Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 10, no. 11
Recent Donations to PMC
Skrowaczewski Donates Two Scores
October 15th, Los Angeles, California
The Polish Music Center at the USC Thornton School of Music proudly announces a donation of two orchestral scores by Maestro Stanisław Skrowaczewski on the heels of his visit to the USC campus in September 2004: Prelude-Fugue-Postlude and Music at Night.
Prelude-Fugue-Postlude is a large-scale orchestral work, scored for the extended winds, brass, percussion and string sections. This score, dating from the 1940s, is not listed in any official lists of Skrowaczewski’s compositions.
The other manuscript, Music at Night, dates from 1949. Also written for large orchestra, this four-movement work was revised in 1977. Called “a study in clenched fists, stark gestures and granite orchestration” by the Washington Post and praised for “the coherence of the score” by Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, this powerful symphonic work will be heard again in performance by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in February 2005 under the composer’s baton
Maestro Skrowaczewski was the first composer to donate his scores to the future Polish Music Center at USC (established as the Polish Music Reference Center in 1985). His gift, given in September 1984, included fragments of his early Violin Concerto (1940), as well as the complete scores of Symfonia na smyczki [Symphony for strings] (1948-49) and the Overture for orchestra (1954). Skrowaczewski’s initial gift and the five manuscripts subsequently given to Polish Music Center by Witold Lutosławski in early 1985, formed a core of the Polish Manuscript Collection at USC. The unique collection of the Polish Music Center’s manuscripts now encompasses over 100 works by the most prominent modern Polish composers, including scores by Bacewicz, Baird, Meyer, Penderecki, Schaeffer, Twardowski, among others.
Donation Of Records And Concert Memorabilia
The Polish Music Center gratefully acknowledges the receipt of the following LPs from Anne Claire Anderson of San Marino, California: Pożegnanie Ojczyzny [Farewell to My Country] performed by the Wesołowski accordion ensemble (3 copies); Tańce Ludowe z Polski [Folk Dances from Poland], vol. 2, presented by Ada and Jaś Dziewanowski (3 copies); Tańce Ludowe z Polski [Folk Dances from Poland], vol. 3, presented by Ada and Jaś Dziewanowski (3 copies). In addition, the donation included (9) 7-inch LPs with Polish folk dances, presented by Ada and Jaś Dziewanowski.
Mrs. Anderson also included a wonderful treasure of a recital program, given by Ignacy Jan Paderewski on April 2, 1939 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. This unique gift was accompanied by the following note, dated 23 June 2004:
It is my pleasure to send you this Paderewski program from 1939. My parents must have attended this performance when I was three years old. Knowing that they rarely went anywhere without me at the time, it must have been a very special event in their lives.
My mother loved to shop in Downtown L.A., and very often we would go to Barker Bros. Dept. Store and listen to the organ music played in their big lobby. At Christmas time, a robed boys choir would sing carols from the balcony. I see a barker Bros. ad in this program. I also see Birkel-Richardson and So. Cal. Music Co, ads, and this is where my mother would buy my sheet music, all of which I still have. Ah, what nice memories. I grew up very close to USC, right off Adams Blvd. between Hoover and Vermont, and took piano lessons, as I mentioned, at the Polish Church on West Adams. That’s when L.A. seemed a much smaller city.
I would like to donate this program to the Polish Music Library, hoping you don’t have several already. Please mention both my mother’s name and my name in your credits—Anne Prybelski Neuman [and] Anne Claire Anderson. […]
Other Recent Donations
Krzesimir Dębski, one of the young and prominent Polish film composers visited Los Angeles area in July 2004. Stopping by for afternoon tea at Dr. and Mrs. Stefan and Wanda Wilk’s home, he brought some of his latest music—scores and CDs—for a donation to the Polish Music Center. Mr. Dębski’s gift includes:
- Pieśń Heleny [Helen’s Song] for voice and piano from a feature film Ogniem i mieczem [With Fire and Sword]. PWM 1999, 8 pages. (2 copies)
- Theme music from the TV series Klan [The Clan] for voice and piano. PWM 2001, 3 pages
- Country in E for violin and piano. PWM 2001, 10 pages
- Miniatury skrzypcowe [Violin miniatures] for violin and piano. PWM 2000, 9 pages
- Three CDs (Si Music label; vol. 1, 2 and 3), containing the following works:
- Nihil Homine Mirabilius – a symphony for soprano, chorus, and orchestra
- Concerto for Piano and Orchestra and Organismi for piano solo
- Concerto for Flute and Orchestra
- Double Concerto for violin, viola and orchestra
Other works by Krzesimir Dębski are already in the catalogue of the Polish Music Center Collection.
Leoncjusz Ciuciura‘s donation to the Polish Music Center in July 2004 includes scores to his works Creatoria I per uno e piu’ for any set of instruments and Intarsio I per uno e piu’ for any set of instruments. Many other works by this prolific composer are in the catalogue of the Polish Music Center’s library.
