Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 10, no. 3
Happy Birthday Chopin
by Wanda Wilk
March 1st is Fryderyk Chopin’s birthday, who was born in 1810. [Note: Some records show February 22nd as Chopin’s date of birth, but the composer’s claimed his birthday to be the 1st of March—the debate continues today.] The music world has only six more years to wait to celebrate this great Polish composer’s two-hundredth birthday! Known as the “poet of the piano”, because the bulk of his music was written for this instrument, Chopin’s fame is universal. I remember reading somewhere that Chopin’s music represented the soul of Poland. The Larousse Encyclopedia of Music writes, “Chopin’s role as the representative of the spirit of Poland was accepted throughout the world.” It goes on to say that, “Today we recognize his immense contribution to the piano music and musical Romanticism of the 19th century, but, nevertheless, he is also to be recognized as an outstanding genius who is the incarnation of the national Polish style.”
I recall once saying to Witold Lutosławski that one had to be Polish to play Chopin well. Not so, he countered. Remember, one of the best Chopin performers is the brilliant Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau. Recently, American pianist Murray Perahia has been earning rewards for his Chopin playing. Of course, we have the Polish Krystian Zimmerman who is unsurpassed, along with Martha Argerich, and now we have Piotr Anderszewski! His most recent recording on Virgin Records of Chopin’s Polonaises, Mazurkas and Ballades has been bringing him rave reviews from England to the U.S. He is being hailed as the most original, thought-provoking pianists around.
In a feature article in BBC Music Magazine where he appeared on the cover, Piotr Anderszewski complained that “people immediately started saying that because I am Polish I must play Chopin” and this kind of pressure had the opposite effect on him. Finally, he has released an all-Chopin disc and the critics are raving. It was picked the “Disc of the Month” by BBC magazine January 2004 issue.
Piotr, who studied at USC and lived in Los Angeles in the 1990s with his violinist sister, Dorota, now finally has this to say: “There is something essentially Polish about Chopin: a sense of pride, the big gesture, the nobility.” Piotr will be performing in concert in Costa Mesa in April. He is now into also playing Szymanowski’s piano music, which he wants to record. If you have anyone needing a birthday present this month, make it a “Chopin” one. It will bring much joy to any one with a love for music.
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Antoni Wit, cond. with Marc Laforêt and Piotr Paleczny at the piano. Program will include Fryderyk Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 and Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11. 1 March, 2004, 7 pm in the Concert Hall.
Celebrations Of Lutosławski Year
In January, Seym (the Polish Parliament) declared the year 2004 as Lutosławski Year, “to give honor to the memory of this eminent composer, in conviction of the significance of his artistic accomplishment for the national and world culture.” The year was inaugurated on 4 February in Warsaw, with a commemorative tablet unveiled on the wall of his house on Smiala St followed by an inaugural Gala Concert on 8 February (for details of this concert, see Performances below.) This declaration has sparked celebrations of all kind, both in Poland and around the world. Below are some of the happenings, this Year of Lutosławski.
10th Lutosławski Forum
The concept for the Lutosławski Forum was formulated within months of the death of composer Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994). The first edition of the event was held in 1995, with the program of the first forum consisting of a wide array of music, including works that the composer and conductor saw as especially important to the development of 20th century music.
This year’s tenth anniversary edition of the Lutosławski Forum will open with a symphonic concert (March 19th and 20th, 2004) performed by the Symphony Orchestra of the National Philharmonic under the baton of Mariusz Smolij with soloists Nikolai Demidenko on piano and Krzysztof Bednarczyk on trumpet. The program for the inaugural concert will feature Dmitri Shostakovich’s Concerto in C Minor for piano, trumpet and string orchestra, Sergei Prokofiev’s 1st Piano Concerto in D-flat Major, Op. 10, Christopher Rouse’s Rapture, and Witold Lutosławski’s 4th Symphony, which the composer completed in 1992 and which is considered to be one of the most exceptional works ever created by the forum’s patron.
For more information, visit the website of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, www.culture.pl/.
Lutosławski And His Musical Inspirations
This is the title of both a concert series that took place from 5-7 February and an exhibition that is running from 6 February – 17 May, 2004 in the Ballroom of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. The Exhibition, Lutosławski and His Musical Ideas, is selected from the composer’s personal collection of scores, photos and LP covers and is curated by Prof. Jadwiga Paja-Stach.
