Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 1, no. 6

Flash News!

Winner of the First prize in the II International Moniuszko Vocal Competition  (April ’95): CARA O’SULLIVAN, soprano (Ireland).

Second: Kyung-hye La, soprano (Korea).
Third: Natalia Jutesch, soprano (Ukraine).
Fourth:Daniel Borowski, bass (Poland)
Aleksandra Dursieniewa, mezzo (Ukraine)
Aleksander Guriec, tenor (Ukraine).

The competition organized by soprano, Maria Foltyn, is held at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw every three years.

Winners of the 44th International Convention of the Polish Singers Alliance:

Male Chorus:

#1. Filarets no. 313 (Detroit)
Wladyslaw Budweil, cond.

#2. Chopin no. 182 (Passaic)
Chris Rendenna, cond.

#3. Oginski no. 283 (Hempstead)
Wojciech Typrowicz, cond.

Female Chorus:

#1. Polonia Paderewski no. 311 (New Britain, CT)
Waldemar Ciesielski, cond.

#2. Paderewski no. 321 (Philadelphia)
Wojciech Hollender, cond.

#3. Polonaise Chorale no. 318 (Sterling Hts. MI)

Mixed Choir:

#1. Symfonia no. 292 (Hamilton, Ont)
Andrzej Rozbicki, cond.

#2. Quo Vadis no. 325 (Buffalo)
Ireneusz Lukaszewski, cond.

#3. TIE between

Polonia Paderewski no. 287 (New Britain, CT)
Waldemar Ciesielski, cond.

Hejnal no. 323 (Brooklyn)
Jan Sporek, cond.

The competition, scheduled every three years, was held at the Marriott Marquis in New York from May 25-28th of this year. The “battle” between the choirs took place on Saturday. In the Sunday afternoon GALA Concert, honorary guest, composer Henryk Gorecki, played the role of accompanist for Poland’s famed baritone, Andrzej Bachleda, in two of his songs composed during the time of martial law in Poland in 1983. [“We lzach, Panie, rece podnosimy do Ciebie” (Tearfully, Lord, we raise our hands to Thee.)]” and [“Panie, o ktorym na niebiosach slysze” (“Lord, about Whom I hear in the heavens.”)]. Of forty-four active choirs in the U.S. and Canada, fourteen competed in the event . At the Awards Banquet, at which last year’s winning choirs performed, the Quo Vadis choir from Buffalo sang two of Gorecki’s choral works. It came as a surprise to the composer, who also received honorary membership in the association, which was organized over a century ago in Chicago. More than three hundred choirs had been registered in the society since its inception in 1889.

Seating for the 13th International F. Chopin Piano Competition  is almost sold out! Only tickets left are for the second Gala Concert of Finalists on October 22nd. Tickets ($70 and $50) may be ordered from Orbis Travel, Warsaw Office. FAX from the U.S.: 011-48-22-27-11-23. They can also make arrangements for hotel accomodations, sight seeing and guide-interpreters.

A “Paderewski In Memoriam” concert is being held from May 26 to June 10, 1995 in Warsaw sponsored by the local Paderewski Society and Museum. President of the group is pianist Karol Radziwonowicz, who has recorded almost all of the composer’s works recently on compact discs Chant du Monde LDC 2781073/75.Artists performing include: pianists Janusz OLEJNICZAK, Karol RADZIWONOWICZ, Mikhail RUDY, Jan HOBSON, Ewa POBLOCKA and Adam MAKOWICZ; violinist Robert KABARA, singer Francisco ARAIZA, Stefania TOCZYSKA, mezzo soprano, Jadwiga KOTNOWSKA, flute, SINFONIA VARSOVIA under the direction of Jerzy MAKSYMIUK and the SINFONIETTA CRACOVIA . For further details see section on Programs of Polish Music Around the World.

Jazz Series at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City (April 20 – June 15) featured Polish artists, pianist Adam MAKOWICZ (Apr 20) and star vocalist Ursula DUDZIAK (JunE 1). For other artists see section on Programs of Polish Music Around the World.

New Publications

Boosey & Hawkes announced the publication of two new Gorecki scores: “For you, Anne-Lill” for flute and piano and “Good Night” for sop., alto flute, piano and three tam-tams.

Chopin’s two Piano Concertos, arranged for two pianos, are available from Dover Music Scores: 27498-5 Pa. $10.95 only. Also: The Complete Works of Chopin in five separate volumes: Nocturnes and Polonaises (24564-0 Pa. $10.95; Waltzes and Scherzos (224316-8 Pa. $9.95); Complete Ballades, Impromptus & Sonatas (24164-5 Pa. $9.95); Fantasy in F minor, Barcarolle, Berceuse and other works for solo piano (25950-1 Pa. $7.95); Mazurkas (25548-4 Pa. $8.95) and Complete Preludes & Etudes (24052-5 Pa. $8.95). The scores have been reprinted, in inexpensive volumes, from the most complete, authoritative Paderewski edition (published in 20 volumes by the Chopin Institute, Warsaw, 1949-61).

