Polish Music Newsletter

September 2016, Vol. 22, No. 9. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California

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Robert Górski and Anna Czajka, visiting archival specialists at the PMC this summer

For the past few years the PMC has collaborated extensively with the National Archives in Warsaw on projects related to creating databases and cataloguing our unique collections as well as scanning and preserving many hundreds of rare and precious items that have been entrusted to us by many different donors over the past 12 years.

pluciennik-monika.jpgDr. Monika Płuciennik (right) was the first archivist to visit us in June 2014. Her month long visit resulted in the creation of archival catalogues for the Henry Vars [Henryk Wars] and Bronisław Kaper Collections. Following her visit, PMC Asst. Director Krysta Close spent a month training with Płuciennik at her branch of the National Archives in Gdańsk, learning details of the cataloging system. Then, for six weeks in October and November 2015, the PMC hosted Dr. Robert Górski, a Paderewski specialist who began to survey and describe the Paderewski Archive–Paso Robles Collection, focusing at first on the photographs in our possession. Dr. Górski returned in June-July 2016 to continue working on the Paderewski photos. Also during the last two weeks of July 2016, we were honored to welcome Anna Czajka, a UN-certified specialist in preservation and restoration of historical and cultural artifacts who came to assess our needs in terms of proper storage and preservation of our collections.

Recently, both of our 2016 researchers sent us their extensive reports that were presented to the National Archives in Warsaw. In order to illustrate the amazing (if not daunting) task at hand—and clarify our future needs in terms of material support and physical assistance—we would like to share the most important sections of the Górski and Czajka reports with our readers.

After an introduction describing the Paderewski Archive–Paso Robles Collection in some detail (including sources and provenance as well as types of items in the Collection), Robert Górski summarized his work so far as follows:

In 2015 I began to arrange and describe photographs that I consider to be the most valuable and important, especially for researchers. Most of these photographs were never published and remain unknown. I continued this process in 2016. Each photograph required special attention, because of the lack of any description, or incorrect descriptions provided by the donors. It proved to be the most time-consuming process that requires a great knowledge of Paderewski’s biography, international history, and history of Poland. I managed to identify about 93% of persons, places and events depicted on 892 photographs. We can find here photographs showing the interior and the surroundings of Paderewski’s villa, Riond Bosson [in Switzerland]. Some of them were taken during Paderewski’s name day in 1920s and 1930s, during various trips […], [during] Paderewski’s meetings with general Władysław Sikorski, General Tadeusz Rozwadowski, Prime Minister of Greece Eleftherios Venizelos, musicians (like Henryk Opieński), or his students – Henryk Sztompka, Leopold Stanisław Szpinalski, Aleksander Brachocki, Zygmunt Dygat and Albert Tadlewski. Photographs show also Paderewski’s leisure time […], the life of the Liibke family and her father’s work on the construction of the Trans-Siberian railroad, the life of the Strakacz family […], and more.

Bridge was one of Paderewski’s favorite pastimes, and the card game was also enjoyed by several members
of his household, including Helena Liibke (L) and Sylwin Strakacz (R), pictured at the center of the photo

Because of the lack of professional descriptive tools, I was describing photographs in MS Access database FOTOGRAP, designed by Polish State Archives, but never implemented. The finding aid will be systematically updated with the information received by email and/or virtual drives, from PMC. All these details will be the basis for creation of personal, geographical and subject indexes.

There are still many photographs that need to be arranged and described, and these are photographs [that are] glued into the albums and loose photographs (about 100) donated by Anne Strakacz-Appleton in 2015, before she passed away. There are also 724 previously mentioned negatives that need to be scanned at much higher resolutions than photos due to their smaller physical size in order to produce the same size scanned digital image as a photo, that will serve as a security copy and a reference copy. Then, the negatives need to be properly stored. […]

We also discussed a possibility of implementation of the archival tool in the PMC that would allow for arranging and describing collections. Using Polish databases, still built in MS Access, is difficult because of language localization problems, and implementation of a new Polish information system needs permission from the General Director of the State Archives and a special certificate built in the web browser. I think that the best solution for the PMC would be implementation of the Archivists’ Toolkit, the first open source archival data management system to provide broad, integrated support for the management of archives. And it is intended for a wide range of archival repositories. This application supports not only accessioning and describing archival materials, but also establishing names and subjects associated with archival materials, including the names of donors, and managing locations for the materials, and exporting EAD finding aids (it should be easy to import this information to Polish databases). Also, it allows to attach digital copies of archival materials and make them available for researchers through Online Archives of California portal (http://oac.cdlib.org/). I also suggested that the PMC should definitely [continue to] cooperate with the Special Collections of the USC Libraries. […]

During the last two weeks, with my colleague Anna Czajka, preservation specialist from Central Laboratory for Conservation of Archival Materials in Warsaw, we have evaluated the physical condition of archival and photographic materials, and determined the storage needs for the PMC. Photographs and the other materials were put in temporary folders because of the lack of archival boxes, folders and envelops. In this situation we cannot say that our work at the PMC is finished. There is still so much to do.  

Filed on August 8, Anna Czajka’s report is very thorough and extensive, with a number of photographs illustrating the points she has made. The following are excerpts from the 16 page original are taken mainly from the conclusions section of her report:

The examination of negatives in the Paderewski Collection covered 751 negatives that were stored in photo lab envelopes or ordinary mailing envelopes. […] These envelopes contain various identifying details; however after examining these it became apparent that these descriptions are not always fully accurate. […] Also 3 glass negatives, as well as about 5 acetate and 2 polyester negatives were also identified. [...] Since it was impossible to test all of the negatives, one can conclude that the [Paderewski] Collection contains at least 741 nitrate negatives. […] The overall state of preservation is relatively good, when one takes into account the quick degradation of nitrate-based negatives in chemical process of auto-catalysis. The negatives in the Collection are mainly in the first stage of degradation (according to the accepted standards of description), whereby one can observe slight yellowing of the foundation and delicate silvering of the photographic emulsion. Although these negatives are still in good condition, the chemical degradation had already started and may accelerate (especially if they are not protected in special packing materials). […]

The nitrate- and acetate-based negatives should be stored individually (each negative in a separate package made from photo-preserving paper in the so-called 4-flap envelopes) that would be placed in cardboard boxes designed for storing photographs. These negatives cannot be stored together with the actual photos nor in the transparent sleeves made from plastic-based materials. They must be labeled “NITRATE” and the space where such negatives are stored should be dry and cool. Since nitrates are flammable, the storage space should be carefully chosen and be far from heat sources. Burning nitrates are impossible to extinguish and in the process toxic gasses are released. […]

An example of a degraded negative in the Paderewski Archive–Paso Robles Collection

After scanning the negatives, one could consider storing them in low temperatures lab freezer. In order to get there, however, the PMC staff would have to be properly trained and appropriate tool and materials be acquired. Freezing will retard the degradation of not only the nitrate-based materials but also all kinds of other negatives and all colored materials. […]

My short, two-week stay at the Polish Music Center allowed me to assess the basic needs of this institution in terms of preserving and conservation of the collections. These are:

• Providing archival-grade protective containers for all archival materials—both paper-based and audiovisual—housed at the PMC. It’s important for PMC to have such materials on hand during sorting and cataloguing of collections. Archival grade protective materials are needed for manuscripts, photographs, printed materials, non-commercial vinyl sound recordings, and other audio-visual materials. Obtaining safety boxes for memorabilia, beginning with Paderewski’s suitcase, is urgently required. Professional grade preservation materials will also allow for better use of space allocated by PMC for its archives. […] PMC must have boxes (or other protective materials) for protecting its archival holdings prior to work on segregating and organizing their collections because of their fragile condition. […]

