|Polish Music Newsletter|
2016 PADEREWSKI LECTURE-RECITAL
On Sunday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m., the Polish Music Center will host its annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital at USC’s Alfred Newman Recital Hall. Our honored guest for this year’s event is composer Elżbieta Sikora, who will speak about her artistic process and diverse body of work, followed by a concert of her chamber music. In addition to delivering the lecture, while on campus the composer will work with students from the Thornton School of Music.
Performers for this year’s Paderewski Lecture-Recital will feature favorites of L.A.’s contemporary music scene, including soprano Jamie Chamberlin and pianist Richard Valitutto, as well as graduate students in the Thornton School of Music, including bassist Levi Jones and members of the Qian String Quartet. The program will highlight the “Lamento” from Sikora’s 2011 opera Madame Curie, as well as String Quartet No. 3 ‘In memoriam Ursula’ and solo works for bass and piano.
Another event featuring Sikora’s music will be held on the same day in Santa Monica. As a part of the Polish Film Festival, there will be a screening of Opera Bałtycka’s performance of Elżbieta Sikora’s opera Madame Curie. This opera was premiered in 2011 at UNESCO in Paris within the framework of the International Year of Chemistry and the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Marie Curie-Skłodowska—the only woman ever to win this prestigious prize twice. A Q&A with the composer will follow the screening.
MUSIC@RUSHHOUR FEATURES PMC
On October 12, students of the Thornton School of Music will present a free concert highlighting the PMC's diverse library collection. This all-Polish program will include composers include Chopin, Ryterband, Sikora and Tansman. The music will be interspersed with lively discussion led by PMC Asst. Director Krysta Close and Thornton Professor of Musicology Lisa Cooper Vest.
2016 PADEREWSKI FESTIVAL IN PASO ROBLES
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.
Admission ranges from free for children under 18 to $40 for premium admission, $35 for general admission, $25 for seniors over 60 and wine industry, and $5 for students 18 and over with ID. Friends of Paderewski Festival Passes with preferred seating at all events are $225. Tickets may be purchased online at www.paderewskifest.com or by calling (805) 235-5409.
This year’s Saturday, November 5 Gala Concert performer is pianist Tadeusz Domanowski. Born in Poland, he is a New York-based artist who has toured extensively over the past decade as soloist throughout Europe, America and Asia. He will present works by Chopin, Paderewski, Ryterband, Gershwin and Bizet at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. Gala Concert sponsor Epoch Estate Wines will pour wines prior to the concert. On Friday, November 6 at the historic Park Ballroom in downtown Paso Robles, Mr. Domanowski will also conduct a 2 p.m. piano master class, free and open to piano students and the general public.
The 2016 Festival opens Wednesday, November 2, with an invitation-only concert at Paso Robles High School featuring Cultural Exchange Program students from Poland and Ukraine. The Exchange Program is jointly administered by the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, the Polish-Ukrainian Paderewski Festival in Warsaw and Lviv, the Wspólnota Polska Organization in Warsaw, and the Province of Tarnów.
The first public event will be a concert on Thursday, November 3 at 7 p.m. at Cass Winery with the Tomines Ensemble, featuring Polish guitarist Tomasz Fechner, Korean violist YuEun Kim and German guitarist Ines Thomé performing guitar and violin music by Paderewski, Piazzola, Ryterband and Tansman. A no-host reception with Cass wines and a gourmet meal available for purchase will precede the concert.
On Friday, November 4, the USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia—an ensemble of period instruments and voices specializing in music from the late 16th through mid-18th centuries led by Rotem Gilbert—will present a program of early Polish music at the Park Ballroom in downtown Paso Robles at 7 p.m. Adelaida Vineyards & Winery will pour wines prior to the concert.
Promoting music appreciation among young members of the community and fostering growth of the local talent are important goals of the Paderewski Festival. It was Paderewski’s wish to establish a music school in Paso with free tuition for all students. Although his plans did not materialize during Paderewski’s lifetime, since 2007 the Festival has organized a Youth Piano Competition for pianists residing in four Central Coast counties. Winners of this year’s auditions (to be held on October 22) will be presented at a Winners’ Recital on Saturday, November 5 at 4 p.m. in the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. Admission is free.
Since 2009, the Paderewski Festival and the Province of Tarnów in Poland have also hosted a Cultural Exchange Program. Participants selected from among Festival Youth Piano Competition winners and their counterparts in Poland and Ukraine travel in alternating years to Paso Robles and to Paderewski’s manor house in Kąśna Dolna, Poland, with an itinerary that includes master classes and performances in Kraków and Warsaw.
