July 2002

Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 8, no. 7


Meyer’s World Premiere

The world premiere of Krzysztof Meyer’s Concerto for clarinet and orchestra was conducted by Antoni Wit during the 125th anniversary of the Philharmonic in Duisburg, Germany. The soloist was famed clarinetist, Eduard Brunner.

Rappe’s Recital

Mezzo-soprano Jadwiga Rappe’s recital ended the II Moniuszko Festival of Podlesie with songs by Moniuszko, Karlowicz, Szymanowski and Lutoslawski in the Philharmonic Hall in Bialystok.

Paderewski Exhibition In September

Paderewski: Portrait of a Musician” Exhibition will be on display at Newman Recital Hall Gallery, USC, Los Angeles, from 17 September 2002, to 10 January 2003. Culled from the extensive collection of materials held at the Polish Music Center at the USC Thornton School of Music, this exhibition chronicles the life and career of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, the musician-statesman who received an honorary doctorate from USC in 1923. Throughout his musical career Paderewski was actively lobbying for Polish independence; he collected funds to benefit the country, its soldiers and the victims of the war. His campaign resulted in Poland returning to the map of Europe; he then became the first Prime Minister of Poland and the first Polish delegate to the League of Nations. Paderewski’s compositions include songs, and piano pieces, an opera, Manru (1901), and a Symphony in B minor Polonia (1907). He also edited a 20 volume anthology of music by other composers, and Chopin’s complete works. However, his main title to fame was his talent as a virtuoso pianist; his music was partly preserved on piano rolls and transferred to CDs.

The exhibition presents the composer’s historical photographs from 1890-1930s, manuscripts, piano-roll recordings from 1910s, early editions of his music, samples of his editorial work (Chopin, Century Library), concert programs from American tours in 1920-24, advertisements for Steinway, Victor-Victrola, and the Aeolian Co., as well as books and recordings on LP and CD. Californian material linked to Paderewski includes documentation about his honorary doctorate from USC (1923), programs from his Los Angeles performances, and the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles. The Exhibition is illustrated with excerpts from Paderewski’s speeches and period writings (poetry and music criticism). It is curated by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk. Free, hours vary. Opening Reception: September 17, 2002; 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.

Following the reception you might attend a concert from the Thornton Music Masters Series, September 17, 2002. 8 p.m. USC Alfred Newman Hall, Free. Cynthia Munzer, mezzo-soprano, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, piano and Peter Marsh, violin.

A world-class opera veteran who has sung over twenty roles with the Metropolitan Opera Company, Cynthia Munzer joins Kevin Fitz-Gerald and Peter Marsh to perform chamber works and songs by Sergei Rachmaninov, Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner and Aaron Copland.

Kafka’s Recital

Laura Grazyna Kafka, originally from California now teaching and living on the east coast, recently gave a recital for the Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford, Conn. accompanied by Dr. Michael Patterson. The Polish American Journal identified her a specialist in the music of Karol Szymanowski. I am happy to claim some credit for her interest in this composer, who is now being more and more recognized. I remember we appeared on our local TV station many years ago, when he talked about the Polish Music Center at USC and Laura performed Szymanowski while I accompanied her on the piano. [WW]

Concerts In California

While pianist Nancy Fierro devoted her recital to women composers, especially the music of Maria Szymanowska, at the LACMA Bing Theatre on 9 June in the Sunday broadcast series, that same day Laura Mikkola performed Chopin at Colburn School’s Zipper Hall.

Daniel Cariaga wrote in his review on 14 June in the LA Times that the Finnish pianist “who made her debut at the Hollywood Bowl five years ago…has all the tools of her trade assembled and polished. Moreover, her musicality and versatlity are remarkable.” According to Cariaga, the “pianist excels in several different styles, as she showed on her recent first recording…expect big things of Laura Mikkola.”

Ann Patrick-Green performed Chopin during her piano recital at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda on 16 June.

Donations To The Polish Music Center

In the past two calendar years, the Polish Music Center received a record number of donations of books, manuscripts, original material, scores, recordings, and other publications, given by a number of extremely generous individuals. The gifts included over 100 music manuscripts donated by Polish composers, their friends and families, in response to manuscript donation drive initiated in the spring 2000 by Maja Trochimczyk and several substantial collections of research material. The planned donation of Zygmunt and Louisa Stojowski Collection of manuscripts and research material dating back to 1880s has not been finalized yet. The list below names the main current donors in chronological order, while describing their gifts in detail.

