April 2000

Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 6, no. 4

News Flash

Winners Of Chopin Competition In Miami

Pianists Ning An, Jun Asai, Brenda Huang and Hiroko Kunitake were the Top Prize winners of the Sixth American National Chopin Competition in Miami, Florida. All four winners are being sent to Warsaw, Poland to compete in the International Chopin Piano Competition in October 2000 with all expenses paid by the Foundation.

Prizes ranged from $15,000 plus a tour of 20 concerts arranged by the Chopin Foundation for the First Prize (Chinese American based in Boston, Ning An), to $10,000 for Second Prize (Jun Asai); $5,000 each for the Third & Fourth Prizes (Brenda Huang and Hiroko Kunitake) and $3K & $2K for the Fifth and Sixth Prizes, as well as $1K each prizes for best performance of a Polonaise, Mazurka and Concerto.

Congratulations to all the winners!!! We wish you good luck in October in Warsaw. We also offer special congratulations to Hiroko Kunitake, USC student in piano performance, who won Fourth Prize and an additional prize for best performance of a Polonaise.


Ujazdowski – Polish Minister Of Culture

Kazimierz Ujazdowski is the new Minister of Culture in Poland, replacing the late Andrzej Zakrzewski who passed away in February after a long illness.

New Research In Germany

Dr. Matthias Freise informs us about a new research project conducted at the “Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Kultur und Geschichte Ostmitteleuropas” (Humanities Center on East-central European Culture and History) based in Leipzig, Germany. The Center studies various aspects of East Central European culture in the 20th Century. Beginning in January 2001, a new general project will commence: “Destruction and reformulation of cultural identity in east central Europe: key personalities of cultural development after the end of the avant-garde.” One of these key personalities is Krzysztof Penderecki, and his recent music will become the focus of a musicological research project, bringing together an array of scholars. The Center will also organize an interdisciplinary conference on cultural identity in East Central European literature, film and music. For more information about this project contact Dr. Matthias Freise, Leipzig, Germany, GWZO (Homepage www.uni-leipzig.de/gwzo). Interestingly, the name of the Center bypasses the old controversy whether Poland is located in Eastern or Central Europe: if you say “East Central” the puzzle is solved!

Paderewski Festival In Paso Robles

by Wanda Wilk

Here is a compilation of two reports I received about the Paderewski Festival from Stanley Stankiewicz-Stanwyck and his daughter-in-law, Valerie Otis- Stanwyck, who have been attending the festival since its inception in 1993.

The eighth annual Paderewski Festival, for the year 2000, was a three-day affair held in the charming city of Paso Robles, California. The city of “El Paso de Robles,” which means “the Pass of the Oaks” is located about half-way between San Francisco and Los Angeles and has a little over 20,000 inhabitants.

The Festival was sponsored by the Paso Robles Foundation for Culture and the Arts, a non-profit corporation created to serve the greater Paso Robles community and its visitors. The main objective is to honor and celebrate the memory and music of the world famous pianist, composer, humanitarian, statesman and former resident of Paso Robles and to share with pride the heritage of its world-famous resident, Ignace Jan Paderewski. The annual festival is now its signature event and its newest tradition. It is a cultural event consisting primarily of performances by various music virtuosi, which are held in Paso Robles’s spacious Flamson Auditorium. The auditorium was designed for Paderewski’s own musical soirees and, fittingly, still reverberates with the melodic tones of his own music.

Paderewski’s love for Paso Robles began in 1913, when he visited the mineral and mud baths, because of neuritis in his hands during a concert tour. He fell in love with the area which soon became his second home. Paderewski purchased two ranches, planted almonds and introduced the Zinfandel wine grape to the area. The current management of the Paso Robles Inn is dedicated to preserving its historical past, including the restoration of the Grand Ballroom and the addition of the type of therapeutic hot springs and spa that originally attracted Paderewski eighty-seven years ago.

The Paderewski Festival opened on Friday, 2 March, with a program of folk music, featuring the Lowiczanie Polish Dancers from San Francisco and the Krakusy Dance Ensemble from Los Angeles. The “Lowiczanie” was formed in 1975 by Krystyna Chciuk, its director, who wished to share the rich cultural traditions of Poland with the communities of Northern California. The ensemble’s name comes from the name of the town of Lowicz, which is located in the geographically central region of Poland, the Mazowsze. The name “Krakusy” is derived from the name of the city of Krakow. During intermission the audience was treated to traditional Polish folk tunes and polkas performed on the accordion and violin by two young Polish American musicians from the San Francisco area.

The highlight of the Saturday morning breakfast at the Inn featured decorations supplied by the Polish Arts and Culture Foundation of San Francisco (Wanda Tomczykowska, director), inlcuding an authentic 19th century Polish flag and a selection of paintings, depicting scenes of San Francisco, which were sold to benefit the foundation.

Each year visitors to the festival look forward to Christine Smith’s ever-increasing private collection of Paderewski memorabilia, which were on display at the historic Carnegie Library located in the city park. Ms. Smith, a Paderewski officianado from San Francisco, is currently working on establishing a sister-city relationship between Paso Robles and Morges, Switzerland in commemoration of Paderewski’s love and affection for these two cities he regularly called home. Ms. Smith was instrumental in the selection of this year’s featured artist, Michael Schneider. She attended the IV International Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland, where Mr. Schneider, being the only American in the competition’s history, won the second prize. Mr. Schneider comes from San Angelo, Texas and is also an accomplished, composer, oboist and violinist. The Saturday evening performance, which included the music of Chopin, Paderewski and his own, was enthusiastically received by the audience.

Sunday’s Champagne Brunch and Piano Finalist Performance was held at the Paso Robles Golf Club was also decorated by the Polish Arts & Culture Foudnation of San Francisco. The two young finalists of the Paderewski Junior and Senior Level Piano Competition held Saturday afternoon, selected from a pool of the many talented piano students of North San Luis Obispo county, demonstrated their talents by playing two pieces each before receiving awards from the Paso Robles Foundation.

