Polish Music Newsletter

November 2015, Vol. 21, No. 11. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California

 Anniversaries  | Awards | Discography | Festivals | News 
PerformancesPMC News

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david lynch marek zebrowskiBarren train stations, Polish factories at night, and silent hotels where lonely travellers meet. These are the images and suggested narratives that pervade the spirit of Polish Night Music, the musical collaboration between American filmmaker David Lynch and Polish Music Center Director, concert pianist and composer Marek Zebrowski. On November 13, the first-ever vinyl pressing of Polish Night Music will be released. This album was previously released only as limited-edition, now out-of-print CD in 2008.

Lynch and Zebrowski standing outside of the Polish Music Center,
celebrating their collaboration at the Measures & Frames event
USC, Los Angeles | March 28, 2015 | Photo: Krysta Close

Read a review of this project at www.theguardian.com.

The 2x heavyweight LP includes the original tracks— 1.Night (Memories of Machines) 2.Night (Unfilled Dreams) 3.Night (The Great Electrical Pants Stand Like Cathedrals) 4.Night (Snowfalls Through The Black Leafless Trees)—as well as a previously unreleased bonus 4 track live album.

To pre-order the new vinyl pressing, visit www.amazon.co.uk. To pre-order a digital copy of all original and new ablum material, visit tunes.apple.com.

[Sources: sundaybest.net, theguardian.com, amazon.co.uk]



Adam Knight Gilbert leads the Baroque Sinfonia in the 2015 Paderewski Lecture-Recital program
Photo: Lucyna Przasnyski

kuscThe Polish Music Center's 2015 Paderewski Lecture-Recital will air this Sunday, November 9 at 9:00 pm on KUSC-FM's Thornton Center Stage. This broadcast will be available in Southern California on 91.5 FM and worldwide on KUSC.org.



Paderewski15: padfest2015_savedate.jpg

The 2015 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles kicked off this Thursday, November 5, and will run until Sunday, November 8. The schedule is packed with diverse concerts of excellent musicians, including: a multimedia concert with the City of Angeles Saxophone Quartet, a selection of modern Polish music interpreted for the accordion by the dynamic Motion Trio, a recital of solo piano music by Paderewski and Chopin performed by Thomas Pandolfi, a lecture about the history and future of the Paderewski Festival given by Festival Board members Joel Peterson and Marek Zebrowski, and much more.

For further information, you can read more about the 2015 events at www.paderewskifest.com or www.travelpaso.com, or enjoy a discussion of “Why We Celebrate Paderewski” written by Joel Peterson.



CD donations: Maciej Zielinski

Across the Milenniums Maciej ZielinskiV Symphony Maciej ZielinskiSounds of Love Maciej Zielinski

On November, Polish composer Maciej Zieliński visited the Polish Music Center and donated the following recordings of his music:  “Across the Milenniums” (Polskie Radio PRCD 1435), “V Symphony” (DUX 0988), and “Sounds of Love” (Polskie Radio PRCD 1354-1355). In L.A. for several film studio meetings, Zieliński’s works encompass contemporary classical, film, theatre and commercial music as well as written music for television programs and commercials. He is most popularly known for his soundtracks to many Polish blockbusters, such as “Tango de Amor” from the movie “Never in My Life.” As a composer and arranger, he has collaborated with many Polish artists, including Kayah, Ania Dabrowska, De Su, and Agnieszka Wilczynska, among many others. Many of his compositions have been performed at music festivals as well, namely the Warsaw Autumn Festival, the Synthesizer-Musik-Festival, the European Youth Music Festival, and World Music Days. In 2012, he was nominated for the Frederic 2012 Award in the category “Best Composer of the Year.” Zielinski has won many awards internationally and abroad, including the Tytan Award (1993), Kreatura (2000), Silver Granade (2009), and the Alan Bush Composition Prize (1999).

CD donation: Neo Quartet

During his recent performances in Southern France, PMC Director Marek Zebrowski performed with the Neo Quartet. Out of this collaboration came a donation of the ensemble’s recent recording of “Aleksander Kościów: String Quartets” (DUX 1171). This album of works by Aleksander Kościów is an excellent example of the NeoQuartet’s mission to collaborate with contemporary composers and to make their music familiar to the wider audience.

CD donation: Nikita MndoyantsNikita Mndoyants In Search of Freedom

During his recent return to Southern California, Russian pianist Nikita Mndoyants—who previously won the Paderewski Competition in Bydgoszcz and subsequently served as the Gala performer for the 2008 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles—presented the PMC with his recording entitled “Nikita Mndoyants: In Search of Freedom” (PRD/DSD 250 296).

Materials from Poland

Participants in the 2015 Paderewski Festival Youth Cultural Exchange had several new opportunities for cultural exploration during this year’s exchange, including visits to the Radziejowice Palace and the Chopin Museum in Warsaw. While in these beautiful and educational locations, PMC Director and Paderewski Festival Artistic Director Marek Zebrowski received the following donations to the PMC library:

From dir. Bogumił Mrówczyński (left), of Radziejowice Palace: Program of the “VII Letni Festiwal im. Jerzego Waldorffa (Radziejowice 4-11 lipca 2015)

From Monika Strugała (left) of the Chopin Society in Warsaw:  “Chopin: Muzeum Chopina

And finally, the PMC received an incredible new resource from the Stanisław Moniuszko Music Academy in Gdańsk. Edited by Marek Podhajski, Polish Music. Polish Music Composers 1918-2010 is a 1300 page tome dedicated to information about all of the Polish composers active during the years 1918-2010. It was co-published by the Moniuszko Music Academy and the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin. For a listing of articles and more information, visit www.wydawnictwokul.lublin.pl.