Donated in 2000

  • May: 7 CDs from the “Warsaw Autumn” Festival of Contemporary Music 1999, from the Library of Polish Composers’ Union in Warsaw, Poland.
  • August: Donation by Edward Wojtkowski (Milwaukee, WI), national director of the Polish American Congress: 3 packages (92 pounds) of “Ruch Muzyczny” journal and “Warsaw Autumn” program books, dating back to 1940s.
  • September: Over 30 CDs produced by DUX in Poland donated by Malgorzata Polanska of DUX.
  • September: Manusripts and printed scores donated by 28 Polish composers in Warsaw during Warsaw Autumn festival (over 100 manuscript scores, plus numerous other scores, recordings), given to Maja Trochimczyk to be included in the collection of the Polish Music Center at USC.
  • Szymon Laks’s correspondence and manuscripts (70 letters, 10 compositions) – from Andre Laks, composer’s son, France.
  • 13 scores from Mrs Elisabeth Vars (including Bronislaw Kaper, Musical Highlights by Bronislau Kaper from the score of “Mutiny on the Bounty”, New York, Miller Music, 1962

Donated in 2001

  • February: Donation of scores and books from the collection of Helen Wojnarowski, later Warner (Elmwood Park, Ill.) – 2 boxes
  • February: Donation by Hanna Lachert, violinist from New York, member of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra: 3 CDs, a set of LPs International Festival of Contemporary Music “Warsaw Autumn” 1988; 11 scores, 5 books, Polish Music/Polnishe Musikperiodical.
  • March: Walter Ossowski Collection, purchased by Mary Buszka Semski, Buffalo, NY: 28 boxes containing manuscripts by Walter Ossowski (his own compositions, and arragements), numerous printed scores, books and concert programs.
  • April: Stanley Wolowic arrangements donated by his daughter Jill Wolowic Comras, Canyon Lake, CA Stanley Wolowic was an accordionist and band leader in 1950s and 1960s. One box contains his arrangements (parts), the Capitol record “Stan Wolowic and the Polka Chips play The Million Seller Polkas”, and tape with his music as well as scores with popular music composed by: Frank Wojnarowski, Frank Przybylski, Walter Dana and by foreign composers published in the years 1927-1949.
  • May: Donation of Józef Patkowski Collection from Warsaw by the owner. The collection consists of: two manuscripts and 181 scores by contemporary Polish composers, a variety of early issues of music journals, dating back to 1947, 17 books, 11 recordings, 3 program books, etc.
  • September: Donation by Karolina Kesik, who worked for the Polish Radio, Toronto, Canada: 280 LPs with Polish music.
  • October: Donation from the collection of Lotte Vetter (Beverly Hills, CA 90211). Collection of Victor Maycher (mother’s maiden name: Nowak). Recordings for a Radio Program in Albany, NY during 1950s; the collection consists of about 1,000 recordings on about 180 tapes (from Poland, from the years 1920-1950) and 78′ records. Also spots for Radio Free Europe.
  • November: Donation from the Polish Embassy, Washington, D.C.: 20 books (mainly publications of the Poznan Academy of Music), one score.
  • November: Donation by Michael Hudson, Los Angeles: 17 scores of Polish popular sheet music – songs with piano published in Warsaw before World War II.
  • December 10, 2001: Donation of manuscripts by Krzesimir Dębski, Wlodzimierz Kotoński, Aleksander Lasoń, Bogusław Schaffer, and Marek Stachowski.

