January 1998

Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 4, no. 1

Highlights of 1997

(listed alphabetically by topic or name; the name of the month after each category refers to the issue of our Newsletter in which it was discussed)

  • Chopin: The Man and His Passion” presented by pianist Alan Gampel in New York & California (February)
  • Eleventh International Festival of Early Music from Eastern Europe, Musica Antiqua Europae Orientalis
  • Gorecki Autumn @ USC (October, November)
  • Gorecki’s music choreographed & performed by two dance groups: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (January, February) and John Malashock Dance & Company (October)
  • Lutoslawski: Breaking Chains Festival in London (January, March)
  • Mazowsze Folksong and dance ensemble on a three-month tour in the U.S. and Canada (January, February, March)
  • Moniuszko’s Straszny Dwor presented in Buffalo NY (April, September)
  • New Music from Poland Festival in Youngstown, Ohio (April, October)
  • Wieslaw Ochman named Ambassador of Good Will by UNICEF (February)
  • Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz in jazz competition finals in New York (March)
  • Fifth Annual Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles (March)
  • Music of Karol Szymanowski concert by the American Symphony Orchestra in New York (January, March)
  • Songs of Karol Szymanowski International Festival & Symposium in Krakow and Zakopane (February, April)

Some firsts of 1997

  • First International Cello Competition for Young Musicians in Warsaw (April).
  • Witold Lutoslawski Society created in February in Poland. (March).
  • First issue of Dysonanse: Pismo muzyki wspolczesnej — a new periodical devoted to contemporary music. The issue, published for the 1997 Warsaw Autumnfestival is headed by the editor Iwona Szafranska, content editor Andrzej Chlopecki, and editorial staff of Joanna Grotkowska, Danuta Mirka and Ewa Szczecinska. The program board consists of Rafal Augustyn, Krzysztof Droba, Eugeniusz Knapik, Krzysztof Knittel, Stanislaw Krupowicz and Pawel Szymanski.
  • First Marcella Sembrich Competition organized in New York for March ’98. (December).
  • First Festival of Chamber Music in Gdansk, 8-13 July 1997.
  • First issue of a new Polish periodical devoted entirely to the classical guitar and guitarists: .
  • The founding of the Polish Music Society of musicologists and scholars seriously interested in the dissemination of knowledge about Polish music abroad. Founding members: M.A. Harley, A. Thomas, M. Homma, C. Bylander and L. Howard. C. Bylander will construct the Society’s web page.
  • And … a luxury vodka named “Chopin” debuts in the U.S. (August).

Selected Premieres in 1997

World Premieres:

  • Krzysztof PENDERECKI’s Fifth Symphony in New York (October)
  • Henryk GORECKI’s Kleine Phantasie premiered in October at a violin competition in Hanover, Germany.
  • Elzbieta SIKORA’s oratorio Omnia tempus habent premiered at the celebrations of the millenium of Gdansk.

American Premieres:

  • Krzysztof Meyer’s Piano Trio in New York (March)
  • Marta Ptaszynska’s Liquid Light in Los Angeles (July)

Polish Premieres:

  • Bruzdowicz opera/musical Tides and Waves in Gdansk (July)

Awards in 1997

Deutsche Schallplattenpreis:
Best Symphony Recording: Czeslaw Marek (October)Best Piano Concerto recording of the year: Lutoslawski & Szymanowski, Ewa Kupiec, piano (October)

Fryderyk: “Record of the Year” pianist Piotr Anderszewski (May)

Gramophone: “Best Concerto” to Simon Rattle for Szymanowski’s 2 Violin Concertos (October)

Grammy: Esa Pekka-Salonen’s recording of Lutoslawski’s Second Symphony Nominated (February)

Krzysztof Kieslowski Prize: Penderecki (April)

Nat’l Public Radio “Critics Choice Award:” pianist Andrzej Wasowski (August)

Royal TV Society award for original film music: Zbigniew Preisner (February)

