Dear Friends of the Polish Music Center,

Another year has passed very quickly and, again, quite a lot has happened at the USC Polish Music Center throughout 2023. As you peruse the summary below of our major events, milestones, and accomplishments achieved this year, we hope you will consider making a tax-deductible donation to support us into the next.

Concerts, Lectures and Festivals, oh my!

Only a few weeks after we bid goodbye to Paweł Czarakcziew, a Fulbright scholar from Poland whose residence ended with concerts at USC and the LA Holocaust Museum in early January, we welcomed Andrzej Ślązak, another Fulbright scholar from Poland who arrived in mid-January and spent six months researching our Kaper and Ryterband Collections. Dr. Ślązaks’s visit likewise culminated with a concert presented at the Holocaust Museum with his fellow Fulbright scholar, violinist Mateusz Strzelecki, in early June.

The music continued to sound when the Zarębski Piano Duo (pictured) presented a recital of works for piano four-hands by late romantic Polish composers at the Westwood Public Library and the LA Holocaust Museum in March. One of the Duo’s pianists, Dr. Grzegorz Mania, also gave a lecture on Szymon Laks at the USC Music Library while in town. Only a few weeks later, on March 25, the PMC held its annual Spring Concert at USC presenting Karolina Mikołajczyk and Iwo Jedynecki, a virtuosic violin and accordion duo with repertoire of Polish music spanning three centuries.

In April and May we provided the Taube Foundation with materials for a concert in San Francisco commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and assisted the Polish Consulate in assembling the performers and repertoire for the May 3 Constitution Day festivities at the Polish Church in Los Angeles.

During late June and early July, on behalf of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles we carried out another Cultural Exchange Program in Poland for the winners of the Festival’s Youth Piano Competition. After a four-year pandemic-caused break, it was wonderful to accompany two talented pianists from California, introduce them to their Polish peers, have them participate in the Małopolska Talent Academy, and hear them perform in Łącko, Gorlice, and Warsaw, including on Paderewski’s own Steinway at the National Museum. This year’s participants, Suri Kim and Aiden Purtell, were also given such opportunities as meeting the US Ambassador to Poland (pictured).

With the start of the fall semester, we collaborated with the USC Thornton School of Music string and brass faculty to secure artists for our October 8 Paderewski Lecture-Recital that featured music from our Manuscript Collection and commemorated anniversaries of Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Krzysztof Penderecki, Krzysztof Meyer, and Marta Ptaszyńska. The same program was also presented with new partners at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, where we plan to hold future concerts as well.

In early November, the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles was again a four-day affair, with concerts by the Tina Raymond Trio, Cracow Duo, and Mateusz Krzyżowski, as well as a recital presenting the winners of Youth Piano Competition. Our ongoing collaboration with the LA Holocaust Museum also continued this fall with concerts by the Cracow Duo in late October and the Freszel Duo in early December.

New Hire & Digitization Update

Back at PMC headquarters, this year things were also constantly in motion. In July we hosted Monika Płuciennik, an expert archivist collaborating with the Polish National Archives, who finished cataloguing the Henryk Wars Collection and began to process the Zygmunt and Luisa Stojowski Collection. By August our partners at the USC Digital Libraries had completed digitizing our entire Manuscript Collection (over 300 works by leading Polish contemporary composers) and it is now available online via the PMC website

Also in August, we were able to add a new, full-time position titled ‘Archive Specialist’ to the PMC staff, thanks to the 2019 transformational gift from Dianne and Tad Taube of Taube Philanthropies. New hire Tomasz Fechner, a former Fulbright Scholar and USC grad with a DMA in classical guitar and minor in library studies, instantly dove into our cataloguing backlog as well as the challenges of archiving and preservation. This summer Tomasz assisted in preparing the Wars Collection for digitization (pictured with Monika Płuciennik) and oversaw transferring it to the USC Digital Archives. This important collection will be available for viewing online in early 2024.

How to Support the PMC

As you can imagine, carrying out these projects involves fixed costs such as wages for student workers, travel and lodging for musicians from Poland, venue rentals at USC, printing concert programs, hosting post-concert receptions, etc. As these expenditures aren’t directly connected to the Taube gift for digitization, we must fund them on our own, and thus why we turn to you in this annual appeal. If you are—or have been—one of our steadfast supporters, please accept our sincere gratitude for your much-needed help. Thanks to your generous and consistent giving, we can continue our important mission of promoting Polish music worldwide. If you have received this letter in the past but did not yet have a chance to reply, please consider doing so today. We appeal to our friends only once a year, and donations to this fundraiser provide 100% of the PMC operating budget. 

Online donations are strongly encouraged because mailed checks may take longer to be received and acknowledged. For credit card donations please visit You may also contact us at (213) 764-4977 to give by phone, or mail your check to: USC Polish Music Center, 820 W. 34th St. BMH 101 – MC 1441, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1441. Please indicate “USC Polish Music Center,” either in the remittance line of your check or online, to ensure that your contribution reaches our account. Should you have any questions, please email

In the past, we have offered special incentives such as event recordings or calendars to our most generous donors. However, in keeping with USC President Carol Folt’s eco initiatives, as well as to ensure that your gift is 100% tax deductible, we instead encourage you to visit our constantly updated website and our YouTube channel (@uscpolishmusiccenter4661) to enjoy the fruits of our labor and your gifts at work. You can also now follow us on our new Instagram (@polishmusiccenter)!

As always, we thank you for your consideration and enclose our best wishes for the Holiday Season. We remain sincerely and gratefully yours,

Marek Zebrowski

Krysta Close
Assistant Director