|Polish Music Newsletter|
POLAND’S INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATED AT USC
On November 11, the Polish Music Center celebrates Poland’s Independence Day with a concert featuring virtuoso violinist Mariusz Patyra and pianist Krzysztof Herdzin in a program of music by Polish composers. Join the Honorable Mariusz Brymora, Consul General of the Republic of Poland, representatives of the City of Los Angeles and the diplomatic corps at this gala concert at the University of Southern California’s Newman Recital Hall.
Their exciting program is comprised of the following Romantic virtuosic showpieces:
Violinist Mariusz Patyra was born in Poland in 1977 and began to study music at the age of six. Professor Antoni Hoffmann in Olsztyn was Patyra’s first violin teacher. Later Patyra studied with Professor Janusz Kucharski and attended the Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw for one year before continuing to study with Professor Krzysztof Węgrzyn at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, Germany. In October 2000, Mr. Patyra won a scholarship to Cremona, Italy, where he apprenticed under the tutelage of one of the greatest violinists of modern era, Salvatore Accardo.
Mariusz Patyra’s rapid rise as a violin virtuoso followed his triumphs at several of international violin competitions, including the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hannover, the Stradivari International Competition in Cremona, the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Odense, Odense Symphony Orchestra Prize, and the Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa, where he was awarded the First Prize—Premio Paganini—in 2001. After winning possibly the most important violin competition in the world, Mr. Patyra averred that, “The Paganini Competition represented a turning point in my life. […] Every time I played and appeared in public, I would have to be able to prove that I was worthy of such an important prize. For me, this was a moment of great happiness… and when I heard that I was declared a winner, I wanted to weep with joy.”
The young violinist’s success at such prestigious competitions was followed by a number of concert tours around the world, including Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United States, Mexico, and Japan. Mr. Patyra has been featured as a soloist with such renowned ensembles as the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra di Roma, Filharmonica Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana, the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra, and Tokyo Royal Chamber Orchestra.
For his concert performances, Mariusz Patyra uses replicas of two great historical violins. The first is a copy of the 1733 Guarneri del Gesù, built in Hannover in 2003 by Christian Erichson. The other, a copy of 1742 Il Cannone—another Guarneri instrument that was once owned by Paganini—was built by John. B. Erwin in Dallas in 2000 and awarded by the Italian record label, Dynamic, to Mr. Patyra following his winning performance at the 2001 Paganini Competition.
Krzysztof Herdzin, pianist, composer, arranger, conductor and music producer, was born in Poland in 1970. His father was a tenor soloist and his mother a chorister at the Bydgoszcz Opera. After studying piano with Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń and making a debut at the Bydgoszcz Philharmonic, Mr. Herdzin was offered a teaching position at the Bydgoszcz Music Academy. Although since 1995 he has been living in Warsaw, Mr. Herdzin continues his professorship in music in Bydgoszcz. During the 1990s, together with clarinetist Wojciech Mrożek, flutist Jadwiga Kotnowska and violinist Vadim Brodsky, Mr. Herdzin toured Germany under the auspices of Sir Yehudi Menuhin’s “Live Music Now” program. Shifting easily from classical to jazz throughout the 1990s, Krzysztof Herdzin performed with a number of iconic jazz groups, including the City Jazz Trio, Janusz Muniak’s Quartet, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski’s Quartet and Zbigniew Namysłowski’s Ensemble. More recently, as pianist and arranger, Krzysztof Herdzin has worked with such great soloists as Maria Schneider, Richard Bona, Gil Goldstein, Gregoire Maret, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Clarence Penn, Oscar Castro Neves, Gary Husband, and Jon Lord, among others.
A prolific arranger and conductor, Krzysztof Herdzin’s compositional catalogue contains several works for orchestra and big band, while the catalogue of his recordings—currently well over 200—includes 16 Gold and 3 Platinum Records. He has also directed many television programs, musicals (Singing in the Rain, Five Guys Named Moe) and organized numerous concerts for TV broadcasts. Touring frequently, Mr. Herdzin has performed all across Europe, Turkey, Canada, United States, Mexico, India, China and Japan and led such prestigious orchestras as Belgian National Orchestra, Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra, Polish Radio Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Polish Chamber Philharmonic, and most of the philharmonic and opera orchestras throughout Poland. A pioneering recording with jazz arrangements of Chopin’s music and the orchestrations of Jan A.P. Kaczmarek’s Oscar-winning soundtrack to Finding Neverland in 2005 are among Krzysztof Herdzin’s highest musical achievements.
In one of his entries, Dobiasz, a blogger at www.dobiasz.art.pl, aptly summarized Herdzin’s artistry, writing that, “Herdzin's style is naturally very subtle and bright, rich in ornaments and carefully devised harmonic changes. […] It is an aristocratic, sublime European jazz, perhaps slightly too sweet at times, but it is to be forgiven considering the vast amount of fineness.”
2014 PADEREWSKI YOUTH PIANO COMPETITION WINNERS
The Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles is pleased to announce the winners of the eighth annual Youth Piano Competition held October 25 at Cass Winery in Paso Robles. Twenty young pianists from three Central Coast Counties (Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Luis Obispo) competed for cash prizes of $100-$750, the opportunity to perform at the Youth Piano Competition Winners’ Recital on November 8 during the 2014 Paderewski Festival, and the chance to participate in the Festival’s 2015 Cultural Exchange Program in Poland. Presided by Marek Żebrowski, Paderewski Festival Artistic Director and Director of the Polish Music Center at University of Southern California, the competition jury included India d’Avignon, a Cal Poly Professor and Paderewski Festival Board member, and Paul Woodring, accompanist and coach at Cal Poly.
After hearing this year’s applicants, the jury decided to award the following prizes:
The Winners’ Recital will be held at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom, 1103 Spring Street, November 8 at 4 p.m. Cash prizes and medals from the Paderewski Festival will be awarded during a ceremony immediately following the concert. The 2014 Paderewski Youth Piano Competition Winners’ Recital is free and open to the public. To accommodate the highest possible number of concertgoers, reservations are strongly recommended and may be made by going to the Festival’s website – www.paderewskifest.com. Otherwise, seating will be on a first-come basis.
The Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles is a non-profit that celebrates the legacy of Paso Robles' most famous resident Ignacy Jan Paderewski with four days of concerts and special events featuring internationally renowned artists, young pianists, master classes, film, dance and wine tasting. For more information about Paderewski and schedule of 2014 Paderewski Festival events, please see the Festival's website, www.paderewskifest.com.
