Polish Music Newsletter

October 2017, Vol. 23, No. 10. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California

 Anniversaries  | Awards | Discography | Festivals | News | Obituary | PMC News

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The 2017 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles celebrates the legacy of Paso Robles’ most famous resident, Ignacy Jan Paderewski – virtuoso pianist, composer, international politician, local landowner, and winemaker – with four days of concerts and special events featuring internationally-renowned performers. Held in venues throughout Paso Robles, California from November 2-5, 2017, this year’s Festival lineup includes performances by young pianists from California’s Central Coast, as well as a piano master class and wine tasting opportunities.

This year’s Saturday, November 4 Gala Concert performer is New York-based Polish pianist and Columbia University professor Magdalena Baczewska (above). An international piano competition winner and recording artist, Ms. Baczewska will present a program of Paderewski, Chopin and Szymanowski at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. Gala Concert sponsor Epoch Estate Wines will pour wines prior to the concert.  The gala concert will also include a video montage of nine finalists from New York City and Los Angeles and an award presentation of the winner of the Paderewski Cycle project, a national juried competition calling for “treatments” for a musical script about Paderewski sponsored by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw.

The 2017 Festival opens on Thursday, November 2 at 7 p.m. at Cass Winery with Café Musique featuring a “wild classical” evening with gypsy, swing, tango and folk tunes performed by Brynn Albanese (violin/vocals), Duane Inglish (accordion, Fred Murray (bass/vocals) and Eric Williams (guitar/ukulele/bouzouki/vocals).  A no-host reception with Cass wines and a gourmet meal available for purchase will precede the concert.

On Friday, November 3 at the historic Park Ballroom in downtown Paso Robles, Ms. Baczewska will share her expertise with young Central Coast pianists at a 2 p.m. piano master class, free and open to piano students and the general public.

Friday evening will also feature a jazz trio concert of American Jazz Standards by Polish Composers. Grammy Award-winning pianist Bill Cunliffe, bassist Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz and percussionist Tina Raymond will present classic tunes by Victor Young, Bronny Kaper and Henry Vars – including “On Green Dolphin Street” and “Stella by Starlight” – at the Park Ballroom in downtown Paso Robles at 7 p.m. 

Promoting music appreciation and fostering growth of local young 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 21) will be presented at a Winners’ Recital on Saturday, November 4 at 4 p.m. in the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. Admission is free.

On Sunday, November 5, Paderewski Patrons and Friends of Paderewski will be treated to an exclusive program featuring a tour, tasting and brunch at Epoch Estate Wines’ new York Mountain tasting facility, as well as a premiere Paderewski Cycle musical presentation and discussion with Adam Mickiewicz Institute organizers and the musical creative team.

Sponsors of 2017 Paderewski Festival include Epoch Estate Wines, Derby Wine Estates, Tablas Creek Vineyard, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Travel Paso Robles Alliance, the Polish Consulate of Los Angeles and the Polish American Congress of Southern California.

Admission to concerts ranges from free for children under 18 (with paid adult ticket) to $45 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. Paderewski Patrons with reserved front row seats and parking by name are $500.  Tickets may be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com or by calling (805) 235-5409.

Paderewski Festival


Café Musique
Cass Winery, 7350 Linne Road, Paso Robles
6:30 PM no host wine reception, concert at 7 PM
$35 General Admission; $25 Seniors/Wine Industry; $5 Students; FREE Youth; $30 Buffet Dinner (5:30)


Master Class with Magdalena Baczewska, piano
Park Ballroom, 1232 Park Street, Paso Robles. 2 PM

Jazz Trio: American Jazz Standards by Polish Composers
Park Ballroom
6:30 PM wine reception, concert at 7 PM
$35 General Admission; $25 Seniors/Wine Industry; $5 Students; FREE Youth


Paderewski Festival Youth Piano Competition Winners' Recital
Paso Robles Inn Ballroom, 1103 Spring Street, Paso Robles. 4 PM

Paderewski Festival Gala Recital with pianist Magdalena Baczewska
Works by Paderewski, Chopin and Szymanowski, plus the Paderewski Cycle finalists' montage and award ceremony 
Paso Robles Inn Ballroom.
6:30 PM wine reception, doors open at 7 PM, concert at 7:30 PM
$35 General Admission; $25 Seniors/Wine Industry; $5 Students; FREE Youth


Paderewski Patrons and Friends of Paderewski Tour, Wine Tasting, Brunch, and Paderewski Cycle Musical Presentation
Epoch Estate Wines, 7505 York Mountain Road, Templeton. 10 AM
Open to Patron and FOP pass holders only

Festival Fringe Event: Symphony of the Vines & Cracow Duo play Beethoven, Mozart & Mendelssohn
Park Ballroom
3 PM
See www.symphonyofthevines.org/#NOV05 for details and ticket info

For more information about Ignacy Jan Paderewski and the non-profit Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, please visit the Festival’s website www.paderewskifest.com.


By Marek Zebrowski

A contemplative Marcel Chyrzyński at the USC Polish Music Center

The Polish Music Center's 2017 Paderewski Lecture-Recital featured music of Kraków based composer, Marcel Chyrzyński. A student of Marek Stachowski and Krzysztof Penderecki, Chyrzyński is a professor of composition at the Kraków Music Academy and since 2016 has served as President of the Kraków branch of the Polish Composers’ Union [ZKP].

The October 15 concert at USC’s Alfred Newman Recital Hall focused on Chyrzyński’s chamber music, beginning with his In C for clarinet, cello and piano. Dating from 1996, this work humorously refers to Terry Riley’s iconic 1964 work with the same title. Whereas Riley’s approach mixed aleatoric and minimalist techniques, Chyrzyński applied to his composition the rigors of formal design, paying a gentle homage to his famous predecessor whilst charting his own path and musical style.

Two of Chyrzyński’s solo works then followed, Quasi Kwazi 3 for solo clarinet (1998) and For MS… for solo cello (2001). The former is a long and virtuosic clarinet fantasy-cadenza, the latter a passionate and, at times, angry outburst that left the audience astounded at its concentrated power of expression.

Next came two different duets: clarinet and piano, and cello and piano. In spite of its menacing title, Dance of Death (2013) is an almost campy piece where clarinet and piano vie for the musically scariest formulae and have lots of fun in the process. Farewell for cello and piano, on the other hand, bravely reaches back to the romantic and almost tonal traditions. Inspired by a poem, Wakare [Farewell] by Nakano Shigeharu, the composer observed that, “the author raises universally important issues of love, fragility of our existence, suffering and loss,” adding, “I decided to write a composition that reflects the atmosphere of this quiet and very personal poetry.”

Pianist Marek Szlezer introducing the world premiere of Death in Venice
before performing the new work with clarinetist Andrew Leonard and cellist Jan Kalinowski

The program closed with two works for three performers—Betelgeuse for violin, cello and piano, and Death in Venice for clarinet, cello and piano. The 2014 Betelgeuse artfully evokes in music the interstellar spaces where planets and stars experience their infinite and violent life cycles shrouded by cosmic nebulae and cosmic dust. The 2017 Death in Venice received its world premiere at the October 15 concert and, as the title suggests, its inspiration was Thomas Mann’s unforgettable novella and Luchino Visconti’s iconic film. Echoes of Mahler’s Adagietto and Wagner’s Tristan resonated during Chyrzyński’s recent visit in Venice that included a stroll along Lido’s (now shuttered) Hotel des Bains and its empty beach. These emotions added up to a powerfully evocative work, which (in a way) is typical of the entire catalogue of Chyrzyński’s compositions. As his lecture that preceded the concert demonstrated, Chyrzyński’s creative process is quite detailed and deliberative. Elaborate chordal structures underpin all of his works and a wide range of techniques is used for one goal only: a work of music that is expressive and meaningful, well-constructed and yet spontaneous-sounding, and also performer and audience friendly. Clearly, Chyrzyński always writes from the heart—he is not afraid of minor or major keys on occasion, and of seemingly old-fashioned formal designs. They serve him and his music very well.

The recital part of the evening featured the Cracow Duo, Chyrzyński’s strong champions not only in Kraków (where they are his Music Academy colleagues), but all across the world, where they have performed Chyrzyński’s music on numerous occasions. Cellist Jan Kalinowski demonstrated his great technical range in Chyrzyński’s solo piece, For MS… and in Farewell, where his lyrical gifts strongly came to the fore. Pianist Marek Szlezer shone throughout the concert with his thoughtful, resourceful and expert in partnering for all of the duets and trios. Violinist Jiwon Sun, a Thornton graduate student who joined the Cracow Duo for Betelgeuse, demonstrated fine musicianship and command of her instrument aplenty. Thornton School of Music graduate and longtime PMC collaborator, clarinetist Andrew Leonard gave a spirited reading of Chyrzyński’s Dance of Death and In C, augmenting the effect with his reading of Quasi Kwazi 3 and providing appropriately lyrical bursts of passion in Death in Venice. The audience obviously enjoyed the evening, rising to recognize the composer and the performance at the end of their program.

Jan Kalinowski, Jiwon Sun, Marcel Chyrzyński, Marek Szlezer and Andrew Leonard



From Lynwood F. Bronson, our longtime friend in northern California and a distinguished piano pedagogue, we received a rare and beautifully produced copy of Paderewski’s June 6, 1931 recital at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. It was first of Paderewski’s benefit performances for the Debussy monument fund drive. This Saturday afternoon program was quite extensive, opening with Brahms’s Variations and Fugue on the Theme by Handel, after which Paderewski played two great sonatas, Beethoven’s Op. 31 and Chopin’s Op. 58. That done, a group of Chopin miniatures followed, and the program continued with a selection of Preludes by Debussy, the Wagner-Schelling transcription of Tristan und Isolde, finally ending with Liszt’s transcription of Paganini’s Campanella. It is safe to say that many of today’s pianists would find this program daunting, if not nearly impossible to pull off. Paderewski dispatched it with his usual grandeur and grace, all at the age of 71.

* * *

From our friend Zofia Adamowicz residing in Los Angeles area we received three lovely books. The first, Chopin: Antologia poetycka by Krystyna Kobylańska, was published by the Chopin Institute in Warsaw in 1949 to commemorate the centenary of Chopin’s death. Beautifully illustrated with facsimiles of various Chopin portraits, photographs, reproductions of old press clippings and manuscripts are interspersed with poems about the composer penned, among others, by Chopin’s father, Nicolas, Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński, Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna, , Maria Konopnicka, Adam Mickiewicz, Cyprian Kamil Norwid, Leopold Staff, Julian Tuwim, Stefan Witwicki and many others.

The other book from Mrs. Adamowicz is an oversized cloth album, Chopin w kraju [Chopin in his homeland], published by PWM in 1955. Co-authored by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz and Krystyna Kobylańska, this volume introduces the reader to an extensive selection of documents connected to Chopin, including his birth certificate, school records with lesson plans, Chopin’s drawings and letters, family portraits, as well as travels to the Polish countryside, ending with his departure for Vienna in 1830.

