
Gedymin Grubba - organ 

[Sources: press release, Photo: transcendentphoto.com]




The Polish Culture Society in Edmonton, Alberta presents a unique event called ATMA: Canadian-Polish Festival of Music. Held on November 1-2, 2013 the Festival is a celebration of Polish and Central-European music with much… Canadian flavor!

Named after Atma (pictured at left)—the mountain villa in Zakopane once belonging to the great Polish composer Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937), where he wrote many of his works—the Festival features several fantastic Canadian artists, including the leading pianist of her generation, Francine Kay (based in New York and currently teaching at Princeton) and the Penderecki String Quartet.  Kay will appear twice: on 1 November in recital with Jerzy Kaplanek (professor of violin at Wilfrid Laurier University), and then on 2 November, accompanied by the Penderecki String Quartet (Quartet-in-Residence at the same Wilfrid Laurier University).  Popularly known as the PSQ, they are one of the most outstanding Canadian chamber ensembles and have enjoyed a remarkable, three-decades-long international career.  The line-up is complemented by the rarely gifted Polish-Israeli ensemble Atma Trio, based in the US. Also, the phenomenally talented local violinist, ten-year-old Maya Budzinski (a student of the legendary James Keene), will open the Festival alongside Francine Kay.

The program includes many classic gems of music by such names as Chopin, Wieniawski, Dvořak, Bartók, Szymanowski, as well as several works by Canadian composers.

The concerts are held at the Stan A Milner Theatre (Edmonton Public Library, 7 Sir Winston Churchill Square): Friday, 1 November at 8:00 P.M. (Jerzy Kaplanek, violin and Francine Kay, piano); Saturday, 2 November at 6:00 P.M. (Atma Trio); and 8:30 P.M. (Francine Kay, piano and the Penderecki String Quartet).

Friday, November 1-2, 2013 | Times vary
ATMA - Canadian-Polish Festival of Music
Stan A Milner Theatre -  Edmonton Public Library
7 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Admission: $40 (Festival pass for 2 adults), $20 (individual concerts), $15 (senior/student), $10 (Society member), Free (children under 12)
Info & Tickets: http://www.tixonthesquare.ca/event/eventset/fest/78/, 780-432-1618 or 780-420-1757 (tickets only)

[Source: press release, tixonthesquare.ca]





  • 1 November 1901 - Szymon LAKS , composer, violinist (d. 1986)
  • 2 November 1876 - Eugeniusz MORAWSKI, composer, conductor (d. 1948)
  • 3 November 1915 - Henryk JABŁOŃSKI, composer
  • 4 November 1857 - Stanislaw NIEWIADOMSKI, composer (d. 1936)
  • 6 November 1860 - Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI , pianist, composer, statesman (d. 1941)
  • 23 November 1933 - Krzysztof PENDERECKI , composer, conductor
  • 24 November 1932 - Andrzej KURYLEWICZ, composer, jazz pianist
  • 24 November 1899 - Jan MAKLAKIEWICZ , composer, teacher (d. 1954)
  • 26 November 1896 - Józef KOFFLER, composer (d. 1944)
  • 27 November 1893 - Stanisław WIECHOWICZ, composer, choral conductor (d. 1963)
  • 28 November 1928 - Jan FOTEK, composer



  • 1 November 1947 - Władysław POWIADOWSKI, choral conductor, teacher (b.1865)
  • 2 November 1929 - Stanisław BARCEWICZ, violinist, teacher (b.1858)
  • 2 November 1881 - Jan Nepomucen BOBROWICZ, guitarist (b.1805)
  • 3 November 1888 - Józef BRZOZOWSKI, composer, cellist, conductor, teacher (b.1805)
  • 5 November 1946 - Zygmunt STOJOWSKI , composer, pianist, teacher (b. 1870)
  • 9 November 1856 - Aleksander MARTIN, composer, violist (b. 1856)
  • 11 November 1912 - Józef WIENIAWSKI, pianist, teacher, composer (b.1837)
  • 15 November 1853 - Józef NIEDZIELSKI, voice and violin teacher (b.1793)
  • 15 November 1986 - Aleksander TANSMAN , composer, conductor, pianist (b. 1897)
  • 14 November 1860 - Feliks NOSKOWSKI, pianist, teacher (b.1874)
  • 26 November 1855 - Adam MICKIEWICZ, romantic poet, texts used by many composers (b.1798)
  • 29 November 2010 - Irena Anders, singer, actress, cultural ambassador (b.1920)



Back to PMC Home Page PMC Newsletter Archive

Copyright 2012 by the Polish Music Center

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

Contributions from:
Bogusława Doerr, Gary Fitelberg, Nic Gerpe, Piotr Grella-Mozejko,
Maja Trochimczyk, Tomek Smolarski, 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, Kosciuszko Fdn., Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza

Formatting by Krysta Close, November 5, 2013.

The Polish Music Center includes all content on a space available basis. We reserve the right to refuse any content submitted.