[Source: press release]
PANUFNIK’S MUSIC AT USC
The centenary of Sir Andrzej Panufnik was celebrated with two concerts on the USC campus in early October. The first, Polish Music Center’s annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital on October 5, was devoted to Panufnik’s chamber music. The program began with the composer’s widow, Lady Camilla, delivering a lecture about her husband’s life and work, illustrated with photographs from the private family archive. Lady Camilla’s personal and direct recollection of their relationship and life in music drew sympathetic and appreciative applause from the audience gathered at the Alfred Newman Recital Hall.
The first musical offering of the evening was Panufnik’s Op. 1 Piano Trio. This youthful work already contained seeds of Panufnik’s more mature style and was delivered with gusto by pianist Nic Gerpe, violinist Joel Pargman, and cellist Maggie Parkins.
Next, the mezzo-soprano Juliana Gondek (pictured at right with Lady Camilla) presented Panufnik’s Five Vocalises—Hommage à Chopin for voice and piano. Dating from the mid-1950s, this abstract and spare work relies on delicate coloring of the vocal line and quasi-mediaeval textures of piano accompaniment that was delicately delivered by pianist James Lent.
The program closed on Panufnik’s highly-evocative and subtle String Quartet No. 2. Subtitled “Messages” it amply showcased the Eclipse String Quartet (shown below), who imbued their brilliant performance of the work with poise, control, and a variety of fascinating sound textures.
During the reception after the concert, the audience had a welcome chance to converse with the guest lecturer and the performers, rounding off this very interesting evening.
Two days later, during the evening hours of October 8, KUSC-FM with Jim Svejda presented a 4-hour program devoted to Panufnik’s music. In-between airing of several orchestral and solo works, Mr. Svejda and Lady Camilla engaged in an easy going conversation that provided much needed background to the music by this rarely-heard composer.
On October 9, Thornton Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro Carl St. Clair, devoted the opening half of the evening to two of Panufnik’s orchestral works, his Tragic Overture (1942/1945) and Harmony—A Poem for Chamber Orchestra (1989). Whilst the former is a driven, tense composition reflecting Panufnik’s experience of World War II in Poland, the latter is a love letter, composed for and dedicated to Lady Camilla on the occasion of their silver wedding anniversary. The young musicians gave their very best to both works and the energy of the performance worked its magic on the audience assembled at USC’s Bovard Auditorium.
After the abrupt ending of Tragic Overture reverberated in the hall, the work was greeted with thunderous applause and Maestro St. Clair invited Lady Camilla for a short conversation on stage (shown above). Soon a few more fascinating details emerged about the Panufnik’s wedding anniversary trip to Venice (“Italy, not California,” as Lady Camilla impishly added), and the orchestral reading of Harmony resonated all the more with all present. After the intermission, Maestro St. Clair led Thornton Symphony in a rousing performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, which closed the evening on a decidedly ecstatic note.
CHYLIŃSKA’S MAGNUM OPUS
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October 18 was an important day for Polish music—it will be remembered for a long time as the official conclusion of the publishing of the Complete Works of Karol Szymanowski. This critical edition is a product of almost fifty years of patient, detailed, and dedicated work by Teresa Chylińska, the Editor-in-Chief for the entire series. Her exacting approach of comparing Szymanowski’s extant manuscripts, first editions and all other relevant sources led to exemplary results, and each of the 26 volumes in the PWM Edition and 17 volumes in the PWM/Universal International Edition features extensive commentary and notes written by the greatest experts in the field.
Chylińska’s half century of research on Szymanowski yielded not only a beautiful and useful set of musical scores but also a great number of books, articles, essays and other scholarly contributions that issued from under her pen. There is no other expert on Szymanowski in the world that could even approach the depth and quality of Chylińska’s scholarship—and there never may be a more sympathetic and thorough researcher who will be so devoted to the legacy of Poland’s greatest composer after Chopin. Thanks to Chylińska, we saw the publication not only of Szymanowski’s entire correspondence, but of absolutely everything that he ever wrote throughout his life. As if this wasn’t enough, in 2008 came Karol Szymanowski i jego epoka [Karol Szymanowski and His Times], which firmly anchored Chylińska’s monumental academic achievement. On the breathtaking canvass of three richly illustrated volumes with over 1500 pages, Chylińska managed to capture Szymanowski’s fascinating life that began on the far southeastern reaches of Poland, now part of the Ukraine. Szymanowski’s extensive family tree, history of the area and the momentous events of the Bolshevik Revolution followed by Szymanowski’s relocation to Poland after World War I, as well as his personal life, friends and career, and the musical milieu in independent Poland, plus everything else related to this great composer can be found in Chylińska’s vast study.
One can argue that Szymanowski wasn’t a lucky man. At 55, he died young, and World War II that broke shortly thereafter had pushed his music out of the limelight. Later, with the new generation of post-war composers coming on stage, by the 1960s Szymanowski was gradually consigned to the periphery of Polish music. But just when it seemed that he would be another respectfully treated but politely shunned figure in Polish music, a young musicologist in Kraków was charged with coordinating the publication of a source edition for Szymanowski’s entire creative opus. This young researcher—a student of the legendary Professor Zdzisław Jachimecki at the Jagiellonian University—graduated in 1953 and shortly thereafter began working for the Polish Music Publishers (PWM). The rest—as the saying goes—is history: since 1965, with her usual vim and vigor, Chylińska focused all her energies and talents on Karol Szymanowski’s music and life.
Chylińska’s quest for materials that would be included in her Szymanowski edition took decades and many trips around the world. She visited Austria, Germany, Italy, England, Soviet Union, Ukraine, and the United States. Little by little, she discovered manuscripts and searched various libraries and collections, finding many rare and highly-relevant materials. Throughout decades of her enthusiastic research, Chylińska gave countless talks worldwide and presented numerous papers at various international conferences. She also wrote entries for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, PWM Music Encyclopedia, and Pipers Encyclopedia of Music Theatre, among others. Not quite content to spread the word on paper, Chylińska took to the airwaves with a cycle of 22 one-hour long radio shows that provided the Polish Radio Program 2 listeners with a unique musical and spoken biography of Karol Szymanowski during the years 2002-2003.
Teresa Chylińska’s outstanding achievements in the field of musical culture were recognized with a number of very prestigious awards, including the Polish Composers’ Union Award (1996), Honoris Gratia Award from the President of the City of Kraków (2006), the Golden Gloria Artis Medal (2006), The Polish Cultural Foundation Award in Kraków (2007), and the Jan Długosz Award (2009).
On October 18 the Golden Salon at the Kraków Philharmonic was filled with special guests and media for an official ceremony marking the conclusion of Chylińska’s magnum opus. A panel discussion, moderated by the current Editor-in-Chief of PWM, Daniel Cichy, provided much fascinating detail about the long journey of the Szymanowski project (shown above). Professor Mieczysław Tomaszewski, who served as PWM’s Editor-in-Chief since 1954 and Director from 1965-1988, recalled the early days of the Szymanowski project. Andrzej Kosowski, the current director of the Institute of Music and Dance (and former PWM Chief Editor), provided pithy insights about the last decade of working on the Szymanowski Edition. When her turn came, Teresa Chylińska, deftly deflected the lavish praise she received from her friends and colleagues, preferring to focus solely on the beloved subject of her work.