New archival boxes for PMC items, provided by Anna Czajka and National Archives

 •The examination of audio-visual materials will have to include the unit count, types of materials, and sizes required for creating safety boxes for these materials. […]

• Training of the PMC staff prior to the preparation of the materials for scanning, explanation of various methods of scanning and being able to assess the state of preservation of the materials prior to scanning; Help from conservators in preparing materials for scanning as well as knowledge of the PMC staff of appropriate parameters of digital archiving, necessary not only should the PMC decide to scan on its own using the equipment they buy but also if they hire an outside contractor for the task (that is if they were able to get a grant for this project)

• Preparation by a conservation specialist of materials before scanning. Many musical manuscripts and printed materials are based on highly acidified paper. They are fragile to the point whereby they cannot be scanned before basic conservation work is carried out. The situation is further complicated by the fact the University of Southern California (USC) does not have a conservation department in any of its campus libraries that could assist the PMC. The needs in this area can be properly assessed only after a detailed examination of the PMC archives with a decision which collections should receive priority treatment. Among the clear candidates here are the Paderewski Archive - Paso Robles Collection, the Zygmunt & Luisa Stojowski Collection, Henryk Wars Collection, Bronisław Kaper Collection and Roman Ryterband Collection. Digitalizing of each of these collections can be complicated by various technical problems, such as:


1. Scanning of the nitrate negatives: their atypical sizes mean that they cannot be scanned in standard negative scanning frames; also even though these negatives are not generally deformed (with a typical curling of the edges), some of them are not flat, which could bring complications in scanning

2. Digitalizing of very fragile materials based on acidified paper (printed materials and manuscripts) in the Stojowski Collection and other composers’ collections. They are mostly sized 36 x 29 cm, although some are on much larger format and are folded in half. These would have to be flattened first by a trained conservation specialist, since brittle paper would break after applying too much surface tension. The person scanning the materials should use of the A2 format scanner. […]


(L): Anna Czajka preparing to preserve a very fragile and rare score by Henryk Wars
(R): PMC Asst. Director Krysta Close using newly-acquired preservation skills
to restore travel stickers on Paderewski’s suitcase

A large problem for the Center is its very small staff that really included only one full-time person (and a half-time director) as well as volunteers. The PMC staff are not trained as archivists—they are professional musicians. They will thus require technical assistance in organizing and cataloguing archival collections, creating databases and electronic catalogues, as well as in making decisions relating to the preservation methods for particular collection and setting the parameters for the scanning or conservation work. A continuation of practical training visits in Polish archives or in specialist institutions in the U.S. are strongly recommended.

During my visit in Los Angeles, I also recommended that PMC make inquiries regarding the feasibility and costs of sending the archives to a mass de-acidification by the Preservation Technologies Company that uses the Book Keeper technology. This de-acidification would have to be financed from a separate grant. Because a large portion of the archives is very fragile, de-acidifying paper at this point would extend its life only for a few decades, so the priority should be placed on the fastest possible scanning of the archived materials.

I was able to link the PMC with Getty Conservation Center’s Michał Łukomski, a former employee of the National Museum in Kraków, who currently works at the Getty [in Los Angeles]. There is a chance that with this connection the PMC will be able to secure professional consultation regarding the storing, preserving and digitalizing of the photographs. I have also indicated possible source of financing for such projects by various institutions in the U.S. (Council on Library and Information Resources, Grammy Foundation, Association for Recorded Sound Collections, and Institute of Museum and Library Services), but the PMC must decide if they are to become the beneficiaries of the services these institutions provide.

Anna Czajka’s report also dealt with the assessment of the PMC collection of piano rolls as well as various other memorabilia (artwork, personal items, etc.), providing details on their overall condition, sizes and needs for specifically-sized protective materials that would have to be acquired by PMC to further protect and preserve its collections.

Both of our visitors presented the scope of their work for us and their experiences at the specially-scheduled session for librarians and archivists working at USC. Held on July 25 at the Doheny Library, this presentation was attended by top-level representatives of the Music Library, Doheny Library Special Collections, and Shoah Foundation Archives. Clearly, these reports from our two experts from Poland are only a first step on the long process of cataloguing, preserving and scanning of the PMC archives and eventually placing them online for students and researchers worldwide. This task of many years has just begun and will take a lot of manpower and resources. We are very pleased with the partial support that we already received from the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles for this project this year. We also want to thank the National Archives in Warsaw for their continued generosity in assisting us for several years now and making an exemplary effort in contributing to a joint goal of securing these precious documents and artifacts for the benefit of future generations.



paderewski lecture recital 2016

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.

Jamie ChamberlinRichard ValituttoLevi JonesYue Qian

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.



On June 3-5, 2016, the first Guitar Festival in Tczew (Poland) took place. Despite the fact that it was only the first edition of the festival, guitarists from all over Poland came to the Center of Culture and Art in Tczew to participate in it. This year’s edition featured concerts, masterclasses and a guitar competition for guitar solo and guitar ensembles.

On the first day of the event, people had a chance to hear two solo guitar recitals of the Academy of Music in Gdansk alumni. Monika Dżuła-Radkiewicz and Bartosz Paprot (Festival Director) presented their solo repertoire at the highest level of virtuosity, playing music by A. Tansman, F. Sor, F. Martin, J. K. Mertz, J. Turina, M. Castelnuovo-Tedesco and F. Schubert.

On the second day, PMC Research Assistant Tomasz Fechner played his solo recital, including the Polish premiere of Sonatina for Classical Guitar by Roman Ryterband (b. 1914, Łódź, Poland - d. 1979, Palm Springs, USA). Although the piece was composed by a Polish-American composer in 1978, he has not been well known in Poland until this premiere of the Sonatina. The composition attracted a lot of attention of Polish guitar enthusiasts and professors who were excited about broadening the canon of guitar sonatas with a piece by a Polish composer.

Tomasz Fechner performing the Polish premiere of Sonatina for Guitar by Roman Ryterband

The Guitar Festival in Tczew is not only about concerts but also a competition. After three days of guitar auditions, played by guitarists divided into 4 categories, jury members Emilia Majewska, Jan Paterek, Bartosz Paprot, Tomasz Fechner and Maciej Staszewski gave out the first prizes to:

  • Group 1 (soloists, up to 13 years old):

    1st prize – Dorota Perczynska

  • Group 2 (soloists, up to 21 years old):

    1st prize ex aequo – Oskar Strukiel-Piotrowski, Ilona Skowronska

    Grand Prix – Jagoda Swidzinska

  • Group 3 (guitar ensembles, up to 13 years old)

    1st prize ex aequo –  The Ensemble of Arkadiusz Baczynski, Szymon Brillowski, Karolina Wesiora, Aleksandra Wrobel, Teofil Kowalewski and Duo “Dwie Maje” (Maja Rynkiewicz and Maja Jodlowska)

  • Group 4 (guitar ensembles, up to 21 years old)

    1st prize - The Felice Guitar Quartet (Natalia Kornatka, Dorota Perczynska, Karolina Woloszyn, Olga Hala)

Jury members, from the left: Jan Paterek, Emilia Majewska, Tomasz Fechner, Bartosz Paprot and Maciej Staszewski

The Guitar Festival in Tczew was closed with a concert of a rock band Czarne Kwiaty. The festival was organized under the auspices of the President of Tczew, Mirosław Pobłocki.

During his visit in Poland Tomasz Fechner also served as an ambassador for Polish Music Center, helping to establish or further the international dialogue between the PMC and several Polish Academies of Music in Gdańsk, Poznań and Łódź. He met with such music professionals as Professor Krzysztof Olczak of the Academy of Music in Gdańsk and composer Jerzy Kornowicz of the Warsaw Autumn Festival, among others.

