September 1996

Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 2, no. 9


The Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director ESA-PEKKA SALONEN have been awarded the prestigious quarterly prize of the German CD review Deutsche Schallplattenkritik for their “artistically ourstanding” new CD featuring the compositions of Witold LUTOSLAWSKI.

Piotr ANDERSZEWSKI makes his first CD. The Polish pianist,who studied at the University of Southern California with Prof. John Perry about four years ago, is coupled with violinist Victoria MULLOVA on Phillips Classics 446 091-2. The CD was very favorably reviewed by musicologist Malgorzata KOMOROWSKA in the latest issue of Ruch Muzyczny. His piano playing in the Debussy, Janacek and Prokofiev Sonatas brings one’s attention to his uniqueness, touch and original thought processes and interpretation.

UNESCO proclaims the year 1999 as the “CHOPIN YEAR” to commemorate 150 years of the composer’s death.

DEADLINE for Wilk Prizes for Research in Polish Music is SEPTEMBER 30th!

September – Month Of Music Festivals In Poland!

Two of the most important international music festivals are the “Warsaw Autumn” International Festival of Contemporary Music and “Wratislavia Cantans.” The latter is now being transformed into a music and arts festival and the September date will no longer be effective. In 1997 the festival will be held during two time periods: June 15-28 and August 6-8. This year’s festival will be the shortest ever: September 1-5 because of organizational changes with only eleven concerts as opposed to the 80 concerts in 14 days of last year.

The “WARSAW AUTUMN” festival will be held for the 39th time this year from September 20-28th. This, too, is shorter than the two weeks held in prior years – budgetary problems! The Polish Composers’ Union which has sponsored this festival since 1956, has commissioned works from composers Krzysztof CZAJA, VladimirTARNOPOLSKI and Jukka TIENSU while Polish Radio commissioned works from Tadeusz WIELECKI, Ryszard SZEREMETA, Pawel MYKIETYN and Wlodzimierz KOTONSKI.

Scheduled for the opening concert is a Polish premiere of Chamber Concerto by the well-known conductor and composer, Stanislaw SKROWACZEWSKI. Jan KRENZ, who is conducting the National Philharmonic Orchestra, will play a dual role as conductor and composer directing his own composition, Sinfonietta per fiati.

Ten new works will receive World Premiere performances. Two operas will be presented. Eugeniusz KNAPIK’s opera, La liberta chiama la liberta in a world premiere concert performance led by Antoni WIT and the Cracow Philharmonic Choir and the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra. Benjamin BRITTEN’s The Burning Fiery Furnace will be performed in a church, a spectacle prepared by the Warsaw Chamber Opera.

Two other world premieres will be Sinfonietta by Boguslaw SCHAEFFER and TopoPhonie by Sabine SCHAEFFER. Same surname, no relation.

Polish premieres by Polish composers include Marta PTASZYNSKA (Liquid Light), Jaroslaw KAPUSCINSKI (Japatul), Bettina SKRZYPCZAK (String Quartet no. 3), and Clarinet Quintets by Pawel SZYMANSKI (Poland’s leading composer of the younger generation) and Henryk GORECKI (of the Third Symphony fame, which recording sold over 400,000 records, the largest edition of a record with new music).

Highlights of the festival will be the completed version of PENDERECKI’s Third Symphony and his Violin Concerto; the two Clarinet Quintets; Watershed by Roger REYNOLDS of San Diego and performances by Hungarian artists and composers.

Works by Polish composers scheduled to be heard include LUTOSLAWSKI’s Trois poemes d’Henri Michaux, Aleksander LASON’s Concerto festivo,Zbigniew BUJARSKI’s Concerto per archi no. 2, Hanna KULENTY’s A Cradle Song and Andrzej PANUFNIK’s Piano Trio (performed recently in Southern California by former USC students Roza KOSTRZEWSKA, Karina WOJCZAKOWSKA and Marek SZPAKIEWICZ).

Calendar of Events

OCT 5: “OPEN HOUSE” and Meet the New Director, Dr. Maria Anna HARLEY at the Polish Music Reference Center. 2:00 – 3:00 followed by a concert featuring Polish pianist Jerzy JANKOWSKI and local artists, Arnold BELNICK, (violin) and Sergei SILVANSKY, (piano) in music by Polish composers CHOPIN, BACEWICZ, PADEREWSKI & SZYMANOWSKI. co-sponsored by the Polish University Club, Polish American Historical Association and Polish Cultural Network.