Afterwards, the crowds moved to the Philharmonic Hall to hear a concert of Karol Szymanowski’s works. Once again, before the music could speak many others had spoken, praising Chylińska’s achivements; a letter from the Minister of Culture was duly read and a special award was presented to the laureate. Finally, Maestro Michał Dworzyński sprang onto the podium and vigorously led a much-augmented Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra in Szymanowski’s highly charged and densely orchestrated Overture in E major, Op. 12. Soprano Wioletta Chodowicz and tenor Rafał Majzner followed this rousing opener with a brief and passionate love duet from Szymanowski’s one-act opera, Hagith. The inclusion of Hagith on the program that night recognized the closing volume of Szymanowski’s Complete Edition, which is devoted solely to this rarely-heard work. Next, mezzo-soprano Urszula Kryger shared her nuanced and deeply musical interpretations of Love Songs of Hafiz. Op. 26 is a seminal composition in Szymanowski’s output where neo-romantic and Germanic musical influences are replaced by more sensual sonorities, inspired by the early modernist French-music. Finally, after the intermission, pianist Ewa Kupiec gave a highly assured if rather percussive reading of Szymanowski’s Symphonie-concertante, Op. 60 for piano and orchestra. Throughout the concert, Maestro Dworzyński (Kraków Philharmonic’s Artistic Director since 2013), kept a firm hand on the ensemble and soloists, proving his superb command as a conductor and musician.
All in all, it was a successful evening and a fitting conclusion to an enormously successful effort. There aren’t too many composers in the history of music whose entire opus has been published in a first-rate critical, source edition, and whose correspondence and personal world were illuminated by such a stellar research. Although we know that success has many fathers, in this case it’s the mother of all success, the Editor-in-Chief of the Complete Works of Karol Szymanowski, who deserves the highest accolades. Thanks to Teresa Chylińska we have reached a long-awaited milestone in the history of Polish music. Dedicating her professional life to this monumental task, she has brought it to a triumphant conclusion. As the Romans used to say, ab uno ad omnes—from one to everyone—and we gratefully agree.
RECENT DONATIONS TO THE PMC
From the Polish Music Information Centre in Warsaw:
From Polish composer Joanna Bruzdowicz, regarding projects organized by her or about her
From Lady Camilla Panufnik:
From Katarzyna Musiał:
2014 ANNIVERSAY YEAR
ROMAN RYTERBAND (1914 - 1979)
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Roman Ryterband is one of the most outstanding Polish composers of the twentieth century. His work has been compared to the work of Debussy, Ravel and Britten and is highly appreciated in music circles around the world. The composer spent most of his life in exile; therefore, his compositions are better known and more frequently performed abroad than in Poland. His name appears also on the list of American composers. The work of Roman Ryterband includes instrumental works, vocal—instrumental, chamber, choral and symphonic. So far, the only one of his compositions, Sonata breve for violin and harp, was published by the Polish Music Publishers (PWM).
People who personally knew Roman Ryterband consider him to be a beautiful and remarkable individual. He significantly contributed to the history of music as a pianist, composer, conductor, musicologist, writer and animator of musical life. He was born on August 2, 1914, in Łódź, into a Jewish family with multigenerational legal and music traditions. Initially, he studied at the State Higher School of Music in Łódź. His family's belief that the music profession does not provide a suitable financial and social status led Roman to complete a law degree at the University of Warsaw. However, he did not give up his musical career and continued contact with artistic circles. Alexander Glazunov eventually convinced him to continue his musical studies.
From 1937, he worked in the Łódź Radio, then began a tour of Europe. The purpose of his trip, among others, was perfecting his linguistic skills. In addition to Polish and Hebrew, Roman spoke fluent German, French, Italian and Latin. In later years, he would also master Spanish.
The outbreak of war found him in France. On the advice of Consul General in Nice, he moved to Switzerland, where people of Jewish origin were not subject to repression. Subsequent years spent in Switzerland proved to be a period of exceptional creativity and hence very important for his future career. He studied musicology at the University of Brno where he earned a doctorate, became recognized as a conductor and began composing. A good knowledge of the harp Roman owed to the befriended Swiss-Italian harpist, Corinna Blaser. Harp, like the flute, were his favorite instruments. In Switzerland, he also met his wife, Clarissa, with whom he had two daughters, Astrid and Diana.
After sixteen years, in 1955 the Ryterband family emigrated to North America, initially to Canada, where the composer was appointed a music director of the radio station CKVL and AM / FM and taught composition and conducting at the University of McGill in Montreal. He was also an active pianist. Both in Canada and later in the United States he was very active in the Polish community, like other Polish artists whose fate brought them to North America.
In 1960 he moved permanently to the United States with his family. He was a lecturer at the Chicago Conservatory College and a conductor in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As a recognized composer, he became the President of the Composers' Union and the International Society for Contemporary Music. In 1965, the Chicago City Council awarded him the title of an Outstanding New Citizen of the Year.
In 1967, he moved to Palm Springs, where he spent the rest of his life. He taught at the University of California in Los Angeles. In the new place of residence he became the founder and director of the annual Palm Springs Festival of Music & Art. He also continued to compose, perform as a pianist and work in the scope of folk music. One of his well-known publications is “Folk Music and the Harp”, published in Folk Harp Journal, July 1976.
For the art of composition and the whole of his artistic work, Roman received many awards. Among the most frequently mentioned Ryterband's compositions is Suite Polonaise for piano, which won the Kosciuszko Foundation prize. In 1978, the composer made the orchestral version of his composition dedicating it to His Holiness John Paul II.
Roman Ryterband died in Palm Springs on November 17, 1979. His wife Clarissa devoted herself to popularizing the music of her late husband. Numerous conductors such as Arthur Rubinstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Pierre Fournier, Stefan Askenaze and Nicanor Zabaleta included Roman Ryterband's compositions into their repertoire. Due to a request by Nicanor Zabaleta, another version of Trois Ballades Hebraiques was created for violin and harp. This incredibly beautiful comjposition was originally composed for violin and piano.
Ryterband's manuscripts, as well as manuscripts of other leading American composers Gershwin, Ives, Bernstein and Gould, are stored at Harvard University in the Haughton Library. In 1993, in honor of the composer, world-renowned violinist Dr. Francis D'Albert founded the Roman Ryterband Academy & Institute in Chicago.