Fechner with Krzysztof Olczak, head of the composition department at Gdańsk Music Academy,
discussing works by Roman Ryterband



From the Vice President of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, Maria Koc, we received brand new copies of “The Senate of the Republic of Poland: Tradition and Contemporaneity 15th – 21st Cent.” by Jerzy Pietrzak, in both English and in Polish.

Polish Canadian pianist, Daniel Wnukowski, is one of the leading musicians of his generation and regularly performs in many prestigious concert halls all over the world. Mr. Wnukowski has donated his CD entitled “Concert Pianist,” which includes classic repertoire from Chopin, Szymanowski, Schumann and various others.

Michelle Makarski, an American violinist with an international reputation for the newest in American and international music, has sent us a rare copy of the third volume of “Słownik Lutników Polskich” by Zdzisław Szulc. The book was pristinely preserved by her late father, Marion S. Makarski, who was also a violinst.

Vicki Laudenbach and her mother have generously contributed to our rare but fragile collection of piano rolls, collected by her late father, Bogdan Żarski of Milwaukee, WI. In addition to the 25 piano rolls, they have also sent us 6 individual record albums and 3 boxed sets– containing 4 records each, of various genres, including classical, folk, and polka.

Krzysztof Olczak, head of the composition department at the Gdańsk Music Academy, has donated 8 CDs to the PMC’s extensive audio collection. Although focused on Olczak’s own compositions, the albums also include works by Polish composers including: Andrzej Dziadek, Radosław Łuczkowski, Tadeusz Dixa, Marek Czerniewicz, Bronisław Kazimierz Przybyłski, Mikołaj Majkusiak, Marek Pasieczny, Andrzej Krzanowski and Paweł Symański

Many thanks, as always, to all of our generous donors and friends! Dziękujemy!




warsaw autumn festival, 2016

The 59th International ‘Warsaw Autumn’ Festival of Contemporary Music [Warszawska Jesień] will be held in various venues throughout Warsaw from September 18-26, 2016. This year’s Warsaw Autumn will direct audiences’ eyes, ears and attention to the stage—understood both literally and symbolically. The starting point will be “opera,” associated with a specific theatrical space a musical work in several acts, going through the meanders of tradition and modernity toward a variety of theatrical and para-stage forms, from mini-opera through instrumental theatre and objectophone monodrama to the most complex and innovative—in both form and content—multimedia works.

Created in 1956 and running annually with only two exceptions since its beginning, Warsaw Autumn is a festival with a long tradition and is a true witness to music history. It is the only contemporary music festival in Poland on an international scale and with an international status. For many years, it was the only event of this kind in Central and Eastern Europe. Nonetheless, it remains a living organism: it thrives as much as Polish cultural funding and the general condition of music allow.

The Festival is organized by the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP). The Repertoire Committee, an independent body appointed by the Union’s Board, determines the program of each edition of the festival. Warsaw Autumn is, therefore, an international and nonprofit festival of a nongovernmental association.

Today, Warsaw Autumn has fulfilled its original goal to familiarize Polish audiences with the classic works of the early twentieth century. Yet there remain gaps regarding the classics of the second half of the twentieth century. Filling in these gaps goes hand-in-hand with the Festival’s other primary (and timeless) objective: to present new music from Poland and abroad. Organizers strive to present this music in a way that is both of the highest artistic quality and accessible to a wide and varied audience, highlighting that which is new and different and exotic but also enriches the listener.

Regarding organizers’ dedication to the newest music of Polish composers, the following are the composers and pieces that will be given their World Premiere at this year’s Festival:

  • panGenerator – Music of the Spheres (interactive installation, Warsaw Autumn commission) (Sept. 16-25)
  • Marta ŚniadyMeme  Opera (Warsaw Autumn commission): Anna Kierkosz - texts based on competition memes, artistic concept; Konrad Dworakowski - texts, artistic concept, direction; Jakub Stępień (Hakobo) - scenography, visualizations;  Łucja Szablewska - voice; Rafał Łuc –accordion; Wojciech Błażejczyk - electric guitar; Bartosz Sałdan - percussion; Dominik Płociński –cello; Maciej Koczur - conductor (Sept. 17)
  • Sławomir KupczakI Don’t Know (open-air performance, Warsaw Autumn commission): Łukasz Błażejewski (Prince Negatif) - performer; Students of the Stanisław Moniuszko State Music School in Jelenia Góra (Sept. 17)
  • Jarosław SiwińskiSilent Fish (micro-opera, Warsaw Autumn commission): Małgorzata Kołcz -libretto, double bass; Grzegorz Ociepka - direction; Aleksandra Świderek-Żakiewicz - soprano (Mum); Piotr Pieron - bass (Dad); Michał Górczyński - clarinet (Son Stefek); Michał Styczyński -viola (Talking Cat); Dagny Baczyńska-Kissas - synthesizer (Silent Fish) (Sept. 18)
  • Aaron S Collective/Sławomir Wojciechowski Aaron S (multimedia opera, Warsaw Autumn commission): Aaron S Collective: Sławomir Wojciechowski - composition, Paweł Krzaczkowski -libretto; Krzysztof Cybulski - instruments making & software, and Norman Leto - video; LUX:NM Contemporary Music Ensemble Berlin (Sept. 21)
  • Piotr PeszatThe Message (Warsaw Autumn commission) GrauSchumacher Piano Duo: Andreas Grau, Götz Schumacher - pianos; Thomas Hummel - live electronics; Marta Grzywacz -voice; Magdalena Bojanowicz – cello; Maciej Frąckiewicz - accordion; Oliwier Andruszczenko -bass clarinet; Wojciech Błażejczyk - objectophones, electric guitar; Bartosz Kowalski -objectophones; Krzysztof Kozłowski - objectophones; Leszek Lorent - objectophones; Michał Bereza - live electronics; Michał Niedziałek - conductor (Sept. 23)

September 18-26, 2016
59th International ‘Warsaw Autumn’ Festival of Contemporary Music

Various venues in Warsaw
Tickets: warszawska-jesien.art.pl
Info: warszawska-jesien.art.pl

[Source: polmic.pl, warszawska-jesien.art.pl]



International Contemporary Ensemble

On the evening of August 7, Wojtek Blecharz's music for invisible places was given its world premiere by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) during their Free Micro-Concert: Young Composers Concert 3 in the Hearst Plaza of Lincoln Center in New York City. It was one of the 50 premieres that ICE performed over the course of two weeks, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Mostly Mozart At Lincoln Center concert series.

Adel EuroAccording to ICE member, flutist Claire Chase: “It was an honor to give the world premiere of Wojtek Blecharz's beautiful new work "music for invisible places" written in memoriam Adel Euro, the young Iraqi man pictured here in one of his signature poses, whose joyful dancing brought people to their feet everywhere he went. He was killed several weeks ago in the Karrada bombing in Baghdad, the deadliest attack on civilians since the Iraq war.”

Watch a video of the rehearsal for music for invisible places on Chase’s Facebook page.

[Sources: facebook.com/wojtek.blecharz, mostlymozart.org]



Zygmunt KrauzeThe world premiere of Zygmunt Krauze’s Poem of Apollinaire for speaking pianist and 12 instruments took place in Warsaw on June 26, performed by Orkest de ereprijs with the composer at the piano under the baton of Wim Boerman. The piece was commissioned by the Association of Polish Composers [Związek Kompozytorów Polskich] and was staged during the Concert of Seven Premieres capping the 70th anniversary of ZKP.

Zygmunt Krauze describes Poem of Apollinaire in the following words:

In his poem of 1918, ‘The Pretty Redhead,’ Guillaume Apollinaire included a dramatic appeal to the critics, or even the authorities, for understanding towards seeking artists. This appeal is a cry for freedom of artistic speech. This poem has accompanied me since my childhood. It is always current.

