Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 15, no. 11

Polish Music In CA

2009 Paderewski Festival In Paso Robles

This year’s Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles (November 12-15) promises another exciting weekend full of excellent music in beautiful surroundings. The Festival continues to grow, as Festival organizers have added new events, venues, and participants. Read about some of this year’s developments in an article by Melissa Chavez in this month’s Paso Robles Magazine, entitled “Culture, Education and Relationship Exemplify Paderewski Festival.”

Also, this year’s Youth Competition has expanded to include Monterey and Santa Barbara Counties. Read more about the Competition winners in the Awards section.

See below for a calendar of events for the Festival. Individual tickets, Festival passes and VIP passes are available for purchase on the Paderewski Festival website, www.paderewskifest.com.

Daily Calendar Of Events

Thursday, November 12 | 7 p.m. | Vina Robles Winery, 3700 Mill Road, Paso Robles, CA
Denali String Quartet recital
 of works by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Henryk Górecki, and Johannes Brahms
Wine reception begins at 6 p.m. Admission: Individual $25 | Seniors $20 | All Festival Pass Holders

Friday, November 13 | 7 p.m | Cass Winery, 7350 Linne Road, Paso Robles, CA
Piano Recital by William Koseluk
. Works by Edvard Grieg and Ignacy Jan Paderewski
Wine reception begins at 6 p.m. Admission: Individual $20 | All Festival Pass Holders

Saturday, November 14 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Paderewski Winery Tour
Private tour of former Paderewski Vineyard
, Rancho San Ignacio
Limited to the VIP Festival Pass Holders Only

Saturday, November 14 | 4 p.m. | Ballroom, Paso Robles Inn, 1103 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA
Youth Piano Competition Winners’ Concert

Admission: Free and open to the public

Saturday, November 14 | 8 p.m. | Ballroom, Paso Robles Inn, 1103 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA
Gala Concert: Piano Recital by Hubert Rutkowski. Works by Chopin, Paderewski, Gottschalk, Fontana, and Leschetizky (see performer’s bio below)
Wine Reception begins at 6:30 pm in the Ballroom Lobby
Admission: Individual $35 | Senior $25 | Youth under 21:  $15 | All Festival Pass Holders

Sunday, November 15 | 11 a.m. | Vinoteca Wine Bar, 835 Twelfth Street, Paso Robles, CA
Champagne brunch 
for Paderewski Festival attendees
Admission: $15 | All Festival Pass Holders

Events Surrounding The Festival

November 14 | 5 – 8 p.m.| Downtown Paso Robles merchants
Elegant Evening: spend the time between Festival concerts patronizing downtown merchants and restaurants dressed to the nines

November 14 –15| Daily | Paso Robles Inn, 1103 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA
Paderewski Festival Package
 at the hotel where Paderewski stayed when he came to town
Special prices for Paderewski Festival attendees includes: overnight accommodations in a Deluxe Spa Room; Prix fixe Polish dinner for two at the Paso Robles Inn Steakhouse; Two tickets to the Paderewski Festival Gala Concert

November 14 –15| Daily | Paso Robles Inn Steakhouse, 1103 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA
Prix fixe Polish menu for guests and Festival attendees

November 5 –17 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Weekday (except Weds.)Carnegie Library, City Park, Downtown Paso Robles, CA
Display of Paderewski Memorabilia during the Festival – Paderewski Festival Collection & Paso Robles Collection (on loan from the Polish Music Center USC)
Admission: Free

November 9 –15 | 1:00 pm. – 4 p.m., Thursday – Sunday | Pioneer Museum, Paso Robles, CA
Display of Paderewski Memorabilia during the Festival
Admission: Free

For more information on the 2009 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, please visit the Festival Web site: www.paderewskifest.com

Poland’s Independence Day

Poland’s Independence Day will be commemorated with a concert performed by soprano, Ewelina Chrobak-Hańska and pianist, Ewa Telega. The concert program will offer a number of Polish popular patriotic songs, including Marsz Pierwszej BrygadyUlani and Piechota. A reception will follow the concert.

Ewelina Chrobak-Hańska is a versatile artist, performing diverse genres of music, including opera, operetta, musical theater and patriotic songs. She has performed broadly in Germany, Belgium the Netherlands, France, Italy, Switzerland, and the UK. Ewa Telegais an acclaimed pianist and private piano instructor, as well as the winner of a number of Polish and international competitions.

Free Admission – please note that due to the limited number of sits (250 only), we will work on first come, first served basis.

November 9th, 2009 at 7.00 p.m.
Independence Day – Concert of Polish National Songs
Zipper Concert Hall
The Colburn School, 200 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Public parking only
Information at (310) 442 8500 ext. 109

Rutkowski in L.A.

The Paderewski Music Society is presenting Polish pianist Hubert Rutkowski in two piano recitals: on November 7 at Loyola Marymount University and November 8 at California State University – Northridge. Mr. Rutkowski’s repertoire interests concentrate on the unknown compositions of pupils of Frederic Chopin and lesser-known pianists-composers of the late Romantic era.

The program includes works by Frederic Chopin, Julian Fontana, Louis  Moreau Gottschalk, Julian Fontana, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and Theodore Leschetyzki. For Program Notes, please visit www.ijpaderewski.org

Saturday, November 7, 2009  at  8:00 PM
Loyola Marymount University
Murphy Recital Hall – Burns Fine Art Center
1 LMU Drive,  Los Angeles, California 90045 (map)
Free admission, Free Parking

Sunday, November 8, 2009  at  3:00 PM
California State University Northridge
Cypress Recital Hall
18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330 (map)
Tickets: $20.00 – for tickets call Christopher Onzol at (818) 456-7742
Please park in Student Lot B1 ($6:00)

Pianist Hubert Rutkowski was born in Płońsk, Poland, in 1981. He began to study piano at the age of eight and continued his musical education at the Elsner State School in Warsaw. Afterwards Mr. Rutkowski studied piano with Professor Anna Jastrzębska-Quinn and graduated with distinction from the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw in 2005. Mr. Rutkowski also studied chamber music with Professor Krystyna Borucińska and at the same time attended Warsaw University of Technology.  Since 2005 he has divided his time between Poland and Germany, where he was attending master classes of Professor Evgeni Koroliov at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. Mr. Rutkowski has just finished his doctoral thesis, “The Leschetizky Piano School in the Context of his Piano Compositions,”at the Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. He is the founder and President of the Theodor Leschetizky Music Society in Warsaw.

Hubert Rutkowski is a prizewinner of several international piano competitions. He received the First Prize at the Chopin Competition in Hanover (2007), the Second Prize at the Elise Meyer Competition in Hamburg (2006), was a finalist at the Maria Canals Piano Competition in Barcelona (2006), the First Prize winner at the Piano Festival in Warsaw (2000), and the Third Prize winner at the Chopin Competition in Vilnius (1999).