Two scores—Karol Szymanowski’s Sonata for Violin and Piano op. 9 and the album of Frederic Chopin’s Piano Sonatas—will enrich the PMC library holdings thanks to a donation made in September 2004 by Stanisław Grzanka of Los Angeles, California.
In memory of her father, Dr. Sermak, Jeannette Sermak-Proulx of Arcadia, CA made a generous donation in September 2004 . The gift includes over 50 sound recordings, featuring—among others—reissues of historical Welte-Mignon pressings, made in 1906 and 1913 by Paderewski, de Pachman, and Hoffman.
Penderecki Honored With Praemium Imperiale
The Praemium Imperiale is a global arts prize awarded annually by the Japan Art Association in Tokyo, to celebrate the human spirit as expressed through artistic genius. Praemium Imperiale honors artists who have contributed significantly to the development of international arts and culture, and at the same time, the prize encourages future generations of artists, promotes increased international cooperation and understanding, and, ultimately, contributes to world peace. The Praemium Imperiale is based on the idea that the arts celebrate man’s creativity and are the reflection of his spirit and enduring legacy.
Since its inauguration in 1989, this prize has become a mark of the highest international distinction for achievement in the arts. Six nomination committees, each chaired by an International Advisor, propose candidates in five fields, without regard to nationality: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music, and Theatre/Film – fields which are not covered by the Nobel Prizes. On 21 October 2004, His Imperial Highness Prince Hitachi awarded this distinction to Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki at a ceremony in Tokyo. Penderecki joined Pierre Boulez, Leonard Bernstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, Ravi Shankar, and Oscar Peterson among the laureates in music to date, and becomes the second Pole, after Andrzej Wajda, to be so recognized. This year’s winners also include American sculptor Bruce Nauman, German painter Georg Baseitz, Iranian filmaker Abbas Kiarostami and Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
The Japan Art Association commends Penderecki, a child of the Nazi occupation, in his desire to, “communicate his sense of post-war alienation, horror at the crimes of the Holocaust and the cold war and, paradoxically, his hope for the future… A tribute to the effectiveness of his work is that despite their physical, logistical, and economic difficulties, they are performed so often. ”
To learn more about this prize or the Japan Art Association, visit www.praemiumimperiale.org.
Bydgoszcz Paderewski Competition
The 6th International Paderewski Piano Competition will be held in Bydgoszcz from 6-18 November 2004 in the concert halls of the Academy of Music and the Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz. The winners will receive the prizes on November 17th, 2004 during the prize-winners’ Gala Concert in the Pomeranian Philharmonic of I.J.Paderewski.
This competition is held every four years with the goal of commemorating pianist, composer, statesman, and humanitarian Ignacy Jan Paderewski. By comparing performances of young pianists and rewarding excellence, the Competition hopes to encourage and promote Paderewski’s music as well as the success of young musicians. The Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities who are under 27 years of age.
During the last competition, held on 6 – 17 November 2001, awards were given as follows: I prize – STEPÁN KOS (Czech Republic), II prize – ALEXEY KOMAROV (Russia), III prize – BARBORA SEJÁKOVÁ (Czech), IV prize – SŁAWOMIR WILK (Poland), V prize – not awarded and VI prize – (ex aequo) VSEVOLOD VARTANOV (Russia) and VIATCHESLAV ZUBKOV (Ukraine). Special mentions were given to MACIEJ GAŃSKI (Poland), MAREK KAMOLA (Poland), and NATALIA SAWOŚCIANIK (Poland).
The first competition took place in 1961; Henryk Sztompka, one of Paderewski’s students, was the president of the jury and Jerzy Maksymiuk received the first prize. The second competition was held in 1986, and Jerzy Sulikowski was the president of the jury. Wojciech Kocyan was the winner of the first prize. In 1994, during the third competition, there was no first prize awarded. The fourth competition in 1998 ended with the first prize being awarded to Tomomi Okumura from Japan.
For more information, please visit www.konkurspaderewskiego.pl.
Polish Composers’ Festival
14 – 16 October 2004
The Ninth Polish Composers’ Festival, under the honorary chairmanship of Henryk Mikolaj Górecki, was held place in Bielsko-Biała between 14 and 16 October. During this year’s Festival, which was devoted to the work of Witold Lutosławski and commemorates the tenth anniversary of his death, it was possible to hear, among other works, the Cello Concerto, the Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Chamber Orchestra, the Partita, the String Quartet, the Piano Concerto and the Concerto for Orchestra as well as popular songs that the composer wrote under the pseudonym Derwid. Many well-known Polish musicians, including Waldemar Malicki, Krzysztof Jakowicz, Patrycja Piekutowska, the Wilanów Quartet, Lora Szafran, Mieczysław Szcześniak and Joachim Mencel will appear on the platform of the Bielsko-Biała Centre of Culture.