Thank you for expanding our collection!




On 4 November 2015, the last known composition of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, who died five years ago, will have its World Premiere in Kraków at the ICE Congress Centre. This premiere performance of Sanctus Adalbertus, as well as the celebratory Fanfara by Paweł Mykietyn that was composed especially for this occasion, will crown the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of PWM Edition. Performers for the concert will be: Wioletta Chodowicz - soprano, Artur Ruciński - baritone, the Polish Radio Choir and Kraków Philharmonic Choir, as well as the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra with Jacek Kaspszyk as conductor.

The first performance of this monumental work, devoted to the figure of the first patron of Poland, St. Adalbert, has long been discussed. Henryk Mikołaj Górecki wrote it already in 1997 for the thousandth anniversary of the martyrdom of the bishop from Prague. The oratory was to be performed during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Poland and was supposed to be dedicated to the Polish Pope. However, the first performance did not take place and, ultimately, the work was never presented in public. The oratory would come up time and again in the successive years, giving music lovers hope for hearing it, especially as Górecki rarely composed at that time and struggled with health issues. However, Górecki died in November 2010, leaving the question of the premiere of Sanctus Adalbertus unanswered.

After his death, his son Mikołaj Górecki found the complete oratory. With the consent of the family, the world premiere of the work written by one of the greatest Polish composers of the 20th century will take place five years after his death, and at the height of the celebrations of PWM Edition’s 70th anniversary. The event has a symbolic character, as Górecki published his first pieces with PWM Edition and was associated with this publishing house throughout his artistic life.

In addition to the world premiere of Sanctus Adalbertus Op. 71 for soprano, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra and Fanfara by Paweł Mykietyn, on November 4 the audience will also hear Eternal Songs Op. 10 by Mieczysław Karłowicz.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 | 8:00 p.m.
World Premiere of Górecki’s last work - Sanctus Adalbertus/PWM’s 70th Anniversary

ICE Congress Centre, ul. Marii Konopnickiej 17, Kraków
Tickets: www.eventim.pl

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



Olimpia z Gdańska [Olympia of Gdańsk], a new opera by Polish composer Zygmunt Krauze, will be presented by the Opera Bałtycka in Gdańsk in its World Premiere performance on November 20, 2015. The main performers are Anna Mikołajczyk (Stanisława), Jan Monowid (Robespierre), and Monika Ledzion (Olimpia).

As described by Director Jerzy Lech, this opera “defies traditional narrative theater.” Written by Krystyna and Blaise de Obaldia, the libretto mingles the settings of 1930s Gdańsk and Revolutionary France, centering on a woman named Stanisława Przybyszewska who is writing a novel in one place about the other. Over the course of the opera’s story, time and relationships are shown to be porous and easily cross over into each other. Together with the main character in her novel, French Revolutionary icon Olimpia de Gouges, Stanisława not only takes part in the war but also undergoes a deep personal and ideological metamorphosis.

November 20-22, 2015 | 7:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Olimpia z Gdanska
Baltic Opera in Gdansk
al. Zwyciestwa 15, 80-219 Gdansk, Poland
Tickets: bilety24.pl

[Sources: issuu.com, operabaltycka.pl]



Danish guitarist Mikkel Andersen will play the US premiere of the guitar version of Marcin Stańczyk’s  Aftersounds at the University of Miami on November 13, 2015.

Marcin Stańczyk (b. Nov. 16, 1977) is a law graduate from the University of Łódź and completed studies in music theory and composition with Zygmunt Krauze at the Music Academy of Łódź. After graduating, he moved to Rome for 3-years postgraduate studies at the Accdemia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with Ivan Fedele. He has participated in the Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn (Netherland); masterclasses with Klangforum Wien and Trilok Gurtu during La Biennale di Venezia (2007-2008); composition courses at Voix Nouvelles 2009; Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt (2010); and Jerwood Opera Writing Programme (2010-2011). As a composer he has won 10 international composers competitions in Poland, Italy, Netherland, Romania, Germany, Japan, China and the US, and has been recipient of numerous scholarships, from such institutions as: Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (Young Poland 2007), Italian Government, Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, Aldeburgh Centre of Music, Witold Lutosławski Society (2011 scholarship). He also participates in the Young Composers Program established by the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre of Music (2007-2010). He works both at the Regional Administrative Court in Łódź as well as the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic Orchestra in Łódź and at the Academy Music in Łódź as a lecturer on contemporary compositional techniques and electronic music.

Friday, November 13, 2015 | 12:00 p.m.
University of Miami
S Dixie Hwy, Coral Gabels, Florida 33124
Info: mikkelandersen.dk

 [Source: press release, mikkelandersen.dk]



A new choral piece by Paweł ŁukaszewskiVeni Sancte Spiritus for Two Unaccompanied Mixed Choirs, dedicated to the memory of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki—was performed by the orchestra and choir of the Kraków Philharmonic for the first time on October 2 at an oratory concert at Kraków Philharmonic Hall.     

The program also featured Przybądź Duchu Święty [Come, Holy Spirit] Op. 61 by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Towards the Unknown Region by Ralph Vaughan Williams and the Symphony No. 7 in A major Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven. The concert was performed by the Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Martyn Brabbins and the Kraków Philharmonic Choir, prepared by Teresa Majka-Pacanek.