Mrs. Adamowicz also presented us with a hardbound volume, Paderewski, published by PWM in 1967. This richly illustrated book with scores of photographs, programs, press clippings and other items traces Paderewski’s career as a pianist, politician and humanitarian.

* * *

In addition to his professorship at Kraków Music Academy, pianist Marek Szlezer, member of the world famous Cracow Duo ensemble, is also a busy scholar dedicated to rescuing lesser-known Polish piano works from oblivion. In conjunction with the Cracow Duo’s Fall 2017 U.S. tour (that included performances for Polish Music Center in Los Angeles, as well as appearances in San Diego, Paso Robles San Francisco, Chicago and New York), Dr. Szlezer presented us with a brand new volume of Piano Sonatas by Władysław Żeleński (1837-1921), which he extensively edited for the Eufonium Publishing Company. Other positions in Eufonium’s growing catalogue include a great variety of piano works by such composers as Tadeusz Joteyko, Karol Mikuli, Eugeniusz Pankiewicz, Jadwiga Sarnecka, Roman Statkowski, Juliusz Wertheim, Juliusz Zarębski and Aleksander Zarzycki, among others.

As always, we are most grateful to all of our donors. Thank you! Dziękujemy!





On October 27, the Kalisz Philharmonic under the baton of Natalia Ponomarczuk will present the world premiere of Marta Ptaszyńska’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, with Clare Hammond as soloist. This is what the composer said about her work:

I finished the Concerto at the beginning of July 2017. Before starting to work on it, I considered at length its form and structure. In the end, I decided to write a piece that would oscillate between exceptionally brilliant piano concertos by Prokofiev and the super-rich color palette of Messiaen’s piano music. The Concerto is also written in such a way that it could be performed not only by the outstanding piano virtuosos but also by other pianists, beginning with high school and university students. The work is cast in three “traditional” movements, Allegro affetuoso, Lento mistico misterioso and Moderato sostenuto – Presto appassionato. The first virtuoso and motoric movement is closest to the Prokofiev models. The second, in turn, is a showcase of flashing hues and brilliant sound colors, both in the solo and orchestra part. The third movement is a virtuoso dialogue of piano and orchestra that leads to a fiery Coda.

Entitled "Fortepianissimo," the program will also include Roman Palester's Concertino for piano and orchestra, as well as Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6.

October 27, 2017 | 7:30 p.m.
World premiere of Ptaszyńska’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

Kalisz Philharmonic Concert Hall
Al. Wolności 2, 62-800 Kalisz, Poland
Info & Tickets: filharmoniakaliska.pl

[Source: pwm.com.pl]



It is not common for an audience to witness a modern premiere of a composition by a prominent author, created more than a century ago. Yet that is exactly what is happening on Oct. 15 at the National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw, when Sinfonia Iuventus presents the world premiere of Anton Rubinstein’s sacred opera Moses, Op. 112. This extraordinary event culminates the research efforts by Maestro Mikhail Yurovsky, the Principal Guest Conductor of the Iuventus Orchestra.

Brothers Anton (1829-1894) and Nicolai (1835-1881) Rubinstein were founders of the St. Petersburg and Moscow Conservatories and belonged to Russia’s music elite during the second half of the 19th century. The opera was written between 1885-1891 to the libretto by Salomon Hermann Mosenthal and in eight scenes depicts the prophet’s life. This work was never performed in its entirety and had to wait well over a century to be heard in public. The concert version of the work under the baton of Maestro Yurovsky will also be recorded.

October 15, 2017 | 7:00 p.m.
World premiere of sacred opera Moses
by Anton Rubinstein
National Philharmonic Hall
Jasna 5, 00-950, Warsaw, Poland
Tickets & Info: filharmonia.pl, sinfoniaiuventus.pl

[Sources: www.polmic.pl, sinfoniaiuventus.pl]



Flutists Łukasz Długosz and Agata Kielar-Długosz with pianist Andrzej Jungiewicz presented world premieres of works by Rafał Augustyn and Wojciech Widłak at the Radziejowice Palace on Oct. 14. The pair of flutists were also the dedicatees of these pieces. Part of the “Composers’ Commissions” [Zamówienia kompozytorskie] program operated by the Institute of Music and Dance, this concert was co-organized by the Piąta Esencja Foundation.

Describing his work Matrimonium for two flutes and piano, Rafał Augustyn observed that it, “does not describe any particular marriage, especially that of Mr. and Mrs. Długosz … [and] even though it was written with them in mind, it is more of an abstraction in terms of the human relationship trajectory, with its peaks and valleys, similarities and differences, the great and the small, and everything in between.”

According to Wojciech Widłak, his Widnokręgi [Horizons] “… were composer during the summer of 2017 … for the flute duo of Łukasz Długosz and Agata Kielar-Długosz. I was mainly inspired by the specific pairing of two similarly sounding instruments, closely linked with each other and carrying on a dialogue among themselves and being a counterweight to the piano part, where sound and resonance are key factors. The musical lines, circles and spirals create a multi-sectional narrative with different expressive qualities.”

October 14, 2017
World premiere: Augustyn & Widłak

Radziejowice Palace
ul. H. Sienkiewicza 4, 96-325 Radziejowice, Poland
Info: palacradziejowice.pl

[Sources: palacradziejowice.pl, polmic.pl]



The 4th edition of "Concert Premieres of Accordion Works" will be held on October 3, 2017 at 6 p.m. in the concert hall of the Władysław Żeleński School of Music in Kraków. The goal of this free event is to present high quality artistic compositions written for accordion which have not been performed before. The IV edition of the concert features the following pieces in its program:

  • Kilka minut obecności by Zbigniew Bargielski for soprano and accordion
  • Sonata for accordion and guitarby Maciej Zimka
  • In Shadow World We Hide in Light by Szymon Stanisław Strzelec for two accordions and electroacoustic layerPiotr Peszat
  • Jenny’s Soul. Or Dirks #2 by Piotr Peszat (right) for microtonal accordion, tape and video
  • Suita tańców wirtualnych by Rafał Wnuk for clarinet, cello and accordion
  • Utwór na konserwatorów, konferansjera i akordeon w roli drugoplanowej by Bożena Boba-Dyga.