Silesian Cultural Prize: Gorecki (April)

ZKP (Polish Composers Union): Special Recognition to Eugeniusz Knapik (April)

Some Rarities

Compositions Discovered

  • Szymanowski’s “Prelude in c minor” (July)
  • Zarebski’s “Three Dances” found in Brussels (November)

Rare Releases on Disc:

  • Moniuszko and Dobrzynski “String Quartets” (July)
  • Polish-Jewish composers Koffler and Laks (July)
  • Polish Operatic Stars in World of Singing (July)
  • Stars of the Warsaw Opera House (October)
  • Music for 4 Hands by Moszkowski (October)

Books of 1997

Janusz Cegiella. Dziecko szczescia. Aleksander Tansman i jego czasy. [Child of luck. A. Tansman and his times], vol. 2. (April)

Teresa Chylinska. Szymanowski. Korespondencja (1927-1931) (December)

Tomasz Czepiel. Music at the Royal Court and Chapel in Poland. (February)

John Rink. Chopin. The Piano Concertos.

Adrian Thomas. Gorecki.

Anniversaries in 1997

25th of Sinfonia Varsovia, Polish Chamber Orchestra (July)

60th of Szymanowski’s death (February)

60th of Polish Radio Program 2 (March)

65th birthday of Wojciech Kilar. Vratislavia Cantans Int’l Festival dedicated to him (July). Recording “From Warsaw to Hollywood” released (August).

70th anniversary of Chopin International Competitions celebrated in Moscow (November).

75th Kazimierz Serocki birthday (March).

95th birthday of Walter Dana (August).

100th birth anniversary of Alexander Tansman (April).

120th birthday of Feliks Nowowiejski (March).

200th anniversary of the Polish National Anthem, Dabrowski’s Mazurka (August)

1000th anniversary of the city of Gdansk (July, September).

Anniversaries in 1998


  • Joanna BRUZDOWICZ – 55
  • Henryk Mikolaj GORECKI – 65
  • Zygmunt KRAUZE – 60
  • Witold LUTOSLAWSKI – 85
  • Krzysztof MEYER – 55
  • Krzysztof PENDERECKI – 65
  • Marta PTASZYNSKA – 55
  • Ludomir ROZYCKI – 110
  • Stanislaw SKROWACZEWSKI – 75


  • Tadeusz SZELIGOWSKI – 35
  • Ludomir ROZYCKI – 40

PMRC Plans for 1998

14 FEBRUARY: AN EVENING OF ROMANCE with Chopin’s music. Concert of a French pianist, organized in cooperation with Sandra Buchan, at Hancock Auditorium, Tickets $ 20 available from: Sandra Buchan, 310–318-2969.

4 APRIL: A DAY WITH WOMEN’S MUSIC. A music history symposium, meeting with composers, including guest composer from Poland, Hanna KULENTY, and a concert featuring the music of Grazyna BACEWICZ, Marta PTASZYNSKA, Hanna KULENTY, and Erica MUHL (USC professor of composition). Kulenty’s residence at USC will involve many other lectures, meetings and presentations.

14-16 NOVEMBER: POLISH-JEWISH MUSIC HERITAGE FESTIVAL and CONFERENCE. The event is being organized by the PMRC and the USC School of Music Thematic areas of the international conference will include: music created by Polish composers of Jewish origin, musical lives of composers and performers who have retained their double identity, Jewish music in Poland, and the artistic achievements of Jewish musicians who left Poland but have remained connected to the country of their birth. The invited participants include distinguished scholars from Poland, Israel, Germany, Canada and the U.S. The conference will include formal papers, lecture-recitals, and concerts. The proceedings will be published electronically in the Polish Music Journal (created as part of the PMRC web site).

Have a wonderful New Year 1998!!! It is only two years to the Millennium, but one year to the Chopin Year of 1999 (also the anniversary year of Grazyna Bacewicz).