Roman Ryterband expressed his understanding of music and art in the following words:
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Marta Gargas-Borowy is a Polish harpist, harp teacher and journalist. Born in Kraków, she graduated the Academy of Music where later she worked as an assistant. In 1999, was awarded the title of assistant professor, the equivalent to the doctoral degree. Since 1988, she is a Polish correspondent of the World Harp Congress Review (USA).
Marta Gargas-Borowy cooperates with the Polish Composer's Union as a performer and consultant. She inspired many composers (such as Bogusław Schaeffer, Eve Zuchowicz, Barbara Zawadzka and others) to write a variety of compositions for harp. She is the author of over 40 publications and conducted numerous interviews with composers and artists, including Witold Lutosławski, Romuald Tesarowicz, Helga Storck, Bogusław Schaeffer and Piotr Moss.
Marta Gargas-Borowy is one of the founders of the Polish Harp Society. At the present time, she is a harpist at the Silesian Opera and a harp teacher in Bytom. She is also an active performer as a soloist and chamber musician.
PANUFNIK 100 IN LONDON
On 30 November 2014, the Brodsky Quartet and the Panufnik family and friends present Panufnik 100: A Family Celebration, a chamber music festival to mark the centenary of Anglo-Polish composer Andrzej Panufnik’s birth. Held at Kings Place London, the Panufnik family brings together an impressive roster of artists to celebrate the life and work of the irrepressible composer. With concerts, film screenings, talks and exhibitions, the day includes an array of events hosted by Kings Place Artists-in-Residence, the Brodsky Quartet, alongside Andrzej Panufnik’s family: his wife, Lady Camilla Panufnik, son Jem and daughter Roxanna.
Speaking on behalf of the Panufnik family, Roxanna said:
The festival will include performances of well-loved chamber works by Andrzej and the London premiere of a quartet written in memory of her father by Roxanna Panufnik premiered at the Cheltenham Music Festival at the beginning of July. The UK premiere of Jem Panufnik’s documentary “My Father, the Iron Curtain and Me” will be hosted by Norman Lebrecht, photographs of Andrzej Panufnik, as composer and family man, will be exhibited, and the day will culminate with a cabaret evening, led by Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood.
Forged in the fires of the two World Wars, Andrzej Panufnik’s compositional output is inextricably linked with the major social and political events of the 20th century. Born in Warsaw at the onset of the First World War, he lived through the German occupation of the city in the Second World War and participated in musical resistance activities with the composer Lutosławski. Over the course of the conflict, Panufnik lost many of his closest relatives and saw his compositions consumed by the fires of the Warsaw Uprising. Initially fêted by the socialist government, he became unable to compose suitably ‘positive’ music and, accused of bourgeois decadence, made a dramatic escape to Britain in 1954. Panufnik spent the next 40 years in the UK and was knighted for his services to British music in 1991.
This Centenary Celebration will present chamber works spanning his life – from his piano trio (1934), reconstructed after the war, to his three string quartets (written between 1976 and 1990) to be performed by the Brodsky Quartet, ‘Artists in Residence’ at Kings Place. The programmes will feature complementary pieces by Andrzej’s daughter Roxanna as part of his legacy, including the London premiere of a new quartet especially written for the Brodsky Quartet. The Celebration will culminate in a 1930s Warsaw Cabaret evening, led by Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood, who hope to highlight Panufnik’s ‘quirkiness and originality’.
Andrzej and Roxanna Panufnik’s music is close to the hearts of all the performers, many of whose centenary recordings will be featured at the festival. Heather Shipp’s Dreamscape, of songs and piano trios, was released by Signum Records in May 2014 (Signum SIGCD380); Clare Hammond’s disc of the complete piano works of both Andrzej and Roxanna was released by BIS Records in June (BIS-2003); and the Brodskys, Richard May and Robert Smissen released a disc of Andrzej and Roxanna’s string quartets and sextets on Chandos in September (CHAN 10839 – shown at right). Paul Cassidy of the Brodsky Quartet praises Panufnik for his ‘unique voice’ and describes his music as ‘accessible, challenging, humorous and moving; attributes essential for all great music’.
All events to be held at Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG. Tickets are available from the Kings Place Box Office: 020 7520 1490 or www.kingsplace.co.uk/panufnik. Day Pass: £30. There is a free Panufnik boxed set including CD, DVD, audiobook and extensive booklet, for the first 20 Day Pass purchasers (not available commercially).
ACME CELEBRATES PANUFNIK IN NY
Presented by the Polish Cultural Institute New York at the (Le) Poisson Rouge on November 18, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) celebrates the centennial of the iconic Polish composer Andrzej Panufnik, performing his String Quartet no. 2, Messages (1980), and the Song to the Virgin Mary (1964, arr.1987), a work originally for a cappella voices which the composer arranged for string sextet. Panufnik's Messages recalls the composer's childhood experience of pressing his ear to telephone poles and listening to the sounds of the suspended wires in the wind, which he considered one of his earliest artistic pursuits. Again drawing on memory, in Song to the Virgin Mary Panufnik recalls Polish peasants devotion to the Madonna in a work that invokes both folk music and plainchant. ACME will pair these works with two pieces by composer Aleksander Lason, his String Quartet no. 4 and Deciso e affetuoso for solo cello. The program covers four decades of strikingly beautiful Polish chamber music.
OTHER PANUFNIK EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD
Below are the highlights of Panufnik Centenary events happening worldwide in November:
KOLBERG & PANUFNIK AT FESTIVAL OF POLISH COMPOSERS
The 19th Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Polish Composers Festival was held in Bielsko-Biała from October 9 -11, 2014. This year, the festival featured Oskar Kolberg, on his 200th birthday, Andrzej Panufnik on his 100th birthday, as well as Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and his son Mikołaj Górecki, whose new work Gloria for mixed choir and orchestra was premiered by the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir during the finale concert.
PREMIERES AT KWARTESENCJA 2014
From November 14-16, 2014, Polish Radio’s Lutosławski Concert Studio will resonate with the unique music conjured by the Kwartesencja Festival. Inspired and organized by the Royal String Quartet, this year’s 10th edition of the Festival will present the premieres of three new works commissioned by RSQ on November 15. The new works are:
For more information about the Festival and other concerts being held this year, see the Festivals section below.
MYKIETYN PREMIERED IN FRANCE
On Friday, October 10, during their “Concert de musique de films France Musique - SACEM / Hommage à Roman Polanski,” the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra performed the world premiere of Paweł Mykietyn’s Hommage à Oskar Dawicki. This piece was commissioned by the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra.
During the same concert, the winner of the 2014 Prix France Musique - SACEM film music award was announced. Mykietyn was the winner of last year’s 7th edition of the SACEM award for his soundtrack to Essential Killing, and this new work was an obligatory part of the prize package.
WORLD PREMIERE AT MUSICOLOGY CONFERENCE IN BYDGOSZCZ
The 43rd Musicological Conference of the Polish Composers’ Union [ZKP] was held at the Music Academy in Bydgoszcz Oct. 9-11. This annual forum is the biggest and most prestigious meeting for musicologists and music theorists in Poland. Organized under the theme of “Music
Among Other Arts—Connections and Inspirations,” this year’s conference sought to
demonstrate the links between music and painting, literature, theatre, and other arts. 56
papers were presented and the Prof. Heronim Feicht Award for Young Musicologists was given to Marek Nahajowski from the Łódź Music Academy.
Two concerts of chamber music accompanied the conference. The first, on Oct. 9 featured the Paweł & Aleksandra Wakarecy Piano Duo presenting works by Sergei Prokofiev. The following day, Zbigniew Bargielski’s Otwartym oknem [With an open window] received its world premiere performance.
MIKOŁAJ GÓRECKI PREMIERES
On October 11 at the Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Festival of Polish Composers in Bielsko-Biała, Gloria (2000) for choir and orchestra by Mikołaj Górecki was premiered. Also on the program were works by the composer’s father, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki—Canticum graduum op. 27, Dwie pieśni sakralne [Two Sacred Songs] to texts of M. Skwarnickiego Op. 30a (1971) for baritone and orchestra, and Kyrie for mixed choir and symphonic orchestra—as well as Wojciech Kilar’s Siwa mgła [Gray mist] for baritone and orchestra. The evening’s performers were the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir and baritone Artur Ruciński, under the direction of Jacek Błaszczyk.
On the same night in Tychy, Poland, the younger Górecki’s Arioso and furioso - concerto for guitar, string orchestra and percussion was premiered by Łukasz Kuropaczewski and the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra of Tychy conducted by Marek Moś. This work was written in 2014 on commission for Prof. Alina Gruszka, the artistic director of the 15th International Festival “Silesian Guitar Autumn” and Jan Edmund Jurkowski Memorial Guitar Competition in Tychy.
NOWAK IN THE NEWS
Maestro Grzegorz Nowak continues to be in artistic demand across the world. Recently he was appointed Chief Conductor for the Orquesta Sinfonica de España and the Orquesta Clásica SantaCeciliain Madrid, Spain. Both of these orchestras are financed and managed by Fundación Excelentia. Nowak is off to a running start in Spain, leading the ensembles with a series of classical concerts that are being recorded for Spanish TV. He has also engaged Adam Taubic as a guest concertmaster for these concerts. Simultaneously, Nowak is also conducting a series of popular concerts featuring Vadim Brodsky.
Continuing the series, on December 11 Nowak will lead a concert with two great Polish artists, Krzesimir Dębski and Andrzej Olejniczak. Looking on to next year and beyond, Nowak will lead Orquesta Sinfonica de España in London on May 25, 2015 and will present a May 2016 concert with Krystian Zimerman, performing Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto.
Earlier this fall Nowak had a series of conducting workshops and master classes for the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington and has returned there on October 22 to conduct Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Nowak’s Bloomington engagement with the Indiana University Symphony Orchestra was an emergency replacement for Maestro Cliff Colnot, who fell ill.
As of January 1, 2015, by the vote of members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Grzegorz Nowak will become Permanent Associate Conductor of that ensemble. This important announcement recognizes Nowak’s excellent partnership with the RPO and demonstrates the commitment by the orchestra’s players to this outstanding maestro. Bravo Grzegorz!
[Sources: press release, info.music.indiana.edu]
POLISH BAROQUE PLAYERS ON US TOUR
Il Giardino d'Amore is a European baroque orchestra let by violinist Stefan Plewniak that performs on original instruments. They have appeared in festivals and concert halls in Europe, the United States, and Canada and, during October and November, they are on tour through New York and California. Il Giardino d'Amore’s concert programs are composed of the most exciting and energetic baroque pieces and composers, many of which are featured on the group’s newest CD, Amor Sacro Amor Profano. Their concert tour will include works by Vivaldi, Handel, Bach and Szarzyński.
[Sources: press release, www.ilgiardinodamore.com]
ANNA MARIA JOPEK N. AMERICAN TOUR
On November 5, beloved Polish vocalist Anna Maria Jopek launches a “Best of…” tour of the US and Canada from November 5-9. Jopek will perform with top Polish jazz musicians, either as the AMJ Trio (with Marek Napiórkowski – guitar and Piotr Nazaruk – vocal, zither, flutes) or the AMJ Band (the trio plus Robert Kubiszyn – bass and Paweł Dobrowolski – percussion).
Anna Maria Jopek - composer, arranger and singer with respectful, honorable carrier, who has sold one million records and collaborated with the most outstanding musicians - Pat Metheny, Bobbi Mc Ferrin, Ivan Lins, Youssou N'Dour, Makoto Ozone, Richard Bona and others. With 14 albums of her own Anna Maria Jopek performed and recorded with all the important artists in Poland including numerous concerts and recordings with an ECM-based trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. During the Jazz Jamboree International Festival 40th Anniversary Gala she performed with one of the greatest jazz saxophonists of our times: Joe Lovano. In 2008 she performed with yet another all-time hero of hers, Bobby Mc Ferrin. Cameo appearances live with Chris Botti soon followed.
Anna Maria Jopek is as Polish as one can be—not only with her gentle beauty, but first of all with her music, coming straight from the heart. Yet her latest project features a bunch of true giants from around the world. The Brazilian bossa nova genius Oscar Castro Neves meets serene ECM recording pianist from Norway Tord Gustavsen. An exotic voice of Tunesian oud virtuoso and vocalist Dhafer Youssef blends with brave and adventurous notes of Branford Marsalis' soprano saxophone. Richard Bona's trademak Douala vocals and bass lines coexist with sensual French singing by percussion wizard Mino Cinelu. Manu Katche and Christian Mc Bride provide powerful grooves... yet then there is this amazing, sophisticated vocal (in fact - about a zillion of them so carefully layered!) by Anna Maria that makes it all work. That makes this dialogue of such different cultures not only possible, but fascinating to observe. That makes this music unique, one of the kind. Personal.
NOVEMBER CONCERTS FOR WAWROWSKI
Janusz Wawrowski has been hailed by the press “the hope bearer of the young generation of the Polish violinists” (musicwoche.de), “a virtuoso of the highest order” (Strings) and “the worthy inheritor of Yehudi Menuhin” (Polska Muza). He is a Warner Classics artist, whose latest CD Aurora (EMI 2013/ Warner 2014) has received excellent reviews in Strad, Strings, Pizzicato, Huffington Post and Polish magazines. Every concert of this brilliant artist is a guarantee of an unforgettable experience of the utmost artistry and musical conviction – see the reviews. Listen to his live recording of Sir A. Panufnik’s concerto from July 5, 2014.
