Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 7, no. 7
Winner Of Chopin Competition 2000:
YUNDI LI – FIRST TIME IN CALIFORNIA
The debut concert of the 18-year-old Chinese pianist, Yundi Li, the first prize winner of the 14th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, October 2000 will take place on 28 July at 7:30 p.m. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the Los Angeles Music Center.
With the absence of the first prize winner in the past two occasions, enormous attention was drawn to the competition in 2000. Yundi Li, whose splendid performance enchanted the panel of judges that comprised of some of the finest pianists in the world, surpassed all other candidates from 25 countries. In addition to receiving the First Prize of that prestigious competition – a first time for the event in 15 years – he also won the prize for the Best Polonaise Performance.
Li is also the youngest First Prize winner and the first Chinese winning such accolade in the 70-year history of the Chopin Piano Competition. Li’s achievement has evoked strong repercussions all over the world.
Both concerts feature Chopin’s recital works:
- Nocturne No.13 in C minor, Op.48-1
- Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op.52
- Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op.31
- Andante Spianato et Grand Polonaise Brillante in E-flat major, Op.22
- Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op.58
Paderewski Celebration In Warsaw
The Museum of Paderewski and Polish Exiles in the Łazienki Królewskie park in Warsaw (Muzeum Paderewskiego i Wychodzstwa Polskiego) has just unveiled its permanent gallery dedicated to the life of the great composer and statesman. The exhibition includes a model of the Paderewski monument unveiled last year in Geneva, Switzerland, various works of art that Paderewski collected, and memorabilia and gifts for him from his Polish and foreign friends.
The Paderewski monument in Geneva, designed by Maksymialian Biskupski is located in the Geneva Palace of United Nations, the former seat of the League of Nations in which Paderewski was active. The celebration in November 2000 included the presence of Swiss president, Adolf Ogi, Polish minister of foreign affairs, Władysław Bartoszewski, and senator Piotr Andrzejewski – the president of the committee for celebrating Paderewski’s anniversary as Poland’s representative to the League of Nations.
Paderewski died 60 years ago, on 29 June 1941 in New York. In 1939 he agreed to become the president of the emigre National Council, but in 1940 he emigrated to the U.S. He received the cross Virtuti Militari after his death.
Paderewski Year In Bydgoszcz
The city of Bydgoszcz initiated the efforts to declare the year 2001 Paderewski Year (declaration of the Polish Seym, i.e. Parliament, on 7 December 2000). Appropriately, the 60th anniversary of the composer’s death was celebrated in a particularly solemn way in that city. The anniversary began with a mass at the Cathedral, celebrated by archbishop Henryk J. Muszynski (Gniezno) and a performance of Mozart’s Requiem by the Pomeranian Philharmonic (Filharmonia Pomorska) with soloists, Katarzyna Trylnik (soprano), Monika Baranowska (alto), Adam Zdunikowski (tenor), Jaroslaw Brek (bass). The performers were led by Marek Pijarowski. The Pomeranian Philharmonic bears the name of Paderewski; hence its interest in his person.
The Bydgoszcz Music Society also named after Paderewski organized a concert on 30 June 2001 in the New Palace in Ostromecko. The evening included Paderewski’s chamber music: piano works, Dances polonaises, Miscellanea, songs with text by Adam Mickiewicz and the Sonata in A minor arranged for flute and piano. Performers: Wojciech Maciejowski, tenor, Andrzej Tatarski, piano, Andrzej Legowski, flute, and Maria Murawska, piano.
The main events of the Paderewski Year will begin in September. From 7 to 28 September Pomeranian Philharmonic will feature the 39th Bydgoszcz Music Festival, “Paderewski and the music of his times.” The 13 concerts of the festival will present works by Paderewski and those found in his repertoire as a virtuoso pianist. During the Festival, University of Warsaw will co-sponsor a scholarly session (18-20.09.2001) “Paderewski – Life and Work,” More information about this festival may be found on pages: www.musica.pl.
Paderewski Competition Deadline In July
In November (6-17) the Fifth International Paderewski Piano Competition is scheduled to take place in Bydgoszcz. The competition is cosponsored by the Music Society, Pomeranian Philharmonic, and the Bydgoszcz Academy of Music; it is held under honorary presidency of the President of Poland. The awards include $36,000 cash to be divided between prize-winners. Submissions are accepted until the end of July. For more information contact Paderewski Music Society, at www.konkurspaderewskiego.pl.
We have inadvertendly omitted both illustrations from Paderewski articles in May and June issues of the Polish Music Newsletter written by Joseph A. Herter. The fan letter cited in the May article is reproduced above, as illustration to the first Paderewski entry. Paderewski caricature designated for Joseph A. Herter’s article in the previous issue of the newsletter appears in the entry on the Paderewski year above.
In order to make up for this loss, in addition to reproducing the missing items (the fan letter and the caricature by Andloff of 1913) submitted by Mr. Herter, we decided to add another image of Paderewski from the PMC Collection. This image, drawn on yellow cardboard and signed illegibly “Zobro” (or Kobro), is undated. It was donated to the PMC Collection by Adam Michalowski. It seems that our caricature, featuring Paderewski with wrinkles, white hair and a black hat, comes from a much later period in Paderewski’s life, ca. 1940s. His wild and unruly hair was his distinguishing feature and the main attraction for the humorists.
Cantores Minores Tour The U.S.
The Men and Boys’ Chorus of the Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Warsaw – better known as Cantores Minores – is taking a concert tour of the USA to celebrate the choir’s 10th anniversary. Founded by its current conductor, former Detroiter Joseph Herter, the choir will start off it’s tour in New York on July 6 and complete it at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, on August 13. The tour is under the honorary patronage of the American Ambassador to Poland Christopher R. Hill and the Mayor of Warsaw Pawel Piskorski. Accompanying the choir will be organist Jerzy Dziubinski and soprano Anna Mackowiak.Highlights of the choir’s stay on the East Coast include taking part in the centennial year celebrations for St. Aldabert Parish on Staten Island on July 8, performing at the Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage on July 9 in Washington, DC, and singing a concert sponsored by the Marcela Sembrich Memorial Association in Bolton Landing on Lake George, NY. The Kennedy Center concert will be broadcast live on the Internet and can be watched here in Poland at midnight that night at kennedy-center.org/millenium.