The Festival will conclude on Sunday, November 6, at 3 p.m. with a Paderewski Birthday Celebration featuring Maestro Greg Magie and Symphony of the Vines, with Paderewski Festival Cultural Exchange Program students as solo guest artists. Daniel Ha and Kannan Freyaldenhoven from the Central Coast, Sasha Dzvinkovsky and Yulia Medynska from Ukraine, and Magdalena Kuropatwa from Poland will perform their own orchestral arrangements of American, Polish and Ukrainian folksongs. The Symphony will perform music by Lutosławski and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, featuring French soloist Brigitte Armenier, at Park Ballroom in Paso Robles. Individual tickets for this concert are available only through Symphony of the Vines, www.symphonyofthevines.org, however they are included in the Friends of Paderewski Pass.
The Festival also will feature a free film screening on Saturday, November 5, 10 a.m. at Park Cinemas in downtown Paso Robles. Wojciech Kilar—Credo is a recent documentary about Wojciech Kilar (1932-2013), a noted composer of concert and film music, who collaborated with such directors as Roman Polański, Francis Ford Coppola, and Jane Campion. The screening will be preceded with a short documentary from the 2014 Paderewski Festival directed by David Guzik.
To purchase tickets, and for information about Ignacy Jan Paderewski and the non-profit Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, please visit the Festival’s website www.paderewskifest.com
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2016 PADEREWSKI FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
Wednesday, November 2:
Thursday, November 3:
Friday, November 4:
Saturday, November 5:
Sunday, November 6:
NEW RYTERBAND & TANSMAN RECORDINGS BY FECHNER
Tomasz Fechner—a classical guitarist from Poland who is currently pursuing his doctoral degree at the University of Southern California and serving as a Research Assistant at the PMC—has released new YouTube recordings of Polish music. The first video of Suite in Modo Polonico by Alexandre Tansman was recorded and published by Guitar Salon International (GSI). The composition performed by Fechner is a set of short pieces inspired by Polish folk dances and traditional lullabies. Thanks to GSI, each of the movements was performed on a different guitar. The oldest guitar played by Fechner in the video was made by Marcelo Barbero in 1934, while the newest one was from 2015 by Lucas Martin.
Watch the set of videos of Tansman’s Suite in Modo Polonico www.youtube.com.
The second video recording made in September by Fechner is Sonatina for Classical Guitar by Roman Ryterband. Despite the fact that the composition was written in 1978, it was only performed once at the time and never received proper attention due to the composer’s death in 1979. Thanks to the efforts of the Ryterband family and the PMC in organizing the composer’s archive and producing the “Tribute to Roman Ryterband” concert in April 2016, and to the efforts of Fechner who has performed the piece throughout California and Poland and now recorded for online viewing,the only piece written for guitar by Ryterband is now being admired by guitarists around the world.
Recorded and edited by Sean P. Mulholland, the Sonatina is available on the Polish Music Center’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com. Be sure to choose the highest quality settings available on your network for optimal sound and image, and enjoy!
WELCOMING LISA COOPER VEST
Although she has been in her position as Assistant Professor of Musicology at the Thornton School of Music for over a year, this is the first opportunity that we have had to officially welcome Lisa Cooper Vest to the USC faculty! Lisa is a musicologist whose work is focused on the aesthetic and political contexts of the post-WWII Polish musical avant-garde. She will share her perspective during the Music@RushHour concert (October 12) mentioned above and the Kieślowski Conference (October 13-14) in the next article, as well as a Musicology Forum presentation on October 14 in which she will discuss Polish composers who were writing music in the late 50s/and 1960s—in particular, Schaeffer, Mycielski, and Rudziński. Thornton’s Professor of Early Music and previous PMC Paderewski Lecturer Adam Knight Gilbert will also present his paper “Palindromic Play in the Anonymous Chansons of the Chansonnier El Escorial IV.a.24” during the same Musicology Forum session.
Many of you may remember Lisa from her engaging paper entitled “‘A Survey about the Work of Igor Stravinsky’ (1957): Stravinsky Reception and Polish Cultural Confidence at the Beginning of the ‘Thaw,’” which was presented at our 2013 conference “Sounds from Behind the Iron Curtain: Polish Music after World War II.” Following her experience with USC at our conference, Lisa pursued a faculty opening in the Scholarly and Professional Studies division of Thornton (of which the PMC is also a part), and we are thrilled that she accepted the position that was enthusiastically offered to her beginning with the 2015-2016 academic year. In her brief tenure at USC thus far, she has already jumped fully into the curriculum development process, becoming an invaluable member of the faculty committee that is integrating significant innovations for Thornton students, in addition to teaching several new classes. And of course, the PMC has served a primary academic and network resource for ongoing research. We look forward to many more fruitful collaborations in the years to come!
