|Polish Music Newsletter|
2016 PADEREWSKI FESTIVAL: SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
The 2016 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles celebrates the legacy of Paso Robles’ most famous resident, Ignacy Jan Paderewski – virtuoso pianist, composer, international politician, local landowner, grower and winemaker – with five days of concerts and special events featuring internationally-renowned performers. Held in venues throughout Paso Robles, California from November 2-6, 2016, this year’s Festival line-up includes performances by young pianists from California’s Central Coast and Cultural Exchange Program students from Poland and Ukraine, as well as a piano master class, film screening, and wine tasting opportunities.
WEDNESDAY, NOV 2
THURSDAY, NOV 3
FRIDAY, NOV 4
6:30 pm wine reception (Adelaida), 7 pm concert | Park Ballroom
SATURDAY, NOV 5
10 am | Park Cinemas
4 pm | Paso Robles Inn Ballroom
7 pm wine reception (Epoch Estate), 7:30 pm concert | Paso Robles Inn Ballroom
SUNDAY, NOV 6
10:30 am – 2pm | Halter Ranch Vineyard
3 pm | Park Ballroom
SPOTLIGHT CONCERT: PMC MANUSCRIPT COLLECTION
The second festival Polska Muzyka Odnaleziona [Discovered Polish Music] is happening in Warsaw between November 26 and December 10. In four separate concerts, a great variety of repertoire will be presented in several venues all around Warsaw. The opening concert on Nov. 26 at features choral and organ works by Polish Benedictine nuns from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Dec. 3 concert at the Royal Łazienki Palace will present forgotten trios for violin, cello and keyboard instruments as well as songs from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
A day later, on Dec. 4 also at the Łazienki Royal Palace, compositions from the Polish Music Center’s extensive Manuscript Collection will be heard. Zygmunt Stojowski’s Sonata for Cello and Piano—a work dedicated to Stojowski’s friend, Ignacy Jan Paderewski—will be performed by the Cracow Duo of cellist Jan Kalinowski and pianist Marek Szlezer, who have long championed this fine work. Pianist Julia Samojło (pictured below) will give the world premiere of Roman Ryterband’s 24 Variations for Piano, a work written in Switzerland during World War II. The manuscript of this monumental set of variations was donated to the Polish Music Center earlier this year by the composer’s widow, Clarissa, and her daughters—Diana Eisele and Astrid Ryterband. This concert will be rounded out with several American compositions of Henryk Wars (known in the U.S. as Henry Vars), including solo piano pieces Sunrise in Manhattan and Lady with the French Poodle as well as songs for voice and piano, Sleep, My Child, I Remember, and Never Say You’ll Never Fall in Love. Written by Wars in the late 1940s and early 1950s in Los Angeles, these works were part of a huge donation of mostly orchestral works to the PMC by the composer’s widow, Elizabeth Wars, in 2005. It will be their Polish premiere—and likely their first hearing in Europe as well.
Organized by the National Center of Culture, the Festival closes on Dec. 10 with a concert of pastorals from the Old Polish Commonwealth. More information at nck.pl/polska-muzyka-odnaleziona.
PMC AT KWADROFONIK FESTIVAL
The adventurous programming of the Kwadrofonik ensemble will be on display in early December in Warsaw. A series of concerts sited in the exciting new space of Nowy Teatr will feature, among others, a concert of live string quartet accompaniments to videos by Agnès Varda and David Lynch. The Royal String Quartet will perform excerpts of Joanna Bruzdowicz’s String Quartet ‘La Vita’ to the screening of dolly shots from Varda’s iconic feature, Vagabond (1985). David Lynch’s 2015 animated short Pożar [Fire] will be shown to a live performance of a string quartet score composed by PMC Director Marek Żebrowski. This collaborative effort by Lynch and Żebrowski was world premiered in Los Angeles last year during the “Measures & Frames” event at USC. The December 3 concert at Teatr Nowy in Warsaw will be the European premiere of the Lynch/Żebrowski collaboration. The two artists also recorded a joint album of improvisations, Polish Night Music, which was reissued on a 2-LP set in November 2015.