Fragments of the poem are present in this work. They are expressed by a musician playing a detuned piano—my favorite instrument. The solo part forms an opposition against the instrumental ensemble. It has a changeable and provocative character. However, the part of the ensemble is stable, untouched, bereft of expression.

The work was composed at the initiative and commissioned by the Association of Polish Composers [Związek Kompozytrów Polskich] in order to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Many of us, members of ZKP, remember discussions and situations in which we raised the issue of the freedom of artistic speech. This is what Apollinaire fought for 100 years ago.

International Youth Lutosławski Orchestra, ILYOOn September 17 in Szczecin, the world premiere of Preludia do Bukolików by Zygmunt Krauze will be conducted by Ewa Strusińska, featuring soloists Jakub Haufa and Adam Siebers – violin, Katarzyna Budnik-Gałązka – viola, and Andrzej Bauer – cello. The composition was commissioned by the International Youth Lutosławski Orchestra, and the composer will also hold lectures and practical classes for orchestra members in conjunction with the concert. Run by the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin since 2013, ILYO is intended to give young musicians the opportunity to perform contemporary music, with a particular emphasis on Witold Lutosławski’s works.

ILYO’s format and emphasis is helpful to understanding Krauze’s Preludia do Bukolików and its remarkable construction. With this piece, the composer lets the performers decide about the final formal structure of the Preludes. They can be performed along with Lutosławski’s Bukoliki or as an individual piece. Considering the fact that Bukoliki are available in a few arrangements, the number of combinations is significant. In addition to performing both the new Krauze piece and its corresponding Lutosławski work, they will also perform Lutosławski’s Partita (arranged for violin and orchestra with piano obligato), Interludium for orchestra, and Łańcuch II. Dialog for violin and orchestra.

This is what Zygmunt Krauze, who is also a pianist himself, says about his inspiration from Witold Lutosławski:

These four orchestral Preludes refer not only to Lutosławski’s Bukoliki, but also to his other compositions where he used quotations from Polish folk music. Preludes can be performed as an individual piece as well as in a combination with Bukoliki, even played interchangeably: Bukolik – Prelude – Bukolik – Prelude and so on.

I have in my music collection a copy of Bukoliki by Lutosławski. On the cover I wrote the year 1957. This is when I played this – initially in school concerts, and then in concerts for the public. Even today I perform his Folk Melodies (Melodie Ludowe). This is why, when I composed the Preludes, I naturally used other folk music composed by Lutosławski, at the same time as I was careful not to resign from my own musical language. By doing this I wanted to show my respect for the composer, who means so much in Polish music.

Preludia do Bukolików was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage within the “Collections” Program, under the Priority “Composing Commissions,” which is implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT).

September 17, 2016 | 7:00 p.m.
Krauze Premiere by Int’l Youth Lutosławski Orchestra

Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic
ul. Małopolska 48, 70-515 Szczecin, Poland
Info & Tickets: filharmonia.szczecin.pl

[Sources: pwm.com.pl, ilyo.filharmonia.szczecin.pl]



VI National Witold Lutosławski Competition for Young Composers

The VI National Witold Lutosławski Competition for Young Composers will take place at the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic - European Art Centre in Białystok, Poland from September 4-8, 2016. Competition organizers say: “It is a unique musical event in the country, it is comparable only with the International G. Fitelberg Conducting Competition in Katowice.”

Prize winners from previous editions of the competition are known to be extraordinary artists, among them: Krzysztof Urbański, Michał Nesterowicz, Tomasz Tokarczyk, Tomasz Chmiel, and Jan Miłosz Zarzycki. The judges of this year’s competition are: Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk, Tomasz Bugaj, Rafał Jacek Delekta, Marek Pijarowski, Ryszard Zimak, and Paweł Kotla.

The Competition will open with an Inaugural Concert on September 3, where Maestro Paweł Kotla will lead the Podlasie Philharmonic Orchestra and violin soloist Rafał Zambrzycki-Payne in a program of Bagiński’s Violin Concerto and Lutosławski’s  Concerto for Orchestra. The final day of the Competition, September 8, will feature a concert of works by Competition winners performed by the Podlasie Philharmonic Orchestra.

September 3, 2016 | 7:00 p.m.
Lutosławski Competition Inaugural Concert: Bagiński & Lutosławski
Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic European Art Centre - Concert Hall
ul. Podleśna 2, Białystok, Poland
Tickets & Info: www.oifp.eu

September 8, 2016 | 7:00 p.m.
Lutosławski Competition for Young Composers: Winners’ Concert
Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic European Art Centre - Concert Hall
ul. Podleśna 2, Białystok, Poland
Tickets & Info: www.oifp.eu

[Source: oifp.eu]



To be held October 13-14, 2016, No End 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 concept of this event is to bring together both scholars that wish to present critical papers on Kieślowski’s cinema as well as artists who have been influenced and/or inspired by his work. 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."

The organizers are currently accepting proposals for both academic and artistic panels.  Submissions must include a presentation title, and a short description of your academic paper and/or artistic work influenced by Kieslowski. Scholarly papers, poetry readings, visual art displays, musical performances and short film clips alongside discussion are all welcome. A combination of both a traditional paper with a creative presentation will also be accepted (e.g. you may propose screening clips from an original work, read a poem, unveil a sculpture or painting, and provide an abstract for a corresponding academic paper that ties in a critical reading of a particular Kieslowski film with its creative impact on your art.)

The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 30, 2016 and should be sent to Guillermo Rodríguez (grodriqu@usc.edu) and Piotr Florczyk (florczyk@usc.edu).

October 13-14, 2016
No End: Twenty Years into Krzysztof Kieslowski's Second Life
University of Southern California

[Source: dornsife.usc.edu]




The Baltic Sea Festival (August 28–September 4, 2016) was founded in 2003 by Michael Tydén, former director of Berwaldhallen in Stockholm, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor and composer, Valery Gergiev, conductor and director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. The Baltic Sea Festival operates in three main areas in order to create a better future for the Baltic Sea region— music, environment and leadership. Taglined “for inner and outer well-being,” the Baltic Sea Festival follows the guideline that music can serve as a good platform to initiate discussions that can solve large and difficult questions, especially those that can only be solved jointly.

Held as always at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm, Sweden, the 2016 Baltic Sea Festival featured the Swedish premiere of Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki’s Symphony No. 4 "Tansman Episodes" on August 29, as performed by the Polish Baltic Philharmonic. Entitled “Polish music grandeur,” the program also included Grażyna Bacewicz’s Divertimento and featured violin soloist Alena Baeva. The Polish Baltic Philharmonic was led by their Artistic Director, Maestro Ernst van Tiel.

[Sources: pwm.com.pl, sverigesradio.se]



Polish Chamber ChoirOn September 4, the Polish Chamber Choir will present a concert called “Nowowiejski, Pałłasz, Bloch” at the Polish Radio Witold Lutosławski Studio in Warsaw with conductor Jan Łukaszewski. The program includes choral works of notable Polish composers: Teka Białowieska by Feliks Nowowiejski, Anenaiki, Exaltabo te, Et by Augustyn Bloch and Two Songs by Edward Pałłasz with lyrics by Osip Mandelsztam.

Established in 1978, the Polish Chamber Choir has performed over 550 premieres, including works by such famous composers as: Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Wojciech Kilar and Krzysztof Penderecki. Other composers also dedicated music to Polish Chamber Choir: Augustyn Bloch, Krzysztof Meyer, Andrzej Koszewski, and Paweł Łukaszewski. Consistent for years, the highest quality of sound and interpretation of this excellent ensemble allows them to cooperate with world best orchestras (including Academy of Ancient Music, Divino Sospiro, Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik, Concilium Musicum Wien, SinfoniaVarsovia, NOSPR, and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin) and choir conductors (Eric Ericson, Uwe Gronostay and Stephen Layton).