RECENT GIFTS TO PMC
Composer Marian Borkowski recently sent the PMC a large package of many of his scores as well as a book. This collection will be an invaluable resource of contemporary music, especially for those musicians and researchers interested in Polish choral music. The contents are below:
On October 2 as a part of Sacrum-Profanum Festival in Kraków, Marcin Stańczyk’s new work some drops…for trumpet and ensemble will have its world premiere, performed by Marco Blaauw on trumpet with Ensemble Musikfabrik under the baton of Diego Masson. During this performance, audience members will don blindfolds while the musicians saunter around the room, producing elementary sounds to create a spatial “illusion of being immersed in a world of nature.”
PTASZYŃSKA WORLD PREMIERE IN KRAKÓW
On October 13, the “Krakowska Jesień” Festival will present the world premiere performance of Marta Ptaszyńska's Pink Magic (Songs of Sappho) for flute and string trio. It will be performed by flutist Iwona Glinka with Oriana Masternak – violin, Maria Dutka – viola, and Beata Urbanek-Kalinowska – cello. The piece and the performance is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s "Composing Commissions" program implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance.
The 3rd edition of the “Krakowska Jesień” Musical Autumn Festival will be held between October 10-13, 2016 at the Kraków Philharmonic. The event is aimed at presenting classical and contemporary chamber music both by Polish and foreign composers. More information om the Festival is available at: www.filharmonia.krakow.pl/Repertoire/Calendar.
WARSAW PREMIERES BY M. & H.M. GÓRECKI
The world premiere of Orpheus and Euridice by Mikołaj Górecki will be presented during this year’s Tansman Festival on October 16 in Polish Radio’s Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio in Warsaw. The composer characterizes the work as a “piece reflected in three sections, corresponding to the key moments in a drama Orpheus: Orpheus lament the death of Eurydice, Orpheus' journey to the land of the dead, and the final excitement of the myth—the uncertain hope.”
The 20 minute composition will be performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra under the baton of Jerzy Maksymiuk. The long awaited world premiere of Two Tristan Postludes and Chorale op. 82, composed by his father Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and orchestrated by Mikołaj Górecki, will also be featured in the same concert.
Commissioned by Seattle Symphony, the newest composition by Agata Zubel, entitled In the Shade of an Unshed Tear for orchestra, will be performed on October 27 at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA. The world premiere will be conducted by Ludovic Morlot, and will receive an encore performance on October 29. The program also includes two pivotal works that blazed a path to glory for young Ludwig van Beethoven—his Second Symphony and Third Piano Concerto, the latter of which will be performed with soloist Inon Barnatan.
On October 28, Zubel will also perform the music of Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski and her own chamber work, Chapter 13, on the first in the [Untitled] concert series of the year on Friday, October 28.
MEYER WORLD PREMIERE
On September 30, the Krakow Philharmonic hosted a symphony concert to celebrate the 70th anniversary of The Fryderyk Chopin School of Music and General Education in Krakow. Performances throughout the evening’s concert featured the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maciej Tarnowski, as well as some of the school’s alumni. Among them were: Daniel Stabrawa – the first concertmaster and soloist of Berlin Philharmonic, Mariola Cieniawa – an excellent pianist and teacher, Karol Olechowski –the concertmaster of The National Opera Orchestra in Lyon, and Ewa Miecznikowska – a soloist from the same orchestra.
The highlight of the concert will be the world premiere of Metamorphoses by Krzysztof Meyer, who is also an alumnus of Chopin School of Music. The composer prefaced the debut of his new work by saying: “I did not want to compose an occasional piece, like fanfare for the anniversary of “my” school. My goal was to compose a piece, which would be for me not only a new experience, but also developed certain ideas from the previous works, regarding the form, sound, harmony and rhythm.” As part of the concert program, audiences heard the Violin Concerto No. 2 by Karol Szymanowski, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in C-major and Polish Melodies by Mieczysław Weinberg.
ZUBEL PERFORMS KRZANOWSKI IN KATOWICE
Agata Zubel, laureate of the Coryphaeus of Polish Music Award 2016, and Silesian String Quartet will give a performance on October 8, 2016 at the Chamber Hall of the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra. Their program will include: Béla Bartók – String Quartet No. 3, Aleksander Lasoń – Relief for Andrzej for string quartet, and Andrzej Krzanowski – Audition VI for soprano and string quartet (lyr. by Juliusz Słowacki)
Then on October 9, the New Music Orchestra [Orkiestry Muzyki Nowej ] with soloists Agata Zubel and Andrzej Bauer will perform at the concert entitled "Andrzej Krzanowski In Memoriam" at the Chamber Hall of the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra.