UPCOMING PMC LECTURES IN POLAND
PMC Dir. Marek Żebrowski will speak at the conference held at the Warsaw University Library on Dec. 1 devoted to the Music Archives and Composers’ Collections held by Polish Libraries. The title of his talk, “Collection of Manuscripts by Polish Composers held at the Polish Music Center in Los Angeles” will focus on the core collection that includes handwritten scores by Baird, Bacewicz, Lutosławski, Meyer, Ptaszyńska, and Penderecki, among others, as well as the more recent donations of the archives of Bronisław Kaper, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Roman Ryterband, Zygmunt Stojowski, and Henryk Wars.
Dir. Żebrowski will also be a guest at the Music Academy in Krakow in mid-December. He will deliver a talk on Paderewski’s concert life (“Paderewski przy fortepianie”) at a conference there and will be heard performing two piano quintets at the Florianka Concert Hall in Kraków on December 14. The program will feature rarely-heard Piano Quintet (completed in 1953) by Tadeusz Majerski and Żebrowski’s own arrangement for piano quintet of Gabriel Fauré’s Dolly Suite.
RECENT GIFTS TO PMC
Many thanks, as always, to all of our generous donors and friends! Dziękujemy!
PREMIERES AT AUDIO STAGE 2016
On October 23, the Polish Association of Contemporary Music (PTMW) presented Audio Stage 2016, an evening of preludes and audio-stage monodramas at the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw. This year’s Audio Stage is a continuation of the series of audio-stage work premieres that was established in 2012. The project is dedicated to the performing arts, with the idea of integrating music with stage arts. Audio Stage features experimental music composers preparing pieces in cooperation with actors, mimes and dancers.
At the concert, premieres of four audio-stage monodramas composed by Aldona Nawrocka, Piotr Roemer, Adam Porębski and Andrzej Kopeć were presented. The works were performed by: Bartosz M. Martyna, Ewa Wojtkiewicz, Krzysztof Boczkowski and Aleksandra Dziurosz.
Each piece was preceded by musical preludes – a kind of small overture with the elements of instrumental theatre. The composer of the cycle of preludes was Agnieszka Stulgińska, and the performers are – clarinet player Michał Górczyński and cellist Robert Jędrzejewski.
The compositions were commissioned by PTMW, and financed as a part of the Work Support Fund of Association of Authors ZAiKS Scholarship [Fundusz Popierania Twórczości Stowarzyszenia Autorów ZAiKS]. The project is organized by the Downtown Warsaw Budget and ZAiKS.
Led by the artistic director of the project, Małgorzata Kołcz, the artists met with the public before the free concert.
ŻELEŃSKI PREMIERE: GOPLANA
On October 21, the premiere of the three act long opera Goplana by Władysław Żeleński was held in the Grand Theatre of the National Opera (Teatr Wielki Opery Narodowej). Based on Balladyna by Juliusz Słowacki, the libretto was created by Ludomiła German.
Director Janusz Wiśniewski presented the story in a unique world based on his rich imagination. The orchestra was conducted by Maestro Grzegorz Nowak. The main characters were played by some of the leaders of opera in Poland today: Edyta Piasecka (Goplana), Arnold Rutkowski (Kirkor), Mariusz Godlewski (Kostryn), Małgorzata Walewska (Wdowa), Wioletta Chodowicz (Balladyna), Katarzyna Trylnik (Alina), and Rafał Bartmiński (Grabiec).
Goplana by Żeleński is a very well composed work. In the lyrical aspect, it is similar to the operas of Stanisław Moniuszko, the father of Polish opera. The composer included musical elements borrowed from Polish national dances: polonaise, kujawiak, mazurka and oberek. In terms of the libretto, the author leans toward fantasy. The main character is a goddess from a lake, a fantasy character with lyrical-coloratura voice. However the story is cruel – three characters die and evil dominates.