On September 4, the choir will be conducted by Jan Łukaszewski who is considered to be one of the best choir music specialists in Europe. Łukaszewski is also the artistic director of the Mozartiana International Mozart Festival. In addition to the Polish Chamber Choir, he also leads the Pueri Cantores Olivenses Boys’ and Men’s Choir. With his choirs, Łukaszewski has performed in the USA, Canada, China, Japan and almost all European countries. He also initiated festivals such as: the International Symposium on Choir Music, Bach’s Days and the Chopin Festival in Gdańsk.

September 4, 2016 | 7 p.m.
Polish Chamber Choir presents “Nowowiejski, Pałłasz, Bloch”

Polish Radio Witold Lutosławski Studio, Warsaw, Poland
Info: www.polskichorkameralny.pl

[Sources: polmic.pl, polskichorkameralny.pl]



Los Angeles area pianist Anna von Urbans and Kordian Góra, Senior Lecturer at the Academy of Music in Gdansk, will perform Gershwin: Porgy and Bess, Stravinsky: Rite of Spring, and Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations at the Los Angeles County Art Museum (LACMA) on September 18.

Sunday, September 25, 2016 | 6:00 pm
Gershwin, Stravinsky and Lutoslawski Duo-Piano Recital

LACMA, Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Admission: FREE
Info: lacma.org





This year, more than 59 musicians from 13 different countries applied for the second edition of the International Seifert Jazz Violin Competition, however only 10 of them passed to the final round, held in the Krzysztof Penderecki European Music Center in Lutosławice. After the auditions, the jury of experienced musicians—Marek Feldman (USA), Janusza Stefański (Poland) and Josh Grossman (USA)—gave out the first prize to Mateusz Smoczyński for “the excellent interpretation of a composition by a Polish violinist.”

“Zbyszek would have been so happy to hear so many wonderful jazz violinists. During his lifetime there were not too many of them, neither in Poland nor in the world. Unfortunately he did not live long enough to witness this moment, but I know that he would be proud” – said the widow of Zbigniew Seifert, Agnieszka Seifert.

Mateusz Smoczyński has already established his name in the music world. An alum of the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, he has performed on numerous jazz festivals in Poland and abroad. He worked with Jarosław Śmietana, Zbigniew Namysłowski and Adam Sztaba, and is a founding member of the Atom String Quartet. Among his achievements there are two Fryderyk Awards – for the albums “Fade In” and “Places.”

The second ex aequo prize of 2500 euro went to Florian Willeitner from Germany and Apel.les Carod Requesans from Spain. The third prize (2000 euro) was given to Mario Forte from France. The audience awarded Dominika Rusinowska from Kraków with a special prize.

Zbigniew Seifert was one of the most original and important Polish jazz musicians. Seifert was born in Kraków on June 7, 1946 and died on February 15, 1979 in Buffalo, NY. He played saxophone and violin, cooperated musicians such as: Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, and the Oregon band. For 5 years, he was a member of Tomasz Stańko Quintet, and after the break-up of the band he continued his career in Germany. Seifert recorded the following albums: “Solo Violin,” “Oregon/Violin,” “Man of the Light” and—three months before his death—“Passion” with guitarist John Scofield, pianist Richie Beirach, bass player Eddie Gomez, drummer Jack Dejohnette and Nana Vasconcelos on percussion instruments.

The Zbigniew Seifert Competition takes a place every two years, interchangeably with a new festival, started in 2015—the Jarosław Śmietana International Guitar Competition.

[Source: culture.pl]



Wratislava cantans.jpg

For half a century the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans has been the most important festival of classical music in this part of Europe. This year, Wroclaw has been named the 2016 European Capital of Culture, which will be celebrated by this year’s 51st edition of the Festival. Entitled “Europa Cantans,” the program will be richer and more varied than ever, featuring foreign and Polish soloists and ensembles of the highest caliber.

The inaugural concert of Wratislavia Cantans on September 3 will comprise of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony ‘Babi Yar’ and compositions of Mikołaj Górecki, rendered by the NFM Orchestra conducted by Andrey Boreyko. The monumental tribute to the victims of the massacre carried out by the Nazis in Kyiv in the autumn of 1941 will also feature the Men's Choir of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra and bass soloist Mikhail Petrenko in the first movement of the symphony.  

A new segment of the Festival will focus on improvisation, which has been an important part of European musical tradition in the past. Forms of improvisation will be showcased in both concerts and master classes addressed to young musicians by Paolo Pandolfo, Robert Levin, Andrea Inghisciano, Giovanni Sollima. While Levin aims to reflect the elements of classical improvisation in a performance of Mozart's works, Pandolfo will appear in the program with jazz improvisations that can be compared upon 16th- and 17th-century musical forms, such as madrigal, passacaglia, chaconne, passamezzo and folia.

Both Passions by J.S. Bach are in the program of this year’s Festival, wherein the Saint John Passion will be staged and directed by Pierre Audi and feature B’Rock, NFM Choir and soloists conducted by Andreas Spering.  The Festival comes to a close on 18 September at the NFM with another great form, namely the Saint Matthew Passion by J.S. Bach to be conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and featuring his two ensembles English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir.

September 3-18, 2016
51st International Festival Wratislavia Cantans

Various venues in Wrocław, Poland
Admission: 15-300 PLN
Tickets & Info: bilety.nfm.wroclaw.pl

[Source: polmic.pl, nfm.wroclaw.pl, wroclaw.pl]



Music on the heights of zakopane.jpg

From September 3-10, 2016, the 8th edition of the "Music on the Heights" International Chamber Music Festival will take place in Zakopane. The theme of this year’s program is the concept of time, and will, therefore, encompass a vast range of works from different eras and the interpretations and adaptations of such pieces over time. For the first time ever during the Festival, early music will be presented alongside contemporary music, both in their original versions (as “Historically Informed Performances”) and as modern arrangements, as a metaphor for a ‘bridge of time.’

The concerts will be performed by Polish and foreign chamber musicians, including clarinetist Shirley Brill, pianist Jonathan Aner, soprano Olga Pasiecznik, and the Royal String Quartet. The program will feature many accompanying events, such as the open-air exhibition entitled “Spaces of culture – where music comes to life …” and an exhibition of paintings and ceramics by Beata Zalot entitled “Niedoskończoność.”

September 3-10, 2016
8th "Music on the Heights" International Chamber Music Festival

Various venues in Zakopane, Poland
Tickets & Info: muzykanaszczytach.com

[Source: polmic.pl, muzykanaszczytach.com]



Festival of baroque operas.jpgThe 2nd Festival of Baroque Operas “Dramma per Musica” will begin with the premiere of Sognando La Morte (Dreaming of Death) on September 2 at the Royal Theatre in the Old Orangey of the Royal Łazienki Museum. This special production is a combination of dance and opera, and was created and will be performed by mezzo-soprano Anna Radziejewska and dancer and choreographer Jacek Tyski, with music director Lilianna Stawarz.

Over the course of two weeks, the festival will also present vocal performances, chamber concerts and stage versions of baroque masterpieces, including Antonio Caldara’s Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo, Georg Friedrich Händel’s Orlando and Leonardo Vinci’s Semiramida Riconosciuta. The world class performance of Semiramida Riconosciuta will premiere on September 9 for the first time in nearly three hundred years, directed by Ewelina Pietrowiak, under the musical guidance of Marco Vitale. The opera will also be performed in the three subsequent days of the festival.

