Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 16, no. 9

PMC News

PMC Fundraiser—Dębski, Jurkstowicz, & “Oles” EVENT POSTPONED!

On Saturday, 9 October 2010, three of Poland’s most beloved musicians—Krzesimir Dębski, Anna Jurksztowicz, and Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz—will join forces to support the Polish Music Center at USC’s Thornton School of Music. The evening will be generously hosted by Stanley and Helena Kołodziej in their beautiful Beverly Hills home. The event will begin with appetizers and cocktails at 7:00 p.m,, followed by a concert of jazz standards and original compositions. Tickets are available for $75 per person and all proceeds will benefit the Polish Music Center. Space is limited so reserve your tickets today to be a part of this memorable evening.

Saturday, 9 October 2010 | 7:00pm
PMC Fundraiser with Dębski, Jurksztowicz, and Oleszkiewicz
Home of Stanley and Helena Kołodziej
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Tickets: $75 per person

For reservations and more information, please contact the Polish Music Center at 213-821-1356 or polmusic@thornton.usc.edu.

Krzesimir Dębski is a renowned Polish composer, conductor and jazz violinist. His career as a musician has been that of a performer—best known for playing with the famed String Connection ensemble—as well as a composer of classical, opera, television and feature film music. Since 1986, he has composed the scores for over 70 films, including for the highest grossing movie in Polish film history, With Fire and Sword. A musician of true versatility, Dębski has garnered 8 platinum albums, has been awarded a Fryderyk (the Polish equivalent of a Grammy Award), has received First Prize at the 25th Anniversary Spring Festival of Music, and has won the International Film Music Academy’s coveted “Philip” prize presented by the legendary film composer, Ennio Morricone. In recent years Krzesimir Dębski has also received a number of commissions for large-scale orchestral works from outstanding soloists and major symphony orchestras in Poland and abroad. More information available at: www.kdebski.plwww.imdb.com/name/nm0213579, and PMC Composer Pages.

Anna Jurksztowicz has long been one of Poland’s most beloved pop singers. With a background in classical and gospel music, she is best known for her pop/jazz vocals on soundtracks for film and TV such as “Kingsajz,” “Czulosc i Klamstwa,” “Matki Zony i Kochanki,” “Na Dobre i Na Zle,” and “Wiezy Krwi.” Recently she also performs children’s music, including soundtracks for motion pictures such as “W Pustyni i W Puszczy,” based on the Nobel Prize novel by H. Sienkiewicz, and Polish language versions of Walt Disney productions. Anna Jurksztowicz is also a publisher and producer of music. More information available at: www.simusic.pl/jurksztowicz_ang.html

Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz is one of the most sought after bass players on the West Coast. “Oles” (his American nick-name) had the opportunity to perform and record with the greatest masters in jazz. A partial list of his collaborators include Brad Mehldau, Billy Higgins, Pat Metheny, Peter Erskine, Alan Pasqua, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Billy Childs and the Los Angeles Jazz Quartet, among many others. Darek’s first recording project as a leader, entitled “Like A Dream” with Brad Mehldau and Bennie Maupin, was released by Cryptogramophone Records in 2004 and gained a critical acclaim worldwide. In 2005, Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz was voted the “Best Acoustic Bassist” in the Jazz Top readers’ poll in Jazz Forum European Magazine. He is an Adjunct Instructor of Jazz Studies at USC’s Thornton School of Music. More information available at: www.darekoles.com

Paderewski Celebrations In CA – Nov 2010 Preview

2010 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941)—pianist, composer, humanitarian, Prime Minister of Poland, pioneer developer of California’s wine and oil industries, and USC Honorary Doctorate recipient (1923). The anniversary will be celebrated during the “Paderewski at 150” throughout California in November. Below is a preview of the exciting events that will take place.

Los Angeles, CA – USC

In honor of Paderewski’s multi-faceted legacy, USC will host internationally recognized scholars and artists for the Paderewski Sesquicentennial Celebration. These events are made possible by a collaboration between the Polish Music Center in the Thornton School of Music, the USC Libraries, the History Department, and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

These events will bring together prominent scholars and musicians from around the world to celebrate the legacy of Paderewski. A musicologist and researcher at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Dr. Małgorzata Perkowska is the world’s leading scholar on Paderewski and she will give several lectures and panel discussions on the subject. British pianist Jonathan Plowright has become known as one of the leading interpreters of Polish romantic repertoire, in particular Paderewski and his student Stojowski, and he will be the gala performer in both Los Angeles and Paso Robles. Pulling from his extensive writings as “California’s historian,” panelist Dr. Kevin Starr will shed light on how Paderewski’s influence changed the face of the state and nation that he considered an adopted home. Dr. Nicholas Cull, a historian and scholar of public diplomacy, will delve into Paderewski’s impact as a politician and a diplomat, and the melding of skills in music and statesmanship that Paderewski embodied.

Thursday, November 4: 
6 p.m.: Paderewski Memorabilia Exhibit – Gala Opening & Reception,
Treasure Room, Doheny Library, USC

7:30 p.m.: Paderewski Lecture-Recital
Featuring Jonathan Plowright, pianist, and Dr. Małgorzata Perkowska, lecturer
Alfred Newman Recital Hall, USC

Friday, November 5:
2:30 p.m.: Pianist & Politician – & Panel Discussion on Paderewski’s Legacy
Panelists: Kevin Starr, Nicholas Cull, Małgorzata Perkowska, Jonathan Plowright, and Marek Zebrowki (moderator)
Friends’ Hall, Doheny Library, USC

All events are free and open to the public.

Paso Robles, CA – Paderewski Festival

Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles logoThe 2010 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles celebrates the legacy of Ignacy Jan Paderewski and his 150th birthday anniversary with five days of concerts and special events featuring internationally renowned performers, young pianists from Poland and the Central Coast Region, wine tasting and a special lecture by the world’s preeminent Paderewski authority. The Festival will be held in several venues in Paso Robles, California, November 10-14, 2010.

In the mid-1930s, Paderewski expressed a wish to establish free music education for talented youth in Paso Robles, a community where he once owned large ranches with vineyards and almond groves. This year’s anniversary edition of the Festival will honor Paderewski’s initiative to bring music to fellow Californians by making all concerts during the 2010 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles free of charge.

Wednesday, November 10
6 pm: Festival Prelude – Music from the Tarnów-Paso Exchange Program
Vina Robles Winery, 3700 Mill Rd, Paso Robles

Thursday, November 11
7 pm: Festival Opening Concert – Paso Robles High School Band & Choir
Mission San Miguel, 775 Mission St, San Miguel

Friday, November 12
2 pm: Piano Master Class – Jonathan Plowright
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

6 pm: Reception | 7 pm: Polish Jazz Concert
Featuring Krzesimir Dębski, Ann Jurksztowicz & Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz
Cass Winery, 7350 Linne Rd, Paso Robles

Saturday, November 13
11 am – 2 pm: Tour of Paderewski’s Former Property, Lunch & Wine Tasting
Epoch Estate Wines, Paso Robles – Admission with Friends of Paderewski VIP Pass

2:30 pm: Paderewski’s Dedications – Dr. Małgorzata Perkowska, lecturer
Matador Room, Paso Robles Inn, 1103 Spring St, Paso Robles – Free Admission

4 pm:  Youth Piano Competition Winners’ Recital
Ballroom, Paso Robles Inn, 1103 Spring St, Paso Robles – Free Admission

8 pm:  Festival Gala Concert – Jonathan Plowright, piano
Ballroom, Paso Robles Inn, 1103 Spring St, Paso Robles – Free Admission

Sunday, November 14
11 am: Festival Finale – Exchange Students’ Recital & Brunch
Pear Valley Winery, 4900 Union Rd, Paso Robles – Concert: Free, Brunch: $20

Admission to all events of the Paderewski Festival is free unless otherwise noted, however donations will be gratefully accepted. To accommodate the highest possible number of concertgoers, reservations are strongly suggested by calling (805) 239-0873 or by e-mailing info@paderewskifest.com. Otherwise, seating will be on a first-come basis.

Thanks To The Kindness Of Volunteers…

Due to the nature of the PMC’s limited budget and small staff, volunteer support is essential to our day-to-day operations as well as our special events. Recently, several volunteers have stepped in to help fill the gap that was created by the recent loss of a valuable staff member, Daniel Kamiński, who has returned to Poland.