From the program notes by Dorota Staszkiewicz on the Kraków Philharmonic:

The lyrics of “golden” sequence pertaining to the Holy Spirit refer to one of the most important theses of the Christian faith, therefore it has been interpreted by composers from different nationalities and periods of time—including H.M. Górecki and P. Łukaszewski. The song Przybądź Duchu Święty op. 61 by Górecki was based on the Polish translation of a text from a songbook by Fr. W. Lewkowicz, and the work Veni Sancte Spiritus by Łukaszewski is in the original Latin, however in both of these sacred compositions the word plays a very important role.

[Source: pwm.com.pl, filharmonia.krakow.pl]



Wojtek Blecharzszmytka jagoda

On November 6, the Ensemble KNM Berlin will feature works by Wojtek Blecharz—Counter-Earth for clarinetist and objects (2015), blacksnowfalls for timpano solo (2014), and The Map of Tenderness for cello solo (2012)—during their first portrait concert at Kunstquartier Bethanien in Berlin, Germany. Entitled “Pol(s)ka & Kontext mit Wojtek Blecharz,” the program is the first half of a two-part concert.

Then on November 8, KNM Berlin will present “Pol(s)ka & Kontext mit Jagoda Szmytka” at Kunstquartier Bethanien. Also the first half of a two-part concert, the program will include the following works by young Polish composer Jagoda Szmytka: empty music for audiovisual contextual composition (2014), sky-me, type-me for four voices amplified with megaphones (2011), f* for music for E-guitar and amplified cello (2012), and for travellers like angels or vampires for amplified ensemble (2012).

Ensemble KNM Berlin is comprised of: Rebecca Lenton, flute; Gudrun Reschke, performer; Theo Nabicht, saxophone/clarinets; Alexandre Babel, percussion; Frank Gutschmidt, piano/E-piano; Seth Josel, E-guitar; Martin Steuber, E-guitar; Nathalie Amstutz, harp; Theodor Flindell, violin; Kirstin Maria Pientka, viola; Cosima Gerhardt, cello.

Friday, November 6, 2015 | 8:00 p.m.
Pol(s)ka & Kontext with Wojtek Blecharz

Kunstquartier Bethanien
Mariannaplatz 2, Kreuzber, 10997 Berlin, Germany
Info: kammerensemble.de or facebook.com

Sunday, November 8, 2015 | 8:00 p.m.
Pol(s)ka & Kontext with Jagoda Szmytka

Kunstquartier Bethanien
Mariannaplatz 2, Kreuzber, 10997 Berlin, Germany
Info: kammerensemble.de or facebook.com

[Source: facebook.com, kammerensemble.de]



From November 10-15, the 2015 University of Louisville New Music Festival will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Grawemeyer Awards, one of the most prestigious prizes in the world. Founded by H. Charles Grawemeyer to help make the world a better place, the Awards are given annually by the University of Louisville to individuals in the areas of Education, Ideas Improving World Order, Music Composition, Religion, and Psychology. Of the five awards, the Music Composition award is the oldest, and was awarded for the first time in 1985 to Witold Lutosławski for his Symphony No. 3. Lutosławski is one of only two Polish composers to receive the award in its 30 year history, the second being Krzysztof Penderecki, who won the award for his symphonic piece Adagio for Large Orchestra in 1992.

With the New Music Festival’s focus this year on composers who have previously won a Grawemeyer Award, Penderecki and Lutosławski's music will have a strong presence at various concerts, including one on November 12 presented by the Louisville Orchestra, celebrated for its First Edition Recordings series of new music by living composers. The Festival will host the 2003 Grawemeyer winner, Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, as this year’s special guest. French composer and visual artist Jean-Baptiste Barrière, American flutist Camilla Hoitenga and Danish cellist Jakob Kullberg will also be festival guests.

The School of Music at the University of Louisville has long been associated with the performance and creation of contemporary music, thanks in large part to the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition as well as the annual New Music Festival. Polish composer Krzysztof Wołek works at the University of Louisville as a Professor of Music Composition and is the primary festival coordinator. The2015 New Music Festival is presented by the University of Louisville School of Music in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

[Sources: Polish Cultural Institute NY Newsletter, louisville.edu, grawemeyer.org]



quarta_sept2015_chopin.jpgThe latest edition of PWM’s quarterly music magazine, Quarta, was published in September 2015 and is now available on issuu.com. In celebration of this year’s 17th edition of the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, the issue is entitled “Chopin, simply the best,” and has such features as: a conversation with Rafał Blecharz, the last Polish winner of the Competition; a review of the two sets of the complete works of Chopin published by PWM, considered to the international standard bearer.

[Sources: issuu.com]



Presented in cooperation with the Polish Consul General of Los Angeles, Motion Trio performed on November 1 to a full house crowd at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The group is currently in the U.S. promoting their “Polonium” album of music by 20th and 21st century Polish composers, and they will also perform in Seattle and Paso Robles, California.

Motion Trio is a Polish accordion trio founded in 1996 by Janusz Wojtarowicz and rounded out by Paweł Baranek and Marcin Gałażyn. The group has worked with such artists as Michael Nyman, Bobby McFerrin, and Michał Urbaniak, and have been awarded such prizes as the grand prix 4th Edition of the Krzysztof Penderecki International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition.

