December 2001

Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 7, no. 12

News Flash

Fifth Paderewski Competition Winners

The Fifth International Paderewski Piano Competition took place between 6 and 17 November 2001 at the Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz. The winners of the competition are:

  • I PRIZE – Stepan Kos of Czech Republic ($10,000),
  • II Prize – Aleksey Komarov of Russia ($6,000),
  • III – Barbora Sejakova of Czech Republic ($5,000),
  • IV Prize – Slawomir Wilk of Poland ($4,000),
  • VI Prize ex aequo – Viacheslav Zubkov of Ukraine and Vsevolod Vartanov of Russia (both $2,000).

The jury did not award the fifth prize. Slawomir Wilk also received a $2,000 prize for the best performance of Paderewski work in the second stage or finale of the competition (for Sonata in E-flat minor op. 21). An award for the best performance of the concerto with orchestra went to Štepan Kos ($2,000). In addition the jury awarded three honorary mentions, $1,000 each, to Polish participants: Natalia Sawoscianik, Marek Kamola and Maciej Ganski. In addition, the special awards included a digital piano Yamaha for Slawomir Wilk, the best Polish participant (from the Regina Smendzianka Foundation). Wilk’s special awards included also a broadcast of his recital by Radio Gdansk, and a recital offer from the Paderewski Society in Warsaw. Štepán Kos was invited to perform with the Pomeranian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra on 19 April 2002 (for the City Celebration) and a prize from the Polish Radio Pik – a recording’of his recital. The Bydgoszcz Chapter of the Rotary Club funded two recitals in Germany for Natalia Sawoscianik (the best participant from Bydgoszcz). Ms. Zofia Pietrzak funded an award of $1,000 Polish zloty for the best participant from the region Pomerania-Kuiavia (also received by Natalia Sawoscianik).

The first competition took place in 1961; Henryk Sztompka, one of Paderewski’s students, was the president of the jury and Jerzy Maksymiuk received the first prize. The second competition was held in 1986, and Jerzy Sulikowski was the president of the jury. Wojciech Kocyan was the winner of the first prize. In 1994, during the third competition, there was no first prize awarded. The fourth competition in 1998 ended with the first prize being awarded to Tomomi Okumura from Japan.

For more information about the competition, its program and winners contact the Competition Office:

Krystyna Koperska,
Towarzystwo Muzyczne im. I. J. Paderewskiego,
85-018 Bydgoszcz, ul. Piotra Skargi 7, Poland,
tel.(+48) (52) 327 02 91, 322 59 15,


100 Years Of Silesian Opera In Bytom

A premiere of Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhauser directed by Laco Adamik will be the highlight of this year’s celebrations of the centennial of the Silesian Opera (on 1 December 2001). The oldest music theater in Upper Silesia was created in 1901 thanks to the initiative of a bank director and music lover – Franz Landsberger. Until 1944 the Opera was German, afterwards – Polish. The director of the Silesian Opera Tomasz Serafin stated that the choice of Wagner and the decision to stage his work in Polish served to highlight close links between Poland and Germany in this territory. Since 1979 the Silesian Opera organizes the Adam Didur National Competition of Opera, initiated by the eminent Polish bass, Adam Didur.Other events of the centennial celebration include an exhibit in the Upper Silesia Museum in Bytom, a scholarly symposium dedicated to the German-Polish music culture in Silesia, an open house at the Opera and a concert of Polish music performed by the Youth Symphony Orchestra from the Music High School in Bytom.

Festival “Musica Nova” In Bytom

The Festival of New Music held in November 2001 in Bytom, presented a variety of compositions by contemporary Polish composers. The first concert, by the String Quartet “Akademos” took place in the Upper Silesia Museum and presented quartets by Aleksander Lasoń, Eugeniusz Knapik, Stefan Kisielewski, and Krzysztof Penderecki. The final event of the festival took place on 10 November 2001, celebrating the 50th birthday of Aleksander Lasoń. His anniversary was the main reason for the festival. Other composers featured on the program included: Szabelski, Cage, Schostakovich, Schnittke, the composers of the Stalowa Wola Generation (Knapik, Lasoń, Krzanowski), and premieres of works by youngest composers: Ejsmont, Boniek and St. Lasoń.

Żylis-Gara In Łódź

Teresa Żylis-Gara will give two concerts in Łódz, Poland in December 2001. The concerts are organized as a benefit for one of the oldest historical monuments in the city – the Jesuit Church (formerly Lutheran Church) which needs to be renovated. The world-famous soprano will donate her honorarium and the whole income from the concert to the cause of the Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (built in 1880-1884 as the Lutheran Church, taken over by the Jesuits after WWII), that so far received a new roof and one tower. Ms. Zylis-Gara’s involvement in this project results from letters with requests for support sent to all prominent citizens of Lodz who have emigrated and now live outside of Poland. During the first concert, on 8 December, Ms. Zylis-Gara will perform solo, on 18 December she will be joined by Wiesław Ochman.

Dance Theaters In Lublin

In November 2001, Lublin became the world capital of modern dance: during the Fifth International Encounters of Dance Theaters held there the audiences could attend performances of groups from Canada, the U.S., Russia, Byelarus, Austria, the Netherlands, Israel, and Poland. The organizers invited ensembles presenting different styles and dance techniques. In addition to public performances the event includes National Modern Dance Workshop, with classes in modern dance techniques and choreography offered by the distinguished guests. Finally, an international scholarly symposium on “Modern Dance” was dedicated to the reception of a variety of dance styles in Poland and abroad. The Dance Encounters took place between 15 and 18 November.

Paderewski, Strakacz, And PWM

The District Court in Cracow ordered the music publisher, PWM to withdraw from the market a book by Simone Giron, “Tajemnica testamentu Paderewskiego” published in Polish recently (Swiss original appeared in 1948). The court decided that the book offended the memory of Paderewski’s personal secretary, Sylwin Strakacz, and his daughter Ms. Anna Strakacz-Appleton, and that the Strakacz family is owed both an apology and monetary damages. Jerzy Jasienski who wrote a preface to the Polish edition and PWM were ordered to publish the apology in the following newspapers in Poland: “Gazeta Wyborcza”, “Rzeczpospolita”, “Ruch Muzyczny” and “Przekroj. Anna Strakacz-Appleton claimed that Simone Giron de Pourtales falsely accused her father of crimes and illegal actions towards Mr. Paderewski, by isolating the aging composer and making it impossible for him to maintaint contact with the outside world. Ms. Strakacz was also falsely accused of conspiring to poison Paderewski and to take over his inheritance. The District Court decided that PWM and Jerzy Jasienski should prove that these accusations were true before they are allowed to distribute a book with such statements.