Mr. Rutkowski has performed as a soloist and with orchestras, appearing in concerts in Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Japan, Cuba, United States, and Cyprus. In the summer of 2004, he performed with the Orchestra Sinfonica Giovanile Internazionale under the baton of Tomasz Bugaj during the Catania Summer Music Festival in Sicily.  Over the past several years, Hubert Rutkowski has made archival recordings for the German radio broadcasts, including the SüdWest-Rundfunk and the NDR Rundfunk.

His discography so far includes two CDs recorded for the Acte Préalable label—the Julian Fontana disc (2007) and the Teodor Leschetizky disc (2008), which elicited high praise from Gramophone Magazine in June 2009. This summer and fall Mr. Rutkowski is recording works by Tellefsen, Mikuli, Filtsch, and Gutman for the NAXOS label.  During the summer of 2009 Mr. Rutkowski performed at the prestigious Husum Piano Festival in Germany and conducted the Eighth International Piano-Master Course, “Idea—Image—Technique” in Rzeszów, Poland.

During 2010—the Chopin year—Hubert Rutkowski will return to perform at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany and make his debut in Paris, performing piano concertos by Chopin’s pupils with the orchestra of Conservatoire National de Région de Paris under Xaver Delette.


Dębski Premiere

The 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic gave the world premiere of Krzesimir Dębski’s Cello Animation on Sunday, September 27th in Gdańsk, Poland, at the home of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic. Also on the program were compositions by Bach, Mendelssohn, Poulenc, Verdi, Piazzola, Ravel, and Boris Blacher. According to the composer, “it was an excellent and bravura performance.”

Kilar Premiere

The world premiere of Wojciech Kilar’s new composition, Hymn Paschalny for mixed choir a capella was performed on October 16 in Jelenia Góra, Poland, in the Church of Mercy under Christ’s Cross. The concert was performed by Adam Sobierajski – tenor, Jadwiga Śmieszchalska-Delepaut – organ, the Silesian Philharmonic Choir (Jarosław Wolanin – choir preparation) and the Lower-Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra from Jelenia Góra, conducted by Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk.

In addition to the premiered work, the concert program also featured Kilar’s Victoria for mixed choir and symphonic orchestra and Exodus for mixed choir and orchestra, as well as Hector Berlioz’s Te Deum.

[Source: culture.pl]

Record Price For A Violin

The sale of the Guarneri del Gesu “Kochański” violin recently brought in a record sale price of $10 million USD. This violin dates to 1741 and is considered one of the finest Guarneri instruments in existence. Although the former owner, violinist Aaron Rosand, had decided to part with this precious instrument, he compared the transaction to parting with his soul.

This particular violin has a Polish connection. It used to belong to Paweł Kochański, a virtuoso violinist and close friend of Karol Szymanowski, who died in 1934. In the mid-October, 2009 the violin was sold by Rosand to a Russian billionaire (unidentified) and it is believed that the instrument will now serve as a loan instrument to deserving violinists. Rosand decided to donate $1,5 million to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. “I suppose it’ll now be known as the ex-Rosand” – said the violinist.

Since his orchestral debut with the Chicago Symphony at age 10, Rosand has appeared with the orchestras of New York, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Houston, London, Paris, Munich Tokyo, Rome, Vienna and Brussels, as well as the National Symphony, Bayerischer Rundfunk, English Chamber Orchestra and Concertgebouw, and many others. He continues to collaborate with major orchestras and conductors throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia. In 2002, he celebrated his 75th birthday with a sold-out performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto at Verizon Hall in Philadelphia. [from artist’s website]

[Sources: muzyka.onet.plaaronrosand.comnytimes.com]

Lutosławski Educational Stipend

The Board of the Witold Lutosławski Society has announced a competition for an academic stipend funded by the family of the composer. The stipend, worth $10,000, will be given to a deserving young musician to further his or her education abroad. Only one artist will be chosen each year. The award is available to Polish students and graduates of music schools in all specialties: composition, conducting, vocal arts and instrumental performance.

Interested musicians should send their applications and required documents (resume, graduation diplomas, future education plans and letters of recommendation) no later than November 30, 2009 to the address of the Lutosławski Society in Warsaw:

Towarzystwo im. Witolda Lutosławskiego
ul. Bracka 23
00-028 Warszawa

[Source: polmic.com]

Stojowski’s String Quartet In Germany

A rare performance of Zygmunt Stojowski’s only work for string quartet, Variations et Fugue pour deux Violons, Alto et Violoncelle, Op. 6, will be performed by the Transatlantis Quartet at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Benz, Germany, located on the island of Uznam in the Baltic Sea. The concert takes place on December 22 at 7:00 p.m.

The Transatlantis Quartet consists of four young Warsaw-based musicians, two coming from South America and two from Poland. The leader of the quartet is the French Argentinean violinist Christian Danowicz, currently studying violin with Krzysztof Jakowicz and conducting with Antoni Wit at the Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. Coming from a well-known musical family, the second violinist is Aleksandra Bugaj, a member of the Polish Iuventus Symphony Orchestra. The Venezuelan violist, Luis Cordero, has been living in Poland for over a year, and the cellist is Anna Lubiak-Osmycki, principal cellist of the Iuventus Orchestra.

First published when the composer was only twenty-one, Stojowski’s string quartet is dedicated to the Polish violinist and composer Władyslaw Górski (1846-1915) who, as soloist of the Lamoureux Orchestra, was Stojowski’s professor of chamber music while the young musician studied in Paris. A digitalized set of parts of the quartet can be downloaded free-of-charge from the website of the Eastman School of Music’s Sibley Music Library.


Midori In Kraków

USC professor and world-famous violinist and philanthropist, Midori Goto, will be performing a concert of violin music by Karol Szymanowski in conjunction with the Polish Music Festival in Kraków (see more about the Polish Music Festival below). The concert program will feature Pieśń Roxany [Roxanna’s Song]from Szymanowski’s opera Król Roger [King Roger], as transcribed for violin by Grzegorz Fitelberg, as well as Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto. Just last year, Midori performed another great of Polish contemporary repertoire, Penderecki’s Second Violin Sontata, for the PMC’s Polish Music Spring concert. Pictured at left with PMC Director Marek Zebrowski.

Sinfonia Iuventus Director Change

Starting on September 1, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bogdan Zdrojewski, has appointed Maestro Tadeusz Wojciechowski as the Artistic Director of the Polish Youth Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus. Mr. Błażej Sroczyński was appointed the manager of the orchestra.

[Source: www.sinfoniaiuventus.pl]

Paderewski Room Re-Opening At PMA

The re-opening of the historic Ignacy Jan Paderewski Room at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago has arrived.  After 14 months of extensive repair, renovation, painting and conservation, thanks to generous gratis supplies and pro bono services from qualified and dedicated contractors, tradesmen, craftsmen and artisans, the Museum’s Paderewski Room Renovation Committee is pleased to announce that the re-opening of the Paderewski Room will take place Friday, November 6, 2009. Special tours of the Paderewski Room will also be given. The re-opening will be kicked off with a by-invitation-only gala, introducing those in attendance the opportunity to view precious photographs, documents, papers, other Paderewski-orientated memorabilia, and much more.