Some of the non-musical events included a seminar devoted to the life and work of W. Lutosławski, held at the State Music School at Bielsko-Biała on 16 October, with the participation of H. M. Górecki. The State Music School took an active part in the organization of the Festival: competitions for music school students in piano performance and general knowledge about Witold Lutosławski were held association with the Festival. The Festival also featured the exhibition ‘Witold Lutosławski and His Musical Ideas’, prepared by Poland’s largest music publisher, PWM Edition.
Kurkowicz Champions Bacewicz
A native of Lublin, Poland, Joanna Kurkowicz began her violin studies under the tutelage of Franciszek Falger. She earned a Master of Music Degree with distinction from the Paderewski Conservatory of Music in Poznan, Poland, in the studio of Jadwiga Kaliszewska. She came to the United States in 1992 to complete a second Master of Music degree as a student and teaching assistant of Charles Treger at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ms. Kurkowicz recently completed the prestigious Artist Diploma program at the New England Conservatory of Music where she studied with Masuko Ushioda. Joanna Kurkowicz plays on a Petrus Guarnerius violin dated from 1699.
Praised by the Boston Globe as “a very cultivated artist indeed,” violinist Joanna Kurkowicz enjoys an active and versatile career as an award-winning soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and concert mistress. She has performed on many of the great concert stages of the world, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, Boston and the Grosse Saal, Salzburg, and has appeared as a soloist with the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, the Jefferson Symphony, the San Luis Obispo Symphony, the New England String Ensemble, the Berkshire Symphony, the Poznan Philharmonic, the Polish National Radio Orchestra in Katowice and others. She has received awards from the Samuel Chester, Presser, Kosciuszko, and Olevsky Foundations, the Harvard Musical Association, the Irving McKlein International Competition, the Carmel and Coleman Chamber Music Competitions, and, in Poland, the Henryk Wieniawski and Tadeusz Wronski International Competitions. Ms. Kurkowicz currently serves as concert mistress of the Boston Philharmonic, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (1999–2004), and the Vermont Symphony (1999–2001), and is a member of both the Metamorphosen and Orpheus Chamber Orchestras (1997–2003). Since fall 2002, she holds the position of “Artist in Residence” at Williams College. An avid and sought-after chamber musician, she has collaborated with such eminent artists as Jaime Laredo, Charles Treger, Laurence Lesser, James Buswell, and James Dunham, and is a founding member and Artistic Advisor of the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston as well as Plymouth Chamber Music Festival. Her Boston premiere of sonatas by Rebecca Clarke was listed in the Boston Globe “Best Concerts of 2000.”
Ms. Kurkowicz is a strong advocate of contemporary music; she has premiered works by Gunther Schuller, Ralph Shapey, Paul Ruders, and Grażyna Bacewicz, and performs frequently with Boston Musica Viva. Her most recent endeavour in this realm is an upcoming concert entitled “Woman of Note—Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)“, to be performed at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall of Williams College on 13 November 2004 at 8:00 pm. The program will be: Sonata No. 4, Sonata for Violin Solo, Partita, and Oberek No. 1. The same program will be performed again on the 14th at the First & Second Church in Boston, MA at 6:00 pm. Judith Rosen will give a lecture on Bacewicz during on the second night. These recitals commemorate the 95th Anniversary of the composer’s birth, as well a new Chandos Records release featuring her music.
The Chandos Recording (CHAN 10250) features Joanna Kurkowicz and Gloria Chien, piano, the same duo who will perform at Williams College on 13 November, in a dazzling display of Bacewicz’s finest violin works. The recording includes the following compositions for violin and piano: Capriccio, Sonata No. 4, Oberek No. 1, Sonata No. 5, and Partita; as well as these for solo violin: Polish Capriccio and Sonata No. 2.
National Warsaw Philharmonic
8 – 11, 14 November, 2004
The Warsaw Philharmonic will reach the end of their 2004 tour in California during November. First, the Warsaw Phil, with guest pianist Olga Kern, will visit Irvine’s Barclay Theatre for two concerts on the 8th and 9th at 8:00 pm. Then they move onto San Luis Obispo and the Christopher Cohan Center, where they will perform at 8:00 pm on the night of the 10th. Then it is on to the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara for concert at 8:00 pm on the 11th. From there, the orchestra will take a detour into Nevada, and then return to California for their last concert on this tour, held at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento at 7:00 pm on the 14th.
For more information on time, location and program details for this tour, visit www.polishculture-nyc.org.
Tyrone Greive, Professor of Violin at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Polish Music Journal contributor has written an article entitled “A Woman of Substance, Rediscovering Poldowski’s early 20th-century violin-piano music”. It appears in the Novemeber 2004 issue of Strings, a leading American journsl aimed toward players and teachers of bowed string instruments. Poldowski is the pen name of Irena Regina Wieniawska (1879-1932), youngest daughter of the famous Polish violinist Henryk Wieniawski. Also, known as Lady Dean Paul in Great Britain, she is particularly known for her songs with piano and solo piano pieces. In 2003, Mr. Greive published a performance edition of her Sonata in D minor and four short pieces for violin and piano (Hildegard Publishing Company, Bryn Mawr, Pa), which is distributed by the Theodore Presser Company as well as other retailers. He also created editions of several of the short pieces from manuscripts he was shown by the most-helpful staff in the Polish National Library in Warsaw.
Mr. Greive not only promotes Polish music in word, he does so on the stage as well. He and pianist Ellen Burmeister will be presenting several Polish works at recitals in the next few months. They will give an all-Polish program on November 11 at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, 12:00 noon. Mr. Greive will also be playing the Lutosławski Partita with the UW-Madison Chamber Orchestra on Friday, December 10, 2004 (Mills Concert Hall, 8:00 p.m.). On Friday, January 14 at 7:00 p.m., he and Ms. Burmeister will present an all-Polish program at the Polish Embassy in Washington D.C. — 300 years of music represented in works by Górecki, Elsner, Poldowski, Lutosławski, Chopin-Kreisler, Paderewski-Kreisler, Wieniawski and Szymanowski-Kochanski.
On Tuesday, 30 November 2004, the Symphony Nova Scotia will give a performance featuring works by W. A. Mozart, Samuel Barber and Polish-Canadian composer Piotr Grella-Mozejko (pictured at left), whose Euphonia (Tomasz Sikorski in memoriam) for string orchestra will have its professional premiere. Euphonia (Tomasz Sikorski in memoriam) was commissioned by the Saskatoon Composers’ Performance Society for the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra’s concert of Canadian music.
Grella-Mozejko says this about his piece:
Euphonia was written in memory of the outstanding Polish composer Tomasz Sikorski, one of the early pioneers of minimalism (albeit much more serious, much more emotionally and philosophically involved than minimalism of, say, Philip Glass) and is dedicated to the Polish philosopher Bohdan Pociej. The main idea behind the piece was to write music which would, oddly enough, harness dodecaphony, serialism and tonality, and turn them into something aurally pleasant, stylistically familiar, and yet expressively substantial (although not necessarily “Romantic”). After having written a great deal of extremely dark, complex and intense pieces, I wanted to try my hand at music which would combine structural elegance and simplicity with elements of intelligent, unconstrained flow of sophisticated emotions. In other words—a late twentieth century, courteous bow to both avant-garde (from serialism to minimalism) and tradition. I felt the urge to demonstrate that these two worlds are, indeed, compatible—and friendly. I am very grateful to Professor Monte Keene Pishny-Floyd who was the proverbial spiritus movens behind the commission.
The Symphony Nova Scotia (Bernhard Gueller, Artistic Director) will be led by the distinguished, internationally acclaimed U.S. conductor Maestro Mariusz Smolij, who was most recently the Resident Guest Conductor with the Houston Symphony. Symphony Nova Scotia’s imaginative and adventurous programs feature both standard repertoire and new works by contemporary Canadian and international composers. This performance will take place in the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium at 8:00 pm on 30 November 2004.
For tickets and more information, visit www.symphonynovascotia.ca
International Flute Competition
Applications for the 3rd International Flute Competition Cracow 2005 are due on 15 November. The Competition is open to participants who were born after April 10, 1979. Prize winners will be expected to perform in 3 different stages of competition held from 10-16 April, 2005, in addition to a preliminary round on 11-12 December 2004 and a final performance on 17 April 2005. All competition events will take place at the Academy of Music in Cracow. For competition rules and regulations, visit www.amuz.krakow.pl/en/flet2005.html.
Oles’ “Like a Dream”
Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz’s CD “Like A Dream” (featuring pianist Brad Mehldau, legendary saxophonist Bennie Maupin and Darek Oles on bass) will be released on the 1st of November in the US market. This record has inspired very good reviews in Europe, and has received a nomination for the German critics’ award as well as others. The following is a review by John Kelman from www.allaboutjazz.com (9/25/04):
Bassist Darek Oleszkiewicz, who prefers to go by the abbreviated moniker Oles, has gradually been establishing a name for himself on the West Coast scene over the past decade, playing on notable recordings by artists including Dianne Reeves, Jackie Ryan and Charles Lloyd. Now, with his Cryptogramophone debut as a leader, Like a Dream, he sheds a spotlight on his compositional skills. On a programme of eleven originals and one standard, Oles demonstrates a style that crosses a number of musical boundaries much like Eric von Essen, who came before him in the LA scene and figures prominently in Oles’ work.