The National Radio Orchestra (Wospr) In Belgium

In November 2001 the National Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio in Katowice performed three concerts in Belgium (Antwerp, Brussels) during the festival Europalia 2001. The programs included numerous Polish compositions by Stanisław Moniuszko, Fryderyk Chopin, Władysław Żeleński, Zygmunt Noskowski, Karol Szymanowski and Henryk Mikolaj Górecki. The soloists included: pianist Andrzej Ratusinski, soprano – Elzbieta Szmytka (sopran), alto – Ewa Marciniec, and baritone – Wojciech Drabowicz. All the concerts were be directed by Antoni Wit and the orchestra performed with the Choir of the Polish Radio in Kraków.

The Orchestra has travelled over 130 times on such tours; it also recorded over 140 CDs and 50 LPs. 40 World premieres and numerous invitations to international festivals attest to the quality of this orchestra that has collaborated with some of the most famous musicians of the world, including: Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, Mstislav Rostropovich, Placido Domingo, and Martha Argerich.

12th Organ Music Festival in Kielce

The concerts of the 12th International Festival of Organ Music in Kielce, Poland took place in November 2001. The first concert, performed by Schola Gregoriana, conducted by Zbigniew Rogala, presented Western plainchant. Piotr Grajter gave a recital of chant-based organ music from France and Belgium. The final concert presented contemporary music, including works by Olivier Messiaen, performed by Swedish organist, Erik Bostrom.

Memory And Hope Concert For WTC Victims

A special concert, entitled “Memory and Hope” celebrated the victims of the World Trade Center terrorist attack. The most distinguished Polish actors and popular singers took place in this event, with Gustaw Holoubek, Andrzej Seweryn, Krzysztof Kolberger, and Czeslaw Niemen. The program included fragments of Dies irae, Lacrimosa from Mozart’s Requiem, as well as Bruckner’s Ave Maria, two parts of Brahms’s Ein Deutsches REquiem, and Libera me from a Requiem by Faure. The event closed with De Profundisfrom the Seven Gates of Jerusalem by Krzysztof Penderecki. The event included also performances of rock music: an occasional song by rock group Varius Manx, solists of the National Opera and the Orchestra of the Polish Radio of Łódź, and Bema Pamięci Rapsod Żałobny by Czesław Niemen. Other performers of the outdoor event included Tomasz Stanko and the orchestra “Ansamble Kolokola Rossiji” from Russia.

Changes To Orthodox Music Festival In Hajnówka

The Eastern Orthodox Church pressed for changes in the program of the International Festival of Orthodox Music in Hajnówka, Poland. The Festival, recently celebrating its 20th anniversary, and registered as an event of the top rank internationally (the “Zero group”) by the UNESCO, was previously directed by Mikołaj Buszko, whose actions were not approved by the Church’s hierarchy. The Festival’s funding came from local resources, now re-directed towards the new event – which is going to maintain a stronger distinction between liturgical and non-liturgical music and a greater faithfulness to the Orthodox tradition.

American Slavic Association – 2001 Conference

The American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies held its annual meeting in Arlington, Virginia on November 15-18, 2001. The meeting included special sessions on the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, led by Prof. Piotr Wandycz, President of the Institute and Dr. Thaddeus Gromada, its executive director. The Institute, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, is the most respected Polonian organization in the U.S. Dedicated to research, and to bringing together scholars of Polish descent, the Institute publishes a quarterly academic journal The Polish Review, presents conferences and special events, and hosts a site dedicated to archival research centers (including PIASA’s own), focused on Polish culture.

The meeting of the Polish Studies Association also took place during the conference, but due to recent terrorist attacks was not well attended. A number of sessions was cancelled, including an interdisciplinary panel on history and musicology, organized by Prof. Philip Ther of Germany, and including Maja Trochimczyk and Halina Goldberg as the music-representatives, as well as a number of historians. This panel was rescheduled for next year. Another session dedicated to Polish culture took place and was very well attended (considering its early-morning timing): “Socialist or Magic Realism? Artist and State in Post-War Kraków.” The session, chaired by Prof. Patrice M. Dabrowski of Harvard University, included two papers by Laurie S. Koloski, College of William and Mary who spoke about agendas for art and society in the first decade after WWII, and Maja Trochimczyk who discussed the cultural role of the cabaret Piwnica pod Baranami, especially its music, exemplified by the “sung poetry” (poezja śpiewana) by Ewa Demarczyk. Prof. Halina Stephan, University of Florida, was the respondent; she gathered important threads from the discussion about the unique characteristics of Krakow and the city’s special role in post-WWII Poland. Prof. Katarzyna Zechentner, who designed and organized this session was not able to attend. The papers from this session will appear in a special edition of a scholarly journal.

Simultaneously with the culture of Kraków, the attendees of the conference could learn about Polish literature’s links to other arts, during a session presenting two papers on poetry, music and image. Megan L. Dixon of Principia College spoke about Mickiewicz’s poetry in Szymanowska’s salon and Michael D. Johnson spoke about Stanislaw Przybyszewski’s “musical poetry.” It is a pity – and a frequent occurrence at AAASS, that the panels on topics that would be of interest to all the Polish studies scholars, were organized at the same time. There were few Polish-themed panels on the AAASS program (as usual dominated by the Russian and Soviet studies). Other Polish sessions included a panel on Polish-Jewish relations in the light of Jan T. Gross’s Neighbors, and a panel on marketing Polish culture in the U.S., (especially translations and literature that seems to suffer a similar neglect as music).

Chopin Conference In Warsaw

An international conference, Chopin – Towards a Search for a Common Language was organized in early December 2001 by the National F. Chopin Institute in Warsaw, Poland. The goal of the conference, according to the president of the program committee, Prof. Irena Poniatowska, is to examine the significance of Chopin in contemporary culture and the strength of his reception in Poland, both threatened by the pressures of mass culture and international cultural industry. The conference will examine the topics of “nationality and universalism,” his reception, source editions, and applications in pedagogy and general music education.