POLMIC On Facebook

POLska Muzyka Inspiruje Codziennie! [Polish Music Inspires Everyday]

The Polish Music Information Center in Warsaw has created a profile on the social portal Facebook. They would like to invite you to visit the profile and become a fan. They hope to further the circles of followers of the Polmic website and also lovers of Polish music. To visit their profile, please go to www.facebook.com.

[Source: polmic.com]

Ensemble Mujirushi Tour

(Edmonton, Ensemble Mujirushi). Edmonton’s premier Avant-garde collective, Ensemble Mujirushi, wishes to announce the details of SMASH THE MAINSTREAM tour, their first European outing conducted between 18 and 28 November 2009.  Ensemble Mujirushi’s personnel is comprised of Michelle Milenkovic (mezzo-soprano and actress), Gerry Morita (dancer), Piotr Grella-Mozejko (composer and computer sound designer), Jerry Ozipko (acoustic and electric violinist, composer), Christopher Payne (visual effects programmer), and Charles Stolte (saxophonist, composer).

Under the generous support and sponsorship of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Edmonton Arts Council, the Tonus Vivus Society, The SOCAN Foundation, SEE Magazine, The King’s University College, and  Mile Zero Dance, who provided travel grants and/or made contributions in kind, the tour will begin on Wednesday, November 18 with a concert in Ghent, Belgium, under the auspices of De Rode Pomp, the chief New Music presenter in Flanders. From there, the ensemble will proceed to Kraków, Poland, where, as part of the prestigious Audio Art Festival, they will perform on the evening of Saturday, 21 November.  That will be followed by concerts in Gdansk, Katowice, Lódz (twice) and Warszawa, performed in the leading post-secondary music schools (Academies of Music) and experimental art galleries.

The Ensemble’s European tour repertoire will centre around two major scores written and dedicated to them by the classics of Canadian and US Avant-garde, Randy Raine-Reusch (Canada) and Sydney Wallace Stegall (US), as well as experimental compositions by other Canadian and international composers who have created works for the Ensemble (*), or whose works the Ensemble selected for the tour: Darlene Chepil Reid (*), Siaw Kin Lee (*), Viola Rusche, Helve Sastok (*), Dan Albertson (*), Georges Aperghis, Earle Brown, Aris Carastathis, Marek Choloniewski, Piotr Grella-Mozejko (*), Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, Shane Krepakevich (*), Jordan Nobles (*), Jerry Ozipko (*), Boguslaw Schaeffer, Charles Stolte, Jan Vandenheede, and Georges Vantogerloo.

Saturday,  November 7 | 8:00 P.M.
Ensemble Mujirushi – European tour preview concert
Knoppers Hall – The King’s University College
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
For further information: 780-432-1618 or pgm@tonusvivus.com

November Concerts @ Kosciuszko Fdn


The Wieniawski Trio will perform a concert on Sunday, November 15, 3pm at the Kosciuszko Foundation). Jozef Wieniawski’s rarely-heard Piano Trio in G is featured on the program. Karol Szymanowski’s Mythes are also included, and the program closes with Johannes Brahms’ masterwork Piano Trio in B major, Op. 8. The concert is presented in association with Chamber Players International.

Violinist Anna Rabinova was born in Moscow, and graduated from that city’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music where her teachers were Igor Bezrodnyi and Leonid Kogan. After moving to New York she studied with Joseph Fuchs at The Juilliard School. Ms. Rabinovae won the Bach International Violin Competition in Leipzig, Germany and the first prize in the International Jeunesses Musicales Competition in Belgrade. In recent seasons she has toured Germany, Italy, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Bulgaria.  A member of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, she is currently on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, in addition to giving master classes in the U.S. and abroad.

Cellist Sophie Shao received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant at the age of nineteen, and has gone on to an international teaching and performing career. A native of Houston, she entered the Curtis Institute at the age of thirteen, and continued her studies at Yale University. She is on the faculty of Vassar College and the Bard Conservatory of Music

Pianist Pei-Yao Wang has established herself as a prominent soloist and chamber musician, and  has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia; She is currently a member of Chamber Music Society Two at Lincoln Center, a program to promote emerging young artists. Born in Taiwan, Pai-Yao was invited at the age of 12 to study at The Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with Seymour Lipkin and Institute Director Gary Graffman. She then studied with Claude Frank at Yale University, where she received the Master of Music degree, and also pursued a concentration in architecture. She currently resides in New York City, where for several years she was the only student

Sunday, November 15, 3pm
Wieniawski Trio in concert

Kosciuszko Foundation 
15 East 65th Street, New York City
Tickets: Foundation Office at (212) 734-2130 or culture@thekf.org


Kinga Augustyn, violin, and Efi Hackmey, piano, will give a recital on Tuesday, November 17 at 7 pm, at the Kosciuszko Foundation. Their program includes works of Bach, Mozart, Brahms, and Wieniawski, as well as the premiere of Song and Toccata by New York composer Michael White.

Kinga Augustyn is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree as well as a teaching assistant at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. A recent Master’s graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City, where she studied with Cho Liang Lin, Naoko Tanaka, and the legendary Dorothy DeLay, Ms. Augustyn has already released her debut CD of the Paganini 24 Caprices for Violin Solo. [Photo courtesy of artist’s website]

Pianist Efi Hackmey has appeared in the United States and Europe, as well as in his native Israel. He was featured on Israeli TV channel 2, the most popular TV channel in Israel, and on Israeli National Public Radio. Efi Hackmey served on the piano faculty at DePauw University School of Music, and he also taught at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. He is on the faculty of “Summertrios” chamber music festival. Mr. Hackmey is currently a doctoral candidate in piano performance at Indiana University – Bloomington, where he studied with renowned pianist Menahem Pressler.

Tuesday, Nov. 17 | 7:00 pm
Recital with Kinga Augustyn, violin, and Efi Hackmey, piano

Kosciuszko Foundation
15 East 65th Street, New York City
Tickets: Foundation Office at (212) 734-2130 or culture@thekf.org


Violinists Ania and Piotr Filochowski will give a recital on Sunday, November 22, at 3 PM, at the Kosciuszko Foundation (15 E. 65th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues). They will be accompanied by Charity Wicks, piano, in a program of works by Brahms, Grieg, Chopin, Paganini and Wieniawski, among others. Tickets are $20, and can be reserved by calling the Foundation Office at (212) 734-2130 or writing to.

Ania and Piotr Filochowski are award-winning violinists from Poland who have gone on to perform internationally. They have studied at The Juilliard School and Yale School of Music; their teachers include Itzak Perlman, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Midori, Ruggiero Ricci, and Aaron Rosand.

Past concerts have met with great acclaim; don’t miss the chance to hear these young violinists in their only New York City recital this fall.