In the Midwest, the choir is being hosted by Milwaukee’s Polanki and will present a concert at Marquette University’s Gesu Church and sing for Polish Mass as part of the centennial celebration at the Basilica of St. Josaphat, Wisconsin’s largest church and a landmark for that city’s Polish community. In Chicago, the choir is being hosted by the Episcopal Church of the Atonement and being sponsored in concert by the Chicago-Warsaw Sister Cities Committee in a concert at the Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Arts Center on August 1, commemorating the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. At the Chicago concert, 50 veterans of the Warsaw Uprising will be present and march in with the choir as it sings Bogurodzica. Also featured on this concert will be three of Andrzej Panufnik’s Piesni Walki Podziemniej.
In Detroit, the conductor’s hometown, however, the choir spends the longest part of its tour during the time when the City of Detroit celebrates its tercentennial. On July 17, Cantores Minores has the honor of singing for “Polish Night” at America’s second oldest Catholic parish, Ste. Anne de Detroit, which is also celebrating its 300th anniversary. At Ste. Anne’s the Detroit-area Polish choir The Filarets will join forces with Cantores Minores in giving the first American performance of contemporary Polish composer Józef Swider’s Hymn to St. Ann (Hymn do sw. Anny). Also at this concert soprano Anna Mackowiak will pay homage to her patroness by singing the Polish Baroque composer Jan Piotr Haberman’s solo motet to Ste. Anne with the help of former Warsaw National Philharmonic musicians – Adam Stepniewski (now with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra), Grazyna Biskupska (née Skowron) and Tadeusz Biskupski – all currently living in Ann Arbor. While in Detroit, the choir has the honor of singing for a formal session of the Detroit City Council on Wednesday, July 25.
In addition to the works by Swider and Panufnik, works by other Polish composers will be performed on tour, including music by Mikolaj Gomólka, Grzegorz G. Gorczycki, Karol Mikuli, Stanislaw Moniuszko (II Litania Ostrabramska), M. Karol Prosnak, Derwid (Witold Lutoslawski) and Piotr Moss.
Many Polish churches and organizations have given their help to this concert tour such as the Polish Singers’ Alliance of America and the Buffalo Polish Arts Club, as well as generous financial support by the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York, The Polish National Alliance in Chicago, and the Polanki in Milwaukee. In addition to the Episcopal Church of the Atonement, many non-Polish organizations have added their help in organizing this tour as well, such as the International Sister Cities Committees of Rochester, NY, and Chicago, Luther College in Iowa, Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, and St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN.
Before leaving for America, the choir will present a short 30-minute concert at 5:30 p.m. followed by Mass at Holy Cross Church on 3 Krakowskie Przedmiescie St. on Thursday, July 6. All are cordially invited to attend.
2001 Concert Tour Performances
New York City; Saturday, July 7; St. Frances de Chantel, (Boro Park) Brooklyn; 6:30 p.m. Mass;
Sunday, July 8; St. Adalbert Church; Staten Island; 10:30 a.m. Mass & Short Concert;
St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, Staten Island; 8:00 p.m. Mass & Short Concert;
Washington, D.C.; Monday, July 9; Kennedy Center – Millennium Stage; 6:00 p.m. Concert;
Philadelphia, PA; Tuesday, July 10; St. Adalbert Church; (Port Richmond); 7:00 p.m. Concert;
Trenton, NJ; Wednesday, July 11; St. Hedwig Church; 7:30 p.m. Concert;
Bolton Landing, NY; Friday, July 13; Blessed Sacrament Church; 8:00 p.m. Concert;
Rochester, NY; Saturday, July 14; St. Stanislaus Church; 6:00 p.m. Concert;
Sunday, July 15; St. Stanislaus Church; 11:00 a.m. Mass;
Lackawanna/Buffalo, NY; Sunday, July 15; Basilica of Our Lady of Victory; 7:30 p.m. Concert;
Detroit, MI; Tuesday, July 17; Polish Night at Ste. Anne de Detroit – Tercentennial; 6:15 p.m. Concert & 7:00 p.m. Mass;
Livonia, MI; Wednesday, July 18; Madonna University; 7:00 p.m. Concert;
Dearborn, MI; Thursday, July 19; St. Alphonsus Church; 4:45 p.m. Alumni Mass;
Adrian, MI; Friday, July 20; Dominican Life Center; 10:30 a.m. Mass & Concert;
Bloomfield Hills, MI; Friday, July 20; St. Regis Church; 7:30 p.m. Concert;
Dearborn Heights, MI; Saturday, July 21; St. Albert the Great; 4:30 p.m. Mass;
Detroit, MI; Sunday, July 22; Old St. Mary’s (Greektown); 12:00 p.m. Latin Mass; Blessed Sacrament Cathedral; 5:15 p.m. Mass;
Ann Arbor, MI; Tuesday, July 24; Evening Concert;
Detroit, MI; Wednesday, July 25; Detroit City Council; City-County Bldg.’; 11:30 a.m.;
Thursday, July 26; St. Joseph Church; 12:00 p.m. Latin Mass;
Grand Blanc, MI; Friday, July 27; Holy Family Church; 7:00 p.m. Concert;
Grand Rapids, MI; Basilica of St. Adalbert; Saturday, July 28; 7:30 Concert;
Sunday, July 29; Basilica of St. Adalbert; 10:00 a.m. Mass;
Chicago, IL; Wednesday, August 1; Chicago Arts Center – Preston Bradley Hall, 6:00 p.m. Concert Marking the Outbreak of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising
Thursday, August 2; Episcopal Church of the Atonement; 7:00 p.m. Concert;
Milwaukee, WI; Saturday, August 4; Basilica of St. Josaphat; 4:30 p.m. Polish Mass & 7:30 Concert Marking the Basilica’s Centennial;
Sunday, August 5; Gesu Church – Marquette University; 7:30 p.m. Concert;
Decorah, IA; Tuesday, August 7; St. Benedict Church; 7:00 p.m. Concert;
St. Peter, MN; Wednesday, August 8; Christ Chapel, Gustavus Adolphus College – 8:45 p.m. Concert;
Minneapolis, MN; Thursday, August 9; Holy Cross Church; Evening Concert;
Collegeville, MN; Sunday, August 12; St. John University; 10:30 a.m. Mass & Concert;
More On Cantores Minores: July 15
The famous Warsaw Archdiocesan Cathedral BoyChoir, Cantores Minores, noting its tenth anniversary tour of the United States, will present a concert of Polish, Latin and English-language religious and secular music at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Victory, South Park Avenue and Ridge Road in Lackawanna, at 7:30pm on Sunday, July 15.