History And Musicology – Conference In Warsaw

On 10-12 December, the Institute of the Arts, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, will become the site of a special conference dedicated to Professor Michał Bristiger and devoted to the topic of interactions of musicology and history. The conference papers will appear in a Festschrift; the participants include Prof. Bristiger’s former students and colleagues, as well as two guests from the U.S., Prof. Karol Berger (Stanford University) and Maja Trochimczyk (USC). The program includes sessions dedicated to various historical periods and methodologies, with a particular focus on Polish music; the participants include: Zofia Fabiańska (Jagiellonian University), Barbara Przybyszewska-Jarmińska, Paweł Gancarczyk, Elżbieta Witkowska-Zaremba (IS PAN), Maciej Gołąb, Alina Ćórawska-Witkowska, Zofia Helman and Zbigniew Skowron (University of Warsaw).


Second AFI Award For Skubiszewski

Cezary Skubiszewski received the second successive award from the Australian Film Institute for the soundtrack to La Spagnola directed by Steven Jacobs. He won the same award in 2000 for Bootmen directed by Dein Perry.Described as one of Australia’s premier composers for both film and advertising, Skubiszewski was born in Warsaw, Poland, where he received his early music training. He toured Europe with the father of English blues, Alexi Korner, before migrating to Australia in 1974 where he studied Veterinary Science at Melbourne University. Skubiszewski has written for television, film and commercials for the local as well as the European and American markets. He most recently wrote the title music for Artists Services’ AFI Award winning TV series, Eugenia Sandler and the music for four episodes directed by Anna Kokinos.

Other feature film credits include the soundtrack for The Sound of One Hand Clapping(APRA Award for Best Album for 1998), Lilian’s Story starring Ruth Cracknell and Nick Giannapoulous’ Wogboy. For more information visit the Australian Film Institute web site at: AFI.

Szeligowski Piano Competition

Natalia Czekala of Poznań and Łukasz Wilga of Bytom shared the first prize in the 3rd National Piano Competition named after composer Tadeusz Szeligowski and held in November in Poznań. The competition is directed towards high school students of music and over 30 young people participated in it this year. Two ex aequo Third Prizes were awarded to Rafał Kobyliński of Wałbrzych and Mateusz Wizjan of Szczecin. The repertoire focused on contemporary music, including at least one work by Tadeusz Szeligowski.

Sarwas Wins In Hamburg

Jakub Sarwas won the First Prize at the 9th International Composition Competition in Hamburg. The competition, named after Johannes Brahms, is organized by the Hamburg Society of Johannes Brahms. The prize-winning orchestral work, ecru will be premiered by the Hamburg Philharmonic and directed by Ingo Metzmacher. The competition included 15 composers (younger than 30) of 12 countries from Europe, North and South America. The jury included: Ingo Metzmacher, Heinz Josef Herbort, Diether de la Motte, Helmut Oehring, and Peter Ruzicka. Jakub Sarwas is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Katowice; in 1999 he received the First Prize at the Panufnik Competition in Kraków.

Crosses Of Merit For National Philharmonic

In recognition of Poland’s national celebration on 11 November, Andrzej Celinski – Poland’s minister of culture, awarded the crosses of merit to eight employees of the National Philharmonic. The highest awards went to Alicja Kinle-Nowicka, Tadeusz Boniecki, and Wieslaw Wilhelm (Gold Crosses). The President of Poland awarded the Commandore Cross of the Polonia Restituta Medal to Kazimierz Kord, the artistic director of the Philharmonics, and Konstanty Kulka, violin, Piotr Paleczny, piano. The recognition of the musicians’ contribution to Polish culture resulted, in part, from celebrations of the centennial of the National Philharmonic (2001).

Jakub Omsky Recognized By The American Congress

Jakub Omsky, a Polish-born cellist who currently pursues his studies for the Masters degree of Musical Arts at the Thornton School of Music, USC, received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition for outstanding service to the community. Omsky was nominated for the award by a local newspaper in Santa Barbara, where he has been active as a musician and organizer of concerts and charity events. He has served as the “McDonald Ambassador for Musical Arts” and performing in solo recitals and with local orchestras. The Polish Music Center presented Omsky in a program of cello music and Polish poetry, with Omar Sangare, in October 2001.

Internet News

Paderewski In The Polish Music Journal

The 2001 volume of the online musicology journal, Polish Music Journal is dedicated to Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The first issue is already available at the PMC site and includes articles about Paderewski and Polish émigré composers written by Maja Trochimczyk, Linda Schubert, James Wierzbicki, and Anna Granat-Janki, as well as texts by-and-about Paderewski and Stojowski, a pianist and his student. The second issue of the PMJ, now in production, will focus solely on Paderewski and will present articles by Polish experts: Małgorzata Perkowska, Andrzej Piber, Małgorzata Woźna Stankiewicz, and others. In addition numerous documents and speeches by Paderewski and about him will be translated and reprinted.

Jazz Festival Directory 2002

Jazz World Database is the ultimate source of information for musicians, booking agents, promoters, and music industry. No other publication or database provides as many and as comprehensive listings on the subject. Celebrating now its 19th anniversary, Jazz World Database is the largest source of jazz business related information in the World. The new festival edition with resources related to booking performers includes: * Name of the Event * Contact * Address * Phone * Fax * E-mail * Internet URL * Headliners * Audience Capacity * Other Information.

  • Volume 1: Jazz Festival INTERNATIONAL Directory Austria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Caribbean, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and Ukraine. Over 1150 prospects.
  • Volume 2: Jazz Festival USA Directory Over 870 entries. To visit go to the Jazz World Database Web Site

The Paderewski Celebration In Toronto

The recent celebration of the Paderewski anniversary in Toronto was noted in the Polish press. According to Festival’s director, Andrzej Rozbicki, the report may be found at the meloman site.

PolArt – New Catalog

In time for the holidays, POLART in Florida has produced its full color catalog #28 for its US-based customers. The new catalog contains over a hundred new items: new styles of amber jewelry, crystal, pottery, books, Christmas carols on CDs and many, many more. Please be advised that POLART offers reduced prices for Polish language books, single CDs and unsubtitled videos. Visit: Poland by Mail.

A Night In Poland

by Joseph A. Herter

Introduction by Maja Trochimczyk

In August 2001 Polish Music Newsletter published a report about Stojowski Manuscripts at PIASA in which I described the holdings of the Zygmunt Stojowski files in the archives of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences. Among other items, I noted the presence of a large number of handwritten parts for A Polish Pageant that I assumed to be likely authored by Stojowski himself (several of the items from this set had Stojowski’s name on them). I stated that the current identification of this Pageant as being penned by Ernest Schelling, a Paderewski disciple, composer and conductor, was probably wrong, since some of the items included names of other composers, such as Grzegorz Fitelberg whose arrangement of the national anthem was also on the program. I also suggested that some of the Polish song arrangements might be identical with those appearing in Stojowski’sMemories of Poland collection. This hypothesis was partly confirmed by Joseph A. Herter who examined these manuscripts in more detail later in 2001. His identification of the material as well as detailed description is the subject of the following report.

The Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America is located at 208 East 30th Street, New York, NY 10016. Its web site contains information about this and other archival holidings of the institute at: PIASA. The history of the Pageant is also mentioned in books about Marcellina Sembrich, for instance by Małgorzata Komorowska in her unpublished biography of the great Polish singer. Komorowska’s report, published in the Kosciuszko Foundation Newsletter in 1994, suggests that Schelling and Stojowski were co-authors and co-organizers of the Pageant and that it was an important social event for American Polonia.

Herter: Schelling’s Night in Poland

A Night in Poland is a World War I musical pageant that can be found in the archives of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America in New York. It was arranged and produced by Ernest Schelling (1876-1939), a former student of Paderewski (1860-1941). Schelling was a composer, pianist and conductor (founder of the New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts and conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra). The pageant was produced on April 8, 1915, in the ball room of New York’s Biltmore Hotel as a benefit for Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s Polish Victims’ Relief Fund. The stage director was Ryszard Ordyński (1878-1953), who had just arrived to America in January of that year. Ordyński would later become the head stage director at the Metropolitan Opera Company (from 1917-1920). Scenery and costumes were designed by the Benda Family: Mr. Władysław Teodor Benda (1873-1948) and Mmes. Emilia and Jadwiga Benda. The Bendas were related to the famous Shakespearean actress Helena Modjeska (Modrzejewska) (1840-1909), who, with Nobel laureate for literature Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846-1916), formed a short-lived utopian artists’ colony in Anaheim, California, in 1876. The Bendas moved to California to join Modjeska in 1898. Fifteen of W. T. Benda’s paintings may be found today in the Kosciuszko Foundation Art Collection in New York.

The work is scored for soloists, mixed chorus and full orchestra. The leading singing roles for this patriotic musical event included Metropolitan Opera stars soprano Marcella Sembrich (1858-1935) and bass Adam Didur (1874-1946). The violin soloist was Timothée Adamowski (1858-1943), the concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1884-1908 and the founder of that epoch’s well-known Adamowski String Quartet. Minor roles were sung by the Benda sisters and baritone Albert G. Janpolski. The orchestra was an ad hoc ensemble, which included many of the best Polish orchestral musicians living in the New York-Boston area. The chorus, trained by Mr. Janpolski, consisted of members of the Polish Singers Alliance of America (Związek Śpiewaków Polskich w Ameryce). A Polish singing society and fraternal organization that was founded in 1889, the Alliance is still very active throughout North America in the 21st century, having celebrated its 46th convention in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in May 2001.

The pageant consists of three acts. The first is a synopsis of Polish history, consisting of seven tableaus, starting with Mieszko I (c. 960-992), the first Polish king , and going up to General Tadeusz Kościuszko (1746-1817), a hero of the American Revolution. The second is the Tatra Mountain scene and dances. The third is a wedding synopsis, based on a Cracovian folk wedding.

The original orchestral music for this production includes a mazurka as well as arrangements by Schelling on the following Polish hymns and folk songs: Bogurodzica, Boże coś Polskę, Oj chmielu, chmielu, U mej matki rodzony, Z dymem pożarów and another that was simply entitled Lithuanian Melody. By setting Z dymem pożarów, Schelling joins ranks with non-Polish composers Edward Elgar (1857-1934) and Jaromir Wienberger (1896-1967) in making use of the same melody in their compositions, which were dedicated to Paderewski. The former features the melody in his Symphonic Prelude Polonia and the latter uses it as the cantus firmus in his Etude in G Major for Piano. The Schelling folk song arrangements and the original mazurka – both full score and parts – are in the composer’s handwriting.

Just prior to the Hotel Biltmore premiere, the New York newspaper The Tribune carried a feature story written by H. E. Krehbiel entitled A Cracovian Peasant Wedding. It appeared in print on April 4 and also included the cast for the pageant and the music for the Dąbrowski Mazurka, which later became Poland’s national anthem.

This WW I pageant, which not only raised money for Paderewski’s relief effort, but which certainly created support for the Polish cause of independence as well, includes arrangements of Frederic Chopin’s piano works by another Paderewski student, the famous composer, pianist and pedagogue Zygmunt Stojowski (1870-1946): a Mazurka and a Polonaise. The former is based on several mazurkas, including Mazurka in D Major, Op. 33, no. 2 and Mazurka in B-flat Major, Op. 7, no. 1 and the latter is based on Polonaise in F-sharp Minor, Op. 44. Stojowski’s arrangement of the polonaise includes an original four-measure introduction (Chopin has an eight-measure introduction) and only half of the dance has been arranged. The score and parts for these two pieces are in Stojowski’s own hand.

There were also three other orchestral compositions used in the pageant: a heavily cut version of Henryk Opieński’s (1870-1942) arrangement of two Polish mountaineer dances from Paderewski’s Tatra-Album, a fragment of Walter Rabl’s Fantasie on Paderewski’s ‘Manru’ and an arrangement of Chopin’s Polonaise in A Major (Militaire) by Theo Moses-Tobani. For icing on the cake, there are orchestral arrangements of the Polish National Anthem by Polish conductor and composer Gregor Fittleberg (1903-1951) and an orchestration of what seems to be Horatio Parker’s (1863-1919) harmonization of the American National Anthem.

There are further contributions by Stojowski to A Night in Poland. One includes arrangements of Polish folk songs with piano accompaniment, e.g., Albo my-to jacy-tacy, which were later published in the composer’s Memories of Poland (New York: Marks Music Corporation, 1937), and Chansons Polonaise, (Paris: Heugel & Cie., 1927). The other contribution to this patriotic musical endeavor is the spoken prologue that Stojowski wrote for the work under the title of Glimpses of Polish History, which was read by Miss Edith Wynne Matthison. A copy of Stojowski’s prologue as well as Krehbiel’s article A Cracovian Wedding may be found on microfilm in the Humanities Division of the main branch of the New York Public Library. Since A Night in Polandcan be found in the Stojowski files at the PIASA archives, it would be safe to say that Stojowski was most probably the inspirer of this Polish patriotic musical event, while Paderewski and the hope of Polish independence, of course, were the inspiration.

Calendar Of Events

DEC 1: Los Angeles Master Chorale. Grant Gershon, cond. Family Holiday Concert. Lutoslawski’s Polish Carols scheduled.

