Major Gift of Manuscripts and Published Scores

Just a few weeks ago, the Polish Music Center received another priceless donation of manuscripts and various other published materials from our longtime friend and the 2005 Paderewski Lecturer, Marta Ptaszyńska. The large donation of mostly oversized items was graciously conveyed to PMC Director Marek Zebrowski at the composer’s home in sunny Florida—see photo above. This gift follows several previous gifts of manuscripts to the PMC, made by the composer over the years, and most recently covered in the July 2022 Gifts Newsletter article.

The highlights of what we received from Maestra Ptaszyńska on this occasion include her manuscripts of the following pieces:

  • Missa Solemnis
  • Concerto for Percussion Quartet and Orchestra
  • Olympian Rings for Soprano and Steel Drum
  • Spider Walk for One Percussionist
  • Red Rays for Flute and Piano
  • Winter’s Tale for Orchestra
  • Quodlibet for Contrabass Solo and 64-channel Tape
  • Scintilla for Two Marimbas
  • Concerto for Percussion and Winds
  • Space Model
  • Siderails for Two Percussion Quintets and Lighting Projection
  • Muzyka ulicy/Street Music
  • Cantiones jubilationi: In Praise of Peace

In addition to these important works, we also received over sixty published titles from Marta Ptaszyńska’s opus, each graced by a handwritten dedication to the PMC by the composer. One other important (and rather unexpected) addition to the PMC’s Manuscript Collection that was conveyed to us is a composition by Marta Ptaszyńska’s father, Juliusz Ptaszyński (1892-1980), entitled Nowy Duch na chór mieszany [The New Spirit for mixed choir] with music and text by the composer.

All these materials are now being carefully processed and catalogued before their scans will be made. Then they will be posted online in the coming months, thanks to the transformational gift from Dianne and Tad Taube officially that we officially celebrated exactly one year ago.

Performances & Premieres

In other news about this composer, throughout the last several months Marta Ptaszyńska has been very busy writing new works and some of them will be presented in Poland during the month of March. On March 17, the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic Orchestra in Kielce will give the world premiere of Ptaszyńska’s Imaginary Landscapes, a five-movement work for symphony orchestra. This concert will be led by Maestro Jacek Rogala.

The program title for this event, “Krajobrazy wyobraźni,” is the Polish translation of the title of Marta Ptaszyńska’s work. Each movement of this composition was inspired by a painting, including Leonardo’s Saint Anne, Giorgio de Chirico’s Mystery and Melancholy of a Street, Caspar David Friedrich’s Abbey in the Oak Forest, René Magritte’s Landscape, and David Hockney’s Garrowby Hill. Besides Ptaszyńska’s Imaginary Landscapes, this concert also features Ravel’s Bolero and Szymanowski’s Symphonie concertante, Op. 60 with pianist Marcin Sobula.

March 17, 2023 | 7:00 p.m. CET
World Premiere of Ptaszyńska’s Imaginary Landscapes

Świętokrzyska Philharmonic Orchestra
Żeromskiego 12, Kielce, Poland
Tickets & Info:

Merely a week later, on March 24 and 25, the National Philharmonic in Warsaw led by Maestro Bassem Akiki will perform Ptaszyńska’s concerto for percussion, Drum of Orfeo, with the world-renowned soloist, Evelyn Glennie. Celebrating Marta Ptaszyńska’s 80th birthday, this concert will be preceded by a lecture by Professor Iwona Lindstedt, a musicologist at the Warsaw University and author of several books on Polish contemporary music and composers.

Other works on the National Philharmonic program include a Suite from Orfeo ed Euridice by Gluck and Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra.

March 24 & 25, 2023 | 7:30 & 6:00 p.m. CET
Marta Ptaszyńska’s 80th Birthday Concert

Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall
ul. Jasna 5, 00-950 Warsaw, Poland
Tickets & Info:

New Compositions on the Horizon

Other upcoming projects that Maestra Ptaszyńska has chosen to share with the Polish Music Center include a big project for this summer: the planned completion of a large-scale, three-movement double concerto for saxophones, piano and orchestra. This composition is being written for Bartłomiej Duś (who will play soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes) and Magda Duś (who’ll have only one concert grand and 88 keys to her disposal), also known as Duo MagDuś. The soloists will be accompanied by the NOSPR Symphony Orchestra. As soon as details of this world premiere are announced, you’ll be able to read about it in the PMC Newsletter!

[Sources: correspondence; Photo (Duo MagDuś: