Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 6, no. 5
Winners Of Kosciuszko Foundation’s Chopin Competition
KIRILL GERSTEIN was the First Prize Winner in the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition 2000, held in New York City in last week. Gerstein is a 20-year old graduate student at the Manhattan School of Music, where he is studying with Solomon Mikovsky. He was given his $2,500 cash scholarship by Abbey Simon, in ceremonies at the Kosciuszko Foundation House Saturday, April 8.Second Prize was won by STEPHEN BEUS, of Othello, Washington. Beus, an 18-year old student of Leonard Richter, is completing his Associate of Arts Degree at Columbia Basin College. Third Prize went to Alicia Gabriela Martinez, a native of Venezuela, who is studying with Yoheved Kaplinsky (Juilliard School) and Miyoko Lotto (Perlman music Program).
Born in Voronezh, Russia, GERSTEIN began his music studies at the age of three, at the Special Music School for Gifted Children there. At eleven, he won first prize in the International Bach Competition in Poland, and began giving concerts throughout Germany, Poland, and Russia. He also won international recognition as a jazz pianist at numerous festivals. In 1994, he came to the United States on full scholarship to Boston’s Berklee College as the youngest student in the school’s history. He is currently completing his Masters Degree with Solomon Mikovsky at the Manhattan School of Music. He has already appeared as a recitalist and soloist throughout Europe. He is scheduled to perform in Spain, France, and Italy, and will appear with David Zinman and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra in September.
The contestants, ranging in age from 17 to 22, from all over the U.S.A., competed in public auditions before a jury which included world-famous concert pianist Abbey Simon and other distinguished musicians and teachers. All were required to prepare a full recital program, including works of Chopin and Szymanowski, and representing all musical historical styles.
The Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition was established in 1949, in honor of the hundredth anniversary of the death of Frederic Chopin. Over the years, many outstanding musicians have won prizes in the Competition, including Van Cliburn, Ian Hobson, and Murray Perahia. Today the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition continues to encourage gifted young pianists to further their studies. Along with the Sembrich Voice Competition, first held in 1968, it promotes study and performance of Poland’s rich musical heritage.
Jerzy Dziubinski In America
The organist of Warsaw’s Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and professor of organ at the Chopin Academy of Music Jerzy Dziubinski will play two recitals in the Midwest during May: Thursday, May 4, at 7:15 p.m. in Elliott Chapel at Presbyterian Homes on 3131 Simpson Street in Evanston, Illinois, and on Sunday, May 7, a four o’clock in the afternoon at historic St. Joseph Catholic Church on 1828 Jay St. in downtown Detroit. These are the last two concerts of tour which began in April at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas.
Mr. Dziubinski’s program includes works by Bach, Saint-Saëns and two Warsaw composers: August Freyer (1803-83) and Mieczyslaw Surzynski (1866-1924). The former composer was titular organist at the Lutheran church where Dziubinski currently plays. A contemporary of Chopin, Freyer – like Chopin – also had Józef Elsner as his composition teacher and later had the distinction of being the piano teacher of Stanislaw Moniuszko, the father of Polish national opera. Freyer’s Concert Variations on a Theme by Bortniansky in E-flat, op. 3 will be heard on the program. The latter composer will be represented on the program with selections from his Improvisations, op. 36. Surzynski was the organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in the capital’s Old Town.
A 1984 graduate of the Chopin Academy of Music, Dziubinski studied organ with Professor Joachim Grubich. Postgraduate studies continued with Lionel Rogg from 1984 to 87 at the Geneva Conservatory, where Dziubinski received the coveted Premier Prix de Virtuosité. Further prizes include the Leipzig Neue Bach-Gesellschaft award for the most outstanding interpretation of Bach’s works at the Franz Liszt International Competition in Budapest. This is Jerzy Dziubinski’s first American tour.
Admission for the Evanston concert is free of charge. The Elliot Chapel Organ was built by the Dobson Pipe Organ Builders in 1994. It is a 26 rank mechanical action instrument.