Joseph A. Herter, the founder of the choral group of thirty-eight boys ranging in age from nine to nineteen, eagerly accepted Rev. Msgr. Robert C. Wurtz’s invitation. “I am familiar with this magnificent house of worship and the works of Father Baker”, stated Herter, a Detroit native. “It is an honor to have our only Western New York performance there during the Basilica’s 75th anniversary year, and in the very presence of the mortal remains of the saintly ‘Padre of the Poor'”.
A graduate of the School of Music at the University of Michigan, Herter studied under Thomas Hilbish and Gustav Meier. He continued his training at Westminster Choir College with the legendary Robert Shaw, and at the Berkshire Music Institute at Tanglewood with Seiji Ozawa and Kurt Masur. Since 1974, Herter has been living in Poland, where he has introduced to Polish audiences works by Western composers like Barber, Bernstein, Britten, Hindemith and Menotti. He has also conducted Polish premiers of works by Blazewicz, Grudzien, Lutoslawski, Moss and Panufnik.
In their short history, Cantores Minores – “the little singers” — have taken part in international song festivals in Italy, Poland, France, Holland, England, Belgium, Austria, Canada, Vatican City, Russia, Ukraine, Denmark, Mexico, and Germany. This American tour is their third, and will include performances in eight states.
The boys come from various parts of Warsaw and its suburbs, and half attend public music schools. They rehearse twice a week and have a two-week choir camp in the winter, and another in the summer.
Their varied program in Lackawanna will include hymns, spirituals, pop songs from the 1920’s and 30’s, and compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Stanislaw Moniuszko, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Irving Berlin, Henryk Wars, as well as the Academy Award-winning Hi Lilli, Hi Lo by Bronislaw Kaper.
The Polish Singers Alliance of America, together with the Polish Arts Club of Buffalo, is sponsoring the concert and making arrangements for the local appearance of Cantores Minores.. Tickets are available at $12 per person ($10 for members of these sponsoring organizations). Send checks payable to order of PSAA, and mail to Daniel J. Kij, 1200 Electric Ave., Lackawanna NY 14218-1417; phone (716) 822-5258; E-mail email@example.com
The Feast of St. Anne in Detroit
The “Polish Night” will be held at the 300-year-old St. Anne’s Church (second oldest Catholic parish in the U.S.) in Detroit on 17 July 2001. Works dedicated to St. Anne by Polish composers are scheduled, including the Baroque composer Piotr Haberman’s motet, “Aria de S. Matre Anna” for soprano, 3 violins and basso continuo and Jozef Swider’s “Hymn to St. Anne, ” which is scored for children’s chorus, mixed chorus and brass (or organ). One of Detroit’s Polish choirs, the Filarettes, will join the Cantores Minores from Warsaw in the latter work.
Polish Singers Alliance Moves To Buffalo
In only the second move in its 112-year history, the Polish Singers Alliance of America [PSAA] relocated the headquarters of the nation’s oldest Polonia cultural organization over the Memorial Day weekend from the Greater New York City area to Western New York and Southern Ontario for the next three years.
Meeting at the resort-like Living/Learning Conference Center of the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown at Johnstown, Pa., delegates elected Daniel J. Kij of Lackawanna, N.Y. as President, Peter Gorecki of West Falls N. Y. as General Choral Director, and Adeline S. Wujcikowski of Buffalo, N.Y. as General Secretary .
Founded in Chicago in 1889, the PSAA moved its Central Administration to New York City in 1947. A provision for a four three-year term limitation in a particular district was repealed, and The Big Apple hosted national offices for the past fifty-four years. The prohibitive cost of moving the PSAA’s extensive music library from Clark, N.J. to another site was solved when the 46th International Convention elected Frances X. Gates Brooklyn and Barbara R. Blyskal of Staten Island as PSAA Co-Librarians.
Daniel Kij is a retired attorney, and served for 22 years as National President of the Polish Union of America, a fraternal benefit society. He is an Honorary Member of the PSAA, and has sung with the I. J. Paderewski Singing Society of Buffalo for fifty years, and also sings with the St. Hyacinth Men’s Choir of Lackawanna. A charter member of the I.J. Paderewski Singing Society of Buffalo and an Honorary Member of the PSAA, Adeline Wujcikowski is the Secretary of the chorus, of District IX of the PSAA, and of the WNY Division of the Polish American Congress.
Peter Gorecki, also an Honorary Member, is the new General Choral Director. He has been a long-time organist and choirmaster of the pioneer St. Stanislaus Church in Buffalo, and is a well-known composer, orchestral and choral arranger and conductor, and piano and organ soloist. He has directed many choruses: Oginski (Wildflecken, Germany), and Western New York Singing Societies such as Chopin, Kalina, Polish Singing Circle, Paderewski, and the German Schwabenchor. He has been a piano soloist in his compositions with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. On September 4th, his stirring “Cantata in Honor of St. Stanislaus” will receive its European premiere in Wroclaw, Poland. Other national PSAA officers elect the Johnstown convention include: Vice-presidents Zofia Kata (Hamilton, Ont.) and Edward J. Witul (Williamsville, N.Y.), Vice-Secretary General Janina Mazun (Hamilton), Treasurer Theresa Rogowski, Directors Ann M. Golbert and Irene Dobinski (Cheektowaga N.Y.), Directors Joseph F. Mazurkiewicz (Sloan N.Y.), Walter Muhar (Lackawanna), Barbara Olejarz, Zdzislaw Kata and Ryszard Ziemba (Hamilton), and Assistant General Choral Director Dayle Vander Sande (New York City).