Performers for this concert were: Wiesław Ochwat (accordion), Aleksandra Lelek (cello), Piotr Lato (clarinet), Miłosz Mączyński (guitar) and the composers themselves: Maciej Zimka (accordion) and Bożena Boba-Dyga (voice). Guest performers also include Katarzyna Feć, Monika Topolska and Arkadiusz Sfora.

The project was co-funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as a part of the “Zamówienia Kompozytorskie” [Composing Commissions] program conducted by IMiT.

October 3, 2017 | 6:00 p.m.
IV Concert Premieres of Accordion Works

Władysław Żeleński School of Music, Concert Hall
 ul. Basztowa 9, Kraków, Poland

 [Source: polmic.pl]



Warsaw’s Grand Theatre and National Opera opeed its fall season with performances of new production of Ludomir Różycki’s opera Eros i Psyche on October 13, 15, 17 and 19. Barbara Wysocka directed the new staging of this work and the recently appointed musical director, Maestro Grzegorz Nowak, led the orchestra.

Based on a story by Jaerzy Żuławski, the opera was very popular in Poland before World War II. Its subject is the longing of humankind for an ideal world. The opera’s heroine, Psyche, traverses the history from the mythical Arcadia through the Imperial Rome to the Mediaeval Europe and French Revolution all the way to the cusp of the twentieth century, in search of the elusive goal of happiness.

October 13, 15, 17 and 19, 2017
Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera

Plac Teatralny 1, 00-950 Warsaw, Poland
Info & Tickets: teatrwielki.pl

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



Following their stellar performance at the Polish Music Center’s Paderewski Lecture-Recital and other touring around the US, the Cracow Duo will be back in Los Angeles this weekend for two exciting programs of Polish music. First, on October 28, they will perform with the New Zimro Ensemble at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, CA. The New Zimro Ensemble is a collective of musicians dedicated to performances of new and underperformed Jewish classical music. The ensemble of UCLA music students and recent graduates will be joined by the visiting Cracow Duo - pianist Marek Szlezer and cellist Jan Kalinowski – and guests baritone Ed Levy and soprano Krysta Close of the USC Polish Music Center.

Music of the Polish-Jewish experience, written during and after the Holocaust, is a repertoire in search of a wider audience. The concert will feature art songs and chamber music by Alexander Tansman, Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Krzysztof Penderecki, Szymon Laks, Jerzy Fitelberg, Jozef Koffler, and Frederic Rzewski. Jewish Music Foundation Director Neal Brostoff will provide context for the program with a pre-concert lecture.

Saturday, October 28, 2017 | 7 PM: pre-concert talk, 8 PM: Concert
New Zimro Ensemble presents Polish-Jewish music

Boston Court Performing Arts Center
70 N Mentor Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106
Tickets & info: www.bostoncourt.com/events/325/the-new-zimro-ensemble

Next on October 29, the duo will perform their own program of works by Fryderyk Chopin, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Zygmunt Stojowski, Karol Szymanowski, Ludomir Różycki, and Aleksander Tansman during Sundays Live @ LACMA. This free concert is part of a long-running and highly regarded series held every Sunday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and broadcast live online.

Sunday, October 29, 2017 | 6 PM
Cracow Duo perform Sundays Live @ LACMA

Bing Theater at LACMA
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Info & live broadcast: www.sundayslive.org/2017/09/18/october-29-the-cracow-duo

[Source: press release]



Wojcieh Kocyan 2007 USCOn Saturday, October 21 Polish pianist and Loyola Marymount University faculty member Wojciech Kocyan gave a Faculty Piano Recital. He was joined on the stage of LMU’s Murphy Recital Hall by special guest artist Yoshika Masuda – cello.

Wojciech Kocyan was born in Poland. From age six to eighteen he studied with Krystyna Moszynska. He also studied with two of the world’s most esteemed piano pedagogues:  Andrzej Jasinski in Poland, where he received his Masters Degree and with John Perry at the USC Thornton School of Music, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree. He is a laureate of several international piano competitions, including F.Busoni and Viotti, as well as a special prizes winner of the XI International Chopin Competition and a First Prize winner of the Paderewski Piano Competition.  He performed on all continents participating in music festivals such as Musica Antiqua Europae Orientalis, Capri Festival, Bydgoszcz International Music Festival, H.M.Gorecki Festival, Beethovenfest,  Paderewski Festival, Liszt Festival in Vienna, San Francisco Liszt Festival and the Chopin Festival in Paris. He was honored to be the final gala concert soloist of the Festival of Polish Pianism, and performed the Paderewski Piano Concerto with Maestro Jerzy Maksymiuk at the opening concert of the Fourth International Paderewski Piano Competition.. He has recorded for Polish Television, Radio and Film and his performances were broadcast in Europe, United States and Australia.  His solo and chamber music recordings can also be found on DUX label.