The album presents Oles in three different and contrasting contexts. First is a series of duets with pianist Brad Mehldau. While there is the inevitable lineage to Scott LaFaro and Bill Evans, Oles also combines a certain economy of style that is reminiscent of Charlie Haden. Oles and Mehldau seamlessly shift between being drivers and passengers on what are the most mainstream compositions of the album. Oles’ tone, while woody like Haden’s, also has a certain Gary Peacock-like edge to it. Mehldau displays the contrapuntal style he has become known for, with left and right hands sometimes playing call-and-response, other times playing independent lines that inevitably cross paths and come together into a common theme. Oles’ compositions are lyrical and immediately memorable. One wonders if his inclusion of the Raye/DePaul standard You Don’t Know What Love Is is to simply give context to Oles’ compositions, which are fresh, while at the same time oddly familiar.
Two pieces by Oles’ longstanding cooperative, the L.A. Jazz Quartet, place him in a clearly comfortable ensemble setting. Oles aside, the star of this group is guitarist Larry Koonse, who, with a warm and elegant style that is similarly spare, contributes heartfelt accompaniment and solo work on the tender ballad Precious Moments. The folksy 5/4 Before the Journey is an aptly-titled, strongly visual piece that hints at Americana without being blatant. Oles’ solo is remarkably singable considering the register of his instrument; a characteristic, in fact, of most of his work.
The programme closes with five tracks that feature pianist Adam Benjamin and drummer Nate Wood, with reedman Bennie Maupin guesting on Conclusion Part Two, another folk-tinged piece that is the most outgoing piece of the album. Conclusion Part One and Conclusion Part Three are darker, more introspective pieces, as is the melancholy That Night. Oles shows his abilities as a thoughtful accompanist who, while occasionally unpredictable, always keeps a strong pulse.
Oles may not be a secret on the LA scene, but he is less well-known on larger national and international stages. With “Like a Dream” he proves that he has what it takes, as a performer and composer, to reach the next level; once again the adventurous Cryptogramophone label brings a deserving artist to a broader public.
This album is available for sale at www.cryptogramophone.com as well as local music stores.
A Michigan Polonaise
Celebrating its 76th season, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra will present a concert billed as the “Polish Polonaise” at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor at 8:00 pm on Saturday, November 20. The concert will feature Witold Lutosławski’s Mala Suita, Frederic Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 in D Major (“Polish”), Op. 29.
The featured soloist for the Chopin concerto is Anton Nel, winner of the first prize in the 1987 Naumberg International Competition. The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s conductor Arie Lipsky will lead the concert. For further information, visit www.a2so.com.
Wrocław: 7 – 9 November 2004
It has been seven years since the F. Chopin Society Council in Wrocław organized the first Chopin Forum, which commemorates Chopin’s visit to Wrocław and the concert he gave there in the first days of November, 1830. This year’s edition of the Forum opens on November 7th with a concert featuring choir Schola Cantorum Opoliensis LEGENDA, conducted by Elżbiety Willim. The concert program includes works by Schnabel, Elsner and Rozycki. November 8th features a piano recital entitled “Chopin—Szymanowski, Great Europeans” performed by Anna Stempin Jasnowska and chamber concert, “Students of J. Elsner—Chopin’s Peers” with Camerata Vistula. The festival ends on November 9th with a Young Pianists’ Forum and a concert devoted to the works of Antonin Dvorak. See www.infochopin.plfor more information.
Hamamatsu: 14 November
A one-day Chopin Forum takes place annually in Hamamatsu, Japan. This year, Hitoshi Kobayashi will deliver a lecture on Chopin’s music and Takako Takahashi, winner of the 5th prize at the 12th International F. Chopin Piano Competition in 1990, will give a recital.
Poles In Film
Renowned Polish cinematographer Pawel Edelman (The Pianist, Revenge [Zemsta], Big Animal [Duze zwierze], Pan Tadeusz, Edges of the Lord [Boże skrawki]) has a wonderful new film out in theaters: Ray, a film about the life of singer Ray Charles.
Music for the film Finding Neverland by Marc Forster, with Johnny Depp and Dustin Hoffman, was scored by Polish composer Jan A. P. Kaczmarek. This movie will be in theaters starting Friday, November 12th.
The American Film Institutes AFI FEST 2004 will feature several prominent filmakers this year:
In the International Feature Competition, Symmetry [Symetria] (2003, 100 min., in Polish with English subtitles) by Konrad Niewolski will be screened on 5 November 2004 at 7:00 pm and 6 November 2004 at 2:30 pm. This film won the Critics Award at the Polish Film Festival Gdynia 2003. Konrad Niewolski & Arek Detmer will be at the festival.
In the American Directions catagory, Downtown: A Street Tale (2004, 100 min., English) by Rafal Zielinski will be screened, with Zielinski in attendance. Showtimes: 7 November 2004 at 7:00 pm and 10 November 2004 at 3:00 pm.
