Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 14, no. 10

PMC News

Polish Music Resonates Throughout California!

October is traditionally celebrated in the United States as Polish-American Heritage Month, and this Fall Season is no exception. Several exciting musical events are on the calendar for October and November this year.

At 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 12, the doors to Clubhouse Three Auditorium in Laguna Woods Village will open to a concert “Tribute to the Life and Music of Ignacy Jan Paderewski.” Pianist Lorenzo Sanchez and violinist Nancy Roth will present Paderewski’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 13. In addition to this rarely-heard chamber work, Mr. Sanchez will perform several of Paderewski’s solo piano favorites, including the famous Menuet and Cracovienne fantastique, as well as selections from Paderewski’s MazurkasCaprices, and other delightful miniatures. This afternoon event will also feature the screening of a short film, The Life and Homecoming of Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

Tribute to the Life and Music of Ignacy Jan Paderewski
Sunday, October 12 | 2:30 p.m. (doors open at 2p.m.)
Clubhouse Three Auditorium in Laguna Woods Village
25002 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Woods CA, 92637
More info: call Irena at (949) 206-9122

A month later, on Monday, November 10, at 7:30 p.m., another important concert is scheduled at Bovard Auditorium on the campus of the University of Southern California. This festive gala, co-organized by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles and the Polish Music Center USC, will commemorate the ninetieth anniversary of Poland’s independence. The musical portion of the evening will present a selection of compositions by Wojciech Kilar, the 2008 Paderewski Lecturer (pictured below), continuing the Polish Music Center’s tradition of introducing the most important Polish composers to the local audiences. The program will include selections from Kilar’s scores to Roman Polanski’s The Pianist and Ninth Gate, and Jane Campion’s The Portrait of a Lady, as well as his Quintet for Winds and Orawa for String Orchestra. The Midnight Winds and USC Strings will perform under the direction of Sharon Lavery. The official part of the evening will include a special award ceremony presided over by Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles, the Honorable Paulina Kapuścińska. Other representatives of the diplomatic corps as well as Los Angeles City and County officials will be in attendance.

Celebration of the 90th Anniversary of Poland’s Independence &
2008 Paderewski Lecture
Monday, November 10 | 7:30 p.m.
Bovard Auditorium at the University of Southern California
3551 Trousdale Pkwy.
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Parking: $8, in Structure X (Figueroa St. & McCarthy Way)
More info: call (310) 442-8500, x109, or visit www.usc.edu/dept/polish_music

The Annual Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles will be held this year on November 13-16. Over the past three years the Festival has grown from a single evening concert to several concerts and other events connected to Paderewski and his legacy. The Opening Night concert on Thursday, November 13 at 7 p.m. will be held at the North Country Christian Church in Paso Robles and feature music by Paderewski, Chopin, and Kilar in performance by the Midnight Winds. “An Evening with Paderewski” is the theme for a concert at Cass Winery on Friday, November 14 at 7 p.m.. Rudolfas Budginas, a well-known Central Coast pianist will present a special program of music and texts about Paderewski. Then, on Saturday, November 15 at 8 p.m., the Festival’s signature Gala Concert will be held in the Ballroom of Paso Robles Inn. This year’s featured artist, Russian-born pianist Nikita Mndoyants, will present a recital of music by Paderewski, Chopin, Beethoven, and Liszt, as well as his own compositions. Mr. Mndoyants is a 19-year old prodigy virtuoso and composer, who won the First Prize at the Paderewski International Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in 2007.

Saturday, November 15 will have several events of great interest to the fans of Paderewski in California. A special screening of Moonlight Sonata, the 1937 film in which Paderewski not only performs in recital but also has a large speaking role, will be presented at 11 a.m. in the Park Cinema, downtown Paso Robles. This screening is free and open to the public. Another free public event that day will be the exhibit of Paderewski’s memorabilia, shown from noon until 4 p.m. in the Matador Room of the Paso Robles Inn. Still another free event that Saturday is the Winners’ Recital of the 2008 Paderewski Youth Piano Competition. The most talented young pianists from San Luis Obispo County will present a program at 4 p.m. at the Ballroom of the Paso Robles Inn. Between the Winners’ Recital and the Gala Concert, “Elegant Evening” will be held in downtown Paso Robles, featuring merchants and residents celebrating the Victorian heritage of this historic California town with special costumes and exhibits that are also free and open to the public.

Finally, the 2008 Paderewski Festival will conclude on Sunday, November 16, with a 10 a.m. Polish Mass at the Saint Rose of Lima Church in Paso Robles. At 11 a.m., the Mass will be followed by a Polish brunch and a historical discussion of the “Paderewski’s Paso Robles Connection,” given by a long-time fan and collector of Paderewski’s memorabilia, Christine Smith.