Saturday, October 21st, 2017; 8 p.m.
LMU- Murphy Recital Hall
1955 Ignatian Cir, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Info: cal.lmu.edu

 [Sources: press release, facebook.com]



The Polish Composers’ Union [ZKP], Kraków branch, announced the First International Krzysztof Penderecki Competition for Young Composers. The assignment is to write a work for flute, clarinet, violin, viola and cello that is 9-14 minutes long. Composers of all nationalities under the age of 35 are invited to compete; each composer can send no more than two entries.

Competition deadline: JANUARY 31, 2018

The main prize is $1000 and the winning composition will be performed in April 2018 during the 30th International Festival of Kraków Composers.

More information and entry forms can be found at: festiwal.zkp.krakow.pl

[Sources: polmic.pl, festiwal.zkp.krakow.pl]



The Płock Symphony Orchestra celebrated Feliks Nowowiejski’s 140th birthday with an anniversary concert on October 12. The program consisted of the overture to the opera Legenda Bałtyku as well as the Fantasy of the themes from this opera, symphonic poem Pożegnanie Ellenai, Polish Fantasy for solo organ, and overture Swaty Polskie [Polish Nuptials].

Nowowiejski’s Legenda Bałtyku was world premiered in Poznań in 1924 and since then became a popular work in the canon of Polish national opera. Set in a prehistoric Slavic settlement on the Baltic coast, the opera is rich in folk and mythical elements highlighted by excellent orchestral score that led to over 50 performances during its opening season.

October 12, 2017 | 7:00 pm
Płock Symphony celebrates Feliks Nowowiejski’s 140th birthday

Szymanowski Music School in Płock
ul. Kolegialna 23, 09-402 Płock, Poland
Info & Tickets: www.orkiestraplock.pl

[Source: pwm.com.pl]



From October 12-14, the Łódź Music Academy hosted the ZKP conference entitled "Muzyka i Miasto," dedicated to the relationship of creativity and musical life to the institutions and functioning of cities. Musicologists, sociologists and ethnographers gathered to participate in a variety of discussions and attend concerts. Among the latter was performance of Artur Zagajewski’s blockhaus D, a continuation of a concert cycle that was staged in Kraków and Wrocław earlier. This musical installation of sorts uses exotic instruments and mixes professional performers and amateurs, so that blockhaus D was performed also by the attendees and speakers at that conference.

Another concert, W 80 minut dookoła świata [Around the World in 80 Minutes] was dedicated to a varied selection of works, including music by Włodzimierz Korcz and Jan Ptaszyn-Wróblewski, performed by students and faculty of the Łódź Music Academy.

October 12-14, 2017
"Muzyka i Miasto" Conference

Łódź Music Academy, Chamber Hall
al. 1 Maja 4
Info: www.amuz.lodz.pl

[Sources: amuz.lodz.pl, polmic.pl]



polfilmfestLA2017.jpgThe 18th Annual Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles will be held in various venues around town from October 18-26, 2017. The Opening Gala at the Egyptian Theatre takes place Oct. 18 at 6 p.m., featuring a screening of THE ART OF LOVING. STORY OF MICHALINA WISLOCKA [Sztuka kochania. Historia Michaliny Wislockiej] by Maria Sadowska. In addition, the following honor will be given to the outstanding composer of the Festival: Adam Bratcher Music Debut Award: TOMASZ LUC. The film LITTLE JAKUB [Maly Jakub], featuring Tomasz Luc’s debut score, will be screened on October 22 with the composer present.

As always, this year’s Polish Film Festival is a collaboration of many entities across the arts in Los Angeles. One of the highlights of such combined efforts is the two-day conference "Man of Cinema: Wajda for the 21st Century” (Oct 19-20), commemorating the life and work of Andrzej Wajda, organized by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at USC. The conference will open on Thursday with a screening of Wajda's classic DANTON (1983, starring Gérard Depardieu) and a conversation with actor Andrzej Seweryn. On Friday there will be academic panels; a screening of Justine Raczkiewicz's short film WASTE (2016) and a conversation about the conditions for Polish filmmakers today with the director herself; and a screening of Miro Kepinski's NIGHT SHIFT (2016) that will be accompanied by a special musical performance by Kepinski himself on the piano, with USC Thornton School of Music students violinist Alexander Knecht and cellist Allan Hon. The concert will be followed by a Q&A with the director and composer. The conference will conclude with a musical performance featuring another Thornton student, Polish guitarist Tomasz Fechner, and a reception catered by Polka Polish Restaurant.

All Festival screenings are held at the Laemmle’s NoHo 7 Theatre and Laemmle’s Monica Film Center, as well as the Armer Theatre at Cal State Northridge, the Anthony Gilardi Acting Studio in Santa Monica, and the University of Southern California in Downtown LA. Nearly every screening during this annual “Holiday of Polish Cinema” features a lively talk and Q&A with special guests related to each film.

The musical highlights of the 2017 Polish Film Festival are listed below:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 | 6:00 pm
2017 Polish Film Festival Opening Gala
– feat. THE ART OF LOVING. STORY OF MICHALINA WISLOCKA – dir. by Maria Sadowska (in person); music by Radzimir Debski
Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
By invitation only

Thursday & Friday, October 19-20, 2017 | Thu: 5 – 8 pm, Fri: 10 am – 6 pm
Man of Cinema: Wajda for the 21st Century Conference
Thu: USC Montgomery Ross Fisher Bldg (MRF), Rm 340, 669 W. 34th St., L.A. CA 90089
Fri: USC Max Kade Institute, 2714 S. Hoover St., L.A. CA 90007
Info: dornsife.usc.edu/sll

