Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 11, no. 6


World Premiere For Ptaszy—SKA

On June 4th at 1:00 pm, the world premiere of Marta PtaszyÒska’s new solo viola piece, Elegia in Memoriam John Paul II will take place at the 33rd International Viola Congressin Reykjavik, Iceland. The Congress takes place from June 2nd through June 5th, and will feature master classes and performances with some of the world’s leading violists. The premiere will take place as part of a program dedicated to “The Diversity of the Viola” at the Culture House in Reykjavik.

The American premiere of “Elegia in Memoriam John Paul II” will be hosted by the Polish Music Center at USC during the annual Paderewski Lecture/Recital on October 14th, 2005. It will be played by USC’s own Lauren Chipman, a member of the Armstrong Quartet, who played on the ZarÍbski Piano Quartet at the PMC’s last concert.

Penderecki World Premiere

June 19 & 20 (11:00 am and 7:30 pm, respectively): The Vienna Philharmonic will give the World Premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Largo for Cello and Orchestra. This piece was a commission of the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna. The performance will take place at the Musikverein, which is the home of the Viennese Friends of Music. Seiji Ozawa, conductor and Mstislav Rostropovich, cello.

June 26 & 27 (8:00 pm): The Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra will give the World Premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Symphony No. 8: Lieder der Verg‰nglichkeit. This piece was a commission of the Minister of Culture, Higher Learning, and Research of Luxembourg. The performance will take place Grand Auditorium, featuring Olga Pasichnyk (soprano), Agnieszka Rehlis (mezzo-soprano), Wojtek Drabowicz (baritone) and the EuropaChorAkademie. Bramwell Tovey, conductor.

PIASA Conference

3-4 June 2005

The two-day international multi-disciplinary conference, organized each year by the New York-based Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PIASA), is co-sponsored and hosted this year by the Center of Russian and East European Studies, University of Pittsburgh (3959 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260). It is expected to attract over 300 scholars and students in the fields of Polish, East European, and Polish-American studies, with some twenty-four sessions and panels in various disciplines, including politics, literature, economics, history, music, art, the natural sciences, and ethnic studies.

The closing gala banquet at the nearby Wyndham Garden Hotel on June 4, in addition to opening remarks by PIASA President Piotr S. Wandycz and the presentation of the annual Dziewanowski Memorial Dissertation Award, will feature as guest speakers H. E. David Peleg, Ambassador of Israel to Poland, and the Honorable Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska, Consul General and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland. Chairman of the annual meeting is Dr. Thaddeus V. Gromada, Executive Director of PIASA.

For further information on the full program or advance registration, please visit the Polish Institute’s website at www.piasa.org. Regarding availability, or for any other inquiries, please contact Dr. Gromada, Executive Director, the Polish Institute, 208 East 30th St., New York, NY 10016, call (212) 686-4164, fax (212) 545-1130, or e-mail piasany@bellatlantic.net .

The Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America is a national academic organization dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in general and to the advancement of knowledge about Poland’s intellectual and cultural heritage. The Institute’s Library and Archives serve as a research center for the study of Poland and East Central Europe. Since 1956 the Polish Institute has published a scholarly journal, The Polish Review.

Polish Music Thrives In Argentina

On December 23 2003, The Argentine-Polish Cultural Association was granted one hour per week on the Argentine National Radio of Classical Music to be dedicated to Polish composers and artists. Since then, 72 programs of Polish music have been presented, with repertoire ranging from o Wincenty z Kielc (AD 1260) to the latest available recordings of compositions by Wojciech Kilar (September Symphony) and Krzysztof Pendercki (Piano Concerto). Thanks to the support of the Polish Embassy in Argentina, the main provider of the recordings, the transmission of the program is assured for the coming months.

During May and June, the Decorative Arts Museum of Buenos Aires is presenting a conference organized by the Polish Embassy in Argentina. Polish art and military paraphernalia from private Argentinian collections will be displayed. Two dissertations on Polish music will be presented in conjunction with this exhibition: on June 15th, “Polish Contemporary Music” (Henryk GÛrecki, Krzysztof Penderecki, Pawel Lukaszewski and Wojciech Kilar) and on June 28th, comments and video projection of Stanislaw Monuszko’s opera “Halka”, recorded live by the Warsaw National Opera at Teatr Wileki, Warsaw. Both dissertations will be given by Mr. Andrew Jezierski, from the Argentine Polish Cultural Association.