Annual Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles (Nov. 13-16)


Thursday, November 13 | 7 p.m.: Midnight Winds concert
North Country Christian Church

Friday, November 14 | 7 p.m.: “An Evening with Paderewski”
Cass Winery

Saturday, November 15 | 4 p.m.: Paderewski Youth Piano Competition Winners’ Recital
Paso Robles Inn Ballroom

Saturday, November 15 | 8 p.m.: Gala Concert, featuring Nikita Mndoyants
Paso Robles Inn Ballroom

Sunday, November 16 | 10 a.m.: Polish Mass/Brunch/Historical discussion
[See a full schedule of events: www.paderewskifest.com/event_schedule.html]


PMC News

Detroit Public Library Clipping File

An important archive of clipping files, containing articles in various American newspapers, dating from early 1900s to the 1970s and covering various Polish musicians, was recently donated to the Polish Music Center by Jeanne Salathiel, Assistant Manager in the Music & Performing Arts Division of the Detroit Public Library. Article subjects include such important artists as: Józef Hofmann, Mieczysław Horszowski, Bronisław Kaper, Tadeusz Kassern, Jan Kiepura, Paweł Kochański, Felix Labuński, Wanda Landowska, Oscar Levant, Mischa Levitzky, Heniot Levy, Artur Loesser, Emil Młynarski, Mieczysław Munz, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Karol Rathaus, Edouard de Reszke, Artur Rodziński, Artur Rubinstein, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Zygmunt Stojowski, Jerzy Semkov, Antoinette Szumowska, and Marek Windheim.

This fascinating window to the past was opened by Stojowski-scholar Joseph A. Herter, who conducted research last summer at the Detroit Public Library. Several clipping files on Stojowski’s pupils like Alfred Newman, Guiomar Novaes, and Harriet Ware, and friends such as Ernest Schelling and Leopold Stokowski were also included in the donation. We are particularly pleased to receive these materials from the Detroit Public Library, as they will augment the Zygmunt and Louisa Stojowski Collection at the Polish Music Center and aid future research.


Penderecki/Lachert Tribute

An important new CD featuring the violin sonatas of Krzysztof Penderecki and Piotr Lachert has been donated to the PMC. These two prominent Polish composers celebrate their 75th and 70th birthdays respectively this year, and this album honors their anniversaries. Performances of the Sonatas are given by Hanna Lachert, violin, and Hélène Jeanney, piano, both champions of Polish music.  This CD was donated to the PMC by David Segal, who both produced this excellent recording and who built the violin on which Hanna Lachert plays.  This CD is available through David Segal Violins, Ltd.



Vars And Stojowski In Concert

Two important yet still unknown compositions—Vars’ Symphony No. 1 and Stojowski’s Second Piano Concerto—will be featured in performance during the Polish Radio’s Eleventh Music Festival on Sunday, October 5.

The manuscript of the recently discovered Symphony No. 1 by Henry Vars, written in the late 1940s, was donated to the Polish Music Center at a special gala concert in 2005 by the composer’s widow, Elizabeth. This Symphony undoubtedly represents a substantial addition to the repertoire of Polish symphonic music of the twentieth century. It is a large-scale four-movement work with a traditional formal layout. Its post neo-romantic style and expert orchestration reveal Vars’ fondness for the modern French school, especially the works of Maurice Ravel whom Vars met in Paris in the early 1930s.

Zygmunt Stojowski’s Second Piano Concerto (also known as Prologue, Scherzo and Variations) will be performed on the same concert. The manuscript of this piece was donated to the Polish Music Center by two of the composer’s sons, Alfred and Henry, in 2006. An excellent virtuoso showpiece, Stojowski’s Second Concerto is also a challenging tour de force for the soloist and quite a showcase for the orchestra. Completed in 1910, it was premiered by the composer at London’s Queen’s Hall in 1913 with the fabled Arthur Nikisch leading the London Symphony Orchestra. The American premiere of this work took place in 1915 at an all-Stojowski concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. Stojowski’s friend, mentor, and dedicatee of the work, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, performed this Concerto in North America with the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony. The October 2008 performance in Warsaw of Vars’ Symphony and Stojowski’s Concerto will feature the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra, led by Michał Dworzyński. English pianist and a long-time champion of Stojowski’s music, Jonathan Plowright, will be the featured soloist.

The October 5th concert will be preceded by the special screening of Henryk Wars-pieśniarz Warszawy [Henry Vars—the Bard of Warsaw] in Studio 3. This recent, award-winning documentary, produced and directed by Wiesław Dąbrowski, features interviews with the composer’s family and friends. It also includes some of the archival footage made during the premiere performance of Vars’ symphonic works in Łódź, Poland, in June of 2005.

This year’s Polish Radio Music Festival spotlights music by Polish émigré artists, including Ludomir Różycki, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Antoni Szałowski, Aleksander Tansman, Julian Fontana, Zygmunt Stojowski and Henry Vars, among others. Several acclaimed performers will participate in solo, chamber, and orchestra concerts, including Andrzej Bauer, cello, Łukasz Kuropaczewski, guitar, Joanna Woś, soprano, as well as pianists Jan Krzysztof Broja, Kevin Kenner, and Jonathan Plowright. The opening concert on Wednesday, October 1 will feature works by Feliks Janiewicz, Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold, as presented by the Polish Radio Orchestra under Łukasz Borowicz and violin soloist Albrecht Breuninger. All Festival concerts will take place in Polish Radio’s Lutosławski Concert Studio in Warsaw between October 1 and 5, 2008.


Kulenty Premiere

The Kronos Quartet premiered Hanna Kulenty’s String Quartet No. 4: A Cradle Song on the 3rd of September at the Ravinia Festival near Chicago, IL. The composer was present for the premiere.  Both the ensemble and the audience were very impressed with this new composition.