This was followed with a recital by pianist Lorenzo Sanchez, who has performed several times at the festival. Dr. Sanchez, who received his doctorate from USC, performed music by Chopin, Paderewski and Liszt in addition to works of various Mexican composers; thus honoring the Festival’s focus on a great piano virtuoso as well as his own Mexican heritage. Dr. Sanchez’s selections emphasized the historical connections between these great artists from different times and different parts of the world. His performance was a very satisfying closing event to the weekend festival.

The Paderewski Festival is a rare event, a blend of history and fate, wherein California heritage and Polish culture merge and strengthen each other. Another example of such a remarkable confluence is “Arden,” the Helena Modjeska Home, a national historical site in Orange county. For more details on the music performed, visit the web-site at www.paderewskifestival.org.

Paderewski’s Pianos In Chicago

If you want to see the last piano played by Paderewski visit the Polish Museum of America in Chicago, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The Paderewski Room located on the second floor has a display of documents, sheet music, portraits, sculptures and a rare diamond watch “which was presented to the maestro for his 75th birthday by the Polish American community (based on information from Polish American Journal, March 2000).

Our reader Beth Wilson owns a piano somehow associated with Paderewski and Polish-American organizations. It is a Huntington piano with a letter on the top inside opening from a Josef P. Szymanski requesting Huntington piano company to build a piano for the Paderewski Signing Society of Chicago, IL. The letter is dated May 13, 1900. There is a picture of Me. Paderewski on the inside, signed by him. If anyone has more information about this piano that could be shared with Ms. Wilson, please contact her at e-mail: watsonjb@netzero.net; or phone (636) 274-5610.

Piano Exhibit At The Smithsonian

The March issue of the Smithsonian features an article about the exhibition sponsored by the National Museum of American History, “Piano 200: Celebrating Three centuries of People and Pianos,” which opened on 9 March at the Smithsonian International Gallery. The first section of the article, “In praise of pianos,” by Jim Doherty describes the show, saying it “features some two dozen historic pianos, including one by Cristofori and the rectangular 1850 chickering shown above” (photographed by Robert Lautman).

The article about the instruments is followed by “…and the artists who play them” by Rudolph Chelminski, who takes us through a witty history of piano performance. He describes how the star system developed, beginning with Bach and Beethoven, and mentions the great pianists of the past: Artur Rubinstein, Ignace Paderewski, Gary Graffman, Raul Koczalski, Vitaly Samoshko, Lowenthal and Glen Gould. The article is interspersed with lively anecdotes about them all.

Cantores Minores Choir In Moscow

Cantores Minores, the Boychoir of St. John the Baptist Basilica Cathedral in Warsaw, will not only become the first Polish choir to sing in the newly reopened Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow, but it be the first foreign choir to sing in the cathedral as well. The choir will sing for the 6:00 p.m. Polish Mass, which will be followed by a Lenten concert at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, April 1, 2000. Adding to the international dimensions of this occasion will be the choir’s Canadian-born guest accompanist Michael Oczko, former music director of St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral in Winnipeg (1970-78) and the choir’s Detroit-born and Ann Arbor-trained conductor Joseph A. Herter.

The choir will be travelling to the Russian capital to take part in the Choral Festival “Moscow Sounds” from March 29 to April 3. The festival is held every two years and sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Culture. While there, the choir will be hosted by the Moscow choir “Rado .” In addition to the 30 Russian children’s and youth choirs taking part in this year’s festival, there will also be ensembles from China, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. Cantores Minores will be the only Polish choir at the festival.

The Polish music which the choir will perform in Moscow includes the medieval hymn Bogurodzica, and works by the Renaissance composer Miko aj Gomó ka, the Baroque master Grzegorz G. Gorczycki, and Contemporary composer Piotr Moss. Motets by the late Detroit composer of Polish descent Thomas M. Kuras will also be sung.

This is the second foreign concert tour which Cantores Minores has taken this year (their previous visit was to Rome, to sing in a choral festival at the Vatican). In November of this year, the choir will celebrate its tenth anniversary. For further information you may contact the following persons:

  • In Warsaw: English and Polish – Joseph A. Herter (48-22) 826-9558
  • In Moscow: Polish – Sr. Walentyna Nowakowska (007-095) 266-3935
  • In Moscow: Russian – Aleksander Jastriebow (007-095) 494-3074

Smolij Conducts In Houston

Mariusz Smolij has been appointed new Resident Conductor of the Houston Symphony. He will leave his faculty post at Northwestern U., but will retain his regular duties as Music Director of the Riverside Symphonia in New Jersey. He is currently engaged in a recording project, specifically devoted to the music of Karlowicz, with the Riverside Symphonia, Three major works selected are the Serenade for Strings, the symphonic poem “Odwieczne piesni” (Eternal Songs) and the Violin Concerto, which will feature violinist violinist Ilya Kaler, first prize winner of the Tchaikovsky, Paganini and Sibelius International Competitions.

Mr. Smolij has recently returned from Europe where he conducted the Lutoslawski Philharmonic in Wroclaw and the Paderewski Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz. He also spent one week teaching at the Zurich Conservatory of Music. For other information about this brilliant and energetic young conductor see our January 1999 Newsletter for a report on the Polish Music Festival he organized at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Violin Duet In Wroclaw

While the first day of April is usually considered a good day for jokes and pranks, as it is a celebration of “April’s Fool’s Day” there is nothing silly about a concert program of new music prepared by the Wroclaw division of othe Polish Composers’ Union, led by Rafal Augustyn. The concert features a violin duo, A Due, i.e. Bartlomiej Niziol and Jaroslaw Pietrzak. The whole program is of Polish music composed in this century. There are well-known names on the program: Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki – Sonata for two violins; Marta Ptaszynska – Mancala (Polish premiere), Grazyna Pstrokonska -Nawratil – Madrigale (premiere), Pawel Szymanski – A due, Rafal Augustyn – Cyclic Piece no. 1. The program opens with a work by a younger composer, Piotr Drozdzewski, Sonata a due violini.

Jakuc Plays Bacewicz

The music of Grazyna Bacewicz has won another supporter in America. Pianist Monica Jakuc, professor of music at Smith College, loves her music and currently has her Sonata No. 2, Little Triptych, and 10 Etudes in her repertoire. She also plays the violin sonatas No. 4 and 5 with the wonderful Polish violinist Veronica Macchia-Kadlubkiewicz.