Tickets for the Detroit concert are $5.00, seniors and students $4.00. St. Joseph Church, founded in 1855 as a German ethnic parish, was also the first place of worship for Polish immigrants before the establishment of the first Detroit Polish parish. Its magnificent Gothic Revival church, now over 125 years old, has superb acoustics. The organ, built in 1973 by William Worden to celebrate the centennial of the building, is a neo-romantic mechanical action instrument of thirty-six ranks, described in a review in The Diapason as “…a versatile, eclectic instrument of impressive musical value…”
IV International Summer Music Festival In Poland
The festival will be held on August 1-14, 2000. It was founded in 1997 to create opportunities for young pianists from Poland and abroad to work with an international faculty and to perform chamber music, solo and especially as a soloist with an orchestra. The core of the festival is the piano, including piano duos, but this year the festival is open to violinists, ‘cellists, chamber ensembles with piano, and singers.Festival activities include master classes, private lessons, lectures as well as faculty and student concerts. Selected pianists will perform a movement of a classical concerto with the Festival Chamber Orchestra at the final concert. Classes will take place at the Malachowski Palace in Naleczów. Concerts will take place in Naleczów, Lublin and Kazimierz Dolny, a beautiful Renaissance town on the Vistula River. Participants will be accommodated in rooms with private bathrooms at local hotels or private homes.
Faculty members include the following persons: Dr. Kazimierz Brzozowski – Albion College, Michigan – Festival Director, piano, and conductor of Festival Chamber Orchestra; Joseph Gurt – Eastern Michigan University – piano; Tomoko & Yuki Mack – 1st Prize Winners at International Duo Piano Competition in Tokyo; Louis Nagel – University of Michigan – piano, chamber music; Regina Smendzianka – Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw – piano master class; David Troiano former faculty member of the University of Windsor in Canada and St. Mary’s College in Michigan – voice; Grazyna Biskupski – Prize Winner at the 1st International Carl Nielsen Violin Competition in Denmark – violin; Dr. Tadeusz Biskupski – University of Michigan graduate – ‘cello.
All talented young musicians, high school, college students and graduates from all countries may apply. Juvenile participants should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The cost of full participation (room, board and tuition) is $950 per person. For further information contact: Mr. Kazimierz Brzozowski, 2141 Callie Dr., Walled Lake, Michigan 48390; telephone (248) 669-0272; fax (248) 669-6394, e-mail <email@example.com>. In Poland: Miedzynarodowy Letni Festiwal i Kurs Muzyczny, ul. Tyszkiewicza 20, 24-120 Kazimierz Dolny.</firstname.lastname@example.org>
Poznan Spring Music Festival
The Poznan Spring Music Festival which lasted for four days with four concerts featured three “classics” of contemporary music: Alban Berg’s “Violin Concerto,” Stravinsky’s “Requiem Canticles” and Lutoslawski’s “Chantefleurs et Chantefables. The world premiere of “Recueillement” by Poznan composer Miroslaw Bukowski concluded the XXXVIth Festival.
Bacewicz In Montreal
The Montreal chamber music organization, Musica Camerata Montreal completes its series of concerts “Through the Centuries” with a concert entitled “The Turn of the Millennium” and scheduled for Saturday, 27 May 2000, 8 p.m. at Redpath Hall, McGill University. The program includes works by Montreal composer, Serge Arcuri, young American composer, Lowell Liebermann, and the Polish classic of the 20th century, Grazyna Bacewicz. Bacewicz’s composition, Quintet No. 1 for piano and string quartet (1952) provides a centrepiece for the program. Musica Camerata Montreal gave a Canadian premiere of this work in 1997.Established in 1971, Musica Camerata Montreal, is one of Canada’s foremoust chamber music ensembles performing the standard repertoire (Brahms, Dvorak, Schubert, Mozart), as well as rare piece by great composers and Canadian new music. The ensemble has over 200 pieces in its repertoire.
Anniversary Of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
On April 16, 2000 at noon, the heroic fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising were honored in a series of quiet ceremonies – with flowers at the Monuments to the Heroes of the Ghetto, at Umschlagplatz, and the Jewish Cementery. Composer Ryszard Sielicki participated in these commemorations as a family member of the victims and a survivor. He stated: “During the war I studied in the conservatory in Minsk [Byelarus]. My mother wrote me from Warsaw that life was very hard for them. I sent them what I had. I lost all my family here.” Sielicki (b. 3 March 1916) studied in Minsk and then in Moscow Conservatory with Shostakovich, Alexandrov and other Russian composers. His compositions include musicals, orchestral pieces, music for children, songs. Ryszard’s son, Edward (b. 3 June 1956) is also a composer, highly regarded for his individual style and a range of achievements.
The commemorations were quiet and not well attended by the public. The participants, included, besides the survivors, also the representatives of the highest offices of the state government, of the city council, members of Jewish communities, and veteran unions.