Sunday, November 1, 2015 | 6:00 PM
Motion Trio at SUNDAYS LIVE! Chamber Music Series

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Bing Theater
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Admission is free.
Info: lacma.org

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 | 7:30 pm
Motion Trio at Seattle Symphony
Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall
200 University St., Seattle, WA 98101
Admission $20-30
Info & Tickets: seattlesymphony.org

Friday, November 6, 2015 | 7 PM
Motion Trio at the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles
Park Ballroom
1232 Park St. #200, Paso Robles
Info & Tickets: www.paderewskifest.com

[Sources: Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter, lacma.org]



Stanisław Skrowaczewski returned to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall on October 31, 2015, shortly after his 92nd birthday. A renowned interpreter of Bruckner, Skrowaczewski conducted Bruckner’s Symphony No.5 in B-flat major (1878 Nowak edition), following two hugely successful performances in recent years with the LPO of Bruckner’s Symphony No.3 in D minor (LPO–0084) and Symphony No.7 (LPO–0071), both recorded live and released on the LPO label. Reviews of those recordings are below:

“Luminous in texture and majestically clear of purpose, with an exceptionally serene slow movement and a warm-hearted Trio. Tempi are wonderfully sustained … and climaxes are reached patiently and lyrically.” Bruckner Symphony No.7 (2013), *****, Financial Times

“The LPO ... bring a warmth and holistic purity … Skrowaczewski keeps his head when, all around him, other conductors lose theirs.” Bruckner Symphony No.3 (2015), Gramophone [Click here to watch Skrowaczewski and the Berliner Philharmoniker perform Bruckner Symphony No.3]

Another long-standing musical relationship that the maestro will be celebrating this fall is that with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, an orchestra with which he has been connected since 1978, and in 2001, he was appointed their Principal Guest Conductor. Together they have recorded the complete symphonies of Bruckner, Beethoven, Schumann and most recently Brahms. This joint work has been documented in a 28-CD box set, released two years ago by Oehms Classics for the 90th birthday of the maestro.

Friday, November 6, 2015 | 8:00 pm
Soiree Saarbrucken

Congresshalle in Saarlandhalle
An der Saarlandhalle 1, 66113 Saarbrucken, Germany
Tickets & Info: drp-orchester.de

[Source: intermusica.co.uk, drp-orchester.de]



ijp-gala_padsymph.jpgThe Paderewski Symphony Orchestra in Chicago honors the legacy of Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941), one of the greatest pianists from the Golden Age of Piano, composer extraordinaire, philanthropist, political leader, diplomat and the first Prime Minister of Poland. The Paderewski Gala celebrating the 155th anniversary of the legendary artist's birth will take place at Symphony Center's Orchestra Hall on November 8, 2015 at 3pm and will feature Paderewski's own compositions including the virtuosic Piano Concerto in A Minor and the monumental Vivace from his Symphony in B Minor, as well as Elgar's Polonia Overture and Chopin's Andante spinato et grande polonaise brillante.

Paderewski's career took him on twenty concert tours in the U.S. including 1,500 performances, 65 of which were in Chicago. In 1892, he performed at the inaugural season of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Theodore Thomas and in 1931 he played his own Piano Concerto under the baton of Frederick Stock at Northwestern University.

Under the baton of the orchestra's music director Wojciech Niewrzol, the 29-year-old concert pianist Igor Lipinski will be featured as the soloist in the Paderewski Concerto. Lipinski, a graduate of the prestigious Eastman School of Music and a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, made his American orchestra debut playing the Paderewski Concerto with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on NPR's Performance Today. At age 12, he received the Grand Prix Award at the Paderewski Competition in Kąsna Dolna, Poland. At age 17, he played a role of a young pianist, a pupil of Paderewski, in a theater play staged at the University at Buffalo entitled "Paderewski's Children". Buffalo News called Lipinski's performances "literally magical" and Eastman professor Tony Caramia called his playing "effortless, effective, evocative, sensitive, virtuosic, and technically brilliant."

The support and development of young musicians is a fundamental principle of the Paderewski Symphony Orchestra's mission. The second half of the concert will open with the 16-year old Daniel Szefer who will be featured in Chopin's Andante spinato et grande polonaise brillante.

With its focus on the community outreach and music education, the Paderewski Symphony Orchestra is the most active professional music institution dedicated to the popularization of Polish music and culture outside of Poland. The orchestra has performed over 200 concerts for over 180,000 listeners, presenting music by the most illustrious Polish composers: Chopin, Wieniawski, Karlowicz, Lutoslawski, Szymanowski, Gorecki and Kilar.

Sunday, November 8, 2015 | 3:00 pm
Paderewski Symphony Orchestra

Symphony Center's Orchestra Hall
220 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604
Admission $37-$59
For tickets, please visit: cso.org
Info: (773) 467-9000 or pasochicago.org

[Source: pasochicago.org]



Pianist Julia Samojlo will make her debut at Carnegie Hall as she collaborates with cellist Karolina Jaroszewska. The cello-piano duo will perform Chopin’s Polonaise brillante in C Major, Op. 3 and various classical pieces by polish composers, like Penderecki, Franck and Ysaye. Samojlo has worked closely with The Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra and The Polish Composers Union, and was twice awarded an Artist Fellowship by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama . Jaroszewska, a graduate of The Juilliard School, is represented by the Ludwig van Beethoven Association of E. Penderecka and has performed with the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra since 2005.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 | 8 PM
Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall
881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Tickets & Info: (212) 247-7800
Free tickets available at the box office.

Chopin will also be featured when two rising young piano stars—Zoltán Fejérvári and Kuok-Wai Lio—take to the Weill Recital Hall stage to showcase their solo skills and also partner in music for two pianos. Their program will begin with Chopin’s Mazurkas, Op. 24 and his Fantasy in F Minor, Op. 49. The Mazurkas are melodically rich and rooted in the folk traditions of his native Poland, while the Fantasy in F Minor boldly explores innovative harmonies. The program also includes works by Schumann and Mozart.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 | 7:30 PM
Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall
881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Admission $43
Tickets: carnegiehall.org

[Sources: polishculture-nyc.org, carnegiehall.org, juliasamojlo.com]



Commissioned by the Chopin Foundation of the United States, several intimate series of concerts are held to celebrate and showcase the newly crowned laureates from the organization’s preceding event, the National Chopin Piano Competition (NCPC). This year, the three “Master Winners” of the competition will be featured. In the Chopin for All concert series starting in November, winners Eric Zuber and George Li will give encore performances of their sheer talent. Additionally, the audience will be able to enjoy a wine reception and performances by Jon Nakamatsu, the winner of the NCPC in 1995 and of the Van Cliburn Competition in 1997, during the Chopin Salon Concert series.