If you know anyone would like a solo piano Bacewicz recital or an all-Bacewicz violin/piano recital please let me know.

Monica Jakuc has won acclaim on three continents for performances of a repertory spanning 300 years. The New York Times hailed her Bach Goldberg Variations as “an auspicious debut.” A graduate of Juilliard, she also studied with Leon Fleisher, Konrad Wolff, and Russell Sherman. Inspired by Malcolm Bilson, Jakuc started working with early pianos in 1986. She was an organizer and performing artist for HaydnFest 1990, an international conference co-sponsored by the Westfield Center for Early Keyboard Studies and Smith College. Her debut recording of fortepiano sonatas by Marianne von Martinez, Marianna von Auenbrugger, and Joseph Haydn is released on Titanic. With violinist Dana Maiben, she founded Florentine Camerata, a chamber music organization based in Florence, Mass. Their recording of Francesca LeBrun’s complete Opus 1 Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin was recently released on Dorian Discovery.

We are delighted to see this growing interest in Bacewicz’s music. While the “Bacewicz Year” is over (and was somewhat overshadowed by the “Chopin Year”), the musical treasures that she created continue to be available for performance. For further information about Prof. Jakuc’s Bacewicz programs (both solo piano and violin/piano versions), you may contact her at Smith College, or at mjakuc@smith.edu.

Zylis-Gara Sings Chopin And Poldowski

Jan Kawecki, from the “Foundation Galeria na Prowincji [Gallery Out-of-Town] has donated two CD recordings of singer extraordinaire, Teresa Zylis-Gara, to the PMRC collection. The CDs, issued by his Foundation in a coproduction with DUX, have been greeted with enthusiasm and one (Chopin-Paderewski, with Zylis Gara and Malicki) has been nominated for the Polish “Grammy” – “Fryderyk.” The list of nominated CDs includes also: “Rossini Gala” by mezzosoprano Ewa Podles (DUX), Chopin songs by Joanna Kozlowska (CD Accord), “Nie moj ogrodusek” [Not my little garden] – Kurpie songs performed by Warsaw Chamber Choir (DUX), and Pawel Lukaszewski – Antiphonae performed by Schola Cantorum Gedanensis (Acte Prealable).

During a concert organized at the Polish Institute in Paris, the Galeria na Prowincji presented songs to eminent French poets composed by the daughter of Henryk Wieniawski, Irena Wieniawska. She published as “Mr. Poldowski” as a woman’s publications often went unnoticed at the end of the 19th century. Ms. Wieniawska used for her texts poetry by the greatest French writers, Verlaine, Mallarme. Her songs, writes Kawecki, “are very well liked by the audiences, which are initially confused, but then give in to the charm of these songs. . . An international audience at our concert in the Polish Institute could not believe that a Polish woman wrote such marvellous songs to French poems.”

For more information about these recordings and other musical projects of Galeria na Prowincji you may visit their web-site at: www.galeria.pl.

Kosciuszko Foundation Is 75

The Kosciuszko Foundation will be celebrating their 75th anniversary in October of this year. They are planning a big concert at the Warsaw Philharmonic that month. The Foundation’s history has a rich musical side. They commissioned Panufnik’s SINFONIA SACRA and Górecki’s SYMPHONY No. 2 “Copernican.” Many composers have travelled to the U.S. on their grants. In addition, the Foundation continues to enrich the musical life of New York by their wonderful concert series organized by Tom Pniewski. The Foundation’s resources include special donations dedicated to the promotion of Karol Szymanowski and his works are featured prominently on the concert programs. The PMRC has been a beneficiary of the Kosciuszko Foundation in recent years: the Foundation awarded a one-year fellowship (and then extended it, with additional funds) to Dr. Barbara Zakrzewska, music librarian from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan who currently updates and expands the PMRC catalogs. [Databases of our music scores, CD and LP collections are complete. Now Dr. Zakrzewska works on tape recordings and books. The next step is making these databases available over the internet.]


Kilar And Golden Scepter

Composer Wojciech Kilar is the recipient of the “Zlote Berlo” (Golden Scepter) Award for 2000 granted by the Polish Cultural Foundation for his outstanding compositions of chamber, symphonic and film music.

The composer is familiar in the U.S. for his music to Francis Ford Coppola’s “Dracula”, Jane Campion’s “Portrait of a Lady,” and Polanski’s “Death and the Maiden.” Kilar has written music for almost 150 Polish films for directors, Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Jerzy Hoffman, Krzysztof Zanussi, and Kazimierz Kutz. Wajda’s recent and enormously successful film based on the epic poem by Adam Mickiewicz, “Pan Tadeusz” comes to life in all its historical and poetic detail partly thanks to the wonderful music by Kilar.


Research Papers For National Opera Association

The National Opera Association announces its Sixteenth Annual Scholarly Paper Competition. The scholarly paper for the competition should explore an operatic subject, present significant research and conclusions, and include a bibliography citing at least ten different sources. The paper should be typewritten, double-spaced, and no more than three thousand words in length. The title of the paper and the name of the author should be given on a detachable title page. The author’s name must not appear on subsequent pages.

The submission must be accompanied by a statement that the paper is not under copyright by any party other than the author and that it has not been previously published. Papers that have been presented orally are eligible as long as they have not been printed in any proceedings.

Authors wishing their papers returned should included a stamped, self-addressed envelope with each submission. Submit papers and any inquiries about the competition to Dr. Robert Hansen, National Opera Association, PO Box 60869, Canyon, TX 79016-0869. email–rhansen@mail.wtamu.edu Submission may be by U.S. mail or email attachment.

Awards: The winning author or authors will be invited to read each paper at the annual convention during January 10-14, 2001, at New York, NY. The Leland Fox Scholarly Travel Stipend of $500 will be awarded to the reader of a winning paper at the annual convention. The paper or papers also will be published in “The Opera Journal.” Copies of papers not selected, accompanied by the committee’s critiques, will be forwarded to the editor of the journal for possible consideration for publication. Deadline for the submission of scholarly papers: June 1, 2000. Author notification: after September 1, 2000.