AFI Fest 2004
4 – 14 November 2004
6360 Sunset Blvd.
Doctorates For Górecki And Zanussi
Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (above left) and Krzysztof Zanussi (above right) have been awarded honorary doctorates from the Catholic University in Lublin. Górecki received the title of honorary doctor in recognition of his artistic and didactic services, as well as his enrichment of Polish and world music culture. Zanussi’s honorary doctorate is an expression of both his artistic output and his didactic and journalistic activities.
Riehen Prize To Skrzypczak
Polish-born composer Bettina Skrzypczak (pictured at right) has been awarded the prestigious Cultural Prize of the City of Riehen near Basle/Switzerland. The prize is given annually to artists in every field. The jury report states that this distinction was granted:
In recognition of a compositional body of work that is already notable today for its significance, diversity and depth, and is rooted in musical thinking that engages in a very personal way with fundamental ideas from philosophy and mathematics, as well as extremely subtle aesthetic considerations. What is impressive is the constructional diversity and the quality of craftmanship as well as the sublime social connectivity that permeates these creations of sound, and sound-and-word.
The award ceremony took place on October 28, 2004, in conjunction with performances of Miroirs, Mouvement and Toccata sospesa. Performers for this performance were Sylvia Nopper (soprano), Felix Renggli (flute), the Ensemble Phoenix (conducted by Jürg Henneberger) and students from the Basle Music Academy.
Polish Jazz Network & IAJE
The Polish Jazz Network (www.polishjazz.com) was established in February 2000 and is a coalition of musicians, professionals and jazz enthusiasts. The mission is to promote the work of Polish jazz artists and jazz professionals, as well as to promote improvised music and jazz in general, and to serve as a vital link between the jazz fans and international jazz community. The Polish Jazz Network is the doorway to the world of improvised music from Poland, offering the largest selection of material regarding Polish jazz on the Web, including access to pages concerning Polish jazz artists, clubs and festivals.
Being an active member of the International Association for Jazz Education, the Polish Jazz Network shares in a mission to ensure the continued growth and development of jazz through education and outreach, as the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) serves 8,000 members in 40 countries. A voluntary non-profit organization, IAJE initiates programs which nurture the understanding and appreciation of jazz and its heritage, provides leadership to educators regarding curriculum and performance, and assists teachers, students, and artists with information and resources.
The Polish Jazz Network will be exhibiting during the trade show at the International Association for Jazz Education convention in Long Beach, California on 5-7 January 2005. The IAJE Annual Conference, held each January, is acknowledged as the largest annual gathering of the global jazz community. The Polish Jazz Network believes that IAJE convention and trade show floors will be a perfect venue to promote the best of Polish jazz and invites all who are interested to help them to promote art from Poland.
To celebrate the IAJE convention and to cultivate more fans of Polish jazz, the Network will release a CD compilation entitled “The Best of Polish Jazz 2005”, presenting a comprehensive selection of the contemporary Polish jazz scene. This compilation will be distributed free of charge to all jazz professionals and guests of the IAJE convention, in order to promote the jazz art and rare Polish music.
A new article about “Interpreting Chopin” has been written by acclaimed British pianist Angela Lear. It is available on the InfoChopin website. It is an article geared towards musicians wishing to understand the “unique musical language and stylistic practices” of this great artist and composer. Lear draws upon her personal experience as well as extensive research in this informative article.
WWW.EDMUS.COM now has Chopin Etude op. 10, n. 3 available for download.
New Link To PMC
Airing weekly on PBS, the Emmy award-winning series INDEPENDENT LENS is like an independent film festival in your living room. Each episode introduces new documentaries and dramas made by independent thinkers: filmmakers who are taking creative risks, calling their own shots and finding untold stories in unexpected places.
On 9 November, the Independent Lens will air a film called Polka Time. This documentary looks at rural and Midwestern cultural tradition of Polka fests through the stories of some of its devotees, whose joy for polka includes a zest for life that belies their age. In order to shed light on the film, Polka and Polish dance in general, PBS has created a website with a Learn More page which has a link to the PMC website.
Calendar of Events
NOV 2: Paul Lewis, piano. Chopin: Ballade in F minor, Op. 52. Schubert, Beethoven & Busoni. Wigmore Hall, London, Eng.www.wigmore-hall.org.uk.
NOV 3-5: The last 3 concerts of Stanislaw Drzewiecki’s fourth tour in Japan. All Chopin program. See www.infochopin.pl/en/artykuly.php/61for more details.
NOV 7: Igor Tchetuev, piano, plays Chopin: Piano concerto No. 1. St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Dmitriev, cond. Corn Exchange, Cambridge, Eng.www.cornex.co.uk.
Nov 7: A Recital with Madaleine Forte: “Les deux amis: Chopin et Liszt”. 28 rue Viala, 75 015Paris, code 4321 clochette. RSVP necessary through Martine Chivot, email@example.com, tel: 0140581706.