Saturday November 7, 2015 | 3:00 pm
Chopin for All FREE Concert Series with Eric Zuber
 Broward County Main Library
100 S. Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale
Info: chopin.org

Sunday November 8, 2015 | 3:00 pm
Chopin for All FREE Concert Series with Eric Zuber
Granada Presbyterian Church
950 University Drive, Coral Gables
Info: chopin.org 

Sunday, November 22 | 4:00 pm
Chopin Salon Concerts
with Jon Nakamatsu
La Gorce Country Club
5685 Alton Road, Miami Beach
Info & Tickets: chopin.org

[Source: press release]



wakarecy in memoriamThe Pomeranian Music Society organized a Nov. 4 concert at the Great Hall of the Artus Court in Toruń to commemorate the tragic death four years ago of Marek Wakarecy, a well-known Toruń-based musician who also led the Toruń Symphony Orchestra. In 1997 Wakarecy founded the Music and Architecture summer festival and in 2005 he laid the foundation for the Toruń Handel Festival. In addition to performing, Marek Wakarecy for many years served on the board of the Pomeranian Music Society.

For the memorial concert, two outstanding soloists, Jakub Jakowicz and Krzysztof Jakowicz, appeared with a specially-assembled “String Orchestra for Marek,” performing repertoire of works by Vivaldi, Albinoni and H.M. Górecki.

[Sources: polmic.pl]



La Revue de CuisineMusic of Remembrance (MOR) launches its 18th season with La Revue de Cuisine on Sunday, November 8 at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. Founded in 1998, MOR aims to commemorate the Holocaust through music by today’s leading composers with concert performances, educational programs, recordings and commissions of new works. The concert includes a selection of songs from the Vilna ghetto performed by soprano Roslyn Barak, one of the foremost interpreters of Jewish song. The audience will be exposed to the profound and courageous resilience of Jews living there as well as the powerful and poetic music of Mieczyslaw Weinberg. Weinberg’s lively Capriccio and meditative Aria underscore the overall suffering and hope experienced by Poles that resulted from the German invasion. Other performances include works by Martinu, Franz Schreker, Engel and Kattenburg.

Sunday, November 8, 2015 | 3:00 p.m.
La Revue de Cuisine

Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall
200 University St, Seattle, Washington 98101
Admission $45, $30 for ages under 30
Tickets: (206) 365-7770 or musicofremembrance.org

 [Source: press release, musicofremembrance.org]






As a part of their 2015/2016 season at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, the London Philharmonic Orchestra is presenting a series entitled “Riots, rebels and revolutionaries,” which explores how music has been used as a tool to explore the human experience, challenge our assumptions, and provoke debate through the ages. In this series, the LPO performs a range of works that promise to explore philosophical and political themes, from Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 1 and 7, to Stravinsky’s riot-inducing The Rite of Spring to Penderecki’s Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima.

On October 14, the LPO’s “Riots…” program focused on the sonically and thematically intense music of Polish composer Krzystof Penderecki. The program included two UK premieres—Penderecki’s Adagio for Strings and his Horn Concerto 'Winterreise'—and Penderecki’s unabashedly provocative Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, as well as Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6.

[Source: lpo.org.uk]



On October 7th, the 21st International Contemporary Music Festival of Contrasts took place in the Lyudkevych Concert Hall in Lviv, Ukraine, with support from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland and the Institute of Music and Dance. ‘The Modern Galicia… The Five Works on the Way’ was brought to life by the Kwartludium Ensemble performing various works of Polish and Ukrainian composers: Aleksandra Gryka, Zoltan Almashi, Anna Arkushyna, Jaroslaw Plonka and Karol Nepelski. The concert was repeated on October 8th as well as October 17th during the ‘aXes’ Festival in Kraków.

[Sources: polmic.pl, philharmonia.lviv.ua]



The rich musical life of Stanisław Firlej, a world-famous cello virtuoso and distinguished music professor at the Łódź Music Academy, was celebrated with an Oct. 6 concert featuring the maestro and his wife, pianist Anna Wesołowska-Firlej. Their joint performance included many of cello and piano favorites with Chopin’s Etude Op. 25 no. 7 (in Glazunov’s transcription), Popper’s Tarantella Op. 33, Tchaikovsky’s Nocturne, Op. 19 no. 4 and excerpts from Chopin’s Sonata Op. 65.

Firlej studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and at Accademia Chigiana in Siena. After his debut with the St. Petersburg Conservatory Orchestra, he entered numerous competitions and toured around Europe with Anna Wesołowska-Firlej. As concertmaster of the fabled Warsaw-based Karol Teutsch Chamber Orchestra, Firley also toured Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and North and South America. His recordings of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata with Paul Badura-Skoda and Chopin’s cello and piano repertoire with Anna Wesołowska-Firlej have attracted countless fans around the globe. Also a sought-after pedagogue, Stanisław Firley holds professorships in Łódź and Wrocław Music Academies and conducts master classes across Europe. Marek Szpakiewicz, alum of the USC Thornton School of Music, is one of many distinguished cellists who came from Professor Firlej’s studio.