POLISH MUSIC PREMIERES BY IN:TE:GRO
On October 13, the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio hosted a concert entitled “Rezonant Czerwieni” by the In:te:gro trio (Anna Karpowicz – flute, Agnieszka Guz – violin and Aleksandra Dembowska-Madejska – viola). The program commenced with an introduction by Agnieszka Topolska, followed by a concert of classical and contemporary works by Paweł Kletzki and Ignacy Zalewski. The ensemble also presented the premiere of new compositions by Zofia Dowgiałło, Wojciech Błażejczyk and Adam Porębski during the concert. The evening was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage under the “Composing Commissions” program implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance.
BRUZDOWICZ WORLD PREMIERE
On November 4, Comedie Nation will host a unique concert entitled “Pandora” featuring musical selections by Alexandro Markeas, Luis Naon, and Michèle Reverdy, as well as a world premiere by Polish composer living in France, Joanna Bruzdowicz-Tittel. The program will be performed by mezzo-soprano Mareike Schellenberger with the Trio Polycordes, consisting of mandolinist Florentino Calvo, guitarist Jean-Marc Zvellenreuther, and harpist Sandrine Chatron.
[Sources: artist press release, comedienation.fr]
YEAR OF NOWOWIEJSKI & SIENKIEWICZ – CONCERT CELEBRATION
On November 20, an extraordinary concert organized on the occasion of Feliks Nowowiejski and Henryk Sienkiewicz anniversary celebrations will be held in the National Philharmonic Hall. The program includes the Quo Vadis oratorio by Nowowiejski inspired by Sienkiewicz’s work. The event is held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda.
The performers at the concert are: Aleksandra Kurzak, Artur Ruciński, Rafał Siwek, Sebastian Szumski, Arkadiusz Bialic, the Górecki Chamber Choir directed by Włodzimierz Siedlik, and the Feliks Nowowiejski Symphony Orchestra from Olsztyn conducted by Piotr Sułkowski .
The Oratorio Quo Vadis op. 30 belongs to one of the most well recognized works by Nowowiejski. The premiere was held in 1907 in Ustia. The inspiration for the piece was a famous work by Henryk Sienkiewicz with the same title. Nowowiejski’s composition also was enthusiastically accepted by the public around the world–during the interwar period it was presented around 200 times in the cities of Europe and both Americas, in 13 languages. In Warsaw it will be performed in the original German language, adapted by Antonie Jüngst.
The same artists are preparing the first disc and audiovisual edition of Nowowiejski’s composition, which will be released at the end of this year.
In 2016, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of Feliks Nowowiejski’s death, and in 2017 – 140th birthday. The Polish Parliament has announced 2016 to be Nowowiejski’s year. On November 15 we also celebrate the 100 anniversary of the death of Henryk Sienkiewicz, the second patron of this year, who was awarded with Nobel Prize in literature in 1905.
NOSPR CELEBRATES SZABELSKI
On November 6, NOSPR and conductor Szymon Bywalec will be joined by pianists Anna Górecka (daughter of H.M. Górecki) and Joanna Galon-Frant for a carefully crafted concert program celebrating composer and pedagogue Bolesław Szabelski (1896-1979). The program will include Karol Szymanowski’s Nocturne and Tarantella, Op. 28 (orch. Grzegorz Fitelberg), Szabelski’s Suite for Orchestra, Op. 10 and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Songs of Joy and Rhythm, Op. 7.