Friday, October 20, 2017 | 9:00 pm
THE ERLPRINCE [Krolewicz Olch] – dir. by Kuba Czekaj; music by Bartek Gliniak (in person); Winner of “Best Cinematography” & “Best Score at 2017” Koszalin Film Festival
Laemmle's NoHo7 Theatre
5240 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601
Buy tickets on-line: www.laemmle.com/theaters/23

Saturday, October 21, 2017 | 3:00 pm
THE TOWER – an opera dir. by Karolina Bregula; music by Ela Orleans; Winner of "’Mlodzi i Film’—Best Screenplay” Award at 2017 Koszalin Film Festival
Laemmle's NoHo7 Theatre
5240 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601
Buy tickets on-line: www.laemmle.com/theaters/23

Sunday, October 22, 2017 | 7:00 pm
LITTLE JAKUB [Maly Jakub] – dir. by Mariusz Bielinski; music by Tomasz Luc (in person)
Laemmle's NoHo7 Theatre
5240 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601
Buy tickets on-line: www.laemmle.com/theaters/23

Sunday, October 22, 2017 | 9:00 pm
THE RECONCILIATION [Zgoda] – dir. by Maciej Sobieszczanski; music by Bartek Gliniak (in person)
Laemmle's Monica Film Center
1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Buy tickets on-line: www.laemmle.com/theaters/3

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 | 7:00 pm
HAVE NO FEAR – dir. by Beata Calinska & Sarah Jacobson; exploring music/dance as a way to counteract police brutality
Laemmle's Monica Film Center
1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Buy tickets on-line: www.laemmle.com/theaters/3

For a full listing of all screenings, visit www.polishfilmla.org or bit.ly/PFFLA18_Schedule.

[Sources: press release, polishfilmla.org, facebook.com, dornsife.usc.edu]



Stanisław Moniuszko’s iconic opera, Straszny dwór [The Haunted Manor] will be presented at the Copernicus Centre in Chicago on October 28 and 29. The soloists of Warsaw’s Grand Theatre and choirs of the National Orchestra and Chopin Music University in Warsaw will be heard with the Paderewski Symphony Orchestra led by Wojciech Niewrzoł.

[Source: pwm.com.pl]



The 60th death anniversary of Artur Malawski was observed in Rzeszów with the October 2 conference and concert at the Chamber Auditorium of the Malawski Philharmonic Hall. Artists and authors as well as music faculty from Warsaw, Bydgoszcz, Kraków, Przemyśl and Sanok participated in the event. The festivities were also accompanied by an exhibit dedicated to Malawski and prepared by the National Museum of Przemyśl, displayed at the lobby of the Philharmonic Hall.





On October 1, the International Day of Music, winners of the 2017 ‘Koryfeusz’ Polish Music Awards were announced at the Award Gala – “Róbmy swoje,” held in the W. Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio in Warsaw. Organized by the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT), the Koryfeusz Award was created in 2011 on the initiative of the music community in order to recognize its most outstanding members. It is a distinction intended to honor individual artists, performers, musicologists, critics, journalists, humanists, researchers, animators, promoters and cultural managers, as well as groups of artists, institutions, artistic events and a variety of projects that are creative, animated and educational. ‘Koryfeusz’ Awards are given to artists holding Polish citizenship or to Polish institutions operating in Poland and abroad in the categories of: Personality of the Year, Musical Event of the Year, Debut of the Year and Honorary Award.

The 2017 winners are:

The Gala program featured the premiere of Zygmunt Konieczny's Piano Concerto, which was commissioned by the Film and Jazz Music Foundation and co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage within the framework of the "Composing Commissions" program implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance. Gala performers included guitarists Marek Napiórkowski and Artur Lesicki, pianist Piotr Latoszyński and a jazz ensemble featuring Dominik Bukowski - vibraphone, Krzysztof Herdzin - piano, Michał Barański - double bass, and Paweł Dobrowolski and Sebastian Frankiewicz – drums, joined by the Polish Radio Orchestra and all conducted by Krzysztof Herdzin and Maciej Koczur. The Award Gala was streamed live online at www.koryfeusz.org.pl and www.polskieradio.pl.

[Source: koryfeusz.org.pl]



The newest album released by the Silesian String Quartet [Kwartet Śląski], entitled “Grażyna Bacewicz: Complete String Quartets,” has won the 2017 Gramophone Classical Music Award in the Chamber Music category, beating out albums by the Danish Quartet, the Diotima Quartet, The Nash Ensemble, the Doric Quartet and the Ehnes Quartet. The award ceremony took place on September 13, 2017 in London.

The album was released last year by the British recording company Chandos with the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and its Polska Music program. Thanks to this co-operation, many albums with some of the best Polish symphonic and chamber music by the like of Witold Lutosławski, Karol Szymanowski, Mieczysław Karłowicz and Andrzej Panufnik are recorded and released regularly. 

[Source: culture.pl]




The Cyprian Kamil Norwid Awards are given annually to outstanding works penned by artists residing in the Mazowsze Region of Central Poland. In the music category, this year’s Norwid Award was given to Paweł Mykietyn for his opera, Czarodziejska góra [Magic Mountain]. The gala ceremony for the winners was held on September 25 at the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

More information at: www.norwid.mazovia.pl

[Source: polmic.pl]



The jury of the 15th International Serocki Competition for Composers met at the Radziejowice Palace September 29—October 1. After studying 149 scores submitted for consideration, jurors Paweł Łukaszewski, Paul Patterson and Dariusz Przybylski announced the winners.

First Prize: Satoshi Ohmae for Fancy Five (16,000 PLN)

Second Prize: Manuel Martinez Burgos for Initiations (10,000 PLN)

The Third Prize: Hyunwook Tak for Umbau (5,000 PLN)

Funding for the prizes came from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, ZAiKS Authors’ Society, and the Witold Lutosławski Society. Hyunwook Tak was also the recipient of the PWM Prize for the youngest contestant in the competition.