Charles Bragg is no stranger to the PMC Newsletter. Having written reviews and provided photos for several past issues, Charles has now begun to volunteer his time and computer skills to the production and layout of the Newsletter. Having been awakened to the existence of Polish music beyond Chopin while singing Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater in his college choir, Charles is furthering his enjoyment of Polish music by contributing to PMC operations on a bi-weekly basis.

Charles’s wife, Alice Bragg, has also joined in the fun of PMC volunteer opportunities. Together, Charles and Alice are helping to maintain the PMC collection database by inputting new donations as they arrive. True patrons of the arts, Charles and Alice are not only support the PMC but also volunteer for the LA Philharmonic and the LA Opera.

Charles and Alice Bragg with Manager Krysta Close at the PMC in 2004

Filmaker Patryk Dawid Chlastawa has also recently volunteered his time by providing his assistance as translator. Patryk and PMC Director Marek Zebrowski have collaborated on the feature film Chateau Belvedere and other projects.

Thank you to all volunteers, past and future, for your invaluable contributions to the PMC mission of spreading knowledge and appreciation of Polish music and culture. If you would like to know more about what you can do to help, please contact the PMC at 213-821-1356 or polmusic@thornton.usc.edu for more information.

Chopin & Paderewski Year

Chopin In The Antipodes

With 2010 being the Chopin anniversary year, it is not surprising that Polish music has been featured prominently on a number of programs around the world. The month of August was no exception, during which a number of concerts featuring Chopin and other Polish composers were heard well south of the US border.

In early August, Southern California-based cellist Lars Hoefs (pictured at right) performed Chopin’s magnificent Sonata for Cello and Piano at a festival in Recife, Brazil. An alum of the USC Thornton School of Music, Lars has frequently collaborated as soloist and chamber musician in a variety of Polish Music Center-sponsored events throughout California.  During the past year, Lars was the resident assistant principal cello of the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira in Rio de Janeiro and has maintained active links with Brazil’s musical world and musicians.

Violinist Jerzy Milewski and his wife, Aleida Schweitzer, performed works by Chopin and Krzesimir Dębski at a concert in Belem on August 15. Their joint program also included works by Mozart, Paganini, and François Francoeur. This husband and wife duo first met in Warsaw, where both studied at the Academy of Music (now the Chopin University of Music) in the 1960s. After getting married, they resettled in Brazil in 1971 and have concertized extensively throughout the country for the past four decades.

During the first half of September, the Milewski-Schweitzer Duo (pictured at left) will again perform in the equatorial regions of Brazil—this time at the Olinda Music Festival that is held in a variety of historical churches in this charming town. The Duo’s gala concert on September 5 at the Church of São Bento will feature Chopin’s Trio, Op. 8 as well as number of Chopin’s miniatures (Mazurka, Ecossaises and Cantabile) arranged for the same ensemble. The Milewski-Schweitzer concerts will also have an educational aspect—Maestro Milewski will perform in recital and give master classes at the Conservatory of Music in Recife. Together with his wife, he will also visit several local schools, illustrating his lectures about Chopin with selected performances of Chopin’s music.

The Rio International Cello Encounter—or Rio Cello, as it is more commonly known—is an established music festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that brings together cellists and other chamber musicians from around the world. For the past 15 years this Festival has introduced fascinating musicians and excellent programming to Rio’s diverse audiences, and admission to these impressive concerts is always free. This year the 16th annual Rio Cello Festival, which took place from August 8-22, marked the Chopin anniversary with several performances of his chamber music. Cellists Lars Hoefs and David Chew (principal cellist of the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira in Rio de Janeiro and Director of the Festival) invited Pablo de Leon, the new concertmaster of Rio’s Symphony Orchestra, to perform Chopin’s Trio with pianist and PMC Director, Marek Zebrowski. On the night of August 20th, the full house at the SESC Arena Theatre in Copacabana also heard Chopin’s magnificent works for cello and piano—the Polonaise Op. 3 and the Op. 65 Sonata—performed by Mr. Hoefs and Mr. Zebrowski. A special representative of Polish Consulate in Sao Paulo spoke after the concert and presented Chopin commemorative medals to the participating artists.

Mr. Hoefs and Mr. Zebrowski then travelled to the Brazilian interior, performing at theConservatório Dramático e Musical Dr. Carlos de Campos (pictured at left) in the town of Tatuí, located about 100 miles west of Sao Paulo. Known as the most musical town in Brazil, Tatuí has the largest music conservatory in South America with the enrollment of around 3,000 students. Located among the rolling hills of sugar cane plantations and huge cattle ranches, the town boasts a city park with a statue of a cellist, an excellent restaurant called Opera Mix, and a very friendly, relaxed atmosphere. The visiting artists gave master classes for local students and then performed in a recital that featured Chopin’s Polonaise Op. 3 and Sonata Op. 65 for cello and piano as well as arrangements of the C-sharp minor Nocturne and B minor Mazurka Op. 33.

The charmingly titled “Violoncelada” Gala concert on Sunday, August 22 was held at the imposing Candelária Church in downtown Rio de Janeiro. A number of soloists participated in this year’s festival Gala—including sopranos Jaunelle Celaire and Martha Herr, cellists Fernando Bru, Mateus Ceccato, David Chew, Minna Chung, David Haughey, Lars Hoefs, Esdras Kalaidjian, Hugo Pilger, Morgan Saboda, Martina Stroher, and Marcelo Vieira, as well as saxophonist, Allan Harrington, and pianists Laura Loewen, Gerald Robbins, and Marek Zebrowski—performing works by Bach, Borne, Chopin, Gershwin, and Villa-Lobos. A standing ovation from an overflowing and decidedly enthusiastic audience led to the encore cello ensemble presentation of Villa-Lobos’ colorful O Trenzinho do Caipira from his celebrated cycle, Bachianas Brasileiras, to end the evening and the Festival.

[Sources: riocello.com, Photo: tatui.sp.gov.br]

PMC Travelling Exhibit

Items from a large collection of memorabilia from the life and career of Ignacy Jan Paderewski are being featured throughout the US this year in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Paderewski’s birth. Donated to the PMC in March 2009 by dedicated collectors in Paso Robles, CA, where Paderewski once owned land, it is now dubbed the “Paso Robles Collection.” From this vast array of material pertaining to both the personal and public faces of this towering historical figure, the PMC has created a travelling exhibit of visual images with extensive explanatory text. The exhibit explores four facets of Paderewski, based on the following categories: Paderewski the Public Person; Paderewski the Pianist; Paderewski—Family Life; and Paderewski in Paso Robles.

This exhibit has already travelled to Paso Robles and Poland for display, but most recently it travelled to Milwaukee for an exhibit at Polish Fest, one of the largest Polish celebrations in the U.S. (est. 1981). Sponsored by Polanki, the Polish Women’s Cultural Club of Milwaukee, the exhibit was mounted in the popular Cultural Villagesection of Polish Fest. Polanki members Tamara Johnston, Ewa Barczyk and Susan Mikoś collaborated with Mid-City Blue Reprographic Services to create beautiful displays of the information and images provided.

The elegant poster displays about Paderewski were rounded out by books, records, sheet music, and other objects provided by local collectors, as well as a powerpoint presentation about this year’s other anniversary celebrant, Chopin, created by Polanki member Krystyna Matusiak. Entitled “A Tribute to Fryderyk Chopin and Ignacy Paderewski,” the exhibit was considered one of the highlights of this year’s Polish Fest (June 18-20, 2010) and was mentioned in articles for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal and BayViewNOW. It also complemented the Polish Fest’s Annual Chopin Youth Piano Competition, which since 1997, has provided “a unique performance opportunity where talented young pianists are able to publicly showcase the beautiful music of Poland’s beloved composer Frederic Francois Chopin” for students up to age 18.

Winners of the 2010 Chopin Youth Piano Competition are pictured above (L-R): Allison Wang (4th Place – Junior Division), Stephanie Lee (3rd Place – Senior Division), Cindy Cai (2nd Place – Senior Division), Suhong Jin (5th Place ex aequo – Senior Division), John Schindler (1st Place – Junior Division), Kirsten Takaki (4th Place – Senior Division), Jarrett Takaki (2nd Place – Junior Division), Trenton Takaki (1st Place – Senior Division), Jacob Wang (5th Place – Junior Division), Garrick Olsen (3rd Place – Junior Division), Missing from photo: Franklin Zhu (5th Place ex aequo – Senior Division). Every year, winners are announced and then perform on Sunday afternoon of Polish Fest weekend.

[Sources: midwestweekends.compolishfest.orgPolish Fest Chopin Competition, Photo credit: Susan Mikoś]

LA Polish Festival Celebrates Chopin

The “Polish Festival Los Angeles”—set for September 24, 25, and 26 in the heart of Los Angeles—is celebrating the year of Chopin. As always, Polish Festival (also known as the “Polish bazaar”) will be held at the Our Lady of the Bright Mount Church in the West Adams neighborhood.

Angela Cholykan performing at the Chopin Marathon – 27 March 2010, Alfred Newman Recital Hall, USC
Hsiao-Hsen Shen recieves the thunderous applause that followed her performance of the Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor

The event starts Friday evening with a screening of the movie Chopin: Desire for Love at 7:00pm in Chopin Hall, which will be the main stage for on all events related to the romantic composer. On Saturday starting at 1:00 p.m., the following Chopin tribute events are scheduled: a lecture presented by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, piano recitals by Angela Cholakyan and Hsiao-Hsien Shen, Poetry readings by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, Lois P. Jones and Dr. Mira N. Mataric, and an art display by Alicia Bobrowska and Monique Lehman. On Sunday, there will be live performances by the Richard Smith Band, Chamber Pop Ensemble, the Wessex Consort, and USC Guitar combos, as well as a lecture by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk entitled “Chopin for Youth.”

In addition to performances surrounding the celebration of Chopin, the festival will include musical artists on the outdoor stage, local artists at vendor booths; “A Taste of Poland” food stations, beer garden, vendors selling Polish wares, and Polish folk dancing with the dancers providing a ‘teach the audience’ session following their performance. Polish Festival is sponsored by POLAM federal credit union, TVP Polonia, LA Metro, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, LA Weekly, NAHO Media Group, PL Magazine, Mar Vista Montessori, European Deli & Market, and the Polish Center in Los Angeles.

September 24, 25, and 26 (see schedule for times)
Polish Festival Los Angeles

Our Lady of the Bright Mount Church
3424 West Adams Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90018
Information & Tickets: www.PolishFestLA.com & www.facebook.com/PolishFestivalLA
Questions: info@polishfestla.com

New Chopin Complete Works Edition

Publication of the new Polish National Edition of the collected works of Fryderyk Chopin is now complete. The project is published by Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne (PWM) and the Foundation for the National Edition of the Works of Fryderyk Chopin. To mark the occasion, PWM and the Foundation held a meeting on August 30th with the collection’s authors: Professor Jan Ekier, editor Paweł Kamiński and PWM’s Editor-in-Chief Andrzej Kosowski. The meeting was hosted by Poland’s Minister of Culture, Bogdan Zdrojewski, and featured a Chopin recital performed by Michał Kozłowski.

The Ekier Edition, as it is commonly referred to, encompasses 37 volumes including ballades, mazurkas, nocturnes, sonatas and etudes, concert pieces, Polonaise in E-flat major and Fantasy on Polish Airs. This edition will now be the recommended version for competitors to use in preparing their performances for the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw.

[Source: chopin2010.pl]

NOSPR Sails With Chopin

During the month of September, Katowice’s Polish National Radio Symphonic Orchestra (NOSPR) will sail the seas of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, England and France to perform some of Chopin’s greatest works in celebration of the Chopin Year 2010. It is the second such voyage of NOSPR on the ship “Dar Młodzieży.”

The ship will sail to various European ports—from Copenhagen (September 7), Goeteborg (September 9), Oslo (September 11) to Dover (September 16) and Boulogne-sur-mer (September 17)—presenting local audiences with the works of Frédéric Chopin on the 200th anniversary of his birth. The last stage of the voyage refers to the composer’s historic voyage from France to Great Britain in 1848 when he sailed from Boulogne-sur-Mer to Folkstone and ultimately reached London by train, having been invited to Great Britain by the Scottish Noble Jane Wilhelmina Stirling, a great admirer of his. The final concert will take place in Grunwaldzki Square in Gdynia on September 25, when Polish audiences will be welcomed to participate in this great international artistic event.

Joined by piano soloist Ewa Kupiec (pictured at right) and conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk, NOSPR’s musical director, the orchestra will perform works by Chopin including: Fantasy in A major on Polish themes Op. 12, Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise in E-flat major and Rondo à la Krakowiak in F major Op. 14. As a reference to the nautical character of the journey, the symphonic poem The Sea by Claude Debussy also will be performed. Other works by national composers will be on the program in each location, as well as the music of Roman Maciejewski, who spent many years in Goeteborg and celebrates the 100th anniversary of his birth this year.

[Source: culture.pl]

Chopin-Schumann Cycle At La Scala

The fifth and final concert of the Chopin-Schumann Cycle at the Teatro della Scala in Milan, Italy, will take place on September 25th. For this program, the Filarmonica della Scala will be joined by pianist Evgeny Kissin and conductor Antoni Wit. A child prodigy who began to play piano at the age of two, Evgeny Kissin has been known throughout his long career particularly for his interpretations of Chopin’s music. Award-winning and world renowned conductor Antoni Wit is the Artistic Director of the Warsaw National Philharmonic. On the program for this concert are Chopin’s Concerto No. 2 in F min. Op. 21 and Schumann’s Symphony No. 4.

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the births of these two great composers, the Chopin-Schumann Cycle started in February 2010. It has featured piano recitals by some of the world’s greatest pianists: Krystian ZimermanMaurizio PolliniDaniel Barenboim, and Lang Lang.

[Source: chopin2010.pl]

Chopin At The KF

On Friday, September 17, the Slavic Arts Ensemble string quartet and Marta Wryk, mezzo-soprano, will perform at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City. The all-Chopin program, entitled “Chopin with Strings Attached,” will include selections from the Op. 74 Songs, as well as Fantasie-Impromptu, Op. 66, Nocturne, Op. 55. No. 1, and many others.

The Slavic Arts Ensemble (Krzysztof Kuznik and Mieczyslaw Gubernat – violins, Maurycy Banaszek – viola and Marta Bedkowska – cello) was founded in 1977 by Mieczyslaw Gubernat, a former member of the orchestra of the Polish National Opera and Ballet, with the intent of presenting little-known Polish and Slavic compositions to American audiences.  Since its successful debut at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York, the Slavic Arts Ensemble has won the hearts of audiences. The Ensemble has also received substantial critical acclaim. Hailed by the New York Times for their “superlative performances of chamber music,” the Ensemble’s repertoire now reaches international audiences via Voice of America.

Born in Poznań, the Polish mezzo-soprano Marta Wryk has been active as a recitalist giving concerts in Poland, Italy, Germany and the United States for a few years now. Recently Ms. Wryk won the first prize in the 15th International Voice Competition in Gorizia, Italy. Last year the young artist had her debut at the Manhattan School of Music Opera Studio where she performed Prince Orlowsky in Die Fledermaus. This year she appeared as Mirtillo in Haendel`s Il Pastor Fido, also at the Manhattan School of Music and she was praised for clear sound and assured presence. Currently Ms.Wryk is covering Gondi in Doniezetti’s Maria di Rohan and Clotilde in Bellini’s Norma for Bel Canto at Caramoor Festival. While attending voice classes at the Warsaw University of Music, she appeared in many operas and operatic ensembles, including Cosi Fan TutteDer ZauberflöteIdomeneo Re Di Creta and Falstaff. Ms Wryk’s concert experience spans appearances in the Kosciuszko Foundation and De Lamar Mansion in New York, Kiva Auditorium in Albuquerque, Henryk Wieniawski Music Society in Poznań, Kammeropere Schloss Rheinsberg in Germany, International Festival Art-Connection in Rotterdam and First International Baroque Festival in Warsaw. Ms. Wryk has been awarded scholarships from the Polish Children’s Fund, Polish Ministry of Education, the Prime Minister of Poland, the Fundacja Leszka Czarneckigo, and the Manhattan School of Music.

