November 1996

Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 2, no. 11



I Prize: None

Over 400 inquiries from 23 countries; 105 formal entries submitted. Because of the larger than usual number of applications a new requirement was instituted. A video cassette of the contestant playing four of the required repertoire pieces served as a preliminary elimination process.



Group I (up to 18 years of age):

I Prize: SUSIE PARK (Australia)
III Prize: PIOTR KWASNY (Poland)

Group II (18-22 years of age):

I Prize: JAN ORAWIEC(Poland)
II Prize: Tie between DOBROSLAWA SIUDMAK (Poland) and DIMITR IVANOV (Bulgaria).

A sensation at the competition was 10-year old SERGIEI KHATCHATRIAN from Armenia. He received a miniature replica of a Groblicz violin as a special award.

COMPETITION FOR COMPOSITION was organized by ZAIKS to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Feliks NOWOWIEJSKI (1877-1946). There were two categories: Organ solo and the other for a capella choir.

Organ Solo:

II PRIZE: Tie between Mieczyslaw MAKOWSKI for Lucis Misteria and Marcin LUKASZEWSKI for Prologue and Fugue.

A Capella Choir:

I PRIZE: Edward BOGUSLAWSKI for Pater Noster
II PRIZE: Lucjan LAPRUS for 2 Songs about Times Past.

The I INTERNATIONAL ALEXANDER TANSMAN COMPETITION FOR MUSICAL INDIVIDUALITY is being held in the city of Lodz, where the composer was born almost 100 years ago (in 1897). Over 60 entries were received in four categories: piano, violin, cello and guitar.

ORGAN MUSIC COMPETITION: A competition in connection with the installation of a new organ in the Cracow Philharmonic Hall was held on August 13. The jury chaired by Krzysztof PENDERECKI awarded the Grand Prize of 10 thousand DM to Polish composer, Edward BOGUSLAWSKI for Concerto for organ and orchestra. Special mention was received by Wojciech WIDLAK for Concerto laudativo for organ solo, boys choir and symphony orchestra. 26 compositions were sent in from several European countries and the U.S. (6). The inaugural concert took place on October 25 and 26th with J. GEMBALSKI, organ, and the Cracow Philharmonic orchestra directed by Jerzy MAKSYMIUK.

The Polish choral group ARS ANTIQUA under the direction of ZBIGNIEW SZABLEWSKI won the Gold Medal and also Special Award at the I FELIX MENDELSSOHN INTERNATIONAL CHORAL COMPETITION in Dautphetal.

Calendar of Events

NOV 2 AND 3: HALKA, an opera by S. MONIUSZKO. International Music Theatre of Chicago and Teatr Wielki of Warsaw and Lodz. Kazimierz KOWALSKI,director. Lane Technical Auditorium, Chicago.

NOV 8: Festival of Contemporary Music in Dusseldorf. Marta PTASZYNSKA: Un grand sommeil noir.

NOV 10: Kosciuszko Foundation Chamber Music Series. NEW CENTURY SAXOPHONE QUARTET. 3:00 p.m. NYC.

NOV 15: Opening concert of the I INTERNATIONAL ALEXANDER TANSMAN COMPETITION FOR MUSICAL INDIVIDUALITY. Lodz Philharmonic, Pawel PRZYTOCKI, cond. Marek DREWNOWSKI, piano, performing TANSMAN’s Concerto for Orchestra, Piano Concerto and Four Polish Dances.

NOV 25: CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FESTIVAL. Concert devoted to music of Marta PTASZYNSKA and Sofia GUBAIDULINA. Liquid Light (premiered at the Warsaw Autumn Festival in Sep) by Ptaszynska is on the program and the composer will perform her own virtuoso percussion work, Space Model. In Huddersfield, England.

DEC 1: CHOPIN CHRISTMAS CONCERT with winners of the First San Francisco Chopin Competition for Young Pianists. 4:00 p.m. Music Salon of the Polish Arts & Culture Foundation. 1290 Sutter. San Francisco. $5.

DEC 8: Kosciuszko Foundation Chamber Music Series. NEW YORK VOCAL ARTS ENSEMBLE. K.F. House. NYC.

FEB 21, 1997: ALL-CHOPIN RECITAL celebrating CHOPIN’s birthday and the 10th anniversary of the San Francisco Chopin Council. Mack MCCRAY, piano. Friday 8:00 po.m. Old First Concerts, 1751 Sacramento St. SF. $9, $7.

Recent Performances

Premiere of Juliusz LUCIUK’s greatest work, Gesang am Brunnen took place near Hanover, Germany. Commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Evangelical Academy in Loccum. The 50-minute oratorio for solo voices, choir and orchestra was performed by the Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir and was recorded by the local radio station. Other works presented: Colas Breugnon by Tadeusz BAIRD and Five folk melodies by Witold LUTOSLAWSKI.

At the IV INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL in Seattle, Washington June 12-30th: Polish composer, Krzysztof MEYER became the first composer-in-residence. His Trio, op. 50 and 24 Preludes for piano were performed. The composer took part in SHOSTAKOVICH’s Piano Quintet (MEYER is an author of a book on the Russian composer). The NEW EUROPEAN STRINGS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA under the baton of cellist Lynn HARRELL performed MEYER’s transcription for violin and string orchestra of SHOSTAKOVICH’s Sonata, op. 134.

