Mission Statement

The Polish Music Center at USC’s Thornton School of Music seeks to foster and actively support everything related to music by Polish composers, from the Renaissance era to the present day. Our main task is to serve as ambassadors for Polish Music abroad, by disseminating information and coordinating various events that promote Poland’s rich cultural heritage.

“Every so often, the Polish Music Center at USC reminds us—with festivals, conferences, and concerts—that Polish music did not begin and most certainly did not end with Chopin. This year, it has come up with a new way of bringing music-making Poles to the wider attention, by instigating an annual Paderewski Lecture. USC’s connection with the legendary Polish pianist, composer and statesman is that the University gave an honorary degree to Ignacy Jan Paderewski in 1923, and the center holds some of his papers. The first “lecture” Friday night in Newman Hall featured the Polish composer and pianist Zygmunt Krauze.”

Review of the First Annual Paderewski Lecture given by Zygmunt Krauze; by Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2002

Brief Description of Activities

Established in 1985 by Dr. Stefan and Wanda Wilk, the Polish Music Center is a unique a research library and information center devoted to gathering and disseminating knowledge about all aspects of Polish music to researchers, students, and music lovers. The PMC houses the largest collection of Polish music in the U.S. and is the only center at an American university devoted solely to Polish music. The Center’s extensive and continually expanding collection contains books, scores, manuscripts, recordings, periodicals, documents and numerous other items related to Polish music and culture.

The PMC provides a broad range of services to the USC community, audiences in Southern California and the public worldwide through concerts, lectures, and a monthly online Newsletter. Since 1994, the PMC website has provided a wealth of information, including biographies and catalogues of works, recordings and repertoire by Polish composers, as well as articles on the history of Polish music and dance and up-to-date information about Polish music and culture around the world.

In the coming years the PMC will be expanding our very extensive website and continuing our cooperation with the National Archives in Poland and Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw. Initiated in 2012, this collaboration has already featured extended residencies by Polish archivists at PMC (2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017), and one four-week training session in Poland in 2015 for Krysta Close, PMC’s Assistant Director. The goal of this extensive collaboration is to fully catalogue, preserve and scan the PMC Archival Collections and make them available for future publication online.

Staff and Collaborators

The PMC staff is comprised of pianist and composer Marek Zebrowski, who serves as PMC Program Director and Curator, and singer and cultural diplomat Krysta Close, who is Assistant Director and Newsletter Editor, as well as several dedicated students and volunteers.

Along with many others, the following individuals have been instrumental to the creation and continuing mission of the PMC:

Magdalena Bedernik, Michał Bedernik, Jan Jakub Bokun, Marcin Depinski, Anne Desler, Ewa Grzegrzulka, Brian Harlan, Joseph Herter, Michał Janowski, Prof. Kazimierz Kowalski, Natalie Kozlowski, Adrianna Lis, Barbara Misiewicz, Zak Ozmo, Maria Peryt, Maria Piłatowicz, Joanna Slusarz, Blanka Sobus, Dr. Małgorzata Szyszkowska, Marzena Wolna, Magdalena Wrobel, Dr. Barbara Zakrzewska-Nikiporczyk, and Olga Zurawska.

Serving on our initial Advisory Board, the following scholars laid a firm foundation for our operations:

Prof. Karol Berger (Stanford University), Prof. Bruce Brown (USC Thornton School of Music), Dr. Teresa Chylińska (Kraków, Poland), Prof. Donald Crockett (USC Thornton School of Music), Prof. Adrian Thomas (Cardiff University, U.K.), Dr. William Thomson (USC Thornton School of Music Professor Emeritus), and Dr. Diane Wilk-Burch, (architect, Los Angeles).

Finally, our Founding Benefactors helped to establish the PMC Manuscript Collection and, with their generous financial contributions, secured our continued work (see more about our Benefactors on our Donate page):

Witold Lutosławski, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Drs. Zbigniew & Zofia Petrovich, Dr. Helena Nowicka, Dr. & Mrs. Clark Halstead, Dr. & Mrs. Kenneth A. Harris, and Lottie Harasimowicz.

Thank you for visiting! Dziękujemy!