Friday, September 17, 2010 – 7:30 pm
Chopin with Strings Attached – Slavic Arts Ensemble & Marta Wryk

Kosciuszko Foundation: 15 East 65th Street, NY, NY

[Source: thekf.org]

Chopin & Opole In Roanoke, VA

The Roanoke Valley Sister City – Opole Poland group is celebrating Chopin’s 200th birthday in southwest Virginia with a series of public concerts during the month of September. Three young and talented students with their equally talented chaperone will be visiting the Roanoke area from the Frederick Chopin school of Music in Opole, Poland from September 3-20. During their visit, they will perform two concerts in Roanoke and one in Washington, DC for the public.  Additionally they will perform in area schools to expose local youth to the beauty of Chopin’s music.

The performers are Kamil Labusga (age 17) – piano, Patryk Grzesiura (age 17) – piano, Maria Strzelczyk (age 17) – violin, and Wojciech Kopczak – piano. The program will include solo piano works by Chopin, as well as violin/piano duets by B. Bartok, E. Bloch, G. Bacewicz, and V. Monti.

Public concert dates:

September 11 | 7:30 pm
Talmadge Recital Hall
Hollins University,  Roanoke, VA

September 14| 7:00 pm 
Grandin Court Baptist Church
2260 Brambleton Ave., Roanoke, VA

September 18 | 7 pm 
Kosciuszko Foundation Washington DC chapter
National Polish Center, Washington, DC

For more information, contact Kristina Slowikowski at 540-772-0574.

[Source: press release]

Chopin At Östersjöfestivalen

The Baltic Sea Festival – Östersjöfestivalen – is Scandinavia’s biggest classical music festival. This year’s edition put Chopin in the spotlight on August 27, starting off with a recital by Stanisław Drzewiecki, one of the most interesting pianists of the young generation, at Berwaldhallen. Later that night, Chopin went clubbing at Berns nightclub during the “Grand Chopin Brillant, ” which kicked off with a performance by pianist Jarosław Kaliski, playing the Grande Valse Brillante in E-flat major op.18, followed by DJ sets featuring Stockholm’s legendary DJ Kornél Kovács and Polish electronic stars Eltron John and Jacek Sienkiewicz sampling Chopin melodies.

“Chopin’s Year in Stockholm is pulsing with events and we are excited that the Polish Institute in Stockholm, which is coordinating all events and maintains the Internet page, is no longer the only organiser of related events throughout Sweden”, says Katarzyna Tubylewicz, Director of the Polish Institute in Stockholm. “We successfully turned Swedes on to the Chopin Year, but another year of cooperation with Östersjöfestivalen is our initiative and it was our idea to bring a modern project with DJs sampling Chopin into this classical context. Chopin’s music has folk and dance roots, making it perfect for sampling and dance,” continues Tubylewicz.

The events at the Baltic Sea Festival were organized in cooperation with the Polish Institute in Stockholm and Swedish partners the Berwaldhallen Philharmonic and Berns Club.

[Source: culture.pl (press release)]

Chopin In Millenium Park

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Chicago and Warsaw, the oldest of Chicago’s 28 Sister City agreements. This anniversary was celebrated during the 5th Annual Chicago Sister Cities International Festival, held on August 23–27, 2010 from 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m. in Millennium Park.

During the Festival, Chicago’s Paderewski Symphony Orchestra celebrated the 50th Sister City Anniversary as well as the 200 years of Chopin with a “Chopin in the Park” program on the Madison Ave. Balcony. Some of the musical highlights included piano recitals by Daniel Szefer (pictured at lef), Nicole Nowak, Jaroslaw Golembiowski and Jana Pawlowska, as well as dance performances, vocal recitals, and a jazz concert featuring singer Agnieszka Iwanska and pianist Marcin Januszkiewicz. “Chopin in the Park” programs were held every afternoon except Thursday during the Festival – see a full program here: pasochicago.org.


Premieres At Warsaw Autumn

The 53rd Warsaw Autumn Festival [Warszawska Jesień], which runs from September 17-23, will feature premieres of compositions by many Polish composers, from up-and-coming young musicians to established composers at the top of the field. The compositions by Polish composers that will have their premiere this year are listed below, with (*) indicating a Polish premiere and (**) indicating a World Premiere. Those works that were commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn Festival are marked (WA).

17 September: 
Zygmunt Krauze Listy [Letters] ** (WA commission) (pictured at left)
Katarzyna Szwed Coś jak babie lato [Kind of like Indian Summer] *

18 September: 

Włodzimierz Kotoński Czarne słońce [Black star] ** (WA)
Laureates’ Concert of the 1st Zygmunt Mycielski Composers’ Competition of Polish Composers’ Union- Youth Circle: Artur Żuchowski Surrealizm[Surrealism] **, Wojciech Błażejczyk Protokół [Protocol] **, Łukasz Godyla Monolog [Monologue] **

19 September: 
Marcin Bortnowski I już nocy nie będzie [And Night Will Be No More] ** (WA)

20 September: 
Paweł Janicki Mapping Chopin **, Józef Robakowski, Wiesław Michalak, Paweł Janicki Attention: Light! 2.0 **, Jarosław Kapuściński (pictured at rightGdzie jest Chopin? [Where is Chopin?] ** (WA, WRO Art Center and Stanford University commission)

21 September:
Agata Zubel Symphony No.3 **
Hanna Kulenty Twenty-five for symphony orchestra  ** (pictured at left)

22 September:
Marek Chołoniewski, Krzysztof Knittel  qub ** (installation)
Chopout:  Krzysztof Czaja Id **, Andrzej Kopeć r-evolutio **, Krzysztof Czaja
Anathemata **
Lidia Zielińska In the rear **  (WA)
Wojciech Ziemowit Zych  Różnia [Difference] ** (WA)

23 September:
Jerzy Kornowicz Scenes from Bulgakov ** (WA)

To learn more about the performers and venues for each premiere, visit www.warszawska-jesien.art.pl and click on the date of the concert, or see the Festival Program at www.warszawska-jesien.art.pl/files/Program_WJ2010_ANG[3].pdf

[Sources: warszawska-jesien.art.plhannakulenty.com]

Mykietyn Premiere & Możdżer At Solidarity Of Arts

The “Solidarity of Arts” Festival is an international cultural event that refers to the traditions of political and social freedom through the universal language of art and music. This year’s edition (August 18 – September 8) is dedicated to two major events: the 30th anniversary of the Solidarity movement and the Frederic Chopin Year celebrating the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The program includes concerts, stage and movie premieres, artistic workshops and debates. Also featured are symphony concerts inspired by Solidarity themes and composed especially for the festival, as well as theatre pieces depicting events from contemporary Polish history. Honorary patronage of the event is held by the legendary leader of Solidarność, Lech Wałęsa.

The main attraction of the festival is an open-air performance from Możdżer +, led by acclaimed jazz pianist Leszek Możdżer(pictured on left) on the city’s Coal Market Square on August 21. This is a major collaborative undertaking that features brilliant jazz musicians from Poland and around the world on three consecutive stages. Special guests include: Naná Vasconcelos (Brazil), Lars Danielsson (Sweden), Zohar Fresco (Israel), Marcus Miller, Alex Han and Louis Cato (USA), Motion Trio (Poland), John Scofield, Steve Swallow and Bill Stewart (USA), Aukso Chamber Orchestra (Poland) Gaba Kulka (Poland), Eddie Daniels and Charles Fox (USA). The show is directed by Krzysztof Materna.

On August 29, the Polish Baltic Philharmonic premiered the latest work by Pawel MykietynIVO XXX, with the National Philharmonic Choir from Minsk under the baton of Reinbert de Leeuw. The piece was commissioned by the European Centre of Solidarity and the Solidarity of the Arts festival on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the rise of the Solidarność movement. The 70-minute composition is arranged for choir and symphonic orchestra with subtle use of electronic elements. It is a one-act piece, divided into 5 sections representing the range of experiences of the movement, from the power of the unity behind the birth of solidarity to the electronic sound of “censorship.” The culminating point is song inspired by the folklore of the Babia Góra, which symobolises the end of the “Solidarity carnival.”