Blumental Festival In Israel
The Felicja Blumental International Music Festival 2000 will be held on 15-20 May, 2000 at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Felicja Blumental Music Center and Library, Tel Aviv – Israel. The Festival offers over 20 events between the 15th and 20th May at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Felicja Blumental Music Center and Library in Tel Aviv (for more details, click here for complete Program) . The events range from the purely musical to the multi-disciplinary in which dramatic presentations combine with musical performance.Among the highlights of the Festival will be the recital given by Swiss soprano Edith Mathis, who will be partnered by pianist Anthony Spiri, and the appearance of Freddy Kempf, British prizewinner at the 1998 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, as recitalist and also soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Uriel Segal.The St. Lawrence String Quartet will feature in a program of Romantic Russian Music with Evgenia Dodina and Israel Demidov of the Gesher Theater will explore the writings of Pushkin. The St. Lawrence String Quartet will also give performances of works by Schumann and Brahms, partnered by Israeli clarinetist Evgeny Yehudin and British pianist Robert Markham. Other highly anticipated artists include Milva, who will sing Brecht, accompanied by piano, guitar and accordion, and the prize-winning Zurich Piano Trio, performing works by Mendelssohn, Brahms and Haydn.
As befits a Festival named in honor of a great woman pianist, it is appropriate that some events focus on the achievements of women artists such as Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Alma Mahler and George Sand.
Young Israeli talent is given a platform in such events as the Piano Marathon, the Platform for the Artists of Tomorrow, and a recital given by Shai Wosner, prizewinner at the 1999 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. Pianist Orit Wolf will be featured in both the Women Composers and Writers program and the Marathon of Madness & Music, while pianist Yossi Reshef will be perform in Chamber Music in the Galleries. As well, Master classes will be conducted by Edith Mathis , and will be followed by a concert of the participants.
The Festival will include many other interesting events, details of which may be found by clicking on Program. You may find more resources on the Felicja Blumental International Music Festival 2000 at: www.blumental-festival.org.
Blumental On CD
If you would like to hear samples of Felicja Blumental’s recordings, log onto www.blumental-festival.org. There are 10 CDs. The second CD is the recording she made with her daughter, Annette Celine, singing songs by Chopin, Moniuszko, Paderewski, Niewiadomski and Szymanowski. A list of all the songs is included. The sixth CD is a recording of the Chopin Waltzes. Two CDs are of music by Portugese composers.
Correction: More Tansman Recordings
Dr. Stan Szpakowicz, Professor in the School of Information Technology and Engineering, of the University of Ottawa, Canada, informs us about a number of omissions in our catalog of Tansman’s recordings. In addition to what our site lists (6 CDs), there are recordings of:
- the complete set of Tansman’s Mazurkas by Diane Andersen (Belgian company, Talent),
- a reissue by Olympia, including, among other works, Suite-Divertissement for Piano Quartet,
- a new issue by Koch, with four orchestral compositions: Sinfonietta 1 & 2, Divertimento, Sinfonia picola.
Correction: Poldowski’s Songs
Mr. Jan Kawecki of “Galeria na Prowincji” in Lublin, Poland, wrote to correct a mistake we have made in the April issue of the PMRC Newsletter to state that the concert of Irena Wieniawska’s songs (she was known as Mr. Poldowski) that took place in the Polish Institute in Paris, was performed by singer Catherine Dagois, contralto, and not by Teresa Zylis-Gara as we have erroneously reported. More information about this concert may be found in Polish on the web page of the Gallery (www.galeria.pl) and more information about the Paris concert of Catherine Dagois at: http://www.galeria.pl/dagois-teufel-paris.htm. Finally, the Zylis-Gara page maintained by the Gallery has the following address: http://www.galeria.pl/zylis-gara.html. We thank for this correction and apologize for the mistake.
Swedish Organist Wins In Poznan
Lars Palo, 25-year-old church organist from Norrfjaerden, Sweden won the first prize in the II International Felix Nowowiejski Organ Competition held in Poznan, in which sixteen musicians from as far away as Korea participated. Second prize was a tie between Pavel Kohout (Czech) and Ireneusz Wyrwa of Poland.The opening concert of this event featured the works of two Polish composers: Nowowiejski’s Second Symphony for organ and Krzysztof Meyer’s “Symphony in D major, Op. 41. The New Age Orchestra was under the direction of Darek Tabisz.
8th Competition Of Choral Conductors
Tomasz Dzięcioł, a student at the Poznan Academy of Music won the Eight National Competition of Choral Conductors in Poznań (22-25 March 2000). The second prize went to a fellow student from Poznań, Maciej Kubacki, the third prize was awarded to Magdalena Szcześniewska from Bydgoszcz. Honorable mentions were given to Ewelina Kondratowicz from Łódź and Barbara Szarejko of Wrocław.The competition, initiated by Stanisław Kulczyński is the only Polish competition of this kind. This year the participants included 15 students and graduates of Polish academies of music, all very well prepared for their profession. [Ruch Muzyczny, 16 April]
Cantores Minores: 3rd Place In Moscow
Cantores Minores, the Boychoir of St. John the Baptist Basilica Cathedral, under the direction of Joseph Herter, took third place (ex aequo) in the VI International Choral Festival Moscow Sounds which was held in Moscow from March 29 – April 2. Fifty-eight youth choirs, most of which were from the former Soviet Union, took part in the competition. In addition to 15 minutes of music, which each choir could choose for themselves, every choir had to sing one piece from the Russian Orthodox Liturgy in old Church Slavonic.