The Polish newspaper, Tygodnik Powszechny, will be dedicating the entire December issue of their cultural magazine, Kontrapunkt, to Lutosławski. Every edition of Kontrapunkt is dedicated to a person, phenomenon or a problem connected with literature, visual arts, music, theatre, history, social sciences or spirituality and is concerned with the entire spectrum of cultural life, the “high culture”, as well as “popular culture”. Each edition is a starting point for reflection for specialists in various fields. This magazine makes an effort to find “a space for discussion and creative dialogue” through creative thinking.
For articles and information, visit http://tygodnik.onet.pl.
Concerts In Poland
Concerts will be given all over Poland over the course of the year. For more place, date and time, visit the site of the Polish music publisher, PWM.
Lutosławski Year At Polish Music Center
Celebrations of the Lutosławski Year at the Polish Music Center will be strongly connected to his “founding” gift of 1985, the gift of his manuscripts. Invited by Dr. Stefan and Wanda Wilk to contribute a gift to the planned collection of Polish Manuscripts at the University of Southern CAlifornia (the collection itself began with a gift of three original manuscripts by Stanisław Skrowaczewski, donated in September 1984), Lutosławski was the guest of honor at the dedication ceremonies of the Center, held on 23 February 1985.
As his gift to the newly created Polish Music Reference Center (renamed, in 2000, as the Polish Music Center), the eminent Polish composer brought manuscript scores of five of his greatest compositions that he wished to donate to USC for the benefit of the Center.
The donation was accompanied by the following gift letter, on the composer’s letterhead with his home address:
[Handwritten text, in English]
William Thomson, Dean
School of Music, USC
Dear Dr. Thomson,
I am most happy to see the establishment of the Polish Music Reference Center at the USC School of Music Library. It is a privilege for me to be at the inauguration. As a token of my wholehearted support and expression of my faith in its great future, I herewith present on your hands, as my inaugural gift to the Polish Music Reference Center, five manuscripts of my compositions. I wish to designated USC for the benefit of the Reference Center to be the guardian, preserver and beneficiary of them in perpetuity.
With my best wishes, I remain
Los Angeles, California, January 23rd, 1985
[Second page of the letterhead page]
Herewith I am enclosing the following manuscripts:
Paroles tisées (1965)
Preludes and Fugue (1972)
January 23rd, 1985
To honor the composer’s wish of 1985 and to celebrate his year in 2004, the Polish Music Center will initiate a series of CDROM facsimile editions of his manuscripts, with the publication of the manuscript for Paroles tisées, accompanied by essays by Lutosławski specialists Steven Stucky, Martina Homma, and Maja Trochimczyk. The release of the CDROM is planned for the fall of 2004. In addition to Lutosławski’s works, the series of CDROM facsimile editions will include a sample of most interesting compositions from the Polish Manuscript Collection at USC.
Skrowaczewski Coming To USC
It has been confirmed! Stanisław Skrowaczewski will be coming to USC at the beginning of fall semester’s season to conduct the USC Thornton Symphony. Maestro Skrowaczewski, although he often prefers to champion the work of other composers rather than conduct his own, has agreed to conduct his Concerto for Orchestra in addition to Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. Skrowaczewski has been living, conducting and composing in the United States, primarily in Minnesota, since he left Poland in 1960.
Axelrod Conducts Sinfonietta Cracovia
The young Texas-born conductor, John Axelrod, (1966), a protégé of Leonard Bernstein and a graduate od Harvard University, will conduct the Sinfonietta Cracovia, of which he is principal guest conductor, on 23 February in the home of The National Philharmonic in Warsaw, and again on February 24, in Cracow at the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic Hall. The program includes 4 works by American composers, including: Aaron Copland’s (1900-1990) exquisite Clarinet Concerto, Leonard Bernstein’s (1918-1990) popular Symphonic Dances from the musical West Side Story, and George Gershwin’s (1898-1937)Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra based on his opera Porgy and Bess. Dead Elvis, composed by Michael Daugherty (1954), composer of the opera Jackie O, will also be performed. According to the words of Mr. Daugherty: “Elvis is part of American culture, history, and mythology, for better or for worse. If you want to understand America and all its riddles, sooner or later you will have to deal with (Dead) Elvis.”
Maestro Axelrod, who was called a Wunderknabe [Wonder Boy] by Wolfgang Sander in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, completed conducting courses at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with the legendary Ilya Musin, and has worked with Christoph Eschenbach, Gustav Meier, Daniel Lewis and Mendi Rodan. In 2003 Mr. Axelrod appeared on a MIDEM Panel Conference at Cannes.