DEC 1: Pueblo Choral Society. Dr. Mark Hudson, dir. “Jesus Christ is Born” (Polish carol). Pueblo, CO (719) 544-4455.

DEC 1 & 2: Penderecki: “Agnus Dei.” New Amsterdam Singers. Clara Longstreth, cond. NY. (212) 568-5948.

DEC 2. in Europa Club (98-104 Meserole Ave. Greenpoint NY) at 7:30pm Performance by Seth Okrend blues band. Painting Exhibition – Marius Fliski. Admission $10, $5 for students with ID. Inf. 212-931-6839 lub

DEC 2: “Christmas Carols Around the World.” Eleven-year Baltimore tradition. Alma Kozinska, sop., Krystian Kozinski, pop artist, Jozef Surowiec, bar., Andrew Levy, bass-bar., Chancel Choir & Youth Choirs. St. Paul’s Lutheran church. Fulton, MD. 4:00 p.m. Donations welcome.

DEC 2: Chopin Christmas Concert. Winners of the 6th Annual San Francisco Chopin Competition for Young Pianists. California Club 1750 Clay St., San Francisco. $7 & $5 students/seniors. (925) 247-0894.

DEC 2: Lowiczanie Folk Dance Ensemble & Bay area’s children’s ensembles. Event for kids and families. Julia Morgan Theater. 2:00 p.m. Tickets: (925) 798-1300.

DEC 8: Slavic Arts Ensemble. M. Gubernat, dir. All-Polish music for strings. Kosciuszko Foundation. 15 East 65th St. NY 8:00 p.m. $15.

DEC 8. Europa Club (98-104Meserole Ave. Greenpoint NY) at 7:30pm. Performance by The Halley Devestern Band which combines bluesy vocals, rootsy passion and funky beats into an irresistible brew we call Roots-Rock Soul. DeVestern, whom Newsday calls “one part Joan Osborne, another NatalieMerchant, with a whopping dose of Janis Joplin tossed in,” is signed to Indiegrrl Records and plans to release her third album in 2002. Painting Exhibition – Marius Fliski. Admission $10, $5 for students with ID. Inf. 212-931-6839 lub

DEC 9: “In Memoriam Professor Blejwas.” Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. Central Connecticut State University. 4:00 p.m. (860) 612-4371. Free. Prof. Stanislaw Blejwas was one of the most distinguished and active contributors to Polish Studies in the U.S. His recent death of a heart-attack is a great loss for the entire field of Polish studies.

DEC 11: Jan Opalach, bass-baritone. Originally scheduled program for Oct 14. Songs by Paderewski, Szymanowski, Satie and Ives. Kosciuszko Foundation. 8:00 p.m. (212) 734-2130.

Recent Performances

New York: Chopin And Friends

New York Dance & Arts Innovations recently presented the following events of the 3rd International Chopin & Friends Festival:

Sunday, November 18th, 2001 at 2 PM at the Polish & Slavic Center located at 177 Kent Street Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY the Festival presented a Joyful Concert for Children! Performing: Artur Skowron – piano, Maciej Flakowicz – guitar, and Traditional Okinawa Dance Group. Also, Emotionalists and Friends Group Exhibition  Curators – Janusz Skowron and Lubomir Tomaszewski. Admission Free to all. Main sponsor of the event was NHL Hockey Player Mariusz Czerkawski and first 100 children received the player’s signed photograph, also sweets were given out to all children sponsored by Slodycze, Inc.

Sunday, November 18th, 2001 at 7:30 PM at Europa Club in Greenpoint 98-104 Meserole Ave. & Manhattan Ave. the Festival presented Night with Cameroon’s vocalist! Performing: Gino Sitson – an outstanding African vocalist of incredible originality and depth. There was also a special belly dance performance and an opening of Mariusz Fliski painting exhibition.

Saturday, November 24th, 2001 at 8 PM at St. Stanislaw R.C. Church B. & M. at 101 East 7th Street NYC (between1st Ave & Ave. A) the Festival presented Improvisations Autour Chopin! Performing: Famous French organist Francis Vidil simultaneously improvises on organ and trumpet, also Young Talents Group Exhibition, curator: Magdalena Krol.

Sunday, November 25th, 2001 at 7:30 PM at Europa Club in Greenpoint 98-104 Meserole Ave. & Manhattan Ave. Night of Blues! Performing: Kym Lawrence with Band, also painting exhibition by Marius Fliski. Special guests of the evening were a duet dance performed by Dzul Dance Company.

Fore information please visit the Festival’s website at or call: 212-931-6839. The General Sponsor of the Festival is Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union.

Concerts in the U.S.

Pianist Garrick Ohlsson presented music by Chopin at Severance Hall in Cleveland on 3 Nov.

Four performances (15-18 Nov) of Szymanowski’s “Stabat Mater” were performed by the Dallas SO & Chorus under Claus Peter Flor at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.

Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski (who lives in Paris) appeared in an unscheduled (because of other artists’ cancellations of their air flights from Europe) recital 29 Oct at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York. Roman Markowicz wrote a very favorable review in the 9 Nov issue of Nowy Dziennik.

Pianist Jozef Stompel performed the music of Chopin, Paderewski and Szymanowski in a recital at Carnegie Hall 17 Nov sponsored by the Chopin Foundation Council of Greater New York. Members of the foundation received a 30% discount.

Olga Kern performed Chopin’s Fantasy in F minor at El Camino College 9 Nov in Los Angeles, while Katherine Starbird included Chopin’s music in her recital at the La Canada Presbyterian Church 18 Nov.

Wieniawski’s First Violin Concerto was performed by violinist Alexander Treger with the LA Philharmonic 14, 17 & 18 Nov.

Lutoslawski’s Piano Concerto was presented by Leif Ove Andsnes, piano, and Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the London Symphony Orchestra at Barbican Hall together with Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony 11 Nov.

Junko Kobayashi played Chopin’s Nocturne in B and Barcarolle in F sharp at St. John’s Square on 20 Nov.

Lutoslawski’s “Concerto for Orchestra” was performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra at the De Montfory Hall in Leicester, England 5 Nov and on 13 Nov. at the Royal Festival Hall. Christoph von Dohnanyi, cond. Live broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Also heard on BBC Radio 3: Nikolai Lugansky in Chopin Ballades in Ab and F minor.

Recent Concerts In Poland

Lutoslawski’s Second Symphony, Penderecki’s “Te Deum” and Paderewski’s Piano concerto opened the festivities in Brussels “Europalia 2001 Polska.” Piotr Paleczny, piano and the Polish National Philharmonic conducted by Kazimierz Kord.