The following are upcoming concerts for November 2014:
For more information on Janusz Wawrowski or these concerts, visit: wawrowski.com
[Source: press release]
WACŁAW ZIMPEL QTET IN MICHIGAN
The Wacław Zimpel Quartet—Waclaw Zimpel, bass clarinet, alto & Bb clarinets tarogato overtone flute composition; Krzysztof Dys, piano, fender rhodes; Christian Raymond, bass; Klaus Kugel, percussion, drums—will perform on November 12 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This concert is sponsored by the Center for World Performance Studies and The University of Michigan Copernicus Program in Polish Studies, which is focused on Polish jazz for the 2014-2015 academic year. See the Kopernikana press release for more information about the series.
The existence of the WACŁAW ZIMPEL QUARTET is more of a matter of fate then luck. The four musicians share common musical passions and they have all played in various types of musical configurations. For all of them, the European tradition was crucial.
Drummer Klaus Kugel’s use of space borders on the liturgic. Christian Raymond on Double Bass follows Kugel’s rhythm, which is both abstract and intuitive. Krzysztof Dys’s inspiration is mainly Prokofiew and Skriabin. Wacław Zimpel’s Clarinet does not shy away from its Slavic roots. The whole thing is set in a context that is as equally free jazz, as it is European.
The Quartet is not just a meeting of four musical personalities. These people share roots and the willingness to experiment. All four of the players put their souls into music. The band’s first album – Stone Fog, was released by ForTune® in the spring of 2013.
[Sources: press release, kerrytownconcerthouse.com]
CONTEMPORARY MUSIC DOESN’T BITE
The fourth round of conversations with composers in the series “Contemporary Music Doesn’t Bite” [Muzyka współczesna nie gryzie] was held on October 5 at the Academy of Social Sciences in Warsaw. The guest was Jarosław Siwiński, a composer and music event organizer. Siwiński, a graduate of the Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw, often leads projects that cross the boundaries of music by working with the Children Arts Academy and established artists such as Jan Lenica, Daniel Szczechura, Frederick Rzewski, and Michalangelo Pistoletti, among others. For his projects Siwiński has received scholarships from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the City of Warsaw, and ZAIKS Society of Authors.
Other October guests in the series included Agnieszka Stulgińska (Oct. 11) and Adam Sławiński (Oct. 25). The meetings continue in November with Romuald Twardowski (Nov. 8 - pictured at right) and Maciej Żółtowski (Nov. 16).
2014 IMiT CONDUCTORS-IN-RESIDENCE
The 2nd edition of the Institute of Music and Dance’s program Conductor-in-Residence has introduced two new pairings of Polish conductors and ensembles: Justyna Maj / Częstochowa Philharmonic [Filharmonia Częstochowska im. Bronisława Hubermana] and Paweł Pietruszewski / Lower Silesia Philharmonic [Filharmonia Dolnośląska w Jeleniej Górze]. Justyna Maj will be a conductor-in-residence at the Częstochowa Philharmonic throughout the 2014/2015 season and will conduct two concerts at the Philharmonic. For more information, please visit www.filharmonia.com.pl.
As part of his residency with the Lower Silesia Philharmonic, Paweł Pietruszewski will conduct a concert on 15 May 2015 and will be actively involved in preparations for three symphony concerts to be conducted by maestro Tomasz Bugaj and maestro Wojciech Rodek. For more information about the residency, please visit www.filharmonia.com.pl.
2014 IMiT COMPOSERS-IN-RESIDENCE
Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska has begun her residency at the Baltic Neopolis Orchestra, taking place as part of the 4th edition of the Composer-in-Residence program financed by the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT). As part of the residency, the Baltic Neopolis Quartet performed Fabiańska-Jelińska's 2008 work Three pieces for string quartet on October 12, and on
On February 21, 2015 the Baltic Neopolis Orchestra will perform the world premiere of Concerto for viola and string orchestra written by Fabiańska-Jelińska on a commission under the program at the Zbigniew Herbert Regional Culture Centre. Solo parts will be performed by Ewa Guzowska.
The residency is organized by the Baltic Neopolis Association. For more information on the composer and her residency, please visit www.balticneopolis.pl
Also as a part of the 4th edition of the Composer-in-Residence program of the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT), Rafał Zapała will be in residence at the Filharmonia Świętokrzyska in Kielce. Zapała is a composer, improviser (pianist, percussionist, live electronics), sound artist, assistant professor in the Department of Composition and Electroacoustic Music Studios employee of the Academy of Music in Poznań (SMEAMuz Poznań), and a doctoral recipient in composition. As a part of his residence, the Filharmonia Świętokrzyska performed the world premiere of his new work Susie’s mystic moments, under the baton of French conductor Antoine Glatarda on October 30.
JARCZYK TRIBUTE CONCERTS
Over the course of Octobe to December, the dearly missed jazz pianist, composer and arranger Jan Jarczyk will be honored with several Tribute Concerts around the world. The first two were in Montreal—on Oct. 7 at the Centre Cuturel Georges Vanier, and on Oct. 27 at Pollack Hall of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, where Jan was a professor for over 25 years. Then, on October 29 in Warsaw, a concert entitled “Warszawskie Zaduszki Jazzowe: Jarczyk, Seifert in Memoriam” was held, and gathered on stage some of Poland’s greets jazz musicians: Maciej Strzelczyk, Bartosz Dworak / Ryszard Borowski Bednarska Band / Ronnie Cuber, Piotr Rodowicz, Robert Majewski, and Kazimierz Jonkisz / Bartosz Dworak Quartet.
The hommages continue inToronto, where he will be honored at Gallery 345 in Toronto on Nov. 2.This musical pilgrimage then continues on to the Boston area where Jan also lived and taught for over 10 years—there, the Lilypad Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA will hold a concert on Nov. 7. Then the tributes continue in Europe. On Dec. 14 the Chapelle St-Etienne in Lille, France will hold a concert. On Dec. 26, the pilgrimage will end with a concert in Kraków, Poland, where Jan was born.
“POLAND’S CONCERT HALL REVIVAL”
On November 4, Rebecca Schmid of the New York Times wrote about “Poland’s Concert HallRevival,” which opens with a discussion of the new ICE Congress Center—ICE as an acronym
for “International Conferences & Entertainment”—in Kraków:
The center’s auditorium, with its terraced seating and capacity of 1,800, may seem
commonplace to concertgoers in Western Europe, the United States or Japan. But for many
Poles, its opening on Oct. 16 signaled a new era. The building is the latest in a spate of new
concert halls that are seen as symbolic of the triumph over the Communist past and of the
adoption of modern European values.
The article also introduces new halls in Katowice, Szczecin, Wrocław and Gorzów
Wielkopolski, all of which were built at least in part with money from the European Union.