From the program notes by Marcin Trzęsiok:
NOWAK & ZIMERMAN IN TOKYO
The Tokyo New City Orchestra (TNCO) will share the stage with Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman and Polish conductor Grzegorz Nowak on November 1 at the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. The program will include Berlioz’s Overture "Roman Carnival" op.9 and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (Arr.: Gorchakov). In commemoration of the five year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake reconstruction, Zimerman will also dedicate a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 in G major, op.58 to the earthquake victims. The program originally included Concerto of Song Offerings for piano solo, choir and orchestra by Eugeniusz Knapik, but the piece was unfortunately withheld due to performing rights.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF YOUNG MUSICOLOGISTS
The Department of Musicology at the Jagiellonian University has organized an international conference for young musicologists on November 7-9 in Krakow. Titled “Young Musicology Today: tendencies, challenges and perspectives,” the aim of the conference will be to integrate the musicological community through the creation of an international forum for exchanging ideas and research experiences. Young musicologists are encouraged to present results from ongoing studies and to engage in discussion on the future of musicology, its role and place in the contemporary culture.
The conference program will incorporate both traditional lectures and panel discussions, during which groups of researchers conducting a joint project or studying similar subjects will be able to present the results of their studies or discuss a specific subject. Among a vast selection of topics, the challenges of modern ethnomusicology and new research perspectives will be considered during the event. In addition to these events, participants will be able to enjoy concerts and exhibitions, and go sightseeing in Krakow.
PADEREWSKI ANNIVERSARY IN POLAND
Champion of Polish Romantic repertoire and former Paderewski Festival Gala pianist Jonathan Plowright will make a return visit to Łódź in Poland this November, where he will give a performance of the Paderewski Concerto for Piano with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Łódz, conducted by Paweł Przytocki. The concert is in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s death this year. The program will also include: Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński’s Overture to the opera ‘Monbar or the Freebooters’ op. 30 for symphony orchestra and Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony in A minor ‘Scottish’, Op. 56.
[Source: artist press release]
KARKOWSKI/XENAKIS CYCLE IN WARSAW
From October 17 to November 23, a cycle of Karkowski/Xenakis events will take a place in Warsaw’s New Theatre. Dedicated to Zbigniew KarkowskI, the central theme of this series is an attempt to show the works of the Polish composer in the context of the influence of his master, Iannis Xenakis. The program features lesser known instrumental and vocal music by Karkowski, performed by his closest colleagues. In addition to concerts featuring Apartment House, Anton Lukoszevieze, Aleksander Gabrys, Kasper Toeplitz and Gęba Choir, movies with music by Zbigniew Karkowski and discussions with artists will also be presented.
The curator of the project is Monika Pasiecznik. The concert programs are focused on two threads: the influence of Xenakis’ music on Karkowski, and Karkowski’s instrumental music, which is definitely less known than his strictly electronic works.
Upcoming events include:
POLISH JEWISH MUSIC AT UCLA
On November 2, students and recent graduates from UCLA will perform works by émigré Polish Jewish composers—repertoire that has enriched the post-Holocaust Jewish music canon—on a concert entitled Kol Polin: Jewish Music from Poland. The program also includes a piece by Israeli composer Gideon Lewensohn, inspired by the life of Polish writer and artist Bruno Schulz, who was murdered by the Gestapo in 1942. The concert is sponsored by The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, UCLA Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music, UCLA Department of Slavic, East European & Eurasian Languages and Cultures, UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies, David Vickter Charitable Foundation, and American Society for Jewish Music.
This concert is free and open to the public.
[Source: press release]
KOSCIUSZKO FDN PIANO FUNDRAISER
On November 6, the Kosciuszko Foundation will present a PRO ARTE League Luncheon "Chopin Champagne & Chocolate" at the The Royal Manor in Garfield, New Jersey. The event will be a fundraiser effort dedicated to the restoration & refurbishing of the grand pianos at the Kosciuszko Foundation. All guests and attendees must RSVP to the event by email.
KOSCIUSZKO FDN HONORS MAESTRO GAJEWSKI
On November 12, the Kosciuszko Foundation (KF) will hold their annual fundraising gala at the Stateroom of the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC. This year’s Gala Dinner will recognize artistic director and longtime conductor of the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Maestro Piotr Gajewski, as the 2016 KF Pioneer Award Recipient.