A loving tribute “Kisiel wiecznie zywy” (Kisiel eternally alive) to the late music critic/composer, Stefan Kisielewski took place in Warsaw. The composer’s works “Danse Vive,” “Perpetuum mobile” and a piano concerto were featured.


Penderecki’s Cello Concerti

Finlandia Records 8573-85575-2 with Arto Noras (wiolonczela), Sinfonia Varsovia, dyr. Krzysztof Penderecki

Arto Noras is one of the most eminent Finnish cellists; his recording of Penderecki’s three works for cello with orchestra (in some of them he revised the solo part) is original and precise – thanks to the composer’s personal participation as a conductor, his intentions are truly reflected in the music. According to the CD’s review in Polish online classical-music news-magazine Meloman, the interpretion is to be commended for its qualities of virtuosity and exactness, however it is somewhat emotionally withdrawn and breathes with the coolness of the North. The disc includes the 1972 Cello Concerto No. 1 (still in the avant-garde style), the Concerto No. 2, written a decade later, and the Viola Concerto transcribed for the cello by the soloist.

Two CDs Of Art Songs

Polish recording company Accord has put out two discs of Polish art songs:

ACCORD 11485. Karlowicz Songs. Jadwiga Rappe, alto. Ewa Poblocka, piano. Reviewed in American Record Guide by Carl Bauman who “rates this collection superb” but bemoans the fact that it is only 36 minutes long, so “why not include some of Moniuszko songs as well.”

ACCORD 97. Moniuszko. Religious Songs. Joanna Kozlowska, Jadwiga Rappe, Piotr Kusielewicz, Andrzej Hiolski, Jaroslaw Malanowicz, organ. These are 20 songs taken from the composer’s “Church Song Book” composed in 1858 to improve music in the churches. These are “stand-alone songs for voice and organ similar to hymns, but not for congregational singing and more freely composed than traditional hymns…Accord has assembled an excellent ensemble for this recording,” so wrote John Boyer in American Record Guide.

Polish Sacred Choral Music

Another Polish company DUX has released “Polish Sacred Choral Music.” Music by contemporary Polish composers (Miłosz Bembinow, Marian Sawa and Paweł Łukaszewski) featuring the Warsaw Academy of Catholic Theology Choir under the direction of Father Kazimierz Szymonik at the organ. “A pleasant program, spiritually intense and worthy of some attention.” (Philip Greenfield, American Record Guide).

Rathaus On Acte Prealable

Polish recording company, Acte Prealable, directed by Jan A. Jarnicki, issued recently the world premiere recording of String Quartets by Karol Rathaus (1895-1954), a Polish-Jewish composer who emigrated to the U.S. and settled in New York. The CD, AP 0069, includes his Quartets No. 3, 4 and 5 recorded by Quartet Amar Corde (Barbara Stuhr, Bogumiła Ziegelheim, Beata Ploska, Agata Zając). The release also serves as a tribute to the victims of the WTC terrorist attack. The catalog no. is AP0069 (total time 62′) and the content is as follows:

String Quartet no. 3 op. 41: I Andantino con moto; II Sarabanda. Andantino con moto; III Allegro con moto; IV Epizod. Adagio; V Allegro ma non troppo.

String Quartet no. 4 op. 59: I Allegro energico; II Andante con moto; III Allegro vivace;

String Quartet no. 5 op. 72. I Allegro con moto; II Largo; III Allegro vivace.

Dobrzynski And Elsner Recorded

Two chamber works by little-known classical-romantic Polish composers, Feliks Dobrzynski and Józef Elsner (the teacher of Chopin), may be found on another disc issued by Acte Prealable, AP0067. Ignacy Feliks Dobrzynski (1807-1867) is represented by a String Sextet op. 39 in E flat major, for 2 violins, viola, 2 cellos and double bass (I Allegro moderato ed espressivo; II Menuetto. Allegro; III Elegia. Andante espressivo e sostenuto; IV Finale. Allegro).

The contribution of Józef Elsner (1785-1857)to this recording is his Septet in D major for piano, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and double basse (I Allegro; II Andante; III Minuetto. Allegro; IV Finale. Allegro).

The performers include: Magdalena Adamek, piano – Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, violin Camerata Vistula: Andrzej Gebski, violin – Grzegorz Chmielewski, viola – Elzbieta Piwkowska, cello Radoslaw Nur, double bass – Robert Nalewajka, flute – Artur Pachlewski, clarinet Andrzej Wróbel, leader & cello. The music was recorded at Polish Radio Studio S2 in Warsaw on 27.10. 2000 (Sextet) & 5.2. 2001 (Septet). The recording engineer was Andrzej Brzoska

Kulenty’s Chamber Music

Cover of Kulenty’s CD “Arcs and Circles,” 2001.

Hanna Kulenty’s chamber and solo compositions based on the themes of “arches and circles” may be found on a new CD issued in Cologne, Germany by the Frau Musica Nova Foundation (Frau Musica 003). The CD which brings together performances heard during Kulenty’s compositional concert held in Cologne in 2000 and broadcast by the German Radio (DeutschlandRadio), includes a set of works based on the idea of the “circle” – A Third Circle for solo piano (1996), A Fourth Circle for violin and piano (1994), A Fifth Circle for alto flute and electronics (1995), A Sixth Circle for trumpet and piano (1995). The movements flow smoothly from one into another – perhaps because all these works were composed roughly in the same period and feature similar compositional techniques applied to different instrumental textures. In addition, the CD includes a solo percussion piece, Arci (1986), and ends with a chamber composition, Stretto (1998). Kulenty’s music of great emotional intensity and virtuosity is played with mastery and ease by an international array of performers. It is one of the best CDs of Polish new music currently available and a fascinating portrait of an original composer. The program notes by the composer and German musicologist, Cordula Jaspers (in German and English), are presented in an elegant booklet designed by Martin Majoor, Kulenty’s husband. For more information about Kulenty visit her web site at USC. To order the recording contact the publisher:

Venloer Strasse 40, D=50672 Koln, Germany
Tel: 49-221-95299450; fax: 49-221-95299490
Web Site:

Pan Tadeusz – Film By Wajda

Pan Tadeusz, an epic by Andrzej Wajda based on the “national-treasure”-poem by Adam Mickiewicz, is now available on video. Set in Lithuania during the Napoleonic era, the story concerns a feud between two families of Polish gentry living under Russian rule. A plot rich with heartbreak, violence, combat and vengeance unfolds as the Polish people wait to see if Napoleon’s invasion of Russia lead to the restoration of Polish statehood. Released in Polish with English subtitles, the film may be purchased from Polart at:

Bargain Recordings

Bargain records from HB Recordings Direct: or l-800-222-6872. For a $12 annual membership fee you can get discounts for a year plus a monthly newspaper.