Over its years of existence, the PSAA has been “home base” to over 330 choral societies, some of which have recently noted centennials, like the Polish Singing Circle, Chopin and Kalina of Buffalo.
During the Johnstown convention awards banquet, Jutrzenka Singing Society of Brooklyn, directed by Izabella Kobus-Salkin, won the First Prize trophy as the best female group in choral competition. Oginski Male Choir of Hempstead, N.Y., directed by Barbara Miluk-Kolasa, was selected as tops in its category. Symfonia Choir of Hamilton, Ont., directed by Michael Newnham, not only was victorious among mixed voice choruses, but was awarded the coveted Cardinal August Hlond Chalice, a trophy symbolic of choral supremacy for garnering the most points from the judges.
Bernice Gruszka of Philadelphia, the first woman to head the PSAA, was named Honorary President, and Barbara R. Blyskal, the first woman elected as General Secretary, was designated Honorary General Secretary by the convention.
The next International Convention of the PSAA, which will include a North American Festival of American, Canadian and Polish Choral Music, will be hosted by singers of the Detroit District in May, 2004. For further information about the PSAA, please write or call Daniel J. Kij, 1200 Electric Avenue, Lackawanna NY 14218-1417; phone (716) 822-5258; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Polish “Butterfly” In Washington
Puccini’s famous opera “Madame Butterfly” in a revolutionary new setting by director Mariusz Trelinski will have its Washington premiere next year. This is an “export version” of the highly successful staging of this opera by the National Opera in Warsaw two years ago. Besides Mr. Trelinski, Polish artists in this project include: Boris Foltyn Kudlicka (art director), Magdalena Teslawska and Pawel Grabarczyk (costumes). The music director will be Renato Palumbo. Placido Domingo, the artistic director of the Washington Opera initiated this project and invited the Polish directors and designers. The work will be premiered on 27 October and 10 spectacles are planned. Pinkerton’s role will be sung by Polish tenor, Dariusz Stachura.
The Warsaw premiere on 29 May 1999 had excellent reviews, praising a new aesthetics and stage direction. It was the first work for operatic stage by Mariusz Trelinski. He also staged a more controversial “King Roger” by Karol Szymanowski and in 2001 Verdi’s “Othello.”
8th Organ Music Festival In Warsaw
On Sundays through the summer organ recitals will take place in the St. John Basilica in Warsaw. The recitals will be given by organists from Poland, Germany, Argentina, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy. Przemyslaw Kapitula, the director of the festival will give the first recital followed by performances by: Adelma Gomez, Franz Loerch, Rob Waltmans, Olivier Eisenmann, Willibald Guggenmos, Georg Saalmueller, Jan Van Mol, Wojciech Szwejkowski, Mario Duella, Barnhard Marx, and Hans Leitner.
The festival showcases the organ built in 1987 by the German company Eule. The instrument has 60 registers and is universal in style – it allows for performances of early music, romantic and contemporary compositions. During past editions of the festival Polish organists, Przemyslaw Kapitula and Prof. Jerzy Erdman (who died last year) peformed pieces by great Polish composers- organists: Mieczysław Surzynski and Feliks Nowowiejski.
Music In The Old Monastery
The 14th Festival of “Music in The Old Monastery” has began on June 29 in Lodz’s church of St. Anthony. The festival includes performances of artists from France , Belgium, Czech Republic and Poland. The festival is planned for the whole summer and includes 10 organ recitals and chamber music concerts. The program will be filled by works composed in the 17th and 18th centuries; the concerts are planned for Fridays at 7 p.m.
The first concert featured Irena Wiselka-Cieslar (organ), Bogumila Gizbert-Studnicka (harpsichord), Sylwia Abramowicz and Jonathan Dunford (France, performing violas da gamba). The program included works by J.S. Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Marin Marais and Louis-Claude Daquin. Other performers include chamber music groups, Uno Duo Tre from Łódz and ensemble Fiori Musicali, performing Baroque music on authentic instruments. The festival is organized by the Szymanowski Music Society of Łódz.
Kord To Step Down From National Philharmonic
Eminent conductor Kazimierz Kord announced during a press conference recently that he will continue in his current position as the director of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw only until the end of his current contract in 2001. As reasons for his decision he quoted the “extreme difficulties” of this job requiring enormous energy from its holder. The Minister of Culture, Kazimierz Ujazdowski, has selected Antoni Wit for Kord’s replacement. The choice is not final yet.
Olejniczak in Polanski’s “Pianist”
Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak is the behind the scenes soloist in Roman Polanski’s new film, “The Pianist” based on the book written by WWII survivor Wladyslaw Szpilman, who died last year. Close-ups of Olejniczak’s hands are being filmed together with the silhouette of actor Adrien Brody, who plays the leading role. Tadeusz Strugala leads the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Warsaw in Chopin’s “Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise, Op. 22.”
Halina Czerny-Stefanska Died
On 1 July 2001, Halina Czerny-Stefanska died in Krakow. She was 79 and had a long and distinguished career as a pianist. She received the first prize in the 4th Chopin Piano Competition in 1949, and went on to become a jury member of the competition as well as a professor of piano and a world-famous virtuosa. Born in 1922 in Kraków, she started her career in 1940s. Her father, prof. Stanisław Czerny, was her first teacher. She also studied with Alfred Corcot in Paris and with Józef Turczynski, an expert in Chopin’s music, and with Zbigniew Drzewiecki, the rector of the State Higher School of Music in Kraków.The winning of the Chopin Competition was a turning point in her career. She received a prize also for the best performance of Mazurkas. Her repertoire was filled with romantic music. She often performed with the main symphonic ensembles of Kraków and Katowice. She appeared in recitals and concerts in the U.S., Great Britain, Germany, Italy, and Japan. She performed with the best conductors of the world, including Georg Solti, Adrian Boult, and Zubin Mehta.