Nov 7: Pianist Lang Lang—recital at Disney Hall, Los Angeles, CA. Program will include Chopin: Andante Spianato, Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op.22 and Nocturnein D-flat Major, Op.27 No.2
NOV 7-9: Chopin Forum in Wrocław. See abovefor details.
NOV 9: Igor Tchetuev, piano, plays Chopin: Piano concerto No. 1. St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Dmitriev, cond. Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Eng. www.symphonyhall.co.uk.
NOV 10: Igor Tchetuev, piano, plays Chopin: Piano concerto No. 1. St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Dmitriev, cond. Fairfield Hall, London, Eng.020 8688 9291. www.fairfield.co.uk.
NOV 10: Beata Bilińska, piano and Andrzej Staciwa, flute join the Silesian Philharmonic in concert. Program: F. Chopin – Piano Concerto no. 1 in e minor, Op. 11; I.F. Dobrzynski – Andante and Rondo alla polacca for flute and orchestra; T. Baird: Suite in the Old Style Colas Breugnon. Sosnowiec, Poland.http://www.infochopin.pl/en/wydarzenia.php/993/.
NOV 11: All-Polish program at Beloit College. Tyrone Greive, violin and Ellen Burmeister, piano. 12:00 noon. Beloit, WI.
NOV 11-13: Piotr Anderszewski, piano plays Bartók: Piano Concerto. Minnesota Orchestra, Mark Wigglesworth, cond. Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN.www.mnorch.org.
NOV 12: Mieczysław Karłowicz Szczecin Philharmonicwith Lidia Grychtołówna at the piano present a program of Chopin’s Piano Concerto and Moniuszko’s Polonaise from Halka. Szczecin, Poland.
NOV 13: Górecki: Miserere. College Choir Festival with LA Master Chorale, Grant Gershon, cond. This is part of a day-long music festival, starting at 10:00 a.m. The Miserereperformance will take place from 2-3 p.m. Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA. Tickets are $20. www.lamc.org.
NOV 13: Igor Tchetuev, piano, plays Chopin: Piano concerto No. 1. St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Dmitriev, cond. The Hexagon, Reading, Eng.www.readingarts.com.
NOV 13: “Woman of Note—Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)” recital. Featuring Joanna Kurkowicz, violin and Gloria Chien, piano. Program: Sonata No. 4, Sonata for Violin Solo, Partita, and Oberek No. 1. Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, Williams College, Williamstown, MA. 8:00 pm. Free admission
NOV 14: “Woman of Note—Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)” recital. Featuring Joanna Kurkowicz, violin and Gloria Chien, piano. Program: Sonata No. 4, Sonata for Violin Solo, Partita, and Oberek No. 1. Judith Rosen will give a lecture on Bacewicz. First & Second Church, Boston, MA. 6:00 pm. Tickets: $15 general, free for students. 617-307-6306.
NOV 14: KUSC (91.5 FM) in Los Angeles, CAwill be replaying many of the performances from the Polish Music Center’s 1997 “Górecki Autumn”. 8:00 p.m. Online streaming audio at http://jrabold.net/radio/7kusc.shtml.
NOV 14: Marc-Andre Hamelin, piano, plays Chopin: Scherzo No. 3, Liszt’s arr. of Chopin’s Chant polonaisNo. 5. Godowsky: Seven Studies after Chopin’s Etudes. The Venue, Leeds, Eng. www.leedsconcertseason.com.
Nov 20: “Polish Polonaise” at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, MI. Lutosławski’s Mala Suita, Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 in D Major (“Polish”), Op. 29. Anton Nel, piano. 8:00 pm.www.a2so.com.
NOV 24, 26, 27, 30: Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2. Emanuel Ax, piano. New York Philharmonic, Daniel Robertson, cond. Avery Fisher Hall, NYC, NY.www.lincolncenter.org.
NOV 26-27: Lutosławski: Cello Concerto. Lynn Harrell, vc. Boston Symphony Orchestra, James Levine, cond. Symphony Hall, Boston, MA. 617-266-1492.www.bso.org.
Nov 30: Premiere of Piotr Grella-Mozejko’s Euphonia (Tomasz Sikorski in memoriam). Symphony Nova Scotia. Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. 8:00 pm. www.symphonynovascotia.ca. See above for details.
Concerts and Performances
Lutosławski At BBC Proms
As the works of Witold Lutosławski have been perennial favorites at the BBC Proms in London during each summer season for many years now, it is very fitting that the memory of his death ten years ago should be marked by a significant contribution. The choice of music to be performed has been a very happy one, with the most important and imposing work from his folk-music inspired period in the 1950s, the Concerto for Orchestra, contrasted with a masterly piece from the 1970s that seems to encapsulate all the important features of his newer style, Mi-Parti for orchestra of 1976. Both works were performed by the outstanding BBC Symphony Orchestra, directed by leading Scandinavian conductors, Jukka-Pekka Saraste for the Concerto for Orchestra on 29 August and Osmo Vänskä for Mi-parti on 12 August.