For more than 30 years, the Kronos Quartet—David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola) and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 40 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world’s most eclectic composers and performers, and commissioning hundreds of works and arrangements for string quartet.

Kronos will perform A Cradle Song in the following venues in the future:

[Source: kronosquartet.org]

Kaczmarek Premiere In Brussels

Polish composer and Academy Award winner, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, was recently a guest of the Polish Culture Institute in Brussels. He presented a concert of his film music, including the world premiere of the upcoming Passchendaele soundtrack. The movie tells a story of the 1917 battle for Passchendaele, one of the more extreme yet least effective offenses in military history. The battle claimed lives of almost half a million Allied soldiers, yet it moved the frontline by only 10 kilometers. The premiere was made that much more important by the fact that the town of Passchendaele is not far from Brussels. The concert also included music from The DreamerThird Miracle,UnfaithfulQuo Vadis, and War and Peace. The music was performed by the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra and the Adam Mickiewicz Univeristy Choir, and conducted by Marek Pijarowski. The concert was a huge success, with a long standing ovation for Kaczmarek.

[Source: muzyka.onet.pl]

New Name, Same Institution

On May 29, 2008 the president of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, signed A decree changing the name of the F. Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw to the Frederic Chopin Music University in Warsaw. The University offers world class instruction in the following fields: composition and theory of music, conducting, instrument studies, vocal studies, artistic education in the musical arts, dance, and sound engineering.

Changes At The National Opera

As Gazeta Wyborcza reported on September 24th, based on unofficial sources in the Ministry of Culture, the current management of the Grand Theater-National Opera will be replaced. According to the article by Derkaczew and Dębowska, Michał Znaniecki, the current artistic and stage director, and Janusz Pietkiewicz, the current general director, would be replaced by Mariusz Treliński and Waldemar Dąbrowski respectively. Shortly after the article was published, the Ministry of Culture issued a statement that in fact the removal procedure has been initiated against Pietkiewicz.

The controversies surrounding the Opera started in August 2006, when Treliński and Kord, a very promising tandem of directors, were replaced with Pietkiewicz and Karczykowski by then Minister of Culture, Kazimierz Ujazdowski. Unfortunately the new management was not ready to take on the responsibilities and as a result the following two years were quite turbulent and the institution was ridden with conflict. In May 2008, Karczykowski’s position was taken over by Znaniecki, who was supposed to raise the Operas’s artistic level and help remedy some issues. The projects prepared by Znaniecki met with limited audience and critical approval, unfortunately. Znaniecki’s plans for the 2008 and 2009 seasons include some pending premieres and cooperation with outstanding directors.

The upcoming season in the National Opera includes several premieres, including Charles Gounod’s Faust, Stanisław Moniuszko’s Hrabina and Rodion Schedrin’s ballet Anna Karenina. Spring performances include Cherubini’s Medea, Wagner’s ballet Tristan, Verdi’s Troubadour and Hans Krása’s children’s opera Brundibar, directed by Beata Redo-Dobber. You can find the detailed program at the Opera’s website, www.teatrwielki.pl.

[Sources: muzyka.onet.pl and www.rmfclassic.pl and wiadomosci.polska.pl and wyborcza.pl]

Anderszewski In LA

Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewskil will be appearing in Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Hall on October 18th at 8:00pm. This internationally praised performer will be the first in the venue’s distinguished Baroque Variations series this season. He will play a full recital of Bach’s music, including Partita No. 2 in C minor, Prelude and Fugue No. 19 in A, and English Suite No. 6 in D minor. Read the full program notes of this evening’s concert on the Walt Disney Hall website.

CNN’s “Eye on Poland”

Starting October 6th, CNN International will be airing its week-long series entitled “Eye on Poland: Country at the Crossroads.” According to the CNN website, “[the series focuses] on the color and contrast of one of Europe’s fastest developing nations; from business and politics to pop culture.”  There will be a different segment everyday from October 6-12, including a discussion of what defines Poland culturally on Thursday Oct. 9, entitled “Poland: Springs to Life.” CNN is encouraging viewer participation gathering opinions on what makes Poland unique from viewers both in and out of Poland, through videos, pictures and comments that can be posted on the Eye on Poland Web site.

Chopin Festival In Mazovia Competition

The 16th International Chopin Competition in Mazovia will take place from 20 – 22 November 2008. This Competition offers young artists a chance to appear in the Gala Concert of the International Chopin Festival on the stage of the Frederic Chopin State Music School in Sochaczew, Poland, as well as performances in prestigious concert halls in Warsaw.  Applications for the Competition are due on October 31, 2008.  More details are available at www.muzyczna.e-sochaczew.pl.

The International Jury will assess the participants’ artistic merit, without the use of a comparison scale, and select at least ten to participate in the Gala Concert of the International Chopin Festival in Mazovia on 23 November 2008.  Participation in the Competition will also include a visit to the Fryderyk Chopin House in Żelazowa Wola, the hallowed birth place of the great composer, which is located near the school. All participants in the International Chopin Festival in Mazovia will be awarded commemorative Diplomas.

The organizers of the Festival and Competition are the Municipal Center of Culture in Sochaczew – Halina Pędziejewska, Director, and the Frederic Chopin State Music School – Joanna Niewiadomska-Kocik, Director.