Wilk Prizes 2000 – For Books Only

After Prof. James Parakilas and Dr. Sandra P. Rosenblum won their 1999 Wilk Prizes, the PMRC board set to work to change the rules of the competition and create a new category for a “best book on Polish music” which will alternate with the current competition for research papers.

The Stefan & Wanda Wilk Prizes for Research in Polish Music are sponsored by the Polish Music Reference Center (PMRC) and the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California. They are intended to stimulate research on Polish music in academic circles outside of Poland. The prizes are awarded in two independent competitions, each held biannually (in different years): Wilk Prizes for Research Papers on Polish Music (yearly till 1999, since then held in odd years) and Wilk Prizes for Books on Polish Music (even years, starting in 2000). The prizes are awarded to authors of the best scholarly publications reflecting original research on some aspect of the music of Poland, preferably on a less researched topic or composer.

The Wilk Prizes for Research Papers competition is divided into two categories, Student Prize and Professional Prize. The winning essay by an author who is a student will receive a prize of $500. Professionals will compete for a prize of $1,000. Both competitions are open to all authors outside of Poland. The submission deadline for the next edition of this competition is changed to 30 June 2001.

Entries for the newly created Wilk Prizes for Books on Polish Music may be submitted to the jury by the author, publisher or a third party. The 2000 competition will be open to works published outside of Poland in English, French, and German during the past 5 years. Subsequent edition of the competition will encourage submissions of books published during the past 3 years. The cash prize will be $2,000.

Deadline: The competition takes place bi-annually for Research Papers (in 1999, 2001, 2003 and so forth) and for Books on Polish Music (in 2000, 2002, etc.). All entries should be received on or before June 30th of the year in which the competition is held. The winners will be announced by the end of the year. For more information contact the PMRC at polmusic@usc.edu.

Internet News

National Polish Radio Orchestra

The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, based in Katowice now has a web page containing current information about the orchestra’s activities. www.nospr.org.pl The page contains information about the orchestra and its director, the repertoire of its concerts in Katowice and during concert tours, as well as a discography. Polish music has a firm place in the array of compositions performed by NOSPR, for instance in April 1999 during the Wratislavia CAntans festival, the orchestra performed pieces by Bacewicz and Meyer, and during the September 1999 Warsaw Autumn Festival the orchestra premiered a piece by Grazyna Pstrokonska-Nawratil, “Fresk VII – “Uru Anna.”

Among recordings prepared by the orchestra there are three CDs with the music of Krzysztof Penderecki, issued by Naxos and partly sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and the Arts of Poland. The detailed program of these CDs and other recordings done by the orchestra is found on their web site. In September 1999 the orchestra received a Platinum Disc for their recording of Gorecki’s Symphony no. 3, The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, conducted by Jerzy Katlewicz, with Stefania Woytowicz, soprano, realized in May 1978 for Polskie Nagrania (this is the first recording of the Symphony that brought it to the attention of Western musicians, critics, and historians). As a radio orchestra, the NOSPR also prepares archival recordings for the Polish Radio. Information about these recordings may be obtained from the orchestra by contacting them at the address listed below.

40-032 Katowice, Pl.
Sejmu Slaskiego 2
phones 0-048/32/2518903, 0-048/32/2553261,
fax 0-048/32/2571384

Music In ‘Open Content’ Encyclopedia

Call for Entries by Larry Sanger

A major new encyclopedia project, Nupedia.com, requests expert help in constructing an “open content” encyclopedia, planned to become the largest general encyclopedia in history. The project has significant financial support, and its leaders and owners are committed to a years-long, intensive effort — to founding an open, public institution. If you are an expert in any subject, your participation in the project will be welcome. We are in need of well-qualified writers, editors, and peer reviewers, and will be doing searches for subject area editors. Moreover, if you are a good writer and researcher, you may be interested in contributing short biographies, descriptions of cities, and other brief entries.What does it mean to say the encyclopedia is “open content”? This means that anyone can use content taken from Nupedia articles for almost any purpose, both for-profit or non-profit, so long as Nupedia is credited as the source and so long as the distributor of the information does not attempt to restrict others from distributing the same information. Nupedia will be “open content” in the same way that Linux and the Open Directory Project (dmoz.com) are “open source.” As has been the case with those projects, we plan to attract a huge body of talented contributors.

Since making our initial press release earlier this month, over 800 people from around the world have signed up as Nupedia members, including some very highly-qualified people (including Ph.D.’s in very many relevant subject areas). Because Nupedia will be open content, it will be in a freely-distributable public resource created by an international public effort. It is not an exaggeration to say that your contributions would help to provide an international public a free education. We believe Nupedia is, thus, a project worthy of your attention.

If you want to join us or stay apprised of the progress of Nupedia, please take a minute to go to the Nupedia website at http://www.nupedia.com/ and become a member. (Becoming a member is quick, easy, and free.)

Recent Performances

Ochman In New York

Polish tenor, Wieslaw Ochman, appeared in concert 25 March in New York with soloists Magdalena Idzik, mezzo and Aleksandra Stoklos, soprano. The soloist who has appeared with the La Scala, Metropolitan and San Francisco Opera companies, was accompanied by the Festival Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrzej Rozbicki and the Angelus Chorus under the direction of W. Typrowicz.

Bacewicz’s Music In Poznan

Nowy Dziennik of New York reported on the “Bacewicz in Memoriam” program presented by the Poznan Philharmonic in commemoration of the late composer’s dual anniversary last year (Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969). Jerzy Salwarowski conducted her Concerto for Viola and Lutoslawski’s “Livre pour orchestre.”

Kenner In Los Angeles

Chris Pasles of the Los Angeles Times reported favorably on the interesting program “Bach Meets Chopin” prepared by pianists Sergey Schepkin and Kevin Kenner for the Wednesday night concerts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (15 March 2000).In this “fabulous and intense recital” the two pianists sitting at separate pianos, “alternated 24 Preludes in the same keys by Bach and Chopin, thereby exploring the startling similarities and differences between the two sets…. Both pianists were fluent and dedicated…. Kenner played Chopin with clearheaded but rich expressivity. The results were consistently illuminating.”

