Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 14, no. 9

Birthday Celebrations

Krauze Anniversary

Zygmunt Krauze with Wanda Wilk

Zygmunt Krauze will celebrate his seventieth birthday on September 19, 2008. This distinguished Polish composer and pianist has firmly established himself as a highly original voice in contemporary Polish Music. Krauze’s artistic education began with studies of piano with Maria Wiłkomirska and of composition with Kazimierz Sikorski. After graduating from the Chopin Academy in Warsaw in 1964, Krauze spent a year in Paris studying with Nadia Boulanger. In the late 1960s Krauze founded the Warsaw Music Workshop, a contemporary music ensemble that he also directed for over twenty years. To this day Zygmunt Krauze maintains an active career as solo pianist and composer, with numerous performances all over the world, including Autumne de Paris, Holland Festival, ISCM World Music Days and the Warsaw Autumn Festivals. Zygmunt Krauze has received commissions from the Ministry of Culture in Poland, Österreichischer Rundfunk, Westdeutscher Rundfunk and Südwestfunk Radio, Gulbenkian Foundation, Ministère de la Culture and Radio France, and Polish Radio. Zygmunt Krauze is a renowned opera composer, whose stage works have been produced by the Hamburg Staatsoper, Théâtre National de la Colline in Paris, Nationaltheater Mannheim, as well as the Warsaw Chamber Opera and the Grand Opera Theater. In 1984 Mr. Krauze was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and, among his many international awards and distinctions he has received the Prize of the Polish Composers Union (1988), Poland’s Ministry of Culture Prize (1989), the Chopin Gold Medal from the Chopin Foundation (1994), the Golden Cross of Merit of Poland (2004) and the Annual Prize of the Polish Ministry of Culture (2005). In 1999 Mr. Krauze was elected an honorary member of the International Society for Contemporary Music, and in February 2008 he was decorated with the order of Légion d’honneur for his outstanding contributions to French culture.

Zygmunt Krauze is primarily known as a composer of “unistic music,” inspired by the paintings of Władysław Strzemiński (1893 – 1952). Like the avant-garde canvasses of Strzemiński, the atmosphere of Krauze’s unistic compositions perfected during the 1970s and the 1980s feature little contrast and conflict, allowing the listener to feel the mood of the piece right from the beginning. Musical form—another important aspect in Krauze’s compositions—is also treated as a reflection of the infinite. According to Krauze’s own description, “form without contrast represents the spatial aspect of music that has no clear beginning or ending. This type of music can be of any length, and can be stopped at any time without affecting its basic qualities. Such musical form opens up new possibilities of perception: ideally this music could be continuous and await its listener, who could come and leave at any time that is convenient. This arrangement is possible only in a totally different type of concert spaces that need to be developed in collaboration with architects.”1

Stage music constitutes an important part of Zygmunt Krauze’s opus. During the 1980s, he collaborated in Paris with the theater director, Jorge Lavelli, on several productions at the Comedie-française and Theatre National de la Colline. Krauze’s fascination with stage led directly to his composing of operas, Gwiazda [The Star] in 1981, Balthazar (2001), and Iwona Księżniczka Burgunda [Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy] in 2004, based on librettos by such great Polish authors as Stanisław Wyspiański and Witold Gombrowicz. Iwona, premiered in Warsaw on 29 September 2006, was recorded by Polish TV in April of 2008. Krauze’s latest opera, Polyectus, is scheduled for premiere in Spring 2009.

For the past two decades Zygmunt Krauze has continued to travel far and wide—from Europe to Asia, South America and North America, giving concerts, lectures, masterclasses, and participating in various competition juries. Audiences in Southern California had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Krauze at Newman Recital Hall in May of 2002, when he inaugurated the Paderewski Lecture-Recital Series organized by the Polish Music Center. As we wish Zygmunt Krauze a Happy Birthday, we also hope to experience the pleasure of hearing his music live once again and soon!


Adapted from Zygmunt Krauze’s website at: http://www.zygmuntkrauze.com/o_mojej_muzyce.htm

Penderecki Anniversary

On Saturday, September 13th, Sinfonia Varsovia will present its Concert on the 75th Anniversary of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Birth in the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio. Krzysztof Penderecki was born on November 23,1933, and serves as the Artistic Director for Sinfonia Varsovia. He will conduct this concert in his honor, and Aleksander Laskowski will serve as the master of ceremonies.  The program will feature Dvořák’s Legends, op.59, Penderecki’s Flute concerto (with flautist Łukasz Długosz as soloist), and Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony No.3 in A minor,  Op.56.

Saturday, September 13, 7:00 p.m.

Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio
ul.Woronicza 17, Warsaw
Free tickets can be picked up at the Palace of Culture and Science, 9nd floor, room No.906
tel. (48) 22 582 70 91, (48) 22 824 09 40

This concert is a part of the “Sinfonia Varsovia for their City” Festival – for more information about it, please see our Festivals section. For a full listing of concerts featuring Krzysztof Penderecki’s music in September, please visit: www.schott-music.com/shop/persons/featured/14696/performances/.


Warsaw Autumnn Festival

The 51st “Warsaw Autumn” International Festival of Contemporary Music will take place in Warsaw between September 19 and 27. This year’s edition is in great part dedicated to the music of Spanish, Portugese and Latin American composers.

Two separate programs of chamber and symphonic music by Spanish and Polish composers will be presented by the Radio and Television Orchestra of Madrid under the baton of Arturo Tamayo. Also invited are the Barcelona 216 and Plural ensembles from Madrid and the Sond’ Ar-te Electric ensemble, a group that fuses instrumental and electronic music, from Lisbon. Appearing for the first time in Poland is  Huelva-born cantaor Arcángel, one of the world’s most famous flamenco singers.  He will be the soloist in the inaugural concert performing Mauricio Sotelo’s orchestral work, Si despues de morir. Mauricio Sotelo and Jose Maria Sánchez-Verdú are the featured personalities of this year’s Festival.  Both are original artists, who combine contemporary sound language with tradition of flamenco, Arab, Jewish, and Iberian music. Sánchez-Verdú will present Maqbara, a composition written for orchestra and the voice of Marcel Pérès, singing in the mos-arabic style. Maqbara will be performed during the final concert of the festival.

There will be other unusual and interesting performances, such as a soccer match (Mexico – Brazil from the 1999 FIFA Cup) recreated using the sounds of the orchestra (by Inguesu Enrico Chapeli during the inaugural concert), and an installation created by Andrea Pensado and Greg Kowalski Pamięć zwierciadła [The Memory of the Mirror], in which every visiting patron will be able to create their own audio-visual piece using a laser remote control. Another unusual performance will be by project “Kwartludium and beat boxers,” a string quartet specializing in contemporary concert music, featuring Tik-Tak and Zgas as soloists, during the program of music by young Polish, Argentinean and Mexican composers.

To celebrate the 80th birthday of  the recently deceased composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, there will be performances of Cosmic Pulses, an electronic music composition of great impact, and Michaels Reise from the opera Donnerstag. Another outstanding venture in honor of Stockhausen will be the performance of the orchestral version of Hymnen. This work, written in the latter part of the ’60’s, uses national anthems of over 100 countries to create a visionary composition. This version of Hymnen will be prepared during the ten-day music workshop held by the European Workshop for Contemporary Music, an orchestra of young Polish and German musicians, under the patronage of “Warsaw Autumn” and the German Music Board. The workshop will be led by the conductor Pedro Amaral, the electronics will be realized by Bryan Wolf – both are considered specialists of Stockhausen’s music. After the Festival performance, Hymnen will be performed by the same ensemble in Milan, Italy and Pforzheim, Germany.

Per “Warsaw Autumn” tradition, there also will be world premieres of works commissioned by the Festival. A new large scale orchestral work by Paweł Szymański will be presented alongside the works of young Polish and Latin American composers.

The artists taking part in this year’s festival include: the Warsaw National Philharmonic (conducted by Krzysztof Urbański) and the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra from Katowice (conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk). Also appearing: MusikFabrik from Cologne, Seattle Chamber Players, Sonic Art Quartett (a saxophone quartet) from Berlin, and Aleph Gitarrenquartett from Berlin. World class violist Tabea Zimmermann will perform as well.

For more information about the festival and a detailed program and artist information, please visit www.warszawska-jesien.art.pl/08.

[Source: Polish Music Information Centre]

Kilar Premiere

The world premiere of Wojciech Kilar’s Veni Creator for choir and string orchestra will take place on September 13th during the World Expo in Saragossa, Spain. The premiere will be a part of a film music concert titled “Rękopis znaleziony w Saragossie” [A manuscript found in Saragossa], prepared as part of the Polish presentation. In addition to Veni Creator, the program includes excerpts from Coppola’s Dracula and works by Penderecki and Roque Bańos. The concert will be performed by Aukso Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Marek Moś, with the Camerata Silesia Choir. The World Expo started on June 14 and will close on September 14.

[Source: muzyka.onet.pl]

Call For Papers: Polish Music Since 1945

An international conference on “Polish Music since 1945” will be hosted by the Music Department of Canterbury Christ Church University – England, from Thursday 30 April to Saturday 2 May 2009. This is the first international conference on Polish Music organized by a British University, and will coincide with and augment the long-established Sounds New Music Festival, based in Canterbury. The 2009 festival will focus on and celebrate contemporary Polish music. Krzysztof Penderecki will be in residence during the festival, and one of the many highlights will feature this renowned composer conducting his St Luke Passion in Canterbury Cathedral. He will also participate in the conference. The conference key-note address will be delivered by Professor Adrian Thomas of Cardiff University.

The conference aims to bring together scholars, composers and performers with interests in post-war Polish music. A wide range of contributions will be considered, including: paper presentations (20 minutes, plus 10 minutes question time); lecture recitals (40 minutes to 1 hour maximum, including question time); and panel sessions (1 hour, with no more than four papers, including question time).

Proposals are invited on topics that address specific compositional and/or analytical aspects of individual composers, repertoires, genres, styles and performance practice. Papers that are more historical or sociological in nature are also welcome, as are those dealing with the broader contexts within which contemporary Polish music has evolved. Possible themes might include, but are not limited to:

Compositional practice of Polish composers, such as Penderecki, Górecki, Lutosławski and Panufnik, among many others

  • Polish film music
  • Jazz, popular and ‘world’ music in Poland
  • Music, politics and identity in the Soviet and post-Soviet eras
  • The global influence of Polish music

The official language of the conference will be English. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is Friday 31 October 2008. Successful contributors will be notified via email by late November 2008. Abstracts should be submitted via email (preferably as plain text – only attachments in .rtf format will be accepted) to the conference organizer, Dr. Eva Mantzourani at: eva.mantzourani@canterbury.ac.uk. Postal correspondence should be addressed to: Dr. Eva Mantzourani, Department of Music, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, CT1 1QU, United Kingdom. For updates and further details visit the conference website: www.cccupolishmusicconference.org.uk

Blechacz Admired In Salzburg

The audience of the piano recital performed by Rafał Blechacz during the Salzburg Music Festival gave the pianist a fifteen-minute standing ovation. Three years after winning the Chopin Competition Blechacz appeared at the festival in the company of such piano stars as Lang Lang, Alfred Brendel, Grigorij Sokolov, Maurizio Pollini and Krystian Zimmerman. Blechacz performed Bach, Liszt and Chopin, of course. The organizers of the festival did not approve Szymanowski’s Mazurkas, which Blechacz had planned to perform.

This attention on Blechacz was deepened by the pending debut of his second solo CD on Deutsche Grammophon, which consists of piano sonatas by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. The worldwide release of the CD is planned for October 3, the same day Bechacz will be performing with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. His third CD for Deutsche Grammophon, scheduled for release in March 2010, will feature both Chopin Piano Concertos, in celebration of the Chopin Year 2010.

Paraphrased from Jacek Marczyński 17-08-2008, “Rzeczpospolita”

[Source: polmic.pl]

Nowak Joins RPO

Maestro Grzegorz Nowak has been officially appointed as the Principal Associate Conductor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.  In addition to his internationally acclaimed conducting career, Grzegorz Nowak has held the position of Music Director for orchestras and opera companies in the USA, Switzerland, Canada, Poland and Germany, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Polish National Opera, SWR Radio Orchestra in Germany, Sinfonia Helvetica and the Musique and Amitié Festival in Switzerland. To learn more about the conductor and the orchestra, please visit: www.rpo.co.uk/rpo_conductors.php.

Baird Competition Final Concert

The final concert of the 49th Tadeusz Baird Composer’s Competition will take place on September 11 in Elsner Concert Hall of the Dziekanka dormitory of the Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw. Six compositions that were selected during the previous round of the competition will be performed (composer’s names are not provided until the winners are chosen, as this is a blind competition):

  • Phrases for oboe solo
  • e-motion: e-mission: evaporation for viola solo
  • Turmalin for harp solo
  • Sonata in g for oboe
  • Drei Formen for viola
  • Three Glances at the Music for oboe

The compositions will be performed by Zofia Dowgiałło – harp, Piotr Reichert – viola, Tytus Wojnowicz – oboe and Filip Woźniakowski – oboe. After hearing the compositions, the jury consisting of Maciej Małecki (chairman), Zbigniew Bargielski, Stefan Kamasa, Jan Oleszkowicz, Mariusz Pędziałek and Anna Sikorzak-Olek will announce the winners.

[Source: polmic.pl]

Penderecki At Proms

2008 marks the 114th year of London’s “Proms” summer concert series (now run by the BBC), and it still remains true to its original aim: to present the widest possible range of music, performed to the highest standards, to large audiences.  This year’s Proms began on July 18 and will continue through September 13.

The traditional annual performance of Beethoven’s “Choral” Symphony No. 9 at the Proms falls to the BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda, whose Beethoven cycle in 2005 won glowing plaudits. The spiritually shimmering Prelude to Act 1 of Wagner’s opera Parsifalleads to Penderecki’s moving memorial to the victims of Hiroshima (Threnody For the Victims of Hiroshima), before Beethoven’s rarely heard Elegiac Song, written in 1814 for a friend whose wife had died in childbirth. This Prom concert No. 75 tells a tale of the emotional fallout of spiritual searching, then of man’s inhumanity to man, and finally of a poignant, personal farewell that Beethoven’s life-affirming Ninth Symphony rises, with the universal human message of its “Ode to Joy.”

Friday 12 September, 7.30pm
Prom No. 75
Royal Albert Hall: Kensington Gardens, London, UK

Marcella Sembrich Postmark

During the month of August, the Marcella Sembrich Memorial Association and the USPS joined forces to bring awareness to the legacy of Marcella Sembrich, during this 150th anniversary “Year of Sembrich.” This came in the form of a pictorial postmark, cachet envelopes and postcards, which were available for a limited time. The Association hopes to stimulate interest in the life of this great opera star, as well as encourage locals and tourists to visit the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum at 4800 Lake Shore Drive in Bolton Landing.  For more information, please contact the Museum by phone, 518-644-2431 (o) or 518-644-9839 (m), or by email: sembrich@verizon.net.

[Source: www.poststar.com]

Szot In The Spotlight

Although singer Paulo Szot was born in Brazil, at 18 he returned to the homeland of his parents on a scholarship from the Polish government to study dance and music at the Uniwersytet Jagielloński in Kraków.  When injury ended his professional dancing career, he changed his focus and graduated as an opera singer, and has since had a successful career in Poland, Brazil, and worldwide.