[Source: amuz.lodz.pl]



szymanowskiego days 2015 banner

The annual Szymanowski Festival held in his favorite Tatra Mountains retreat town of Zakopane took place July 25—August 2 this year. As usual, it presented a number of concerts and artists from all over the world as well as other accompanying events that spotlighted Szymanowski as well as Zakopane’s history.

The Festival attracted a lot of positive press reviews and articles, starting with Wojciech Mróz, writing for Tygodnik Podhalański that, “For the first time, the Festival did not begin with speeches or concerts […] but with a parade of horse-driven carriages to the accompaniment of local Highlander and Ukrainian music, that proved a most attractive opening.” The Ukrainian link was also underscored by the presence of the Młyneczek Ensemble hailing from the area of Tymoszówka, a family estate where Szymanowski was born in 1882.

Trebunie TutkiLocal musician and conductor, Agnieszka Kreiner-Bogdańska, described a fascinating concert presenting a 2-piano transcription of Szymanowski’s orchestral ballet, Harnasie, made by Grażyna Bacewicz in performance by Joanna Domańska and Andrzej Tatarski. That program was balanced on the second half by local folk music featured by Trebunie Tutki Ensemble and the bagpipe orchestra led by Szymon Bafia.

Writing for the Ruch Muzyczny, Tomasz Cyz observed that “… the Zakopane Szymanowski Festival always proves itself in the chamber music offerings. Without a proper concert hall venue, performances take place in churches or in famous Zakopane residences. One of the concerts at Villa Atma (a natural choice for a Szymanowski program) and the other at Villa Koliba (built in 1892 to a project by Stanisław Witkiewicz) … were devoted to the 100th anniversary of Szymanowski’s Mythes for Violin and Piano … and music for harp and flute presented under a title, ‘Handsome Karol.’”

Sinfonia Cracovia OrchestraThe Festival’s finale featured a world premiere performance of Mikołaj Górecki’s Trio Concerto with Sinfonia Cracovia Orchestra led by Maestro Massimiliano Caldi. As the PWM Newsletter stated, the audience reacted enthusiastically to this brand new work. Daniel Cichy, Editor-in-Chief at PWM declared that, “Mikołaj Górecki’s new composition is another proof of the composer’s amazing gift for melody, excellent sense of form and carefully-planned dramatic development of various sections of the piece. Additionally, an interesting and pioneering approach to the relationship between the soloists and the accompanying string orchestra deserves a special mention.”

Reminiscing about the same concert, Sławomir Czarnecki noted that, “The world premiere of a new work and being a witness to it is always an ennobling experience. Such concerts are exceptional and unusual and they remain in the listener’s memory for a long time, especially if we hear an excellent composition, such as the Trio Concerto. From the opening bars the piece drew us in with interesting entrances of the solo instruments. Then came a satisfying and rich climax followed by a long relaxation bathed in beautiful harmonies and fascinating melodic lines that created a mood of heavenly misterioso and beguiled us with Messiaen-like soundscapes.”

[Sources: Joanna Domańska, press release]




On October 14th, 2015, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage Prof. Małgorzata Omilanowska decorated 23 persons with Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals for Merit in Culture “Gloria Artis.” Amongst those honored were composer Krzesimir Dębski and pianist Jerzy Marchwiński. All of the winners are listed below:

  • Gold Medals for Merit in Culture – Gloria Artis: Maria Kałamajska-Saeed, Stanisław Kulon and Maciej Szańkowski
  • Silver Medals for Merit in Culture – Gloria Artis: Andrzej Tadeusz Betlej, Andrzej Chyra, Krzesimir Dębski, Wojciech Kass, Włodzimierz Korcz, Jarosław Kozakiewicz, Boris Kudlička, Wojciech Malajkat, Jerzy Marchwiński, Zbigniew Mikołejko, Teresa Murak, Rena Rolska, Ryszard Rynkowski, Zbigniew Zamachowski and Antoni Ziemba
  • Bronze Medals for Merit in Culture – Gloria Artis: Agnieszka Chylińska, Hanna Etemadi, Edyta Górniak, Artur Rojek, and Michał Żebrowski

The Medal for Merit in Culture – Gloria Artis is a decoration awarded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland to persons and organizations for distinguished contributions to, or protection of the Polish culture and heritage. For more information, visit www.mkidn.gov.pl.

[Sources: polmic.pl, mkidn.gov.pl]



The finalists in the 13th Tadeusz Ochlewski Composers' Competition, organized by the Polish Music Publishers (PWM Edition, Kraków), were recently announced. According to the rules, winning composers receive cash prizes (first prize: 1500 zł, award: 1000 zł), and winning compositions are published by and incorporated into the catalog of PWM for public usage.

The jury was composed of: prof. Romuald Twardowski - composer, Chairman of the Jury; prof. Catherine Sokołowska – choirmaster; prof. Paweł Łukaszewski - composer, choirmaster; Dr. Daniel Cichy - Editor in Chief of PWM. They awarded the following:

    • First prize: Krzysztof Ratajski for Rebounds for 5-part children choir to an original phonetic text
    • Honourable mention: Szymon Godziemba-Trytek for A Wonderer’s Song for 3-part children choir
    • Compositions recommended by the jury to be published by the PWM edition: Atrament by Piotr Stawarski and Kolebany i Obertas by Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska

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



An October 24 concert at the Mickiewicz University Hall in Poznań honored composer Paweł Łukaszewski, who received the Jerzy Kurczewski Award. Łukaszewski received his prize from Krzysztof Meyer, head of the Awards Committee and Alina Kurczewska, daughter of the Award’s founder and a distinguished choral conductor herself.