While in Moscow, the choir became the first foreign choir to sing for Mass, which was followed by a concert, in the newly reopened Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Before Mass, the choir was welcomed by the Archbishop of Moscow the Most Reverend Tadeusz Kondrusziewicz. During their nearly one-week stay, the choir was also received at the Polish Embassy by Ambassador Andrzej Załucki.
Chopin – Coloring Contest
The Polish Museum of America in Chicago ended its International Chopin Year Celebration with an art competition for children “Malujemy muzyke Chopina” (Painting the music of Chopin). Winner: 16-year old Caroline Brodowicz. Initiated by artist/teacher Anna Hoga, the event concluded with a recital of music by Chopin performed by students of a Chopin Interpretation Course given by pianists Janusz Olejniczak and Paweł Checinski. [Nowy Dziennik 7 April 2000]
Composers’ Competition – Łódź 2000
The Łódź Academy of Music and the House of Culture have announced the Second Competition addressed to young composers, students and graduates of academies of music who will be under 30 years old on May 15, 2000. The competition is for a string quartet, not longer than 15 minutes and written for a potential performance at the music high-school level. The selected pieces will be performed during the 6th Days of Chamber Music in October 2000. There are also cash prizes. The deadline is 15 May 2000. All inuquiries should be addressed to: Katedra Kompozycji Akademii Muzycznej im. Grażyny i Kiejstuta Bacewiczów, ul. Gdanska 32, 90-716, ŁÓDŹ.
Changes In Wieniawski Competitions
The next Wieniawski Violin Competition will be held 13- 29 October 2001, the next Wieniawski Violin-Makers Competition will be held 16-22 September 2000. The Poznan Wieniawski Society announced recently changes in the planning of both competitions, put forward by the new President of the Jury, Shlomo Mintz. Three Polish Jurors will participate (Wanda Wiłkomirska, Jadwiga Kaliszewska and Konstanty A. Kulka) along with 10 foreign jury members, who will be named later. There will be a new set of rules safeguarding fair judging that would promote musicians of the greatest talent and musicality, rather than academic correctness. In addition, the competition will be reduced to three stages, all open to the public. In the finale, the participants will be required to perform one of Wieniawski’s Polonaises with the orchestra, as well as a violin concerto by Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, or Wieniawski.Violinists interested in participating should contact the Wieniawski Society by mail or online, to find out about the competition requirements and the program for the first stage of this competition.
Slavic Music Online
There is a new “clearing house” for links about Slavic music: Slavic Music Online from Slavophilia (http://www.slavophilia.net/music.htm). If you know any GOOD sites that have info about Slavic and East European music, you are encouraged to inform the editor on this site.
University Site in the U.K.
This site, based in the UK and currently provide the UK’s fastest growing online academic resource companion for higher education, for students and academic staff. The site has established mutual links with some of the highest quality content www academic resource sites as it is their goal to provide the highest quality academic content for the users.
Acoustic Newsletter No. 3
The Polish Society of Acoustic Hygiene [Towarzystwo Higieny Akustycznej] invites readers to the third issue of the Acoustic Newsletter (published in Polish – Biuletyn Akustyczny). The topics include the idea of an open office, and the acoustics of listening room in home listening environment. You may find the Newsletter at hameha.pl/biuletyn. Contact the editors at: email@example.com.
New Site For Artists In Germany
The kuenstlernetz.de is global net for artists in Germany. The site’s name means “artist’s net” in German; it includes links for performing arts, music, visual arts and design. You may visit them, or submit your links at www.kuensternetz.de.
The Repertoire International de la Presse Musicale will soon be available online at www.nisc.com. The repertoire publishes detailed bibliographical listings of 19th-century music periodicals. There are ten new titles per year, the past 106 volumes are available either individually, or as a total content on CD-ROM (with 350,000 records). Selected 19th-century journals are also available on microfilm and fiche.
New Publications & Books
Paderewski Chopin Edition From Presser
The original Polish Paderewski edition of Complete Chopin Works in 21 volumes is now available from Theodore Presser. The American publisher is now also printing and distributing the North American editions, of which five of the most-loved volumes are now available: Preludes, Studies, Ballades, Nocturnes & Waltzes with prices ranging from $9.95 to $13.95. See www.presser.com.