Panufnik’s Music In New York

Allan Kozinn of the New York Times reviewed a concert by the New York Chamber Symphony under Gerard Schwarz, that included Andrzej Panufnik’s “Autumn Music.” “Listeners who like variety could not have asked for more.”

Budarz Recital In New York

The music of Chopin, Paderewski, Brzezinski and Szymanowski was performed by pianist Camille Budarz in a benefit concert, “Polish Romantic Music” in memory of Prof. Jan Gorbaty, held at the Kosciuszko Foundation.

Auer In Poland

American pianist’s February visit to Poland was extremely busy and exhausting – with the effort very well spent. He arrived on Sunday (one day late because of a snow storm in Chicago) and rehearsed with the orchestra on Sunday afternoon for the February 22 “Washington-Chopin” birthday concert. On Tuesday was the dress rehearsal and concert at Holy Cross Church. On Wednesday Auer gave a recital in Lublin, recorded by Polish TV/Lublin for future broadcast. On Thursday the eminent pianist, who is on the faculty of Indiana University, Bloomington, gave 7 1/2 hours of master classes at the Chopin Academy. On Saturday Auer gave a solo recital at the Paderewski Museum. All the concerts went very well and the artist returned to the U.S. tired, but happy with the enthusiastic reception that he received.

Chang Plays Chopin

Pianist Angela Chang performed Chopin’s “Ballade in g-minor” during a program with the Vogler String Quartet held at Founders Hall, Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. 31 March.

Lutoslawski’s Music In California

Lutoslawski’s “Dance Preludes” were presented by Jennifer Sprague, clarinet, and Wendy Caldwell, piano, at Cal State Long Beach, 5 March.

Lutoslawski’s Music In New York

In New York two concerts of 20th century music at Mannes College by violinist Mark Steinberg and pianist Thomas Sauer featured the music of Lutoslawski and Szymanowski. Edith Eisler reviewed the programs in Strings, April 2000 issue, with high praise. “The performances were terrific, with the Lutoslawski (Partita) being perhaps most impressive…. Sauer is a superb pianist and Steinberg has a splendid technique and a beautiful, expressive tone.” Of the Szymanowski she wrote “Debussy’s Sonata and Szymanowski’s “Narcissus” both revel in impressionist colors and sonorities, though the former laces its languor with witty grotesuerie, while the latter is all sensuosness and romantic effusion.”

King Roger In Warsaw

A premiere of a new staging of Szymanowski’s opera, “King Roger” was performed at the National Opera in Warsaw. Jacek Kaspszyk conducted Jacek Trelinski’s creation at Teatr Wielki with Izabella Klosinska & Zofia Kilianowicz, sopranos alternating as Roxanne; Wojciech Drabowicz as King Roger and Adam Zdunikowski as the shepherd.

Polish And American Music In Krakow

Twelve concerts and five lectures are part of the “Write and Play” festival and seminar of contemporary Polish and American music in Krakow. Polish music is represented by the works of Lutoslawski, Gorecki, Palester, Bacewicz, Dobrowolski, Baird, Serocki, Bujarski, Stachowski and Grella- Mozejko. The last composer lives in Edmonton, Canada.Music by American composers Montague, Crumb, Cage, Feldman, Barber and Carter is performed by the New York University Composers Ensemble. Other ensembles taking part in the festival are: Capella Cracoviensis, Austrain Art Ensemble, ARA Ensemble, and the Polish MW2 Ensemble. The concerts are taking place in the Krakow Philharmonic, Academy of Music, Art Center “Solvay,” and in the Synagogue on Miodowa Street. (From Nowy Dziennik, based on PAP, the Polish Press Agency).

New Publications & Books

Polish Women Composers

Music for voice, piano and small chamber ensemble by Polish women composers is available from Hildegard Publishing Co. Visit www.hildegard.com. for a list of compositions by pianist Maria Szymanowska (1789-1931), harpsichordist Wanda Landowska (1879-1959) and composer and daughter of Henryk Wieniawski, Irena Poldowski (1880-1932).

New Books From Poznan

The scholarly publishing house of the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań, Poland, issued several interested books on music (all in Polish). Danuta Jasińska published a study of style “brilliant” in Chopin’s music [Styl brillant a muzyka Chopina, Poznań, 1995], Ryszard Daniel Golianek wrote a study of program music in the 19th-century [Muzyka programowa XIX wieku. Idea i interpretacja, Pozna 1998], and Maciej Jabłoński, Danuta Jasińska and Jan Stęszewski edited a book documenting recent history of musicology department at UAM (between 1974-1999) – with lists of professors, subjects of research, etc [Muzykologia na Uniwersytecie im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu w latach 1974-1999, Poznań, 1999]. The books are roughly of the same size, ca. 150 pages, handsomely produced and carefully edited. For more information contact the publishing house at press@amu.edu.pl.

Calendar Of Events

APR 1: A Due violin recital, Wroclaw, Leopoldinum, 6 p.m. Program organized by Polish Composers’ Union includes a world premiere (by Pstrokonska-Nawratil), a Polish premiere (by Ptaszynska), and pieces by Augustyn, Gorecki and others.

APR 1, 2: Szymanowski Violin Concerto No. 1. Alex Treger, violin. Los Angeles Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta, cond. Sat. 8:00 p.m., Sun. 2:30 p.m. Los Angeles Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave.

APR 6, 7, 8: Fifty-First Annual Chopin Competition. Kosciuszko Foundation, 15 E. 65th St., New York. 212-734- 2130. Abbey Simon, Chairman of the Jury. No charge to preliminaries beginning at 10 a.m. on Thurs & Friday. Finals beginning at 2:00. $15. Reservations.

APR 16: Music by Haydn, Ibert and Alexandre Tansman. The Dorian Wind Quintet. Kosciuszko Foundation. 3:00 p.m. WQXR Radio broadcast on Sat. April 22 at 9:00 p.m.


by Wanda Wilk

Richter’s Chopin & Liszt

BBC Legends BBCL 4031-2. Chopin & Liszt. Swiatoslav Richter, piano. London Symphony/ Kyrill Kondrashin, cond.