Trouble In Kraków Phil, Again

Only a month after accepting it, Tadeusz Strugała has resigned from the post of Director of the Kraków Philharmonic. Strugała (pictured at left) was given the task of finally resolving all of the issues plaguing the institution and bring it back to its former glory. He was promised substantial financial assistance, which was supposed to be used primarily for raises in salary for orchestra members. Unfortunately a huge financial packet of 2.5mil PLN (over $1mil) was not accepted by the local government, which believes that the planned salary raises in the institution were too high. In response, Tadeusz Strugała announced that his plan for the institution was not possible without the promised financial support and officially resigned from his briefly occupied post. During a press conference on September 26 he said:

“…I had certain intentions, plans and vision. The vision was closely related to finances, mainly pay scale regulations, which was my first condition before accepting, because it would let me build morale and artistic level of the ensemble (…) I am not a fanatic, but if I have my vision than I not only know what I want to achieve but also what I need to achieve it (…) In many cities of the world opera houses or philharmonic orchestras are signature institutions. Why can’t there be an artistic institution in Kraków that would be talked about around the world …”

[Sources: www.rmfclassic.plmuzyka.onet.pl and muzyka.onet.pl]

Kraków Opera News

Seemingly, the artistic institutions in Kraków are a major source of recent tabloid-type news. During the concert “Podróż do światła” [Jouney to the Light], which took place in early September, the musicians of the Kraków Opera refused to go on stage. The protest was staged because they had not agreed to be filmed for a later TV broadcast without getting paid the media bonus, yet there were TV cameras present in the house. The concert was taking place some 125 meters underground in Wieliczka Salt Mine and featured music by the Polish film composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. Eventually the cameras were removed and the concert proceeded, but the situation sparked an institutional investigation. The goal of the investigation was to determine who was at fault for the conflict and breakage of the mine’s contract, which clearly included recording but for archival purposes only.

In more positive music news, the Kraków Opera is currently performing Marta Ptaszyńska’s popular children opera, Pan Marimba [Mr. Marimba]. The premiere took place on September 20 and the remaining scheduled performances this year include October 24 and 25 and November 7 and 8.

[Sources: muzyka.onet.pl and www.pwm.com.pl]

Rzeszów Phil News

The Rzeszów Philharmonic has a new general director—Marta Wierzbieniec—who has replaced the previous director, Marek Stefański. The decision to remove Stefański was made by the marshal of the Podkarpacie region, Zygmunt Cholewiński. It is not all bad news for Stefański, however, as he has been appointed the new director of the Łańcut Music Festival.

Marta Wierzbieniec comes from Sanok, and graduated from the Kraków Music Academy. In her musical career she has prepared and/or led over 250 concerts. Since 2000 she has served as the director of the Music Department at Rzeszów University.

[Souce: muzyka.onet.pl]

Dorian Wind Quintet At KF

The Dorian Wind Quintet, recognized worldwide for its uniquely polished and passionate performances, returns to inaugurate the 2008-2009 Chamber Music Series on Sunday, October 26, at 3 PM, at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City. The program includes works of Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz (1909 – 1969) as well as Darius Milhaud, Anton Reicha, and Lalo Schifrin.

Since its formation at Tanglewood in 1961, the Dorian Wind Quintet has performed repertoire ranging from the Baroque to Pulitzer Prize-winning commissions, in the world’s most renowned concert halls. The Quintet has literally been around the world, concertizing in 49 of the 50 states and Canada, touring Europe eighteen times, and playing throughout the Middle East, India, Africa and Asia. The Dorian made history as the first wind quintet to appear at Carnegie Hall in1981.

Every member of the Dorian is a virtuoso in his or her own right, as well as a dedicated chamber player. Each has been associated with the most prominent performing ensembles, venues and musical institutions in the world and has joined the Dorian Wind Quintet out of passion for the repertoire and the joy of its performance. The current members of Dorian are Gretchen Pusch, flute; Gerard Reuter, oboe; Jerry Kirkbride, clarinet; John Hunt, bassoon; and Karl Kramer-Johansen, horn.

Golden Operetta Program

On October 25th, the Celebrity Symphony Orchestra returns with the annual Golden Operetta program, a magnificent recreation of world famous arias, songs and dances conducted by the charismatic Maestro Andrew Rozbicki. Audiences are invited to an evening filled with phenomenal singers: Primadonna of the polish operetta, superstar coloratura soprano – Grażyna Brodzińska, graduate of the Kraków Music Academy, mezzo-soprano – Kinga Lizon, graduate of the Academy of Music in Lviv, Ukraine, one of leading European basses and soloist with Milano La Scala – Aleksander Teliga, and singer actor and showman from Kraków – Jacek Wójcicki. The program features beautiful opera and operetta arias and duets, including selections by E. Kalman, J. Strauss, F. Lehar, G. Bizet and songs from musicals. The concert will be held at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.


Mykietyn’s Streak Continues

The movie 33 sceny z Życia [33 scenes from life], which was reported on last month, has received several awards at the Feature Film Festival in Gdynia. Małgorzata Szumowska has received the Best Director award, Michał Englert was honored in cinematography and last but not least, Paweł Mykietyn has received an award for his score. Other composers nominated in this category included Oscar winner Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Michał Lorence and Adrian Konarski. This is not the first time Mykietyn was honored in Gdynia—in 2004 he received an award for the music to Ono, also directed by Szumowska.