Now this opera singer has set his sights on the musical theater stage, and his success continues there. His participation in the Lincoln Center’s revival of South Pacific won him the 2008 Tony Award for the “Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical” on June 15th. The production as a whole also won “Best Revival of a Musical,” “Best Direction of a Musical” (Bartlett Sher), “Best Scenic Design of a Musical,” “Best Costume Design of a Musical,” “Best Lighting Design of a Musical,” and “Best Sound Design of a Musical.”  This revival production will continue to run at the Lincoln Center through the end of the 2008/2009 season.

If you would like to learn more, Paulo Szot recently discussed his career and his involvement with South Pacific in an interview with Theater Mania.

Jopek At The Hollywood Bowl

Polish pop-jazz singer, Anna Maria Jopek, will perform at the Hollywood Bowl on September 3rd, in a concert entitled “Bossa Nova at 50.” She will share the stage with such musical greats as Oscar Castro-Neves, Eliane Elias, Ivan Lins, Marisol Montalvo, Kenny Rankin, Maria Rita and conductor/composer/arranger Vince Mendoza.

Anna Maria Jopek is a graduate of the Warsaw Music Academy and Manhattan School of Music. She has recorded over 10 albums, several of which have gained her international acclaim. Her biggest success was an album recorded with guitarist Pat Metheny in 2002, entitled Upojenie. For information about the artists, location and to buy tickets please visit the official Hollywood Bowl website.

Wednesday, September 3, 8:00 PM
“Bossa Nova at 50″ featuring Anna Maria Jopek
Hollywood Bowl: 2301 North Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA

[Source: wiadomosci.polska.pl]

Lutosławski At Piano Spheres

For the opening recital of Piano Spheres’ fifteenth season, pianist Gloria Cheng offers selections from her newly-released CD of works by Esa-Pekka Salonen (Dichotomie), Steven Stucky (Three Little Variations for David), and Witold Lutoslawski (Piano Sonata). Her program also features a world premiere by Irish composer Gerald Barry (Le Vieux Sourd), and Charles Ives’ The Alcotts, from Piano Sonata No. 2, “Concord, Mass., 1840-1860.”

Later in the season, more Polish music will be highlighted by Piano Spheres founding member and friend of the Polish Music Center, Susan Svrček.  On March 17, 2009, Ms. Svrček will present a recital featuring Witold Lutoslawski’s Folk Melodies and Krzesimir Debski’s Organismi.

September 30, 8:00 pm
Piano Spheres opening concert, featuring Gloria Cheng
Zipper Concert Hall: 200 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone for Piano Spheres: 323.692.8075

Grella-Mozejko Improvizations

Polish-Canadian composer and pianist Piotr Grella-Mozejko and his Edmonton Improvisatory Collective will perform in the “Colors and Reflection” concert at the Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre in Edmonton, Canada on Friday, September 5th. The eighth in the Edmonton Creative Musician’s Collective series entitled Explorations, “Colors and Reflection” adopts a more classical orientation towards improvised-creative music. The concert will include dance, composition, orchestration, improvisation, electroacoustics, extended techniques, and jazz improvisation.

The first set of the evening will feature the Edmonton Improvisatory Collective (Piotr Grella-Mozejko, Gerry Morita, Charles Stolte, and Jerry Ozipko), followed by clarinettist-composer Don Ross and his work Borrowed Love Poems, using electroacoustics and live dance by Eryn Tempest, and concluding with a freely improvised dance-groove work featuring Tempest, with pianist Glen Halls and percussionist Bob Fenske. Set Two will present the inaugural performance of the new Edmonton Art Ensemble, a 10 member mixed ensemble created and directed by Dr. Glen Halls. The Art Ensemble will be premiering four new works by Edmonton composers on this night: A flight of Amnesia by Don Ross, Short Ones-Long Ones by Thom Golub, Untilted #4 by William Jamieson, and Cleo’s Lullaby by Glen Halls. This concert series is funded in part by an Explorations grant from the Edmonton Cultural Capital Program.