Sunday, November 22 | 3 pm
Violinists Ania and Piotr Filochowski in recital
Kosciuszko Foundation
15 East 65th Street, New York City
Tickets: Foundation Office at (212) 734-2130 or culture@thekf.org

Lamentatio To Maciejewski’s Requiem

New choreography by Agnieszka Laska Dancers (ALD) and Danscoreo and Impetus Arts (IA) Directors, Agnieszka Laska and Curtis Walker, to excerpts from the legendary Requiem by Roman Maciejewski and a new score by ALD Resident Composer, Jackie Gabel.

Lamentatio is a companion piece to The Fall ’01 – (premiered 09/11/06), a dance-theatre epic about the empire at the precipice of its fall. It focuses on the suicidal Global War Of Terror. Lamentatio examines the emotional and physical damage to victims on all sides. As for polemics, Lamentatio is a call for re-humanization of all victims. Any veteran and any refugee of any armed conflict from anywhere in the world will be freely admitted to any showing in this premiere run, as well as all persons of mixed abilities. Like The Fall ’01, Lamentatio is not a poster piece for the peace movement, but a keening for our collective soul at a time of historical crisis and a document of our collective pain, shame, loss and suffering.

November 18-19-20-21-22, 2009 | 8 pm
Agnieszka Laska Dancers perform Lamentatio
: a multi-media/dance, music, video, performance premiere
Imago Theatre space
17 SE 8th Ave., Portland, Oregon 97214
Tickets: www.ArtixPdx.com
Info: 503.715.1866

“Video Games Live” In Poland

Video Games Live—combining video games, a symphony orchestra and a choir into one live concert—is dedicated to the music from some of the greatest gaming titles in the history, and it is touring in Poland during November. The project idea and production came from world class game and game soundtrack creators,Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall.

Video Games Live is a unique undertaking in the world of entertainment. Some of the world’s greatest orchestras and choirs perform special arrangements of music from such cult classic video games as Tetris, World of Warcraft, the Zelda series, Diablo, Call of Duty or Super Mario Bros. A synchronized light show, video sequences from the games, dancers and special effects provide a fully fledged multimedia experience.

The Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic from Łódź and the Polish youth orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus are the two orchestras selected to perform for the performances of Video Games Live in Poland. These orchestras, directed by Video Games Live co-creator Jack Wall, will perform the music from cult game titles in Zabrze, Łódź and Warsaw.

Tickets are available in Empik stores around Poland as well as online ticketing services such as: Eventim.pl, Ticketonline.pl, Ticketpro.pl and Shortcut.pl.

There are three scheduled performances:

  • Nov. 16: Zabrze – Dom Muzyki i Tańca
  • Nov. 17: Łódź – Wytwórnia
  • Nov. 18: Warsaw – Torwar

The project has an informative website with details and all the upcoming tour dates: videogameslive.com.

[Sources: muzyka.onet.plmuzyka.onet.pl]

Drzewiecki In Japan

Stanisław Drzewiecki, one of Poland’s greatest young pianists, will tour Japan, highly regarded and beloved, during the month of November. Drzewiecki performed in Japan for the first time when he was six years old. Since 2003, he has been regularly visiting Japan and performing in the greatest concert spaces in the country: Opera City Concert Hall, Suntory Hall, Orchard Hall, Metropolitan Art Space, Bunka Kaikan, Minato Mirai, Osaka Symphony Hall, and many others. (See 2007 tour poster)

His November concert tour includes eleven recitals where he will present two new Chopin concert sets, including Chopin’s Sonata no. 2, Scherzos, selection of Etudes, Nocturnes, Polonaises and Waltzes. The third recital program is dedicated to the music of Sergey Rachmaninov.

Drzewiecki Japanese Tour dates:

  • 5 Tokio – Chiba bunka center,
  • 6 Tokio – Shoto hall
  • 7 Tokio – Shoto hall
  • 10 Osaka – Sakai bunka kaikan,
  • 11 Wakayama – Shimin kaikan,
  • 13 Tokio – Chofu bunka kaikan,
  • 14 Tokio – Toppan hall,
  • 15 Saitama – Pastoral Kazo,
  • 17 Saitama – Tokorozawa bunka center,
  • 18 Chiba – Morino hall 21
  • 21 Yokohama – Minato Mirai

[Source: muzyka.onet.pl]


Winners Of 2009 Paderewski Youth Piano Competition

Winners of the the 2009 Paderewski Youth Piano Competition were announced on October 24, following a day-long competition held at the North County campus of Cuesta College.  These young pianists will participate in the 2009 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, during the Competition Winners’ Recital in the historic Paso Robles Inn Ballroom, Saturday, November 14 at 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The 2009 competition was expanded from San Luis Obispo County to include youth from Monterey and Santa Barbara Counties.  Twenty-four competitors ages 10 to 18 competed for both prize money — $2,450 will be awarded among finalists — and the privilege of performing before an enthusiastic audience of more than 250 during the Competition Winners’ Recital.

Finalists in the Junior Division are:

  • 1st place – Hyun Jee Kim (13) of Monterey
  • 2nd place – Jordan Adams (14) of Salinas
  • 3rd place – Gianna Zufall (12) of Arroyo Grande
  • Honorable Mentions – Rory McClish (13) of Morro Bay and Madeline Anderson(13) of Monterey

Finalists in the Senior Division are:

  • 1st place – Daphne Honma (16) of Santa Barbara
  • 2nd place – Kevin Chen (17) of Marina

Judges included Marek Zebrowski (Paderewski Festival Artistic Director and Director of the Polish Music Center USC), India D’Avignon (California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo), and Michael Walker (Cuesta College).  “The Jury was very impressed with the maturity, musicianship and admirable virtuosity of the winners, especially in the Junior Division,” said Zebrowski.  “We looked for the ability of the contestants to handle different kinds of styles and repertoire variety, quality of preparation, and musicianship.  It was difficult to select among the finalists.”

2009 Paderewski Youth Piano Competition Winners (L-R): Gianna Zufall, Rory McClish, Daphne Honma, Jordan Adams, Madeline Anderson and Hyun Jee Kim.  (Kevin Chen not pictured.)

Gloria Artis For Makowicz

One of the greatest Polish jazz pianists, Adam Makowicz, has received the Gold Medal Gloria Artis. The award was presented to the artist by the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bogdan Zdrojewski.

Now 69 years old, Makowicz has worked with such legends of Polish jazz as Zbigniew Namysłowski, Tomasz Stańko, Michałe Urbaniak, Novi Singers Ensemble, as well as the legendary Duke Ellington Band. Since 1977 he has been living in North America, cooperating with today’s great jazz artists. In addition to jazz, Makowicz also performs classical music and his own compositions. His interpretations include music by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern or Cole Porter. One of his specialties has become monographic concerts dedicated to artists from the edge of jazz and popular music. Makowicz has performed on over 50 recordings, and he is the author of over 100 compositions for string quartet, jazz trio, solo piano as well as soundtracks for animated movies. Currently he resides near Toronto in Canada.

[Sources: wiadomosci.polska.plmkidn.gov.pl]

Kilar Honored

Polish composer, Wojciech Kilar, has received a special anniversary edition of the 2009 Totus Award. The award was established by the Foundation of Polish Episcopal Conference “Dzieło Nowego Tysiąclecia” [A work of new millennium] and is presented for the 10th time this year. The award was given to Kilar “in recognition of persistent opening of the roads to beauty, leading to faith, hope and love, done throughout the years and in many areas of life.”