With Sinfonietta Cracovia, Maestro Axelrod has conducted Mozart and Beethoven concertos with Christoph Eschenbach as well as contemporary Polish composers. Also with Sinfonietta Cracovia, he has conducted successful concerts at the White Nights Festival 2003 in St. Petersburg, Russia, with actor Gerard Depardieu in Paris, France, and in Germany at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, and Berlin. Other highlights include engagements with the Nürnberg Symphoniker, the NDR Hannover, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Leipzig Opera with the Gewandhausorchestra in the German Premiere of Jonathan Dove’s opera, Flight. Mr. Axelrod conducted the German premiere of the German narration of Bernstein’s Symphony No 3, Kaddish, and premiered the original narration to Bernstein’s Kaddish by Samuel Pisar with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival.
During the 2002/3 Season, John Axelrod made his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the Hollywood Bowl, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris. In addition to his post as the Principal Guest Conductor of the Sinfonietta Cracovia, Maestro Axelrod was recently named the Chief Conductor of the Opera and Orchestra of Lucerne, Switzerland. He has conducted the Bochumer Symphoniker, the Duisburger Philharmoniker, the NDR Hannover, the Orchestre National de Lille, the Orchestre National d’Ile de France, the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, the Bamberg Symphoniker and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.
Musicians Of The Holocaust
In a series entitled “Music Reborn”, students and faculty of The Royal Conservatory and visiting scholars explored the music of composers who were affected by the Holocaust. The series ran from 5-7 December, 2003 in different venues around the Conservatory campus in Ontario, Canada. Part of this series was also rebroadcast on CBC Radio on 5 February 2004.
This series included the music of many Polish composers. Simon Laks’ Passacaille in cello/piano arrangement and Mieczysław Weinberg’s Piano Quintet op. 18 were performed on the same program. Laks’ Piano Quintet on Popular Polish Themes also had its North American premiere on the following night. The Piano Quintet was an enormous hit with the performers and audience alike—and deservedly so.
Paul Schoenfield’s Camp Songs were also enjoyed in this series.Camp Songs is based on the poetry of Aleksander Kulisiewicz, a Polish political activist. (For more information on Kulisiewicz, see the August 03 newsletter). Bret Werb, resident musicologist at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., presented a lecture on Kulisiewicz as part of “Music Reborn”. Mr. Werb also presented a paper at the PMC’s Polish/Jewish/Music! Conference (for the text of his paper, seePolish Music Journal 6.1.03. Schoenfield’s Camp Songs had its North American debut in Seattle in 2002.
Many of the composers who were honored in these concerts perished in the Nazi concentration camps and we grieve for the loss of such precious life and talent. We are very lucky, though, that Laks, Kulisiewicz, and Weinberg all survived the war and were able to continue to create and pass on their extraordinary gifts of text and music.
Axelrod And Kilar On Music
The music of Wojciech Kilar was honored at the MIDEM International Music Market in Cannes this January, particularly his September Symphony, his symphonic poems Orawaand Krzesany, and his suite from the film Dracula. (see February newsletter for more details on the performance.)
American conductor John Axelrod, who conducted September Symphony for the event, said this about the piece, which was written after the events of September 11th, 2001: “It is not a political work, but a universal composition directed to all of human kind, calling for solidarity and cooperation.” Kilar said that, while composing, he was most focused on proper construction of the work, so that it would become a four movement symphony with proper proportions. He felt that even if the music had an important message but was written badly, the message would not have reached anyone. Regarding his music for films such as Dracula, Kilar said that he does not compose much film music anymore. He now does this exclusively for friends, and very close ones at that. “I have more important things to do,” he added.
Omsky/Kenner: Southern CA Recital
Cellist Jakub Jerzy Omsky teams with pianist Kevin Kenner for the Fullerton Friends of Music concert season finale. Both performers are notably associated with Chopin. Mr. Kenner won the top prize at the International Chopin Piano Competition in 1990. Mr. Omsky, born in Warsaw, Poland, was the youngest student in the history of the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy. Both gentlemen have been featured soloists with world-class orchestras. According to world-renown cellist Yo Yo Ma, “(Omsky is an) extraordinarily talented and dedicated musician.” The Washington Post calls Mr. Kenner “a major talent…an artist whose intellect, imagination and pianism speak powerfully and eloquently.” The program of this concert will be: SCHUMANN Three Fantasie Stucke, Op. 30, BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 3 For Cello and Piano In A Major, Op. 69, CHOPIN Sonata For Cello And Piano In G Minor, Op. 65, and CHOPIN Introduction And Polonaise In C Major, Op. 3.
7 March 2004 | 3:30 p.m.
Sunny Hills High School
1801 Warburton Way
Fullerton, CA 92833
For more information, visit the Fullerton Friends of Music website.
