April 2003

Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 9, no. 4


Zygmunt Stojowski Festival In Poland

The Zygmunt Stojowski May Festival Committee takes pleasure in announcing a series of three May concerts celebrating the music of one of Poland’s greatest but most neglected post romantic composers. The three-day festival begins on Friday, May 2, the composer’s name day, with a performance at St. Zygmunt Church on pl. Konfederacji in Warszawa-Bielany that will include music by both Stojowski and his Parisian teacher Leo Delibes. The main concert of the festival will be on Saturday, May 3, Polish Constitution Day and the feast of Mary-Queen of Poland, at 5:30 p.m. at the Chopin Academy of Music at ul. Okólnik 2 in Warsaw. A final concert featuring Stojowski’s chamber works will take place on Sunday, May 25 at the Paderewski Museum in Lazenki Park.

The repertoire of the May 3 concert will be multi-faceted showing the patriotic, religious and seasonal character of the composer’s music. Of special interest will be the first performance in Poland (and the second performance anywhere with orchestra) of Stojowski’s World War I cantata Modlitwa za Polskę. Set to the poetry of Zygmunt Krasiński, it was first performed at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1916. The performers include the boychoir Szczecińskie Słowiki (Bozena Derwich-conductor), the Warsaw Archdiocesan Cathedral Boys’and Men’s Chorus Cantores Minores, two graduates from the Academy of Music in Katowice, soprano Anita Maszczyk and bass Leopold Stawarz, and members of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Joseph Herter. A second cantata, Le printemps, will also be sung during the concert and performed in an English translation which was prepared for the Buckingham Palace presentation of the cantata for Her Majesty Queen Victoria.Born in 1870 and brought up in Poland, Stojowski immigrated to the United States of America in 1905 and spent the rest of his life in New York until his death in 1946. He became a hero of both countries. On November 28, 1926, because of his untiring charitable and patriotic ventures for Poland during the First World War, Stojowski was awarded the order Polonia Restituta (Odrodzenia Polski). A Distinguished Service Medal from the US Treasury Department was also rewarded for his services in the campaign for sale of Liberty and Victory Bonds. In addition to that he was president of the New York political and cultural organization Kolo Polskie for over 20 years and was the founder of the Polish Institute of Arts and Letters, the prototype of today’s Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences. Outside the realm of music, he was also a charter member of the American Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New York, and a contributor to the chamber’s magazine Poland America. During WW II, Stojowski was responsible for helping to organize the Commission for Polish Relief, Inc. and also served as a committee chairman for the Paderewski Testimonial Fund which were participating services of Polish War Relief through the USA National War Fund. Other wartime activities saw him serve as president of the Polish Review, a weekly magazine published with the assistance of the Polish Government Information Center, and founding and chairing the Polish Musicians’ Committee which organized concerts for Polish Relief during WW II as well as sending packages to needy Polish musicians who had found their way to Western Europe at the end of the war. For more information about Stojowski: ../PMJ/issue/5.2.02/contents.html

Program for the May 3 Concert:

  • The Polish National Anthem
  • Suite in E-flat for Orchestra, Op.9; I – Variations on Witaj królowo nieba (Salve Regina)
  • Cantata: Modlitwa za Polskę [A Prayer for Poland], Op. 40
  • Romance for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 20; with Michal Osmycki, violin
  • Cantata: Springtime [Le printemps], Op. 7

There are still sponsoring opportunities for the Festival:

  • Private Sponsoring starts with donations at $50-99 or 200-399 PLN (Friends), and goes up to $100-249 or 400-999 PLN (Donors) and $250 or 1,000 PLN + (Sponsors). Friends, Donors and Sponsors are entitled to have their names printed in the concert programs. All Friends, Donors and Sponsors will receive invitations to the festival events and reserved seating for the May 3 concert.
  • Corporate Sponsoring. There are three categories for corporate sponsors who would have their company logos printed on the concert programs and posters: Silver Sponsors at $750 or 3,000 PLN; Gold Sponsors at $1,500 or 6,000 PLN; Platinum Sponsors at $2,500 or 10,000 PLN. Eventually, the festival committee would agree to have only one Exclusive Platinum Sponsor at $5,000 or 20,000 PLN. The Exclusive Platinum Sponsor would be allowed to address the audience at the May 3 concert at the Chopin Academy of Music. All corporate sponsors would receive reserved seating for the May 3 concerts. Gold and Platinum Sponsors would be allowed to display transparencies in the concert hall foyer on May 3. Also, all sponsors will be named in a feature story article about the festival in The Warsaw Voice towards the end of April. Hopefully, other press-media sponsors will do the same.Donations may be made out by check to Cantores Minores and sent to Joseph Herter, Al. Solidarnosci 95/99 m. 85 a, 00-144 Warsaw, Poland, or by bank transfer to the choir’s account in dollars at Kredyt Bank PBI S.A., V Oddział Warsaw, Poland, c/o of Stowarzyszenie Spiewacze Cantores Minores, Account No. 25 1500 1272 1212 7003 0804 0000 or in Polish currency using the Account No. 40 1500 1272 1212 7001 1180 0000. The transfer should state that the money is being sent as a “donation for Stojowski May Festival.” Further information: Joseph A. Herter at joseph@warszawa.sky.pl or by telephone/fax at (48-22) 624-2201.

Festival Committee:

  • Honorary Patron: The Honorable Jolanta Danielak, Senate Vice-President of the Republic of Poland
  • Dr. Alfred J. Stojowski, M.D.;
  • Henry J. Stojowski, architect;
  • Krzesimir Debski, composer;
  • Stanisław Dybowski, musicologist;
  • Dr. Joseph E. Gore, Esq., President of The Kosciuszko Foundation;
  • Dr. Thaddeus V. Gromada, Executive Director, Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences;
  • John M. Hein, University of North Florida; Piotr Moss, composer;
  • Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, Director of the Polish Music Center – USC;
  • Wanda Wilk, Polish Music Center – USC;
  • Joseph A. Herter, conductor and chairman

Chopin Exhibition In Japan

For more than 150 years, the exquisite beauty and fiery passion in the music of Fryderyk Chopin (1810-49) has fascinated music lovers in many countries. The composer, who was also a celebrated pianist in his day, lived his short, 39-year life in two countries: Poland, where he and his mother were born, and France, his father’s country. The two nations in him are represented at the Chopin Exhibition at the Fuchu Art Museum in western Tokyo. The show opened on Saturday, the 193rd anniversary of the composer’s birth.

This is the first time that Chopin-related artifacts from the Societe Historique et Litteraire Polonaise a Paris have traveled out of France. After Tokyo, the exhibition is due to move on to Vienna in June and to New York in October. The 171-year-old society, of which Chopin was a member, was founded by eminent figures who emigrated from Poland and at times functioned as a government-in-exile of a nation that repeatedly suffered from partition and oppression at the hands of neighboring countries. Indeed, it was Chopin’s letter to the society expressing his gratitude for being accepted as a member that confirmed his birthday was March 1, not Feb. 22 as was commonly believed until the late 20th century.The letter is among about 100 items on display that illustrate Chopin’s close association with the Polish community in Paris as well as his daily life surrounded by music, friends and love. One of the most treasured items on display is a short letter by Chopin to novelist George Sand written in 1843, soon after they began a relationship that was to deeply affect both of them. The casual letter in Chopin’s neat, delicate hand, which was attached to a letter by Sand’s son Maurice, is being shown in public for the first time. It is all the more precious as Sand is known to have destroyed most of the letters she received from Chopin after the couple broke up. At the opening of the exhibition, the letter, which had been privately owned for years, was ceremoniously handed to Leszek Talko, the chairman of the society, by Takayoshi Azuma, the exhibition’s organizer. Azuma’s efforts in editing the catalogue of Chopin-related items owned by the society won him the distinction of being the first Japanese to become a member. The catalogue, with many illustrations, was published in Japanese last year ahead of other languages. Editions in German and English are currently in preparation.Those who know a thing or two about Chopin will also be surprised to see Delacroix’s famous portraits of Chopin and Sand together as a single painting at the exhibition. The originals, Chopin’s portrait in the Louvre Museum in Paris and Sand’s in Copenhagen, were long known to have been a single work that had been cut in two after Delacroix’s death, possibly by an art dealer seeking a higher profit. For a long time, however, it was not clear how the two sections were originally positioned as the Chopin portrait hand been trimmed much smaller than Sand’s. After conducting painstaking research on the two sections, in 1992, French painter Claude Moins reproduced the painting as it would have appeared before being divided. The reproduced painting, which is also on display at the exhibition, is now in possession of renowned piano teacher and scholar Adam Wibrowski, who will lecture on the mystery surrounding the painting and how Chopin embodied both Polish and French cultures on Sunday at Fuchu-shi Shogai Kyoiku Center near the museum. The lectures by Wibrowski, who like Chopin was born in Poland and now lives in France, will be given in English with Japanese translation.Also among the items on display is an armchair from the bedroom of Chopin’s last apartment, which faced the Place Vendome in Paris. Other treasured items on display include a lock of Chopin’s hair kept in a small frame, the composer’s death mask, a mold of his delicate left hand and three manuscript pages. Paintings and prints of important Polish figures who knew Chopin, annotated scores published during his lifetime and a Pleyel piano from the period all add up to bring 19th-century Paris to life. Moreover, subsequent artists’ portraits and sculptures of Chopin show that the timeless beauty of his music continues to inspire artistic souls today.In the coming weeks, Chopin recitals related to the exhibition are planned by pianists Ikuko Endo (March 13 at Wien Hall in Fuchu), Yukio Yokoyama (April 13 at the same venue), Takeshi Kakehashi (March 27 at Hokutopia Sakura Hall in Oji, Tokyo) and Ingrid Fujiko Hemming (March 30 at Suntory Hall in Akasaka, Tokyo). The exhibition will remain open through April 13 at Fuchu Art Museum in Fuchu, western Tokyo. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admission at 4:30 p.m.; closed on Mondays and March 10-14.) Admission: 800 yen for adults, 600 yen for students from middle school to university, free for primary school and younger children. On March 9, Adam Wibrowski will lecture on the Delacroix painting of Chopin and Sand at 10 a.m. and on Chopin’s embodiment of Polish and French cultures at noon. Admission free. (03) 5721-2097 [Reported by Yukiko Kishinami Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer]

Just The Beginning For Szpilman’s Music

Los Angeles Times music critic, Don Heckman, reported on 14 March in a pop music review on the performance given at the Mint in Los Angeles by Canadian singer Wendy Lands before an overflow audience. He thought that the teaming of Szpilman and Lands was “one of the more unusual combinations in recent memory.” Many of the songs were from a newly released CD, “Wendy Lands Sings the Music of The Pianist, Wladyslaw Szpilman.” Heckman gives credit to the “album producer John Leftwich for selecting a ‘diverse representation of the songs, commissioning a team of lyricists to supply new words and arranging the music in updated musical settings.” As much as he liked the performance, he ended his review with a question, “If the songs of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht can still be heard and enjoyed in their original settings, why not the music of Wladyslaw Szpilman'”

The eleven songs that received this transformation constitute only a small part of the more than 500 songs that Szpilman wrote. So, there is still room and time for others to step in and translate more of Szpilman’s legacy for the world to enjoy. In the meantime if you want to hear Wendy “tell the story of a most unusual composer” and hear her explain “how great writers wrote lyrics inspired by Szpilman’s melodies and read her bio, visit the ASCAP site (www.ascap.com), and visit Iclassics.com, if you wish to hear each of the eleven songs in the album and read a feature article about Szpilman.For more information about current successes of Szpilman-themed films, books, and recordings visit the web site maintained by his son, Andrzej Szpilman in Germany: www.szpilman.net. On the site you will find current information about Szpilman recordings released by Sony and the CD by Wendy Lands, as well as numerous other items of interest for Szpilman’s fans.

International Master Course In Janowiec

International Master Course for Strings, Accordion and Chamber Music will be held in Janowiec, Poland on 14-24 August 2003. The Janowiec Course in Musical Interpretation is a ten-day international course in interpretation for violinists, viola players, cellists, bassists, accordionists and chamber ensembles, led by distinguished teachers from Poland, Europe and America. The course is addressed to students of secondary music schools, college students and graduates. All classes will be held in Janowiec castle which was built in Mediaeval times and is now undergoing restoration. The castle is the perfect site for creative work. It is quiet and serene and offers beautiful views from the castle hill out to the Vistula ravine and Janowiec’s twin town, Kazimierz Dolny. The concerts accompanying the course will be the perfect occasion to present the young adepts of instrumental music to visitors to nearby spas.

The program includes:

  • Individual tutorials – violin, viola, cello, double bass and accordion
  • Chamber music tutorials – string ensembles, accordion ensembles, mixed string and accordion ensembles.
  • Lectures, seminars, and concertsEach active participant of the course will have 5 guaranteed individual tutorials or 5 chamber ensemble classes. Passive observers have a right to attend open classes, lectures and concerts. Individual tutoring, chamber ensemble classes and chamber orchestra classes will take place in the Janowiec castle interiors. The course will be accompanied by a series of concerts, JANOWIEC INTERPRETATIONS, given by teachers and participants. The concerts will be held in Janowiec and nearby towns: Kazimierz Dolny, Pulawy and Naleczow.

The Faculty consists of international renowned virtuosi and ensembles:

  • Konstanty Andrzej Kulka – violin (AMFC Warsaw)
  • Adam Korniszewski- violin (Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels)
  • Stefan Kamasa – viola (AMFC Warsaw)
  • Piotr Reichert – viola, chamber music (AMFC Warsaw)
  • Cecylia Barczyk – cello (Towson University – USA)
  • Wojciech Walasek – cello, chamber music, chamber orchestra (AMFC Warsaw)
  • Leszek Sokolowski – double bass (AMFC Warsaw – Bialystok Branch)
  • Klaudiusz Baran – accordion, chamber music (AMFC Warsaw)
  • Charles H. Borowsky -( International Institute USA) – Music and Society Seminar
  • The American Virtuosi/The Borowsky Family Ensemble
  • The “Walasek” String QuartetThe cost is $ 400.00 for active participants and $ 350 for passive participants (auditors) and includes room and board, excursions and tuition. The course offers accommodation in “Oblasowka” hotel/guest houses (two or three beds), 3 meals/day, 2 land and river excursions, concerts. For more information contact: Cathy Jones at Intermuse P.O.Box 28060, Baltimore MD 21239 or intermuse@email.com. Please hurry up, the deadline for registration is APRIL 30, 2003.

750 Anniversary of St. Stanislaus

The year 2003 marks the 750th anniversary of the canonization of Poland’s first saint, Stanislaus of Szczepanow, who suffered a martyr’s death as Bishop of Krakow in 1079. Slain at the altar by the king whom he had excommunicated, Stanislaus became a beloved spiritual hero of his nation and immigrant communities throughout the world. In fact, the first two Catholic parishes to serve the Polish ethnic group in New York State – in Manhattan and in Buffalo – were established 130 years ago, and chose St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr, as their patron. To commemorate this significant anniversary, St. Stanislaus BM Church, founded in 1873 at Peckham and Townsend Streets on Buffalo’s East Side, will present a special musical program at 4pm on Sunday, June 29, 2003. Rev. Msgr. John R. Gabalski, PA, fifth pastor of the pioneer Buffalo parish, announced that the “Cantata in Honor of St. Stanislaus BM”, composed by Buffalonian Piotr Gorecki, will highlight a mixed chorus of several hundred singers, vocal soloists and orchestra.

Piotr Gorecki, currently National Choral Director of the Polish Singers Alliance of America [PSAA], spends his time composing between Western New York and Florida. He wrote and orchestrated the Cantata in 1953, shortly after his arrival in Buffalo to begin a thirty-year career as organist and choirmaster at St. Stanislaus BM Church. For many years, he was also choral conductor of several Western New York singing societies: Chopin, Polish Singing Circle, Kalina, Paderewski, and the German Schwabenchor. He has directed the Buffalo Civic Orchestra, and has been a piano soloist performing his works with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. In September 2001, his Cantata was given its European premiere, performed with soloists, chorus and orchestra of the Lower Silesian Opera Company in Wroclaw, Poland.Several choral rehearsals for the Cantata presentation on June 29th will begin in February. In addition to those who sing with PSAA choruses, individuals who like to sing and church choir members are invited to join in this preparation and performance. Knowledge of Polish is not required, and language assistance and taped rehearsal voice parts will be available. The PSAA, founded in 1889 with member choruses in major cities in the USA and Canada, has also been invited to perform in Warsaw and Poznan in mid-August 2003. A highlight of this trip will also be a presentation of the Cantata in Krakow, at the very site of the martyrdom and on the very anniversary date of St. Stanislaus’ canonization.Further information about the Cantata, rehearsal times and sites, performances and the August trip to Poland may be obtained from PSAA President Daniel J. Kij, by phoning (716) 822-5258, or by e-mail at DanielJKij@prodigy.net [reported by Daniel Kij; DanielJKij@prodigy.net]

Trip To Poland With PSAA

Polish Singers Alliance of America and Polish Genealogical Society of NY State invite interested parties to participate in a trip to Poland between 12 and 27 August 2003. The flights are arranged to Warsaw with a return to Toronto and there are four options to chose from: (A) JUST POLAND; or (B) POLAND & ROME; or (C) POLAND & WILNO; or (D) POLAND & VIENNA.