PWM Edition Jubilee

In 2005, Poland’s largest music publisher, PWM Edition, celebrates its 60th anniversary. On 6 April 1945, the director of the Music Department in the Ministry of Culture and Art, Mieczys≥aw Drobner, authorized Tadeusz Ochlewski to establish a publishing house. Since that time the house has been open to many composers, writers, editors, members of editorial staff and, above all, large numbers of readers and music lovers. The following are some of the events that are taking place in conjunction with this anniversary

  • Solemn Opening of the Salon of PWM Edition (April 2005) – The PWM Edition Salon is intended to be a place where everyone will be able to become acquainted with the various spheres of the firm’s activities, its history and its most important publishing projects.
  • Solemn Mass (April 2005) – Commemoration of all the late composers, writers and workers of PWM Edition. The musical settings will consist of choral works by composers published by PWM Edition and performed by the Organum choir conducted by Bogus≥aw Grzybek as well as the Musica Sacra choir conducted by Pawe≥ £ukaszewski.
  • Transfer of Musical Manuscripts (April 2005) – The musical manuscripts of Graøyna Bacewicz, Tadeusz Baird, Wojciech £ukaszewski, Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz, Roman Palester, Marta PtaszyÒska, Piotr Rytel, Micha≥ Spisak, Micha≥ ¶wirzyÒski, Kazimierz Sikorski and Romuald Twardowski, collected over the years by PWM Edition, will be transferred to the music department of the National Library in Warsaw, in combination with an exhibition and a short concert.
  • Events Associated with the “Warsaw Autumn” (September 2005) – During the Warsaw Autumn 2005, PWM Edition will organize a Jubilee Concert devoted to Romuald Twardowski, who celebrates his 75th birthday this year.
  • Solemn Jubilee Concert (10 November 2005, 7.30 pm, Cracow Philharmonic Hall) – The Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jan Krenz will present works of Polish composers associated with PWM Edition: Overture by Jan Krenz, Inverted Mountain by Marta PtaszyÒska, Pejrene by Zbigniew Bujarski, Ten Polish Dances by Witold Lutos≥awski and Symphony No. 1 by Feliks I. DobrzyÒski. The concert will, at the same time, mark the inauguration of the 1st Polish Music Festival.
  • jubilee calendar for 2005 and a promotional leaflet on PWM Edition have been published in Polish and English. A new website devoted to PWM Edition is being prepared as well as a complete catalogue of all PWM Edition publications since 1945. Work on the creation of the firm’s electronic iconographic library is continuing.

For more information on these events, please see the News section of www.pwm.com.pl.

Polish Composers Union: 60th Anniversary

The Zwi±zku KompozytorÛw Polskich (ZKP, Polish Composers’ Union) was created in 1945 in Krakow as a continuation of the Polish Composers Association, which was created in 1925. The Union brings together composers and musicologists who work in the field of Polish musical culture. The ZKP organizes concerts, conferences, festivals, expositions and competitions in addition to publishing music and research articles.

The celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the ZKP starts on 2 June 2005 in Warsaw’s Zamek Krolewski. A special musical work has been commissioned by the ZKP for the occasion: Fanfara Jubileuszowa [Anniversary Fanfare] by Bartosz Kowalski-Banasewicz. On June 3rd, in the Witold Lutos≥awski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio, there will be a concert of compositions by the founders of the ZKP. A concert of 6 premiere works ordered especially for the 60th Anniversary of the Union is also being planned for November, as well as an edition of recordings spanning the 60 years of ZKP.

Concert Tour Of Mei-Ting Sun

In addition to monetary prizes and national recognition, the winner of the U.S. National Chopin Piano Competition is awarded a concert tour of prestigious venues. This year’s winner, Mei-Ting Sun will be performing on the following dates in June (for a full listing of the 1st Prize Winner Concert Series, visit www.chopin.org/concert_tour.html).

  • June 5, 2005
    Chopin Society of Atlanta
    770/663-0620 or email chopinsociety@mindspring.com
  • June 11, 2005
    Barboursville Vineyards – Barboursville, Virginia
    540/832-3824 or email bvvy@barboursvillewine.com
  • June 12, 2005
    Winners Series by Smithsonian, Washington, DC
  • June 13, 2005 at 8 pm
    Carnegie/Weill Recital Hall, New York 212/956-4070

Chopin Competition For Young Pianists

6 June 2005

The Annual San Francisco Chopin Competition for Young Pianists is open to pianists fifteen years old or younger, residing or studying in the San Francisco Bay Area. The winners of the competition will perform on Sunday, June 6, 2005 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. For more information and details, please visit www.infochopin.pl/en/wydarzenia.php/639/ . For information about the winners’ concert, please call 415-474-2626 or 925-247-0894.

Festivals & Masterclasses

June Festivals In Poland

Henryk Wars Film Festival in £Ûdz (8th Annual £Ûdz Film Festival): June 3rd to 5th. The is an annual celebration of the Polish contribution to film music. Each year focuses on a different composer, starting in 1995 with Wojciech Kilar. Concerts are performed in the evenings and films are screened during the day. This year’s festival honors Henryk Wars and will feature the Polish Music Center’s own Marek Øebrowski playing the Wars Piano Concerto with the £Ûdz Philharmonic.

