Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 15, no. 7

PMC News

Paderewski Youth In Poland

Rory McClish and Lindsay Reed, pictured during the send-off event held at Cass Winery on June 6, 2009. Photo: www.sanluisobispo.com

Thanks to a successful fundraiser in April (see “A Toast to Paderewski” in the May Newsletter), the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles has sent its first group of Youth Competition winners to Poland on a musical exchange from June 19-30. Creating opportunities for local youth through links between Paderewski’s homeland and his adopted home in Central California has been a primary goal since the Festival was restarted with the reprise event in 2006. Not only has the Festival brought Paderewski’s music back to Paso Robles, but it is now creating a presence for Central Californian musicians and businesses in Poland.

For this first exchange, three young pianists were awarded the chance to visit Poland, stay in the former manor house belonging to Paderewski, receive intensive piano coaching alongside Polish students, and perform in Kąsna Dolna and Kraków in conjunction with pourings of Paso Robles wine. Their expenses were paid for by the Paderewski Festival and the government of Poland. The 2009 exchange participants were Lindsay Reed of Paso Robles, Rory McClish of Morro Bay and Matthew Fauria of San Luis Obispo, with chaperone Dana McClish. These students were chosen based on their success in the Paderewski Festival Youth Piano Competition as well as a competitive application process that was reviewed in California and Poland. Paderewski Festival P.R. Director Cri Cri Solak-Easton and Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Promotions Manager Gracie Rey served as pourers and wine representatives.

Read more about this exciting opportunity, including input from the participants, in an article written by Tonya Strickland for the San Luis Obisbo Tribune, entitled “Piano unites Paso and Poland: Local musicians and wine travel abroad.”


King Roger In Paris

On June 16, Szymanowski’s opera Król Roger [King Roger] made its Opéra national de Paris premiere at the Opéra Bastille. Król Roger is not only one of the greatest works of Karol Szymanowski, who is considered to be the father of modern Polish music, but also one of the most important operas of the 20th century. This production is directed by highly acclaimed Polish stage director, Krzysztof Warlikowski, who is well known to the Paris audience from his staging of Wagner’s Parsifal and Janaczek’s The Makropulos Affair. Music direction is provided by conductor Kazushi Ono and soloists include Mariusz Kwiecień (King Roger), Olga Pasiecznik (Roxana), Stefan Magrita (Edrisi), Eric Cutler (Shepperd), Wojtek Smilek (Archbishop) and Jadwiga Rappé (An Abbess). The staging was prepared in Polish. The final performance date of the opera is July 2.

The premiere was accompanied by the opening of an exhibit entitled Piękny jako ja[Beautiful as myself], a modern art presentation about Karol Szymanowski and Król Rogerprepared by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw. Boris Kudlicka is responsible for the artistic design of the exposition. It will run from June 16 through July 10.

Another event related to this production was “Pleins Feux – King Roger,” a meeting with the artists involved in the production, including Gerard Mortier (Director of the Opéra national de Paris), Krzysztof Warlikowski, Kazushi Ono and musicologist Didier Van Moere on June 17th. Also, on June 22, the Polish Institute in Paris organized a musicological debate between Szymanowski scholars Didier Van Moere and Malgorzata Janicka-Slysz. Both events were free and took place at the Opéra Bastille at 120 rue de Lyon in Paris.

[Sources: culture.plmuzyka.onet.plrmfclassic.ploperadeparis.fr]

A New Place For Musical Life In Warsaw

Sinfonia Varsovia, one of Poland’s greatest orchestras, inaugurated their future headquarters on Grochowska Street in Warsaw on June 13-14. This jubilant grand opening, entitled “Vivarium” or “placeof life,” was a chance for concert-goers to visit the space, meet the orchestra, and hear a concert conducted by Artistic Director Krzysztof Penderecki. Repertoire for the concert included Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major Op. 92 and Penderecki’s Agnus Dei. Over the course of the two-day celebration, there were also 21 chamber performances by various members of the orchestra, a walk around the property with Warsaw expert Jarosław Zieliński, a set of multimedia presentations and many other inter-disciplinary attractions, as well as a presentation of musical toys created by young designer from the Lampo Group. All events were offered free of charge.