Karolina Naziemiec Performs
Karolina Naziemiec was born in Poland, where she studied viola at the Szymanowski High School in Katowice and the Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw. She is now pursuing a Masters degree at the USC Thornton School of Music with professors Ralph Fielding and Victoria Miskolczy. She has appeared with many orchestras in Poland, Germany, France, Belgium, Japan, and the USA. She is currently playing with several orchestras at USC and in the greater Los Angeles area, as well as teaching at the Young Musicians Foundation. Ms. Naziemiec plays with viola bow awarded to her by the Maestro Foundation in appreciation of her wonderful talent.
In her most recent performance, Ms. Naziemiec performed solos in Prokofiev’s Overture on Hebrew Themes and Max Jankowski’s Avinu Malkeinu (arr. by composer for viola and piano) with the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony as part of the Nimoy concert series.
For her next recital, at USC, Ms. Naziemiec will be giving an encore performance of the Jankowski, in addition to many other beautiful pieces, including: J.S. Bach – 1st Viola Sonata, in G-major; W. Lutosławski – Bucolics; W.A.. Mozart – Symphonie Concertante, for violin and viola; and D. Shostakovitch – Sonata for Viola and piano.
Date: 12 March, 2004
Place: USC, Alfred Newman Recital Hall
Time: 8:00 pm
Admission is free for this performance.
NYDAI’S Art Nights
New York Dance & Arts Innvation is a non-profit organization established with the aim of multi-national creative sponsorship and support of the performing, visual and literary arts. The purpose of the organization is the creation of new art works, the sponsorship of new artistic ideas and the international exchange of artistic concepts and works of art. They sponsor many Polish artists, musicians and composers in their weekly Art Nights, which take place at the Europa Club. All performances for this month are taking place on Saturday night at 7:30 pm. Admission is $10 and free for students with valid ID before 8pm. The schedule for this month is as follows:
March 6, 2004:
The Garage Blues Band will play original compositions and music of Nalepa, Dzem, Clapton, as well as blues arrangement by guitarist L. Kuciarski of Czesława Niemen‘s “bo czas jak rzeka” who co-operated with Niemen in 1970’s.
In the Gallery: Opening of Andrzej Konieczny painting exhibition “European Roses”.
March 13, 2004:
The Seth Okrend Blues Band will play an eclectic mix, blending the blues with rock, jazz swing and funk. Special Guest performance by violinist Monika Kamieniecka, who will play Meditation by J.Massenet and Kaprys Polski by G. Bacewicz.
In the Gallery: Andrzej Konieczny painting exhibition “European Roses”.
March 20, 2004:
Mariana Sadovska from Ukraine and Quartet Jorgi from Poland present an evening entitled “Shadows of forgotten ancestors”. Mariana Sadovska transports listeners to another world as she offers charming traditional songs learned from village women during recent expeditions to her native Ukraine and Poland. Accompanying herself on the harmonium, Mariana employs variegated timbres of open-throat sound, whipping trills and quavers to reveal the long-buried (and quickly disappearing) heritage of an incredibly complex culture—calling songs, wedding songs, lullabies, ballads and healing incantations.
In the Gallery: Andrzej Konieczny painting exhibition “European Roses”.
March 27, 2004:
The Marek Dykta band will perform an experimental blend of electric blues and avant-garde jazz, premiering of the newest edition of Marek’s band, multi-talented vocalist and special guest Rich Micallef. The music of the band is a blend of electrifying blues with elements of improvisation containing level of musical interaction characteristic for avant-garde jazz.
In the Gallery: Opening of Joanna Palecki tapestry exhibition.
Isachar Fater was born Drobin, near Płock, in 1912. He was active as musician and music critic in Poland, the Soviet Union, Brazil and Israel. His paper, “Special Features of Jewish Music in Interbellum Poland”, was translated and read in absentia at the PMC’s Polish/Jewish/Music! International Conference, 15-16 November 1998, at USC, Los Angeles. Isachar Fater died early in February in Jerusalem.
In the picture on the left, Isachar Fater is the man furthest to the right of the four men seated in the front. This picture was taken in 1935 at the Mława Jewish Gymnasium and is featured on the Museum of Tolerance website, in an exhibit entitled “And I Still See Their Faces: Images of Polish Jews, picture 251. The exhibit is based on the book of the same title by Golda Tencer.
The Aleksander Tansman 5th International Competition of Musical Personalities(competition: Łódz, Poland from 14-20 November, 2004, application due (postmark): 9 September, 2004) — The main criterion for judging will be artist’s personality, his musical individuality and therefore representatives of various artistic disciplines will compete in the final of the competition. Artistic disciplines of the 5th edition: flute, bassoon, violin, cello, piano, and guitar. Open to soloists of all nationalities born after the 1st of January 1974. Regulations, application form and other information can be found at www.tansman.lodz.pl.