Friday, September 05, 7:00 PM
“Colors and Reflection” featuring Piotr Grella-Mozejko
Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre: 7 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton, Canada

Dylla On Tour

Having already won 17 first prizes in competitions around the world, Polish guitarist Marcin Dylla went on to win the 2007 Guitar Foundation of America International Competition, which has earned him a tour of the United States, Canada, and Mexico during Fall of 2008 and Spring of 2009, as well as a recording contract with NAXOS International.  During his tour, Dylla is performing concerts and masterclasses in fifty different cities.

The concert program for this tour includes: Manuel M. Ponce (1882-1948) – Sonata Romantica (Hommage to F. Schubert); Nicholas Maw (b. 1935) – Music of Memory; Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) – Rossiniana No. 1, Op. 119;  Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986) – Variations on a Theme by Scriabin; and Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999) – Sonata Giocosa.

For a full schedule of the tour, visit: www.guitarfoundation.org/drupal/tour/schedule. For a review of his first tour stop in Alexandria, VA, please see the August Newsletter.

Kolakowski In NY

The Polish Cultural Institute and Jazz Standard in New York are joining forces to present a special duo performance by veteran saxophonist Dave Liebman and Polish jazz piano prodigy Mateusz Kolakowski. Liebman has established his impeccable creative credentials both as a leader/recording artist and as a key sideman with the bands of Miles Davis and Elvin Jones. A working musician since the age of thirteen, in 2007 Mateusz Kolakowski (now 21) released the astounding solo piano album, Ad Libitum – 1st Warsaw Jazz Concert. “He uses his classical technique to soar through wild improvisations without orbiting away from the jazz values that were apparent when he was barely into his teens,” wrote the venerable jazz critic Doug Ramsey. “…If Kolakowski’s development continues at the pace and depth of the past few years, he is on his way to becoming a major pianist.”

(9:30 PM set by invitation only)
Jazz Standard 
116 East 27th St., New York, NY 10016

[Source: Polish Cultural Institute website]

Chopin Museum Design

On July 31st the results of the international competition for the Chopin exposition concept were announced in the Sofitel Victoria Hotel in Warsaw. The competition was organized by the Chopin Institute in Warsaw and the jury consisted of Irena Poniatowska (chair), Andrzej Wajda, Boris Kudlicka, and Simon K. Posch. The competition attracted 32 projects, 11 of which were from Poland and the remaining 21 from Austria, Denmark, Grece, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, Great Britain and Germany. The first prize was awarded to Migliore + Servetto Architetti Associati from Milan, Italy. Second prize went to the Polish Govenlock Project Studio from Warsaw. There were two honorary mentions for Progetto Media SRL from Milan and Holzer Kobler Architekturen GmbH from Zurich, Switzerland.

To see the Italian vision for the exposition please download this pdf file (you will need Acrobat Reader to view the file).

[Source: Polish Music Information Centre]

New Tome For Opera Fans

1001 Operas, a book by Piotr Kamiński, finally will be released in Poland this October, five years after it was first published in France. Kamiński’s two volume book is the most complete opera lexicon in Europe, covering over 230 composers, and including original titles and synopses of the works. In addition it tells the history of the compositions, gives historical background and chronology of world premieres, and includes recommendations for recordings. It is very uncommon for one author to accomplish such a huge task, but Piotr Kamiński completed two volumes himself, lending uniformity of opinion to the views expressed. The book will be published by PWM.

[Source: www.pwm.com.pl]

400 Years Of Poles In America

The European Academy of Music and Art, Inc., in cooperation with the International Club of DC presents a solo piano concert dedicated to “The Celebration of 400 Years of First Polish Settlements in America.”  This concert features Jeffrey Ly, the 13 year-old prodigy student of Dr. Bella E. Oster, in an all-Chopin program.

Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m.
Concert in Celebration of 400 Years of First Polish Settlements in America
Embassy of the Republic of Poland: 2640 16th St., NW, Washington, D.C.
Tickets: www.InternationalClubDC.com
Questions: alexoster@comcast.net, (301) 421-0960 or (301) 362-3633


ZKP Honorary Awards

The Polish Composer’s Union [ZKP] announced the recipients of its Honorary ZKP Award on July 23, 2008. There are four winners this year:

The awards will be presented on September 24, 2008, at the Society of Art Historians in Warsaw.

[Source: Polish Music Information Centre]

Beethoven Festival Nominated

The Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, held annually in Warsaw during Holy Week, was nominated for a “Grand Pinnacle” award of the International Festivals and Events Association. This year the award will be given in 61 categories and the Beethoven festival is nominated in 10 of them, including the “IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Award.” There were 3,300 worldwide events applying for the selection and the Beethoven Festival is the first Polish event to get a nomination. The award ceremony will take place in Boise, Idaho on September 10th.

The first Beethoven Easter Festival took place in 1997 in Kraków.  Elżbieta Penderecka, the wife of Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, has served as the festival’s director since its inception. The festival became a member of European Festival Association in 2001 and, since 2004 it has taken place in Warsaw. To find out more about the festival please visit www.beethoven.org.pl.

[Source: www.onet.pl]

Mykietyn’s Film Music

The Polish film 33 sceny z Życia [33 Scenes From Life], directed by Małgorzata Szumowska ,was awarded the Special Jury Award at the 61st International Film Festival in Locarno, Italy. This is one of the few successes of Polish cinema on the international stage in the recent years. The movie was also very well received by audience members and critics. The score was composed by Paweł Mykietyn and, in addition to original music, features fragments of his 2nd Symphony. The Polish premiere of the film will take place during the Feature Film Festival in Gdynia between September 15 and 20, 2008.

[Source: www.pwm.com.pl]


Sinfonia Varsovia For Their City

The “Sinfonia Varsovia For Their City” Festival in memoriam Franciszek Wybrańczyk will take place in Warsaw for the eighth time between September 1 and 14. Named in 2007 for the creator and first director of the festival and a long time director of the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra, this festival presents world class music and musicians in several landmark venues around Warsaw. This year will include six concerts featuring such great conductors as Marc Minkowski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Jacek Kaspszyk, and Wojciech Rodek.

This year’s inaugural concert (September 1st) honored the 69th anniversary of WWII. The evening’s program, focused primarily on German and Polish musicians, included Anton Bruckner’s Symphony in D minor “Nullte,” Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo Hebraic Rhapsody for cello and orchestra, and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Symphony No.3 Op.36 “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” for soprano and orchestra. The soloists were Marita Solberg, soprano, and Sonia Wieder-Atherton, cello.  Marc Minkowski, Sinfonia Varsovia’s newly appointed Music Director who is of French birth and Polish heritage, conducted the ensemble and Aleksander Laskowski served as master of ceremonies.  According to Michał Kubicki of Polskie Radio, “For Marc Minkowski, Gorecki’s Third Symphony was not the first venture into the Polish repertoire: ‘I like many Polish composers and am now discovering the whole world of Polish music, Moniuszko, Chopin of course, Penderecki, Szymanowski, Karłowicz, as well as Aleksander Tansman. Górecki’s Third Symphony which we perform in Warsaw now is for me a religious meditation, very Polish in its spirit.’” To hear a recording from this concert, visit the Polskie Radio website.

Admission to all concerts of the Festival is free. To see a detailed program of the festival please visit the Sinfonia Varsovia website.