This is the 1961 live recording performed at Royal Albert Hall. David Fanning’s review in Gramophone finds the pianist “at his most energetic and thrilling…the “Andante spianato” seems a marvel of sustained singing line, and the Grand polonaise concludes in a flourish of noble phrasing, greeted by torrents of applause.”

Meanwhile, in the Fanfare (March/April issue) Peter J. Rabinowitz writes, “From the artfully suggestive opening of the Chopin Third Ballade that opens the set, everything here is mesmerizing, both in its technical finesse and in its communicative power.” Both critics, however, seem to be more mesmerized by Richter’s performance of the Debussy’s Preludes, even though they claim that Richter’s Chopin is “only marginally less stellar than his Debussy.”

A Debut With Szymanowski

EMI Debut CDZ5 72825-2. Britten, Grieg & Szymanowski. Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne, violin; Carole Presland, piano.

The violinist was the 1996 BBC Young Musician of the Year. The disc is described by Rob Cowan as “an imaginative programme, an early Britten masterpiece that should be better known, and gifted young musicians on good form. Young Britten’s caustic wit is preceded by the burning intensity of Szymanowski’s post-romantic D minor Sonata, with its tempestuous opening Allegro moderato. Both works were written while their respective composers were still in their early twenties; but while Britten reveals a goodly slice of his developing sound world, Szymanowski’s mature stylistic personality was still some way off…It’s a good, sturdy performance, vital and expressive, and very nicely recorded.”

Slobodyanik’s Chopin

EMI Debut CDZ5-73500-2. Chopin. Schumann. Alex Slobodyanik, piano.

Chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Editor’s Choices for April. Bryce Morrison presents a review in Gramaphone, in which he identifies the artist as the son of Alexander Slobodyanik, a celebrated pianist of the ’60s and ’70s. The American-based, Russian-born pianist is the “possessor of a truly prodiguous talent.” His playing reveals “the most exceptional refinement and musicianship . . . a mesmerizing Chopin third Sonata. . . . The English-based recordings are virtually ideal and, overall, this is a debut of debuts. . .too good to be true at a budget-price.”

Fialkowska’s Paderewski

NAXOS 8 554020. Paderewski. Piano Concerto; Polish Fantasy. Janina Fialkowska, piano. National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Antoni Wit, cond.

Here we have two opposing reactions. Bryce Morrison of Gramophone praised Fialkowska’s performance of “both works as affectionate as they are masterly.” Steven J. Haller (American Record Guide) stated, “I find it incredible that the same pianist was involved in both performances. The Concerto is a disaster – a hard-toned, willful barrage . . . turn to the Fantaisie polonaise and its like entering a different world . . . [but such] opening passages with a nuance and affection nowhere apparent in the Concerto.”

What Haller calls a “hard-toned willful barrage” Morrison describes as “more dazzling relish and brio, even a touch of dare-devilry . . . she plays the Piano Concerto with a special sense of its intimacy and spins off Paderewski’s icing-sugar figuration with an open-hearted delight in its sparkle and charm.”

Rathaus On Centaur Label

Centaur 2402. Rathaus. Suites, Serenade, Symphony Polonaise.

I reported this in our February Newsletter, where Fanfare called it the “best possible introduction to one of the major figures awaiting rediscovery.” In the American Record Guide March/April isuse, Mark L. Lehman sheds more light on the composer (1895-1954). He likes the 1943 Polonaise symphonique best for “its glorious melodic lilt and stirring high spirits. There are worthwhile things in the earlier pieces. . . . If you are interested in exploring more of Rathaus’s music, especially his serious, large-scale works, seek out his 1939 Piano Concerto on Koch 7397.”

Rubinstein’s Archival Chopin

EMI CDM5 67007-2. Chopin.

CDM 0IR 450. Tchaikovsky & Chopin.

These are EMI reissues of Artur Rubinstein’s pre-war recordings. Rob Cowan of Gramophone describes them as “a nice way to sample Rubinstein’s energetic pre-war playing style.”

Virtuoso Piano Transcriptions

IVORY CLASSICS 70907. Virtuoso Piano Transcriptions of Music by Chopin, Handel, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Saint-Saens, Tausig & Tchaikovsky. Earl Wild, piano.

Tim Parry (Gramophone): “Wild’s arrangement of the Larghetto of Chopin’s F-minor Piano Concerto begins in charming and graceful style, although some may find the heavier textures and harmonic piqauncies of the central section more from Hollywood than Chopin.”

Kissin’s Chopin

RCA Red Seal 09026 63535-2. Chopin. 24 Preludes, Piano Sonata no. 2, Polonaise in A flat. Evgeny Kissin, piano.

Bryce Morrison comments in Gramophone: “This is Kissin’s third Chopin recital for RCA, and sadly it is his least distinguished.” Even though “his technial mastery is more than imposing . . . [and] he recreates the Second Sonata’s death- haunted finale with spine-chilling aplomb . . . overall, the performance lacks a necessary musical refinement . . . and his recent performances have seriously lacked his former eloquence and composure.”

Pollini’s Chopin

Deutsche Grammophone 289 459 683-2. Chopin. Four Ballades, Preludes & Fantaisie. Maurizio Pollini, piano.

In Fanfare (March/April 2000), Michael Ullman compares this disc with “discs a foot high with Chopin Ballades done by everyone from Cortot to Rubinstein to Richter, Moravec, Perahia and Kissin.” He believes that this is the greatest, the most exciting of them all.

More Pollini’s Chopin

Philips 456 940-2. Chopin Piano Music. Maurizio Polini, piano. Paul Kletzki, cond. Philharmonic Orhcestra.

For a thorough review and comparison with the Great Pianists of the 20th-century recordings of Michelangeli and Ignace Paderewski by Peter J. Rabinovitz, see the same Fanfare issue as above, pages 212-214. In capsule form, “the playing here is breathtaking: Pollini’s tough-minded, even somewhat mean, account of the op. 10 Etudes reveals their intricacy as few others do . . . and his Polonaises, if unvarying in mood, are crushing in their power.” Some interesting facts about Paderewski’s playing can be found in this review.