The award was presented to Kilar at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. In addition to Kilar, awards were given to Krzysztof Kolberger, the Society of Mutual Help “Być razem” [To be together] from Cieszyn, George Weigel, and the creators of the movie “Popiełuszko. Wolność jest w nas” [Popiełuszko. Freedom is inside of us]. The awards gala was attended by the chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference Foundation, Archbishop Tadeusz Gocłowski, bishops, representatives of the parliament, leaders of culture and the sciences, and heads of higher education institutions.

[Sources: pwm.com.plmuzyka.onet.pl]

Wroński Competition Results

The 4th International Tadeusz Wroński Violin Competition concluded on September 29 in Warsaw. The jury, chaired by Polish violinist Krzysztof Jakowicz, has awarded the following prizes:

I Prize ex aequoHitoshi Ooka (Japan) and Igor Pikayzen (Russia)

II  Prize: not awarded

III Prize: Christian Danowicz (Argentine/France)

IV Prize: Marta Kowalczyk (Poland)

V Prize: Ewa Kacperczyk (Poland)

Honorary Mentions: Lusine Harutyunyan (Armenia), Aleksandra Kuls(Poland), Oscar Treitler (Sweden), Haruka Matsuoka (Japan)

[Source: http://www.konkursskrzypcowy-wronski.pl/]

Kaczka Wins In Australia

Polish flute player, Krzysztof Kaczka, has won the Australian Flute Festival Flute Competition, organized by Elder Conservatorium at the University of Adelaide. The Jury was chaired by prof. Jean Ferrandis (Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris). In addition to a diploma, he received a new flute and a monetary prize. The second prize went to Jessica Tiang, and the third prize was not awarded.

Krzysztof Kaczka is currently the principal flutist of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in China. The artist has also recently finished a 5 week concert tour of Asia, Australia and New Zealand (read more about the tour here) with guitar player Perry Shack, as duoArtus. The duo performed in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart, Brisbane, Wellington, Sydney and Tokyo.

[Source: culture.pl]

Polish Pianist Honored In Rome

Wojciech Świętoński has won the 3rd prize and Bronze Medal at the 2009 edition of the International Piano Competition “Rome,” organized by the Associazione Culturale Fryderyk Chopin and under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic. The Competition was held at the Cultural Center of the Banca d’Italia until 2003 and it is now taking place at the Cloister of the Confraternita di S. Giovanni Battista de’ Genovesi, Rome.

Wojciech Świętoński is a graduate of the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw. He has participated in Masterclasses taught by Viera Nossina (Russia), Eleonora Tkach (Ukraine), Oleg Kriemer (Germany), Bernard Ringeissen (France), Mischiko Ohno (Japan), and Katarzyna Popowa- Zydroń (Poland) among others. He is a laureate of international competitions in Rome, Kiev and Druskiennik. He is a member of the Polish Society of Artist Musicians and a stipend winner of the Polish Lions Club NIKE.

[Source: polmic.comchopinroma.it]

Głowicka Success In Sweden

Turbulence for grand piano, live-electronics and video by Polish composer Katarzyna Głowicka was among the six finalist compositions at the second edition of the competition for electronic projects organized by the European Conference of Promoters of New Music (ECPNM). Głowicka’s composition was recently premiered during the ISCM World New Music Days 2009 in Göteborg, Sweden.

The performance was very interesting and well received by the audience, according to the composer. As a result, Głowicka was invited for a two-week residency at the EMS Studio in Stockholm. The composition is also scheduled to be performed next year at festivals in Amsterdam and Den Bosch (The Netherlands), as well as Portugal, Spain and Germany. The composition will receive broadcast time from the Swedish Radio and will be available to other radio stations from around the world for a year.

A video version of the composition is available at the Polmic.pl page on Facebook.

[Source: polmic.com]


Polish Music Festival

The 5th edition of the Polish Music Festival will take place between November 9 – 15 in Kraków. The program of the festival focuses solely on works by Polish composers and the invited artists include some of the greatest names from around the world. The organizers hope that the festival will help promote Polish repertoire amongst both national and international artists. The Festival is organized by the Stowarzyszenie Muzyki Polskiej [Polish Music Association], Polish Radio, and the City of Kraków – Jacek Majchrowski

To date, this festival has hosted such great musicians as: The Kronos Quartet, Nigel Kennedy, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, London Sinfonietta, Elżbieta Chojnacka, Akiko Suwanai, Piers Lane, Peter Jablonski, Jonathan Plowright, and Grigorij Żyslin. The festival has also featured some outstanding composers: Krzysztof Penderecki, Wojciech Kilar, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, and Paweł Mykietyn. All concerts are broadcast by Polish Radio.

Highlights of this year’s edition include: a performance of Szymanowski’s opera King Roger featuring baritone Andrzej Dobber (Nov. 9), a performance of Zygmunt Stojowski’s Conzertstück by cellist Tomasz Strahl (Nov. 11), a selection of early Polish music performed by the Tallis Scholars (Nov. 12), a performance of Penderecki’s Seven Gates of Jerusalem conducted by the composer (Nov. 15). There also will be a supplementary concert of Szymanowski’s violin music performed by USC’s own Midori (Nov. 27). The complete program is available at www.fmp.org.pl.

[Source: muzyka.onet.plfmp.org.pl]

Ars Cameralis Festival

The Ars Cameralis Festival will take place between November 7 and 30, 2009 in Katowice. This year the Festival’s theme is “Journey to the edge of night.” In addition to numerous chamber music concerts the organizers have also prepared evenings of poetry readings, film screenings and alternative music presentations. Among the invited artists are: Aukso Chamber Orchestra, Joachim Mencel with Brad Terry, Avishai Cohen, Silesian Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Köln, and many others. There will be presentations of films and exhibition of lithographs and photographs by David Lynch, whose musical improvisations on the theme of ‘Polish night music’ with PMC Director Marek Zebrowski were released on disc in October 2007 (see a review here).

[Sources: muzyka.onet.plcameralis.art.pl]

Rebel Waltz/Dezerter Opens Performing Revolution

To mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, in association with key New York City cultural organizations and academic institutions, is organizing Performing Revolution in Central and Eastern Europe. This 5-month festival focuses on the performing arts as a powerful contributing force in the fall of Communism in Europe. Spearheaded by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, which will present an exhibition on the themes of the festival, it features 29 events throughout New York City, with a specific focus on performing arts in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia. See all Polish events during the Festival here.

Launching this five-month extravaganza is Rebel Waltz, a weekend-long (November 6-7) underground music festival featuring six bands from behind the Iron Curtain. The music of these bands served as a form of political rebellion in the 1980s, carrying coded messages against oppressive regimes. Now, Rebel Waltz gives New York audiences a rare opportunity to experience the suppressed voices of a triumphant generation: Psi Vojaci(Czech Republic), Bez ladu a skladu (Slovak Republic), Timpuri Noi (Romania), Kontroll Csoport (Hungary), Dezerter (Poland), and Pankrti (Slovenia).  All the bands will be making their U.S. premieres during the festival. More about the bands and music clips is available at extremelyhungary.org/rebel.php.