15th International Festival of Sacred Music: May 19th to June 5th, Warsaw. Considered one of the most important festivals of its kind in the world, this festival was initiated in 1991 by Polish organist Przemyslaw Kapitula, with the intention to be a one time event to celebrate the 4th visit of the Pope John Paul II to Poland. But its success encouraged the organizers to repeat it every year. The goal of the festival is to present music relating to Christianity and other religions in a form that is the most approachable for the general public.

21st Organ Festival in ToruÒ: May 8th through June 19th. This year’s festival it is dedicated to Pope John Paul II. The festival takes place in the St. John’s Cathedral in ToruÒ and gives both the players and audience a chance to experience two different types of original instruments, from the Baroque and from the Romantic period.

1st Wroclaw Film Music Festival: June 3rd to June 11th. The goal of the festival is to encourage the young audiences to come to concert halls and listen to classical music. Artistic director is Jan Latham-Koenig and Krzesimir DÍbski will serve as both artistic director and conductor for some of the events. The audience will have a chance of hearing both Polish and international film music arrangements.

8th International Festival of Organ and Chamber Music – “Bach…but not only”: June 2nd until August 25 in Warsaw. Concerts will take place every Thursday in the Holy Trinity Church at the Malachowski Square. Inaugural concert will be performed by Ensemble de Narol with Tytus Wojnowicz as an artistic director. This ensemble specializes in performances of rarely performed Baroque chamber music.

13th Musical Meetings “Chanterelle Festival”: June 13th and 19th in OstrÛw Wielkopolski. The special guest of the festival will be a composer Krzysztof Meyer. Among the performers are Wieniawski Quartet and The Sydney Consort.

7th International Festival of University Choirs “Universitas Cantat 2005”: June 22nd to 25th in PoznaÒ. The goal of this non-competitive event is to create an international forum for University choirs that will allow exchange and cooperation between schools in Europe and around the world. This festival is an opportunity to display the wealth of choral literature of the countries represented and to exchange of this repertoire.

15th Jewish Culture Festival in KrakÛw: June 25th to July 3rd. Considered one of the most important and largest events of its kind in the world. Shaped by outstanding figures in various fields of Jewish culture and art, the Festival has become a place where Jews and non-Jews from all over the world can meet, linked by shared values. For over a week, Kazimierz and KrakÛw resound with synagogue song, klezmer music, and Hasidic, classical, and Jewish folk music. www.jewishfestival.pl

For more information on these and other summer festivals, visit www.polmic.pl orwww.culture.pl.

Chopin in the Summer

1st Warsaw Chopin Festival

12 – 19 June 2005
National Philharmonic – Warsaw, Poland
Festival concerts:

  • Lidia Grychto≥Ûwna – Piano Recital
  • Kevin Kenner – Piano Recital
  • Ingrid Fliter – Piano Recital
  • Piano Recitals by the Winners of the Warsaw Chopin Society Scholarship Competition
  • Philippe Giusiano – Piano Recital
    For more information or to see a schedule of events, visit www.chopin.plor www.filharmonia.pl.

22nd Chopin Festival in Paris 

18 June – 14 July 2005
Orangerie du parc de Bagatelle, Forest of Boulogne – Paris, France
This is a celebration of French and international artists playing the piano works of Chopin as well as other composers. Presented by the SociÈtÈ Chopin ‡ Paris.
For more information or to see a schedule of events, visit www.chopin.pl or www.frederic-chopin.com.

Summer concerts in Royal £azienki Park and Øelazowa Wola

Concert season in Øelazowa Wola and Royal £azienki Park lasts from May until the end of September. In Øelazowa Wola, during May, June and September, concerts are held only on Sundays at 11 am and 3 pm and feature renowned pianists, mainly winners of International Chopin Competitions. In July and August, recitals are also held on Saturday at 11 am. They are called “The Youth Stage” and feature young artists.

Concerts in Royal £azienki Park take place at the monument of Frederick Chopin (pictured at right), created by Wac≥aw Szymanowski. The most outstanding Polish pianists give their concerts in the picturesque scenes of the park every Sunday and holiday at 12 pm and 4 pm.

Concerts at Øelazowa Wola and £azienki Park are managed by the Frederick Chopin Society in Warsaw. For a complete listing of artists, visit www.chopin.pl. For more information on these and other Chopin concerts around the world, visit www.infochopin.pl.

Summer Masterclasses in Poland

The 5th Warsaw Music Gardens Festival will be enriched this year for the first time by the Summer Vocal Masterclasses. The workshop is for singers, students and teachers under 35 years of age. Workshops will take place at the F. Chopin Musical School in Warsaw (Bednarska Street 11), from July 18th to July 30th. Maestra Grace Bumbry, one of the great opera divas of the twentieth century and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, will lead the masterclasses. At the end of the course, on July 30th, “The Master and Her Disciples” gala concert will be held at the Warsaw’s Royal Castle Concert Room, during which prizes and grants will be presented to the winning participants.