International Forum For Suppressed Music
If you are interested in receiving the e-Newsletter of the International Forum for Suppressed Music (the first issue of which is about to be sent out), giving information of concerts, broadcasts, conferences, publications and other matters to do with music suppressed by the Third Reich, please read on.
The IFSM was established in 1999 by the Jewish Music Institute, SOAS, University of London, to deal, in the first instance, with music banned in the Nazi era (the ambit will later be extended to music under other totalitarian regimes). The President is Sir Simon Rattle and the Executive Committee includes Michael Haas, Executive Producer for the Decca series ‘Entartete Musik’, Erik Levi, author of ‘Music in the Third Reich’ and Martin Anderson, journalist, writer and publisher. In the year 2000, the IFSM, together with the Department of Music at SOAS, held a highly influential international conference, focusing on the students of Franz Schreker in Berlin from 1920 to 1933 with speakers invited from the UK, Europe and America.
The IFSM extends an invitation to you to join in two ways: if you would like to receive the quarterly newsletter, or if you would like to join a more interactive mailing list where you will also have the opportunity of asking questions, contributing to the general knowledge and informing IFSM of activities that you are promoting or know about, then please email ifsm@JMI.org.uk and put ‘subscribe to newsletter’ or ‘subscribe to interactive list’ in the subject line or in the body of the email, and tell us something about yourself. Equally, if you know someone else who might like to receive this, please feel free to forward this to them or introduce us to them.
The forthcoming newsletter gives information on:
- IFSM performances 2001
- Goldschmidt centenary 2003
- ‘Exile and Suppressed Music’ in Conference 20th Century Music, Goldsmith’s College
- Entartete Musik Exhibition in London available for loan
- JMI Oral History Project
- ‘Musica Prohibida’, Barcelona, November 2000 — report by Michael Haas
- Conference, Charlottesville VA, USA March 2001 — report by Michael Haas and Erik Levi
- Performance Calendar: concerts of music by some suppressed composers worldwide
- Information about the JMI International Forum for Suppressed Music, President Sir Simon Rattle.
Ruth Slenczynska’s Site
A new website about Ruth Slenczynska has been constructed at Southern Illinois University. Slenczynska was the child prodigy and concert pianist, born in 1925 and Artist-in-Residence at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville since 1964. The site includes details about the Ruth Slencyznska Collection, which contains photographs, personal correspondence, publications, and performance programs. Anyone interested in known recorded performances of Ruth Slenczynska can also find it via the following URL address:
The SIUE Music Department has some additional information about Ms. Slenczynska at the following URL address:
Folkart Site: Polish Folklore
The first Internet site dedicated to Polish folk art of all kinds has been created. American based folk dance ensembles and folk musicians are encouraged to submit information about their concerts and events. The address of the site, run by Jacek Gwozdz is: www.folkart.pl
Polish Dulcimer Maker
Mr. Jankowski, Polish dulcimer player/maker living in the Buffalo area has a web site and its address is: http://www.klezmershack.com/contacts/vendors/jankowski/jankowski.html
More information about various Paderewski celebrations may be found at www.paderewski.org.pl. There are many other Paderewski sites; our biography of Paderewski prepared by Wanda Wilk is visited often and as we were informed our visitors then move on to the Chronology of his Life at the site maintained by the Polish Academic Center in Buffalo. Either way, Paderewski is the one to study in 2001.
New Publications & Books
Grażyna Briel’s Thematic Catalog of Works by Grażyna Bacewicz (Thematisches Verzeichnis der Werke von Grażyna Bacewicz mit einem biographischen Essay) was just published in Berlin, Germany (2001).
The book has over 440 pages of text, and the list of works was compiled with the assistance from Wanda Bacewicz, the composer’s sister, and the Polish Music Center.
Bacewicz is one of the pre-eminent composers of the 20th century. A virtuoso violinist and a good pianist, she premiered many of her works and performed as a soloist in Szymanowski’s violin concerti and other pieces. After World War II she dedicated herself to composition. Very self-critical, she disliked her early compositional efforts and wanted to discard or destroy this material. Fortunately, it survived; however the size of her output makes it very hard for the cataloger to adequately describe the listed works. Kudos to Ms. Briel for dedicating herself to this effort.
PMC Polish Strings
The second CD issued by the Polish Music Center, “Polish Strings: 20th Century Orchestral Classics” is available from the Center. The recording of a 31 March concert features Jan Jakub Bokun, conductor and Adrianna Lis, flute, with USC Strings. If you would like to order a copy you could make a donation of $20 for the CD only or $120 for year of “sustaining membership” in the PMC (the CD is a gift).
The CD includes:
- Romuald Twardowski: Triptych of the Virgin Mary
- Henryk Górecki: Three Pieces in Old Style
- Tadeusz Baird: Colas Breugnon (Adrianna Lis, flute solo)
- Wojciech Kilar: OrawaThe first CD issued by the PMC, “Polish Chamber Music,” with works by Baird, Serocki, Bacewicz, Szeligowski, and Ptaszynska is also available.
Calendar Of Events
JUL 16: Lutosławski: Concerto for Orchestra. Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa, cond. 2:30 p.m.
JUL 19: Kinga Skretkowicz, sop. Winner of the Marcella Kochanska-Sembrich Vocal Competition sponsored by the American Council for Polish Culture. Knickerbocker Hotel. Chicago.
JUL 27: Szymanowski: La Fontaine d’Arethuse. Wieniawski: Polonaise. Ida Haendel, v., Itamar Golan, p. Ozawa Hall. Boston. 8:30 p.m.
JULY 28: Yundi Li, Winner of Chopin Competition 2000, All-Chopin recital. 7:30pm at Los Angeles Music Center-Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
JULY 29: Yundi Li, Winner of Chopin Competition 2000, All-Chopin recital. 7:30pm at Flint Center, Cupertino, California.