Dezerter was the first Polish punk to openly criticize the Communist regime and, three decades later, this legendary group is still going strong. They will perform on Saturday, November 7 at 11:00 pm. On the same day, Rebel Waltzwill also feature a public discussion with the bands and a screening of BEATS OF FREEDOM or how to overthrow a totalitarian regime with a simple use of home-made amplifier, a documentary on Polish music of the 80s. The discussion is co-sponsored by the Jazz and Contemporary Music Program and The Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, both at The New School.

Rebel Waltz is presented by the Hungarian Cultural Center in collaboration with the Czech Center NY, the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic, and the Consulate General of Slovenia. Additional support provided by Trust for Mutual Understanding and Marcin Filipowski. Rebel Waltz is part of Extremely Hungary, a year-long festival celebrating contemporary Hungarian cultural events throughout 2009 in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Saturday, November 7 – 11:00 PM
Polish punk band Dezerter performs at Rebel Waltz
(Le) Poisson Rouge 
158 Bleecker Street at Thompson Street, New York, NY
Tickets: 212.505.3474 or online

Saturday, November 7 – 4:00 PM
Public discussion with the bands and a screening of
BEATS OF FREEDOM or how to overthrow a totalitarian regime with home-made amplifier
The New School – Jazz and Contemporary Program
Arnhold Hall, 55 W. 13th Street, 5th Floor, Rm 531, New York, NY

[Source: Polish Cultural Institute NY]

Festiwal Kwartesencja

The 6th edition of the Kwartesencja Festival will take place between November 6 and 8 in Warsaw. The “essence” of this festival is the mixing of styles and genres and unlikely artists on the same stage. The festival is organized by the Royal String Quartet, one of the best young string quartets in Europe. To date they have invited such legendary artists as Stephen Kovacevich, pianist Angela Hewitt, Mark Padmore, Kayah, Smolik, DJ Lenar, and Warsaw Village Band.

This year the guests are members of the internationally recognized Czech ensemble, the Škampa Quartet. Mentored by the legendary Smetana Quartet, this group regularly performs in Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw Hall and Suntory Hall, among others of the world’s best venues. They are the winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society Award 1993 for the “best debut” as well as the first-ever Resident Artists at Wigmore Hall.

Another special guest of the Festival will be the Quartet New Generation from Berlin. QNG is comprised of the unusual combination of four women playing recorders and flutes of different sizes. They perform early and contemporary music alike, receiving world-wide acclaim.

The program of the festival includes works by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (Royal String Quartet is scheduled to record all of Górecki’s String Quartets for Hyperion in the near future), Leoš Janáček, Franz Schubert and George Crumb. The festival concerts will take place in the Polish Radio’s Lutosławski Concert Studio in Warsaw and the CSW Laboratory of the Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw.

For more information and a complete program of the festival, please visit: www.kwartesencja.pl.

[Sources: culture.plkwartesencja.pl]

Polish Culture Festival “Corso Polonia” 2009

The Polish Institute in Rome, in cooperation with many Italian institutions, will organize the 7th edition of the Polish Culture Festival “Corso Polonia” throughout the month of November.  Events will take place in some of the most prestigious spaces around Rome including: European Library, Villa Borghese, Hungarian Academy, French Academy, Villa Medici, La Sapienza University, Casa del Jazz, Accademia Santa Cecilia – Auditorium Parco della Musica, and numerous cinemas.

Most of the events scheduled in the program present Polish theatrical, literary and cinematic art, but there are three concerts of Polish music to attend:

  • November 7, 9 & 10, 2009: Karol Szymanowski – Stabat Mater performed by Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. Concert Hall of the Santa Cecilia National Academy
  • November 24, 2009: Lutosławski Piano Duo recital. Accademia d’Ungheria (Hungarian Academy)
  • November 27, 2009: A concert of Anna Maria Jopek with her ensemble. Casa del Jazz.

A detailed program of the festival can be found by visiting www.istitutopolacco.it/programma_completo

[Source: culture.pl]

Jazz Jamboree 2009

The 51st edition of the International Jazz Festival “Jazz Jamboree” started on October 25 and will continue until December 13 in Warsaw. This year’s edition will present the talent and achievements of Polish jazz artists.

The first concert of the festival, “Miles of Blue,” was dedicated to the great Miles Davis on the 50th anniversary of the release of Davis’ legendary album, Kind of Blue. The concert was an onstage reunion of artists who used to perform with Davis in different formations over the years: Tom Browne (trumpet), Dave Gilmore (guitar), Otto Williams (bass), Troy Miller (drums), rapper NATO and numerous other guests, performing with Michał Urbaniak—outstanding Polish jazz violinist—who also worked with Davis.

On November 23, during the “Singing Jazz” concert, Marianna Wróblewska will be the featured artist. She has worked with Mieczysław Kosze, Zbigniew Namysłowski and Włodzimierze Nahorny. The concert will take place in Warsaw’s Polonia Theatre.

“New Way Jazz” is the title of the concert taking place on December 5. The concert will feature such great names in today’s Polish jazz scene as Marcin Masecki, Tymon Tymański’s Polish Brass Ensemble.

The festival will conclude with the “Jazz Freedom Music” concert on December 13. The concert will feature compositions by Jan Kaczmarski, a Polish songwriter who was one of the strongest voices opposing the communist regime in Poland. The concert will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the communism in Poland.

For more information please visit the official website of the festival: www.jazz-jamboree.pl

[Sources: culture.pljazz-jamboree.pl]

Jazz And Beyond Festival

The 2nd edition of the Jazz and Beyond Festival started on September 30 and will continue until mid-December. The program of the festival combines new trends in improvised music and numerous jazz genres including traditional and avant-garde jazz. The first concert of the festival featured pianist and composer Uri Caine with his most well-known project, the Bedrock Trio.

The artists scheduled to perform at the festival this year include Rebecca Martin with Kurt Rosenwinkel and Larry Grenadier; Killer Joey, a formation created by the legendary drummer Joey Baron; The Fonda Stevens Group with two Polish saxophone players – Maciej Obara and Irek Wojtczak; The Refuge Trio; Marcin Wasilewski Trio and Tymon Tymański’s Polish Brass Ensemble with American trombone player Ed Partyka.

The details of the festival are available at www.gck.org.pl and www.myspace.com/jazziokolice.

[Sources: wyborcza.plgck.org.pl]

Guitar Festival 2009

The 2009 edition of the Guitar Festival will be organized for the 12th time in Wrocław between November 21 and 29. As always, it will celebrate the art of guitar in its many forms.

This year the festival will feature such greats of world guitar art as Al di Meola and Jesse Cook. Marek Napiórkowski will celebrate his 20th anniversary of artistic activity. He will be joined by such artists as Anna Maria Jopek, Henryk and Dorota Miśkiewicz among others. The program of the festival is available at www.gitara.wroclaw.pl.