For the first time since its founding in 1889, the Polish Singers Alliance of America [PSAA] is arranging a trip to Poland. . . PLUS! It’s an affordable 15-day concert and sightseeing tour from Tuesday, August 12 to Wednesday, August 27, 2003. The Polish Genealogical Society of New York State [PGS-NYS] has expressed interest in joining in this trip, and we invite you and your friends. To the basic, we’ve added four days of visiting, or optional trips to Rome, or Wilno, or Vienna!

This year marks the 750th anniversary of the canonization of Poland’s first saint, the martyred Bishop of Krakow, STANISLAW of SZCZEPANOW. The PSAA will honor him in Poland with several performances of the magnificent “Cantata in Honor of St. Stanislaus BM”, composed and orchestrated in Buffalo by Piotr Gorecki, General Choral Director of the PSAA. The PGS-NYS members will particularly be interested in visiting archives, libraries, bookstores, and arranging guided tours of family hometowns.

(Trip A) JUST POLAND – $1779 for Cantata singers – $1829 for non-singers – 11-day guided tour: Sightseeing and Warsaw (concert), Krakow (concert on very anniversary at martyrdom site), Poznan (concert), visits to Zakopane (folk dance review), Royal Castle, Czestochowa (Mass), Zelazowa Wola (Chopin’s home), Karolin (Mazowsze’s headquarters), infamous Auschwitz, Warka (Gen. Pulaski’s home), and Wadowice (John Paul II’s birthplace). Shrines of St. Faustyna Kowalska and the Felician Sisters’ Bl. Angela Truszkowska, world-famous Salt Mines at Wieliczka, receptions, a visit to Bialystok and the world’s only international park at Bialowieza (European bison!), try your luck at the casinos, surprises, ognisko campfire, etc., PLUS four days in Poland on your own to visit family, or just explore.

(Trip B) POLAND & ROME – $2619 – 11-day Poland guided tour (like above); PLUS four guided days in ROME: St. Peter’s; Vatican; Pope’s general audience; Coliseum; Felician Sisters Motherhouse; Forum; St. Stanislaus Church; sightseeing; museums; basilicas; etc.

(Trip C) POLAND & WILNO – $2149 – 11-day Poland guided tour (like above); PLUS four guided days in WILNO (now Lithuanian Vilnius): Famous Our Lady of Ostrobrama; St. Anne’s Church; restored Cathedral; KGB museum; Adam Mickiewicz Memorial; TV Tower; Catholic and Orthodox churches; historic cemeteries; Vilnius University; Stebuklas “Miracle” Square; etc.

(Trip D) POLAND & VIENNA – $2149 – 11-day Poland guided tour (like above); PLUS four guided days in VIENNA: City tour; Kahlenberg (King Sobieski); Kulczycki’s first coffehouse; Opera House; Schoenbrunn Castle (Maria Theresa) ; Lippizaner Horse Museum; St. Stephen’s Cathedral; Ringstrasse; Prater; Danube, Mozart & Strauss; Grinzing; Giant Ferris Wheel; etc. To insure traveler satisfaction, we have learned from past trips that this four-day break is great for you to visit relatives or friends, or “do your own thing”. In 2001, twenty in our group flew to Rome for four days. A half-dozen stayed in Lwow (now Ukrainian Lviv), while ten others traveled around Poland by car with English-speaking guides for genealogical research off the beaten path. We can arrange trip insurance, a guided visit ANYWHERE, and car rentals, bus and train connections, personal guides and overnight accommodations. You can even plan to stay longer in Europe, and return at a later date. Through the PGS-NYS, we can help you trace and find distant relatives!

The WNY-Ontario contingent of our tour will leave from Toronto on Tuesday, August 12, and return to Toronto on Wednesday, August 27. We hope that many singers and friends from the Detroit, Syracuse, Cleveland, Johnstown, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Indiana, Philadelphia, etc. areas will rendezvous with this PSAA tour in Warsaw and, should they wish, we can assist in making round-trip flight arrangements to Warsaw from your nearest airport. We will advise you the cost of the air-only and land-only portion of our Poland trip, should you wish to make other plans.

ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICE includes round-trip flights to Poland (plus for Trip B – to Rome; or Trip C – to Wilno), or by train (Trip D . to.Vienna); buffet breakfast and dinner daily; first-class hotels (double occupancy); admissions; sightseeing; taxes; porterage of two bags; gratuities; English-speaking guides; Buffalo bus to and from Toronto airport; luxury tour buses in Poland, Rome, Wilno and Vienna;. . . DETAILED ITINERARY ON REQUEST !

LIMITED SPACE! To hold your reservation, mail your $200 non-refundable deposit to order of: Interport Travel Service, Inc., 227 Lombard St., Buffalo NY 14212, by March 30, 2003 (balance due June 15, 2003).

Travel questions’ Passport, travel insurance, single room, etc. . . . Contact Nick Lewczyk at Interport Travel Service, Inc.: phone 716-892-8002; FAX 716-897-3535; E-mail interport_travel@hotmail.com

PSAA and PGS-NYS questions’ For location and time of Cantata rehearsals; copies of music scores; rehearsal tapes; genealogical assistance, etc.. . . Contact PSAA President Daniel J. Kij, 1200 Electric Ave., Lackawanna NY 14218-1417; phone (716) 822-5258; E-mail danieljkij@prodigy.net

Byron Janis At 75

Pianist and Pittsburgh native Byron Janis, with his wife, Maria, celebrated his 75th birthday in March. Classical music critic of the Tribune-Review, Mark Kanny, dedicated a profile to the pianist (published on March 22, 2003). Kanny wrote: Janis is one of the great musicians western Pennsylvania has contributed to the world. He was born in McKeesport but was so gifted he studied as a child with legendary pianists Josef and Rosina Lhevine in New York City.He made his Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra debut in 1944, playing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with another local talent on the podium: Lorin Maazel, then 15 himself. The concert gained extra significance because pianist Vladimir Horowitz was in attendance. He was so impressed by Janis that he invited the young pianist to be his first student.

Grella Mozejko’s Newest Hit

Polish-born composer, Piotr Grella-Mozejko, residing in Alberta scores well with “Epithanios threnos,” (Lamentations) a Double Concerto for violin, viola and string orchestra commissioned by the Wilfred Lauier University Chamber Orchestra. He dedicated it to music critic William Littler of the Star newspaper, who was completely surprised that the “Edmonton-based composer would want to honor a Toronto-based music writer.” He learned that the composer had been reading his “reviews on the Star’s Web site. The concerto, he explained before its world premiere, represented his way of thanking me.” The music critic found the “piece worth hearing, with a distinctive musical character and an emotional communicativeness” and called it “a most flattering concerto.” He continued in his review with “by drawing material from late-7th and early-8th century Byzantine chants by St. Andreas of Crete, he also chose a means of thematically unifying its nine short movements…The solo instruments, played by violinist Jerzy Kaplanek and violist Christine Vlajk of the Penderecki String Quartet, were treated as extensions of the orchestra rather than as subjects for virtuoso showcasing, with a sad lyricism dominating most of the movements…The title “Lamentations” fit this piece perfectly.”

Polish Musicians In The United Arab Emirates

The third festival of classical music took place in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Each edition of the festival is dedicated to the music culture of a different country. Thanks to the efforts of Charge d’affaires at the Polish Embassy in Abu Dhabi, Miroslaw Adamczyk, the organizers chose Poland as their subject. During three days of the festival and four concerts Polish musicians featured music by Polish and foreign composers. The orchestral concert was given by Varsovia Ensemble conducted by the concertmaster, Włodzimierz Promiński. The ensemble consists of members of eminent chamber music groups: Kwartet Camerata (Włodzimierz Promiński, Andrzej Kordykiewicz, Piotr Reichert, Roman Hoffmann), Royal Quartet (Izabella Szalaj, Elwira Przybyłowska, Marek Czech, Michał Pepol), wind quintet Tempo Prima active at the Polish Radio Orchestra (Marcin Kaminski, Krzysztof Kit, Zenon Kitowski, Michał Wawrzyniak, Zbigniew Monkiewicz) and double bass player Leszek Sokołowski. Pianist Wojciech Switała also participated in the festival.

The program was rich and varied. Orchestral music featured “greatest hits” – overture to The Barber of Seville by Rossini, the Symphony in G minor KV 550 by W. A. Mozart. The Quartet Camerata performed string quartets by Moniuszko and Dobrzynski and the Clarinet Quintet by Brahms. The Royal Quartet presented the Second String Quartet by Szymanowski. Both ensembles joined forces in an octet to perform works by Mendelssohn and Shostakovich. The violinists Izabella Szalaj and Andrzej Kordykiewicz performed solo parts in the Violin Concerto in A minor by Vivaldi. A high point of the festival was the performance by pianist Wojciech Switała: Chopin’s Piano Concerto in E minor and the Andante Spianato and Great Polonaise in E-flat major, both in chamber versions with a reduced orchestra.