OCT 5: “TRIBUTE TO PADEREWSKI & CHOPIN” at the Century Club of California, San Francisco. 4:00-6:00p.m. Pianists Dr. Lorenzo SANCHEZ of Los Angeles and Dr.William WELLBORN of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Both graduates of the USC School of Music.

NOV 2 – 10: EDMONTON NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL. Polish composers featured during the festival include Edward BOGUSLAWSKI, Piotr GRELLA-MOZEJKO, Mikolaj GORECKI (son of Henryk), Andrzej DZIADEK, Malgorzata HUSSAR, Ewa SYNOWIEC, Christopher KOZAK & Pawel LUKASZEWSKI. The evening of November 5th is named, Voices from Afar: An Evening of Polish Music.

JAN 18, 1997: LUTOSLAWSKI’s Fourth Symphony will be performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic under the baton of Kazimierz KORD at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, California.

Recent Performances

In August the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra performed Symphony no. 2 by Jakub GOLABEK with guest/conductor Jerzy SWOBODA from Poland in Berkeley and in Lincoln Park. This was most likely a U.S. premiere. The Polish composer lived during Haydn and Mozart’s time.

The rare Vatican Recordings made in private concert by Mieczyslaw HORSZOWSKI in 1940 was the topic of a concert/lecture made by Witold KOLANKOWSKI, a trustee of the Polish Arts & Culture Foundation of San Francisco. In July at the Foundation.

The WARSAW CHAMBER OPERA’s new production of Szarlatan (Charlatan), an opera by Karol KURPINSKI (1785-1857) last June was well received by the public and in the press. Jozef Kanski wrote that one could trace elements of Rossini’s music; however, Kurpinski wrote his opera many years before. Polish national elements are evident in the Polonaises in the finale of the opera.


Conductor Kurt MAZUR received an Honorary Citizen award from the city of Brzeg, where he was born in 1927 (on the Oder river in Poland). He opened the International Silesian Music Festival conducting the Gewandhaus Orchestra with a performance of BRUCKNER’s VII Symphony in E major.

The Polish American Journal of Buffalo, NY reports that winners of the Michigan Opera Theatre’s Young Artist Apprentice Awards included baritone Joseph POKORSKI and bass Mark KACZMARCZYK.

Both CHOPIN Concertos will be part of the required repertoire during the Guardian International Piano Competition in Dublin, Ireland next May 2-15, 1997. Polish pianist, Andrzej JASINSKI (teacher of Krystian ZIMERMAN) is among the jurors.

BEST SELLERS IN WARSAW at the Bookstore by the opera house:

1) LUTOSLAWSKI: Piano Concerto & III Symphony. Ewa Poblocka, piano. Accord ACD 015

2) Polish Symphonic Music of the 19th c. Music of KURPINSKI, DOBRZYNSKI, MONIUSZKO, ZELENSKI & NOSKOWSKI. Accord ACD 019

3) Polish Chamber Orchestra (MAKSYMIUK, cond.) playing music of JARZEBSKI, MOZART, BACEWICZ & GORECKI.

4) Chopin Recital. Part II by pianist Janusz OLEJNICZAK. Selene CD 950124.

Others include Three BACH CDS (Violin Concertos, Cello Suites & Glenn Gould’s Piano Edition), BEETHOVEN Complete Symphonies, BERLIOZ Harold in Italy and The Essential RICHTER.


A new version of the Polish opera, Halka by Stanislaw MONIUSZKO is now available. Halka Wilenska 1848 is produced in the original version without the famous Mazur dance and the Highlander dances and without three famous arias. Tenor Jontek’s aria was originally written for baritone. Polskie Nagrania MUZA PNCD 285 A/B.

For a totally different version of LUTOSLAWSKI’s Paganini Variations look for Chandos New Direction CHAN 9398. Here Polish composer Marta PTASZYNSKA presents a marvelous and striking version of this popular piece in an arrangement for percussion and piano.

Another version of GORECKI: Kleines Requiem fur eine Polka; Three Pieces in Old Style and Good Night, In Memoriam Michael Vyner. Telarc CD 80417. Elzbieta SZMYTKA, sop.; I Fiamminghi/Rudolf WERTHEN.


Born This Month

  • September 5, 1924 – KRYSTYNA MOSZUMANSKA-NAZAR
  • September 14, 1914 – MICHAL SPISAK
  • September 15, 1896 – TADEUSZ SZELIGOWSKI
  • September 16, 1895 – KAROL RATHAUS
  • September 19, 1938 – ZYGMUNT KRAUZE
  • September 24, 1914 – ANDRZEJ PANUFNIK