Schmid discusses multiple aspects of this boom in growth, from the benefit to the cultural brand of Poland to questions regarding the economic benefit of using public funds in this way.
Read the entire article at www.nytimes.com.
INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATED IN PORTLAND
On Saturday, November 8, the Polish Hall in Portland, OR will host a matinee concert of chamber music entitled “Romantic era and beyond.” Part of the Polish Music at Polish Hall series, this concert celebrates Polish Independence Day with music by prominent Polish
composers of XIX and XX century: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937), String Quartet N.1 Op.37; Krzysztof Penderecki, (b. 1933) Quartet N. 2; Władysław Zelenski (1837-1921), Piano Quartet, Op.61. The concert will be performed by Colleen M. Adent – piano, Tatiana Kolchanova – violin, Kirsten Hisatomi-Norvell – violin, Stefana Berceanu – viola, and Katherine Schultz - cello.
[Sources: press release, facebook.com]
KOSCIUSZKO FDN EVENTS IN NY & DC
November 2, DC: Gala honoring Julian Kulski
The Kosciuszko Foundation in Washington D.C. will hold its annual Gala Reception on Sunday, November 2 at 4:30 pm in the handsome and historic Cosmos Club, at 2121 Massachusetts Avenue, on Embassy Row in the nation's capital. This year's reception honors the acclaimed writer and architect Julian Kulski, recipient of the 2014 Kosciuszko Foundation Pioneer Award and a trustee of the Kosciuszko Foundation.
Entertainment will include a special performance by two Polish musicians, the DuoKlavitarre. Pianist Jolanta Ziemska and her husband, guitarist Maciej Ziemski have been performing together for twelve years. Both artists graduated with awards from the Music Academy in Łódź, where they found romance and discovered their love of playing music together. They are active on the international music scene and currently make their home in Germany.
For more information, please see www.thekf.org/kf/events/dcgala.
November 6, NY: P Piano Performance by NYT acclaimed Carolyn Enger
Pianist Carolyn Enger will perform selections from her New York Times critically acclaimed "Best in Classical Recordings for 2013" CD entitled Ned Rorem: Piano Album I, 'Six Friends’.Also on the program will be pieces by Karol Szymanowski, Estonian composer Arvo Part, and
For more information, please see www.thekf.org/kf/events/upcoming_events/event/
November 16, NY: Vocal Performance by Soprano Malgorzata Kellis
A kaleidoscope of vocal works from the later 19th to the 20th century. Featuring Szymanowski, Lutoslawski, Ravel, Copland and many more...
Polish American soprano Dr. Malgorzata Kellis, having recently been awarded her DMA from the Gdansk Academy In Poland, has been heard performing in concert, opera and oratorio throughout Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria in a repertoire including the roles of
Despina, Rosina, II Lady and Pamina, Adele, Rosalinda, Hrabina-"Countess" by Moniuszko,
Zosia( Verbum Nobile - Moniuszko), Basia ( Krakowiacy I gorale- Kurpinski), Musetta, Zerlina
[Source: press release]
CHOPIN FDN CONCERTS IN FLORIDA
On November 8 and 9, American pianist Henry Kramer, a finalist from the 2010 National Chopin Piano Competition, will present a program of Chopin, Beethoven, Ravel, Liszt, and Brahms as a part of the Chopin for All Concert Series. The Chopin Foundation began
presenting the Chopin for All Concert Series in 1996 as a way to make high quality classical music, and especially the music of Chopin, accessible to the entire South Florida Community. It is also the Foundation’s way of supporting the many talented young American pianists that are featured at these concerts. The pianists are chosen in a variety of ways such as having distinguishing themselves in their communities, or through the Music Teachers National
On November 16, Russian-American pianist Margarita Shevchenko will perform the next
[Sources: press release, chopin.org]
RARE CHOPIN EDITIONS AVAILABLE
J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians LLC has recently made available its Catalogue No. 69 – The Collection of Jacob Lateiner Part II: Chopin First & Early Editions. This collection includes a stunning array of printings of first and early editions of Chopin’s music, the likes of which are rarely seen outside of a museum.
Established in 1977, J&J Lubrano are antiquarian music dealers specializing in musical autographs including autograph musical manuscripts and autograph letters of composers and performers; first and early editions of rare printed music; rare books on classical music; rare dance books; original prints, drawings and ephemera relating to music and dance including opera and ballet, 15th to 21st centuries.
Contact J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians LLC for more information.
[Sources: press release, lubranomusic.com]
1ST SZYMANOWSKI STRING QTET COMPETITION WINNERS
The First Karol Szymanowski International String Quartet Competition was held from September 24–28, 2014 in Katowice, Poland. Organized by the Karol Szymanowski Music Society in collaboration with the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, the competition is open to string quartets of all nationalities with cumulative age of the quartet members not to exceed 120 years. None of the members of the quartet may be over 35. Age eligibility is determined as of the opening day of the competition (September 24, 2014).
The 2014 winners of the Competion were:
Other finalists in the competition were Airis Quartet (Poland) and Diverso String Quartet (Poland).
OPAŁKA ANIMATION SCORE LAUDED
Held from October 16-19, the Best Music For Film Award at the 2014 Be there! Corfu Animation Festival went to composer Tomasz Jakub Opałka and his score for Ex animo (Poland 2014). The film was directed by Wojciech Wojtkowski and produced by FUMI Studio. The award was given for "the great power of imagination shown through the perfection connection of image and music." Listen to samples of music from the award-winning film at www.tomaszjakubopalka.com
STRUGALA HONORED IN KRAKÓW
Maestro Tadeusz Strugała was feted by the Kraków Philharmonic on October 4 with a gala concert celebrating his 60 year-long career in music. He received the Polonia Minor Award from the Marshall of the Małopolska Region Seymik and the Honoris Gratia Medal from the Deputy Mayor of Kraków. After the ceremony, Maestro Strugała stepped up to the podium to lead the orchestra in performance of Brahms Symphonies No. 1 and No. 3. A week later, Tadeusz Strugała returned to lead the Kraków Philharmonic in the other two Brahms Symphonies, No. 2 and No. 4.
He has led the Wrocław Philharmonic and the NOSPR (National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra) in Katowice. He has served as deputy artistic director and permanent conductor of the Warsaw Philharmonic, whilst at the same time leading the Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra and the Polish Radio Orchestra in Warsaw. He was a long-serving principal guest conductor of the FOK Prague Symphony Orchestra in the Czech Republic.