Andrzej Krzanowski (1951-1990), together with Eugeniusz Knapik and Aleksander Lasoń are the composers known as "Generation ‘51" because of their date of birth, or "the Stalowa Wola Generation", after the legendary Stalowa Wola Festival. Standing in opposition to the 1950s and 1960s avant-garde, these three wrote music was to be labelled as "new Romanticism", however, each of them retained his own individuality and autonomy. Andrzej Krzanowski was the one who, of all the "Generation ‘51", retained the closest links to the avant-garde.
The program of the concert includes Krzanowski’s Audition III (1974) for actor, soprano, 2 accordions, baritone saxophone, trumpet, electric guitar, percussion, tape and projectors, and Audition IV (1975) for voice, siren, cymbals, accordion and 2 tapes, as well as Marcin Bortnowski’s new composition Expectation for cello and chamber orchestra, which is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s "Composing Commissions" program as implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance.
‘SEVEN CURRENTS’ CONFERENCE
The ZKP Conference “Seven Currents of Polish Music” was held on September 23-24, 2016 at the Bogumił Linde Hall in the University of Warsaw Library in conjunction with the “7+7=70” Festival. This festival and conference were organized on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP). During seven sessions devoted to seven stylistic currents, musicologists and composers confronted their views of the last 70 years of Polish music, relentlessly supported by the Polish Composers’ Union. The conference is the fringe event of the 59th International Festival of Contemporary Music "Warsaw Autumn" and all sessions were translated into English.
Moderators of panel discussions during the conference included Tadeusz Wielecki, Stanisław Krupowicz, Monika Pasiecznik, Sławomir Wojciechowski, Krzysztof Meyer, Prasqual, Krzysztof Baculewski, Dariusz Przybylski, Zygmunt Krauze, Marcin Stańczyk and Jerzy Kornowicz.
Organizers were the Institute of Musicology of the University of Warsaw, Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC, University of Warsaw Library, with co-financing from the Society of Authors and Composers ZAiKS. Celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Polish Composers’ Union are also co-organized by the Institute of Music and Dance, and co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
KIEŚLOWSKI CONFERENCE & SCREENINGS AT USC
No End: Twenty Years into Krzysztof Kieślowski's Second Life is a two-day special conference celebrating the continuing impact of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s film legacy while commemorating twenty years since his untimely death at the age of 54. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of French and Italian at the University of Southern California and in conjunction with the Los Angeles Polish Film Festival. The event will bring together both scholars presenting critical papers on Kieślowski’s cinema as well as artists who have been influenced and/or inspired by his work. It is a unique interdisciplinary event will consist of both academic and artistic panels on Thursday and Friday, October 13-14.
Alongside panel presentations by professors, graduate students and artists, there will be two guest speakers that will be giving keynote lectures on each day: Sławomir Idziak (cinematographer of A Short Film About Killing, The Double Life of Veronique, and Blue) and Polish film director Janusz Zaorski. The conference will also include a screening of Zaorski's recently completed film Generations that tells the story of Polish history through film using footage from 50 Polish classics; and Kieślowski’s The Double Life of Veronique.
Since 2014, the Polish Music Council has been leading research efforts to improving the social and political conditions for musicians in Poland. In 2015-2016, studies were co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the program Culture Observatory. Currently, their goals are to 1) show the dynamism and diversity of musical career paths in Poland, and 2) capture the internal structure of music professions through the investigation of socioeconomic impacts on the industry. The research consists of three modules: the analysis of data (provided by GUS, ZKP, STOART, IMiT, etc.), quantitative research (an anonymous online survey), and qualitative research (anonymous interviews with the chosen representatives of musical professions from the whole Poland). An accurate assessment of the current situation relating to the practice of musical activities in Poland is vital to their success.
As such, the Polish Music Council would like to invite all the representatives from communities of Polish music to participate in a research project called “The Dynamics of Musician’s Careers in the Area of the Entire Music Environment.” The comprehensive report from the research is going to be published at PRM website at the end of 2016. We invite you to fill out the questionnaire in support of their efforts at surveygizmo.com.
XIV OCHLEWSKI COMPOSITION COMPETITION
The XVI edition of Tadeusz Ochlewski Composition Competition has been announced. This year, it will focus on pieces for double bass with electronic layers. The composition chosen by the jury will be added to the PWM catalogue, published in print and performed at a concert open for the public. Young composers (under 30 years old as of December 31, 2015) are invited to participate in the competition.