September 2-18, 2016
2nd Festival of Baroque Operas “Dramma per Musica”

Royal Łazienki Museum & Krakowskie Przedmieście
Warsaw, Poland
Tickets: bilety24.pl
Info: drammapermusica.pl

[Source: polmic.pl, lazienki-krolewskie.pl]



Emanacje.jpgIn cooperation with over thirty partners of the Lesser Poland province, the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music presents a set of 40 performances for the 4th International Emanations [EMANACJE] Music Festival. From September 3-10, 2016, audiences will hear concerts and recitals in not only the Lesser Poland region, but in venues in Krosno as well.

The Festival, dedicated to composer Krzysztof Penderecki, showcases the range of composer’s oeuvre both in the context of the classical works of his great predecessors, as well as with the participation of the Maestro’s successors – the next generation of young Polish and European composers. The performers are excellent orchestras and choirs, soloists and chamber musicians, as well as talented and recognized artists of the younger generation, including the Chopin Piano Quintet, Wiłkomirski Trio, Bojanowicz/Koziak Duo, Diverso Quartet, the Surrealistic Five, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, guitarist David Russell, cellist Gautier Capuçon, Scharoun Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic, Ratimir Martinovic, Won-Sook Hur and Krzysztof Jakowicz.

September 3-10, 2016
4th International EMANACJE Music Festival

Various venues in Krosno and Lesser Poland
Admission: FREE (except final concert)
Tickets & Info: emanacje.pl

[Source: polmic.pl]



Organized by the Mazovia Institute of Culture, the 14th edition of Chopin Days entitled “Chopiniana” will be held in Płock over the span of five days starting on Friday, September 2. The concert series will be devoted to etudes composed by Chopin, Debussy, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Schumann, Szymanowski, Szymanowska, Hiller, Cramer, Clementi, and Czerny. Proceeding the cycle of recitals by pianists Tobias Koch, Katarzyna Drogosz, Szymon Nehring, Grzegorz Skrobiński, Piotr Kosiński, and Maciej Skrzeczkowski, there will a presentation of period pianos, virginals, and other contemporary instruments that will be showcased throughout. Additionally, the latter half of the program will feature caprices by Niccolò Paganini, which have been thought to have inspired Chopin’s Etudes. The original version as well as studies by Roman Maciejewski and Karol Szymanowski will be performed by violinist Janusz Wawrowski.

For the full concert program, visit chopiniana.pl.

September 2-4 and 9-11, 2016
th Edition of Chopin Days
Various venues in Płock
Info: chopiniana.pl

[Source: polmic.pl, chopiniana.pl]




During the first weekend of September, Warsaw will host its citywide event, Warszawa jest trendy! [Warsaw is Trendy!], for the fourth consecutive year to extend the end of summer holidays. A wide variety of festivities will be made open to the public or available at discounted prices for (Young) Varsovian Card holders.

The main program will include concerts featuring music from a blend of genres, including classical, jazz, pop, rock, ska and reggae, to celebrate 25 years of Ukrainian Independence, Chopin and extraordinary Polish vocalists and world stars. Participants will also be able enjoy theatre performances, cinema screenings, sight-seeing tours, dance classes, sports & recreational events, and dine along the Vistula river bank at various cafes, clubs, and restaurants. View the extensive list of events and details here!

September 2-4, 2016
Warsaw is Trendy!
Various venues in Warsaw
Info: warszawajesttrendy.um.warszawa.pl

[Source: polmic.pl, warszawajesttrendy.um.warszawa.pl]



Crazy music daysCo-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, a series of nine concerts will be presented by Ignacy Jan Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz. Entitled “Crazy Music Days,” the festival aims to promote classical music and garner a larger audience. To further encourage listeners of all ages to come, special concerts for expecting mothers, infants and children will be held throughout the weekend. While the majority of the music can be enjoyed at the concert hall of the Philharmonic, two of these concerts will be held in Sepolno Krajenskie. Seating is limited and can be booked via phone or email.

September 2-4, 2016
Crazy Music Days

Sepolno Krajenskie/Pomeranian Philharmonic concert hall
Bydgoszcz, Poland
Admission: Free (Reservations required)
Info: filharmonia.bydgoszcz.pl

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




The 54 edition of Bydgoszcz Music Festival will take a place from September 9-30, 2016. This year, the festival’s main theme is “Contrasts-Freedom.”  In the program, there are 10 concerts in the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic Hall.

The festival will start with the stage version of the opera Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven, performed by Pomeranian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Nova Opera Choir and soloists conducted by Kai Bumann. At the other concerts of the festival we will have a chance to hear: the Old Believers Choir from Novosibirsk, the Bona Deus Afro-Gospel Choir from Berlin, Schola Cantorum Gedanesis Polish Chamber Choir, Capella Bydgostiensis Chamber Orchestra, {oh!} Historic Orchestra, Intemperata Early Music Ensemble, Sinfonia Varsovia, Latvian-Israeli cellist Mischa Maisky, and Georgijs Osokins – the finalist of XVII International Chopin Piano Competition. On September 18, six excellent Polish instrumentalists (Maria Sławek, Piotr Tarcholik, Katarzyna Budnik-Gałązka, Artur Rozmysłowicz, Marcin Zdunik, Rafał Kwiatkowski) are going to play a concert that includes rare string sextets by Andrzej Panufnik.

In the final of the festival audiences will hear the Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky and monumental oratorio Sanctus Adalbertus by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. The oratorio is dedicated to St. Adalbert and was composed in 1997 for the 1000 death anniversary of the first patron of Poland, however had not been performed until Górecki’s son Mikołaj found it after the composer’s death. The piece had its premiere on November 4, 2015 in Kraków to mark the 70 anniversary of Polish Music Publisher (PWM). At the Bydgoszcz Music Festival, the piece will be performed by the Pomeranian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Łódz Philharmonic Choir conducted by José Maria Florêncio with soloists Wioletta Chodowicz – soprano, and Bartłomiej Misiuda.

September 9-30, 2016
54th Bydgoszcz Music Festival
Ignacy Jan Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic Hall
Andrzej Szwalbe Street 6,  Bydgoszcz, Poland
Admission: 15-100 PLN
Tickets & Info: filharmonia.bydgoszcz.pl

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



Concerts, plays, meetings of literature, movie, and cooking fans and workshops for children – these are only a few events planned for the XIII edition of the “Singer’s Warsaw” Festival of Jewish Culture, which will take a place through August 27 – September 4, 2016 in Warsaw. Around 65-70 thousand people come to the festival every year. This number speaks for itself. The main aim of the festival is to provide what is best in arts. For this year’s edition the organizers has planned more than 200 events, including concerts, plays, cooking, blocks for children, movies, etc. Although the main center of the festival is Warsaw, the events will also be held in different cities such as Leoncin or Biłgoraj.

The festival opens with a concert of cantors—Yaakov Lemmer, Benzion Miller, Tzudik Greenwald accompanied by Menchaem Bristowski on the piano and the Warsaw Opera Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra will also perform famous Mozart’s Requiem during a concert at Plac Grzybowski with soloists from Warsaw Chamber Opera, Vocal Ensemble and Sinfonietta WOK Orchestra.

“Jewish 20th century String Music” will be presented by famous Polish string players: Katarzyna Duda, Katarzyna Brudnik-Gałązka and Marcin Zdunik. Project “Yiddish Tango” will present music from pre-war Warsaw. New arrangements in Polish, Yiddish, Hebrew and Spanish will be performed by Olga Avigail and the “Tango Atack” Ensemble led by pianist and composer Hadrian Tabęcki.

At the final concert, a group from New York called the Klezmatics will present Jewish songs from various genres, such as: Jazz, Gospel, Rock and more traditional Jewish songs. At the outdoor concert called “The Night of Klezmers” a British band Hamsa will play music that contains the elements of eastern European Jewish and Turkish music.