The Festival at Al Ain is a highly prestigious event in the United Arab Emirates. The Arab culture is based on a different understanding of the role of music in society and the genres of music practiced locally differ enormously from those of the European tradition. However, the ruling family of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (the minister of culture of the Emirates) became the patrons of the festival in an effort to Westernalize the local cultures (another aspect of these efforts is the import of Polish soccer players and coaches to develop a world-class soccer team, also a novelty in the Emirates). The enthusiastic response of the audience to the performances by Polish artists gave a foretaste for future promotion of Polish culture in this Islamic nation. As a result the musicians were invited for repeated performances in the country. Their choice of Chopin, Moniuszko, and Dobrzynski, among German, Italian and French classics, was a great example of promoting Polish composers abroad. [Based on a report by Halina Prominska]

Young Composers In Connecticut

The Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra featured original works written by two local composers of a younger set to bridge the gap between classical standards and the contemporary musical world. “We will be weaving two traditional pieces that the audience will feel comfortable with so they are not left in limbo,” said Adrian Mackiewicz, artistic director of the orchestra. “But often times the very tough world of composing is made more difficult because the audience has specific ideas as to what the music is supposed to sound like and has a hard time opening up to new sounds.” Mackiewicz said the orchestra showcases at least one new work each year written expressly for the group. The orchestra’s third performance of the season, “The Music of Young American Performers,” took place in early March. The event showcased the premieres of original works written by two Connecticut composers, Michael Gatonska and Katherine Jarzebowski.

“I think a lot of young people are put off by classical and romantic music,” said Gatonska, an East Hartford resident who wrote “Adventure of the Kingfisher” for the performance. “The orchestra is unique in giving newer writers a venue to showcase their work because unless you have a university position it’s usually next to impossible to achieve an opportunity like this.” Gatonska, who began as a percussionist while attending Manhattanville College for his undergraduate degree, turned to composing after sustaining an injury to his hand. He then became familiar with the New York music scene after going on to Manhattan School of Music and a stay at Indiana University. But Gatonska, a Connecticut native, decided to go abroad to familiarize himself with the language and customs of his Polish heritage and to follow his passion for eastern European music by studying at the Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland. “I ended up staying five years but the funniest thing about my trip is I found myself wanting to develop my American side,” Gatonska said. “I love European music, but it was only part of what I wanted to do personally and professionally. I reached a point where it wasn’t comfortable writing there, attempting to duplicate what has already been done. I needed to make something about me but relevant to our time.”

Although Gatonska has developed a resume including the Chicago Symphony First Hearing Award, Minnesota Orchestra Reading and Composer Institute Award and the Dimitri Mitropoulis International Composition Competition for his works, 18-year-old Jarzebowski said she is focusing on exposure and creating recordings. “I started with contests and trying to jump-start my resume,” said Jarzebowski, a New York University freshman majoring in music composition. “I’m just trying to make contact with people and trying to learn all I can from my mentors and others I admire.” Jarzebowski, who grew up in Southington, said her piece, a violin concerto, was written for her grandmother whose early influence as a violinist inspired her interest in classical music. The musical ingenue studied with Tibor Pusztai while in high school and was honored in the 2000 Hartford Symphony for Young Composers Competition. Jarzebowski, who is currently studying under Marc Antonio Consoli, said in the future she would like to write movie scores and is looking beyond to filmmaking for graduate studies. “I am fascinated with music from a movie that can stand on its own,” Jarzebowski said. “How you can close your eyes and listen to it and not picture a scene from the film.”

Gatonska echoed her statements saying today’s mass-media culture has a large impact upon his work. “The way I think about music is the way most view television,” Gatonska said. “There is a show you focus on and different commercials shown. My music has one image that lasts but also sounds that stray and change.” The concert included also Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Johann Christian Bach’s Symphony Number 4, Opus 3 in B-flat. More information may be found at the Web site, www.thevirtuosi.org.

[Revised reprint of an article published by Megan Clair in The Herald (March 10, 2003); she can be reached at mclair@newbritainherald.com or by calling (860) 225-4601, ext. 223]

Internet News

Komeda’s Music For Polanski’s Films

Krzysztof Komeda’s music for Roman Polanski’s movies from the 1960s are available on CD. For all Komeda’s fans a special treasure is now available: two CDs with music to five of Polanski’s movies: Rosemary’s Baby, Fearless Vampire Killers, Knife in the Water, Two Men and a Wardrobe and When Angels Fall. Both CDs are offered at one special price of $28.00 or each CD could be purchased separately for $15.00. All shipping is included. For more information visit www.PolishJazz.com. or contact Cezary Lerski, cezary@polishjazz.com. web: http://www.polishjazz.com

Polish Music On Princeton Radio

Marvin Rosen has a unique weekly radio show out of Princeton, NJ called “Classical Discoveries.” It features rarely heard repertoire of all periods with an emphasis on the old and the new. The playlist is posted online at: ourworld.cs.com/clasdis The program airs every Wednesday morning from 6:00 to 11:00 (eastcoast time). On March 26, 2003, the program was entitled “Polish music beyond Chopin and Gorecki” and included numerous little-known works, including early music and selections from the 2001 Warsaw Autumn Festival. The station is online and you can listen by going to www.wprb.com

Texts For Szymanowski’s Songs

The song texts in Polish for Piesni miłosne Hafiza (op.24) can be found at the website dedicated to songs: http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/s/szymanowski.html. The site also features the texts for the first song of the Songs of the Fairy Tale Princess (op.31).

Szymanowski Discussion Group

The previous tidbit of information was provided by the Yahoo! Group KarolSzymanowski. In addition of serving as a discussion group, the Szymanowski afficionados are currently expanding the group’s web featured which may be accessed by visiting: http://groups.yahoo.com/i’i=ujCM_G7aBfQqK0yKywOj1DsGzj4&e=polmusic%40usc%2Eedu (You will need a Yahoo! ID to log in. If you currenly do not have a Yahoo! ID, you will be able to create one.)

Groups web features include:

  • Message management — easily control the frequency of email messages you receive.
  • Membership management — easily join or leave groups, all in one place.
  • More — get access to message archives, photos, files, calendars, polls and more.
  • A bibliography, a discography, a picture file, a member-informed calendar of performances, many web links are currently under construction.

Awards and Competitions

Fryderyk Recording Awards 2002

On April 1, 2003, the list of winners of the 2002 Fryderyk Awards for the best recording released in Poland (or of Polish music by Polish musicians) has been announced.

Album of the Year: Early Music

  • Johann Sebastian Bach – Six Suites for cello solo [DUX], played by Ivan Monighetti

Album of the Year: Chamber Music

  • Ignacy Jan Paderewski – Works for Violin and Piano [DUX], played by Konstanty Andrzej Kulka – violin, Waldemar Malicki – piano.

Album of the Year: Solo Music, two awards ex aequo

  • Fryderyk Chopin – Wydanie Narodowe [National Edition] – 12 Vols. [BeArTon], Ewa Pobłocka, Janusz Olejniczak, Piotr Paleczny, Krzysztof Jabłoński, Wojciech Świtała – piano; some works accompanied by Sinfonia Varsovia with Jerzy Maksymiuk and Jack Kaspszyk, cond.
  • Piotr Perkowski – Piano Works [Acte Préalable], performed by Marcin Tadeusz Lukaszewski – piano.

Album of the Year: Vocal Music

  • Karłowicz, Szymanowski – Pieśni [DUX / Polskie Radio], Urszula Kryger – mezzosoprano, Katarzyna Jankowska – Borzykowska – piano.

Album of the Year: Orchestral Music

  • Warsaw Philharmonic Archive, album with 5 CDs [CD Accord], Works by Mozart, Schubert, Strawinski, Czajkowski, Britten, Beethoven, Szymanowski, Brahms peformed by Orkiestra Symfoniczna i Chór Filharmonii Narodowej w Warszawie conducted by Carlo Zecchi, Paul Kletzki, Igor Markevitch, Robert Craft, Igor Stravinsky, Witold Rowicki and Karol Stryja.

Album of the Year: Contemporary Music

  • Baird, Knapik, Meyer, Penderecki, Zielinski [DUX / PWM], Kwartet Dafo (Justyna Duda, Danuta Augustyn, Kinga Roesler, Anna Armatys)

Special Category: Best Recording of Polish Music

  • Witold Lutosławski – Mi-parti, Krzysztof Meyer – Msza; Krzysztof Penderecki – Concerto grosso for three cellos and orchestra [CD Accord], performed by Ivan Monighetti, Adam Klocek, Kazimierz Koslacz – cello, and National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Antoni Wit

Album of the Year: Jazz – Tomasz Stańko, Soul of Things [ECM]

Jazz Musician of the Year – Tomasz Stańko

Special Jazz Award: The Academy decided to award the qualities of the six-disc collection, Jazz in Poland – Anthology, prepared by the eminent jazz critic, Jan Borkowski, and give a special prize to the Polish Radio, the publisher of this collection.