Born in Poland, Maestro Gajewski began to study piano there and continued at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston once his family emigrated to the United States in 1969. He also studied at Carleton College and at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, earning his Bachelors’ and Masters’ Degrees in Orchestral Conducting. Awarded a Leonard Bernstein Conducting Fellowship at the prestigious Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts, Piotr Gajewski spent the summer of 1983 refining his conducting skills under the tutelage of such masters as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Andre Previn, Gunther Schuller, and Maurice Abravanel. Winner of several prizes and awards, including the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition in New York, Gajewski began his professional career as a conductor of the National Chamber Orchestra he founded in Rockville, MD in the late 1980s. Since then, Maestro Gajewski has conducted leading world orchestras and recorded several works from the contemporary repertoire for Koch International. He was recognized in 2006 with the Montgomery County’s Comcast Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Achievement Award and, in 2013, with the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit by the President of Poland. A polymath with a great sense of humor and piercing intelligence, Maestro Gajewski also holds a degree in law and has engaged in very successful law practice in Maryland, and served for one term on the Rockville City Council.
CHOPIN FDN CONCERTS IN FLORIDA
On November 12 and 13, American pianist Drew Petersen, a laureate of the 2015 Leeds International 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 Association’s piano competitions. Many have benefited from the Chopin Foundation’s Scholarship Program for Young American Pianists, including Petersen himself, who was a consecutive recipient in the years 2009-2012. Occasionally, the concerts feature a young exchange artist from Poland, Kosovo or other countries where we’ve established partnerships.
On November 20, highly acclaimed Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak will perform the first of three Chopin Salon Concerts. Olejniczak previously served as a juror for the International Chopin Piano Competition in 2005 and in 2015. He has also recorded best-selling soundtracks for the Oscar winning film, The Pianist directed by Roman Polański and La note bleue directed by Andrzej Żuławski. The concert will consist of repertoire from Chopin followed by tango selections from Isaac Albeniz, Carlos Gardel, Astor Piazzola and Henyrk Wars. The evening will be concluded with intimate wine reception for all as well as an optional dinner buffet that will be served for Chopin Members and guests at an additional cost.
[Sources: press release, chopin.org]
NOWAK IN POLAND
Maestro Grzegorz Nowak continues to propel his international career forward with a busy concert schedule this fall. As the current music director, Nowak has devoted much of his time conducting both the Orquesta Sinfonica de España [Spanish National Orchestra] and Orquesta Clásica Santa Cecilia [Spanish Symphony Orchestra] in Madrid. On October 4, the Spanish Symphony Orchestra made an appearance in London, performing alongside British guitarist Craig Oden at Cadogan Hall. Together, they presented Giménez’s La boda de Luis Alonso, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, Falla’s El amor brujo (Ritual Fire Dance), and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4. Nowak also incorporated a “Russian Masters” concert into his calendar on October 16 while in London, despite being on hiatus from his position with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The program of the concert, true to its title, was comprised entirely of works by Russian composers, including Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Khachaturian.
SZPAKIEWICZ CHARITY CONCERT
On October 15, cellist Marek Szpakiewicz performed a recital with pianist Jiayi Shi at Azusa Pacific University to raise funds for a three-quarter sized cello for the Soma Children’s Orchestra in Fukushima, Japan. The two played selections by Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, Barber and Gershwin during the concert to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Tohuku earthquake and tsunami. They also held an encore performance with the Soma Children’s Orchestra with Shi in Tokyo on October 29.
This is not the first time that Szpakiewicz has been involved in supporting victims of the Tohuku tragedy. Just last year, he organized a benefit concert to raise funds for a half-sized cello when he learned that student Risa Yoshida of the Soma’s Children Orchestra gave her instrument to another child. In 2011, Szpakiewicz also organized a charity musical event to raise relief funds for the 15,800 victims.
Szpakiewicz’s philanthropic efforts stem from his own experiences as a child living through the 1986 nuclear reactor meltdown in Chernobyl. He deeply empathizes with the children who have been affected by the 2011 disaster, and believes that the power of music can have a remedial impact on their lives as it did for him: “From the moment I was growing up, the music was a hope for a better life. Music didn’t only play a tremendous role in my education, but my development, all the dreams and hopes that music provided for me.”