For many years, he was director of the Chopin Festival in Duszniki (1975–1985) and the Wratislavia Cantans festival in Wrocław (1969–1997), which flourished in artistic and organisational terms under his direction, gaining international renown. At the Wrocław Opera, and then at the Warsaw Chamber Opera, he has prepared the premieres of productions of Weber’s Der Freischütz, and he opened the Hoffman Festival with Beethoven’s Fidelio. At the Polish National Opera, he has prepared premiere performances of Boris Eifman’s ballet Tchaikovsky, subsequently serving as musical director for guest performances of that ballet given by Eifman’s Dance Theatre in Austria.
In recent years, he has also returned to teaching work, and he is regularly invited to sit on the jury of international conducting and piano competitions. He performed as the conductor in the closing scene of Roman Polanski’s film The Pianist, and conducted the soundtrack recording for Sony.
Tadeusz Strugała has been awarded an Orfeusz statue and a prize of the Polish Composers’ Union for outstanding achievements in the performance of contemporary Polish music. Among his other prestigious distinctions are the Grand Prix du Disque Ferenc Liszt, a nomination for Gramophone’s Record of the Year for his premiere recording of Roman Maciejewski’s Requiem, and the title ‘Stern des Monats’ awarded by the German phonographic magazine Fono Forum for recordings of works by Scharwenka. For his outstanding achievements in conducting and the promotion of Polish music abroad, he has received awards from the Ministry of Culture and Arts, including a gold Gloria Artis, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta, and also numerous prizes. He is also a prizewinner of the Kulturpreis Schlesien des Landes Niedersachsen and the first doctor honoris
He is a professor on the Department of Conducting and Composition of Krakow Music Academy, and a Ministry of Culture appointee to the Board of the NOSPR.
“It is definitely an act of courage but also proof of an open mind and a lack of rigidity. It shows a soul devoted to music, not stereotypes” says Kayah, one of the stars of previous Kwartesencja Festivals. To mix styles and genres, not to follow the beaten track, combine amazing artists who would never meet on the same stage or even on the same broadcasting channel on a regular day. All of the above is the essence of what Kwartesencja is about, the only series of concerts of this kind in Poland and one that has already found its place in the cultural calendar of Poland’s capital city and also managed to gain its own special audience. And it is special because it is so diverse, just like each program of Kwartesencja festivals.
The hosts of the festival, the musicians of The Royal String Quartet, came up with the idea for the festival and they have been organizing it since 2004, presenting the medium of the string quartet in multiple forms. Alongside classical, contemporary music plays a significant role during Kwartesencja. The interpretations of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki or George Crumb’s music presented during the festival were widely commented upon, while new compositions have also been written especially for the Quartet
Following on the successful premiere of a new commission by Paweł Szymański during last year’s Festival, thus year features premieres of commissions by Wojciech Blecharz and Andrzej Kwieciński on November 15. On November 14, the Royal String Quartet will perform Brahms and an arrangement of Strauss’ Metamorphosen for septet, during which they will be joined on stage by Katarzyna Budnik-Gałązka, Marcin Zdunik, and Tomasz Januchta. On November 16, RSQ will perform Philip Glass and the Lutosławski Piano Duo of Joanna Duda and Mischa Kozłowski will perform works by Julius Eastman.
In previous years, the four musicians of RSQ have been privileged to appear on stage during Kwartesencja concerts with the legendary Stephen Kovacevich, one of the most interesting modern pianists – Angela Hewitt, the excellent tenor Mark Padmore, and also with Kayah, Smolik, DJ Lenar and the Warsaw Village Band. Other previous guests include (in alphabetical order): Klaudiusz Baran, Andrzej Bauer, The Camerata String Quartet, Martin Fröst, Krzysztof Herdzin, Hob-beats Duo, Cezary Konrad, Urszula Krygiel, Michał Kulenty, Kwadrofonik, DJ Lenar, Simon Lepper, Marcin Murawski, Michał Nagy, New Generation Quartet, Tomasz Strahl, The Škampa Quartet, The Silesian String Quartet, Wojciech Świtała, Antoine Tamestit and Monika Wolińska. The stars of the most famous concert halls and stars of alternative music performing together, it can only happen during Kwartesencja! Thanks to the guests from the other side of the musical spectrum, the festival gains additional dimensions and the casual, informal character of a social gathering.
More on kwartesencja.com
NEW 20th CENT. MUSIC FESTIVAL IN JELENIA GÓRA
The Festival of 20th Century Music is a new highlight on the schedule of the Lower Silesia Philharmonic in Jelenia Góra. This series of concerts was launched already in June and continues through this month. A concert on Oct. 3 celebrated the centenary of Sir Andrzej Panufnik with a performance of his Tragic Overture, Piano Concerto and Sinfonia Sacra. Maciej Grzybowski—a pianist known for his excellent interpretations of modern piano repertoire—was the soloist, and the orchestra was led on this occasion by Maestro Tomasz Bugaj.
The last concert in this year’s series is planned for November 7. Again, Maestro Bugaj will lead the orchestra and violin soloists Roman Lasocki and Gabriela Michalak. The all-Polish program includes Wojciech Kilar – Orawa, Grażyna Bacewicz – Violin Concerto No.3, Karol Szymanowski – Violin Concerto No.2 (cadence by Marcin Błażewicz), and Witold Lutosławski – Mała Suita.
NEW ON DUX
Paweł Łukaszewski – Musica Sacra 5
Borkowski conducts Borkowski
PIANIST-COMPOSERS INSPIRED BY THE VIOLIN
LOUSSIER & PADEREWSKI
Jacques Loussier achieved immense worldwide popular success combining the music of J.S. Bach and jazz improvisation with his Play Bach Trio. Loussier’s focus has since turned more towards composing, his predilection for fusing jazz and classical elements expressed at its most economical in these two Violin Concertos. Eloquent expressiveness and colorful use of percussion characterize the First Concerto, while the Indian influence in the Second Concerto emerges through violin improvisation and rhythmic counterpoint from the tabla. Like Loussier, Paderewski was a piano virtuoso who turned to composition in later life, the Violin Sonata being one of his finest earlier works.
NEW RELEASE FROM RGG
Entitled AURA, the seventh album of this noted jazz group RGG was released on Oct. 21 by OKeh Records and Sony Music Entertainment. This disc represents RGG’s international debut, proving the ensemble’s merits among connoisseurs abroad. “Our music is directed towards active listeners” – say the musicians of RGG, which includes pianist Łukasz Ojdana, bassist Maciej Garbowski, and percussionist Krzysztof Gradziuk.
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Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Translation Assistance: Marek Żebrowski
Layout Assistance: Thuy Le
Wiesław Dabrowski, Terry Tegnazian, Adrian Thomas
Sources of information: Polish Cultural Institute (NY & UK), Adam Mickiewicz Institute, PWM,
Nowy Dziennik, Polish Music Information Centre - Warsaw, Polish American Journal,
Poland.pl, PAP, ZKP, infochopin.pl, Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza
Formatting by Krysta Close, November, 2014.
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