Gold Fryderyk for Lifetime Achievement – Czesław NiemenThe remainder of the awards (rock, pop, folk, heavy metal, etc.) may be seen at www.gazeta2.pl.muzyka, the web site of Gazeta Wyborcza.

Polish Radio Award For Górecki

On 27 March 2003, the eminent composer Henryk Górecki, internationally recognized for his Symphony No. 3 (a classical music bestseller), received the Polish Radio Music Award for “exceptional achievements of special significance to Polish music life.” The Award was presented during a gala concert organized to celebrate the composer’s 70th birthday this year. His birthday celebrations will culminate in December. (www.culture.pl)

Europaeischen Kirchenmusik Award For Penderecki

Krzysztof Penderecki will receive this year’s Europaeischen Kirchenmusik Award. The prize will be bestowed upon the composer at a ceremony to be held on 2 August 2003 during the Festival of European Religious Music in Schwaebisch Gmuend. The distinction is awarded to individuals who offer exceptional interpretations of existing works or new compositions in the realm of religious music. Past winners of the Europaeischen Kirchenmusik Award include Dieter Schnebel, Petr Eben, Eric Ericson and Peter Schreier. During the festival Penderecki will conduct a performance of his St. Luke Passion. The festival will take place in Schwaebisch Gmuend between July 11 and August 3, 2003.

This year, Krzysztof Penderecki celebrates his 70th birthday and 50 years of being active in music. Celebrations of these two anniversaries began in Poland with two concerts, the first in the composer’s native city of Dębica on 5 January, the second in Warsaw on 8 January. For both concerts, Penderecki conducted the renowned Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra. The primary festivities will take place in the fall – the composer will celebrate his 70th birthday on 23 November 2003.

Penderecki Receives An Award In Germany

Composer Krzysztof Penderecki received a special award in Dusseldorf for his music, as well as for his contribution to the cultural life of the northern Rhine regions as a composer, conductor and teacher. He lectured at the Music Academy in Essen and last fall conducted at the international Beethoven Festival in Bonn.

Chylińska’s Monumental Work Honored

A picture of musicologist Teresa Chylińska graces the cover of the Polish monthly “Nowe Ksiazki” [New Books]. She was being acknowledged for her monumental work and the publication of the final Volume IV of Karol Szymanowski. Correspondence published in 2002 by Musica Iagiellonica. The 3/2003 issue features a four-page interview with Malgorzata Komorowska and a two-age review of the series by Bohdan Pociej.

This last part IV is in seven volumes dealing with the years 1935-37. The first three volumes had been published by PWM in 1982, 1984 and 1997. The entire correspondence of Szymanowski consists of 15 volumes and contains 3,849 letters, 1,755 of Szymanowski’s along with 1,638 photographs. The author, Teresa Chylinska, devoted her entire career to Szymanowski – in fact, many of her colleagues dubbed her lovingly as “Mrs. Szymanowska.” She began working on Szymanowski in the 1950s and has been responsible for finding many of the letters, writings and manuscripts, which are now housed in the Polish Composers’ Archives of the University of Warsaw and in the National Library.

After graduating from Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 1953 she started to work for PWM, the national music publishers. She has many books to her credit – editorship of the early Polish music series, WDMP, Monumenta Musicae in Polonia and others, including a concert guide to classical music, Szymanowski and his music (1971) and most recently a series of radio programs on Szymanowski on Polish Radio in Kraków. Another of her major contributions is the gigantic, critical edition of the Complete Works of Szymanowski. There are 26 volumes in the Polish edition and 17 in the German/English edition, which was published in cooperation with Universal Edition. The latter lacks three more scores in order to complete the series. Lack of funds seems to be the problem.

According to the author, the published letters from 1903-1937 are more than just correspondence. It is a rich document of the times based on the history of the Szymanowski family. It provides an insight into daily life during World War I, the revolution in Russia and the civil war, of how the Szymanowski family, as many other Polish nobles who owned lands in Ukraine, lived in harmony with their Ukrainian and Russian neighbors and how the composer’s family lost everything, including their bank account, with the consequent burden of the family support (mother, brother and sisters) falling on Karol. From 1920 the correspondence reveals a picture of Poland as a free country between two world wars and here we can see and understand the development of the full nationalism that is evident in the composer’s last period of his creativity.

We congratulate Teresa Chylińska on her legacy and look forward to just one more book on Szymanowski, one that will be written with the average music lover in mind, for which requests have been inundating her since the series of radio broadcasts last year. I’m sure we all agree that with her research on Karol Szymanowski for a half century, she is the ideal (and only) person to do so. [WW]

Chopin Piano Competition In New York

If you are in New York or nearby, make plans to preview the 54th Chopin Piano Competition at the Kościuszko Foundation from 3-5 April. (see the Calendar). Previous winners of this prestigious competition include Van Cliburn, Murray Perahia, Ian Hobson and Daniel Pollack. Candidates must be between 16 and 22 years of age and at the beginning of their concert careers. For more information contact Thomas Pniewski, cultural affairs at tompkf@aol.com or 212-734-2130.

Marta Pawlowska Wins A Violin Competition

Nowy Dziennik reports that Marta Pawlowska from Poznań won the first prize in the IV George Phillipe Telemann National Violin Competition. The event is limited to young musicians under age 15.

Award For Women And Music In America

The recently published encyclopedia, Women and Music in America since 1900, edited by Kristine Burns and published by the Greenwood Press, was selected as one of the best reference books of the year by the Library Journal. The encyclopedia includes entries on three Polish musicians: composer Marta Ptaszyńska, jazz singer Urszula Dudziak, and coloratura soprano, Marcella Sembrich Kochanska (written by Maja Trochimczyk).

Winners Of The 10th Milosz Magin Competition

The tenth International Piano Competition named after pianist Milosz Magin took place between 13 and 18 March 2003 in Paris. The winners of the competition were:


  • First Mention ex aequo:
    • Patryk MATWIEJCZUK- Poland
    • Enkhbayar NOMUUN – Mongolia
  • Second Mention:
    • Karolina-Weronika KORKUC – Poland
  • Third Mention:
    • Khurelbaatar TUYA- MongoliaMention for the interpretation for a work by Milosz MAGIN:
    • Sandra MARCINKIEWICZ – Poland
  • Mention for the interpretation for a work by a French composer:
    • Paul BAERT – FRANCE
  • Mention for the interpretation of a Poloanise by Fryderyk CHOPIN:
    • Anna Maria OSUCH – Poland
  • Special mentions for three best foreign participants:
    • Agnčs GURDA – France/Poland
    • Purevbaatar OYUNTUGS- Mongolia
    • Enkhtuvshin UNDRAKH- Mongolia
  • Special mention for best Polish candidate:
    • Patryk MATWIEJCZUK – Poland


  • First Prize ex aequo:
    • Andrzej KARALOW- Poland
  • Second Prize:
    • Batsukh BAYART – Mongolia
  • Third Prize:
    • Tanya PANINA – Russia
  • Medal for the interpretation of a work by Polish composer:
    • Coline CLAEYS – Belgium
  • Medal for the interpretation of a work by French composer:
    • Constance BERI – France
  • Medal for interpretation of a work by Milosz Magin:
    • Anna PUCZYNSKA- Poland
  • Special medal for the best Polish candidate:
    • Ewelina JURGA – Poland
      100 Euro, offered by Anna PODWINSKA


  • Grand Prix:
    • Tokiko KOBAYAKAWA – Japan
      2.000 Euro, offered by Barbara PIASECKA-JOHNSON, recording of a CD offered by Les Amis de la Musique Polonaise, recital at the birth home of Chopin in Zelazowa Wola, and during International Piano Festival Floralies musicales – Musique en fleurs in Powsin, offered by Chopin Society in Warsaw; recital in Paris
  • Second Prize ex aequo:
    • Marta JARCZEWSKA – Poland
    • Justine VERDIER- France
      750 Euro each, offered by Christian Girat in memory of Jean Girat and by Les Amis de la Musique Polonaise
  • Third Prize: Not awarded
  • Prize for the Interpretation of a Sonata by Milosz Magin:
    • Aurélie DORNON – FranceSpecial Prize for the best Slavic candidate:
    • Marta JARCZEWSKA – PolandPrize for the interpretation of Triptyque Polonais by Milosz MAGIN:
    • Aurélie DORNON – France
  • Prize for the interpretation of Toccata, Choral et Fugue by Milosz MAGIN:
    • Daniel BRYLEWSKI- Poland
  • Prize for the interpretation of a Mazurka by Chopin:
    • Juliette CIESLA – France
  • Special prize for the best Polish candidate:
    • Marta JARCZEWSKA- Poland
  • Prize of the Press
    • Tokiko KOBAYAKAWA – Japan (given by the editors of Repertoire)

The competition hearings took place at Centre Yamaha and at the Polish Institute in Paris and there were sixty candidates from twelve nations. Jury, with the president Jean-Marc LUISADA, consisted of Teresa CZEKAJ, Idalia MAGIN, Tadeusz CHMIELEWSKI, Gabriel GOROG, Yves HENRY, Frédéric REITZ and Philippe VAN DEN BOSCH.For more information visit the competition’s web site: http://www.concours-magin.com or contact them at the following address:

Concours MAGIN
31, rue David – d’Angers
75019 Paris, France
Tel & Fax : 33 (0) 1 42 08 40 61

Calendar of Events

APR 3-5: Chopin Piano Competition. Kosciuszko Foundation. Thurs & Fri prelimanaries begin at 1:00 and are free. Finals on Sat at 2:00 p.m. $15. 15 E. 65th St. NY. Reservations: 212-734-2130.