The deadline for submitting compositions is December 6, 2016. Submissions must meet all the competition requirements, include the application form and original composition, and be sent to the following address:
Prize winners will be chosen by the jury, consisting of the following members: Dr. Daniel Cichy - Editor in Chief PWM, Jurek Dybał, Alexander Gabryś, and Grzegorz Frankowski. More details about the competition can be found under the following link: pwm.com.pl
The Fryderyk Chopin University is inviting all audiences for a concert on October 3 at 7 p.m. in the UMFC Concert Hall. Entitled “The Music of Spheres by Roman Maciejewski,” the concert will feature students from the music university in Warsaw and the University of Fine Arts in Berlin (UdK Berlin), supervised by Marcin Zalewski and Frank-Immo Zichner from UdK Berlin.
This event is presented by Olgierd Łukaszewicz, in association with other cultural events celebrating the 25th anniversary of the partnership between the cities of Berlin and Warsaw, organized by the Universität der Künste w Berlinie, Convivium Berlin e. V., Verein für Interkulturelle Begegnungen e. V., and the Warsaw Monopoly Association. The program will include works by Roman Maciejewski – Mazurkas no. 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 for piano (1928-1990), Nocturne for flute, guitar and celesta (1951), Duo concertante for two pianos (1936), Bilitis Songs for soprano and piano (1932), and Spanish Suite for two guitars (1948).
SZPAKIEWICZ NOW APU PROFESSOR & CONCERT
USC Thornton alumnus and previous PMC performer Marek Szpakiewicz (MM ’01, DMA ‘08) has been appointed as Assistant Professor of Cello Studies at Azusa Pacific University’s (APU) School of Music. Szpakiewicz has been teaching cello at APU since 2005 and currently serves as the Director of Chamber Music.
Szpakiewicz’s students have performed as soloists with the APU Symphony Orchestra and have won prizes at national and international competitions, including the International Cello Competition in Chile and the American Protégé International Piano and String Competition.
On Saturday, October15, Szpakiewicz will perform a program including Chopin, Schumann, Rachmaninoff and others with pianist Jiayi Shi. The concert is free and any collected donations (not required) will be used to purchase a 3/4-sized cello for the Soma Children’s Orchestra in Fukushima, Japan, organized by El Sistema Japan.
[Source: press release, music.usc.edu]
POLISH FILM FESTIVAL L.A.
The Seventeenth Annual Polish Film Festival will be held in various venues around Los Angeles October 12-20, 2016. The Opening Gala at the Egyptian Theatre takes place Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. and will feature screening of Janusz Majewski’s feature, The Eccentrics. The Sunny Side of the Street. Festival screenings are held at the Laemmle’s NoHo 7 theatre and Laemmle’s Monica Film Center. Additional screenings take place at the Laemmle Music Hall (Beverly Hills), Armer Theatre at Cal State Northridge, and Regency South Coast Village Theatre in Santa Ana, and nearly every screening features a special guest who related to the film who will provide a Q&A.
Below is a listing of highlights of the 2016 Festival by venue:
Screenings at Laemmle NoHo 7
Laemmle Monica Film Center
Laemmle Music Hall
Armer Theater, Manzanita Hall, Cal State Northridge
Regency South Coast Village Theatre, Santa Ana
For a full listing of screenings, visit polishfilm.org.
[Source: press release]
MULTI TRIO AT LACMA
On Sunday, October 16, the Sunday’s Live series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will host Multi Trio, consisting of pianist Ewa Pobłocka, soprano Ewa Leszczyńska and cellist Maria Leszczyńska. Multi Trio will present a program of works by Chopin, Paderewski, Górecki, and Bacewicz.
With Multi Trio, three generations are represented on stage—the mother at the piano, the elder daughter performing vocals and piano, and the younger playing the piano, cello, and saxophone. Their performances are in various configurations and different instrument combinations, and without many original compositions for such a trio, they present adaptations and arrangements of selected works. Masterpieces of Romanticism are the core of their repertoire.
[Source: press release]
On October 1, 2016, winners of the “Koryfeusz” [Coryphaeus] Polish Music Award were announced at a special gala held at the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio in Warsaw. The awards were granted in 4 categories:
Winners received commemorative statuettes designed by Prof. Adam Myjak, while the financial rewards (for the Personality of the Year Award and Honorary Award) were funded by the ZAiKS Authors’ Association and the STOART Union of Performing Artists.
