2014: Sir Andrzej Panufnik

Celebrating the Centenary of Sir Andrzej Panufnik with Lady Camilla Panufnik

 

Sunday, October 5, 2014 | 7:00 p.m.
Alfred Newman Recital Hall, USC (see AHF on campus map)
3616 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA
FREE Admission

Thursday, October 9, 2014 | 7:30 p.m.
USC Thornton Symphony Performs Panufnik
USC Bovard Auditorium (see ADM on campus map)
3551 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA

Admission to both events is FREE and open to the public
Parking: $10
– enter Gate #3 at McCarthy Way & Figueroa St (Parking Structure X)


Panufnik Centenary Celebrated At USC

Lady Camilla Panufnik, 2014 Paderewski Lecturer

The University of Southern California in Los Angeles will host two concerts in early October, celebrating the centenary of Sir Andrzej Panufnik. On October 5, the Polish Music Center will present its annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital, featuring the composer’s widow, Lady Camilla Panufnik, delivering the lecture, “Andrzej Panufnik—the Man behind the Music.”

 

Following her presentation, several of Panufnik’s chamber works will be presented at the Alfred Newman Recital Hall. The program will include the Piano Trio, Five Vocalises – Hommage à Chopin, and String Quartet No. 2, performed by some of Los Angeles’ favorite musicians:

     

Juliana Gondek, mezzo-soprano; James Lent, piano; Nic Gerpe, piano

     

Eclipse String Quartet: Sara Parkins, violin; Joel Pargman, violin (guest); Alma Lisa Fernandez, viola; Maggie Parkins, cello

The evening will end with a delicious reception with the artists and with guest of honor, Lady Camilla Panufnik. Please join us!

The Panufnik Centenary celebrations continue on October 9, when Maestro Carl St. Clair will lead the USC Thornton Symphony Orchestra in performance of two of Panufnik’s orchestral works—Tragic Overture (1955) and Harmony (1989)—at USC’s premiere performing venue, Bovard Auditorium.

USC Thornton Symphony with Maestro Carl St. Clair, Artistic Leader of USC Thornton School of Music Orchestras

Panufnik’s Music At USC

From November 2014 PMC Newsletter
by Marek Żebrowski

The centenary of Sir Andrzej Panufnik was celebrated with two concerts on the USC campus in early October. The first, Polish Music Center’s annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital on October 5, was devoted to Panufnik’s chamber music. The program began with the composer’s widow, Lady Camilla, delivering a lecture about her husband’s life and work, illustrated with photographs from the private family archive. Lady Camilla’s personal and direct recollection of their relationship and life in music drew sympathetic and appreciative applause from the audience gathered at the Alfred Newman Recital Hall.

The first musical offering of the evening was Panufnik’s Op. 1 Piano Trio. This youthful work already contained seeds of Panufnik’s more mature style and was delivered with gusto by pianist Nic Gerpe, violinist Joel Pargman, and cellist Maggie Parkins.

Next, the mezzo-soprano Juliana Gondek (pictured at right with Lady Camilla) presented Panufnik’s Five Vocalises—Hommage à Chopin for voice and piano. Dating from the mid-1950s, this abstract and spare work relies on delicate coloring of the vocal line and quasi-mediaeval textures of piano accompaniment that was delicately delivered by pianist James Lent.

The program closed on Panufnik’s highly-evocative and subtle String Quartet No. 2. Subtitled “Messages” it amply showcased the Eclipse String Quartet (shown below), who imbued their brilliant performance of the work with poise, control, and a variety of fascinating sound textures.

During the reception after the concert, the audience had a welcome chance to converse with the guest lecturer and the performers, rounding off this very interesting evening.

Two days later, during the evening hours of October 8, KUSC-FM with Jim Svejda presented a 4-hour program devoted to Panufnik’s music. In-between airing of several orchestral and solo works, Mr. Svejda and Lady Camilla engaged in an easy going conversation that provided much needed background to the music by this rarely-heard composer.

On October 9, Thornton Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro Carl St. Clair, devoted the opening half of the evening to two of Panufnik’s orchestral works, his Tragic Overture(1942/1945) and Harmony—A Poem for Chamber Orchestra (1989). Whilst the former is a driven, tense composition reflecting Panufnik’s experience of World War II in Poland, the latter is a love letter, composed for and dedicated to Lady Camilla on the occasion of their silver wedding anniversary. The young musicians gave their very best to both works and the energy of the performance worked its magic on the audience assembled at USC’s Bovard Auditorium.

After the abrupt ending of Tragic Overture reverberated in the hall, the work was greeted with thunderous applause and Maestro St. Clair invited Lady Camilla for a short conversation on stage (shown above). Soon a few more fascinating details emerged about the Panufnik’s wedding anniversary trip to Venice (“Italy, not California,” as Lady Camilla impishly added), and the orchestral reading of Harmony resonated all the more with all present. After the intermission, Maestro St. Clair led Thornton Symphony in a rousing performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, which closed the evening on a decidedly ecstatic note.


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