APR 11,12: Chopin: Fantasy on Polish Airs. National Chamber Orchestra, Piotr Gajewski, cond. Rockville, MD. 301-762- 8590.

APR 13: Lowiczanie Folk Ensemble. Concert of traditional Polish music, song and dance in costume. California Club, 1750 Clay St. 2:00 p.m. $15 regular, $10 students. $25 sponsors. 415-474-7070.

APR 23: Krystian Zimerman Piano Recital. UCLA Royce Hall, 8:00 p.m. $45, $35, $30, $15 students.

APR 27: All-Polish Program. Music of Bacewicz, Malecki, Muczynski and Tansman. Quintet of the Americas. Kosciuszko Foundation, NY. 3:00 p.m. $25 (members $20). 212-734-2130.


Polish Music In San Francisco

MARCH 16, 2003, Sunday, San Francisco 3 p.m. ENCORE – Gala Opening Concert – World-renowned Karol Radziwonowicz on piano joined by his equally illustrious brother – musician, Tomasz Radziwonowicz on violin. The virtuoso duo performed works by Paderewski, Chopin, Wieniawski and Szymanowski. Century Club, corner of Franklin and Sutter.

MARCH 22, 2003, Saturday, San Francisco 7 p.m. – R E L I C – Contemporary music set to the words of ancient poets by minstrels in full regalia. 1750 Clay Street, San Francisco

MARCH 30 Polish Voices, Polish Songs – Selections from classical, folk and jazz traditions sung by Bay Area performers. California Club – 1750 Clay Street, 2:00 p.m.

Radziwonowicz Brothers In San Francisco

The Splendor of Poland Cultural Events Committee presented an Encore Performance of the Radziwonowicz Brothers on Sunday, March 16 at the Century Club (1355 Franklin St. @ Sutter – SF), 3:00 p.m. The Radziwonowicz Brothers (world renowned Karol on piano and his equally illustrious brother Tomasz) previously performed at the Gala Opening Concert at the Palace of Legion of Honor. The audiences were impressed by the chemistry between these two brothers emanating throughout their performance. The most recent program included works by by Chopin, Wieniawski, Paderewski and Szymanowski.

Mazowsze In Germany

The Polish National Folk Song & Dance Ensemble, “Mazowsze,” toured throughout Germany during the month of March.

Lachert In String Trios

New York Philharmonic players violinist Hanna Lachert and cellist Brinton Smith, along with pianist/music critic Roman Markowicz performed Chopin’s Trio in G-minor, Op. 8 last month in New York’s Merkin Hall. The concert received a very favorable review from Jan Latus in Nowy Dziennik.

Baczewska Recital In New York

Pianist Magdalena Baczewska, student at Mannes College of Music in New York working on her Master’s diploma, presented a recital of music by Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin and Bacewicz. Music critic Roman Markowicz (Nowy Dziennik) considers this student of Jerome Rose a promising and talented artist.

Young Prodigy Adam Golka

The Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia sponsored a recital by 15-year old Adam Golka of Houston, who performed the 24 Etudes of Chopin. The young pianist had made his debut with Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Houston Symphony. He has recorded a new CD album, “New Music – New Pianist,” which features solo piano works of Jaroslaw Golembiowski.

Music By Polish Composers

  • Skrowaczewski’s “Concerto Niccolo for Piano Left Hand” was performed by Gary Graffman at Ordway Center in Minneapolis with the Minneapolis Orchestra conducted by the composer.
  • Chopin’s First Piano Concerto was heard in Calgary, Canada at Jack Singer Concert Hall with pianist Angela Cheng and George Pehlivanian conducting the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic performed Lutoslawski’s Fourth Symphony in LA three times at the beginning of the month and in New York on the 23rd in Avery Fisher Hall. Conductor Esa- Pekka Salonen broke with tradition in LA by turning to the audience and speaking about how this symphony is really their symphony. How all the major orchestras in the world were competing for it and Witold Lutoslawski elected to accept their commission and wrote the symphony for them. Many of you may remember that the late composer visited the Polish Music Center twice and donated manuscripts to it at its dedication.
  • The performance of Penderecki’s Sextet scheduled for 30 March, was cancelled; instead Rostropovich conducted five concerts with the Concerto for Orchestra by Witold Lutosławski (on March 20, 21, 22, 25, 26).
  • Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 was performed by Julia Fischer in Tel Aviv in three performances at the beginning of March. The Israel PO was conducted by Paavo Jarvi.
  • Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra received five performances at Avery Fisher Hall in New York with Rostropovich conducting the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Panufnik’s Concertino for Solo Timpani, Solo Percussion and Strings was performed at Barbican Hall, London with Colin Currie, percussion, with the City of London Sinfonia led by Marin Alsop.
  • Violinist Jonathon Crow performed the solo part in Karlowicz’s Violin Concerto in the Salle Wilfred-Pelletier in Montreal, Canada with the Montreal SO conducted by Jacques Lacombe.
  • The music of Chopin, Szymanowski, Liszt and Rachmaninov was presented in a recital by pianist Anna Maria Stanczyk at St. John’s, Smith Square in England.
  • Matthew Gee, trombone and David Whittle, piano gave a program of music by several composers, including, the music of Zygmunt Stojowski in the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester, England on 13 March. Tel: 0 116 225 4920.

Benefit Concert In California

Pianist Paul Pitman performed an all-Chopin program in a benefit program for the Scholarship Fund of Music Teachers’ Association of California. The concert was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Encino, California, 20 March.

Piano 2003 Festival In Manchester

Krystian Zimerman was one of several pianists taking part in Piano 2003 that took place at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall from March 14th to the 30th. Martin Cullingford reported on the festival headed by Kathryn Stott which “ranged from the ambitious to the surreal.” One event offered “4 double concertos” performed by eight different pianists and the BBC Philharmonic. In another, Margaret Leng Tan performed a recital on toy pianos. The pianists were “accompanied by ensembles ranging from the BBC Philharmonic, the Halle Orchestra and the Manchester Camerata to the jazz group, the Julian Joseph Trio, and the Pablo Ziegler Tango Quintet.”

Patricia Wnek – 10-Year Old Violinist

Patricia Wnek, a ten-year old violinist and a student of the Peabody Preparatory of Johns Hopkins University, performed W.A. Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in D major with the Trinity Chamber Orchestra of Washington under the direction of Maestro Richard Fazio. In addition, the orchestra played G. Handel’s Overture to the Queen of Sheba; O. Respighi’s The Birds and L. Mozart, Toy Symphony (with Stone Ridge Junior Chorus). The concert took place on Sunday, March 23, 2003, at Georgetown’s Historic Trinity Theater (36th and O Sts., NW, Washington, D.C.) For more information visit the orchestra’s web site: www.TrinityChamberOrchestra.org or Patricia Wnek’s web site: www.PatriciaWnek.com.

Polish Folk Dance On Manhattan

On Sunday, March 10, 2003 at the Fashion Institute of Technology on Manhattan, a concert of Polish folk dance took place, given by a professional Polish American Folk Dance Company (30 dancers) assisted by over 70 students of the Polish School named after Father Augustyn Kordecki in folk costumes. The choreography by Jacek Surdyka includes dances: polonaise, krakowiak, mazur, oberek, as well as three suites of regional dances (Warsaw, Rzeszow, Opoczno). A poster for this performance may be viewed at: www.internetpl.com/koncert.jpg. The concert also included film fragments about Polish culture, traditions, and landscape.

Era Of Jazz Festival In Poland

The ERA OF JAZZ 2003 Festival, the fifth in the series, was a nine-day, nation-wide event that took place on some of the most prestigious stages in some of Poland’s largest cities: Gdynia, Kraków, Poznań, Warsaw, Wrocław (March 3 – March 11, 2003). Concerts were held in jazz clubs as well as in concert halls and theatres with tradition. As in previous years, performers were some of the world’s most outstanding contemporary jazz musicians.