Also, according to the news service of Polskie Radio, “Under the headline ‘Mykietyn makes history’, Jacek Marczynski wrote in Rzeczpospolita that Mykietyn’s work is the most interesting Passion setting in Polish music since Krzysztof Penderecki’s highly-acclaimed St Luke Passion premiered 43 years ago.” The world premiere of Mykietyn’s Passion was given on September 8th during last month’s Wratislavia Cantans Festival.

[Source: muzyka.onet.plwww.polskieradio.pl]

European Piano Competition

The first edition of the European Piano Competition “Halina Czerny-Stefańska in memoriam” took place at the Poznań Music Academy between September 17 and 21. There were 80 pianists from 31 countries invited to take part in the competition, all of whom were under the age of 28 and live or study in Europe. During two rounds of competition and the finals, the artists were required to perform a wide variety of music, from Bach to Lutosławski. The jury, consisting of Alicja Kledzik (Poland, chairman), Tigran Alikhanov (Russia), Maurizion Barbaro (Italy), Martin Hughes (Austria), Bogdan Kułakowski (Poland), Marcin Nałęcz-Niesiołowski (Poland), Jan Popis (Poland) and Elżbieta Stefańska (Poland), has awarded the following prizes:

  • Grand Prix: Olga Stezkho (Belarus)
  • First Prize: Przemysław Witek (Poland)
  • Second Prize: Radosław Sobczak (Poland)
  • Third Prize ex-aequo: Jae-Kyung Yoo (South Korea) and Pavel Kolesnikov(Russia)
  • Fourth Prize: Rinaldo Zhok (Italy)
  • Fifth Prize: Anna Solovieva (Russia)
  • Sixth Prize: Hélène Tysman (France)

The patron of the competition, Halina Czerny-Stefańska, was a great Polish pianist.  She was the winner of the 4th International Chopin Competition and a world renowned artist and educator. The competition is planned as a bi-annual event. For more information please visit the official website: www.europianocomp.pl.

[Sources: www.rmfclassic.pl and muzyka.onet.pl]

Int’l Contemporary Music Competition

The 12th International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition took place between September 3 and 7, 2008 in Kraków. The jury, consisting of Jan Pilch (Poland, chairman), Geoffrey Douglas Madge (Australia/Holland), Krzesimir Dębski (Poland), Tadeusz Wielecki (Poland), Paul Patterson (Great Britain), Christine Michaela Pryn (Denmark), has awarded the following prizes:

GRAND PRIX – Teresa Malik (Poland)

Solo category:

  • 1st Prize ex-aequo: Teresa Malik (Poland) and Mateo Cesari (Italy)
  • 2nd Prize: Dinara Mazitova (Belarus)
  • 3rd Prize ex-aequo: Takao Hyakutome (Japan), Marian Sobula (Poland)

Duo category:

  • 1st Prize: Brilliantpianato Piano Duo: Natalia Koziarz (Poland), Daniel Brylewski (Poland)
  • 2nd Prize: Essential Duo: So-Yeon Lim (South Korea), Gustaw Ciężarek (Poland)
  • 3rd Prize: Duo Epitaph: Aki Yamagishi (Japan), Mari Kawagishi (Japan)

Trio and Quartet category:

  • 1st Prize: Messiaen Quartet: Ksenia Berezina (Russia), Zlata Chochieva (Russia), Alexey Mikhaylenko (Russia), Nikolay Shugaev (Russia)
  • 2nd Prize: Airis Quartet : Dorota Oleszkowicz (Poland), Aleksandra Czajor (Poland), Natalia Warzecha (Poland), Katarzyna Detko (Poland)
  • 3rd Prize: Kazuan Hatogu: Anna Gut (Poland), Zuzanna Tobis (Poland), Katarzyna Hajduk (Poland)

Marek Stachowski Special Award for the best performance of the work by Polish composer:

  • Dinara Mazitova (Belarus)

Special Award for the best performance of the work by Netherlander composer:

  • Essential Duo: So-Yeon Lim (South Korea), Gustaw Ciężarek (Poland)

Polish Institute in Bratislava Award:

  • Brilliantpianato Piano Duo: Natalia Koziarz (Poland), Daniel Brylewski (Poland)

Sound New Award:

  • Teresa Malik (Poland)

For more information about the competition please visit the official website of the competition: www.instytutsztuki.pl.

[Source: muzyka.onet.pl]

Serocki Composition Competition

The Polish chapter of ISCM (the International Society of Contemporary Music) has announced the results of the 11th Kazimierz Serocki International Composers’ Competition. The Jury, Zygmunt Krauze (Poland) – Chairman, Stephen Montague (Great Britain/USA), Vladimir Scolnic (Israel) and Walter Zimmermann (Germany), has awarded the following prizes:

  • First Prize (sponsored by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage) – Marios Joannou Elia (Cyprus) for Versteckspiel
  • Second Prize (sponsored by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage) – Fernando Abel Maglia (Argentina) for Los Secretos del Silencio.
  • Third Prize (sponsored by the Society of Authors ZAiKS) – Iluminada Pérez Frutos (Spain) for Instants of Eternity.
  • Fourth Prize (sponsored by the Polish Radio Channel 2) – David Philip Hefti (Switzerland) for 6 Pieces for 4 players (String Quartet nr 3).
  • PWM Editions Special Prize for the Youngest Winner – Elia Marios Joannou (Cyprus).