Organized by the Institute of Music and Dance and Polish Radio Program 2, the gala concert was performed by singer Aga Zaryan, Nikola Kołodziejczyk Orchestra, saxophonist Łukasz Dyczko, pianist Jakub Sikora and Royal String Quartet. The program included compositions by Jan Krenz, Jan "Ptaszyn" Wróblewski and Nikola Kołodziejczyk.
The Annual Awards of the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP) were announced on September 21, 2016 at 1:00 pm at the Association of Art Historians’ office. The ZKP Awards are granted to outstanding composers, performers, musicologists, teachers and organizers of cultural events in honor of their achievements and contributions to Polish culture.
This year, the Jury (Mieczysław Kominek – chairman, Beata Bolesławska-Lewandowska, Krzysztof Baculewski and Jerzy Kornowicz) awarded the following:
US POLISH ORGANIZATIONS HONORED WITH GLORIA ARTIS
On September 27, 2016, Piotr Gliński, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, awarded the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis to several prominent Polish organizations of cultural preservation and leaders of the Polish-American community in the US:
The ceremony took place at the office of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York. PMA President Richard Owsiany and Managing Director Małgorzata Kot accepted the award on behalf of the PMA.
Jarosław Sellin, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, announced this honor on September 15, during the 38th Annual Conference of the Polish Museums, Archives, and Libraries Abroad, held in London.
[Source: PMA press release]
MOTION TRIO HONORED AT GDYNIA FILM FESTIVAL
The Gdynia Film Festival is one of the oldest film events in Europe, featuring a main competition for selected Polish premiere films, debuting films, and those awarded at the greatest international film festivals. High monetary prizes (up to 100 thousand PLN), tough competition, and the presence of a jury composed of distinguished representatives of the world of music and film give the competition international significance. This year, the international jury was led by Filip Bajon and comprised of Lenny Abrahamson, Magdalena Górka, Bartosz Karczyński, Aleksandra Maślik, Łukasz Orbitowski, Kinga Preis, and Gary Yershon.
On September 24, during the closing ceremony of the 41st Gdynia Film Festival, Motion Trio was awarded 15 thousand PLN for their music in the film The Happiness of the World, which featured works composed by the members of Motion Trio: Janusz Wojtarowicz, Paweł Baranek, and Marcin Gałażyn.
KOLESNIKOV WINS 2016 GRAMOPHONE AWARD
The new recording by Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov has been announced as the winner of Gramophone Magazine’s 2016 Classical Music Award in the Instrumental category. The young artist– a member of the BBC New Generation Artist scheme – shows a remarkable command and originality in this superb Chopin set. Writing for Gramophone in September, Patrick Rucker further comments Kolesnikov’s musicianship in his glowing review for the album:
KRUPIŃSKI WINS IN SAN MARINO
Amongst 30 participants from around the world, Polish pianist Łukasz Krupińskibecame the winner of the VII International Piano Competition in San Marino, Italy. Next to Łukasz Krupiński on the winners’ podium were Dmytro Choni, who got second prize, and Meng-Sheng Shen with third prize. In addition to the main prize, Łukasz Krupiński won also various special awards: the audience prize, critique prize and the prize from the Orchestra.
Łukasz Krupiński was born in 1992 in Warsaw. He attended the Zenon Brzewski School of Music and General Education in Warsaw. He studied at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw with professor Alicja Paleta-Bugaj and Konrad Skolarski. Krupiński has performed concerts in 14 countries in Europe, Australia, and Asia, and has yet to make his debut in the US. He has also won many prestigious prizes at international piano competitions – most recently first prize at the ClaviCologne International Piano Competition in Aachen (2016) and first prize at the XV Chopin-Gesellschaft International Piano Competition in Hannover (2015). Krupiński was also a semi-finalist at the XVII International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2015 and the Krystian Zimerman Foundation Scholar in 2015 and in 2016. Moreover, he has been awarded twice by Pro Polonia Foundation (2013, 2014) and The Minister of Culture and National Heritage Award for the outstanding success in art (2013, 2014), and received The Minister of Culture and National Heritage Scholarship (2015).
SACRUM PROFANUM FESTIVAL
Organized by the City of Kraków and Kraków Festival Bureau, the XIV Sacrum Profanum Festival will take a place on October 1-8 in Kraków. The 14th edition of the festival focuses on multithread academic composition, wild avant-garde and indie classical streams of 20th century music.
This year, the audience will be presented with performances by such artists as Nico Muhly, Nadia Sirota, Daníel Bjarnason, Valgeir Sigurðsson (of the Bedroom Community), Barbara Kinga Majewska, Stephen Drury, Arditti Quartet, Ensemble InterContemporain, Spółdzielnia Muzyczna, Sinfonietta Cracovia and many others. Two operas will also be featured in the program: Folie à Deux by award-winning British composer Emily Hall and Icelandic writer Sjón, and the Opera About Poland with music by Artur Zagajewski and choreographed by Dominika Knapik. In addition to these concerts, audiences will be able to participate in discussion panels, exhibitions and meetings with artists.