For the fans of Jazz music, the organizers have prepared “Singer Jazz Festival”. In this event we will listen to Włodzimierz Nahorny, who will perform his program from the album “Hope” with his guest musicians:  Zbigniew Namysłowski, Wojciech Jachna and Wojciech Myrczek.

The organizers also invited Trio Sefardix with a guest musician Jorgos Skolias. The saxophone player Leszek Żądło will present music by Krzysztof Komeda from a musical "Wygnanie z Raju". In Nozyki Synagogue, Kuba Stankiewicz will play a concert called “The Music of Henryk Wars” and Lena Piękniewska will sing songs with lyrics by young poets from the ghetto.

August 27-September 4, 2016
13th “Singer’s Warsaw” Festival of Jewish Culture
Various venues in Warsaw, Leoncin, Biłgoraj
Admission: 30-80 zł
Tickets & Info: festiwalsingera.pl

[Source: culture.pl]



Musica in forma di rosaMusica in forma di rosa
Dariusz Przybylski: Concerto for Accordion, Concerto for Cello, Musica in forma di rosa for violin and orchestra, and Katabasis for orchestra
Patrycja Piekutowska – violin; Magdalena Bojanowicz – cello, Maciej Frąckiewicz – accordion; Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
DUX 1293

DUX has just issued a new album featuring the National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) conducted by Paweł Kotla, Szymon Bywalec and Michał Klauza in a premiere recording of works by Dariusz Przybylski. The CD Musica in forma di rosa represents the result of a project called “Young Composers’ Homage to Chopin,” coordinated by the Penderecki European Music Cultural Centre in Lusławice. Przybylski, a composer and organist, also serves as a lecturer at the Chopin Music University, and his latest recording covers works written during the years 2010-2015, including the Accordion Concerto, Cello Concerto, Musica in forma di rosa for violin and orchestra, and Katabasis for orchestra. The soloists on this recording include violinist Patrycja Piekutowska, cellist Magdalena Bojanowicz and accordionist Maciej Frąckiewicz.

[Sources: beethoven.org.pl]



Penderecki conducts PendereckiPenderecki conducts Penderecki/Warsaw Philharmonic – VOL. I
Krzysztof Penderecki: Dies Illa - for 3 soloists, the choir, and the orchestra (2014); Hymn do św. Daniiła - for the mixed choir and the orchestra (1997); Psalmy Dawida - for a mixed choir and percussion (1958)
Choir and Orchestra of the Warsaw National Philharmonic; Krzysztof Penderecki – conductor; Henryk Wojnarowski – choir director; Johanna Rusanen – soprano; Agnieszka Rehlis – mezzo-soprano; Nikolay Didenko – bass
Warner Music Poland (3 June 2016); Available at amazon.com

“My art, with its deep Christian roots, aims to restore the human metaphysical space, shattered by 20th-century cataclysms. Restoring the sacred dimension of reality is the only way in which man can be saved.” - Krzysztof Penderecki

On June 27, a meeting with Krzysztof Penderecki took place in Studio U22 in Warsaw on the occasion of the premiere of a new album with Penderecki’s music, opening the series called Penderecki conducts Penderecki/Warsaw Philharmonic. The following people participated in the discussion panel: Professor Henryk Wojnarowski – the director of the Philharmonic Choir, Wojciech Nowak – the Philharmonic director, and Piotr Kabaj – the director of the Warner Music Poland. Jacek Hawryluk was the moderator of that meeting.

This album contains a selection of Poland’s greatest living composer’s vocal-instrumental works on religious subjects, representing different artistic responses to the challenge expressed above. Our selection also provides proof of the special importance that the composer attaches to what he considers as “the most difficult of instruments”– namely, the human voice. This represents th first studio recording of Penderecki with the Choir and the Orchestra of the National Philharmonic. It is also the world phonographic premiere of Dies Illa.

Penderecki shot to notoriety in the musical avant-garde in 1960 with the haunting string music of his Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima. He remains a doyen of contemporary music alongside Arvo Pärt and the late, lamented Henryk Górecki. Here, the 82-year-old composer conducts his own music with his national orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic. He also gives the triumphant premiere of a powerful new sacred work, Dies Illa, for soloists (Johanna Rusanen, Agnieszka Rehlis and Nikolay Didenko), choir and orchestra, composed to mark the centenary of WWI in 2014.

[Source: filharmonia.pl]



Internationally award-winning Polish guitarist and composer Marek Pasieczny is one of the most respected contemporary composers writing for the guitar today. As a composer, guitarist, lecturer and adjudicator, Pasieczny has appeared regularly at festivals in Europe (Poland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Greece, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, UK, and Italy), Asia (China, Japan), Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Pasieczny also holds three Master Degrees in music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, UK (for composition and performance with distinction) and “Karol Lipinski” Academy of Music in Wroclaw, Poland (for performance with distinction). In addition, he received his PhD at Surrey University in Guildford, UK in December 2015 and has since taught composition and orchestration at the university.

Within the past year, Pasieczny released two new world premiere recordings that have been made available worldwide:

Neo Variations (Tribute to John Towner Williams) EP
Marek Pasieczny: Fanfare and Theme, Variation I and II, Variation III and IV, Variation V, Finale for solo guitar
Marek Pasieczny – guitar
SLE London Records (11 Apr 2016); Available at itunes.apple.com

“All my life as a composer I have been a huge fan of film music. There is no other contemporary musical genre with so much variety and openness to any kind of music and compositional techniques as in film music. Here, the past meets the future, where the heritage of past composers are used in new ways and combined with new technologies. The prefix ‘neo’ in the title of this variations is a testament to the converging of the old and new. The language of the entire variations is ‘neo’ in some way, either neo-classical (e.g. opening ‘Fanfare’ or Var. II), neo-romantic (main Theme, The Finale), or neo-impressionistic (Var. I, III, IV, V).

One of the most significant film composers in the history of world cinema is the American composer John Towner Williams. This piece is my tribute to him, mimicking the proverbial triumphant symphonic opening in the form of a Fanfare before introducing a lyrical ‘movie’ theme. The five variations that follow are arranged in the neo-classical and neo-impressionistic style.” – Marek Pasieczny

To listen to the world premiere recording of the album or to read more about the piece and the technique of parallel triads, visit youtube.com. The beautifully published score can also be found at pasieczny.com.

Pasieczny: Piano Music
Marek Pasieczny: Anamnesis 3: After Tōru Takemitsu, Lutoslawski: in Memoriam 3, Scintilla 3: After Arvo Pärt, Fantasie: en hommage à Frédéric Chopin for solo piano
Sylvia Sze-Hua Jen – piano 
SLE London Records (25 Feb 2016); Available at itunes.apple.com  and amazon.com

Taiwanese-born South African pianist Sylvia Sze-Hua Jen began piano lessons at the age of 4, appearing for the first time in public at the age of 6. By the time she was 10, Sylvia had debuted her first concerto performance with the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra (JSO) and won her first prize at a national music competition. Since then, Sylvia has participated in numerous national and international competitions claiming many prizes and awards. She has also travelled extensively around the world for concerts and masterclasses including USA, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom.

Pasieczny acknowledged Zen’s talents by writing and producing compositions especially for her, including those on one of his latest albums, Pasieczny: Piano Music. Though the world premiere of Anamnesis for solo piano was performed two years ago, the intricate and eerie feeling of the piece remains captured through Zen’s dynamic contrasts in the opening tracks of the CD. To listen to a sample of the album, visit facebook.com.