The awarded compositions will be performed on 26 October 2008 in Polish Radio’s Lutosławski Concert Studio at a special concert organised by the ISCM Polish Section, European Penderecki Centre for Music and Polish Radio Channel 2. The concert will be broadcast live and offered to all members of the European Broadcasting Union.

[Sources: www.ptmw.art.pl/konkurs_XI_wyniki.htmlwww.ptmw.art.pl/regulaminXI.html and muzyka.onet.pl]

Awards For Beethoven Festival

The Ludwig van Beethoven Festival has received 5 awards at the International Festivals and Events Association Convention and Expo in Boise, ID (Sept 8-12, 2008). The festival was awarded the following: a Gold statue for Best Promotional Brochure (4 or more colors); a Silver statue for Best Event Program (interior 4 or more colors) and Best Promotional Poster (tie); and a Bronze statue for Most Creative/Effective News Stunt and Best Cover Design (tie).

The awards were received by Elżbieta Penderecka, the creator and director of the festival. The Ludwig van Beethoven Festival takes place in Warsaw and Krakow around the time of the Easter holidays.

For more information on the International Festivals and Events Association and its events, please visit www.ifea.com.

[Source: www.rmfclassic.pl]

Kulenty Honored By Dutch

Hanna Kulenty, the Polish-born composer who since 1992 has lived both in Warsaw (Poland) and in Arnhem (The Netherlands), was recently honored by Toonzetters in Amsterdam.  Organized by Buma Cultuur, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ and Music Centre the Netherlands, Toonzetters released a list of the top ten most distinctive new pieces of music composed in the Netherlands, which were chosen by a professional jury, and these works were presented to the public during the first day of the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ Festival on August 31st. Kulenty’s Preludium, Postludium & Psalm was one of the compositions from 2007 that was honored this year.

Moscow Chopin Piano Competition

The 6th International F. Chopin Competition for Young Pianists concluded on September 20th in Moscow. The competition attracted 36 pianists under the age of 16 from 9 countries. The First Prize, best concerto performance prize, best polonaise performance prize, youngest player prize and the jury prize went to 14-year-old Cho Sung-jin from South Korea. Second Prize was claimed by 16-year-old Nicolai Khosyainov from Russia and the Third Prize was given to 15-year-old Alexei Chuksin, also from Russia.

The competition is organized by the City government of Moscow and the Chopin Society in Moscow, with the help of the Polish Embassy in Moscow and the Polish Institute in Moscow. The jury consisted of prof. Michail Woskriesienski (Russia), prof. Jacques Lagarde (France), Anna Malikowa (Germany), Ian Suk Li (South Korea.) and Ewa Osińska (Poland). The competition is organized every 4 years. The repertoire of the competition is limited to works by Frederic Chopin.

[Sources: muzyka.onet.plwww.ruvr.ru and www.koreatimes.co.kr]

Polish Success In Munich

The Polish ensemble “Apollon Musagete” has won the first prize in the string quartet category at the 57th International ARD Music Competition in Munich. In the history of this prestigious competition, the first prize has been awarded to only 5 string quartets and this is the first time that Polish ensemble has won it. The Wilanów Quartet came closest in 1973 by winning 3rd prize, and the Polish String Quartet also won 3rd prize in 1977. “Apollon Musagete” quartet members are Paweł Zalejski – violin I, Bartosz Zachlod – violin II, Piotr Szumiel – viola, Piotr Skweres – cello. All are graduates of the F.Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw and currently study with members of Alban Berg Quartet in Vienna.

[Sources: polmic.com and www.br-online.de]


Polish Composer’s Festival

The 13th edition of the Polish Composer’s Festival in Bielsko Biała will be dedicated to Ignacy Jan Paderewski and to Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, in celebration of his 75th birthday. Invited artists include: Izabella Kłosińska, Iwona Hossa, Adam Kruszewski, Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk, Karol Radziwonowicz, and ensembles – Bielsko Chamber Orchestra, Silesian Philharmonic, Resonans con Tutti Choir, Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra, Wilanów String Quartet and Silesian Philharmonic Choir. The audience will hear the Polish premiere of Górecki’s Quasi Una Fantasia for symphonic strings, Op. 78. Also performed will be his 2nd Symphony.

The festival has been organized annually since 1996 and each year it is dedicated to the music of a different Polish composer. For more information please visit www.bck.bielsko.pl.

[Source: www.culture.pl]


Łukaszewski Praised In BBC

Łukaszewski: Choral Music
Pawel  Łukaszewski (1968-): O Antiphons, Beatus vir, Two Lenten Motets, Ave Maria, Psalmus 102 ‘Benedic, anima mea, Domino,’ and Nunc dimittis
Trinity College Choir,  Stephen Layton – conductor
Hyperion CDA67639

According to the Hyperion website:

Pawel Lukaszewski is the most outstanding of the younger generation of Polish composers specializing in sacred choral music. His ability to encapsulate the expressive essence of a text with immediacy and economy of technical means is unrivalled, as is his facility of idiomatic vocal writing. He has an enormously subtle and varied harmonic palette—unlike some of his contemporaries—and creates an organically new harmonic world for each piece. His extended tonal sound world is enriched by highly selective use of vocal effects such as glissandiparlando (speaking) and susurrando (whispering), all of which occur invariably in direct response to clear textual stimuli.