On September 5, the Baltic State Opera hosts the premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth, directed by Marek Weiss-Grzesiński and starring Leszek Skrla, Vittorio Vitelli, Katarzyna Hołysz, and Magdalena Meziner. Weiss-Grzesiński’s adaptation of the legendary work takes a glimpse at the Macbethian obsession with power and impending madness through the perspective of recent Polish history.

For more info on the festival and program, visit www.en.solidarityofarts.pl.

[Source: culture.pl]

Schaeffer Birthday Celebration At Fringe

Four performances of Era Schaeffera—a special event to celebrate the 80th birthday of Poland’s most prolific composer and playwright, Boguslaw Schaeffer (b. June 6, 1929)—took place in August during the Universal Arts Festival. For the last 21 years, the Universal Arts Festival has been a part of the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Era Schaeffera was an interactive, audio-visual, multi-media performance featuring The Amadeus Polish National Radio Orchestra conducted by Agnieszka Duczmal, The Olga Szwajgier Jazz Quartet with vocalist Urszula Dudziak, Boguslaw Schaeffer himself on piano, and Schaeffer’s play A Multimedia Thing featuring actors Marek Frąckowiak, Waldemar Obłoza, Agnieszka Wielgosz, dancer Witold Jurewicz and soprano Valentina Pannino. Era Schaefferawas directed by Maciej Sobocinski.

Boguslaw Schaeffer is one of the prominent leaders of the post-WW2 European avant-garde, widely considered to be the ‘father of new music in Poland’. An author of forty plays, many books on modern music, as well as more than five hundred musical compositions, Schaeffer is also a graphic designer and amongst the most frequently performed playwrights in Poland today. His Klavier Konzert formed part of the film soundtrack to David Lynch’s Inland Empire and Eugène Ionesco wrote Three Dreams about Schaeffer in his honour.

This event was presented by Aurea Porta & Universal Arts supported by the Polish Cultural Institute, the Polish Ministry of Culture and National heritage, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh.

[Sources: universalartsfestival.comculture.pl]

Lutosławski Music Education Stipend

The Board of the Witold Lutosławski Society has announced the annual 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 is chosen each year. The award is available to Polish students and graduates of music schools in all musical 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, 2010 to the address of the Lutosławski Society in Warsaw:

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

[Sources: polmic.pllutoslawski.org.pl]

Golka To Lead Riverside Phil


The Riverside County Philharmonic formally announced the selection of Tomasz Golka as its next Music Director at the annual meeting on June 2, 2010. Golka was selected from seven candidates that guest conducted the orchestra during the past two seasons. He replaces the late Patrick Flynn who held the post for 18 years, and takes over as the orchestra prepares to spend its next season in the newly renovated Fox Performing Arts Center rather than its home venue of 50 years, the Riverside Municipal Auditorium.

“Mr. Golka conducted our October 3, 2009 concert and earned very high marks from the orchestra and the search committee we set up two years ago,” said Betsy Herrick, who is   completing her one year term as Philharmonic president. “He is young, dynamic and has a number of creative ideas that will take the Philharmonic to a new performance level. The orchestra is really charged up about working with him.”

According to Herrick, one of the things that impressed the Philharmonic is Golka’s ideas about expanding audiences. “Tomasz has spent a lot of his time creating musical programs that have dramatically increased the number of persons attending Lubbock Symphony concerts. He’s done this by meeting people, learning about their musical interests and building programs that appeal to broader audiences,” she adds. “When Tomasz heard about the City of Riverside’s Arts and Innovation initiative he understood immediately what such an effort could mean to the community and is eager to play a part in this effort.”

Since winning 1st Prize at the 2003 Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition, Golka has appeared with orchestras in the Americas and Europe to great critical acclaim. He is Music Director of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, which has seen a resurgence of growth and vitality under his direction since taking that post in the 2007‐2008 season. This past season he guest conducted with the Warsaw Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony, and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, among others.

A composer himself, Golka, in addition to conducting his own works, regularly commissions and premieres works of other living composers. With the Lubbock Symphony, he premiered the Symphony of Mathew Fuerst, a work written especially for that orchestra during his inaugural season there as Music Director. Golka is also a highly accomplished violinist, serving as Concertmaster for the renowned Spoleto USA Festival Orchestra and the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra (1999‐2000).

Golka studied conducting with David Effron at Indiana University and Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar at the Peabody Conservatory. He also holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Rice University. Golka was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1975.

Established in 1959, the Riverside County Philharmonic is an all professional orchestra which traditionally performs a 4 to 6 concert season plus numerous performances in communities such as Temecula, Lake Arrowhead, Cerritos, and Lake Elsinore. Through its Adventures in Music program the orchestra provides trios and ensembles to local schools. Its Heartstrings program makes up to 2,000 tickets available each year to area nonprofit human service organizations for distribution to seniors, abused women and children, persons affected by HIV/AIDS and persons with disabilities.

[Source: Press release]

Poles At Salzburg Festival

Three Polish musicians performed alongside renowned classical musicians from all over the world at this year’s edition of the Salzburg Festival in Vienna, Austria, one of the oldest and largest summer festivals in Europe. The first edition of the Salzburg Festival was launched on August 22, 1920. Since that time, the Salzburg Festival has established itself as one of the most important festivals for opera, drama and concerts. It has managed to thrive even through times of war and political change, systematically evolving and adapting its repertoire to larger and eclectic audiences.

Tenor Piotr Beczała reprised the title role in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet. The brilliant Polish vocalist performed the opera with Anna Netrebko on August 10, followed by several more performances throughout the month of August (20, 23, 27, 30). In February 2009, the pair shared the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in the broadcast production of Donizetti’s Lucia from Lammemoor. Beczała and Netrebko are pictured at left in the Festival production of Romeo and Juliet

Also invited to Salzburg was soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, who starred in the role of Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, directed by Claus Gurth on August 9, 22, 25, and 29. Kurzak is also is a recognizable figure at the Met, having performed there last year in Verdi’s Rigoletto and headlined on such stages as the Theatre of Vienna, Staatsoper in Munich and Covent Garden in London.

In celebration of the Frederic Chopin Year 2010, festival organizers also invited Krystian Zimerman, who not only performed a Chopin recital, but also presented a selection of pieces by Grażyna Bacewicz accompanied by the Hagen Quartett on August 24.

[Source: culture.pl]

Rentowski In Concert

Compositions of Wiesław V. Rentowski—a Polish composer currently living and teaching in Houston, TX—will be featured in a “Concert of American Music for Cello and Piano” on September 17 in Dallas, TX. The concert will be performed by Peruvian cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi and Taiwanese pianist Gloria Lin. Other composers whose works will be performed are: M. Blessinger, L.J. González, D. Ninov, M. Nobre, R.X. Rodríguez, and S. Wheeler.

The music of Wieslaw Rentowski has been performed at many international festivals and conferences in Europe, the United States and Canada. In 1988, he was awarded first prize in the National Competition for Young Composers in Poland. Numerous commissions, grants, and awards followed from the Polish Ministry of Culture, the Polish Composers’ Union [ZKP], the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, the Łódź State Academy of Music & Musica Moderna Festival, the Darmstadt International Institute of New Music, the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts (Canada), the Kosciuszko Foundation (New York), the City of Elblag, the Louisiana Music Teachers Association, and the Dance Council of New Orleans, among others. Most recently, he received awards from the American Music Center – NY (2008) and the ASCAPLUS Award (2009), as well as grants from the Richardson Arts Commission for NACUSA Texas concerts (2009 and 2010 seasons). He holds advanced degrees from Louisiana State University (DMA ’96), the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, the Łódź State Academy of Music, and the University of Łódź.

Rentowski’s music has been published in the US by Zimbel Press, Imagine Music, and Conners Publications; in Poland by Pomorze, Author’s Agency, and Astra; and in Germany by Hohner Musikverlag. His music has been recorded throughout Poland, Germany, Canada, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.

A virtuoso organist and conductor as well as composer, Rentkowski is active as a performer and pedagogue, playing and lecturing throughout the US, Canada, Germany and Poland. He is also a founding member of the Texas Chapter of NACUSA and member of the National Advisory Board of NACUSA, one of the oldest associations of composers in America.