[Source: pasieczny.com]




Polish soprano Halina Łukomska died on August 30, 2016 at the age of 87. The artist studied voice with Stanisława Zawadzka and Maria Halfterowa at the Higher State Music School in Warsaw, where she received her diploma in 1954. She continued her studies with Giorgio Favaretto in Siena (1958) and Toti Dal Monte in Venice (1959-60). In 1956, she won the 1st prize at the International Vocal Competition in Hertogenbosch.

In 1960, Halina Łukomska began her international career, giving concerts at festivals in Edinburgh, Perugia, Vienna, Warsaw, Toulouse, and many other places, and performing with major orchestras around the world. The singer made several recordings for the Philips, Columbia, EMI, Polskie Nagrania, and Harmonia Mundi labels. She became known as a great interpreter of contemporary music and performed vocal works by Luigi Nono, Witold Lutosławski, Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna, Kazimierz Serocki, Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, Alban Berg and Igor Stravinsky. She frequently also sang works written by her husband—composer Augustyn Bloch (including Espressioni, Meditations, and Salmo gioioso).

[Source: polmic.pl]



Henryk Jankowski was born on August 25, 1924 in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He was born to Brunon and Joanna Jankowski and had two sisters, Lucja and Czeslawa. Just as he began high school at the age of 15, he endured considerable hardship when the Nazis invaded his homeland. He saw many of his friends perish. His life was spared when he was captured and sent to Nazi work camps in Estonia and Germany. When the Nazis began to retreat towards the end of the war, he was released and traveled to Italy, where he joined the Polish 2nd Corps of the 8th British Army, also known as Anders’ Army. Following his service there, the army transported him to London, where he was able to enroll in high school and get his diploma. After he was discharged from the army, he worked various jobs while he continued his studies - always with the aim of helping his family back in Poland. Henry was awarded a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Polish University College. During these years in London, he joined a Polish dance ensemble where he nurtured his love of dancing.

After receiving his degree, he sailed to New York on the Ship “SS United States.” He was offered a position at Ralph M. Parsons, a prestigious engineering firm in Los Angeles. Shortly after beginning his career, he traveled to New York to visit some old friends and was introduced to Krystyna Bujnowska, a ballerina from Mazowsze, a well-known Polish Folk dancing group which performed all over the world. Henry traveled back and forth to visit the love of his life while establishing his career at Parsons. After a short courtship, they married on May 19, 1956 in Bayonne, New Jersey. Henry and Krystyna moved to Los Angeles and began their 60 years together. As with most young couples, they worked hard and created a beautiful life with their two daughters, Lydia and Basia. During these early years in Los Angeles, in 1964, they became the first artistic directors for the Krakusy Polish Folk Dance Ensemble. With the original founding members, the dance troupe traveled all over California, introducing Polish traditions and culture. Being a man of tradition and always having the love of his homeland in his heart, he encouraged his daughters to continue the family tradition and dance in Krakusy for many years. He was involved in the initial phases of numerous Polish Organizations in Southern California. Many of those organizations still thrive today and create a positive impact on Polish culture here.

Henry worked on many projects at Parsons, including important government programs. He was chosen to work on anything from airport design to space exploration. Those gratifying years concluded with his retirement after 32 years of dedication and conscientious work. He continued to be active through his hobbies. Henry was an avid stamp and coin collector, but, above of all, he was very knowledgeable about birds. He built aviaries in his back yard and bred different kinds of birds for many years. Henry dedicated his time and effort to help others who sought his advice and wisdom. Henry was well-respected by many, but not more than his family. Henry imparted his knowledge, his integrity and optimism with his favorite saying – “PER ARDUA AD ASTRA” – THROUGH ADVERSITY TO THE STARS. This expression carried him through his struggling London days, as it is the motto of the Royal Air Force. Henry’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will surely live by this motto, as instilled by the loved and honored patriarch of the family. Henry passed away on August 14, 2016, of natural causes surrounded by his loving family. Henry is survived by his wife, Krystyna, his daughters Lydia and Basia, his grandchildren Karina, John and Alex and great-granddaughters Paolina and Melania, as well as his younger sister Czeslawa, nieces and good friends.

Services were held on Monday, August 29th at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. In lieu of flowers, Henry admired the work of the Polish Music Center and its mission to preserve manuscripts, scores and recordings of Polish music. He also admired the cultural and educational mission of the Kosciuszko Foundation. If you would like to donate in his memory, you may visit:

Please refer to Henryk Jankowski as you make your gift. Thank you!


  • 1 September 1900 - Kazimierz WIŁKOMIRSKI, cellist, conductor, teacher (died in 1990)
  • 5 September 1924 - Krystyna MOSZUMAŃSKA-NAZAR, composer
  • 5 September 1938 - Piotr LACHERT, pianist, composer, pedagogue
  • 6 September 1916 - Tadeusz DOBRZAŃSKI, composer and conductor
  • 7 September 1943 - Elzbieta STEFAŃSKA, harpsichordist
  • 9 September 1921 - Andrzej DOBROWOLSKI, composer (died in 1989)
  • 9 September 1923 - Andrzej BACHLEDA, tenor
  • 13 September 1896 - Tadeusz SZELIGOWSKI (died 10 January 1963), composer
  • 14 September 1937 - Jan ASTRIAB, composer
  • 14 September 1914 - Michał SPISAK, composer (died 29 January 1965, Paris)
  • 16 September 1895 - Karol RATHAUS, composer, pianist (died 21 November 1954, New York)
  • 16 September 1891 - Czesław MAREK, composer, pianist
  • 18 September 1919 - Edward BURY, composer and theory teacher
  • 18 September 1928 - Adam WALACIŃSKI, composer and music critic
  • 18 September 1883 - Ludomir RÓŻYCKI (died 1 January 1953), composer
  • 19 September 1938 - Zygmunt KRAUZE, composer and pianist
  • 22 September 1940 - Edward BOGUSŁAWSKI, composer
  • 23 September 1912 - Irena PFEIFFER, composer, conductor.
  • 24 September 1914 - Andrzej PANUFNIK (died 27 October 1991)
  • 30 September 1942 - Andrzej DUTKIEWICZ, pianist and composer
  • 30 September 1947 - Jan OLESZKOWICZ, composer


  • 4 September 2014 - Wlodzimierz KOTONSKI (born 23 August 1925), composer
  • 13 September 1977 - Leopold STOKOWSKI (born 18 April 1882), conductor and composer
  • 15 September 1895 - Jan KLECZYŃSKI (b. 8 June 1857), pianist and music critic
  • 15 September 1944 - Bronislaw WOLFSTAHL, composer, pianist, conductor (b. 22 July 1883)
  • 18 September 1857 - Karol KURPIŃSKI (b. 6 March 1785), composer and conductor
  • 26 September 1944 - Seweryn BARBAG (b. 4 September 1891), musicologist.
  • 29 September 1954 - Alfred GRADSTEIN (born 30 October 1904), composer, and social activist
  • 27 September 1943 - Waclaw GIEBUROWSKI (born 6 February 1878), priest, choral conductor and musicologist
  • 28 September 1939 - Halina SZMOLC-FITELBERG (born 25 December 1892), dancer (Diaghilev ensemble, Grand Theatre)
  • 28 September 1956 - Walerian BIERDAJEW, conductor and teacher (b. 7 March 1885)
  • 29 September 1861 - Tekla BADARZEWSKA-BARANOWSKA (b. 1834), composer of "The Maiden's Prayer"


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Copyright 2016 by the Polish Music Center

Send your comments and inquiries to: polmusic@thornton.usc.edu
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Layout Assistance: Thuy Le, Charles Bragg
Translation Assistance: Tomasz Fechner, Marek Żebrowski

Contributions from:
Tomasz Fechner, 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

Formatting by Thuy Le, September 14, 2016

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