Chopin’s Songs And Mazurkas

Hyperion CDA 67125. Chopin. Complete Songs. Five mazurkas. Urszula Kryger, mezzo, Charles Spencer, piano.

See our March newsletter for a review by Gramophone. Martin Anderson of Fanfare adds more praise to this performance and also sheds more light on the songs themselves. He describes Ms. Krygier’s voice as “a rich velvety one . . . with excellent diction.” He also lauds the extensive notes by Mieczysław Tomaszewski, which includes a detailed description of each song and provides full texts in Polish, English, French and German. “Plainly an important release and one that should bring much pleasure.”

Kallir’s Chopin

Helicon 1047. Chopin. Two Ballades, Mazurkas, Impromptu, Nocturnes, Waltz & Scherzo. Lilian Kallir, piano. While the pianist’s name is not universally known, she is certainly a talented performer. In Fanfare, Michael Ullman concludes his review with a statement that this is “one of the most satisfying Chopin recitals I have heard this year.”

Wieniawski For 2 Violins

BIS CD 1016. Wieniawski. Eight Etude-Caprices for 2 violins. Alard. “Duo brillant” and Moszkowski. Suite for two violins and piano. Ilya Gringolts, Alexander Bulov, violins, Irena Ryumina, piano.

This new release was also reported in our last month’s newsletter. Duncan Druce of Gramophone called it “a most enjoyable disc.” David K. Nelson (Fanfare) makes a play on words in describing the youthful violinists as “`Duo brillant,’ indeed.” Although the “Wieniawski Etudes are really not concert pieces or violin duets, they do offer an opportunity for the young artists to display their violin virtuosity . . . The Moszkowski piece “is a heavyweight, and his Suite has been recorded by some powerhouse duos over the years . . . Moszkowski wrote a solidly constructed piece that is about more than technival difficulty and Gringolts and Bulov do quite a bit to bring out the variety and musicality of the piece without down playing the fact that it is a showcase for them as well” He concludes that this release is rather captivating.

Other New Releases

AC 990062. Szymanowski. Concerto no. 1. Zakhar Bron, violin. Novosibirsk Philharmonic. See www.acclassics.com.

From Albany Records; TROY 352. Szymon Laks. Passacaille for cello & piano. Miriam Bolkosky, cello, robert Lamar Simis, piano. Also: Holocaust Cantata arranged by Donald Mc Cullough, cond. Master Chorale of Washington, Michael Horvit, dir.


by Maria Anna Harley

1. Cataloging Project

In the Spring of 2000 we welcomed back Dr. Barbara Zakrzewska who came to continue her catalog of the PMRC collection. She has so far completed the scores (with new additions necessary – due to a constant flow of donations), the LP recordings (an important part of the archives), and more than 3/4 of the tape recording collection. At present, Dr. Zakrzewska updates the book catalog and completes the tape recordings. She creates databases for these catalogs in the internal PMRC system. The next step during her spring sojourn at USC will be transferring these catalogs to a searchable database accessible via the internet, on our web site – this, however, has to be done by a programmer from USC Library System. There are still two large bodies of material not surveyed and updated in our catalog – the Walter MArtin “Polish Song Collection” (which has an old electronic catalog, that needs to be updated) and the Slonimsky Organ Music Collection – that has to be organized and described (there was no cataloging work done on this donated material as yet). In addition several collections of Polish books and scores have been offered to increase our holdings. Their acceptance depends on our resources, both in terms of extra shelf space and cataloging time.

2. Wilk Prizes

The 1999 winners, James Parakilas and Sandra P. Rosenblum, will see their papers published in the Polish Music Journal in 2000. This year, however, the paper competition will be replaced by a competition for the best book on Polish music written by an author based outside of Poland. The deadline for proposals is June 30, 2000, the prize will be announced in the fall 2000. By changing the rules (described above), we hope to attract more attention to books on music in the press and the media and to reward some of the many excellent efforts in this domain that have appeared yearly.

3. Polish Music History Series

After Chopin: Essays in Polish Music, the long-awaited sixth volume of the Polish Music History Series has been prepared to be sent off to the printers. It will take about 2 months before the production process is finished and the books arrive back here and at offices of the distributor of the series, Pendragon Press. The volume, after many changes of content, consists of 14 essays divided into three parts: Polish composers discussing the music and person of Chopin, papers awarded Wilk Prizes for research in Polish music, and essays on issues of constructing national identity through music. The book should be ordered from the Pendragon Press (some orders will also be accepted at the PMRC). The list of titles includes:

  • Maria Anna HARLEY: “Introduction. Music for the Nation or the Nation for Music?
  • Maria KONOPNICKA: For the Tomb of Chopin (poem)
    • Władysław ŻELENSKI: ” On the 50th Anniversary of Chopin’s Death”
    • Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI: “The Essence of Chopin’s Works”
    • Karol SZYMANOWSKI: “Fryderyk Chopin”
    • Stanisław NIEWIADOMSKI: “Fryderyk Chopin and Poland”
    • Stanisław NIEWIADOMSKI: “Spelling Identity: Ch or Sz?”
    • Mateusz GLINSKI: “Is There a Chopin Tradition?”
    • Witold LUTOSLAWSKI: “Back to Chopin”
    • Maria Anna HARLEY: “At Home with Phenomenology: Roman Ingarden’s Work of Music Revisited”
    • Stephen C. DOWNES: “Revitilizing Sonata Form: Structure and Climax in Szymanowski’s Op. 21”
    • Richard ZIELINSKI: “Sources and Materials in Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater”
    • Michael L. KLEIN: “Lutosławski’s Partita for Violin and Piano: A New Perspective on His Late Music”
    • Zofia HELMAN: “The Dilemma of Polish Music in the 20th Century: National Style or Universal Values”
    • Timothy J. COOLEY: ” Constructing an ‘Authentic’ Folk Music of the Polish Tatras”
    • Maria Anna HARLEY: “Sacred/Secular Constructs of National Identity: A Convoluted History of Polish Anthems”

The book also includes a history of the Wilk Prizes competition and a complete list of winners with publication data about their papers where necessary. I wish to thank translators: Maria Pilatowicz, Joanna Nizynska and Peter J. Schertz, USC graduate students: Anne Desler, Brian Harlan, as well as Dr. Linda Schubert (UCLA, volunteer assistant editor), and Malgorzata Szyszkowska (Junior Fulbright Scholar at USC in 1999) without whose help this project would not be possible. Friends of Polish Music provided invaluable financial support and Wanda Wilk has noticed all the typos and mistakes that have not been\found in previous rounds of proofreading.