Concert of American Music for Cello and Piano
Jonsson Performance Hall, University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Rd. Richardson TX 75080-3021
Details: www.utdallas.edu
Admission: $15


14th Int’l Contemporary Chamber Music Competition

14th International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition took place in Kraków from August 25-29. Established in 1997 by the Culture Institute Association [Stowarzyszenie Instytut Sztuki] under the patronage of Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, this Competition has become one of the biggest interpretational competitions of the contemporary music in Europe.  The aim of the competition is to help establish the careers of talented chamber musicians under the age of 35 and to promote Polish contemporary music all over the world through these young laureates.

The Competition Jury included: Jan Pilch – Chairman of the Jury, Paul Patterson, Christine Michaela Pryn, Geoffrey Douglas Madge, and Tadeusz Wielecki. Having evaluated the standard of the competition as extremely high, the Jury awarded the following prizes:



the ensemble Amadrums – Wiktoria Chrobak, Rafał Tyliba, and Maciej Hałoń of Poland (prize: 15 000 PLN and honorary statuette)

Marek Stachowski Award (for the best performance of a work written by a Polish composer):
violinist Sandra Haniszewska of Poland, for the performance of: Krzysztof Penderecki’s Cadenza (prize: 8 000 PLN and honorary statuette)

Award of the Polish Institute in Prague:
the ensemble TWOgether Duo: Magdalena Bojanowicz – cello, and Maciej Frąckiewicz – accordion, of Poland (prize: Grand Concert in Prague)

Sounds New Prize:
the ensemble Amadrums (prize: concert in England during the Sounds New Festival)

Danish-Polish Friendship Award:
the Airis Quartet: Aleksandra Czajor –violin, Grażyna Zubik- violin, Natalia Warzecha- viola, and Katarzyna Detko – cello, of Poland (prize: a concert in Denmark)

Special Mention for Youngest Artist:
Duo 4/2: Łukasz Pawlikowski – cello, and Tomasz Próchnicki – piano, of Poland


Soloist category:

First Prize:
Sabrina Suk Wai Ma
 – marimba, of China

Second Prize:
Weronika Krówka – piano, of Poland

Third Prize (ex-aequo):
Veronika Praded – cimbalom, of Belorussia
Magdalena Wajdzik – piano, of Poland


Duo Category:

First Prize:
Glendower Duo: 
Hannah Morgan – clarinet, of France, and Thomas Besnard – piano, of the UK

Second Prize:
Scontri Duo: Maciej Nerkowski – baritone and Leszek Lorent – percussion, of Poland

Third Prize (ex-aequo):
Duo Tandemonos: Anna Górecka – violin and Zofia Konieczna – violin, of Poland
Duo Thalie: Véronique Mathieu – violin, of Canada, and Sophie Patey – piano, of France


Trio/Quartet Category:

First Prize:
: Wiktoria Chrobak, Rafał Tyliba, and Maciej Hałoń – percussionists, of Poland

The second and third prizes in the Trio/Quartet category were not awarded

For more information and a list of all participants in this prestigious competition, visit www.instytutsztuki.pl

[Sources: instytutsztuki.plinstytutsztuki.pl]

Sinfonia Varsovia Stipend

The winner of the 2010 Franciszek Wybrańczyk Artist Stipend is Aleksandra Świgut, a student in the piano studio of prof. Piotr Paleczny. The prize is 10 000 PLN and an opportunity to perform as a soloist with Sinfonia Varsovia. This stipend is funded by the Sinfonia Varsovia Foundation.

An additional prize funded by the Foundation President was awarded to Marta Kowalczyk, a violin student in the studio of prof. Jan Stanienda. The prize is 5 000 PLN and an opportunity to perform as a soloist with Sinfonia Varsovia.

The award ceremony will take place on September 4 during the 10th Annual Franciszek Wybrańczyk Festival “Sinfonia Varsovia and their City.”

[Source: sinfoniavarsovia.org]

Nowowiejski Competition Awards

The Fourth International Feliks Nowowiejski Organ Competition in Poznań (August 24-28) is now complete and, under the leadership of Prof. Bine Katrine (Denmark), the Jury honored the following participants:

  • I Prize ex aequo: Karol Mossakowski (Poland) and Yulia Yufereva (Russia)
  • II Prize: Agnieszka Tarnawska (Poland)
  • III Prize: Tina Christiansen (Denmark)

In addition to financial prizes, the winners are also awarded performance opportunities throughout Poland over the course of the year. Also, in recognition of her distinction as the best performer of the music of Nowowiejski, Yulia Yufereva was given a sculpture of organ pipes by Katarzyna Stasińska.

The final laureates’ concert took place in the Aula Nova of the I. J. Paderewski Music Academy in Poznań on Saturday, August 28, the day after the winners were announced.

[Source: polmic.pl]


Warszawska Jesień 2010

The 53rd edition of the International Festival of Contemporary Music ‘Warsaw Autumn’ [Warszawska Jesień], one of the most highly regarded and longest running festivals of its kind in the world, will take place in Warsaw between September 17-25, 2010. The main topic of this year’s Festival is the keyboard in its broad sense, featuring a number of works for various keyboard instruments, ‘keyboards’ of percussion instruments, as well as computer keyboards. Among them, works for nontraditional keyboards, with cross-tuning, prepared sounds, electronics, installations, and conceptual works. With this ‘keyboard’ topic, Warsaw Autumn symbolically adheres to the 200th anniversary of Fryderyk Chopin and the ongoing Chopin Year, and the spectacular multimedia installations related on the subject of Chopin that will be shown in urban spaces around Warsaw do so even more directly….

[Continue reading in last month’s Newsletter]

Wratislavia Cantans

During the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans (September 4-19, 2010), the most extraordinary of Lower Silesia’s architectural gems will resound with oratorio, symphonic, vocal and vocal-instrumental masterpieces. The Festival is organized by General Dir. Andrzej Kosendiak and Artistic Dir. Paul McCreesh. This year’s 45th edition of the Festival, as always, will feature today’s top soloists and ensembles, from Poland and around the world.

Highlights include:

  • A performance of Utrenja by Krzysztof Penderecki, which will be dedicated to Andrzej Markowski—the Originator of Wratislavia Cantans and winner of the Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros for his recording of Utrenja. Performers: Christiane Libor – soprano, Agnieszka Rehlis – mezzo, Piotr Kusiewicz – tenor, Stephan Klemm – bass, Vladimir Miller – basso profondo, Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra & Choir, and the Warsaw Boys Choir
  • A performance of H. Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts op. 5 conducted by Paul McCreesh, which will gather over 250 performers together on the stage: Robert Murray – tenor, the Gabrieli Consort & Players, the Wrocław Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, the Chetham’s Symphonic Brass Ensemble, and the Festival Choir & Orchestra
  • Two different programs presented by the vocal ensemble Affabre Concinui, featuring music by Stanisław Moniuszko, Jan Maklakiewicz, Wacław z Szamotuł, and Fryderyk Chopin
  • An all-Chopin piano recital by Janusz Olejniczak

[Source: wratislaviacantans.pl, Image: pik.wroclaw.pl]

Sacrum Profanum

The Sacrum Profanum Festival is an international project which, within the last 7 years, has gained the status of being one of the most interesting music events in Europe. The formula of the Festival is based on the presentation of music exhibiting the intersection between the modern motives of sacred and profane, as well as the intersections of geographic regions. The Festival, recommended by among others the prestigious music Gramophone magazine, enjoys the acknowledgment of critics and audiences alike. Filip Berkowicz – Artistic Director of the Festival and the Krakow Festival Office – was nominated for the 2010 “Cultural Guarantees” award presented by TVP Kultura, for “creating the festivals Misteria Paschalia and Sacrum Profanum of permanent artistic quality.”

This year’s 8th edition of the Sacrum Profanum Festival (September 12-18, Kraków) will celebrate the connections between Poland and Nordic countries. Featuring 7 outstanding composer combinations [Witold Lutosławski/Magnus Lindberg, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki/Klas Torstensson, Pawel Mykietyn/Anders Hillborg, Paweł Szymański/Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Krzysztof Penderecki/Kaija Saariaho, Agata Zubel/Rolf Wallin, and Kazimierz Serocki/Hans Abrahamsen] and 7 of the foremost ensembles specializing in the interpretation of the world’s newest music [Ensemble Intercontemporain, Asko | Schönberg, Ensemble Modern, Cikada Ensemble, London Sinfonietta/Theatre of Voices, musikFabrik, Klangforum Wien, and Ensemble Recherche].