Officium Divinum In Wrocław
Jan Andrzej Dabrowski, artistic director of the cycle Academia Musicae Sacrae in Wrocław invited us to attend an all night performance of the Divine Office (prayer service) held on 24 June 2001, the feast of St. John the Baptist, to celebrate this occasion in a true 13th century fashion. OFFICIUM DIVINUM IN VIGILIAM NATIVITATIS ST.IOANNIS BAPTISTAE took place in the Church of St. Stanislaus, Waclaw and Dorota on Swidnicka Street in Wrocław.
The performance included:
- 21:05 I Vesperis (I Vespers), at sunset
- 22:30 Completorium (Kompleta)
- 24:00 I Nocturno (I Nokturn)
- 1:00 II Nocturno (II Nokturn)
- 2:00 III Nocturno (III Nokturn)
- 3:00 Ad Laudes (Jutrznia)
- 4:15 Missa in Aurora (Msza o świcie), mass at sunrise
Each of these parts lasted about 40 minutes. The performance was offered by SCHOLA GREGORIANA SILESIENSIS, with Cantor Robert Pożarski. The night celebrated a holiday of the patron saint of Wrocław and took place only with candlelight. The event was organized by the Center of Culture and Arts in Wrocław and partly funded by the City.
The Officium Divinum is taken from the monastic tradition of Dominicans, representative of 13th century liturgy. The basis for the liturgy is provided by the Dominican manuscript of 1253 held in Rome. The style of performance alludes to the 13th century treatise “De Musica” by Hieronymus of Moravia. his theory is reflected in the style of folk singing, especially in Kurpie or Eastern-Northern Poland. Each of the parts of the Officium is a separate entity, following a unified content with a culmination in the Mass. The first Verspers have a character of expectations, the “completorium” closes the day with all its worries, the Matutinum is a time for reflection with many readings, while the Mass with the celebration is the dramatic summit of the whole ceremony. The practice of night prayers in this style was abandoned by the Roman-Catholic Church. The performance intends to renew this practice and was inspired by a similar project last year, at the Krakow Orthodox church, to celebrate the feast of St. Peter and Paul. Orthodox Churches and monasteries still include the practice of nightly prayers in their rituals.
Moscow Premiere Of Penderecki
Penderecki’s oratorium “The Seven Gates of Jerusalem” received its Moscow Premiere in June 20001 at the St. Petersburgh museum, Ermitaz. The oratorium was performed as a part of an International Culture Project, “Tuba Mirum.” The work was performed by the Orchestra Sankt Petersburg Camerata, Orchestra Sinfonia Varsovia and Polish soloists, the total of 400 performers.
Eugeniusz Mielcarek, Polish Consul General in Petersburg told the PAP Agency that the work was to be heard by three thousand guests in the gardens of Ermitaz. For this purpose the Main Gate was opened for the first time in over 100 years.
Weldy In Poland
The outstanding American pianist Frederick Weldy, a prizewinner of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and currently on the faculty of Stanford University, returned to Poland after a hiatus of 15 years to perform a recital on Wednesday, June 20, at 7:00 p.m. on the historic Steinway grand piano that once belonged to Ignacy Jan Paderewski at the Paderewski Museum located in Lazienki Park.
Listening to Mr. Weldy play, one had the opportunity to hear an American pianist, whose artistry overwhelms the listener with his exquisite musicality and brilliant virtuosity. A unique aspect of this recital was the artist’s inclusion of five pieces from a piano anthology that was released in 1941, the year of Paderewski’s death, entitled ‘Homage to Paderewski.’ The collection consists of 16 works commissioned by the British publisher Boosey & Hawkes from world-famous composers who were living in the USA at that time. All are dedicated to the memory of the great Polish musician. The works from this compilation that were heard are ‘Homage a Paderewski’ by the Italian-Jewish composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968), ‘In Memoriam Paderewski’ by Cuban-American composer Joaquin Nin-Culmell (b. 1908), ‘Aftermath’ by American composer Theodore Chanler (1902-1961), and two pieces by Polish composers who immigrated to the United States, ‘Kujawiak’ by Karol Rathaus (1895-1954) and ‘Threnody’ by Felix Roderick Labunski (1892- 1979). [JH]
Lutoslawski’s Concerto For Orchestra
Lutoslawski’s “Concerto for Orchestra” was performed by the Texas Festival Orchestra under the direction of Peter Bay at the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, Texas on June 22nd.
The same piece was featured on the 9 June program of the Pasadena Symphony, under maestro Jorge Meister. The work was played with enthusiasm and greeted with a standing ovation. It was the last work on the program closing the 2000/2001 season of the orchestra.
Ada Sari Vocal Festival
The XI Ada Sari Vocal Festival took place in Nowy Sacz, Poland last month. During the festival composer Krzysztof Penderecki conducted the Choir of the Krakow Philharmonic; a competition for vocal students from music schools in Poland and from abroad had 74 vocalists from 9 different countries participating; and an International “Parade of Tenors” featured Cesar Gutierrez of Columbia, Hector Sandoval of Mexico and Polish tenors Tomasz Krzysica, Tomasz Kuk and Pawel Sobierajski.
Zygmunt Krauze in the news again. The phenomenal triumph of Krauze’s recitals in the U.S. (NY and California) brought out a feature interview with the pianist/composer by Renata Pasternak-Mazur on the front page of “Przeglad Polski” of the Nowy Dziennik 1 June 2001. The composer’s new opera based on the Book of Daniel will premiere in Warsaw in October.
La Jolla Symphony Chamber Chorus In Warsaw
It may be of interest to our Californian readers that the La Jolla Symphony Chamber Chorus and Orchestra under the direction of David Chase will give a concert at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church at Nowolipki 18 at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24. The concert is sponsored by the San Diego-Warsaw and Mazovia Province Sister Cities Committee. The Californian ensemble presents a program entitled “Music of the Americas,” consisting of both classical sacred and folk music from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Peru and the USA.
