February 1995

Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 1, no. 2

Announcing The Winner Of The Wilk Prizes For Research In Polish Music

Dr. Maria Anna Harley of McGill University, Montreal, Canada won the First prize of $1,000 for her essay, “At home with phenomenology: Ingarden’s ‘Work of Music’ revisited.

No prize was awarded in the student category this year. For details on this annual competition see Competitions.

Calendar Of Events

Celebrate CHOPIN’S 185th BIRTHDAY in February at the First Old Church in San Francisco and the Polish Arts and Culture Foundation, presented by the Chopin Foundation Council of San Francisco. For details call (415) 474-2626.

MARCH 24-26 A Paderewski Festival will be held again in Paso Robles, California. Seminars, concerts, arts, antiques, Polish dancing and food, tour of Paderewski’s former ranch are planned for that weekend. For further details write to: 179 Niblick Road #344, Paso Robles, CA 93446 or to Polish American Cultural Network, Art Zygmont, ed. P.O. Box 10173, Torrance, CA 90505. FAX (310) 375-8471.

APRIL 18 Krystian Zimerman in the Celebrity Recitals Series. At the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Los Angeles Music Center at 8:00 p.m. Order your tickets by phone (213) 972-0777.

Noteworthy News!

Krystian Zimerman’s award winning recording of Debussy’s “Preludes” (DG 435 773-2) has just garnered two more accolades. It won “Best Solo Instrumentalist” and “Chamber/Solo Instrumental 20th c.” at the MIDEM music convention in Cannes, France in late January. The Cannes Classical Awards “were created to internationally recognize excellence in the field of classical music recordings and to represent the range and diversity of the classical market. Nominations in 26 categories were accepted from 8 magazines worldwide and reflect the opinions of more than 100 critics and editors.” (CD Review, Feb. 1995).

1994 was a wonderful year, indeed, for Krystian. He received: “Leonie Sonnings” Prize in Copenhagen last May; German Record Critics award in June; Int’l Prize in memory of Leonard Bernstein in Italy & Stereo Review’s “Best of the Month” award in Sep., and, of course, the Gramophone “Record of the Year” award.

Did You Know That…

Close to a million people had purchased Gorecki’s “Third Symphony” as of the beginning of October, 1994. According to David Drew in the London Review of Books.

George Antheil was Polish. So was Victor Young of “Around the world in 80 days” fame. Antheil’s “Sonata no. 2 `Airplane’” for piano is available from Theodore Presser for $3.50. A bargain and a delightful piece!

So was Karl Rathaus, who spent his last years living in the U.S. He left a legacy of some wonderful choral arrangements of some Polish folk songs (published by Witmark in the 1950s). His Fourth String Quartet is available from Theodore Presser.

Another Polish composer at Presser is Marta Ptaszynska. Her “Mobile” for 2 percussions and “Poetic impressions” for woodwind quintet and piano would make a very interesting presentation at any concert! Marta P., a virtuoso percussionist herself, has written some exciting music. A “Spider walk” for percussion is an exciting recital piece constructed along the same design ration in which spiders make their webs. Composer even suggests optional stage lighting effects. In the “difficult” range. A listing of all her works will be included in the Composer File that is under construction. If you can’t wait, call or fax Theodore Presser, Presser Place, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. FAX: (215) 527-7841.

Newest Releases

An all a capella choral presentation of Gorecki’s music is available from Elektra/Nonesuch 79348-2. John Nelson conducts the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Chicago Lyric Opera Chorus in “Miserere“; “Amen“; “Euntes ibant et flebant.” Favorably reviewed by David Vernier in February’s CD Review, who wrote, “Nelson..must feel privileged to conduct these exceptional pieces by one of today’s most honored and recognized composers.” The disc also includes six “gentle Polish folk-song arrangements which are disarmingly charming.” The latter songs are performed by the Lira Chamber Chorus directed by Lucy Ding.This music was originally presented in concert last April at Chicago’s Church of St. Mary of the Angels and drew thousands of listeners for the U.S. premiere of Gorecki’s 37-minute opus, “Miserere” in the presence of the composer. That event was the brainchild of Lucyna Migala, founder and director of the Lira Singers. She deserves many kudos for all her organizational efforts!

The cd is being offered as a bonus during KUSC’s pledge weekend!


The late composer Witold Lutoslawski was born on January 25, 1913. He would have been 82 this year. Tune in to your local classical radio programs to hear his music.

Polish composers who died in January:

  • Ludomir Rozycki: Jan 1, 1953;
  • Kazimierz Serocki: Jan 9, 1981;
  • Tadeusz Szeligowski: Jan 10, 1963;
  • Feliks Nowowiejski: Jan 18, 1946