The building complex at Grochowska 272 was built in 1899 near Warsaw’s cattle market, according to the project of Russian architect Vladimir Nikolaievich Pokrowski. In addition to the main building, the complex includes a blacksmith building and three smaller pavilions. Until 2003 the complex served as a veterinary school, and it has been included in the antiques registry since January 2008. The “Vivarium” inauguration was intended to offer this historic space back to the people of Warsaw, and to give them a taste of the excellent music-making that is to come.

The dedication of the headquarters coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra. They performed for the first time in April 1984 under baton of Sir Yehudi Menuhin, who said the following about working with this ensemble:

Work with no other orchestra has given me as much satisfaction as my work, as conductor and soloist, with the Sinfonia Varsovia. I can say with full conviction that for many of years of working together with this orchestra, the many recordings we have made together, the numerous concerts we have played, spanning a vast repertoire of classical and contemporary music, it has always maintained the highest levels of performance…. Music is their way of life. Such an approach is a real delight for the audience.

[Source: wiadomosci.wp.plwww.sinfoniavarsovia.org]

Pol-US Jazz Diplomacy

Continuing the celebrations of 90 years of Polish-U.S. diplomatic relations, an exhibit entitled “Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World” opened in Warsaw on June 27. It will remain open at Hoover Square’s Centrum Artystsycznego Fabryka Trzciny until July 26. The displayed photos and documents chronicle the U.S. State Department’s Jazz Ambassadors program, which sent some of the greatest American jazz musicians around the world between 1950-1970, to create relationships and foster understanding through jazz.

Curated by Dr. Curtis Sandberg, Meridian International Center’s Vice President for the Arts, and jazz diplomacy historian Professor Penny M. Von Eschen, this exhibit draws from international archival materials. The Polish edition of the exhibit is sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw and includes photos taken by Polish photographer Marek Karewicz, which highlight the long-standing musical relationship between the two nations.

International jazz superstar, Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, performed at grand opening of the Warsaw exhibit. At the request of the Embassy, he and his Quartet played the music of Stanko’s former musical cohort, legendary Polish jazzman Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969). During his short lifetime, Komeda, whose influences ranged from Count Basie to Chopin, led the jazz revolution that was happening in Poland.

Jazz music, like the Jazz Ambassadors themselves, was able to permeate the Iron Curtain in a way that nothing else could, and it left its mark on Poles:

Stanko told one of Polish dailies that the memorable concert of the Dave Brubeck Quartet in Warsaw in 1958 made a lasting impression on him. ‘It was the first time Poles could listen to modern American jazz in a live performance’, he said. [Polskie Radio, “Jazz diplomacy,” 29 June 2009]

Another important way that American jazz was shared with Polish audiences during the Cold War was through Willis Conover’s “Jazz Hour” on the Voice of America, a U.S. government-sponsored radio station. Through these influences, listening to and playing jazz became a form of resistance in Poland, one which had a profound effect on people and even politics.*

American jazz has likewise felt the influence of Polish musicians. While visiting USC on April 15, 2005 shortly before his death, Dave Brubeck performed in Bovard Auditorium.  During the concert, this American jazz legend stopped to speak only once, and what he spoke of was his experience playing jazz in Poland. He described the enthusiasm of the audiences and the musicianship and passion of Polish jazz players with deep respect, a meaningful recommendation coming from such ground-breaking musician.

* For more about the history of jazz in Poland, read “Krzysztof Komeda: Poet of the Piano” on allaboutjazz.com or “Polish Jazz – Freedom at Last” on polishjazz.com.

[Sources: poland.usembassy.govpolskieradio.pl]

ZKP News

Jerzy Kornowicz was recently chosen as the chairman of the Polish Composer’s Union [ZKP] for the fourth term in a row. Other members of the ZKP governing body are: Vice-chairpeople – Krzysztof Knittel and Lidia Zielińska; Secretary General – Alicja Gronau-Osińska; Treasurer – Jarosław Siwiński; Members of the Presidium – Krzysztof Droba and Edward Sielicki; Members of the Board – Zbigniew Bagiński, Marcin Błażewicz, Marcel Chyrzyński, Paweł Gancarczyk, Zbigniew Kozub, Maciej Zieliński

During the 35th Convention of Musicology Section of ZKP the new government was also chosen, and Katarzyna Dadak-Kozicka was named Chairman of the Musicology Section. Honorary ZKP memberships were also given to: Zofia Helman, Eugeniusz Knapik and Jan Stęszewski.