Musica Sacra Polonorum
The Publishing House of the Discalced Carmelites in Cracow (Wydawnictwo Karmelitów Bosych – Kraków) has released a series of Polish religious music publications entitled Musica Sacra Polonorum. The series, which began in commemoration of the canonization of Queen St. Hedwig on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of her death, consists so far of works by Stanislaw Moniuszko (1819-72), Mieczyslaw Surzynski (1866-1924) – [also see article Dziubinsi in America] – and Wojciech Kilar (b. 1932).
Kilar is represented by his a cappella choral work Agnus Dei. Two choral works by Moniuszko are also found in the series: Offertorium D dur – Wysluchaj, Boze ludu glos for mixed chorus and organ (Text by A. Felinski) and a Latin motet Ilumina occulos meos for a cappella chorus.
Mieczyslaw Surzynski’s Organ Preludes, Op. 42 (Preludia organowe op. 42) is a collection 59 compositions which have been organized into a five-volume edition and published under the title of Rok w Piesni Koscielnej (The Year in Sacred Hymns). With the exception of the chorale prelude on the Passiontide chant Vexilla regis, all the other chorale preludes are based on Polish hymns. The volumes have been thematically organized according to the liturgical year: Volume 1 – Advent – consists of 11 preludes; Volume 2 – Christmas – consists of 13 works, 12 of which are based on Polish carols and one free work entitled Pastorale; Volume 3 – Lent – is made up of 13 pieces based on Lenten hymns; Volume 4 – Easter, Pentecost, Holy Trinity, Corpus Christi – consists of preludes based on hymns for these holydays; Volume 5 – Marian Hymns – consists of eight works based on hymns to the Blessed Virgin Mary. An introduction with information on Surzynski’s life, written by Fr. Tadeusz Przybylksi SDB, is given in Polish at the beginning of each volume.
These publications have been handsomely produced and are extremely reasonable in price and will certainly enrich the musical life of Polish parishes in the American Polonia. For further information contact: Wydawnictwo Karmelitów Bosych, ul. Z Glogera 5, 31-222 Cracow, Poland; telephone (48-22) 415-2245, 415-4619; fax (48-22) 415-2988.
Second RIPM Volume on Polish 19th C. Periodicals
RÉPERTOIRE INTERNATIONAL DE LA PRESSE MUSICALE, published published under the auspices of the International Musicological Society, and the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centers, (edited by Dr. H. Robert Cohen) recently issued the second volume on Polish music periodicals from the 19th-century. The volume is edited by Dr. Barbara Zakrzewska-Nikiporczyk (currently at PMRC) and includes indixes and bibliographies for the following music publications: Tygodnik Muzyczny [Musical Weekly], Warsaw 1820-1821; Pamiętnik Muzyczny Warszawski [Musical Memorial of Warsaw], Warsaw, 1835-36; Gazeta Muzyczna i Teatralna [Musical and Theatrical Gazette], Warsaw, 1865-66.
In her introduction, Dr. Zakrzewska writes: “Tygodnik Muzyczny, the first Polish music journal, appeared during a period of great development in Polish musical life. The journal’s editor, its publisher and principal contributor was Karol Kurpiński, the director of the Warsaw opera, and a composer highly regarded by contemporaries. […] Producing 109 pages in six numbers, Pamiętnik Muzyczny Warszawski appeared during the years of Polish social, economic, and cultural renewal. The journal’s editor was Count Józef Cichocki, an amateur musician, and the leading organizer of musical life in Wrasaw in the 1830s and 1840s. Of particular interest ins a series of articles on Warsaw’s musical life and notices treating musical activities in other Polish cities.”
Dr. Zakrzewska’s description of the indexed periodicals continues: “In twenty issues, the weekly Gazeta Muzyczna i Teatralna published a column on musical activities in Warsaw, news from abroad, notices on the repertory in Warsaw’s theatres, anecdotes concerning musicians, informative letters from Prague, Lvov, and Milan, reviews of Polish and foreign books as well as musical analyses. […] The journal’s editor Tomasz Le Brun, a well-known author, wrote on Waraw’s musical and theatrical life.” Contributorsincluded violinist and composer Kazimerz Łada, music teacher August Jeske, composer Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński and others. For more information you may visit the RIPM page: www.nisc.com/RIPM.