[Source: press release, pasadenastarnews.com]
OPEN HOUSE CHICAGO FEATURES PMA
For the first time ever, Chicago Architecture Foundation has featured the Polish Museum of America (PMA) as one of its 200 featured sites in its largest and most iconic event, Open House Chicago. This year’s annual architecture festival provides rare behind-the-scenes visits to many of the city’s great spaces free of charge during the third weekend of October. The museum’s current exhibit “Art for Heart” is a celebration of Polish-American artists to benefit the Gift from the Heart (Dar Serca) Foundation and The Polish Museum of America and will be open to the public on October 15.
Founded in 1935, the PMA is in the heart of Chicago’s historic Polonia, in the national headquarters building of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America. Designed by John Flizikowski, this 1913 structure was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013 and noted for its significance in the history of Polish-American settlement in Chicago. Treasures from 16th century Polish Kings to 19th century American Presidents are part of the collection, including many artifacts from the 1939 New York World’s Fair Polish Pavilion, which could not be returned to Poland due to the outbreak of the Second World War.
[Source: press release]
POLISH HIGHLANDER DAY
Sponsored by the Tatra Mountains Cultural Foundation, the Polish Museum of America hosted Highlanders Day on October 23. As the third collaborative Highlander event this year, “Bringing You to the World” celebrated the deep-rooted livelihood of Polish Highlander culture that has been passed down through generations. The program featured a rich display of music, traditional Highlander folk costumes, song and dance, film, literature, and folk crafts highlighting amongst others, traditional embroidery and tailoring, leather crafts, metalsmith, painting on glass, violin making, wooden arts, and homestead cheese making. Admission for the event was free and opened to the general public.
[Source: PMA press release]
15TH INTERNATIONAL HENRYK WIENIAWSKI COMPETITION
On October 8-23, the 15th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition was held in Poznań, under the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda. This year’s participants have been selected by the chairman of the competition jury, world-famous violinist and conductor Maxim Vengerov, from amongst over 250 applicants representing over 50 countries, including Japan, Korea, Canada, USA, Ukraine, Israel, Germany, Russia, China, Georgia, France, New Zealand, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Of the 44 violinists that competed for the top awards, ten represented Poland.
The event opened on October 8 with a concert by Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under the baton of Krzysztof Penderecki, featuring Soyoung Yoon (winner of the 2011 Competition) as the soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major Op. 61. The competition consisted of four stages open to the public, then the awards were presented during a Gala Concert on October 23 when the 1st prize winner gave a performance of his stage 4 concerto alongside the T. Szeligowski Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra.
2016 Wieniawski Violin Competition winners:
IV INTERNATIONAL BALTIC PIANO COMPETITION
On October 3, 2016, winners of the 4th International Baltic Piano Competition were announced during the gala concert held at the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdansk. The competition was divided into three rounds, where finalists were chosen by the international jury: Waldemar Wojtal (Poland) – Chairman, Dorian Leljak (Serbia/Croatia), Albert Mamriev (Russia/Israel), and Valerio Premuroso (Italy).
Rewards were funded by the Rector of the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdansk prof. Maciej Sobczak, the Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship Mr. Mieczyslaw Struk, the Mayor of the City Gdańsk Mr. Paweł Adamowicz, and Radio Gdańsk
The 6th edition of the Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Contemporary Music Festival was held in Kraków on October 29-30, 2016. The festival commemorates Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, whose work has been and continues to be inspiring to many composers. Concerts provide audiences with an opportunity to hear and get to know the latest trends in contemporary classical music presented by such performers as Opium String Quartet and Amadrums. The program of this year’s Festival included works by Sławomir Czarnecki, Maciej Małecki, Andrzej Panufnik, Peter Klatzov, Soo Jin Kang, Tobias Bostrom, Andrew Beall, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Peter Warlock, Javier Alvarez, Maciej Hałoń, and John Psathas.