During the convention the board has also decided to write ten letters and appeals to several political and cultural entities, among them:

To Donald Tusk, premier of the Polish Government, regarding:

  • Opposition to the VAT taxation of royalty payments for years prior
  • Financial help for the Channel 2 of the Polish Radio

To Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, regarding:

  • Immediate establishment of a National Center of Contemporary Music
  • Establishment of contemporary composition commission fund in the amount of no less than 1,5 million PLN in next year’s Ministry of Culture budget

To the Polish Radio Board of Director, regarding:

  • Opposing a decrease of the budget of Channel 2 of the Polish Radio in the light of considerable off-air cultural activity of the station.

[Source: zkp.org.pl]

Traditional Music School

The 12th Summer School of the Traditional Music will take place in Łukowiska near Janów Podlaski between July 5 and 19. The classes dedicated to traditional Polish songs and dances will be presented by specialists from Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia and Serbia. The school is organized by the Muzyka Kresów Foundation and Rozdroża Center. For more information please send an email to muzykakresow@wp.pl

[Source: wyborcza.pl]

National Phil In Japan

The National Philharmonic Orchestra is currently on tour in Japan with director Antoni Wit. The tour covers the most important cities in Japan, including Iwaki, Nagoya, Tokyo, Kyoto and Sapporo. The orchestra performs a mixed Polish and foreign program, featuring Moniuszko’s Bajka Overture, Chopin’s Piano Concerto in E Minor, Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony, and Dvorak’s 9th Symphony and  Slavic Dance no. 1. The soloist for the Chopin concerto is Stanisław Bunin, the 1985 winner of the Chopin Competition. However, for the concert in Sapporo, Bunin will be replaced by Keisuke Toyama.

[Source: wiadomosci.polska.plfilharmonia.pl]

PWM Encyclopedia News

The long awaited 11th volume of the PWM Music Encyclopedia is now available for purchase. The latest volume, edited by Elżbieta Dziębowska, contains over 550 entries written by 84 authors, covering letters T-U-V in music from antique to contemporary. The entries include not only composers but also music theoreticians, performers, literary writers, instrument makers, acousticians and publishers among others.

For purchase, please contact PWM.

[Source: pwm.com.pl]

Spisak Changes Publishers

On June 1, 2009 the process of transferring the publishing rights to Michał Spisak’s compositions from PWM to Euterpe Music Publishing House was concluded with an agreement between the two Kraków-based publishers regarding Spisak’s most recent compositions. Euterpe Publishing House been the main publisher of Spisak’s works, however a few compositions remain in control of foreign publishing houses such as Universal, Leduc, and Ricordi.  To obtain printed sheet music, orchestral scores and parts please contact: euterpe@euterpe.pl

[Source: pwm.com.pl]

Niemen Honored By Polish Bank

The National Bank of Poland has released two special coins celebrating the music of late Czesław Niemen, one of the most important Polish popular musicians starting in the 1960’s. The two coins are both 10 PLN coins—one is round and the other square. Each features portrait of Niemen and an image of two of his albums: Sen o Warszawie [A dream of Warsaw] on the round coin and Katharsis on the square coin.

The coins were unveiled in the Polish Radio Osiecka Studio on June 22. The presentation was accompanied by a concert performed by Polish popular/jazz music stars Grażyna Łobaszewska, Marek Bałata, Stanisław Sojka, and Andrzej Dutkiewicz. The concert also featured Czesław Niemen’s two daughters, Natalia and Eleonora (pictured at right).

The collectable coins are available for purchase at 64PLN (round coin) and 75PLN (square coin) – more information is available in the Banknotes and coinssection of the NBP website.

[Source: wiadomosci.polska.pl, Photos: www.nbpnews.pl]

Mateusz Kolakowski In NY

The Usdan Center For the Creative and Performing Arts, now entering its 42nd season and declared a “Best Of” class or camp for 2009 by TimeOutNY/Kids, NY Metro Parents and Long Island Press, will open its series of Festival Concerts, private educational performances for its students, on Monday June 29 at the Center’s 200-acre woodland campus. Many of the visiting artists will also provide special workshops to Usdan students. Usdan is located at 185 Colonial Springs Road, in Huntington, Long Island.

The Center’s 2009 season runs from June 29 to August 14 and opens with Metropolitan Klezmer, whose performances of Yiddish genres have been called “Impeccable yet electrifying (Village Voice).” On succeeding days, artists include jazz singer and Usdan alumna Jane Monheit; and Polish jazz pianist Mateusz Kolakowski, a prizewinner of the International Chopin Competition. Mateusz Kolakowski will perform on July 14 and give workshops on July 14 and 15. See the full schedule of concerts here.

[Source: ejazznews.com]


International Rostrum Of Composers

Polish composers have scored another success at the International Rostrum of Composers. This year, during the 56th edition of the Rostrum, both compositions presented by Polish Radio were included amongst the top 10 highest ranked compositions, also known as the list of “Recommended Works.” The two compositions are Gemisatos for orchestra, percussion and electronic layer by Magdalena Długosz (pictured on the left) and Things Lost, Things Invisible for soundscape and orchestra by Ewa Trębacz (pictured on the right).

The 56th edition of the International Rostrum of Composers took place in Paris between June 8 and 12. It attracted 57 composition entries from 27 radio stations from all around the world. The highest score in the general category was awarded to First Harmonium Concerto by Martijn Padding (Netherlands) and the highest score in the young composers category was given to Aquarelle for mixed choir by Juste Janulyte (Lithuania).

The International Rostrum of Composers has been organized since 1954 by the International Music Council, a UNESCO body. To view the press release click here. The next edition will take place in Lisbon in June 2010.

[Source: culture.pl]

Annual Minister Of Culture Awards

On June 15 the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bogdan Zdrojewski, bestowed his annual awards to 16 outstanding artists. The ceremony took place in the Ministry of Culture headquarters on Krakowskie Przedmieście in Warsaw. The awards are given for outstanding achievements in creative work, and the promotion and preservation of the cultural goods of National and International merit. The award is highly regarded in artistic circles and the winners outline the important trends and directions in Polish cultural development.

This year the list of awarded artists includes:

  • Mirosław Bałka – sculptor
  • Magdalena Cielecka – actress
  • Maria Janion – literary historian and critic
  • Jan Klata – theater director
  • Stefan Kuryłowicz – architect
  • Mariusz Kwiecień – singer
  • Dorota Masłowska – writer and journalist
  • Paweł Mykietyn – composer
  • Jerzy Skolimowski – film director
  • Jarosław Suchan – director of the Museum of Art in Łódź
  • Małgorzata Szumowska – film director
  • The ensemble of the Hotel Polonia project: Jarosław Trybuś, Grzegorz Piątek, Kobas Laksa, Nicolas Grospierre
  • Franciszek Pieczka – actor, Annual Honorary Award

In addition to a monetary prize, artists receive a statue designed by sculptor Adam Myjak.

[Sources: mkidn.gov.plwyborcza.pl; Photo: MKIDN]

Opus Award Nominations

Nominations for the 2nd edition of the Opus 2009 – Public Media Award were announced on June 8, 2009. The Opus Award honors outstanding contemporary music that was first performed and promoted in the preceding year. The 2009 Jury—consisting of Włodzimierz Kotoński, Andrzej Chłopecki, Krzysztof Droba, Marek Moś, Olgierd Pisarenko, Krzysztof Szwajgier and Paweł Szymański—has selected 25 compositions.

Public Media Award winners in the categories of Opus (music) and Cogito (literature) will be announced on September 14, 2009 during a gala at the Polish Radio Lutosławski Concert Studio. The gala will be broadcast by Polish Television Channel 1, Polish Television Culture and Polish Radio Channel 1. The winners of the award receive a monetary prize in the amount of 200,000 PLN (approx. $60,000).

The Opus and Cogito Public Media Awards were established in April 2008 by Polish Television and Radio. The goal of the award is to promote and popularize Polish art. It is an act of cooperation and support with contemporary artists by Poland’s public media outlets. The first recipient of the Opus award was Paweł Mykietyn for his Symphony no. 2.

Below is a list of this year’s nominated compositions:

  • Zbigniew Bargielski – VI String Quartet “Dramatic”
  • Mateusz Bień – Concertino for cello
  • Magdalena Długosz – Poza ciszą na taśmę[Outside the silence for tape]
  • Grzegorz Duchnowski – Apollo and Marsjasz
  • Anna Zawadzka-Gołosz – Epifrazy for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and French horn
  • Aleksandra Gryka – Youmec for harpsichord and tape
  • Paweł Hendrich – Metasolidus for symphonic orchestra
  • Maciej Jabłoński – 3 Concerto grosso for oboe, violin and chamber orchestra
  • Wojciech Kilar – Te Deum
  • Krzysztof Knittel – Tanie imitacje [Cheap imitations]
  • Justyna Kowalska – Obraz 1929[Painting 1929]
  • Hanna Kulenty – String Quartet in 4 (A Cradle Song)
  • Sławomir Kupczak – Penultima for cello and chamber orchestra
  • Aleksander Lasoń – Called Back Sacrificial Chanting and Playing to ANNA for solo voices and string orchestra
  • Paweł Łukaszewski – Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum for soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra
  • Paweł Mykietyn – Pasja wg św. Marka [St. Mark’s Passion]
  • Tomasz Opałka – Quadra for symphonic orchestra
  • Ryszard Osada – Mimesis II for chamber ensemble and electronics
  • Krzysztof Penderecki – Concerto for French horn and orchestra
  • Tomek Praszczałek – Concerto for viola and orchestra
  • Dariusz Przybylski – Orchesterstuck
  • Piotr Radko – Kantylena for symphonic orchestra
  • Elżbieta Sikora – South shore – 20′ concertino for harp chamber orchestra
  • Sławomir Wojciechowski – Ge-sheng for violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet and accordion
  • Krzysztof Wołek – Un claro del tiempo for flutes, soprano, piano and electronics

[Sources: polmic.comnagrody-mediow-publicznych.plpwm.com.pl]

Wietrzynska Wins Redlands Bowl Auditions

L to R: Maria Wietrzynska with other members of the Alma Trio – Diana Flores (Costa Rica, cello) and Clara Kruk (Uruguay, violin). Pictured at the Classical Music Series – Peninsula Center Library in Palos Verdes, CA. Photo: N. Zaninovic

Polish Pianist Maria Wietrzynska is a winner in this year’s 58th Annual Young Artists Auditions of the Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival. These awards are given for Piano and Instrumental performance [Junior (up to age 18 but not yet in college) and Senior (19-26, or 18 if in college) divisions], as well as Vocal Performance [Junior (18-23) and Senior (24-30) divisions]. The winners performed on Tuesday, June 30 at the Festival.


Chopin Recordings

Maria João Pires – Chopin
Frederic Chopin: Piano Sonata no. 3 in B Minor Op. 58; Deux Nocturnes Op. 62; Mazurkas Op. 59, 63, 67 and 68; Polonaise No. 7 in A flat Major Op. 61 “Fantaisie”; Waltzes nos. 6, 7 and 8 Op. 64; Cello Sonata in G Minor Op. 65
Maria João Pires – piano; Pavel Gomziakov – cello
Deutsche Grammophon 477 7483 9

Guitar Recording

Roch Modrzejewski – Gustoso
Francesco Spinacio: Intabolature de lauto; Nuccio D’Angelo: Due Canzoni Lidie; Fernando Sor: Six Airs Choisis de l’Opera de Mozart II Flauto Magico; Napoléon Coste: Le tournoi, fantaisie chevaleresque; Bernhard Joahim Hagen: Sonata; Liuto solo in b minor; Aleksander Tansman: Variations sur un theme de Scriabine; Bernhard Joahim Hagen: Sonata à Liuto solo in B major
Roch Modrzejewski – guitar
Castello GT

New from DUX

Patrycja Piekutowska – The Power of Emotion
Carlos Gustavino: The rose and the willow; Ernest Bloch: Baal Shem – II. Nigun (Improvisation); Aram Khachaturian: Nocturne; Cyril Scott: Lotus Land Op. 47 no. 1; Ludomir Różycki: Nocturne F sharp Minor Op. 30 no. 2; Weronika Ratusińska: Amarcord for violin and piano; Jules Massenet: Meditation from Thais; Astor Piazzola: Adios Nonino; Karol Szymanowski: Romance D Major Op. 23; Sergey Rachmaninov: Vocalise Op. 34 no. 14; John Williams: Theme from Schindler’s List
Patrycja Piekutowska – violin, Mariusz Rutkowski – piano

Karol Szymanowski Songs Op. 5, 7, 32, 41, 54
Karol Szymanowski: Three Fragments op. 5 (from poems by Jan Kasprowicz); Swan Op. 7 (to the words of Wacław Berent); Three songs Op. 32 (to the words of Dymitr Dawydow); Four Songs Op. 41 (to the words of Rabindranath Tagore); Seven Songs Op. 54 (to the words of James Joyce)
Anna Radziejewska – mezzo-soprano, Mariusz Rutkowski – piano