A generous selection of Lukaszewski’s considerable output is recorded here, including the sequence of seven Advent Antiphons composed in 1995–9. Lukaszewski’s extended settings cover a vast expressive range: from the dark eight- and twelve-part sonorities of O Clavis David to the ecstatic concluding superimposed thirds of O Oriens.

Reviews of this disc:

“…[O]ne of [Łukaszewski’s] greatest champions, to whom the Nunc Dimittis is dedicated, is Stephen Layton… Layton’s affinity with this radiant, accesible music is clear as he guides the Trinity College Choir, which sings with passion and purity throughout this performance.” (Barry Witherden – BBC Music Magazine, September 2008)

“..[H]ere is a composer who really is a true master of the art of a cappella writing and for whom other people’s experiments and gimmicks are an essential tool in conveying a profound emotional message… [I]t has been difficult to draw this CD out of my player, so frequently have I returned to it. I can offer it no higher praise. (Marc Rochester – Gramophone Magazine, September 2008)


Apolinary Szeluto
Apolinary Szeluto: Sonata in F Major for cello and piano Op .9, Sonata in D Major for violin and piano Op.73, String Quartet in E flat Major Op.72
Camerata Vistula: Konstanty Andrzej Kulka – violin, Andrzej Tatarski – piano, Andrzej Wróbel – cello

Fauré, Franck Violin Sonatas
Gabriel Fauré: Sonata in A Major for violin and piano Op.13; César Franck: Sonata in A Major for violin and piano
Krzysztof Jakowicz – violin, Waldemar Malicki – piano

Mikołaj Pałosz: impro 1 intro drum, intro 2 whistle chase, impro 3 the A dance, impro 4 pidzz, impro 5 shallow breath, impro 6 moon umbrella, impro 7 twister song, impro 8 bounce phase, impro 9 conclusion; Paweł Szymański: A Kaleidoscope for M.C.E.; Elliot Carter: Figment, Figment II; Witold Lutosławski: Sacher Variation; Henri Dutilleux: 3 Strophes sur le nom de Sacher; James Dillon: Parjanya Vata; Iannis Xenakis: Kottos
Mikołaj Pałosz – cello

Bach Harpsichord Concertos
Johann Sebastian Bach: Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor BWV1052, Concerto for two harpsichords in C Minor BWV1060, Concerto for three harpsichords in C Major BWV 1064, Concerto for four harpsichords in A Minor BWV 1065
Agnieszka Chabowska – harpsichord, Joanna Kwinta-Ślazyk – harpsichord, Urszula Stawicka – harpsichord, Elżbieta Stefańska – harpsichord, Consortium Jagellonicum University Barowue Orchestra, Paweł Osuchowski – conductor, Andrzej Zawisza – harpsichord

Antologia Muzyki Polskiej
A four CD compilation of music by Polish composers starting with early music and ending in the XX century. Each CD is dedicated to a different period or composer. CD 1 is dedicated to early music and includes music from XIV to XVIII centuries. CD 2 is dedicated entirely to music of Frederic Chopin with performances by such greats as Kevin Kenner, Garrick Ohlson, Stanisław Drzewiecki, Janusz Olejniczak, Tatiana Szebanova, Ewa Podleś and Sinfonia Varsovia. CD 3 is dedicated to XIX century compositions and CD 4 to XX century works.

Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840): Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 6; Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921): Introduction et Rondo capriccioso Op. 28; and Jules Massenet (1842-1912): Thaïs Meditation
Mariusz Patyra, violin and Sinfonia Varsovia with Johannes Wildner, conductor
DUX 654

Mariusz Patyra was born in Orzysz (Poland). He began to play the violin at the age of 7. His teachers were A. Hoffmann in Olsztyn, Prof. J. Kucharski in Warsaw, Prof. K. Wegrzyn in Hannover and Maestro Salvatore Accardo in Cremona.

He is a price winner of the International Violin Competition J. Joachim (Hannover), a finalist of the International Stradivari Competition in Cremona (1998). He won the 4th prize at the International Carl-Nielsen Violin Competition as well as the winner of the extra prize of the Odense Symphony Orchestra (Odense 2000). He was the first Pole to win the “Premio N. Paganini” (Genova 2001), where he was awarded the special prize for the best interpretation of the Paganini Caprices and received a copy of the violin “Il Cannone” which had belonged to the big virtuoso.

He has been playing in Europe, Japan and the United States of America. Among others he played with the Royal Chamber Orchestra Tokyo, Orchestra Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, Orchestra di Roma, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra “Amadeus”, National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Jalisco Philharmonic and Sinfonia Varsovia. His recordings for the Polish, the Northern German (NDR), the Western German (WDR), and the Italian radio (RAI TRE) give an insight in the virtuoso playing of this young artist. He plays a copy of the Guarneri del Gesu 1733, built by Christian Erichson (Hannover 2003), as well as on a copy of “Il Cannone” 1742, built by John B. Erwin (Dallas 2000).