Roxanna’s Panufnik’s Opera In Warsaw
The premiere of Roxanna Panufnik’s opera took place in April at the National Opera in Warsaw. The opera, scored for chamber ensemble, was entitled The Music Programme” and performed on a smaller stage of the Theatre; Krzysztof Warlikowski directed the stage action. While it is laudable that the work of this young composer was performed, the reviewers were rather critical of the music (described as a “merry-go-round of stylistic cliches”) and the subject matter of this composition. Roman Pawłowski dedicated his column in Gazeta Wyborcza (17 April 2000) to the subject of “Belzebub w operze” [The devil in the opera], comparing Panufnik’s libretto (by Paul Macou) with a well-known play by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Sonata Belzebuba. Both works, according to Pawłowski, “present an ironic portrayal of artists living in separation from reality, and sacrificing everything for art.” The critic then describes Panufnik’s opera as “the first work in the history of theatre, not only musical theatre, devoted to the problems of financing culture” and encourages other artists to transform their struggles with beaurocrats into the subject of artworks, expressing a misgiving that there will not be enough beaurocrats to fill the audience for repeated performances of such masterpieces. It will be interesting to compare these voices with the British reviewers of the opera after its first performance in Covent Garden.
Chopin In Lithuania
The local Chopin Society in Vilnius, Lithuania, presented a gala program in which the piano, cello, vocal and ballet music by Chopin was performed by Lithuanian artists. The master of ceremonies for the event was musicologist Viktoras Gerulaitis.
Penderecki In Warsaw
In Poland: Anne-Sophie Mutter gave a concert of Penderecki’s music in Warsaw and performed the violin part of his SEcond Violin Concerto. The performance was conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki himself and the performers were the Penderecki Festival Orchestra.
Four Polish Operas In Warsaw
Four operas were presented at the National Opera in Teatr Wielki in April:
- April 7. World premiere of Roxanna Panufnik’s opera in one act, “The Music Programme” with libretto by Paul Micou, conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk. Three performances. Moniuszko Hall (The opera is mentioned above).
- Marta Ptaszynska’s sold out children’s opera, “Pan Marimba” (Mr. Marimba). Soloists, Alla Polacca Choir, students of Ballet School. S. A. Wroblewski, cond. (16 April).
- Poland’s first opera, “Krakowiacy i Gorale” by J. Stefani. 18 April. B. Hoffman, director.
- Zbigniew Rudzinski’s contemporary opera, “Manekiny” (Mannequins). B. Hoffman, director.
Vi Lutoslawski Forum In Warsaw
The music of Lutoslawski, Panufnik, Berg, Britten, Frank Martin, Shostakovich, Schnittke and Charles Ives was featured during the three concerts held during the VI Lutoslawski Forum in Warsaw. The Forum takes place yearly at the Lutoslawski Concert Hall of the Polish Radio on Woronicza St., in Warsaw. For more information contact the Contemporary Music Department of the Polish Radio, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edith Eisler (Strings May/June 2000 issue) reported on the first of three programs given by violinist Sylvia Rosenberg devoted primarily to 20th c. literature at Weill Recital Hall. The violinist played “Szymanowski’s shimmering ‘Fontaine d’Arethuse’ as encore.”
Ms. Eisler also reviewed Anne-Sophie Mutter’s “eight sold- out, highly acclaimed concerts during two weeks in January” and reported on “the special affinity for the music of Lutosławski” that Ms. Mutter has. The violinist credits the Polish composer with initiating her into contemporary music.
Paderewski And Chopin In Washington
Polish Constitution Day (3 May) celebration was held on 30 April at the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C. Jeffrey Chappell, piano; Jerome Barry, baritone; Cecilia Barczyk, cello; Reynaldo Reyes, piano, Emanuel Borowsky, violin and Elizabeth Borowsky, piano. Music for cello and piano by Chopin and Paderewski was performed on an original piano used by the great maestro.
Penderecki And Gorecki In The Mid-West
The Chicago Symphony under the baton of Duain Wolf, performed Penderecki’s “Seven Gates of Jerusalem” on 16-18 March.The Dale Warland Singers of Minnesota presented Gorecki’s “Amen” in concert on 1 April.
Szymanowski In L.A.
Daniel Cariaga reviewed the recent Los Angeles Philharmonic program in the Los Angeles Times: “Conductor Mehta’s thrilling program grips heart, mind….The first half of the program paired Wagner’s exuberant “Rienzi” Overture, scrappily and spiritedly played, with the exotic sophistication of Szymanowski’s 1916 Violin Concerto. The soloist, Philahrmonic concertmaster Alexander Treger, applied imperturbable virtuosity and a singing tone to the fiendish demands of this showpiece. Assisted wholeheartedly by Mehta and the orchestra, Treger triumphed effortlessly over Szymanowski’s neo-Orietnal – the word may be politically incorrect, yet it is also perfectly descriptive – canvas.”