Krzysztof Meyer Symfonia/Koncert Podwójny
Krzysztof Meyer: Symphony no. 7 „Sinfonia del tempo che passa” Op. 97; Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra Op. 105
Julius Berger – cello, Magdalena Rezler – violin, Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, Łukasz Borowicz – conductor

The Historical Organ of the Reformed Church in Warsaw
Niels Wilhelm Gade: Festliches Präludium über den Choral “Lobet den Herren”; Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Präludium und Fuge für Klavier f-moll nr 5 op. 35 (arranged for organ by Christoph Bossert); Michał Markuszewski: 2 improvisation on themes of evangelical songs; Julius Reubke: Sonata for organ in C Minor “Psalm 94”; Max Reger: Melody Op. 59 no. 11; Intraduction and Passacaglia in D Minor Op. Posth.
Michał Markuszewski – organ


Festival Of Szymanowski’s Music

The 32nd edition of Days of Karol Szymanowski’s Music in Zakopane will take place between July 18 and 26. The Festival is organized by the Karol Szymanowski Society from Zakopane. In addition to music of Karol Szymanowski, this year the Festival will feature compositions by Bartłomiej Pękiel, Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki, Franciszek Lessel, W. A. Mozart, L. v. Beethoven, Fryderyk Chopin, Juliusz Zarębski, and Grażyna Bacewicz. As a result of cooperation with the Carl Nielsen Music Society in Copenhagen, Carl Nielsen will be this year’s featured foreign composer. Artists invited to perform this year include: Octava Vocal Octet, Anna Kijanowska, Beata Warykiewicz-Siwy, Joanna Domańska, Klaudia Kidoń, Anne Øland (Denmark), Ayaki Meiwa (Japan) and chamber players of the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra. There also will be two discussion sessions with Andrzej Kosowski, chief editor of PWM, and Knud Ketting, chairman of the Carl Nielsen Society in Copenhagen.

[Source: culture.pl]

Jazz In The Old Town

The 15th Jazz in the Old Town festival will start on July 4 in Warsaw and will feature some of the best jazz artists from Poland and around the world. The concert calendar includes performances by Djabe (Hungary), String Connection (Poland), Marlene Mortensen Group (Denmark), Bryan Corbett & Funk de Nite (USA), Włodzimierz Nahorny Trio (Poland), Katy Roberts Quartet (USA), Silvana Malta Quartet (Brazil), Bobo Stenson Trio (Sweden), and Torsten Goods & Band (USA).

Jazz in the Old Town is one of the longest-running free jazz festivals in Europe. Every Saturday evening, until September 29, the Old Town Market square in Warsaw will host a concert. Each event attracts on average 3 thousand people.

For more information about the festival and for the detailed calendar, please visit the official website of the festival.

[Source: culture.pljazznastarowce.pl]

Warsaw Summer Jazz Days

This year marks the 18th edition of the Warsaw Summer Jazz Days. Starting on June 30 and going until July 8, there will be a concert every night in venues around the city. The international roster of star artists performing includes New York’s World Saxophone Quartet, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, vocalists Dianne Reeves, Angelique Kidjo, Liza Celeste, and Maria Schneider. Most of the festival performances take place at the Warsaw Congress Hall.

The Warsaw Summer Jazz Days features an Austrian Day and a Slovak Day, as well as a performance of Jazz Suite Tykocin with Włodek Pawlik, Randy Brecker and the Symphony Orchestra of the Opera and Philharmonic in Białystok.

For a complete calendar of concerts and a list of artists, please visit adamiakjazz.pl.

[Sources: culture.pladamiakjazz.pl]

Jazz In Kraków

The 14th Summer Jazz Festival at the Piwnica pod Baranami club and cabaret will take place in Kraków between July 5 and 31. This year the special artist in residence at the festival is the NDR Big Band from Hamburg. They will perform several concerts with such esteemed guest stars as Maria Schneider, Joe Lovano, Joao Bosco, Nils Landgren and Polish superstars: Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Janusz Muniak, Jarosław Śmietana and Gucio Dyląg. The concerts will take place in several venues, including the Kraków Opera house, the old-town square, and many different jazz and night clubs around Kraków.

Piwnica pod Baranami will host a series of daily concerts featuring outstanding Polish artists. Additionally, concerts will be held at the Harris Piano Club, U Muniaka Club, Drukarnia Club and Blue Blies at Radisson Blu.