Donated in 2002

  • February: 649 LP records from Marty Cepielik Collection and 12 recordings on 78’s: Classical music (composers) – 27; Classical music (instrumental & vocal) – 25; Popular Polish music (performers) – 234 Popular Polish music (different performers) – 78; Jazz – 20; Folk music (Polish) – 41; American Polka dances – 159 National – Soldiers music – 19; Carols – 29; Church music – 7; Songs etc. for children – 9; Poetry – 2.
  • April: Gifts of recordings of music by Zygmunt Stojowski copied on CD, by Henry Stojowski and Joseph A. Herter.
  • May: Gift by Teresa Domanska (thanks to Artur Zygmont): 19 volumes from “The Century Library of Music” in Twenty Volumes, edited by Ignace Jan Paderewski, published by the Century Co. of New York in 1900 and 1902; volume 17 missing.
  • June: Paderewski Memorabilia collection of piano rolls, autographs, photos, historical advertising flyers, postcards, etc. material from 1910s-1930s, donated by Maja Trochimczyk (over 20 items).
  • May: Gifts of brochures, books and CDs, as well as CD ROMs about Polish music, composers Karol Szymanowski, Fryderyk Chopin, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, from Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw, Poland.
  • June: Gift of 68 scores from Piotr Lachert with his music published in Pescara (Chiola Music Press, Kamerton), and Bruxelles (Editions TEMV, Alain van Kerckhoven Editeur) 55 published scores + 13 provisional publications (computer printouts, xero copies of manuscripts).
  • June: Gift of Eugene Ciejka, founder and director of Polskie Iskry Polish Folk Dance Ensemble active in Orange County until 1996: Books on Polish folk dance and culture, about 8 boxes of books and periodicals (costumes, recordings, video recordings to be donated at a later date). The approx. 130 books include a complete set of Oskar Kolberg, and various texts about folk dance and costumes. Periodicals (1970s): “Almanach Polonii” and “Swiat Mlodych.” Perfomance and administration files, photographs of “Polskie Iskry” folk dance ensemble directed by Mr. Ciejka (for more information about the ensemble see its Web Site at www.usc.edu/dept/polish_music/dance/iskry.html.
  • June: Donation of 10 books by Szymon Laks by Andre Laks, the composer’s son, Lille, France.
  • June: Donation of CDs and scores by Marek Zebrowski, Los Angeles.
  • June: Thanks to Walter H. Lasinski of Cranford, New Jersey for sending new material for our archives: Music scores by two Poznan composers: Jan Astriab’s Sonata “3 Planet” for piano and Miroslaw Bukowski’s “Stances” for soprano and piano. A book: Dzielo muzyczne. Studia i rozprawy. Brodniewicz, Kostrzewska and Tatarska, ed. Poznan 1999. These are papers that were presented at a musicological session in Poznan, that includes two excellent studies: one dealing with Szymanowski’s Etudes and one with Serocki’s “Symphonic Frescoes.” There was also a brochure of the Polish National Catholic Church Central Diocesan Archives and Library and a very interesting article from the New York Times by Rip Rense entitled, “Deciphered: A Demonic Prelude by an Ailing Chopin,” which reports on the work done by Jeffrey Kallberg on a sketch by Chopin. These had been given to the PNCC archives, but Mr. Lasinski felt they were more suitable for our music archives where they would receive more attention and so we are the grateful recipients. Bog Zaplac! [WW]

Thanks to Rose Kruszewski from Miami, Florida for sending us an autobiogaphical book on Walter Dana, the famous choral director and composer Walter Dana Danilowski. This is in Polish and includes an insert of some of the songs written by Dana.

Donations reported by Maja Trochimczyk, Wanda Wilk, Barbara Zakrzewska, with gratitude to the donors and hope for others to emulate their generosity.

Where To Find Polish Scores

Looking for music scores by Polish composers? We just received this inquiry from a pianist in Toronto, Canada, who was looking for music by Oginski and Moniuszko. Why not try finding them on the internet at: Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne: www.pwm.com.pl (Its N. American distributor: www.presser.com) Theodore Front Music Literature: www.tfront.com For music by women composers: www.hildegard.com

Awards and Competitions

Award For Kilar

Another award for composer Wojciech Kilar – this time – from the Society of Friends of Silesia. Awards are given to persons contributing to the culture of Poland and Silesia, a southern part of Poland. The Polish-American paper, Nowy Diennik, reports that although the popular composer was born in Lwow (Lviv), he was brought up in Silesia, having lived most of his life in Katowice.