Connoisseur Society Records now for only $7.90 CSO 3021 Chopin. Preludes & Ballades. Alfred Cortot, piano. Described in their catalog as “historic recordings from 1933- 1942 by Alfred Cortot (1877-1962), a pianist of giant intellect, whose manner was aristocratic and elegant. He is remembered as one of the towering French pianists of the 20th century, het he played with a force and logic more suggestive of the German style. In any case, his Chopin is among the best on record.”Most of their CDs, priced at $17.70, sell for $14.95, and these include Gorecki’s “Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings” and “Miserere;” Lutoslawski’s “Concerto for Orchestra;” and three Szymanowski recordings on Chandos. Chopin recordings are variously priced and Moniuszko’s opera “Halka” is $11.52 and Overtures to his operas is $9.96. Early music of Jarzebski’s on the Pierre Verany label is $11.56.

Bokun And Kocyan Release A CD

Polish recording company DUX released a CD recorded by two eminent Polish graduates of the Thornton School of Music. Jan Jakub Bokun, clarinet (M.M.; currently a professor of clarinet at the Wrocław Academy of Music in Poland) and Wojciech Kocyan, pianist (D. M. A.; currently on the faculty of the Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles) recorded an Hommage to Carlos Guastavino, with works by Guastavino, David Raksin, and Johannes Brahms. Guastavino (1912-2000) was the most popular composer of Argentina in the 20th century; his music was “too national” and not modernist enough for a wide-spread recognition in new music circles. However, the audiences have always enjoyed his works; Bokun and Kocyan present inspired and exciting performances that are bound to be enjoyed during the holidays. The CD (no. DUX 0313) is available from Tower Records and Tower online.

Wieniawski Issued In Norway

A new recording of violin music by Henryk Wieniawski was issued by Lindberg Lyd AS recording company in Oslo, Norway. The recording by Piotr Janowski (violin) and Wolfgang Plagge (piano) contains: Polonaise Brillante, Souvenir de Poznan, Kujawiak, Gigue, Sielanka, Piesn Polska, Obertas, Dudziarz, Ręverie, and Le Carnaval Russe. The booklet is in Norwegian, English and Polish. This is the first recording of three volumes with Wieniawski’s violin music played by Janowski and Plagge.

Piotr Janowski was born in Poland in 1951 and won the Wieniawski Competition when he was only 16 years old. He received his MA degree from the Warsaw Music Academy and continued his studies in the U.S. under Jascha Heifetz, Ivan Galamian, Henryk Szeryng and Zino Francescatti. He won a series of awards for his playing and has toured the world as a soloist and chamber musician. Janowski has recorded CD’s on the Muza, Pantheon, Olympia, Norske Gram and now 2L labels. He now lives in Norway where he has a close and good cooperation with Norwegian pianist and composer Wolfgang Plagge (b. 1960).

Lindberg Lyd AS ( is a small independent Norwegian recording-company, now also releasing CDs on a new label 2L. 2L2 is distributed by Musikkoperatřrene AS and imported to the U.S. by: Qualiton Imports, Ltd (24-02 40th. Avenue; NY 11101 Long Island City; USA; Contact: Anna Diaz; Tel: +1 – 718 9378515; Fax: +1 – 718 7293239; E-mail: The CD’s can allso be ordered directly from the company’s WEB-shop (Lindberg Lyd AS; Postboks 56 Bogerud; N-0621 OSLO, Norway).

Did You Know That…

… the late Frank Sinatra sang a song in Polish? An article in Straz (Nov) informs us that “most of us think Bobby Vinton was the first major American artist to record a song in Polish, with “My Melody of Love” in 1974, but Frank Sinatra achieved that distinction over 25 years earlier, with “Ever Homeward.” The song is featured in the 1948 movie, “Miracle of the Bells”…Both the book and movie are one of the first, and still one of the few portrayals of Polish Americans in mainstream American media… Although Sinatra presents the song in English in the movie, he did record a studio version, with the middle part having been sung in Polish…It is available in the 12 CD set, Frank Sinatra. the Columbia Years 1943-1952. The Complete Recordings.” [WW]

A Holiday Shopping Guide

by Wanda Wilk

Calendars for 2002

There are two Polish calendars to choose from: Polish-American Calendar by Don Samull of Michigan or the Polish Heritage Calendar that features Polish art. Both are easily available from the Polish American Journal Bookstore (1-800-422-1275) or While you’re at it, why not order some sheet music. Christmas Carols (13 of them with English translations) for only $1.50 or Art Songs & Ballads (a collection of 42 songs from Chopin to Moniuszko) for only $2. They also have CDs or cassette tapes from the Lira Singers, the Assumption BVM Parish cassettes of religious songs for various holidays, as well as their own “Polkas for children,” a fairy tale set to music. Learn counting in Polish, common words and phrases, famous Poles, etc…

Gifts Of Polish Music On CD

15th-c. sculpture from the Wawel Cathedral, Krakow.

A good gift to give at Christmas time is a gift of music. From among the numerous releases of classical music this past year, there were two recordings of music by Polish composers or Polish artists that stood above the rest. One was Penderecki’s newest choral work, “Credo” which won the 2001 Grammy Award in the choral category; the other was Piotr Anderszewski’s piano performance of Beethoven’s “Diabelli Variations,” which was nominated for a Gramophone Award in the best instrumentalist category.

The Penderecki composition was commissioned for the Oregon Bach Festival and its original performance was recorded by the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra led by Helmuth Rilling. The amazing thing was that 2001 was celebrated in the music world as the “Bach Year” and with four superb recordings of Bach’s music in the running for the Grammy, a contemporary music CD (the Penderecki) won over Bach.

Anderszewski’s CD made the Top 20 Classical Chart in the BBC Music magazine last January. The pianist, a former USC student, now living in Europe and frequently performing in England, received the Royal Philharmonic Award for “Best Instrumentalist of the Year” of 2000. With such prestigious awards, either one or both of these discs would make a wonderful addition to any music lover’s collection.

The music of Chopin, Poland’s greatest composer, is also a great choice and there are many CDs to choose from. Today, Martha Argerich and Artur Rubinstein are popularly viewed as being the greatest exponents of Chopin’s music. Martha is still concertizing live, while Artur has been dead for some time. However, most of his live performances have been reissued and a suitcase full of CDs is now available for several hundreds of dollars as the Rubinstein Collection, but can also be bought as a separate record, any of which would be great for piano students to listen to.