The 11th International Milosz Magin Piano Competition (competition: Paris, France from 17-22 March 2005, application due: 17 February 2005) — The goal of this competition is to discover different aspects of Polish music, to pay hommage to French music, and to display the talents of international artists to the world. This competition is open to pianists of all ages to compete in three categories: Beginner, Advanced, and Concert Master. For more information, including the registration form, requirements, and repertoire lists, visit www.concours-magin.com
(competition: Palm Desert, CA from 10 January-5 February, 2005, application due: 1 April 2004 (for Intermediates and Seniors), 1 July 2004 (for Juniors) — The core aim of the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition is to recognize and nurture the career paths of gifted young pianists from around the world with opportunities to perform both nationally and internationally. Competitions and Master Classes are held at the Junior (up to 13 years old), Intermediate (13-17), and Senior (18-35) levels. More information and competition schedules available at http://vwipc.org/competitors.shtml.
Poles At The Oscars
Two Polish Cinematographers, Piotr Kulka and Peter Mokrosinski, were nominated in the Foreign Language Film catagory at this year’s 76th Academy Awards. Kulka was nominated for Twin Sisters [De Tweeling], from the Netherlands, and Mokrosinski was nominated for Evil [Ondskan], a Swedish film.
Recent Donations to PMC
From Author Leon Markiewicz
2003 marked the 50th death anniversary of Grzegorz Fitelberg, as well as the 100th birth anniversary of his son Jerzy Fitelberg. In honor of this occasion, music historian Leon Markiewicz collected various materials written by himself and others and donated them to the Polish Music Center’s ever-growing collection.
- Korespondencja Grzegorza Fitelberga z lat 1941-1953 – An excellent new source book that catalogs letters written both to and by Grzegorz Fitelberg between 1941-1953. The book includes 360 letters from a total of 606 letters in the archives of the 20th century Polish composers music collection in the department of music at the University of Warsaw library plus additional correspondence from other sources, for a total of 700 available letters. (Markiewicz, 2003: Polish)
- Grzegorz Fitelberg: Życie i Dzieło (1879-1953) [Grzegorz Fitelberg: His Life and Work] – Markiewicz’s ground-breaking biography of Grzegorz Fitelberg. (Markiewicz, 1995: Polish)
- Grzegorz Fitelberg: A Great Polish Conductor (1879-1953) – This monograph is an abbreviated English version of the above biography. (Markiewicz/Magdalena Dziadek, ed., 1999: English)
- The 7th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors – A description of the 2003 competition in Katowice on May 14, including sponsors, jury, winners, and accompanying events. (2003: English)
- Dirigentis Instrumentum, Batuty z Kolekcji Tadeusza Strugały: Wystawa z okazji VII Międsynarodowego Konkursu Dyrygentów im. Grzegorza Fitelberga w Katowiach[Batons from the Collection of Tadeusz Strugała: An Exhibition on the Occasion of the 7th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Katowice] – The illustrated program from the exhibition of conducting batons that coincided with the 2003 competition.
- CD: Grzegorz Fitelberg, conductor (1879-1953) – A CD of music by Fitelberg, Moniuszko, Noskowski, Karłowicz, Lutosławski, and Szymanowski, as performed by the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, Grzegorz Fitelberg cond.
From The Adam Mickiewicz Institute
- CD: Witold Lutosławski (from the “Composers and the Art of Their Time” Series) – A recording of the Third Symphony (1981-1983), the String Quartet (1964), and the Fourth Symphony (1988-1992). The first and third selections were recorded by the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra with the composer conducting, and the second selection was recorded by the Silesian Quartet.
- Krzysztof Penderecki – An varied collection of five different authors’ information about Krzysztof Penderecki, including quotations, pictures of his landscaping plans, reproductions of original scores and personal calendars, and a list of works.
- Krzysztof Penderecki, Musica Sacra—Musica Profana: A Study of Vocal-Instrumental Works – (Regina Chłopicka, 2003: English transl.)
From The Publisher
Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne (PWM) and Musica Iagellonica have recently donated the following new publications.