[Sources: Polish Music Information CentrePolskie Radio]

Wratislavia Cantans

The 43rd edition of the Wratislavia Cantans festival will start on September 4 and conclude on Septermber 14 in Wrocław and 19 other cities of the Lower Silesia region. The program of the festival is very full – many days include mutliple concerts, some being performed concurrently in different venues. Visit the program of the festival to see what is available. Highlights include performances of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius and Britten’s War Requiem, as well as performances by the Gabrieli Consort & Players, the King’s Singers, and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. The festival will also host a world premiere of Paweł Mykietyn’s Passion.

[Source: Polish Music Information Centre]

Bydgoszcz Music Festival

The 46th edition of the Bydgoszcz Music Festival will take place between September 13 and October 5. The theme of this year’s festival is “The music of middle and eastern Europe.” The festival was established in 1963 and consistently attracts high profile artists and presents an ambitious and diverse repertoire. This year will be no different, with 15 concerts scheduled during the festival, including a ballet performance and chamber, choral and symphonic concerts. Some of the world class performers participating this year are: Antoni Wit, Paul Esswood, The King’s Singers, Tekameli Gypsy ensemble, Krzysztof Penderecki, Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Motion Trio, Elżbieta Chojnacka, Lithuanian National Theater of the Opera and Ballet, Max Klezmer Band, and Alexander Gavryluk. For complete information about the festival and a detailed program, please visit www.musica.pl/46BFM.htm.

[Source: Polish Music Information Centre]

Four Cultures Festival

The Dialogue of Four Cultures Festival is a multi-cultural event created to celebrate the four main cultures present in Łódź in the past and today. Łódź has always had strong outside influences and the four most prominent cultures in the city were Polish, Jewish, German and Russian. The organizers seek to present the art of those nationalities and how it affected the history and development of Łódź.

There are multiple events planned in the fields of Theratre/Performance, Cinema, Visual Arts, and Music. On the music front, a variety of concerts are planned, spanning from contemporary chamber music, through jazz, to electronic and traditional music. The festival starts on September 5 and will end on September 12. To find out more about the festival and view a detailed program, please visit the official website: www.4kultury.pl.

[Source: Adam Mickiewicz Inst.]


Zaryan In Turkey

Polish jazz singer Aga Zaryan performed on August 8th in Turkey, in the Southwestern resort town of Bodrum. According to the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman, “Zaryan describes her relation with jazz as ‘love at first sight’ and says even though she worked as an English teacher for many years, she never gave up on her dreams of jazz.”  The paper carried an interview with the Polish singer in honor of her first appearance in Turkey – read the entire article here: www.todayszaman.com.


Mykietyn On PWA

Speechless Songs
Paweł Mykietyn: 3 for 13Sonety Szekspira [Shakespeare’s Sonnets]; Ładnienie; and Sonata for cello
Jacek Laszczkowski – male soprano; Maciej Piszek – piano; Jerzy Artysz – baritone; Viola Łabanow – harpsichord; Dafô Quartet; Andrzej Bauer – cello; Polish Radio Orchestra soloists; Jacek Rogala and Przemysław Fiugajski – conductors

Speechless Songs is the first monographic CD dedicated to the music of Paweł Mykietyn. He is one of the most important Polish composers of the younger generation. He has received several national and international accolades, including the recent OPUS award. He is an author of not only classical music for the concert stage, but also scores for theater and film.

CD Of National Anthems

The German-Japanese pianist Erika Herzog has released a CD of 21 national anthems arranged for solo piano. Among the those recorded is Poland’s anthem, Dąbrowski’s Mazurka, reconstructed and arranged by Mariusz Dubaj and including a refrain by F. Chopin. This particular version was published by PWM in 1999. The CD was released by King International and is available only to the Japanese market. If you read Japanese, you can find out more at King International KKCC3020.

New From Arte Dei Suonatori

Händel – Twelve Grand Concertos
Georg Friedrich Händel: 12 Concerti Grossi Op. 6
Arte Dei Suonatori Orchestra, Martin Gester – conductor


Born This Month

  • 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


Died This Month

  • 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”