This is the San Diego musicians’ fourth European tour, but their first trip to Poland. Prior to coming to Warsaw, the chorus and orchestra will also give concerts in Cracow on July 20 and in Wrocław on July 18. Admission to all events is free. [JH]
by Wanda Wilk
Port Royal PR 2204-2 Chopin, etc. Marc Andre-Hamelin, piano.
In a review in Gramophone (June 2001) Bryce Morrison describes the phenomenal pianist’s performance of Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 as “among the most balanced, as well as the most fleet on record.” He continues: “many listeners will be grateful for the lack of the always dubious first movement repeat, as well as for a Funeral March ideally paced and measured.” The time of this recording was 1994 and Morrison asks, “Could it be that Hamelin’s Chopin is even more richly inclusive now than in 1994?”
Tchaikovsky’s Polish Symphony
Virgin Classis VB 56 1893-2 Tchaikovsky Symphonies. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Litton, cond.
Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony in D is called the “Polish Symphony.” The conductor is praised for his “geniality and clever ebb and flow of tempos” and the “changing lyrical atmosphere of the inner movements is caught with evocative colouring and subtle rubato.” An initial review in 1989 by Edward Greenfield is recalled by the Gramophone as “superbly articulated playing.”
Appian Publications & Recordings APR 5631 Chopin. 24 Preludes, Op. 28. Claudio Arrau, p.
Recorded live during the Prague Spring Festival in 1960. Bryce Morrison in Gramophoneonly has the highest praise for this performance. I remember making a remark once to the late Maestro Lutoslawski that one had to be Polish to play Chopin. He disagreed, citing Claudio Arrau as the best example of real Chopin playing.
Penderecki Cello Concerti
Finlandia Records (UPC: 06 8573-85575-2 3). Penderecki’s Cello Concerti. Arto Noras, cello, Sinfonia Varsovia and the composer conducting.
This is the first recording featuring all the existing concerti by Penderecki: no. 1 (1967-72), no. 2 (1982), and the cello versio onf his concerto for viola and chamber orchestra (1983). The latter piece underwent many transformations and exists inseveral versions. The edition includeds a 12 page English booklet.
Lachert By Duo Eka
KAMERTON CD “Colori del Novecento” by Duo Eka, Cristina Campi & Laila Di Michele, piano four hands. Poser, Barber, Beggio, De Falla and Lachert’s Amalo Mio.
The CD might be ordered from Fax (# 39) 085 205 61 90 * E mail: email@example.com.
PIASA: The Best Bet For American Polonia?
by Maja Trochimczyk
On 15-16 June 2001, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PIASA) held its 59th Annual Meeting at the Fordham University in New York. This venerable institution groups together Polish intelligentsia – university professors of various specialties, engineers, writers, artists, doctors, and professionals. The yearly meetings present the most recent achievements of scientists and scholars of Polish descent as well as controversial issues of current interest. Many sessions are about politics and economy, some about medicine, theater, film, or music. In this report I will first provide an overview of this year’s program; then present areas of activity of the institute, and end with my opinion about its role in Polish and Polonian culture, as well as an encouragement for all educated Poles and Polish professionals to join the Institute so that it becomes a stronger organization with a greater role among the American Polonia.
The program of the 2001 meeting of PIASA included general-interest panel sessions for all the participants to attend and concurrent sessions of a more specialized nature. The meeting began with greetings from PIASA’s executive director, Prof. Thaddeus V. Gromada (whose work and dedication secure the growth and strength of the Institute), and the Institute’s President, eminent historian Prof. Piotr S. Wandycz (Yale University). Both compared the meeting with the 58th Meeting held in Krakow at the Jagiellonian University, as one of the events celebrating the 600th anniversary of this venerable institution. Of course, a travel to Poland, to the roots of the Institute was a completely unique undertaking that could not be topped – in 2000 we had a chance to wear our fanciful academic costumes, parade through the Krakow Rynek, attend sessions in Collegium Maius and other historical lecture-halls. I should explain here that PIASA’s war-time founders, including world-famous anthropologist, Bronislaw Malinowski came from the Jagiellonian University and were previously active in the Krakow-based Polish Academy of Arts (PAU, Polska Akademia Umiejetnosci). However, the New York meeting showed the vitality of Polish and Polonian studies not on an exceptional occasion, but during regular activities.
Of the plenary sessions, the one on “Impending entry of the Chech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to the European Union: Its Significance and Impact” was the most interesting. Led by Prof. Stefan Wandycz, whose aristocratic and highly cultured behavior added a “noble” dimension to the whole panel (and who organized the panel), the session included the participation of Ambassadors and permanent representatives to the United Nations of Poland (Janusz Stanczyk), Hungary (Andre Erdos), and the Czech Republic (Vladimir Galuska), as well as a member of the European Commission Delegation to the U.N. (George Cunningham), and a representative of German interests (Dieter Dettke, from Ebert Foundation in Washington, D.C.). The session, including seasoned politicians, could have been limited to propaganda issues, yet turned out to be truly scholarly, without avoiding controversial subjects and difficult matters. As I learnt there, Poland’s delay in entering the European Union has serious structural reasons: in Poland over 20% of the population work in agriculture (the EU norm is closer to 5%), and almost 20% of the country inhabitants expressed a wish to find a job in a different country (with almost 20% unemployment rate, the reasons seem obvious). However, both areas seem threatening to EU who simply does not want to see 8 million people moving there overnight. In contrast, neither Hungarians nor Czechs are interested in moving outside of their country to find better working conditions.