Dino Saluzzi is a virtuoso of the bandeon, sought after equally by Argentine orchestras as well as jazz, rock and folk ensembles. His many years of cooperation with saxophonist Gato Barbieri, with whom Saluzzi tenaciously propagated a new, jazz-based version of tango, were particularly important for him. When in 1983 he appeared in Europe with his Latino quartet, the instrumentalist and his jazz-like tango music were compared with the likes of Astor Piazzolla. Saluzzi has already been a guest of the ERA OF JAZZ series (in the year 2000, with Al Di Meola, he presented a program titled “Piazzolla”). During this edition, he will perform with his Trio (which includes legendary bassist Palle Danielsson), promoting a new album recorded for the prestigious ECM Records label.

For several seasons now, the ERA OF JAZZ series has included concerts by some of the greatest innovators of the Chicago-based Great Black Music scene. Following appearances by the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, the AACM Quartet, Great Black Trifactor and Joseph Jarman, the series this year will include concerts by the charismatic leader of the AACM scene, saxophonist Maurice “Kalaparush” McIntyre. Before forming his own band, known as Light, he was a member of a sextet lead by Roscoe Mitchel and a range of groups lead by Muhal Richard Abrams. He is the co-author (along with musicians from the bands of Sam Rivers) of the “Wildflower” series, which promoted and documented the avant-garde loft-jazz movement of the 1970s. Without abandoning his own formations, he has recorded and performed with the likes of Julius Hemphill, Jerome Cooper, Warren Smith and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble.

Polish audiences will also have an opportunity to see pianist Marc Copland in concert this year. His standard Trio is considered to be one of the most interesting acoustic jazz ensembles in the world, their sound often compared to that of piano virtuoso Keith Jarrett. Copland’s recording history (linked primarily to the prestigious Hut Art Records label) includes numerous albums that received rave reviews throughout the world. The pianist has recorded and performed with renowned musicians like John Abercrombie, Chico Hamilton, Billy Hart, Gary Peacock, Randy Brecker and Bob Berg.

Legendary guitarist Larry Coryell was the star performer of the ERA OF JAZZ 2003 Festival. Coryell has performed and recorded with the ensembles of G. Burton, H. Mann, M. Mantler, E. Jones, J. McLaughlin and B. Cobham. He gained fame by performing in guitar duets with Ph. Catherin, J. McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia and J. Scofield. In the past, his bands have included Ch. Mingus, Ch. Corea, R. Brecker and P. Metheny. Coryell joined J. McLaughlin and P. De Lucia during the legendary “Friday Night” tour, standing in for Al Di Meola. His records include albums recorded with Ch. Mingus, St. Grappelli, S. Rollins, G. Burton and R. Carter, as well as superb recordings with Michal Urbaniak and E. Gomez and records made with John Scofield that received enthusiastic critical write-ups. During this year’s ERA OF JAZZ concerts, Coryell will perform with his new ensemble, consisting of bassist Buster Williams, vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid and drummer Paul Wertico.

Piotr Lachert’s Music At Vassar College

During a recent recital at Vassar College (Skinner Hall), held on 23 February 2003, Hanna Lachert – violin, and Mariki Kaneda – piano, performed two Violin and Piano Sonatas by Beethoven and three works by Piotr Lachert, Polish composer who now resides in Italy. Lachert’s Sonata per violino e pianoforte No. 17, Avalekoan and Three Photos de Betty Beefor piano. Hanna Lachert, an eminent violinist based in New York is Piotr’s sister: a truly musical family!!!

Great Reviews of Gardzienice Theater in L.A.

F. Kathleen Foley, Theater Critic for the Los Angeles Times entitled her review of the recent performance of Metamorphoses by Gardzienice Theater at the Getty Center, “Metamorphoses is a gift from Poland.” The enthusiastic critic had only words of praise for the experimental performance of early Greek music in a thoroughly modern setting by extremely talented actors/dancers/musicians/singers/mimes, who had worked on this project for the past five years. Foley wrote:

In the 25 years of its existence, the Staniewski Center for Theatre Practices (Gardzienice), a theater company based in tiny Gardzienice outside Lublin, Poland, has presented only five full productions – works acclaimed for their sheer rigor of invention and execution. Saturday, at the Getty’s Harold M. Williams Auditorium, local audiences were privileged to see two performances of the group’s “Metamorphoses,” a “theatrical essay” inspired by the writings of the 2nd century Platonist, Lucius Apuleius.

Those who dismiss avant-garde theater as a sham perpetuated by the intellectually supercilious have never encountered this group. It’s the real thing, a dedicated collective that brings us as close to the divine essences of art and the theater as we are likely to get in this frictional, fractious culture.The lapidary “Metamorphoses” has been polished over the course of countless months by Wlodzimierz Staniewski, the visionary behind Gardzienice. A former disciple of Jerzy Grotowski, Staniewski had a highly public parting from his mentor shortly before he founded the Staniewski Center. Staniewski functions as director and adapter-writer for his center’s works, all of which are specifically music-based and nonlinear.

In “Metamorphoses,” Staniewski has accomplished a feat of anthropological theater that is arguably unprecedented. Based on text fragments in the original Greek, the play has recycled the hymns and discourses from these “living stones” and papyri into an almost indescribable melange of music, song and text, alternately spoken in English, Polish and Greek. The songs are sung in “Pythagorean scale,” the dances inspired by the poses on ancient Greek vases, the acting as akin to the style of Thespis as can be hypothetically imagined.If all this sounds turgid and academic, it’s not. “Metamorphoses” is a whirling Dionysian revel, a hail and farewell to the flawed and humanistic Greek gods who, in Apuleius’ time, were being swept away by the rising tide of Christianity. As the actors chant, whirl and posture, broader themes emerge. At one point, a suffering Christ and a joyous Dionysus stand in perfectly balanced juxtaposition — until Dionysus turns suddenly sorrowful, Christ joyful — a piquant commentary on the fine line separating religious beliefs.

The performances are almost impossibly focused and fluid. This is not so much a cast as it is a living organism. The ensemble includes Tomasz Rodowicz, Mariusz Golaj, Marcin Mrowca, Elzbieta Rojek, Joanna Holcgreber, Dorota Porowska, Anna Helena McLean, Grzegorz Podbieglowski, Anna Dabrowska and Agnieszka Mendel — all zealous, all gifted. Musical adapter Maciej Rychly also deserves praise.

In the Entertainment Today (March 28, 2003), Travis Michael Holder repeated Foley’s admiring statements while writing:

What a treat to have this magical troupe from the experimental Staniewski Center for Theatre Practices in Gardzienice, Poland, come to play for us at the Getty. How sad it was for only one performance.

The Center’s theatrical essay, Metamorphoses or the Golden Ass, According to Lucius Apuleius, is a unique revival of the spirit of the pre-Christian era interpreted by Tomasz Rodowitz, Mariusz Golaj, Marcin Mrowca, Elżbieta Rojek, Joanna Holcgreber, Dorota Porowska, Anna Helena McLean, Grzegorz Podbieglowski, Anna Dabrowska and Agnieszka Mendel, a 10-member group of world-class clown-dancer-acrobat-musicians who recreate an amazing evening of ancient Greek theatre. Interwoven with synchronistic music and movement so surreal one could almost feel as though he were transported back to the 2nd century A.D., the presentation is accompanied by castmembers adept at such things as playing the cello while sounding vocally exactly like the instrument. They whirl and sweat with mesmerizing pagan-esque abandonment, bopping each other energetically on the head like a Three Stooges skit, bending one another over into complicated, sometimes erotic positions, singing songs that sound straight out of Fellini’s Satyricon.

After the presentation, the troupe returned to the stage to join for a lecture led by the Center’s founder and director Włodzimierz Staniewski, who explained what it is they try to accomplish’or, more to the point, recreate. They ran slides showing fragments of writing on Greek vases and jars which have been translated into their songs, then showed us with their own bodies how the angular two-dimensional movement of the human figures also depicted were transformed into the dances of their presentation. To say it was fascinating to observe and uplifting to the human spirit are both major understatements. Staniewski compares their art to a quote from Nietsche: ‘Theatre is like wolves raging within us.’ If the wolves raging in the Staniewski Center’s Metamorphoses were any more fierce, the audience would have been running for the exits like reporters when King Kong broke through his chains. Seeing this amazing work is something I won’t soon forget. Maybe we can all join together to bring these exceptionally talented and creatively unstoppable artists back to the Getty another time soon.


by Wanda Wilk

Kocyan’s Fryderyk Nomination

Polish-born pianist and USC graduate, Dr. Wojciech Kocyan, was just nominated for a “Fryderyk,” the Polish equivalent to our Grammy, for his latest CD with the music of Scriabin, Rachmaninoff and Prokoffiev, on the DUX label. It is nominated in the “Solo Album of the Year” category. His rival is SONY’s release of the music for Polanski’s film, “The Pianist.” The award ceremony will take place in Warsaw on April 1, 2003. [www.polishfilmLA.org].