My personal choice is Krystian Zimerman’s recording of Chopin’s Piano Concertos, where he plays a dual role of soloist and conductor. This CD also caused quite a stir the year before and is one of my favorite choices.

There are some other very interesting CDs of Chopin’s music. The “craziest” one of such a serious subject is Fredrik Ullen’s rendition of Chopin’s famous “Minute Waltz” played in twenty- two different ways. This CD “Got a Minute?” was reviewed in three music journals (American Record Guide, Fanfare and Gramophone). One of them said, “Warning: This is the Chopin of your craziest, most intoxicating dreams.” Another said “a riotous collection of elegant, teasing and sometimes madcap virtuoso confectionary.” A third wrote, “I can’t resist the urge to implore anyone who cares about the piano and ravishing piano playing to rush out and buy this.” The transcriptions or arrangements were made by famous pianist/composers like Brahms, Cortot, Godowsky, Moszkowski, Reger, Rosenthal, among others.

Another Chopin choice would be “Chopin. Polish Songs.” sung by Polish contralto Ewa Podleś, internationally famous for her Rossini arias, accompanied by American pianist Garrick Olhsson. Chopin wrote only nineteen songs which are little gems. Soprano Teresa Zylis-Gara had also recorded them, as well as, mezzo-sopranos Urszula Krygier, who was a winner at the First International Moniuszko Vocal Competition, and S.O. Tillesse who sings Karlowicz’s songs and Poulenc’s “Polish Songs” on a Pavanne label. Soprano Joanne Kozlowski recorded a recital from the University Concert Hall in Poznan in 1995 with Waldemar Malicki at the piano. There are also interesting versions of some of these songs arranged for piano by famous pianists Claudio Arrau and Alexander Brailovsky.

Another interesting release from Naxos is a Chopin narrative, “Chopin. Life and Works.” Written and narrated by writer Jeremy Siepmann, this is a multi-pack set of CDs with a book and spoken narrative. The pianist is Anton Lesser.

Since this year was the Year of Paderewski, a sample of Paderewski as a piano virtuoso or as a composer would also make a good gift. If you want to hear the great one himself you find him in the “Great Pianists of the 20th Century” series on a Phillips label or the “Grand Piano” series on Nimbus. Polish pianists, Karol Radziwonowicz and Ewa Kupiec have already recorded his Complete Piano Works. Adam Wodnicki just completed Volume 1.

For Paderewski’s orchestral music try “Polonia” Symphony with the BBC Scottish Orchestra conducted by Jerzy Maksymiuk. Polish-Canadian pianist, Janina Fialkowska, has recorded both his Piano Concerto and “Fantaisie Polonaise” for piano and orchestra with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice under Antoni Wit. However, the newest recordings are selections from Paderewski’s opera, “Manru” released by Koch- Schwann with the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of R. Bader.

If you have some one who likes string music, then why not opt for “Modern Polish Trios” from the Polish label Accord. These are trios by composers Andrzej Panufnik, Artur Malawski and Romuald Twardowski. Music critic Mark Lehman wrote in the American Record Guide, “Each of these trios is beautiful, shapely, deeply expressive -and wonderfully brought to life by the Trio Cracovia’s superb performance and Accord’s gorgeous recorded sound.”

Or you could get the Naxos Recording of Szymanowski’s String Quartets 1 & 2 along with Stravinsky’s Concertino performed by the Goldner Quartet. It was selected as “Pick of the Month” in chamber music by BBC magazine last January. Jan Smaczny wrote, “Szymanowski’s rich and highly coloured string quartets certainly bear comparison with many classics of the 20th century repertoire and deserve to be heard far more frequently.” One of these string quartets was used in the film, “Maids of Wilko,” as background music.

Selected recordings of Polish music may be purchased online, at the web stores of major recording retailers, such as Tower Records. For music of less general interest, you could visit one of the following web stores dedicated to Polish cultural merchandise in the U.S. and Canada:

Europe-based Polish music fans could turn directly to the recording companies and music publishers in Poland who have their own web sites, for instance DUX ( or PWM ( Other stores and sources of recordings are listed on our site: distributors of Polish music.Last but not least, why not order “Polish Strings: 20th Century Orchestral Classics” from the Polish Music Center at USC. This promotional CD includes a live performance of the March 31st concert at USC organized and conducted by graduate USC student, Jan Jakub Bokun, who has returned to Poland to teach at the Academy of Music in Wrocław. The music contains Twardowski’s “Triptych of the Virgin Mary,” Górecki’s “Three Pieces in the Old Style,” Tadeusz Baird’s “Colas Breugnon” (with Adriana Lis, flute solo,) and Wojciech Kilar’s “Orawa.” If interested, send an email to


Born This Month

  • 3 December 1896 – Bolesław SZABELSKI, composer (d. 1979)
  • 5 December 1899 – Bolesław WOYTOWICZ, composer (d. 1980)
  • 6 December 1933 – Henryk Mikołaj GÓRECKI, composer
  • 11 December 1876 – Mieczysław KARŁOWICZ, composer (d. 1909, under an avalanche in Tatra mountains)
  • 14 December 1789 – Maria SZYMANOWSKA, composer, virtuosa pianist (d. 1831, of cholera)
  • 18 December 1907 – Roman PALESTER, composer, broadcaster (d. 1989)
  • 23 December 1830 – Adam MINCHEJMER, composer and conductor (d. 1904)
  • 24 December 1859 – Roman STATKOWSKI, composer, teacher (d. 1925)
  • 29 December 1902 – Henry VARS, film and popular music composer (d. 1978)


Died This Month

  • 11 December 1945 – Seweryn EISENBERGER, pianist (b. 1899)
  • 20 December 1834 – Maurycy MOCHNACKI, music critic, writer, pianist (b. 1804)
  • 21 December 1938 – Arnold LUDWIK, violin maker (b. 1873)
  • 23 December 1885 – Artur BARTELS, pop singer (b. 1818)
  • 24 December 1898 – Eugeniusz PANKIEWICZ, pianist and composer (b. 1857)
  • 26 December 1945 – Stefan STOIŃSKI, music ethnographer, writer, conductor (b. 1891)
  • 29 December 1913 – Jadwiga SARNECKA, pianist, composer, poet (b. 1877)
  • 31 December 1944 – Marian Teofil RUDNICKI, conductor, composer (b. 1888)