The Festival is organized by the Pro Musica Nova Foundation and co-financed by the Lesser Poland Province. Admission free. Detailed information at: www.hmgfestival.pl
FESTIVAL OF POLISH CULTURE IN BEIJING
On November 6-12, the Festival of Polish Culture in Beijing will be held. Its purpose is to promote Poland and Poles in China and to build multicultural dialogue. The initiator and organizer of the Festival is the Ludwig van Beethoven Association, which since the first edition in 2012, has given the event an interdisciplinary character.
This year’s 5th edition of the festival will start with the retrospective of movies by Andrzej Wajda. On November 6 in the building of the Chinese Film Archive, the three most recognized movies by Wajda will be presented: Ashes and Diamonds, Panny z Wilka and The Promised Land. On the next day, the newest and last work by the director will be presented, Powidoki. The screening will be accompanied by the lectures of Polish and Chinese critics. As a part of the festival, the official premiere of the audiobook with Chinese translation of With Fire and Sword will be held, highlighting the year of Henryk Sienkiewicz. Concerts include a recital of young pianist Łukasz Krupiński will feature pieces by Chopin and Paderewski.
At the final concert of the festival, Chinese National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Xia Xiaotang will perform music by Penderecki, Chopin and Prokofiev with Chinese violinist Gao Can and pianist Łukasz Krupiński. The other cultural accent is the presentation of Polish culinary arts.
Organizers: Ludwig van Beethoven Association, Polish Embassy in Beijing, Polish Institute of Culture in Beijing, Polish Institute of Cinematic Arts, KGHM Polish Copper Company
IGNACY JAN PADEREWSKI FESTIVAL IN WARSAW
The festival is not only a series of prestigious concerts, musical events, but the whole year of work on the campaign to bolster the heritage of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The organizer of the festival, the Ave Arte Foundation, whose member, among others is Krzesimir Dębski was established in 2005, with the aim of the development of the culture, arts and the protection of national heritage. For years, the foundation successfully realizes these goals through the organization of the events, competitions, production of documentaries, which memorize the important events for Poland and promotion of young talents. Ignacy Jan Paderewski is foundations’ patron in these activities because of his achievements as a statesman, performer and composer.
WEINBERG ON NAXOS
WEINBERG: Symphony No. 17 & Suite for Orchestra
One of the most significant projects of composer Mieczysław Weinberg’s later years was his symphonic trilogy On the Threshold of War. Bearing the dedication “In memory of the fallen in the Great Patriotic War,” Symphony No. 17 is the largest-scale of the three and a probing work of considerable depth and unforgettable power. Symphonies Nos. 18 and 19 can be heard on Naxos 8.573190 and 8.572752. With its eloquent themes and ready climaxes, the Suite for Orchestra is one of Weinberg’s most intriguing scores to have survived the difficult early 1950s. This performance is thought to be both the first of the work and the first recording.
[Source: Naxos press release]
50 GREATEST CHOPIN RECORDINGS
A comprehensive list of the finest Chopin recordings has been released in the October issue of the prestigious Gramophone Magazine. The list includes 50 artistic and musical benchmarks, recorded as early as 1929! Every recording included has received the approval of Gramophone’s critics and as such, are Gramophone Award-winning albums, Recordings of the Month, or Editor's Choice discs from Rubinstein, Argerich, Pollini, Perahia, Cortot, and Grosvenor. Below is a sample of the albums from the list, whose complete, original reviews can be found here.