- Muzyka to Język Najdoskonalszky: Rozmowy z Martą Ptaszyńska [Music Is the Most Perfect Language: Conversations with Marta Ptaszyńska] – A collection of informative conversations with composer and percussionist Martą Ptaszyńska, about her childhood, her life as a musician, her fascination with the world of color and art, and her inspirations. (PWM Edition, 2001: Polish, with additional Summary and List of Works in English)
- Recepcja Muzyki Francuskiej w Polsce w II PołowieXIX Wieku w Kontekście Idei Estetycznych Epoki [The Reception of French Music in the Second Half of the 19th Century, in the Context of Aesthetic Ideals of the Time] – New research conducted in the reception of French music and culture in Poland in the second half of the 19th century. (Małgorzata Woźna-Stankiewicz & Muisca Iagellonica, 1999: Polish, with Summary in English and French)
From Maciej Gołąb
The author has provided the Polish Music Center with a copy of his recent scholarly monograph, Spór o Granice Poznania Dzieła Muzycznego [Deliberation on the Limits of Knowledge of Musical Works] (2003).
From Bettina Skrzypczak
The Polish Music Center recently received composer Bettina Skrzypczak’s newest, self-titled recording, which includes Scène, Miroirs, Fantasie, SN 1993 J, Toccata sospesa, and Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.
Kocyan Celebrates Chopin
FEBRUARY 22, 2004, San Francisco
Wojciech Kocyan, pianist, performed a Chopin Gala Concert at Old First Church on one of the possible birthdates of Chopin. The concert was presented by The Chopin Foundation – Council of San Francisco.
FEBRUARY 28, 2004, Los Angeles
Wojciech Kocyan participated in a faculty recital at Loyola Marymount University’s Murphy Recital Hall, presenting piano music by Chopin on an eclectic program of varied performers and instruments.
Concert Kickoff To Lutosławski Year
5-8 Feb, Krakow – LUTOSŁAWSKI AND HIS MUSICAL INSPIRATIONS
- This concert series featured a number of his major works performed by Krakow- and Warsaw-based music ensembles as well as an exhibition of scores, photos and LP covers from the composer’s personal collection (Curated by: Prof. Jadwiga Paja-Stach.)
6 Feb – LUTOSŁAWSKI ANNIVERSARY SYMPHONIC CONCERT
- Program included: Symphony No. 4 – Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mariusz Smolij.
6-7 Feb – WARSAW PHILHARMONIC – VIOLIN CONCERTO
- The Warsaw Philharmonic performed Lutosławski’s Violin Concerto with Arto Noras as soloist and directed by Grzegorz Nowak.
8 Feb – THE YEAR OF WITOLD LUTOSŁAWSKI: Inaugural Gala Concert
- Featuring: National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Polish Radio Choir in Krakow, Gabriel Chmura – director, Wlodzimierz Siedlik – choir’s artistic director, James Oxley – tenor, Adam Kruszewski – baritone.
- Program: Witold Lutosławski – Paroles Tissées for tenor and chamber orchestra, Troi Poémes D’Henri Michaux for mixed choir and orchestra, Les Espaces Du Sommeilfor baritone and orchestra, and the Concerto for Orchestra.
The group Cappella della Pieta de’ Turchini visited Poland for the first time on 24 February, 2004, and presented their program: Festa Napoletana. This ensemble consists of a company of singers accompanied by an orchestra of musicians who perform on early instruments and was formed in Naples in 1987. Its founder and musical director is Antonio Florio, a music scholar, cellist, one-time composer of cabaret and film music, and a former student of Nino Rotta. The group possesses a vast repertoire that encompasses Neapolitan music of the 16th to the 18th centuries, including tarantellas and early operas.
Musica Polonica Nova Festival
Between the 22-27 February, 2004, the city of Wrocław hosted the 24th “Musica Polonica Nova”: Festival of Polish Contemporary Music [Festiwal Polskiej Muzyki Wspolczesnej]. Having been established in 1962 (then known simply as the Festival of Polish Contemporary Music), “Musica Polonica Nova” is the third of the festivals dedicated to Contemporary music to be organized in Poland, after Warsaw Autumn [Warsaw Jesien] (established in 1956) and Poznan Musical Spring [Polanska Wiosna Muzyczna] (established in 1961). It is a bi-annual event since 1970, but did not take place in 1982 due to the declaration of Martial Law in Poland. National in character since 1964, the festival has featured occasional international accents. For more information on this festival, visit the official Festival website www.musicapolonicanova.pl.
Cantores Minores Sing Messiah
Joseph Herter’s choir, Cantores Minores, (pictured on the right) performed in Warsaw on 22 February, 2004. For this concert, they combined with St. George’s British International School Chamber choir and orchestra, whose director, Robert William Hix, conducted them in Handel’s Messiah. The concert was part of a series entitled “Religious Music in Warsaw’s Architectural Spaces”.