[Source: gitara.wroclaw.pl]

Music At The Source Festival

During the three weekends between 7 and 21 of November, the Muzyka u Źródeł [Music at the Source] Festival will celebrate its first edition. One of the more interesting aspects of the festival is its location at the spring water pump station, where the concerts will be presented. This space, which is signed into the antiques registry, provides the intimate atmosphere required for a full appreciation of chamber music.

The most important aspect, however, is the music. The organizers, Barock Quartet (Wojciech Kołaczyk – violin, Dariusz Groblewski – violin, Zbigniew Szczęch – viola, Michał Litwa – cello), are a recognized name in Poland and around Europe. In addition they have invited several outstanding guests, including: Marian Lapsansky (pianist, Slovakia), Kryptos Quartet (Belgium), Józef Frakstein (bass, Poland), Justyna Stępień (soprano, Poland), Marzena Buchwald (harpsichord, Poland) and the Herdzin – Bogdanowicz – Biskupski Jazz Trio.

For more information, please visit www.muzykauzrodel.art.pl.

[Source: culture.pl]


Nowak Leads RPO

During the “Opus 60” concerts in October, which were conducted by Grzegorz Nowak, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra paired the four last Symphonies of Dvořák with Concertos by Mozart. Each of the two concerts consisted of two, 60-minute halves with 60-minute intermissions, held in London’s Cadogan Hall. The program on October 6 featured Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B♭, K191 (1774) and Violin Concerto No.4 in D, K218 (1775), as well as Dvořák’s Symphony No.6 in D, op.60 (1881) and Symphony No.7 in D minor, op.70 (1884), with violinist Clio Gould  and bassoonist Daniel Jemison as soloists. The October 13th program featured Mozart’s Oboe Concerto in C, K314 (1777) and Horn Concerto No.2 in E♭, K417 (1783), as well as Dvořák’s Symphony No.8 in G, op.88 (1889) and Symphony No.9 in E minor “From the New World,” op.95 (1893), with soloists John Anderson on oboe and Christopher Parkes on horn.

In the Seen and Heard section of Music Web International, Deputy Editor Bob Briggs published laudatory reviews of both concerts. Regarding the concert on October 6, he writes:

Nowak demonstrated exactly how to play Mozart without relegating all responsibility to the original instruments brigade…. Using a small body of strings, Nowak directed both Concertos in a spritely manner, full of bouce [sic!] and spirit, and with a touch which always allowed the wind section – two each of horns and oboes – to be heard…. This was a supoerb [sic!] performance [of the 6th Symphony], every department was on top form…and Nowak wasn’t afraid to just let the band play, even if, at times, the cliamxes [sic!] were slightly over powering. But who cared? It was far too enjoyable for such matters to bother us…
(Seen and Heard UK Concert Review)

Regarding the program for October 13, Briggs writes:

Nowak drew spritely and crisp playing from his band [in the Oboe Concerto] and knew when to hold back to allow for the occasional soloistic flourish, but he never lost the ability, even in the quietest passages, to keep the rhythm and style consistent…. Nowak directed a very dramaric [sic!] performance [of the 8th Symphony], full of fire and spirit, relishing every twist and turn of the music. The slow movement brought out the most beautiful pianissimo from the strings and, using the most subtle of rubato, Nowak built the phrases with an extra special nobility. The finale, a set of variations like the Eroica, is the most difficult movement to bring off successfully, as it is in Beethoven’s work, but here, employing a faster tempo than normal, the music held together better than I have ever heard it. With playing of the utmost excitement and refinement, this was a performance to savour.
(Seen and Heard UK Concert Review)

These concerts are available for streamed video viewing on the Cadogan Hall website, for a small fee.

Podleś in S.F. & Boston

Polish contralto Ewa Podleś continues to be one of today’s most highly sought after opera performers. In September, she made her San Franciso Opera debut, in the only production of Il trittico, Puccini’s set of three one-act operas, that has been offered in that city in the last half century. In the second of the three operas, Suor Angelica, Podleś performed the role of the Principessa, singing with a “large, lustrous tone [and] investing the role…with absolute authority” (Georgia Rowe, Contra Costa Times). According to Marina Romani of musicalcriticism.com, Podleś was the “driving force in the performance… dominat[ing] the stage both physically and vocally.”

Podleś also made her Boston debut this season, in the title role of Rossini’s Tancredi at Opera Boston. While in Boston, she gave a lively and endearing interview to Boston Globecorrespondent Harlow Robinson, who starts her article, “[w]hen Ewa Podles sings, people listen.” Sharing the more humorous side of this great singer’s artistic motivation, Robinson writes “[w]ith one of her dazzling smiles, Podles confessed that one reason she enjoys appearing as the heroic but tragic male lead, Tancredi, was that “I love to die on stage.’” Read the entire article at www.boston.com.


Pawlik & Brecker’s Nostalgic Journey

Nostalgic Journey: Tykocin Jazz Suite / The Music of Włodek Pawlik
Włodek Pawlik (b. 1958)
Randy Brecker, trumpet; Włodek Pawlik Trio; and the Podlasie Philharmonic Orchestra in Bialystok, Marcin Malecz-Niesiołowski, cond.
Summit Records DCD-527

An amazing journey and story that began in 1994 when Randy Brecker met Wlodek Pawlik in Germany when the well-known, award winning Polish pianist played with the Western Jazz Quartet.

This meeting would make sense 11 or so years later, when Randy’s brother, Michael, was diagnosed with leukemia. Randy, along with his family immediately began looking for eastern Euro donors; family or relatives were believed to be the best match. Making contact with Wlodek, they traced Brecker’s relatives to an area in Poland: Tykocin (his mother’s maiden name [and still the name of the Rabbi in the local ancient synagogue] was Tecosky). In honour of this discovery, Wlodek wrote the Tykocin Jazz Suite – the musical story of Randy’s ‘Nostalgic Journey’ and homecoming.

‘This music is a great affirmation of life,’ notes Randy. [from the Summit Records website]

According to Ken Franckling, in his August 30th blog post, “CDs of Note”:

Three words come to mind after a listen to trumpeter Randy Brecker’s latest project: stunning, poignant, breathtaking. This is a homecoming project of great importance. Last summer, Brecker made an emotional journey to Tykocin, the area in Poland where his grandfather lived before emigrating to the United States. It was pinpointed when Randy and other family members were looking for eastern European bone marrow donors who might be a match for his brother Michael, two years before the saxophonist lost his battle with a very rare form of leukemia.

Polish composer and pianist Wlodek Pawlik wrote this homecoming suite, and performed it with Brecker and the Symphony Orchestra of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic in Bialystok, Poland. The blend of classical orchestra and jazz quartet is seamless and feels natural. Highlights: Brecker’s intense soloing on “Nostalgic Journey,” “Let’s All Go to Heaven,” “Magic Seven “and “Blue Rain” – and his strong musical empathy with Pawlik’s excellent trio. This one may go down as one of the finest and most important works in Brecker’s extensive discography.