Wilk Book Prizes 2002: Call For Proposals

The second edition of the Wilk Book Prize for Research in Polish Music will be held in 2002. Submissions are welcome from the publishers or authors (two copies of the book). The rules below describe the conditions of this Prize. The deadline this year is extended to July 31, 2002.

  1. All books published outside of Poland by scholars who are not normally based in Poland are acceptable. Polish scholars on sabbatical or fellowship abroad are not eligible. Books by non-Polish authors published in Poland and in Polish are not eligible.
  2. Submissions may be forwarded by the authors, publishers or third parties.
  3. The submitted book should be published within the past 5 years (first edition of the competition in 2000) and 3 years (thereafter).
  4. The books may be published in English, German, or French.
  5. The authors should be professional scholars, who hold a doctorate or have equivalent experience and are professionally active in the field of Polish music.
  6. The jury is chaired by the Stefan and Wanda Wilk Director of the Polish Music Center and consists of invited scholars who specialize in Polish music, especially those from Poland.
  7. The Competition is held biennally in even years (2000 and so forth).
  8. The submissions (2 copies of the book) must be received on or before June 30th of the year of the Competition.
  9. The award will be given by November 30 of the year of the competition, preferably during a national meeting of a major professional society.
  10. The award will consist of a $2,000 cash prize and a certificate of award.
  11. In the case of a tie, or a larger number of deserving books in the competition the jury will divide the award into two or three prizes of equal cash value. However, preference will be given to awarding one prize.
  12. The jury reserves the right of not awarding the prizes if no submissions are deemed acceptable. All the decisions of the jury are final.
  13. All entries should be addressed to the Wilk Book Prizes in Polish Music, Polish Music Center, Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0851.


by Wanda Wilk

Reviewed In Fanfare (July/August)

DECCA 289470 288-2 Chopin: Nelson Freire, piano.

Michael Ulmann called pianist Freire a “spectacularly gifted Chopin performer,, a virtuoso with taste, discipline, tact, and sensitivity as well as power…this is one of the great Chopin recordings…a near perfect Chopin recital.” The disc contains Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 3, 12 Etudes, Op. 25 and Nouvelle Etudes.

HYPERION DDD CDA 67314 Stojowski: Piano Concertos 1 and 2.

In last month’s newsletter we wrote about the review in Gramophone. This time, Barry Brenesal reviewed it in Fanfare and gives some background on the composer, who was “well regarded in his time…whose piano works were programmed by Friedman, Hofmann, Paderewski, Grainger and Schelling. Violin works of his were featured in the repertoire of Heifetz, Enescu, and Thibaud. Monteux, Nikisch, Stokowski, von Bulow, and Fitelberg conducted his orchestral pieces. The precipitous decline in his popularity followed the general shift in early 20th century music away from its tonal foundations…yet neither work is deserving of oblivion… solidly composed in the broad mainstream of late Romantic tradition and well orchestrated…its on par with similar works by Xavier Scharwenka…this new release is a must for mavens of neglected Romantic era works.”

Calendar Of Events

It seems that instead of music events this summer, the Polish-American organizations (Kosciuszko Foundation, Polish Arts & Culture Foundation in San Francisco) are having film festivals throughout the U.S.

Artist of the Month: Piotr Gajewski

My choice this month is Piotr Gajewski, music director and conductor of the National Chamber Orchestra – not to be confused with the National Symphony of which Leonard Slatkin is conductor. What is particularly important about Mr. Gajewski is that he and his orchestra is “committed to introducing children of all ages to classical music.” Their motto is “All Kids All Free All the Time.” Children ages 6 to 17 can attend all the concerts held at their F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre for free!

Among Polish composers’ music scheduled for the 2002-2003 season, we find Lutoslawski’s “Partita” for violin and orchestra with Chio-Liang Lin (Nov) and Chopin’s “Krakowiak” and “Fantasy on Polish Airs” with pianist Brian Ganz for next April.

Mr. Gajewski also conducts the Montgomery County National Symphony. To read more about Piotr Gajewski visit the National Chamber Orchestra’s web-site. Thanks to Albin Wozniak, editor of Polish Studies Newsletter, for bringing this visionary conductor to my attention, as well as the wonderful work done in Montgomery County with their youth orchestras and parents.


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 Page at PMC)