The second plenary session of current political interest was dedicated to the controversy about Jedwabne. Prof. Anna Cienciala organized the panel and presented the subject of Jewish enthusiasm (or lack of) for the Soviet occupation of Poland in 1939. Other panelists included Prof. Stanislaus A. Blejwas (Central Connecticut State University), a historian of Polonia, Prof. Antony Polonsky (Brandeis University and U.S. Holocaust Museum), the world’s leading expert on Holocaust, and Prof. Piotr Wrobel (University of Toronto), historian specialising in minority issues in Poland. It was interesting to note the balanced tone of these presentations and a strong ambivalence towards Gross’s book that started the whole controversy. Prof. Polonsky pointed out the role of German propaganda in instigating pogroms in Eastern Poland and the absence of this issue from the book; Prof. Wrobel presented an analysis of methodology of Gross’s study, stating that “one witness is no witness” and that, therefore, despite its best intentions, the book is harmful as written – since it does not take into account other documentary material. Prof. Wrobel pointed out simultaneously the need to examine dark pages in Polish modern history and the pogroms that did take place elsewhere and are better documented than Jedwabne. I was particularly impressed by the knowledge and pro-Polish stance of Prof. Polonsky, whose profound involvement in Holocaust studies fills one with hope that a scholarly and balanced approach to the issue is still possible (a recent completely biased review of the book in The L.A. Times dispelled my beliefs that an attitude of Prof. Polonsky might actually prevail in the media.
The third plenary session, of a more promotional character, was dedicated to the Nowy Dziennik and the 30 years of its history. The main protagonists in the paper’s saga were present, including the wife of its late founder, its current editor-in-chief, Maciej Wierzynski, executive editor, Czeslaw Karkowski, and the editor of the weekly culture magazine, Julita Karkowska. However, the impression that everyone was simply praising everyone else for the good job they have been doing was not dispelled even by a scholarly contribution by the author of a recent monograph of the paper’s history, Prof. Wieslawa Stepniak of the University of Opole. In addition, the two women on the panel did not sit on the stage, with the remaining panelists (including also Mr. Jan Krawiec and Wladyslaw Zachariasiewicz), thus creating an impression that women tend to discriminate themselves before they are discriminated against.
Luckily the remainder of the meetings did not confirm this impression and papers by male and female scholars were balanced in number and quality. I was particularly impressed by the session on film, featuring Prof. Izabella Kalinowska (SUNY, Stony Brook and Yale University), and Prof. Wieslaw Godzic, the director of a new media program at Jagiellonian University (I was chairing this session). Another of my favorites dealt with literature – and confirmed my opinion that literary scholars are among the most interesting humanists of Polish American descent and that Polish literature remains one of the strongest parts of Polish culture. There was no music sessions on the program – for personal reasons I was not able to submit any proposals, though I could have presented my recent work on Ewa Demarczyk and Piwnica pod Baranami. But I will leave that for the future.
In the meantime, I would like to encourage those of my readers who are interested in joining PIASA, to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org), Prof. Paul Knoll (email@example.com) – USC historian of the Medieval and early modern periods in Europe, with Poland as a specialty, or Prof. Andrzej Korbonski (UCLA), in order to be sponsored for membership. The yearly membership fee is $50 and covers four issues of “The Polish Review” – peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary journal dedicated to Polish studies. Joining PIASA is an excellent way of strengthening the Polish American community and adding lobbying power to this organization. Its members include such luminaries of American life as Zbigniew Brzezinski and Martha Stewart – who is of Polish descent. The only criterion for membership is excellence in one’s field, supported by a recommendation by a current PIASA member.
For more information about PIASA programs, activities contact PIASA at 208 East 30th Street, New York, NY 10016, tel 686-4164; fax 212-545-1130; email:firstname.lastname@example.org You may also visit PIASA web site, at www.piasa.org. Do not delay: in the wake of the widely known “public relation” crisis of the Polish American Congress (whose president was recently refused a visit in the White House, on the eve of President Bush’s trip to Poland), Polish Americans need another highly visible and highly respected organization to represent them and lobby on their behalf. I believe that in this area PIASA is our best bet. I heard about it because I was a member of its Canadian counterpart before immigrating to the U.S. The Montreal-based Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in Canada was founded as a branch of the American organization which is older and much better respected, but not known enough in California. We should remember that PIASA has joint programs with both Polish Academy of Sciences (Polska Akademia Nauk) and Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (Polska Akademia Umiejetnosci). It has received grants from Polish scholarly foundations and collaborated with the Kosciuszko Foundation. It should grow to be even larger and more important. Right now, only Chicago has a chapter. Perhaps, with a sufficient number of people joining it, it could also have a chapter in California?
Born This Month
- July 04, 1904 – Artur Malawski, composer (d. 1957; see his Page at PMC)
- July 06, 1837 – Władysław Żeleński, composer (with a doctorate in philosophy, d.1921)
- July 09, 1931 – Eugeniusz Knapik, composer
- July 10, 1936 – Jan Wincenty Hawel, composer
- July 10, 1835 – Henryk Wieniawski, violin virtuoso & composer (see his Page at the PMC)
- July 10, 1929 – Tadeusz Strumiłło, musicologist (d. 1956)
- July 13, 1775 – Antoni Henryk Radziwiłł, composer, cellist, patron of arts (d. 1833)
- July 14, 1926 – Jan Krenz, conductor & composer
- July 16, 1947 – Grażyna Pstrokonska-Nawratil, composer
- July 17, 1932 – Wojciech Kilar, composer (see his Page at PMC)
- July 22, 1930 – Leoncjusz Ciuciura, composer
- July 23, 1884 – Apolinary Szeluto, composer (Young Poland group, d. 1966)
- July 26, 1928 – Tadeusz Baird, composer (d. 1982, see his Page at the PMC)
- July 26, 1922 – Andrzej Koszewski, composer (choral music)
- July 29, 1943 – Marta Ptaszyńska, composer & percussionist (see her Page at PMC)
Died This Month
- July 1, 2001 – Halina Czerny-Stefanska (b. 1922, pianist)
- July 6, 1911 – Kazimierz Hofmann (b. 1842, pianist, composer, father of the renowned virtuoso and director of Curtis Institute, Józef Hofmann)
- July 8, 1906 – Franciszek Bornik (b. 1870), priest, conductor, writer
- July 21, 1964 – Zygmunt Sitowski (b. 1906), musicologist
- July 23, 1829 – Wojciech Bogusławski (b. 1757), the first theatre director in Poland, the author of several opera libretti (set by J. Stefani and J. Elsner)
- July 25, 1831 – Maria Szymanowska (b. 1789), pianist & composer (see her Pageat PMC)