In addition to concerts, this year’s Festival will support the Made in Poland – a Collection of Polish Music project. A joint artistic undertaking by the Sacrum Profanum Festival, the National Audio-visual Institute, Polish Radio and Polish Television, it is aimed at promoting contemporary Polish music at home and abroad, as well as the creation of new, top-level cultural events. In 2010 phase of the project, which is divided over three years, will include presentations of selected contemporary compositions on Krakow’s festival stage, in unconventional performances, and their recording and publication. This year’s 7 compositions presented at the Festival are: Lutosławski – Łańcuch 1 (1983), H. M. Górecki – Małe Requiem dla pewnej Polki, Op. 66 (1993), Mykietyn – 3 for 13 (1994), Szymański – Appendix (1983), Penderecki – Quartetto per archi (1960), Zubel – Cascando (2007), and Serocki – Fantasmagoria (1971).

Jón “Jónsi” Þór Birgisson – a guitar player and the vocalist of the Icelandic group Sigur Rós – will be the headliner of the Sacrum Profanum Freak part of the Festival, which also includes a performance of múm & friends [Amiina + Magnús Tryggvason Elíassen, Gyða Valtýsdóttir, Sindri Már Sigfússon (Seabear & Sin Fan Bous), Örn Elías Guðmundsson (Mugison), Benedikt Hermann Hermannson (Benni Hemm Hemm), Högni Egilsson (Hjaltalín), Jóhann Jóhannsson, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Polish Radio Choir and others].

[Source: sacrumprofanum.com]

Sinfonia Varsovia For Their City

The 10th Annual Franciszek Wybrańczyk Festival “Sinfonia Varsovia For Their City” will take place in Warsaw from September 4-19, 2010. Named in 2007 for Franciszek Wybrańczyk, the creator and first director of the Festival and the long time director of the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra, this festival presents world class music and musicians in several landmark venues around Warsaw for free.

This year’s Festival will include 2 orchestral concerts and 21 chamber concerts. The inaugural concert will take place in the Concert Hall of the Frederick Chopin Academy of Music, during which the Sinfonia Varsovia Artistic Stipend for outstanding music students will be presented to the winners (see Awards for details). The Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra will perform Krzysztof Penderecki’s Agnus Dei and works by Dvořák and Schumann with cellist Danjulo Ishizaka and conductor Jacek Kaspszyk. In the subsequent days of the Festival, members of Sinfonia Varsovia will perform chamber works by such varied musicians as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Strauss, Weber, Schumann, Albeniz, Ibert, Hindemith, Castérède, Grϋnfeld, Desenclos, Halvorsen, Mower, Plog, Paciorkiewicz, Joplin, Piazzolla, Arnold, Mancini, Rota, Morricone, Petersburski, Wasowski & Przybora, and The Beatles. Polska Orkiestra Kameralna will also perform with violinist and conductor Jakub Haufa on September 18. The Festival will close with an outdoor performance by Sinfonia Varsovia with violinist Maria Machowska and conductor Jan Krenz in the Amfiteatr Bemowo. For a full schedule of concerts, see www.sinfoniavarsovia.org or polmic.pl.

All concerts are free and space is limited. Tickets will be available one hour before concert time. For more information, visit the Sinfonia Varsovia website.

[Sources: sinfoniavarsovia.orgpolmic.pl; Poster: naszemiasto.pl]

Music On The Mountaintops

The 2nd International Festival of Chamber Music in Zakopane, organized by the Mieczysław Karłowicz Society and the Zakopane Promotions Office, will take place from September 19-25, 2010. The Festival week provides the chance to listen to the most beautiful classical music performed by leading performers of Polish and international chamber music in unique venues, and a wonderful opportunity to connect these cultural events with recreation. Concerts are held in special locations throughout the mountain town of Zakopane; only those with exceptional acoustical resonance, such as historical churches, are chosen as concert venues. Although some events require tickets, many are presented free of charge.

The concert programs of this Festival are focused on Polish composers, including: Ignacy Felix Dobrzyński, Juliusz Zarębski, Dariusz Przybylski,Fryderyk Chopin, Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Roman Maciejewski. Other composers to be performed include: Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, Max Bruch, W.A. Mozart, and Maurice Ravel

Featured musicians include Jonathan Plowright (Great Britain, pictured at right), Ewa Maria Żuk (Mexico), Olga Pasiecznik (Argentina), Pablo Marquez (Argentina), and the Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra “Amadeus” with conductor Agnieszka Duczmal, among others. Also performing is the “Festival Ensemble,” which consists of the best Polish soloists of the young generation: Katarzyna Budnik, Jakub Jakowicz, Rafał Kwiatkowski, Piotr Lato, Artur Rozmysłowicz, Anna Maria Staśkiewicz, Janusz Wawrowski, Anita Wąsik, Janusz Widzyk, and Marcin Zdunik.

Brief concert schedule includes:

  • “Festival Inauguration Concert” – Jonathan Plowright, piano and members of the Festival Ensemble (Sept. 19, 2010 – Holy Cross Church)
  • “Chop in Brass” Project – Jonathan Plowright, piano, Acoustic Brass and Mirosław Feldgebel (Sept. 20, 2010 – Hotel Belvedere)
  • “Chopin depicted with words and sounds…” concert – Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra “Amadeus,” Agnieszka Duczmal, cond. and Ewa Maria Żuk, piano (Sept. 21, 2010 – F. Chopin State Secondary School of Music in Nowy Targ)
  • “Chopin’s Influence on the Music in the World” – Prof. Maciej Negrey and Ewa Maria Żuk, piano (Sept. 22, 2010 – Jasny Pałac Holiday Resort)
  • “Fryderyk Chopin in memoriam” – Festival Ensemble with Olga and Natalia Pasiecznik (Sept. 23, 2010 – Hotel Grand Nosalowy Dwór)
  • “Roman Maciejewski in memoriam” – members of the Festival Ensemble with Marcin Majchrowski, cond. (Sept. 24, 2010 – Hotel Crocus)
  • “Final Concert” – Pablo Márquez, guitar, withmembers of the Festival Ensemble (Sept. 25, 2010 – Holy Cross Church)

Other accompanying events include:

  • “Gra miejska” [Urban game]: a game of “hide and seek,” held at and along historical and evocative locations in Zakopane, as well as other hikes and nature excursions (Sept. 18, 2010)
  • “Artistic Euphoria” Workshop: for children and parents, giving young people access to the musicians of the Festival in order to inspire their passion for music (Sept. 20, 2010 – Grand Hotel Nosalowy Dwor)
  • Film screenings: presentations of the award winners from the 6th annual Film Festival “Spotkania z Filmem Górskiem” [Meeting with the Mountains], which takes place from September 9-12 (Sept. 21, 2010 – Dworzec Tatrzański)
  • Exhibition of musical instruments: including a Stradivarius violin (Sept. 19-25, 2010 – Grand Hotel Stamary)
  • Art exhibition: various Polish and British artists will show their interpretation the painting by Witkacy, “Tworzenie Swiata” [Creation of the world] (Sept. 19-25, 2010 – Dworzec Tatrzański)

For a full schedule and event details, see z-ne.pl. Tickets are available at www.zakopane.pl.