The festival also awards the Jazz Lamb statue. This prize is granted to outstanding jazz musicians linked to the history of jazz in Kraków and at Piwnica Pod Baranami.

The Summer Jazz Festival at Piwnica Pod Baranami was organized for the first time in 1996 during the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Piwnica pod Baranami. During the last seven years, the top Polish musicians have performed at the Festival, including: Adam Makowicz, Tomasz Stańko, Urszula Dudziak, Michał Urbaniak, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Jarek Śmietana, Wojciech Karolak, Jan “Ptaszyn” Wróblewski, Leszek Mozdżer, Piotr Wojtasik, and more. Many foreign stars have also performed, including: Lee Konitz, Brandford Marsalis, Eddie Henderson, Greg Osby, Hamiett Bluiet, Nigel Kennedy, Larry Coryell, The Rosenberg Trio, Rashied Ali, Ricky Ford, John Abercrombie, Hiram Bullock, Leni Stern, Rachel Z, Vadim Brodski, Pierre Blanchard, Larry Koonse, amongst others.

For a complete calendar of concerts and lineup of artists, please visit www.cracjazz.com/eng/hm.htm.

[Source: cracjazz.com]

Łódź Phil Traveling Festival

The 10th edition of the Traveling Festival of the Łódź Philharmonic, entitled “The Colors of Poland,” starts on June 28 and will go until September 27. This festival’s goal is to fill the summer holiday weekends with music—in varied venues such as churches, monasteries, museums, galleries, and even prisons—and give the listeners new experiences. The program of the festival is quite varied and will feature flamenco, Indian, folk, baroque and many other styles of music. For a complete program and artist information, please visit the official website of the festival or the website of Łódź Philharmonic. All performances are free, except for the inaugural concert.

[Sources: wyborcza.plkolorypolski.plfilharmonia.lodz.pl]

Tzadik Poznań Festival

The Tzadik Festival is dedicated to improvised music based on the Jewish klezmer tradition. The 3rd edition of the Festival will take place in Poznań between July 17 and 19.

The first night will be filled by music performed by the Polish ensemble “Ircha Pneumatic” and the Feldman/Caine/Cohen/Perowsky quartet. The second day will feature more Polish and American guests: Cukunft Quartet and Rashanim – Masada Rock. The final day of the festival will be filled by the music of The Transgress (Poland) and La Mar Enfortuna (USA).

For more information about the festival and the artists, please visit www.tzadikpoznanfestival.pl.

[Sources: wyborcza.pltzadikpoznanfestival.pl]

Płock Summer Festival

The 11th Płock Summer Music Festival, hosted by the Płock Philharmonic, will take place between July 5 and 26. The highlight of the festival will be the inaugural concert featuring legendary Yes keyboardist, Rick Wakeman. Other invited guests include highly acclaimed vocal ensemble Affabre Concinui, violinist Katarzyna Duda, and many other great Polish artists. The concerts will take place each Friday and Sunday night.

[Source: muzyka.onet.pl]

Polish Song Festival

The Romuald Traugutt Philhramonic has organized the 9th edition of the Summer Festival of Songs by Polish Composers. The festival started on June 20 and will end on July 12. The concerts take place in Łazienki Królewskie park, the Warsaw Music Society, and Wilanów Palace. Adminssion to all concerts is free.

Each of the concerts is dedicated to a different composer and performed by leading Polish artists. For the complete program of the festival, please visit polmic.pl .

[Source: culture.pl]

Organ Festival

16th International Festival “Organ of the Archcathedral” will start on July 5 and will end on September 20 in Warsaw. Established in 1994, it is one of the most popular festivals in Warsaw and one of the most important organ festivals in Europe. The concerts take place each Sunday at the St. John’s Archcathedral in Warsaw.

This year, esteemed guests include such artists as Christian Marcus Raiser (Germany), Piotr Rachoń (Poland), Benantzi Bilbao (Spain), Sergio Paolini (Italy), Angelo Castaldo (Italy), Stefan Johannes Bleicher (Switzerland), Isabelle Désert (France), Przemysław Kapituła (Poland), Mario Ciferri (Italy), Jean – Christophe Geiser (Switzerland), Carlo Tunesi (Italy), and Enrico Zanovello (Italy).

For more information please visit www.kapitula.org.