NEW ON DUX
Works for Solo Violin
Three weeks after the composer’s 80th birthday, on December 14, 2013 in New York’s Carnegie Hall, the premiere of La Follia by Krzysztof Penderecki took place. The piece was composed for solo violin, dedicated to Anne-Sophie Mutter. It is not an accident that this first Polish phonographic recording of this work to be approved by the composer was made by Aleksandra Kuls—one of the most promising young Polish violin players, a prizewinner of many international competitions who was acknowledged with Wanda Wilkomirska Special Prize at XIV Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Competition. , requiring unusual technical skills, La Follia is in a form of capriccio and refers back to the baroque tradition, not only in the title. The combination of this new contemporary piece with Bach’s partita and Sonatas by Prokofiev and Ysaÿe encourages listeners to contemplate on the permanence of Bach inspirations, as well as fully appreciate the artistry of the young violinist.
Camerata Silesia Sings Szymański
Music, perhaps more than any other art, is able to capture the mysterious notion of sacrum, which is well illustrated in the selection of works by Paweł Szymański for voices and instruments that are presented on this CD. Composed to the words of apocryphal hymn found among the inscriptions in the excavations of early Christian kingdom of Nubia, Phylakterion was composed especially for the singers of Camerata Silesia. Under the direction of Maestra Anna Szostak, Camerata Silesia is probably Poland's only choir that can meet the extremely high demands of the composer’s vision. The recording was produced using the acoustics of the NOSPR Concert Hall in Katowice.
Musica Sacra Of The Wawel Cathedral
The Royal Ensemble of Rorantists (Capella Regia Rorantistarum) was established in 1540 by the enlightened ruler and patron of art, King Sigismund the Old. The ensemble’s members were priest-singers, and its main role was to honor religious ceremonies in the Jagiellonian court and, after the death of the founder, to sing daily masses for his soul. Sigismund the Old is remembered as an art patron and a renaissance culture enthusiast. His Chapel in Wawel Castle, which served also as the venue for the royal ensemble, is one of the earliest renaissance treasures north of the Alps.
The ensemble’s repertoire reflects their patron’s fascination with 16th century humanism and, in their 300 years of history, the Rorantists performed not only for works from Western Europe, but also music by Polish composers such as: Tomasz Szadek, Bartłomiej Pękiel and Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki. The album was recorded by the modern Royal Ensemble of Rorantists, established and led by tenacious proponent of early Polish music, conductor Stanisław Gałoński.
MIZERSKA PREMIERES DODGSON RECORDING
Stephen Dodgson: Chamber Music, Volume One: Complete Music for Cello and Piano
A CD of premiere recordings by British composer Stephen Dodgson (1924–2013), performed by Polish cellist Evva Mizerska and Neopolitan pianist Emma Abbate. The musicians on this recording knew the composer personally and gave the world premieres of two of his works.
According to the recording label:
Polish composer and sound engineer Eugeniusz Rudnik died on October 24, 2016 at the age of 83. He was a member of the Polish Composers’ Union since 2008. Next to Andrzej Rakowski, Janusz Piechurski and Krzysztof Szlifirski, Rudnik was one of the first producers of electroacoustic music in Poland, and the co-creator of the so-called Polish school of electroacoustic music.
He collaborated with numerous outstanding Polish artists on music installations and film soundtrack production. Some of the musicians Rudnik worked for include Krzysztof Penderecki, Andrzej Markowski, Włodzimierz Kotoński, Bogusław Schaeffer, Stanisław Radwan, Andrzej Dobrowolski, Arne Nordheim.
BORN THIS MONTH:
DIED THIS MONTH:
Send your comments and inquiries to: email@example.com
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Translation Assistance: Tomasz Fechner, Marek Żebrowski
Layout Assistance: Charles Bragg, Thuy Le
Neal Brostoff, Wiesław Dabrowski, Evva Mizerska, Jonathan Plowright, Marek Żebrowski
Sources of information: Polish Cultural Institute (NY & UK), Adam Mickiewicz Institute, PWM,
Nowy Dziennik, Polish Music Information Centre - Warsaw, Polish American Journal,
Poland.pl, PAP, ZKP, infochopin.pl, Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza
Formatting by Krysta Close, November 2, 2016.
The Polish Music Center includes all content on a space available basis. We reserve the right to refuse any content submitted.