Led by maestro Jacek Sykulski, the Poznań Boys’ Choir and Girls’ Vocal Ensemble from the Poznań Choir School with special guest organist Sławomir Kamiński presented works by Wacław of Szamotuł, Mikołaj Zieleński, and Jacek Sykulski, in addition to featured selection from Łukaszewski’s extensive choral repertoire.

The Kurczewski Award is given to outstanding Polish composers of choral music. Since 1999, the Kurczewski Award has recognized such leading composers as Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Jan Łukaszewski, and Violetta Bielecka.

[Sources: lukaszewski.org.uk, radiomerkury.pl, gloswielkopolski.pl, umww.pl]



padfest_15.jpgOrganized by the Ave Arte Foundation, the 2nd Ignacy Jan Paderewski International Festival will be held in Warsaw from November 6-12 in various venues around Warsaw: the Royal Łazienki Park, Polish Theatre, Polish Radio’s Lutoslawski Concert Studio, Royal Castle, and Fryderyk Chopin Music University.

The official inauguration of the Festival will be on November 6, on the 155th anniversary of the birthday of the outstanding Polish pianist. The Polish Theatre in Warsaw (at 8 p.m.) will stage the performance of the Academic Choir of the University of Warsaw which will perform the Rota of Feliks Nowowiejski and pieces of music of the Festival’s patron—Hej, Orle biały and Nad wodą bystrą i czystą. The audience will also hear fragments of the Paderewski’s opera Manru, performed by soprano Katarzyna Laskowska and tenor Rafal Bartmiński. Barcarole in F sharp major Op. 60 and other works of Fryderyk Chopin will be played on the piano by Wojciech Kocyan.

On 7 November, during the Festival International Day, at the Royal Castle (at 6:30 p.m.) we will hear, among other things, the four-handed performance of the Polish National Dance Op. 9 [Tańce polskie op. 9 na cztery ręce] of Paderewski by a piano duet from Mallorca—Albert Diaz and Xavier Muta—and the Piano Sonata No. 3 of Fryderyk Chopin performed by Zhao Chinese, a Swiss artist of Chinese origin. Baal Shem Suite by Ernest Bloch, Piano and violin suite of Witold Lutosławski and other pieces will be played by a Swiss duo of Rachel Kolly D’Alba and Christian Chamorel. On the next day, in the W. Lutosławski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio (at 7 p.m.), the Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus will play under the baton of Tadeusz Strugała, accompanied by the Swiss pianist Melodie Zhao.

Starting November 8, the Festival will move to the Royal Łazienki. On that day, in the Palace on the Isle (at noon), a concert will take place including piano works composed by I. J. Paderewski. On the following morning (at 11 a.m. in the Myślewicki Palace), a panel discussion devoted to the person and works of the outstanding musician will be held. In the evening of November 9 (at 6 p.m. in the Royal Theatre), the series "Paderewski - Jazz Inspirations" continues with a special and original program of songs of I. J. Paderewski and Z. Stojowski, prepared by Krzesimir Dębski. Among the soloists will be: Emose Uhunmwangho from the Capitol Musical Theatre in Wrocław, Anna Jurksztowicz, Mieczysław Szcześniak and Maciej Miecznikowski.

On November 10 in the Royal Theatre (at 6 p.m.), a recital entitled "The Salon of the Rejected Ones" will be a gathering of the pianists who did not qualify for the last stage of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition.

On Polish Independence Day or November 11 in the Officer Cadets School (at 10 a.m.), guests will be invited to watch films dedicated to the memory of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and in the evening at the Fryderyk Chopin Music University (at 7 p.m.), a gala patriotic concert will take place with the participation of the students and graduates of the university.

The Festival will end on November 12 in W. Lutosławski Concert Studio (S1) of the Polish Radio (at 7 p.m.) with a concert featuring Sinfonia Varsovia, under the baton of Marta Kluczyńska. The performance will include the Overture in E flat major and the Piano Concerto in A minor op. 17 and Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major Opus 55 “Sinfonia Eroica" by Ludwig van Beethoven.

In addition, from November 2 to 15, the Outdoor Gallery of the Royal Łazienki will host an exhibition devoted to the eminent musician entitled "Paderewski wygrał Polskę na fortepianie" [Paderewski played/won Poland on the piano], which will introduce the personality of our great compatriot.

November 8- 11, 2015
2nd Ignacy Jan Paderewski International Festival
various venues in Warsaw
Info: www.kulturalna.warszawa.pl or www.lazienki-krolewskie.pl

[Sources: pwm.com.pl, lazienki-krolewskie.pl, kulturalna.warszawa.pl]



Organized by the Paderewski Polish-Ukrainian Foundation, the “Discovering Paderewski” International Festival in Lviv has already become one of the most important cultural events in Ukraine. Held at the Lviv Opera House, this year’s fourth edition of the festival aims at promoting Polish culture and getting our eastern neighbors acquainted with the treasures of national musical repertoire at the highest, global level.

discovering-paderewski2015.jpgIn 2015, the Festival will host the unique Polish Folk Song and Dance Ensemble “Mazowsze” which will perform the renowned opera Krakovians and Highlanders – an opera that dates back to the 18th century and symbolically represents the structure of Polish society before the third partition of Poland. Its libretto has often been compared to The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The participation of “Mazowsze” as well as such celebrities as Krzysztof Penderecki (who will personally conduct the orchestra performing his works and who will be honored with the honorary degree of Doctor of Honoris Causa of the Mykola Lysenko Lviv National Music Academy during the festival), pianist Adam Wodnicki, conductor and cellist Andrzej Bauer and the DagaDana ensemble will transform the fourth edition of the festival into a great music celebration.