View the full program for this year’s festival sacrumprofanum.com.
V NEOARTE FESTIVAL
The 5th edition of NeoArte Festival - New Music Spectrum will be held on October 6-8, 2016 in Gdańsk. The main idea of this annual event is to popularize contemporary classical music to a wider audience. Renowned composers, established artists and young talented musicians meet to formulate a new musical perspective of contemporary times.
The first edition of the Festival was held in October 2012 with Polish composer Paweł Szymański as guest of honor, followed by Elżbieta Sikora in 2013, Cezary Duchnowski in 2014 and Paweł Mykietyn in 2015. This time, a monograph concert will be devoted to music by Joanna Bruzdowicz.
Performers at this year’s festival include Kwadrofonik with singer Barbara Kinga Majewska, NeoQuartet, flutist Łukasz Długosz, vibraphonist Dominik Bukowski, pianists Tomasz Jocz and Joanna Żabierek, violinists Karolina Piątkowska-Nowicka and Paweł Kapica, as well as Festival Chamber Orchestra conducted by Wódecki. Since 2013 the festival’s formula has been gradually expanded to include also workshops and discussion panels.
THE INVISIBLE PIANIST—A CONCERT IN DARKNESS
On September 30, in the Western-Kashubian Museum in Bytów, a concert entitled “The Invisible Pianist, a Concert in Darkness” was performed by pianist Barbara Drążkowska. It was the newest project of Drążkowska from the edge of music and performance art – a modification of a concert situation whereby the audience is in complete darkness and the pianist plays with night vision googles. This concert was a part of BytOFFsky Festival.
The experience of perceiving the music without one of our senses and sharpening the others is an inspiring concept for a musician. Through a resignation of the visionary impulse, the relationship between the performer and the audience enters a new level – sound is the only thing with which they can communicate, giving the possibility of an even more intense sound perception without even closing eyes. The pianist performed special repertoire for the event, including works by Paweł Mykietyn and Szymon Brzóska.
‘MUZYKA POD LIBERATOREM’: MYKIETYN EDITION
On September 29, after the summer break, the next free concert of this year’s “Muzyka pod Liberatorem” series was held in the Warsaw Uprising Museum, featuring Paweł Mykietyn’s music. The meeting was led by Barbara Schabowska.
Paweł Mykietyn is recognized as one of the most interesting composers of contemporary music. The concert program featured two of Mykietyn’s early orchestral pieces: Eine kleine Herbstmusik (1995) for chamber orchestra, commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn Festival and 3 for 13 for 13 instruments (1994)—the composer was awarded the first prize at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris for this piece. The music was performed by the Polish Radio Orchestra, conducted by Michał Klauza
Agata Kwiecińska wrote about this music in her article for Ruch Muzyczny:
The audience also heard Kartka z albumu for Cello and Tape, performed by Andrzej Bauer. The piece was composed in 2002 for Andrzej Bauer, considering his musical interest combining the sound of the cello with electronics.
“Muzyka pod Liberatorem” is a series of classical music concerts presenting works by composers tied to Warsaw. The Organizers of the concert series are: Warsaw Uprising Museum, Program 2 of Polish Radio and PWM, and one of the sponsors was TVP Kultura.
WORKS BY POLISH FEMALE COMPOSERS
On August 20, the Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio hosted a concert during which new works by Polish female composers were presented. Chamber vocal compositions written by Alicja Gronau, Iwona Kisiel, Olga Hans, Monika Kędziora and Aleksandra Garbal were interpreted by Lilianna Zalesińska (mezzosoprano) and Piotr Szymanowicz (piano). The concert was organized by the Polish Composers’ Union and Polish Radio Program 2.
PLOWRIGHT & POLISH MUSIC AROUND EUROPE
Making his debut appearance in the prestigious and internationally renowned London Pianoforte Series at Wigmore Hall in July of this year, champion of Polish Romantic repertoire and former Paderewski Festival Gala pianist Jonathan Plowright received a rapturous reception from both the capacity audience and critic, whose review was published on the online 'Classical Source' website:
Read the full review at classicalsource.com.
Plowright had another important debut this summer when he took part in the Chopin Institute's annual international Chopin Festival in Warsaw, which this year focused on the influences that Chopin's music had on other composers. On August 16, he and the Szymanowski Quartet gave a stirring performance of their recently recorded Piano Quintet by Ludomir Różycki, which was filmed by Polish TV.