POLISH AUTUMN a cycle of five concerts initiated by Krzysztof MEYER was held in October in Dusseldorf. Works of 21 Polish composers were presented. Performers included WOSPR (from Katowice) conducted by Antoni WIT and Jacek KASPRZYK; AMADEUS ORCHESTRA directed by Agnieszka DUCZMAL, the SILESIANQUARTET and the NEW MUSIC ENSEMBLE directed by Mark Andreas SCHINGENSIEGEN.

The FOURTH SUMMER SERIES of concerts in old castles, churches, museums and other historic places was held in the north eastern part of Poland from mid-July to mid-August. The PRO MUSICA ANTIQUA, a chamber ensemble from Olsztyn, headed by Leszek SZARZYNSKI (flute) performed.

The Japanese chamber ensemble PRO MUSICA NIPPONIA commissioned Polish composer, Wlodzimierz KOTONSKI to write a work for ten Japanese instruments. The work, Mijikayo or Short Night was favorably welcomed by a large audience. The composer directed the group and also delivered two lectures at the Irino Music Institute. July 7-17th. Two other works by Kotonski were performed: Herbstlied for harpsichord and 7 Haikufor mezzo-soprano and Japanese instruments.


ACCORD ACD 019. Polish symphonic music of the 19th century. Overtures of KURPINSKI, MONIUSZKO, DOBRZYNSKI, NOSKOWSKI and ZELENSKI.SINFONIA VARSOVIA, Grzegorz NOWAK, conducting.

ARABESQUE Z 6669. OHLSSON’s complete piano works of Fryderyk CHOPIN. (Waltzes 1829-1847)

CHANDOS 9494. Karol SZYMANOWSKI: Symphonies no. 2 and 4. BBC Philharmonic, Howard SHELLEY. Selected as “LAYTON’S CHOICE” by Robert Layton, Nov, 1996 issue of Gramophone.

DUX RECORD PRODUCERS. Poetic impressions features the music of Marta PTASZYNSKA. Michiko OTAKI, piano and the WARSAW WIND QUINTET.

MUSIC ON MCD 020. Mikolaj ZIELENSKI: Offertoria et Communiones. Anna SZOSTAK, conducting CAMERATA SILESIA. Marek TOPOROWSKI,conducting CONCERTO POLACCO.

NAXOS 855 3159. CHOPIN. Complete works for cello and piano. Also arrangements of short pieces for cello. Maria KLIEGEL, vc. Bernd GLEMSER, piano.

OCORA RADIO FRANCE C600001. FOLK MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. Collection of Polish Radio recordings throughout Poland over the last 20 years. Performed by real village musicians, ranging from oldest pastoral melodies on various pipes and bagpipes to dance melodies played by regional string bands. Various artists.

PRAGA PR250-011. Witold LUTOSLAWSKI: Concerto for orchestra. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. SMETACEK conducting.


Cellist PETER JABLONSKI has been named “MAN OF THE YEAR”in Sweden.

Pianist KAROL RADZIWONOWICZ, who has recorded all of PADEREWSKI’S piano works, is now working on the complete piano works of JULIUSZ ZAREBSKI (1854-1885). Volume 1 on SELENE 9505.28

PWM (Polish Music Publishers) has announced their newest publications. You can now purchase the KARLOWICZ Violin Concerto in a piano arrangement, Karol LIPINSKI’s (Paganini’s rival) Caprices for violin solo; the Grazyna BACEWICZ Polish Caprice in an arrangement for cello; an album for piano by Prince Henryk OGINSKI; Children’s Dreams by Bernadetta MATUSZCZAK; Songs (Muszelka, Wrobelek, Pioreczko) for voice and chamber orchestra by LUTOSLAWSKI.

A PUZZLING AFFAIR: According to Ruch Muzyczny (Poland’s most popular music journal), the highest French Order, the “Legion of Honor” had been awarded and signed by the French president, Francois Mitterand on March 26, 1990 to Polish composer Witold LUTOSLAWSKI. News about this honor was relayed to the late composer’s heir, his stepson Marcin Boguslawski, who lives in Norway. No explanation was given as to why an Award Ceremony had never taken place.


Born This Month

  • NOV 1: SZYMON LAKS (1901-198?)
  • NOV 6: IGNACY JAN PADEREWSKI (1860-1941)

Sad News

We’ve been informed that ADAM HARASOWSKI, Polish pianist, composer, choral director, author, etc… died on June 16th in his Southampton, England home with his wife, Joyce, at his side. From cancer. As a Chopin scholar he wrote, The Skein of legends around Chopin. (ML410 C54 H25) In 1978. You can also find some of his arrangements for voice and piano in Treasured Polish Songs with English translations published by the Polanie Club in 1953. Josepha Contoski, editor. This has had many reprints since.

The music world also mourns the passing of the highly respected Polish musicologist, Dr. PAWEL PODEJKO on June 15th at the age of 82. His monumental Thematic catalogue of manuscripts and music of the vocal and instrumental capella at Jasna Gora uncovered hundreds of unknown Polish artists and composers of early Polish music.

Composer of the Month

PADEREWSKI – pianist, composer, humanitarian. See Essays.