Singers interested in this unique opportunity should submit the following by 15 June 2005:

  • audio or video recording of two pieces
  • a short biographical note and a photograph
  • a filled-out application form Send to the following address:
    Andrzej Szwed, Szwed Impresariat Artystyczny
    Borsucza Street 64, 05-807 Podkowa Lesna
    e-mail: office@szwedart.info
    phone: (+48 22) 758 96 49

The Summer Guitar Course will be held at the International House of Youth Meetings in Krzyøowa, nestled in the picturesque beauty of Lower Silisia. Guitar faculty includes: Tommy Emmanuel (Fingerstyle); Leszek Cichonski (Electric Guitar); Marcin Dylla, Krzysztof Pe≥ech, and Pavel Steidl (Classical Guitar); S≥awomir Dolata (Flamenco Guitar); Anna Mendak (Flamenco Dance); and David McDonald (Chamber Groups). Participants will be treated to stylish accommodations in modern hotel rooms and have use of excellent facilities.

For more information on the festival and a full listing of the faculty, visit www.pelech.art.pl/new.php?akcja=new.

To search for more masterclasses and festivals in Poland, visit www.polmic.pl/konferencje.php.


Minister Of Culture Award

Polish Minister of Culture, Waldemar D±browski, announced the winners of this year’s Annual Award of the Polish Minister of Culture. In the catagory of music, the awards will go to: Prof. Micha≥ Bristiger, Zygmunt Krauze, Jerzy Maksymiuk and Jerzy Semkow. The awards will be given during a ceremony on June 4th in the Zamek KrÛlewski in Warsaw. This Award was founded in 1997 and is given to artists whose lifetime achievement or annual work is of great value and excellence. This award is given to approximately 10 recipients each year.

Pulitzer Prize For Music

Composer Steven Stucky (born 1949) has been awarded the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Second Concerto for Orchestra. This work was premiered on March 12, 2004 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, CA by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A well-known expert on the music of the late Polish composer Witold Lutos≥awski, Stucky won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Prize for his 1981 book Lutos≥awski and His Music(Cambridge University Press).

Information for this article was taken from www.presser.com and www.pulitzer.org/cyear/2005w.html.

Gaudeamus Award

The Wroc≥aw musicians Agata Zubel and Cezary Duchnowski, the “ElletroVoce” duet, have won a special prize in the Gaudeamus competition – “Best Electronic Music Ensemble”. The Gaudeamus competition has become one of the world’s most important contemporary music performance competitions. It is held every two years and is organized by the Gaudeamus Foundation of Amsterdam, known for its world-wide popularization of contemporary music. 97 ensembles and soloists from all over the world competed for this year’s prize.

Internet News

NYDAI Online

The New York Dance & Arts Innovations is a nonprofit organization established with the aim of multi-national creative sponsorship and support of the performing, visual and literary arts. The purpose of the organization is the creation of new art works, the sponsorship of new artistic ideas and the international exchange of artistic concepts and works of art. This organization often features Polish musicians in their Art Night concerts. Hear archives of their performances at www.nydai.org/radio.html.

PNA Dance Choreographers


The Dance Choreographers of the Polish National Alliance have developed a new website which includes infomation about their groups as well as examples of dance music.

Polish-English Online Dictionary

There is a free Polish-English Internet dictionary called e-DICT (www.dict.pl). According to statistics it is the most popular online Polish-English dictionary in the world (over 7 million queries per month). e-DICT is simple to use, contains proffesional terms referring to many disciplins (law, economy, business, trade, technology, computers, science, medicine), and is constantly updated with new words.

Polonia Day In SF

On May 3, 2005 there was a ceremonial flag raising in San Francisco in honor of the anniversary of Constitution Day. View the lovely photographs taken that day at www.polishfolk.net/PoloniaDay.pdf.

Calendar of Events

Vars with his big band in Lwów, 1941, courtesy of the Vars Family archives

JUNE 3-5: The Polish Music Center’s own Marek Øebrowski is in Poland, performing at the Henryk Wars Film Festival in £Ûdz, Poland. Concerts: Friday – Wars’ Popular Music; Saturday – “Love can take it all”: Piano concerto, Symphony No. 1, City Sketchesfeaturing M. Øebrowski, piano and Anna Cymmerman, soprano with the £Ûdz Philharmonic, K. DÍbski, cond.; Sunday – Jazz Moods According to Wars. All 3 days will feature screenings of films scored by Wars.

JUNE 4: World premiere of Marta PtaszyÒska’s new solo viola piece Elegia in Memoriam John Paul II. 33rd International Viola CongressReykjavik, Iceland. 1:00 pm.

JUNE 5: Wojciech Kocyan, piano. Recital of Chopin, Debussy, Liszt, and Scriabin. Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, 1535 Santa Barbara St. Santa Barbara, CA. 4:00 pm.

JUNE 5: Concert featuring Mei-Ting, winner of the 2005 U.S. National Chopin Piano Competition. Atlanta, GA. See abovefor more information.

JUNE 5-6: The Annual San Francisco Chopin Competition for Young Pianists. San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, CA. Concert of Winners will take place on June 6th. Information: www.infochopin.pl/en/wydarzenia.php/639/ , 415-474-2626 or 925-247-0894.

JUNE 8: Sunday Gala from Wigmore Hall. Gianluca Cascioli, piano. Music of Chopin & Mozart. Radio 3 (90-93 FM). 2:00-3:30.

JUNE 9: Krystian Zimerman, piano. Mozart, Chopin, & Ravel. Royal Festival Hall, London, UKwww.rfh.org.uk .

JUNE 9: Maurizio Pollini, piano. Music by Chopin. Performance on Radio 3: from the Royal Festival Hall, London. 7:30-9:30 p.m.

JUNE 10: A Panorama of Polish Film Music. Krzesimir DÍbski, conductor leads the Wroc≥aw Philharmonic. Concert Hall, Wroc≥aw, Poland. 7:00 pm.

JUNE 11: Concert featuring Mei-Ting, winner of the 2005 U.S. National Chopin Piano Competition. Barboursville, VA. See abovefor more information.

JUNE 12: Concert featuring Mei-Ting, winner of the 2005 U.S. National Chopin Piano Competition. Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.. See abovefor more information.

JUNE 13: Concert featuring Mei-Ting, winner of the 2005 U.S. National Chopin Piano Competition. Carnegie/Weill Recital Hall, New York, NY. See abovefor more information.

JUNE 15: Mariusz Smolij, cond. leads the Jena Philharmonic in an all-Polish program: Witold Lutos≥awski – Ma≥a Suita; Karol Szymanowski – Stabat Materop. 53; Henryk Wienawski – Concerto for Violin & Orchestra, No. 2 D-minor op. 22; Wojciech Kilar – Krzesany. Volkshaus, Carl-Zeifl-Platz 15, 07743 Jena, Germany. 8:00 pm. www.jenaonline.de.

JUNE 15: Polish pianist Tatiana Shebanova will give a Recital on the 20th Anniversary of Chopin Society in Germany. Program: Chopin and Tchaikowsky. Stadhalle OberurselTaunus, Germany. 8:00 pm.

JUNE 18-25: Szymanowski Festival. Joan Rodgers & Gweneth-Ann Jeffers, sop.; Isabelle Faust, violin; Ewa Kupiec, Christopher Glynn, Artur Pizarro & Piotr Anderszewski, pianos; Belcea Quartet. Wigmore Hall, London, UKwww.wigmore-hall.org.uk.

JUNE 19: World Premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Largo for Cello and OrchestraVienna Philharmonic, Seiji Ozawa, conductor and Mstislav Rostropovich, cello. MusikvereinVienna, Austria. 11:00 am.

JUNE 20: Performance of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Largo for Cello and OrchestraVienna Philharmonic, Seiji Ozawa, conductor and Mstislav Rostropovich, cello. MusikvereinVienna, Austria. 7:30 pm.

JUNE 25-27: Music of Chopin & Mozart. Pianists: Marc Andre Hamelin (6/25), Jonathan Gilad (6/26), and Alfredo Perl (6/27). Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert from Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh. 1-2 p.m.

JUNE 26: World Premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Symphony No. 8: Lieder der Verg‰nglichkeitLuxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey, conductor. Featuring Olga Pasichnyk (soprano), Agnieszka Rehlis (mezzo-soprano), Wojtek Drabowicz (baritone) and the EuropaChorAkademie. Tickets by invitation only.

JUNE 27: Performance of Penderecki’s Symphony No. 8: Lieder der Verg‰nglichkeitLuxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey, conductor. Featuring Olga Pasichnyk (soprano), Agnieszka Rehlis (mezzo-soprano), Wojtek Drabowicz (baritone) and the EuropaChorAkademie. Grand Auditorium, Luxembourg. 8:00 pm. Tickets: www.philharmonie.lu.

JUNE 28: Andrzej Panufnik: Sinfonia Sacra. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, cond. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, UKwww.liverpoolphil.com.


Days Of Cracow Composers

The Inaugural Concert of the 17th “International Days of Cracow Composers’ Music” took place at the Cracow Philharmonic on 15 May. The concert, in fact this year’s festival as a whole was devoted to the memory of the late Professor Marek Stachowski, Rector of the Cracow Academy of Music. The program included two of his compositions: Jubilate Deofor choir and organ (1987) and From the Book of the Night 3 for symphony orchestra (1990). The audience, albeit few in number, showed great appreciation of the performance of the two concertos by Witold Lutos≥awski: for cello and piano. The solo cello part was played by Jan Kalinowski and the pianist was Aleksandra £apta∂. The choir of the Cracow Academy of Music was prepared and directed by Lidia Matynian; the Symphony Orchestra of the Academy of Music was conducted by Wojciech Czepiel, who appeared that evening also as a composer (Sequenza for symphony orchestra).