Newest book on LUTOSLAWSKI by Tadeusz Kaczynski, is the ninth volume of the Polish Music History Series edited by Stefan Sutkowski in Warsaw.


Still on the “Best Seller Chart” at Tower Records: Gorecki’s Symphony no. 3 (Nonesuch 9282-2, Upshaw, Zinman) and now joined by another Gorecki composition: Concerto for Piano and Strings performed by his daughter and the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra (Conifer BMG). I don’t know why the original version of this concerto, Concerto for Harpsichord and Chamber Orchestra performed at the Warsaw Autumn International Contemporary Music Festival in 1981 with Elzbieta Chojnacka at the harpsichord and J. Maksymiuk conducting the Polish Chamber Orchestra hasn’t been issued as a CD as yet!?! This particular version has been my favorite ever since I heard it in 1981 and I predict that this version with the harpsichord sound would make even a greater killing than the Symphony!!!

In the June ’95 issue of Gramophone, Robert Cowan categorically states that Gorecki’s Symphony no. 3 (Nonesuch 7559-79282-2 of April ’93) “triumph was not orchestrated by marketing moguls. The Third Symphony’s success was due principally to four vital qualities: emotional directness, instant melodic appeal, the strategic employment of a beautiful voice and the documentary power of the work’s subject-matter. Add the hypnotic course of a simple canon and the warmth of overlapping string textures and you have a formula capable of communicating on many different levels.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED” by John C. Tibbetts in Classical Pulse, April, 1995 is Vol. Five of Garrick OHLSSON’s Chopin cycle (Arabesque Z6642 2 CDs). It contains Polonaises and Impromptus. Just as the composer, the pianist “has a sense of texture and balance and phrase and form that is really unparalleled…..he continues to balance his awesome technical mastery with absolute control and subtle nuance. Highly recommended.

A new recording of Lutoslawski’s Quartet for Strings can be heard on MDG 3507 by the New Leipzig Quartet.

Here is something new: A recording that features two Polish composers. One living in France (Piotr Moss 1949-) Valses for orchestra and one in the U.S. (Barbara Jazwinska 1950-). Sequenze Concertanti for violin and orchestra. Vienna Modern Masters VMM3024. Szymon Kawalla conducting the Koszalin State Philharmonic Orchestra.

Songs by Irene (Wieniawska) Poldowski (1879-1932) has been released on Albany TROY 109 label. Lauralyn Kolb, soprano and Don Mc Mahon, piano.

Good chance to compare three generations of Polish composers in “Polish String Quartets.” Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969); Krzysztof Penderecki(1933-) and Aleksander Lason (1951-). United UNI 88014. Performed by the well-known Penderecki String Quartet, now based in Canada.

Bits & Pieces

Polish Opera News

A new version of Moniuszko’s opera, “Straszny Dwor (Haunted Castle)” was presented in Luxembourg, January 25-28, by Teatr Wielki from Warsaw.The Greater Buffalo Opera Company plans to present this second most popular opera of Moniuszko on April 18-21, 1996.

Youngest Generation of Polish Composers

The Composition Competition at the Music Academy in Warsaw for symphonic or solo with orchestra work was won by Pawel Lukaszewski for “Arrampicata per orchestra.” Second prize was won by Maciej Zielinski for “Musica per archi A.D. 1993.” Both students were from the class of Prof. Marian Borkowski, who performed at USC a few years ago together with pianist and composer Andrzej Dutkiewicz in a recital of solo and duo piano music by both composers. Excellent review from the Los Angeles Times.

Watch out for Lukaszewski! He won II prize ex aequo for his “Winterreise” for chamber orchestra at the II Forum of Young Composers in Krakow, May ’94.

First performance in Europe of Witold Lutoslawski’s last work, “Subito” was performed in Wroclaw on the first anniversary of the composer’s death, February 7. The work written for the Gingold violin competition was performed by violinist Krzysztof Jakowicz. Other works scheduled on this program: Recitativo e arioso, Partita, String quartet and Livre per orchestra played by the Wroclaw Philharmonic.

Did You Know That…

There is a Polish connection to Shostakovich? The composer’s grandfather was a Pole, Boleslaw Szostakowicz, one of many Poles arrested in the 19th c. for anti-Czarist activities and exiled to Siberia (in 1866). The composer’s father, Dimitri, moved to Petersburg in 1897 where he met and married a Russian student (also from Siberia) who studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in hope of becoming a concert pianist. See the book by composer Krzysztof Meyer, “Szostakowicz” published in 1986 by PWM.

Schwann Opus, Winter 1994/95 edition, lists Szymanowski under “Z” as Zymanowski?


Born This Month

  • Alexander Tansman (June 12, 1897).

Died This Month

  • Stanislaw Moniuszko (June 4, 1872).
  • Ignace Jan Paderewski (June 29, 1941)

Composers’ Anniversaries in 1995


  • Chopin (185);
  • Paderewski (135);
  • Wieniawski (160);
  • Maria Szymanowska (205)


  • Wieniawski (115);
  • Juliusz Zarebski (110).