Musica Sacra Competition
- 1st Place: Lukasz Farcinkiewicz for PROSBY WYGNANCA (4000 zł. and a performance at the Gaude Mater Festival)
- 2nd place: Patryk Różycki for CREDO (3000 zł. and a performance at the Gaude Mater Festival)
- 3rd Place: Wojciech Blecharz for PSALMUS 82 (2000 zł. and a performance at the Gaude Mater Festival)
- Honorable Mention: Miłosz Aleksandrowicz forVENI CREATOR (1000 zł.)
- Honorable Mention: Katarzyna Glowicka for ET BENEDIXIT DOMINO (1000 zł.)
Chopin Society Of TX Piano Competition
On 17 January 2004, at the St. Pius X Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, the annual Piano Competition of the Fryderyk Chopin Society of Texas took place. No First place award was given, but Second place went to Rachel Malone of Austin, and Third place was awarded to Sergiy Komirenko of Los Angeles and Ukraine.
Calendar of Events
MAR 6: NYDAI Art Night, 7:30 pm at the Europa Club, NYC. See above for artist listing.
MAR 7: Jakub Jerzy Omsky, cellist and Kevin Kenner, pianist in free recital of classical and romantic music. Performing Schumann, Beethoven and Chopin. 3:30 pm Sunny Hills Performing Arts Center, Sunny Hills High School, 1801 Warburton Way, Fullerton, CA 92833.
MAR 12: Karolina Naziemiec, viola, will perform J.S. Bach, W. Lutosławski, W.A. Mozart, and D. Shostakovitch. USC, Alfred Newman Recital Hall, Los Angeles. 8:00 pm. Admission is free for this performance.
MAR 13: Sembrich Voice Competition. Hunter College, New York. Sponsored by the Kosciuszko Foundation. 212-734-2130. 10:00 am Open to the public.
MAR 13: NYDAI Art Night, 7:30 pm at the Europa Club, NYC. See abovefor artist listing.
MAR 14: Music by Lutosławski, Różycki, Dvorak & others. Contrasts Quartet. Kosciuszko FoundationChamber Music series. 3:00 p.m. $25/20. 212-734-2130.
MAR 20-21: Chopin Piano Competition, Chicago Preliminaries. Roosevelt College, Chicago College of Performing Arts. 847- 437-2428.
MAR 20: NYDAI Art Night, 7:30 pm at the Europa Club, NYC. See abovefor artist listing.
MAR 26: ‘Evening with Chopin’, Featuring Nina Drath. 7:00pm. St. Pius X Parish Hall, Corpus Christi, Texas. See the Fryderyk Chopin Society of Texas websitefor more information.
MAR 27: The Polish Arts Association of Washington, DC is sponsoring our friend soprano Laura Kafkain a joint concert with baritone Jozef Surowiec, and pianist Scott Beard. 7:00pm. Embassy of the Republic of Poland, 2640 16th Street, NW. Please RSVP (if positive) by March 4 to Bob Pikul, 1511 Twisting Tree Lane, McLean, VA 22101. Tickets are $40.00 (includes concert, reception, and Polish dinner). For further information please call 703-893-7979. Checks can be made payable to the “PAAA Concert.”
MAR 27: NYDAI Art Night, 7:30 pm at the Europa Club, NYC. See abovefor artist listing.
MAR 28: a concert of Marta Ptaszyńska’s music for the 10th Lutosławski Forum. Orchiestre Panstwowych Szkól Muzycznych will be performing. Warsaw, National Philharmonic.
Mar 28: “The Romance of George Sand and Fryderyk Chopin in Her Words and His Music.” Dr. Ruth Albert Spencer, lecturer. Kosciuszko FoundationNew England chapter. Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA. 413-592-0859.
News Of Our Friends
Tyrone D. Greive
Tyrone D. Greive is a violist in Madison, WI and a champion of Polish music. Recently, he shared news of his recent and upcoming concerts with us:
…Later this week my pianist and I are playing a widely varied Polish recital at the University: Adagio from Concerto No. 4 by Feliks Janiewicz, Divertissement by early Maria Szymanowska, Partita of 1984 by Witold Lutosławski, Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano by Romuld Twardowski (for which my wife will play the cello), Romance and Burleska by Juliusz Zarebski and Adam Andrzejowski, respectively, and the Sonata in D minor, op. 9 by Karol Szymanowski.