Mariusz Patyra is currently performing a concert tour in the U.S. playing both recitals and symphonic concerts. His recitals are accompanied by pianist Giovanni Casella and include repertoire by Debussy, Saint-Saens, Chopin, Kodaly, Paganini, Sarasate, Suk, Brahms, Sarasate, and Wieniawski. He is also playing Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the National Philharmonic and conductor Piotr Gajewski, . Venues include the Music Center at Strathmore, Maryland (Oct. 4-5), Wertheim Performing Arts Center, Miami, FL (Oct. 10), University of Kentucky in Lexington (Oct. 13), and Roswell Cultural Arts Center in Atlanta, GA (Oct 19), among others.


Polish Music In Boston

The inaugural concert of Boston’s Ditson Festival of Contemporary Music, held on September 18 in the Institute of Contemporary Art, incorporated a tribute to Polish music.  According to Lloyd Schwartz of the Boston Phoenix, “Clarinettist Rane Moore gave a gripping reading of Elliott Carter’s witty four-minute internal dialogue, Gra, which was composed for Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski’s 80th birthday — a perfect set-up for Lee Hyla’s Polish Folk Songs (2007), a brash “collision” of authentically raw folk material that included a bagpipe-like melodica.”  The inclusion of Gra was a last minute replacement on the program, due to the birth of the scheduled performer’s first child.

Read the entire Boston Phoenix review here: thephoenix.com.

Braun Opens In Berlin

The 22nd Jewish Cultural Festival in Berlin got under way Saturday, September 13 with the music of Polish-born Israeli composer Yehezkel Braun. The concert took place in the synagogue in Rykestrasse, the largest in Germany and one of the few to have survived World War II.

[Source: www.earthtimes.org]

Hear Grella-Mozejko

Polish-Canadian composer and pianist Piotr Grella-Mozejko(pictured at left) and his Edmonton Improvisatory Collective performed 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” included dance, composition, orchestration, improvisation, electroacoustics, extended techniques, and jazz improvisation. Other artists participating in the evening were Don Ross, Eryn Tempest, Glen Halls, Bob Fenske, and the Edmonton Art Ensemble.

To hear a recording of the evening’s performance, visit: www.freejazz.ca.


Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar

On Saturday, September 27, after a long illness,  Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar passed away. She was an outstanding composer and professor of the Kraków Music Academy. She also held a Honoris Causa doctorate from this institution.

She was an author of numerous orchestral, chamber, vocal-instrumental and solo compositions. She was the recipient of many awards from national and international competitions and festivals, as well as the Gloria Artis medal. She was writing music until the last moments of her life and her works were performed very recently, during Kraków Composer’s Days.  She was also one of the great educators and teachers of composition in Poland.

A memorial service is arranged for October 7 at 10am in St. Anna’s Church in Kraków.  She will be buried at the Rakowicki Cemetery.

[Source: polmic.com]


Born This Month

  • 3 October 1882 – Karol SZYMANOWSKI, composer, pianist, (d. 29 March 1937)
  • 3 October 1923 – Stanislaw SKROWACZEWSKI, composer and conductor
  • 4 October 1910 – Eugenia UMINSKA, violinist
  • 6 October 1885 – Karol STROMENGER, teacher, composer, publicist, music critic (d. 1975)
  • 9 October 1924 – Regina SMENDZIANKA, pianist
  • 10 October 1910 – Henryk SWOLKIEN, music critic, composer
  • 14 October 1910 – Lech MIKLASZEWSKI, children’s song writer, author of popular radio music shows for children, music publicist (d. 1992)
  • 16 October 1867 – Ferdynand HOESICK, music critic, publisher (d. 13 April 1941)
  • 18 October 1879 – Grzegorz FITELBERG, conductor, violinist, composer (d. 10 June 1953)
  • 20 October 1819 – Karol MIKULI, pianist, composer, conductor, Chopin’s student (d. 21 May 1897)
  • 20 October 1935 – Henryk SWOLKIEN, composer, publicist, music promoter (d. 1990)
  • 25 October 1868 – Michal SWIERZYNSKI, composer, conductor (d. 30 June 1957)
  • 30 October 1904 – Alfred GRADSTEIN, composer, activist (d. 29 September 1954)


Died This Month

  • 1 October 1990 – Andrzej KRZANOWSKI, composer, accordion player (b. 1951)
  • 1 October 1861 – Tekla Justyna KRZYZANOWSKA, pianist, Chopin’s mother (b. September 1780)
  • 7 October 1854 – Adolf CICHOWSKI, Chopin’s friend, officer and civil servant (b.1794)
  • 17 October 1849 – Fryderyk CHOPIN, composer and pianist (b. 1 March (also listed as February 22) 1810)
  • 17 October 1938 – Aleksander MICHALOWSKI, pianist, composer, Tausig’s student (b. 5 May 1851)
  • 18 October 1962 – Maria SZCZEPANSKA, musicologist (b. 13 May 1902)
  • 21 October 1837 – Michal Józef GUZIKOW, folk musician (b. 1806)
  • 27 October 1991 – Andrzej PANUFNIK, composer and conductor (b. 24 September 1914)
  • 30 October 1912 – Jan Karol GALL, composer and conductor (b. 18 August 1856)
  • 31 October 1952 – Adolf CHYBINSKI, musicologist (b. 29 April 1880)