Szymanowski’s Violin And Piano Works

Harmonia Mundi HMC 90 1769 Szymanowski: Violin Sonata, Op. 9., Myths, Op. 10 & Three Paganini Caprices, Op. 40 – Caprice No. 2. Stravinsky: Duo Concertant. Graf Mourja, vn, Nathalia Gous, pf.

The late music critic, Michael Oliver, (he suddenly passed away recently) had been looking forward to this disc by the “Ukrainian violinist in his late twenties who has previously demonstrated an accomplished technique and incisive attack. Both are perceptible here, but so is something more perplexing.” and he doesn’t know whether the problem is the instrument or not. At any rate the full sound is lacking – the total effect is “miniature” and Oliver says he “can only hope that his next were more satisfying. And yes, “his pianist is a fine artist.” The review appeared in Gramophone. Another critic, Jan Smaczny also brings this point out in the BBC Music Magazine, March issue, specifically that “neither piano nor violin are well served by the recording; both instruments are too closely recorded, leading to a constricted violin timbre and a boxy piano sound.”

Mischa Levitzki on NAXOS

NAXOS Historical Mono 8 110688 From HMH and American columbia originals recorded 1923-33. Mischa Levitzki, piano. Vol. 1 of the Complete Recordings of a “great pianist” (1898- 1941).

According to Bryce Morrison (Gramophone) there were two more volumes and he praises Ward Marston, producer and restorer, for the constant improvement in the quality in these re- issues. He concludes his review with “An informative essay by Nalen Anthoni, filling us in on an elusive, stylistically delectable, too-little-known pianist, crowns the disc.” Vol. 1 includes some Chopin Etudes and Waltzes, Moszkowski’s “La jongleuse,” along with music by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, Schubert and Tchaikovsky.

Chopin On The Appian Label

Appian APR 5576 Chopin. Benno Moiseiwitsch, piano.

Appian APR 5624 Chopin, Beethoven & Schumann. Simon Barere, piano.

Rob Cowan calls these two Appian discs “truly exceptional CDs, excellent transfers and judicious choices.” He tells us that Moiseivitsch “combines fleetness, depth of tone and dramatic impulse in Chopin’s 4 Scherzos, recorded in 1949, save for No. 2 which dates from 1925. Other highlights of this mixed Chopin recital include the E minor Nocturne, Op. 72, No. l, and the early B flat Polonaise, Op. 71 No. 2 (so different to the equally charismatic Ignaz Friedman). Few Chopin players rivalled Moiseiwitsch for colour, subtlety, dynamic shading or natural rubato.”As for the other pianist, Simon Barere, Cowan says that if he were to be asked “to name a player whose performances epitomise the more hair-raising elements of romantic virtuoso pianism it would have to be Barere: his Celebrated Live Recordings at Carnegie Hall include a “performance of Chopin’s Third Scherzo that, for sheer devilry and high- velocity finger work, has to be heard to be believed…No one today, not even the likes of Kissin or Volodos, sound anything remotely like him, which makes Appian’s CDs among the most significant `great piano’ releases of the last 10 years.”

New Releases

Warner Elatus 0927-49593-2 Penderecki: Complete Cello Concertos. Noras, vc., Sinfonia Varsovia. Penderecki, cond. www.warnerclassics.com

Warner’s Budget Label: Apex Warner Apex 0927 40822-2 Chopin: Trio and Smetana. Trio Fontenay.

Duncan Druce of Gramophone reports on this particular disc in Warner’s budget-price Apex label in the Feb issue. He writes, “These are excellent performances from a notably welll-matched group…In the Chopin, Wolf Harden rises to the concerto-like demands of the piano part with tremendous panache, but we’re also aware that the string parts, the subsidiary, are still full of interest and beauty.”

“Solomon Plays Chopin.” Pearl mono GEM 0177 Chopin/Liszt. Solomon, piano.

Bryce Morrison reports on the “superlative playing from a master placing himself entirely at the service of the music.” English pianist Solomon Cutner (1902-1988) (known simply as Solomon), “a prodigy at age 8, known for his brilliant technique and musicianship.” Morrison also brings attention to the inaccuracy in the reported death of the pianist in the program notes (in 1956). This disc is a reissue from HMV and Columbia originals recorded 1930-46. {Gramophone Feb ’03].

Rubinstein – A Legend

In an article by Harvey Sachs published by the BBC Music Magazine, in the “Legends” section, the late Polish pianist Arthur Rubinstein is compared to Glenn Gould. The critic describes their impact on “music-loving teenagers like myself during the early Sixties. Like Gould, Rubinstein gave illuminating and sometimes life-transfiguring performances, but the similarities with the neurotic young Canadian ended there…” According to Sachs, “Rubinstein was a formidable, if late, entrant to the pianistic pantheon of his generation… Most memorable of all was the `Rubinstein sound’- as rich and full in the softest passages as in the most powerful climaxes.” The critic mentions four CDs, all from BMG’s Arthur Rubinstein Collection, one of them the RCA Red Seal 090026 63049 2 with Chopin’s Nocturnes. Sachs describes these as straightforward, profound Chopin performances.

Chopin On A Delphian Label

Delphian DCD 34010 Chopin: Piano Sonata, Polonaise-fantaisie, Scherzo & Mazurkas. David Wilde, piano.

Jeremy Nicholas begins his review in the BBC Music Magazine with, “Here is some heartfelt Chopin from an artist who has rarely appeared on disc in recent years. After a high-profile start to his career in the Sixties, David Wilde taught in Germany for 20 years” then in the late Nineties devoted his energies to fighting for Bosnia-Herzegovina. He is presently living in Scotland. Although “Wilde’s love of this music is transparent” the critic only gives him a 2-star rating for not being inspired enough in his playing.

American Record Guide Reviews

Accord 72 Panufnik: Symphony No. 3 and 10. Cello Concerto. Andrzej Bauer, vc. Warsaw Philharmonic. Kazimierz Kord, cond.

John P. Mc Kelvey finds this disc a “rewarding introduction to this composer’s art.” The Third Symphony, “Sinfonia Sacra” is “an interesting and enjoyable piece, by no means devoid of substance and inspiration…the Warsaw Philharmonic is a very good orchestra and is led with obvious spirit and commitment by Kazimierz Kord.” The Polish label is praised – “the recorded sound is well balanced, detailed, firmly imaged and displays an admirable sense of presence.”

Divine Art 23018 Panufnik: Reflections, Pentasonata & Shostakovich. Raymond Clarke, piano.

Jack Sullivan writes, “This British recording offers a fascinating program intelligently executed.” He tells us that the pianist, “who specializes in both composers and premiered the final version of Panufnik’s piano concerto, plays all these coolly passionate works superbly and contributes expansive notes.” He also tells us that these pieces are rarely heard and “are played with great authority. They range from the brilliant and scintillating to the ghostly ephemeral.” Highly recommended.

Classico 407 Poulenc, Hindemith and Szymanowski. Christine Michaela Pryn, violin. Joachim Olsson, piano.

Reviewed by Elaine Fine, who tells us that “this recording includes 3 pieces of 20th century music for violin and piano that handle the combination in very different ways.” “Szymanowski’s Three Mythes from 1915 have sounds that seem to come from unusual areas of the piano and the violin, though all the sounds are from the natural compass of the instruments.” She goes on to praise the “young Danish duo” who call themselves “Musica Mirabilis” and “they certainly deserve that name. The playing here is wonderful, and the musicians bring out the essential character of each composer.”

Accord 106 Wieniawski: Violin Pieces. Konstanty Kulka, Bartlomiej Niziol, Piotr Plawner and Daniel Stabrawa, violin; Elzbieta Stabrawa, Andrzej Tatarski, piano.

As Joseph Magil informs us, “The Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society has gotten four of the finest violinists from Poland to record the music of Poland’s greatest violinist-composer (1835-80).” He goes on to identify each soloist and says, “These remarkable talents have produced a collection with no weaknesses, technical or musical, and with a feel for Wieniawski’s idiom that is unrivalled. Except for a handful of recordings by Milstein and Shumsky.” He urges everyone to “go out and get this set now!”

Dux 373 Baird, Karlowicz, Kilar, Lysight and Piazzola. AMFC Vocal Consort; Zofia Wislocka, cond.

Roger Hecht tells us that “this collection of (mainly) string orchestra works of (mostly) Polish composers is performed by a Polish chorus and Belgian chamber orchestra under a Polish conductor residing in Belgium, and was recorded at a Warsaw concert.” He calls it an “appealing program” with “good and sound performances.” He praises Tadeusz Baird’s “Colas Breugnon Suite” of 1951 for string orchestra and solo flute, compares Kilar’s “Krzesany” to Enesco’s “Romanian Rhapsodies” and calls Mieczyslaw Karlowicz’s “Serenade” “worth exploring” and “Insight worth discovering.”


Born This Month

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


Died This Month

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