It was possible to hear Marek Stachowski again twice more during the festival: Recitativo e la Preghiera for cello and symphony orchestra (1999) on 20 May and on 21 May, Cinq petites valses for solo piano (1997-98), Trio for clarinet, cello and piano (1990-2000) and Tastar e canzona for cello and piano (1996). In addition, on 21 May, a documentary film entitled Marek Stachowski’s Portrait was shown at the “Florianka” hall. A dozen or so world premieres took place, including Juliusz £uciuk’s Protosacrament. Meditation on the Protosource of Love for unaccompanied choir to words by John Paul II (2005) and Zbigniew Bujarski’s Elegos – Mourning Song for cello and symphony orchestra (2004-5) devoted to the memory of Marek Stachowski, as well as many Polish premieres. The 17th Days of Cracow Composers’ Music ended with a Concert to the Memory of the Holy Father John Paul II in TarnÛw on 23 May. The Cracow Branch of the Polish Composers’ Union (artistic director was Jerzy Stankiewicz) was the organizer of the festival.

Information for this article was taken from PWM website: www.pwm.com.pl.

Barbara Hendricks Sings Jazz

Soprano Barbara Hendricks has been a long-time favorite of opera lovers in Poland and around the world. But on May 25th at the Kongresowa Hall in Warsaw, Hendricks changed her tune. For the first time in Poland, Barbara Hendricks sang standards by kings of jazz: Ellington, Cole Porter and Gershwin. She was accompanied by the Magnus Lindgren Quartett.

Janaki Trio Performs Penderecki

On Friday, May 27th in the Zipper Concert Hall, the Janaki Trio performed the String Trio (1990) of Krzysztof Penderecki. Coached by UCLA and Colburn faculty member Paul Coletti, the members of the Janaki Trio study at the Colburn Conservatory of Music. Violinist Serena Mckinney studies with Robert Lipsett, violist Katie Kadarauch with Paul Coletti, and cellist Arnold Choi with Ronald Leonard. Next season, the Janaki Trio will appear on the “Sundays At Two” recital series in Beverly Hills and the “Previews” at Trinity Lutheran in Manhattan Beach. “Sundays At Two” was established in March 1994 as a monthly showcase for gifted young musicians (aged 12-28) that seeks to revive the art of the instrumental recital and to provide, through a professional engagement, an opportunity for performance and recognition. Since 2001, the recitals also have been presented on previous Saturdays as the “Previews” in Manhattan Beach at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Wroc£aw Phil in the U.S.

by Wanda Wilk

The Wroclaw Philharmonic made big news on the east coast during their first tour to the U.S. It is celebrating the 50th anniversary as the official “new” symphony orchestra of the city of Wroc≥aw (Breslau or Wratislavia) located in the North-Western part of Poland. The orchestra started its tour on April 21st in Philadelphia, continuing on to Trenton, NJ, then to New York to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Lincoln Center and ending in Goshen, Indiana on the 26th.

During this tour, the orchestra was conducted by Mariusz Smolij, who selected a program of Polish repertoire: Lutos≥awski’s Little Suite; Songs by Szymanowski for soloist and orchestra; Chopin’s First Piano Concerto and a Polonaise arranged for orchestra by Grzegorz Fitelberg ; Tchaikovsky’s Polish Symphony and Wojciech Kilar’s Missa pro pace. The Mass was performed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral with two choirs, the Cathedral Choir and the Paderewski Festival Singers, organized and prepared by Janusz Sporek, artist and prolific Polish concert producer in New York.

I am grateful to my friend Walter Lasinski of Cranford, N.J. for sending me concert programs and newspaper reviews. According to the program notes, “Kilar’s Missa pro pace, composed in 2000 to honor the 100th anniversary of the Warsaw Philharmonic, was performed at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II on December 7, 200l, serving, in effect, as an homage to peace following the terrorist attacks of September 11.” The Holy Father said after the concert, “A majestic simplicity, beautifully rooted in the Christian tradition, and a sound reflecting the Polish spirit that has blossomed from it, combine to make this a work that not only affords aesthetic impressions, but can release deeply religious experiences.” At a later date Pope John Paul II recalled, “I said that with utter conviction. It is a very beautiful mass.” James Oestreich of the New York Times called the performance at St. Patrick’s Cathedral “perfectly timed” and agreed with the late Pope John Paul II’s assessment of it as a “very beautiful mass.”