The Festival will also be marked with the panel discussion entitled “Geopolitical aspects of Polish-Ukrainian relations during the Second Commonwealth of Poland and Ukrainian People’s Republic in the time of Ignacy Jan Paderewski”. It will be moderated by the famous Ukrainian writer, cultural studies and political scientist Taras Wozniak. It has also become a well-established tradition to conduct the Paderewski award ceremony, wherein bronze statuettes will be given to those people who have been particularly successful in working towards Polish-Ukrainian partnership, as well as to those who promote Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Polish culture abroad.

The Festival strives to attest to the good relationships established between Poland and the Ukraine. The idea of organizing an artistic event associated with the name of Ignacy Jan Paderewski—an outstanding pianist, composer, politician and benefactor—provides an opportunity of mutual cultural enrichment of two nations, which seems to be one of the most crucial issues nowadays.

[Sources: press release, paderewski.eu]



I.J.Paderewski – Pieśni [Songs]
Ignacy Jan Paderewski: Cztery pieśni na głos i fortepian op.7 (sł. Adam Asnyk); Konwalijka na głos i fortepian op.7[a] (sł. Adam Asnyk); Sześć pieśni na głos i fortepian op.18 (sł. Adam Mickiewicz); Dans la forêt na głos i fortepian (sł. Théophil  Gautier); Dwanaście pieśni na głos i fortepian op. 22 (sł. Catulle Mendès)
A. Radziejewska – soprano, A. Hoszowska-Jabłońska – piano,
DUX 1246 (2015)

The latest release on DUX fills an important gap in the catalogue of Paderewski’s vocal works. Soprano Anna Radziejewska and tenor Karol Kozłowski with pianist Agnieszka Hoszowska-Jabłońska have recorded the complete repertoire of Paderewski’s songs for voice and piano. The selections include the Four Songs Op. 7 and Konwalijka [Lilly of the Valley], Op. 7a, to texts by Adam Asnyk, Six Songs Op. 18 to texts by Adam Mickiewicz, and Twelve Songs Op. 22 to texts by Catulle Mendès, one of Paderewski’s last compositions before he embarked on his political career during the years of World War I. One further Paderewski rarity published in 1896 in New York, Dans la forêt, a setting of Theophile Gaultier’s poem, completes this attractive offering.

Excellent and informative texts by Tomasz Jeż in Polish and English with translations of all Polish and French poetical texts by C. Bache, B. Taborski, Babette Deutsch, Arthur P. Coleman, Marion M. Coleman, Jack Lindsay, Count Geoffrey Potocki de Montalk, Zygmunt Żytomirski, and Olga Czyżewska-Tochowicz make this DUX CD 1246 release a prized item for anyone interested in rarely-heard Paderewski repertoire.

[Source: press release]



Szymanowski & Debussy: Meccore String Quartet
Karol Szymanowski: String Quartet No. 1; String Quartet No. 2. Claude Debussy: String Quartet No. 1.
Polskie Nagrania/ Warner Music

October 23 marked the debut of Meccore String Quartet’s latest CD featuring Szymanowski’s Quartets no. 1 and 2 and Debussy’s G-minor Quartet. Founded in 2007, the Meccore Quartet belongs to the elite of chamber music ensembles in the world. Mentored by such outstanding artists as Gerhard Schulz, Barthold Kuijken, Heime Müller, Antonello Farulli, and Peter Cropper and ensembles, such as the Alban Berg Quartet, Cuarteto Casals, and Vogler Quartett, among others, this young and dynamic group appeared on many of the world’s premiere stages in cities like London, New York, Vienna, Madrid and Berlin. The Meccore String Quartet received the Polityka Passport Award in 2011 for courageous breaking of the barriers, conventions and stereotypes in the field of classical music.

This recording was made possible in part by a grant from the Irene Steels-Wilsing Foundation at the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic in Kielce and an excellent technical team of sound engineers, including Thomas Bössl and Leonie Wagner. Issued by the Polskie Nagrania label, this album appears under the umbrella of Warner Music Group.

[Source: press release, empik.com]



Cinematic Piano
Opening;  A Letter to Mr. Desplat; The Temple; Fun in The Park; Prometheus; A Letter to Mr. Newman; Noir; The Wannabe Spy; The Island; The Thief in Persia; Song of Destiny; Find Your Neverland
Aleksander Dębicz, piano
Amazon (May 1, 2015)

The 27-year old virtuoso pianist, Aleksander Dębicz, demonstrates his prodigious musical gifts on his Cinematic Piano CD that is now in wide release. Dębicz explores various genres of film music and combines them with jazz-inspired improvisational approach and the classical piano tradition to truly astounding effect. As he says himself, all musical genres are important and juggling them around comes very naturally.

The CD features 12 compositions by Dębicz, who also comes across as a talented composer. Born in Wrocław, he graduated from the Chopin Music University in Warsaw, where he studied with prof. Elżbieta Tarnawska. Some of the track titles include “A Letter to Mr. Desplat” and “A Letter to Mr. Newman” as well as “Noir,” “The Temple,” “The Thief in Persia,” and “Find Your Neverland.” Recorded at Alvernia Studios by Andrzej Sasin and Aleksandra Nagórko, the album is released by Warner Classics.

A video posted on www.youtube.com will give a thrill and incentive to all who see and hear this exceptional musician perform.

[Source: M. Peryt/Warner Classics]

  • 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)

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Copyright 2015 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, Thuy Le

Contributions from:
Ted Ancona, Wiesław Dabrowski, Joanna Domańska,
Marcin Stańczyk, Terry Tegnazian

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 5, 2015.

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