According to John Henry, in his September 12th review for Audiophile Audition:

Wlodek Pawlik has been described as the Oscar Peterson of classical music or the Vladimir Horowitz of jazz and he is also a distinguished composer.  He composed the Tykocin Jazz Suite in honor of the Brecker family’s discovery. It has a three-movement introduction and six separate sections.  Pawlik, a strongly religious man, quotes excerpts from some of David’s Psalms in the notes, which for him express the inexpressible context of the musical meeting. Thankfully (for me at least) the work itself is entirely instrumental. The piece is varied, highly melodic, and full of exciting solos for both trumpet and piano.  The balance of the jazz trio/quartet against the orchestra is handled beautifully.  The orchestra is top flight, having been named the State Philharmonic for Poland, and an institution of national culture. Randy’s previous album was Randy in Brasil, and this time it’s Randy in Poland, achieving one of the finest mixes of jazz and classical one could hear.

NLO Records Bacewicz On Hyperion

Music for string orchestra
Grażyna Bacewicz: Music for Strings, 5 Trumpets and Timpani; Symphony for string orchestra; Sinfonietta; Concerto for String Orchestra
New London Orchestra, Ronald Corp, conductor
Hyperion Records CDA67783

This new disc from the New London Orchestra under Ronald Corp showcases the work of Grażyna Bacewicz (1909–1969), whose centenary is celebrated this year. It contributes greatly to the knowledge of her music outside her native Poland, where she is still an important and well-loved cultural figure, one of those who led to Polish music becoming one of the main contributors to European culture in the second half of the twentieth century. It contains the premiere recordings of both the Sinfonietta and the Symphony for string orchestra.

Bacewicz was one of the most significant composers of the mid-twentieth century, with strong roots in the culture of Paris, where she studied both composition and violin in the early 1930s. Her most striking music is that which draws on her experience of the neoclassicism of inter-war France. She emphasizes neoclassicism’s vitality and clarity while at the same time giving it a combination of delicacy and muscularity which is all her own. While she demonstrates both wit and joie de vivre, her music is never frivolous.

‘The New London Orchestra, under Ronald Corp’s direction, shows from the outset a true affinity with this music. One can sense an entire tradition of string playing here … A revelation is the Symphony from 1946 … The disc ends with a superb performance of the magnificent Music for Strings, Trumpet and Percussion … music that pulls the listener in all sorts of directions, from the blackest depths to the heights of joy, and always intriguing with its highly original orchestration. This is a wonderful recording of wonderful music’(from the International Record Review)

[from Hyperion Records]

Szymanowski Violin Recording

Karol Szymanowski – Complete Works for Violin and Piano
Karol Szymanowski: Sonate op. 9; Romance op. 23; Nocturne et Tarantella op. 28; Mythes / Mythen op. 30; La Berceuse d’Aitacho Enia op. 52; Trois Caprices de Paganini op. 40
Joanna Mądroszkiewicz – violin, Paul Gulda – piano
Musikproduktion Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG 603 1555-2

Górecki On EMI

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. Pieśń Rodzin Katyńskich
Henryk Mikołaj Górecki: Pieśń Rodzin Katyńskich op. 81 for mixed choir a capella; O Domina Nostra – Meditation about our Lady of Jasna Góra op.55 for soprano and organ; Kantata op. 26 for organ; Totus Tuus op. 60 for mixed choir a cappella
Jagiellonian University Choir; Papal Theological Academy Choir; Agricultural University Choir; Andrzej Białko – organ; Włodzimierz Siedlik – conductor
EMI Polska

New from DUX

Alina Mleczko. Woods, Hindemith, Creston, Yoshimatsu
Phil Woods: Sonata for alto saxophone and piano; Paul Hindemith: Sonate for Alto Horn in E flat (also French Horn or Alto Saxophone) and Piano; Paul Creston: Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano op. 19; Takashi Yoshimatsu: Fuzzy Bird Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano
Alina Mleczko – saxophone; Agnieszka Kopacka – piano

The Masterpieces of the Chopin Miniature
Frederic Chopin: Nocturne in C sharp Minor op. posth.; Impromptu-Fantasie in C sharp minor Op.66; Nocturne in B flat minor Op.9 No.1; Mazurka in B flat major Op.7 No.1; Berceuse in D flat major Op.57; Etude in E major Op.10 No.3; Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2; Nocturne in E minor Op.72 No.1; Mazurka in C sharp minor Op.63 No.3; Waltz brillante in A minor Op.34 No.2; Mazurka in D flat major Op.30 No.3; Prelude in D flat major Op.28 No.15; Waltz in D flat major Op.64 No.1 (‘Minute’); Etude in C minor Op.10 No.12 (‘Revolutionary’); Mazurka in F minor Op.63 No.2; Polonaise in A major Op.40 No.1; Józef Elsner: Polonaise in G minor
Karol Radziwonowicz – piano


Born This Month

  • 1 November 1901 – Szymon LAKS , composer, violinist (d. 1986)
  • 2 November 1876 – Eugeniusz MORAWSKI, composer, conductor (d. 1948)
  • 3 November 1915 – Henryk JABLONSKI, composer
  • 4 November 1857 – Stanislaw NIEWIADOMSKI, composer (d. 1936)
  • 6 November 1860 – Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI , pianist, composer, statesman (d. 1941)
  • 23 November 1933 – Krzysztof PENDERECKI , composer, conductor
  • 24 November 1932 – Andrzej KURYLEWICZ, composer, jazz pianist
  • 24 November 1899 – Jan MAKLAKIEWICZ , composer, teacher (d. 1954)
  • 26 November 1896 – Józef KOFFLER, composer (d. 1944)
  • 27 November 1893 – Stanislaw WIECHOWICZ, composer, choral conductor (d. 1963)
  • 28 November 1928 – Jan FOTEK, composer


Died This Month

  • 1 November 1947 – Wladyslaw POWIADOWSKI, choral conductor, teacher (b.1865)
  • 2 November 1929 – Stanislaw BARCEWICZ, violinist, teacher (b.1858)
  • 2 November 1881 – Jan Nepomucen BOBROWICZ, guitarist (b.1805)
  • 3 November 1888 – Józef BRZOZOWSKI, composer, cellist, conductor, teacher (b.1805)
  • 5 November 1946 – Zygmunt STOJOWSKI , composer, pianist, teacher (b. 1870)
  • 9 November 1856 – Aleksander MARTIN, composer, violist (b. 1856)
  • 11 November 1912 – Józef WIENIAWSKI, pianist, teacher, composer (b.1837)
  • 15 November 1853 – Józef NIEDZIELSKI, voice and violin teacher (b.1793)
  • 15 November 1986 – Aleksander TANSMAN , composer, conductor, pianist (b. 1897)
  • 14 November 1860 – Feliks NOSKOWSKI, pianist, teacher (b.1874)
  • 26 November 1855 – Adam MICKIEWICZ, romantic poet, texts used by many composers (b.1798)