[Source: culture.pl]

Musical Gardens 2009

Music and culture of the Scandinavian countries will be the focus of this year’s 9th edition of the Musical Gardens Festival, entitled “Gardens of the North.” This Festival runs for the entire month of July.

The featured concert artists will include: Kwadrofonik (Poland), Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, Pearls Before Swine Experience (Sweden), Piano Duet – Ellen Ugelvik and Håkon Austbø (Norway), Music for a While Ensemble (Norway), and Motion Trio(Poland). On July 11 Polish Orchhestra Sinfonia Iuventus will perform under Wojciech Michniewski with cellist Rafał Kwiatkowski.

The program of the “Gardens of the North” includes music/film presentations coming mostly from the Scandinavian countries. Among others the audiences will see: Super Troupers a movie about ABBA, a documentary Ballad of Edward Grieg starring pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, a staging of Peer Gynt in Cairo, a video of the Björk concert at Covent Garden and many more.

For more information, please visit the official website of the festival.

[Sources: wiadomosci.polska.plogrodymuz.pl]


Kuropaczewski In Ithaca

Łukasz Kuropaczewski arguably the most celebrated Polish classical guitar player, has performed a recital at the 2009 Guitar Foundation of America Convention and Competition in Ithaca, NY. The performance was hailed as one of the greatest this year and the audience gave Kuropaczewski a standing ovation. The program included Witold Lutosławski’s Folk Songs as well as works by Giuliani and Jose.

[Source: muzyka.onet.pl]

Szymanowski In Wales

On June 5, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales performed the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No 1, Op 35 of Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) with Alina Ibragimova, violin and Walter Weller, conductor. Also on the program was Antonín Dvorák (1841-1904) – The Noonday Witchand Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) – Symphony No 7 in A, Op 92. The concert took place at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea.

Rian Evans in The Guardian gives this review of the performance:

Karol Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto, written in the middle of the first world war, was an escape to a place of fantasy and imagination, its single-movement form reinforcing the flight from convention. Alina Ibragimova was the fluent soloist, her sweet tone singing out in the high ecstatic lines; at other times, however, she was drowned out by the enthusiasm of Weller and the orchestra for Szymanowski’s sumptuously expansive textures.

[Sources: www.concert-diary.comwww.guardian.co.uk]


Born This Month

  • July 04, 1904 – Artur MALAWSKI, composer (d. 1957)
  • July 06, 1837 – Władysław ŻELEŃSKI, composer (also a doctor of philosophy, d.1921)
  • July 09, 1931 – Eugeniusz KNAPIK, composer
  • July 10, 1936 – Jan Wincenty HAWEL, composer and conductor
  • July 10, 1835 – Henryk WIENIAWSKI, violin virtuoso & composer (d. 1880, Moscow)
  • July 10, 1929 – Tadeusz STRUMIŁŁO, musicologist (d. 1956)
  • July 13, 1775 – Antoni Henryk RADZIWIŁŁ, composer, cellist, patron of arts (d. 1833)
  • July 14, 1926 – Jan KRENZ, conductor & composer
  • July 16, 1947 – Grażyna PSTROKOŃSKA-NAWRATIL, composer
  • July 17, 1932 – Wojciech KILAR, composer
  • July 22, 1930 – Leoncjusz CIUCIURA, composer
  • July 23, 1884 – Apolinary SZELUTO, composer (Young Poland group, d. 1966)
  • July 26, 1928 – Tadeusz BAIRD, composer (d. 1982)
  • July 26, 1922 – Andrzej KOSZEWSKI, composer (choral music)
  • July 29, 1943 – Marta PTASZYŃSKA, composer & percussionist
  • July 31, 1810 – Julian FONTANA, close friend and musical associate of Chopin (d. December 1869)


Died This Month

  • July 1, 2001 – Halina CZERNY-STEFANSKA (b. 1922), pianist
  • July 6, 1911 – Kazimierz HOFMANN (b. 1842), pianist, composer, father of the renowned virtuoso and director of Curtis Institute, Józef Hofmann
  • July 8, 1906 – Franciszek BORNIK (b. 1870), priest, conductor, writer
  • July 21, 1964 – Zygmunt SITOWSKI (b. 1906), musicologist
  • July 23, 1829 – Wojciech BOGUSŁAWSKI (b. 1757), the first theatre director in Poland, the author of several opera libretti (set by J. Stefani and J. Elsner)
  • July 25, 1831 – Maria SZYMANOWSKA (b. 1789), pianist & composer