I am happy to report that our concert for the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York last March was very succcessful and that many seemed to be delighted to hear the variety of music, most of which they had never heard performed live, let alone on recordings. The program included music by Górecki (Variations, op. 4), Bacewicz (Stained Glass Window and Sonata No. 5), Poldowski (Sonata in D Minor), Elsner (Sonata in F major, op. 10, no. 1), Noskowski (Melody, op. 21, no.1), Paderewski-Kreisler (Melody, op. 16, no. 2), and Szymanowski-Kochański (Roxane’s Song from Le Roi Roger and Dance from Harnaise); the encore was Młynarski’s Slavonic Lullaby.
Perhaps, you have seen my latest violin-piano performance editions published last year: Karłowicz Impromptu (PWM Edition) and Violin-Piano Works by Poldowski (Irena Wieniawska) (Hildegard Edition). The Poldowski edition includes a large-scale, three-movement sonata, and four miniatures (the editions for three of which I created from manuscripts at the Music Division of the Polish National Library in Warsaw). The Karłowicz edition is listed as XXXXXX…
In addition to his duties as USF Director of Choral Activities and Music and Artistic Director of The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Dr. Richard Zielinski has recently accepted an appointment as Professor of Music at the Szczecin Technical University in Szczecin, Poland. His duties will include serving as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor for CHAPS, the Chor Akademicki Politechniki Szczecinskiej [Szczecin Technical University Academic Choir], one of Poland’s top choral ensembles founded 50 years ago by the late Jan Szyrocki. Last summer, Richard was named Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the “In Terra Pax” International Choral Academy and Artistic Director of the International Festival of Choral Song both in Miedzyzdroje, Poland.
Richard’s recent engagements in Poland include preparing the Szczecin choir for a New Years performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Berlin Orchestra in Berlin, Germany and conducting a Koledy [Carols] concert at the Bazylika Cathedral in Szczecin, Poland (see picture) marking the end of the Advent season in January.
Future international engagements include concert tours of Poland and Lithuania with the Sczcecin choir and a celebratory concert marking Poland’s joining the European Union to be held in Germany. Richard will be leading a group of about 70 singers and observers from The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay as well as USF music students on a concert tour to Poland in June, 2004. Richard has also been invited to be a juror at the 2004 International Choir Olympics to be held in Bremen, Germany in July.
Born This Month
- 1 March 1810 – Fryderyk Chopin, virtuoso pianist, Poland’s greatest composer
- 2 March 1927 – Witold Szalonek, composer (d. 2001).
- 3 March 1922 – Kazimierz Serocki, composer, co-founder of the Warsaw AutumnFestival (80 years)
- 6 March 1975 – Karol Kurpiński, composer, father of national opera
- 6 March 1835 – Ludwik Grossman, composer, pianist, and piano merchant (d. 1915)
- 7 March 1911 – Stefan Kisielewski, composer, essayist, writer
- 10 March 1937 – Bernadetta Matuszczak, composer
- 14 March 1913 – Witold Rudziński, composer
- 17 March 1901 – Piotr Perkowski, composer
- 17 March 1925 – Tadeusz Prejzner, composer, pianist active in popular music
- 18 March 1961 – Hanna Kulenty, composer
- 21 March 1936 – Marek Stachowski, composer
- 23 March 1933 – Andrzej Trzaskowski, composer, jazz pianist and conductor
- 23 March 1888 – Lidia Kmitowa, violinist and teacher (d. 1980)
- 27 March 1927 – Joachim Olkuśnik, composer
- 28 March 1954 – Paweł Szymański, composer
Died This Month
- 2 March 1887 – Wilhelm Troschel, singer and song of piano maker
- 4 March 1939 – Józef Sliwiński, pianist, composer (b. 1862)
- 4 March 1925 – Maurycy (Moritz) Moszkowski, composer and pianist (b. 1854)
- 4 March 1895 – Stanisław Niedzielski, singer (baritone), choral conductor.
- 14 March 1954 – Ludomir Rogowski (b. 3 Oct 1881)
- 15 March 1883 – Karol Studziński, violinist (b. 1828)
- 15 March 1948 – Konrad Neuger, conductor, active in the U.S. since 1931 (b. 1890)
- 19 March 1876 – Józef Stefani, composer, conductor, violinist, son of Jan (b. 1800)
- 21 March 1973 – Antoni Szałowski, composer
- 22 March 1893 – Adam Herman Hermanowski, cellist, child prodigy and virtuoso (b. 1836)
- 29 March 1937 – Karol Szymanowski, composer, pianist (b. 1882)
- 29 March 1959 – Zdzisław Szulc, curator of music instruments museum in Poznań
- 31 March 1880 – Henryk Wieniawski, composer, virtuoso violinist (b. 1835)
- 31 March 1946 – Aleksandra Stromfeld-Klamzynska-Szuminska, soprano (b. 1859)