Penderecki Quartet In L.A.
Josef Woodard presented a very favorable review in the Los Angeles Times (29 March) of the Penderecki Quartet performance in the first of two concerts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, wherein the music of two Polish composers was included: Gorecki’s First String Quartet, “Already it is dusk,” written for the Kronos Quartet in 1988 and Penderecki’s own First Quartet from 1960.
Lortie Plays Chopin
Canadian maverick pianist Louis Lortie presented an All-Chopin recital on Friday, 7 April in the Sherwood Auditorium in La Jolla. The artist is scheduled to play Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on 1 August, 2000.
Chopin At LACMA
Alan Gampel presented music by Chopin, Debussy and Stravinsky at the Sundays Live broadcast over KUSC at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art at 6 p.m. 30 April.
Polish Jazz At LACMA
Bassist Darek (Oles) Oleszkiewicz joined pianist Febian Reza pane and Nasami Nakagawa, graduate of the Tokyo University of Fine Arts & Music, in a flute concert “Classical & Jazz” held at the Los Angeles county Museum of Art 29 April.
More Chopin In California
Chopin was heard in Santa Barbara with Vassily Primakov performing the Piano Sonata in C minor (9 Apr), while Wu Han performed the G-minor Ballade and the Andante Spianato in La Jolla.
Calendar Of Events
May 15-20: The Felicja Blumenthal Int’l Music Festival 2000 in memory of the late Polish-Brazilian pianist. Tel-Aviv.
Blumenthal Festival, continued. Marathon of Madness & Music. Na’ama Shapira, actress; Orit Wolf, piano. Chopin, Schubert, Schumann & Levin.
Freddy Kempf, piano. Music by Liszt, Prokofiev & Chopin (Sonata no. 3).
May 19: “Mostly Chopin” recital. Mario Feninger, piano. John Raitt Theatre 6425 Hollywood Blvd. 3rd floor. 7:30 p.m. $20. Reservations: 323-871-8082. Procceds: Scholarships for the John Raitt Music Theatre Workshop held at USC this summer. (College credit).
May 21: All-Polish Program. Penderecki String Quartet, Heather Toews, piano. Music by Penderecki, Szymanowski and Zarebski. Kosciuszko Foundation Chamber Music Series. 3:00 p.m. New York. WQXR Radio broadcast, Sat. May 27 @ 9:00 p.m. Ticket info: www.kosciuszkofoundation.org.
by Wanda Wilk
My review of recent guides to classical music proved to be an eye-opener and a shocker!
“The National Public Radio Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection. The 330 Essential Works” listed only one Polish composer: Chopin.
The “Classic FM guide to Classical” (described as the guide to excellence in recorded classical music) listed five Polish composers: Chopin, Gorecki, Lutoslawski, Moszkowski, and (sic!) Szymanowsky.
“The Rough Guide to Classical Music. An A-Z of Composers, Key Works and Top Recordings” listed six names: Bacewicz, Chopin, Gorecki, Lutoslawski, Penderecki and Szymanowski.
“The Penguin Guide,” which the Sunday Telegraph called “the bible for the discriminating record collector” and which stated that it was “the largest and most comprehensive guide of classical music on CD ever published” listed nine Polish composers: Baird, Chopin, Gorecki, Lutoslawski, Paderewski, Panufnik, Penderecki, Szymanowski and Wieniawski.
I couldn’t believe my eyes! The first book, published in the U.S. is the “bible” for music lovers and it listed only one, I repeat, one Polish composer. The next three publications from England listed from five to nine Polish composers. The first three books made no mention of Wieniawski at all and I thought that his music was a standard repertoire for any student of the violin. Two of the British guides made no mention of Panufnik, (as either a Polish or a British composer). He was so eminent that he was even knighted by the Queen of England, which is a great honor!
There was no mention of any of the composers of Poland’s Baroque or Renaissance: Zielenski, Szarzynski, Pekiel, Leopolita, Gorczycki. There was no mention of Poland’s “Schubert” and father of Polish opera, Moniuszko, no trace of Oginski about whom we constantly receive inquiries. The names of Kotonski or Serocki were missing: and these composers belonged with the founders of the Warsaw Autumn International Contemporary Music Festival. Finally, there was no mention of the many women composers, especially Bruzdowicz or Ptaszynska. Of more than a hundred composers listed in the various Polish encyclopedias, and even in the New Grove Dictionary of Music And Musicians published in London (the standard international reference work on composers), these “guides to building a record collection” saw fit to list less than can be counted on one’s fingers. Unbelievable, but true.