On August 19, Plowright and the Quartet gave the opening concert in this now world famous festival of rarely played piano music—the Annual Festival of Piano Rarities in Husum, Germany—performing the Piano Quintets of Ludomir Rózycki and Ignacy Friedman. Plowright, who has previously only appeared as a soloist for the discerning Husum audience proved himself also to be a 'fabulous chamber musician' according to the critics.
[Source: artist press release]
NEW ALBUM OF AGATA SZYMCZEWSKA
On September 16, the new album by violinist Agata Szymczewska called “Modern Soul” was released. The album contains music by four Polish composers of the young generation—Mikołaj Majkusiak, Marcin Markowicz, Aleksander Nowak, and Ignacy Zalewski—all composed specially for this occasion. The initiator of the project, Agata Szymczewska invited to co-operation virtuosos such as: Marek Bracha, Maciej Frąckiewicz, Łukasz Kuropaczewski and Grzegorz Skrobiński. The artists recorded pieces under the composers’ supervision, what made the interpretations exceptional.
Publishing the album would not be possible without the help of WBK Bank and co-publisher of the National Audiovisual Institute (NINA). The album is published by the CD Accord Company and produced by Ludwig van Beethoven Association. The partner of the recording is The Krzysztof Penderecki European Center for Music and Polish Radio Program 2.
GRAŻYNA BACEWICZ: STRING QTETS
Grażyna Bacewicz - Complete String Quartets
The multi-award winning Silesian Quartet’s new recording of the complete string quartets by Grażyna Bacewicz has been widely well received since its release in July. The album set not only reached number three on British classical charts, but was also named “Disc of the Month” in August 2016 by Gramophone Magazine. Months later, enthusiastic reviews and reception of the album persist as Katie Lodge from North East Music Magazine writes: “The Silesian Quartet present them all with an open sound, not overly dramatic, and very well timed and placed in terms of the changes of tempi; there really is nothing to criticise! It is a real pleasure to find a quartet performing works in such a way so as to bring them to new audiences, rather than yearning for ‘that’ standout interpretation of a classic.”
POLISH CHORAL MUSIC
Choral Music - Szymanowski, K. / Penderecki, K. / Górecki, H. / Lutosławski, W.
With the beginning of the concert season 2016/2017, Germany’s South West Radio launched their own digital recording label called SWR Klassik. The new label encompasses eight classical brands under their new corporate design: the SWR Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Vocal Ensemble, the SWR Experimental Studio, the SWR Big Band, the SWR Schwetzingen Festival, the SWR commitment at the Donaueschingen Festival, SWR Web Concerts and SWR music education. These ensembles and festivals will present themselves on a new online portal and offer classical music fans up-to-date information and posts, video clips of artists and dramaturgical background information on concerts, music education offers, and more. This excellent offering of Polish choral music is one of the newest albums to be released on the SWR Klassik label.
PLOWRIGHT & SZYMANOWSKI
Friedman & Różycki: Piano Quintets
Following the success of their previous chamber CD, Jonathan Plowright has again teamed up with the Polish/Ukrainian Szymanowski Quartet to record two more forgotten gems of the Romantic Polish repertoire for Hyperion Records. The piano quintets of Ludomir Rózycki and Ignacy Friedman make the perfect late-Romantic pairing, and both recieved a warm reception when the group performed them this summer at the Chopin and Husum Rarities Festivals. The CD follows hot on the heels of Jonathan's recordings of the two Piano Concerti by Ludomir Rózycki, and as such was greeted enthusiastically by Gramophone reviewer, Jeremy Nicholas: "These were played by Jonathan Plowright (overlooked yet again by the BBC Proms this year) and it is this outstanding British pianist in whose debt we are once more for this second Różicki resurrection."
The striking cover picture of the album is a detail from ‘Frenzy of Exultations’ (Szał uniesień), or as it has become known, ‘Ecstasy’, is an 1893 painting by Polish artist, Władysław Podkowiński, and it caused an uproar when it was first exhibited.
[Source: press release]
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Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Translation Assistance: Tomasz Fechner
Layout Assistance: Charles Bragg, Thuy Le
Lisa Cooper Vest, Keiko Mori, Diane Plowright, Justin Trifiro, Marek Żebrowski
Sources of information: Polish Cultural Institute (NY & UK), Adam Mickiewicz Institute, PWM,
Nowy Dziennik, Polish Music Information Centre - Warsaw, Polish American Journal,
Poland.pl, PAP, ZKP, infochopin.pl, Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza,
Formatting by Thuy Le, October 10, 2016.
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