4. Other Activities at the PMRC

Because of the publication backlog and limited resources, as well as my committments to a number of events in 1999 and 2000, the PMRC has not planned any events for the academic year 1999/2000. In 1999 I have given 8 papers at national and international conferences and this busy travel schedule (while important for research and publicity purposes) has taken a lot of time that had to be devoted to these new research projects. My study of the reception of Chopin by women composers, first presented at the Meeting of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America in New York (June 1999) and revised for the 2nd International Chopin Congress (October 1999) has been prepared for publication in The Polish Review, 2000. Other presentations, though sometimes “recycled” also required periods of researching and thinking, away from day-to-day operations of the PMRC. Thus, the first 1999 issue of the Polish Music Journal appeared with a delay, the second is in production.

Meanwhile, the Polish Music History Series is now getting back on track. The current title will be followed by a volume of essays on Szymanowski’s songs. Three other titles, previously planned for our series are now being considered elsewhere and hopefully will appear within the next 2 years (monograph by Golab on Koffler, collection of essays and interviews with Gorecki, studies of Polish Jewish Music). Since in 2000 I am only scheduled to appear at 4 conferences (though the schedule may change, as I have already had one addition to it – an invitation to present issues of censorship and propaganda in music at a USC symposium organized by all the arts schools together, March 29, 2000), there is hope that the revised production schedule of all our publications will be adhered to in the future. Having a larger staff of employees and volunteers would certainly help in this undertaking.

Finally, we have had a number of important visitors here, I will discuss their musical interests and possible future interactions with the PMRC in the next issue of the Newsletter. There are some interesting options for the 2000/2001 academic year, when the USC orchestras will be conducted by DAniel Stanienda and Jacek Kaspszyk. We hope to use the visits of both conductors as occasions for promoting Polish composers as well.


Born This Month

  • 1 April 1872 – Tadeusz JOTEYKO, composer (d. 20 August 1932)
  • 3 April 1904 – Maria WIŁKOMIRSKA, pianist professor of piano in Lodz and Warsaw
  • 4 April 1941 – Aleksander GLINKOWSKI, composer active in Katowice (d. 1991)
  • 8 April 1890 – Zbigniew DRZEWIECKI, pianist and professor of piano, organizer of Chopin Competitions, president of Chopin Society
  • 9 April 1880 – Stanisław LIPSKI, pianist and composer (d. 6 October 1937)
  • 9 April 1951 – Andrzej KRZANOWSKI, composer (d. 1990)
  • 13 April 1890 – Ludwik BRONARSKI, musicologist (d. 1975)
  • 18 April 1903 – Tadeusz KWIECINSKI, composer (d. 11 July 1960)
  • 21 April 1907 – Antoni SZAŁOWSKI, composer (d. 21 March 1973)
  • 29 April 1880 – Adolf CHYBINSKI, musicologist, professor of universities in Lwow and Poznan (d. 31 October 1952)


Died This Month

  • 5 April 1935 – Emil MŁYNARSKI, conductor, violininst, composer, music director of the Warsaw Opera, (b. 18 August 1870)
  • 9 April 1944 – Bolesław WALLEK-WALEWSKI, conductor and composer, active in Krakow, Warsaw and Poznan (b. 23 January 1885)
  • 11 April 1938 – Bronisława WÓJCIK-KEUPRULIAN, musicologist, professor of Lwow University, specialist in Chopin and Armenian music (b. 6 August 1890)
  • 12 April 1956 – Tadeusz STRUMIŁŁO, musicologist, professor of Jagiellonian University, with Z. Szweykowski discovered over 200 compositions of 18th, 19th c. (b. 10 July 1929)
  • 15 April 1945 – Feliks WRÓBEL, composer and music theorist (b. 15 May 1894)
  • 18 April 1854 – Józef ELSNER, composer, founder of Warsaw Conservatory, teacher of Chopin (b. 1 June 1769)
  • 24 April 1845 – Anna WOŁKOW-STANIUKIEWICZ, soprano, singer of Warsaw Opera (b. 26 August 1808)
  • 25 April 1951 – Jerzy FITELBERG, composer, son of conductor Grzegorz, since 1933 lived in Paris, 1940 in New York (b. 20 May 1903)
  • 28 April 1928 – Henryk MELCER-SZCZAWINSKI, pianist, teacher, conductor, professor and chair of the Warsaw Conservatory of Music (b. 21 September 1869)


Poland’s most eminent Baritone singer, Andrzej Hiolski, died suddenly on 26 February, a day before he was to appear in concert with the Capella Cracoviensis in Krakow. Born in 1922 in Lwow (today Lviv in Ukraine), he began his career as an eleven-year old singing in the church choir. Hiolski was a soloist for the National Opera and had a wide repertoire of oratorio parts. He participated in the world premieres of major pieces by Polish composers (Penderecki, Baird, Serocki) and was equally interested in the classic parts for his voice as in new, experimental compositions. His colleague, Polish tenor Wieslaw Ochman, wrote a eulogy for the Nowy Dziennik recalling the many times their paths crossed.

Polish-American conductor, Wladyslaw Dana (Danilowski). Born in 1902 in Poland, Dana died in Florida on 6 March, 2000. The founder and conductor of the “Chor Dana” (Dana’s choir), a staple in Polish- American culture before World War II (with its soloist of the golden voice, Mieczyslaw Fogg) will be fondly remembered.

Frank “Pee Wee” King, who co-wrote the “Tennessee Waltz” was born Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski in Milwaukee in 1914. He joined his father’s dance band at the age of 14 and within a year formed the first of his own bands. King introduced Polish polka rhythms and waltzes to country music and did much to meld country with Western. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1974. His other hits were “You Belong to Me,” “Slow Poke,” “Silver and Gold,” Bonaparte’s Retreat” and “Changing Partners.”