[Source: pwm.com.pl]




The 55th annual festival, “Kontrasty—Polska i sąsiedzi” [Contrasts—Poland and her neighbors] was held in Bydgoszcz September 11—October 6. Planned as the prelude to the celebrations of Poland’s centenary of independence, this festival focused on the cultural legacy of Poland’s neighbors as well as other ethnic groups living in Poland, including the Jewish and Roma populations. Among the performers were a famous cantor from New York, Joseph Malovany, Aleksandra Kurzak, Denis Neustroev, Irina Mikhailova, Muza Rubackyte, Dmytro Hubjak, the Czech ancient music ensemble Schola Gregoriana Pragensis, and Lithuanian Philharmonic Orchestra led by Modestas Pitrenas. Composers featured on the festival program included Romuald Twardowski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, and Andrzej Panufnik.

Find a detailed program at: www.filharmonia.bydgoszcz.pl

[Sources: polmic.pl, filharmonia.bydgoszcz.pl]



The Fifth Music Festival in Lower Silesia continues with concerts from September through December 2017, held in historical venues, such as palaces, manors and churches in the region. Artists from the Berlin Philharmonic, the Śląsk Ensemble, and Lutos Air Quintet are among the featured performers.

The Festival began on September 3 with a presentation of Penderecki’s Ciaconna in memoriam Giovanni Paolo II at the historical sanctuary in Stary Wielisław. The Lutos Air Quintet will perform Szeligowski’s Brass Quintet at the Żelazno Palace on October 22.

[Source: polmic.pl]




Paderewski & Stojowski - Polish Music for Piano and Orchestra
Paderewski: Piano Concerto in A Minor Op.17; Stojowski: Symphony Rhapsody for piano and orchestra Op. 23.

Sinfonia Iuventus; Jonathan Plowright, piano; Łukasz Borowicz, cond.
Warner Classics

From the Sinfonia Iuventus website:

On 4 August, the Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus and Warner Classics presented the newest album titled  Polish Music for Piano and Orchestra. Polish piano concertos of the neo-Romantic era are scarce and most of them remain forgotten (also due to the lack of performing editions). Piano Concerto in A minor by Paderewski, which is a relatively frequently presented piece (and is also included in the album) was for long an exception to this rule. Only recently, one could have observed an increasing interest in those compositions and the merits of the British pianist Jonathan Plowright cannot be underestimated – the virtuoso, who displays brilliant technical skills, has also a soul of a bold explorer of unknown repertoire. He raised from the dead a number of magnificent works, including piano concertos by Stojowski, Melcer, Żeleński, Zarzycki, and recently also Różycki. He is also seen as an excellent interpreter of Paderewski who stood at the beginning of Plowright’s great adventure with Polish music. The conductor of the newest album, Łukasz Borowicz, has similar interests. Some of his remarkable achievements include the performances and recordings of forgotten Polish operas (Flis by Stanisław Moniuszko, The Legend of the Baltic by Feliks Nowowiejski, Homeless Swallow by Szymon Laks, Maria by Roman Statkowski, The Adventure of King Arthur by Grażyna Bacewicz, Monbar or the Filibusters by Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński, and others).

The two artists have joined forces to present, along with a popular, relatively new and full-of-youthful-passion concert by Paderewski, a work which has remained almost unknown, but is incredibly beautiful, interesting and valuable: Symphonic Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra by Zygmunt Stojowski. After a short period of private tuition with Władysław Żeleński in Warsaw, this Neo-Romantic composer continued to study in Paris with such prominent figures as Léo Delibes, Jules Massenet, and Camille Saint-Saëns. He also attended piano masterclasses with Paderewski, who became his long-time friend and companion in life in exile. Stojowski’s greatest achievements as a composer, a pianist, and, first and foremost, an esteemed teacher came during the four decades he spent in the USA (since 1905 until his death in 1946). There, he always was among the most devoted ambassadors of Polish affairs and his homeland’s culture. Although highly valued and popular in the United States, the artist was long forgotten in his homeland. It has been only in recent years that we have observed a renaissance of the beautiful and valuable, post-Romantic works by Stojowski, although recordings and concert programmes include only a tiny excerpt from his abundant oeuvre.

Symphonic Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra, presented on the album, was composed in 1898–1900. It was published with a dedication for the British American pianist Harold Bauer, who also happened to be a student of Paderewski. After a successful world premiere in Berlin in 1900 (Berliner Philharmoniker, con. Josef Řebíček), the Rhapsody for many years remained one of the most popular works in the repertoire of Stojowski himself and other pianists. Most probably, it was the same piece as the Polish Fantasy, presented in Warsaw not long after the premiere. The alternative title reveals the composer’s intentions. They are easy to decipher in the music itself, however the stylisations of national motifs are very subtle. The term “rhapsody” indicates usually a freely-shaped form with traits of epic and heroism, which is true also in this case. Following a general pattern of a sonata form, the work amazes with the richness of changeable moods, the colours of the orchestration (its delicate shade seems to echo the studies with the Parisian masters) and the brilliant virtuosity of the solo part, which serves the purpose of expression, rather than a sole show of skill.



Weinberg & Prokofiev – Fifth Symphonies
Sinfonia Iuventus; Gabriel Chmura, cond.
Warner Classics

From the Warner Classics website:

The Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra’s debut album for Warner Classics brings together two Fifth Symphonies, both written in dangerous times under Soviet oppression.