[Source: karlowicz.org]

Jewish Cultural Fest – “Warzawa Singera”

This year marks the 7th edition of the Jewish Cultural Festival “Warszawa Singera,” [Singers’ Warsaw]. The Festival opened on August 28 with A Day Honoring the Righteous Among the Nations, featuring a concert entitled “The Vistula Whispers in Yiddish” performed by the klesmer band the Adam Mazurek Trio. Continuing daily until September 5th, other musical events include:

  • A workshop on Cantorial singing, and the Festival Grand Opening “Cantors’ Concert”
  • A performance of Sholem Aleichem’s Song of Songsfeaturing Jerzy Derfel (composer), Jerzy Walczak (actor), Krzysztof Jakowicz (violin) and Andrzej Łukasik (double bass)
  • A concert of  Leopold Kozłowski—called the „last klezmer of Galicia” and the “treasure of Kazimierz”— and Friends, including Jacek Cygan, Marta Bizoń, Katarzyna Jamróz, Renata Świerczyńska, Kamila Klimczak, Andrzej Róg, Halina Jarczyk, and Jacek Hołubowski
  • “Just Such a Day,” a concert featuring Monika Chrząstowska (narrator), Roksana Vikaluk (electronic instruments and voice), and Karolina Brodniewicz (trombone)
  • The concert “Kaddish,” conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki and John Axelrod with Sinfonia Varsovia, the Choirs of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic, Warsaw Boys’ Choir and soloists. Program: L. Bernstein – Symphony No. 3 “Kaddish,” K. Penderecki – Kaddisz, and Max Bruch – Kol Nidrei
  • A concert in the “Tenement-House Memories” series with violinists Sanya Kroitor and Michał Urbaniak
  • The “East Meets East” concert—an incredible mix of ethnic music, classical, jazz and Jewish chants, which kidnaps, moves and entertains simultaneously—featuring Nigel Kennedy (violinist) and Kroke (klesmer band)
  • “The great women of the Yiddish Theatre” concert, featuring Theresa Tova (singer & writer)
  • Concert performed by Free Accordions (Martyna Chojnacka, Piotr Tomala, Mikołaj Stolarski)
  • A performance of “Tango in the Tancbuda” with Milena Madziar (singer) and the ES Theater Orchestra
  • And a solo concert by Paweł Szamburski (clarinet), among others…

Honorary patrons of the Festival are: Jerzy Buzek – President of the European Parliament; Władysław Bartoszewski – Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland; Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz – Mayor of Warsaw; and Zvi Rav-Ner – Ambassador of Israel to Poland.

A full program in English is available at www.bohomaz.eu. More information in English and Polish is available at festiwalsingera.pl.

[Source: bohomaz.eue-teatr.plfestiwalsingera.pl]

Four Cultures Of Łódź

The Four Cultures of Łódź Festival (September 14 – 18, 2010) boasts an extensive repertoire of events that aim to bring together the four cultures of Łódź: Jewish, German, Russian and Polish. The rich program of the Festival features over 30 events spread all over the city including music, theater, literature, visual arts and cinema, revolves most importantly around the city’s multicultural tradition, but also its roots and colorful history.

Composers and performers featured during this year’s festival include: Kwartet Śląski, Roman Padlewski, Szymon Laks, Joachim Mendelsohn, Jonathan Plowright, Lech Dyblik, L.A. Minkus, Kamila Klimczak, Andrzej Olejniczak, Apertus Quartet, Fryderyk Chopin, and I.J. Paderewski

A full program of the Festival is available at the official website, www.4kultury.pl.

[Sources: culture.ple-teatr.pl]

Polish Arts Festival UK

The Polish Arts Festival in Southend-on-the-Sea is an annual and ever-expanding celebration of Polish culture in the UK. This year’s 3-day event will feature several interesting concert performed by the Maciej Pysz Trio, the St Nicholas Orchestra and Giewont. The Polish Arts Festival is produced by Hungry Arts.

Friday, 10 September – 8pm
Jazz Night: Maciej Pysz Trio
Railway Hotel, 32 Clifftown Road, Town Centre

Maciej Pysz is a regular in the London Jazz scene. Past live performances include Ronnie Scotts, Charlie Wright’s, Jazz Cafe POSK,The Ritzy, BBC Radio, and the now famous Bedroom Bar – “Made in Polska” music session organised by Deconstruction Project.

Sunday, 12 September (events all day)
Polski Picnic: concerts by St Nicholas Orchestra & Giewont
Priory Park, Victoria Avenue

The St. Nicholas Orchestra has played over 1,000 concerts in 14 countries, but this will be its first live performance in England. They are not only a musical ensemble, but standard bearers of a kind of art which demands constantly creating new styles and patterns. “We sometimes think of ourselves as the laboratory of tradition”. In 2005 the band received the Oskar Kolberg Award for the “popularisation of folk culture.”

Giewont is the only polish highland band of its kind in Great Britain representing the Podhale (Zakopane) region of Poland.  This is their third time at the festival where they will present music and song in the traditional band style of Zakopane, presenting not only music of the Podhale highlanders but also from Slovakia, Hungary and Rumania and the immediate surrounding Polish regions.  They frequently play at various private functions and also meet just in order to play the music they love so much.  They play entirely by ear, and have the motto ‘We play what we like”.  In 2010 they are celebrating 20 years as a group.

For more information, visit www.polishartsfestival.co.uk or email enquiries@polishartsfestival.co.uk.

[Sources: polishartsfestival.co.ukculture.pl]


NOSPR & Górecka Celebrate H.M. Górecki

Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki. Photo by Vladek Juszkiewicz

On August 29, the Polish National Radio Symphonic Orchestra (NOSPR) in Katowice celebrated one of Poland’s greatest composers of contemporary music, Katowice’s own Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (pictured at left in L.A. in 1997). This concert was organized for the residents of the city of Katowice and within the framework of Katowice’s candidacy for the title of European Capital of Culture 2016.

Gathered in NOSPR’s G. Fitelberg Hall, the audience heard an all-Górecki program of Three Pieces in the Old Style for string orchestra, Little Requiem for a PolkaThree Dances for Orchestra, and the Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra (piano version), with the composer’s daughter, Anna Górecka, at the piano and NOSPR conductor, Michał Klauza, on the podium.

[Source: nospr.org.pl]


Born This Month

  • 1 September 1900 – Kazimierz WIŁKOMIRSKI, cellist, conductor, teacher (died in 1990)
  • 5 September 1924 – Krystyna MOSZUMAŃSKA-NAZAR, composer
  • 5 September 1938 – Piotr LACHERT, pianist, composer, pedagogue
  • 6 September 1916 – Tadeusz DOBRZAŃSKI, composer and conductor
  • 7 September 1943 – Elzbieta STEFAŃSKA, harpsichordist
  • 9 September 1921 – Andrzej DOBROWOLSKI, composer (died in 1989)
  • 9 September 1923 – Andrzej BACHLEDA, tenor
  • 13 September 1896 – Tadeusz SZELIGOWSKI (died 10 January 1963), composer
  • 14 September 1937 – Jan ASTRIAB, composer
  • 14 September 1914 – Michał SPISAK, composer (died 29 January 1965, Paris)
  • 16 September 1895 – Karol RATHAUS, composer, pianist (died 21 November 1954, New York)
  • 16 September 1891 – Czesław MAREK, composer, pianist
  • 18 September 1919 – Edward BURY, composer and theory teacher
  • 18 September 1928 – Adam WALACIŃSKI, composer and music critic
  • 18 September 1883 – Ludomir RÓŻYCKI (died 1 January 1953), composer
  • 19 September 1938 – Zygmunt KRAUZE, composer and pianist
  • 22 September 1940 – Edward BOGUSŁAWSKI, composer
  • 23 September 1912 – Irena PFEIFFER, composer, conductor.
  • 24 September 1914 – Andrzej PANUFNIK (died 27 October 1991)
  • 30 September 1942 – Andrzej DUTKIEWICZ, pianist and composer
  • 30 September 1947 – Jan OLESZKOWICZ, composer


Died This Month

  • 13 September 1977 – Leopold STOKOWSKI (born 18 April 1882), conductor and composer
  • 15 September 1895 – Jan KLECZYŃSKI (b. 8 June 1857), pianist and music critic
  • 15 September 1944 – Bronislaw WOLFSTAHL, composer, pianist, conductor (b. 22 July 1883)
  • 18 September 1857 – Karol KURPIŃSKI (b. 6 March 1785), composer and conductor
  • 26 September 1944 – Seweryn BARBAG (b. 4 September 1891), musicologist.
  • 29 September 1954 – Alfred GRADSTEIN (born 30 October 1904), composer, and social activist
  • 27 September 1943 – Waclaw GIEBUROWSKI (born 6 February 1878), priest, choral conductor and musicologist
  • 28 September 1939 – Halina SZMOLC-FITELBERG (born 25 December 1892), dancer (Diaghilev ensemble, Grand Theatre)
  • 28 September 1956 – Walerian BIERDAJEW, conductor and teacher (b. 7 March 1885)
  • 29 September 1861 – Tekla BADARZEWSKA-BARANOWSKA (b. 1834), composer of “The Maiden’s Prayer”