Willa Conrad pointed out in the Star-Ledger of Newark, NJ that “smaller ensembles rarely get to travel internationally.” (The Wroc≥aw Philharmonic has 60 members). According to her there are 20 full-time orchestras in Poland. Most of us are familiar with the Warsaw National Philharmonic and the Polish Radio & TV Orchestra of Katowice. She also wrote that the concerts are a “double bonus for New Jersey audiences” because of Mariusz Smolij’s role as conductor. “Smolij, 42, who since 1996 has been music director of the Riverside Symphonia in Lambertville. Smolij was also, in the mid- 90s, an assistant conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.” She tells us more about the conductor who left Poland about 20 years ago. He is a violinist who holds a doctorate degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. I can only add that Mr. Smolij visited the Polish Music Center years ago when he was the recipient of a special conducting fellowship established by composer Marta PtaszyÒska and violinist Hanna Lachert of NY. I was quite impressed with him at that time.

There is also a lengthy article in Nowy Dziennik written in Polish by Eløbieta Sitek. It gives a full chronological history of the orchestra, which in reality started as early as 1861, when Leopold Damrosch performed with a 70-member group of musicians in Wroc≥aw. Ms. Sitek follows the evolvement from Schlesiches Landesorchester to Schleisische Philharmonic to Polish Wroc≥aw’s “first Philharmonic” in 1945 and finally to a completely “new” Wroc≥aw Philharmonic in 1954, organized by Radomir Reszke and Wojciech Dzieduszycki. She fills in the article with names of artists and famous conductors associated with the orchestra, such as, Stanis≥aw Skrowaczewski, Kazimierz Wi≥komirski, Stanislaw Szpinalski, Boles≥aw Woytowicz, Stanis≥aw Wislocki, Andrzej Panufnik, Halina Czerny-Stefanska, Witold Malcuzynski, Bella Dawidowicz, Bernard Ringeissen, etc… all great names.

However, the most intriguing part of her article was the program listing of the Inaugural Jubilee concert of the 2004-2005 season in Wroc≥aw: A Fanfare for the Wroc≥aw Philharmonic by Krzysztof Meyer to open, followed by Wieniawski’s Second Violin Concerto and finally Marta PtaszyÒska’s Sinfonia Wratislavia. PtaszyÒska, a Polish composer now living in Chicago, spent her childhood years in Wroc≥aw and has very special memories. She wrote it as a sort of concerto grosso to match the virtuoso possibilities of the orchestra members. It was especially noteworthy for its very effective presentation of percussion instruments, particularly, the marimba. We can remember that PtaszyÒska is herself a virtuoso percussion artist, so this comes as no surprise. Now that the Wroc≥aw Philharmonic has had its first tour, surely there will be more to follow. We wish them and conductor Mariusz Smolij continued success!

Pride Of Poland

The dazzling Canadian Premiere-Gala Concert }The Pride of Poland” took the Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto by storm on April 3. Thisthrilling concert featured world famous compositions by W.Kilar, S.Moniuszko, G.Verdi, E.Elgar and was performed by folk musicians from Chicago and the Toronto Celebrity Symphony Orchestra and distinguished soloists from the National Opera in Warsaw Ryszard Wroblewski (tenor), Zbigniew Macias (baritone), Mira SojkañTopor (soprano), all conducted by Andrew Rozbicki.

The “Pride of Poland” featured the Canadian Premiere of Krzesany written by Wojciech Kilar, a majestic and incredibly memorable piece written for a large orchestra accompanied by a full “Wielka Kapela Goralska” group of 60 Polish folk musicians, comprised of the “Mountain Eagles – Chicago” (Andrzej Krzeptowski-Bohac, director) and “Swarni -Toronto” (Andrzej Pitek, director). This talented group of musicians created a magnificent sound that reverberated throughout the concert hall and in audience’s ears long after the music stopped.


Polish Radio Archive On Altara

Altara is a dynamic new recording label committed to producing high quality classical CDs. Altara will offer a broad repertoire of classical music, including piano concertos, cello sonatas, solo recitals, chamber music and choral works, performed by a variety of talented contemporary artists for a wide-ranging modern audience.

The Polish Radio archive is a national treasure, containing many thousands of recordings of artists who have performed in Poland, both live and in studio recordings. Under communist rule, it was not permitted to release recordings outside Poland. Altara music has now negotiated exclusive rights outside Poland for a number of famous recordings from the Polish Radio Archive. World-famous artists include, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Artur Rubinstein, Sviatoslav Richter, Witold Rowicki and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. With new technology, it is possible to remaster the old recordings to a much higher quality than before, and to recapture some of the “magic” of old style performers. These archive recordings, many live in concert, represent the artists at their peak.

Two of the first releases from the Polish Radio Archive are:

  • Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli – The Warsaw Recital, 1955
  • Witold Rowicki & Warsaw Philharmonic – Brahms Symphonies
    (This recording was issued in co-operation with Polskie Nagrania, www.polskienagrania.com.pl)

See the Altara catalogue for more information and to purchase.