Prokofiev and the Polish-born Weinberg experienced both the authorities’ favour and persecution. Their works reflect the concessions they made to the oppressive doctrine, but also their (mostly allusive) opposition to that doctrine. History has given them justice, and the true beauty of their music has stood the test of time. Liberated from the ideological context of those dark times, their works continue to delight audiences around the world. While Prokofiev’s fame has been well established for decades, the music of Mieczysław Weinberg (widely regarded as the third great Soviet composer alongside his close friend Shostakovich, and Prokofiev) has only recently experienced a renaissance – especially in the composer’s native Poland, which he always considered his home.

The Orchestra is a veritable geyser of energy – a robust sound imbued with youthful power combined with intensive emotions and lightness of phrase. The programme of the album consists of two 5th Symphonies – in F Minor Op. 76 by Mieczysław Weinberg and in B-Flat Minor Op. 100 by Sergey Prokofiev.

[Sources: sinfoniaiuventus.pl/new-releases-3-2/, sinfoniaiuventus.pl/new-releases-4/]




Tomasz J. Opałka (b. 1983): Collisions of the Matter; Symphony No 2 “Emerge”; DNA – Concerto for Bass Clarinet; Quadra
Sinfonia Iuventus, Krzysztof Słowiński – cond.; Polish Radio Orchestra, Łukasz Borowicz – cond.;  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Wojciech Michniewski – cond.
Warner Music Poland; Available on empik.com

Released on Dec 12, 2016, the album “Emerge” featuring symphonic works by young Polish composer Tomasz Jakub Opalka was recently reviewed in the prestigious Gramophone magazine.

As both the recording’s title and the subtitle of one of its works suggest, ‘Emerge’ also appropriately signals the arrival of an exciting new voice in contemporary music…. Opa[ł]ka then spent some time in Los Angeles working as understudy to established film composers Christopher Young and Marco Beltrami. The combination of traditional training in contemporary avant-garde techniques allied with hands-on experience of working on Hollywood soundtracks has produced a potent synthesis, demonstrating how closely related contemporary orchestral music and film soundtracks have become in the music of Opa[ł]ka’s generation. His most intensely powerful and focused Collisions of the Matter (2012) for large orchestra conjures up a highly dynamic and volatile soundscape…. The earliest composition on show, Quadra (2007), provides yet further evidence of Opa[ł]ka’s ability to conjure vivid sonic images through colourful and inventive orchestration.

[Source: gramophone.co.uk]




Emergon αβ for chamber ensemble and computer (2011) • Sedimetron for chamber ensemble (2012) • Ertytre for eight cellos (2013-14) • Pteropetros for wind quintet, accordion and string quartet (2015) • Alopopulo for chamber orchestra, solo violin and computers (2014)
Adam Baldych, Andrzej Bauer, Szymon Bywalec, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Clemens Heil, Maciej Koczur, LutosAir Quintet, Lutoslawski Quartet, Rafal Luc, Diego Masson, New Music Orchestra, Mikolaj Palosz, Warszawska Grupa Cellonet.

DUX 1373


  • 3 October 1882 - Karol SZYMANOWSKI, composer, pianist, (d. 29 March 1937)
  • 3 October 1923 - Stanislaw SKROWACZEWSKI, composer and conductor
  • 4 October 1910 - Eugenia UMINSKA, violinist
  • 6 October 1885 - Karol STROMENGER, teacher, composer, publicist, music critic (d. 1975)
  • 9 October 1924 - Regina SMENDZIANKA, pianist
  • 10 October 1910 - Henryk SWOLKIEN, music critic, composer
  • 14 October 1910 - Lech MIKLASZEWSKI, children's song writer, author of popular radio music shows for children, music publicist (d. 1992)
  • 16 October 1867 - Ferdynand HOESICK, music critic, publisher (d. 13 April 1941)
  • 18 October 1879 - Grzegorz FITELBERG, conductor, violinist, composer (d. 10 June 1953)
  • 20 October 1819 - Karol MIKULI, pianist, composer, conductor, Chopin's student (d. 21 May 1897)
  • 20 October 1935 - Henryk SWOLKIEN, composer, publicist, music promoter (d. 1990)
  • 25 October 1868 - Michal SWIERZYNSKI, composer, conductor (d. 30 June 1957)
  • 30 October 1904 - Alfred GRADSTEIN, composer, activist (d. 29 September 1954)



  • 1 October 1990 - Andrzej KRZANOWSKI, composer, accordion player (b. 1951)
  • 1 October 1861 - Tekla Justyna KRZYZANOWSKA, pianist, Chopin's mother (b. September 1780)
  • 7 October 1854 - Adolf CICHOWSKI, Chopin's friend, officer and civil servant (b.1794)
  • 17 October 1849 - Fryderyk CHOPIN, composer and pianist (b. 1 March (also listed as February 22) 1810)
  • 17 October 1938 - Aleksander MICHALOWSKI, pianist, composer, Tausig's student (b. 5 May 1851)
  • 18 October 1962 - Maria SZCZEPANSKA, musicologist (b. 13 May 1902)
  • 21 October 1837 - Michal Józef GUZIKOW, folk musician (b. 1806)
  • 27 October 1991 - Andrzej PANUFNIK, composer and conductor (b. 24 September 1914)
  • 30 October 1912 - Jan Karol GALL, composer and conductor (b. 18 August 1856)
  • 31 October 1952 - Adolf CHYBINSKI, musicologist (b. 29 April 1880)

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Copyright 2017 by the Polish Music Center

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

Contributions from:
Wladek Juskiewicz, 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,Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza

Uploaded by Krysta Close, October 26, 2017

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