I finally turned to one more book. I reviewed “The Schwann Catalog” slowly page by page and found fifty-four Polish composers listed. This catalog is described as “The Classical Musical Resource” and its 1,108 pages are supposed to contain all the CDs or tapes that are available now for purchase. However, I was saddened to see that there was no Bruzdowicz, Ptaszynska or Zarebski, even though they had been in the catalog not too long ago; moreover the Bacewicz listing had been shortened. Surely these records had not been sold out! And what about all the new recordings from Polish companies: DUX, Accord, Selene?
If any of you have any thoughts on the paucity of the Polish presence in the guides to classical music, I would appreciate hearing from you at email@example.com.
Born This Month
- 2 May 1846: Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI (Died 23 July 1909), composer.
- 2 May 1913: Florian DĄBROWSKI, composer and teacher.
- 5 May 1819: Stanisław MONIUSZKO (Died 4 June 1872).
- 5 May 1909: Grażyna BACEWICZ (d. 17 January 1969), composer, violinist, and pianist.
- 12 May 1805: Jan Nepomucen BOBROWICZ (died 2 November 1881), guitarist and composer.
- 17 May 1943: Joanna BRUZDOWICZ, composer living in Belgium.
- 18 May 1905: Włodzimierz ORMICKI, composer, conductor, music theoretician.
- 20 May 1903: Jerzy FITELBERG (died 25 April 1951), composer, son of the famous conductor.
- 28 May 1836: Jan KARŁOWICZ (died 14 June 1903), father of composer Mieczysław.
- 29 May 1903: Marian NEUTEICH (d. 1943, Warsaw), composer and cellist.
- 31 May 1932: Bogusław MADEY, conductor and composer.
- 31 May 1913: Irena GARZTECKA (died 14 November 1963), composer and pianist.
Died This Month
- 1 May 1948: Marcel POPŁAWSKI (b. 1882), composer and teacher, studied law and engineering before turning to composition.
- 4 May 1896: Józef SIKORSKI (b. 1813), composer and music theorist.
- 6 May 1892: Nikodem BIERNACKI (b. 1826), violinist and composer.
- 10 May 1964: Hanna SKALSKA-SZEMIOTH (b. 29 April 1921), composer, student of Sikorski.
- 13 May 1958: Eugeniusz MOSSAKOWSKI (b. 1885), opera singer (baritone).
- 21 May 1848: Felix JANIEWICZ (b. 1762), violinist, conductor, and composer.
- 23 May 1957: Alicja SIMON (b.1879), musicologist.
- 25 May 1917: Edward RESZKE (b. 1853), opera singer (bass), brother of Jan.
Walter Dana Danilowski
Walter Dana (Wladyslaw Dan Danilowski), born in 1902, died in Miami Bach, Florida on 4 March, 2000. The Polish-born composer came to the U.S. in 1940. He was an important figure in Polish-American culture as founder and coach of the popular vocal quintet “Chor Dana” (Dana Choir), which made records, films, radio and public concerts all over Europe, including two concerts tours in the U.S. between 1936 and 1938. (Wanda Wilk remembers studying her college courses to the music of the Dana Choir and Mieczyslaw Fogg in the background, which was the staple of the local Polish Radio programs.
“Dana composed many scores and songs for films in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Italy and was director of the light music department of Polish Radio Network.” The Polish American Journal (April 2000) continues, “Dana formed Dana Records which became the top Polish-Polka recording label in the industry. In a 1952 Billboard Magazine poll, Dana Recrods was ranked behind Victor and Columbia and ahead of Decca, Capitol, Mercury and all others. In 1971 Dana was elected to the International Polka Association’s Polka Music Hall of Fame.”
He “relocated to Florida where he continued composing for the Miami Beach symphony. In l969 he wrote a symphonic suite, `Florida Sketches’ which was performed in 1970; `The Wailing Wall’ played on piano with orchestra in 1971; `Jazz Symphony,’ and `Ora Pro Nobis.’ `Longing for you,’ written by Dana, was recorded by Sammy Kaye and Vic Damone.
In Warsaw, students and faculty mourned the sudden death (of stroke) of Krzysztof Górski, who died on 29 March at the age of 53. The funeral took place on 4 April 2000 at the Old Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw. Mr. Górski worked at the Library of the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. Mr. Włodzimierz Pigła (director of the Music Collection at the National Library in Warsaw) eulogized him in the following words: “Thus, from our midst was taken one more quiet and hard-working colleague; a person completely devoted to his work at the collections of the Academy of Music whose sudden death has greatly saddened all of Polish musicians who had known him.” Mr. Górski is also remembered at the PMRC, as he had recently contributed to our newsletter and we were hoping to continue this collaboration.