35 Years Ago In Russia…

June 2005 marks the 35th Anniversary of the IV INTERNATIONAL TCHAIKOVSKY COMPETITION (Moscow-1970), in which Mr. Vincent Skowronski of Illinois represented the United States of America. The below is a synopsized, true to fact accounting of Mr. Skowronski’s participation, as reported by Frank Starr (Chief of the Moscow Bureau of the Chicago Tribune Press Service) in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, June 21, 1970, p. 7/sec.1.

Moscow, June 20 – The Tchaikovsky Competition is a festival of a hundred untold dramas. The experience of VINCENT P. SKOWRONSKI is one of them. SKOWRONSKI, 26, is a violinist from Evanston and teacher at Northwestern University, School of Music. He won the 1965 Chicagoland Music Festival competition. He also won a personal victory in Moscow although he was eliminated in the first round of the competition. Skowronski had to take a chance—a big one—for the rare opportunity to play before the elite panel of 20 judges including David Oistrakh, Efrem Zimbalist, Sr., Joseph Szigeti and Leonid Kogan. He had to break competition rules and play from music.

ALLOWED TO PLAY: “They [judges] could have disqualified me from the start, but they didn’t,” he said. “They let me finish. In that respect they were most fair, cordial and understanding. Believe me, I’m really thrilled and satisfied.” Skowronski received a big setback when a doctor told him recently that a cyst under his chin must be removed and that he should not play for at least two months to allow his chin to heal fully. The cyst was removed a month ago.

DECIDED TO COMPETE: He would have been a few months too old to compete in the next Tchaikovsky in 1974, so Skowronski made his decision. He would not miss this opportunity even if it meant his using the music. He would take the chance. “Instead of worrying about performing well, I worried about performing at all,” he said. There was a big unison gasp from the audience when he came out on stage with his music stand. “I stalled and stalled, tuning my fiddle, waiting for somebody to stop me, but nothing happened,” he said. “I plunged into the Bach [Adagio and Fugue from the G Minor Sonata] expecting a gong to sound at any minute or a trap door to open.”

PLAYED SECOND NUMBER: “I finished and the audience applauded. I stalled some more and nothing happened, so I played the first movement of Mozart’s Concerto No. 4 in D Major (really not thinking about the music). Then came the voice. “Mr. Skowronski, do you know the rules of the contest?” asked an interpreter. There was silence in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory while Skowronski explained. Jury chairman David Oistrakh considered the question. Then he gave the word that Skowronski should continue with two Paganini Caprices and the Tchaikovsky Waltz Scherzo. “I did not come to win but to play,” Skowronski said later. “I am grateful for the opportunity.”

STANDARDS ARE HIGH: The standards are high and the competition fierce. The Soviet musicians are the ones to beat. Carefully screened in previous contests for the right to compete in this one, many of them are pupils of members of the jury.



Born This Month

  • June 1, 1909 – Maria DZIEWULSKA, composer and theoretician
  • June 4, 1845 – Aleksander POLI—SKI, music historian (d. 1916)
  • June 4, 1784 – Adam CZARNOCKI, music ethnographer (d. 1825)
  • June 5, 1865 – Felicjan SZOPSKI, composer and music critic (d. 1939)
  • June 6, 1929 – Bogus≥aw SCHAEFFER, composer, writer
  • June 12, 1897 – Aleksander TANSMAN, composer and pianist,
  • June 16, 1923 – Henryk CZYØ, conductor and composer
  • June 17, 1930 – Romuald TWARDOWSKI, composer
  • June 28, 1895 – Kazimierz SIKORSKI, composer and teacher
  • June 28, 1904 – W≥odzimierz PO¨NIAK, musicologist


Died This Month

  • June 1, 1869 – Jozef DULEBA, pianist and participant of January Uprising, died in a duel (b. 1843)
  • June 3, 1904 – Daniel FILLEBORN, singer and performer of main parts in Moniuszko’s operas (b. 1841)
  • June 4, 1872 – Stanis≥aw MONIUSZKO (Father of Polish National opera, b. 5 May 1819)
  • June 5, 1964 – Henryk SZTOMPKA, pianist, Chopin specialist, teacher
  • June 9, 1932 – Natalia JANOTHA, pianist and composer, student of Clara Wieck-Schumann, Royal Pianist in London, 400 opus numbers (b. 1856)
  • June 10, 1953 – Grzegorz FITELBERG, conductor, composer, great promoter of new music, esp. Szymanowski (b. 1879)
  • June 28, 1938 – Ludwik DRZEWIECKI, pianist and father of Zbigniew Drzewiecki
  • June 29, 1945 – Kazimierz GARBUSI—SKI, pianist, organist, composer
  • June 30, 1957 – Micha≥ ¶WIERZY—SKI, composer and choral conductor