Mi-Parti is a brilliant essay in form. Despite its relatively brief duration (the score gives fifteen minutes), it manipulates form, scoring, melodic material and textures into an intense musical drama that reveals more on every hearing. It is the deliberately hesitant but totally confident opening of textural and melodic conjunction which sets the tone for the exciting developmental central section and the slow winding down of the melodic fragments at the end. Osmo Vänskä’s handling of the score was both illuminating and breathtaking. Untypically the opening string textures with their eerie glissandos sounded almost melodic instead of slightly characterless, while the disconnected wind melodies emerged with all the style and emotion that could be imagined. One was reminded of a similar melodic build-up in the introduction to Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps, which may have influenced Lutosławski. Each of the three phrases rose to its natural climax with the third overwhelmingly presented. The stunning entry of the brass in the central part came as the shock that Lutosławski must have intended with the interaction with the rest of the orchestra meticulously coordinated. The motivic activity was articulated with a luminescence which helped one to follow the composer’s thought processes. The final “collapse” into the slow overlapping lines of the Lento section with the intermittent fanfares and the almost disembodied and transformed fragments from the opening which followed was beautifully gauged. The performance was greater than the sum of its parts: the structure had a tautness and clarity that may have been also the result of the duration, around eleven and a half minutes.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the composition of the Concerto for Orchestra with the performance conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste proved an excellent choice. Just like Mi-Parti it is a brilliant exercise in the manipulation of form, giving some acknowledgement to tradition but in its way completely original. The composer’s use of folk melodies continues to impress, as a model of how to use folk melodies in a symphonic context. Certainly, too, it is a work that treats melody in a flexible and ever-developing way, which is something that Lutosławski continued to do in his later works. Above all, though, the Concerto for Orchestra is a virtuoso piece that will tax the skill of any orchestra. Saraste coaxed his BBC players to a wonderful performance, full of technical brilliance, especially from the woodwind, but always full of character and presence. The folk melodies of the first movement were presented with a no-nonsense panache that stressed the virtuoso qualities, while the dreamlike sound of the Capriccio section of the second movement was brilliantly realized. The articulation of the toccata section the finale was all that one could want, while the climactic chorale showed the brass section of the orchestra to good advantage.
As is usual with the performances of Lutosławski’s music at the Proms, these two works were set in an excellent European context. Mi-Parti opened the earlier concert and was followed by Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No.2 and Sibelius’s Second Symphony, while the Concerto for Orchestra was the thrilling concluding item in the later concert, following Enescu’s First Rumanian Rhapsody, Bartók’s Viola Concerto and Koechlin’s orchestration of Debussy’s Khamma. Good company indeed for the well-traveled music of one of Poland’s most distinguished composers of the 20th century.
This review was written by Niall O’Loughlin and published on the website of PWM. The Proms is an annual music festival in London that, at 110 years old, still remains true to its original aim: to present the widest possible range of music, performed to the highest standards, to large audiences at reasonable prices.
“Two Nations, One Love”
The kickoff event of the 2004-2005 season of the Connecticut Lyric Opera was a concert recognizing the musical heritage of the CLO’s founders, entitled “Two Nations, One Love: A celebration of the musical heritage of Poland and Lithuania”. The event took place in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on 22 October 2004. “Two Nations, One Love” delighted audiences with vocal and other works by the best-loved composers of these two countries, including Chopin, Chiurlionis, Szymanovski, Dvaironas, Hemar and Groudis. With an emphasis on the vocal traditions of the two nations, the concert featured performances by mezzo-soprano Monika Krajewska, soprano Jurate Švedaite, and bass-baritone Laurentiu Rotaru. CLO’s Artistic Director, Adrian Mackiewicz, led a string quartet and pianist Natasha Ulyanovsky in accompanying the singers, as well as performing selections from several non-vocal pieces.
Podleś/Marchiwinska In Baltimore
Polish contralto Ewa Podleś and pianist Ania Marchiwinska took the stage of the Johns Hopkins University Shriver Hall in a concert on Oct. 17, 2004 . Podleś has long been known to Polish audiences as a concert singer with a beautifully agile voice, an astounding range and phenomenal stage presence and skill. She has recently been gracing the American opera stage more, to the delight of opera fans in the U.S. In Baltimore, she dazzled the audience with a program including songs by Chopin, Rossini, Rachmaninoff, and Brahms.
Walasek Family Quartet
The Walasek Family Quartet of Warsaw, considered to be “….in the elite of today’s string quartets” (the Algemaine, Germany), currently tours the United States on the invitation of Intermuse and co-sponsored by Towson University, the Polish Ministry of Culture and the Embassy of Poland in the US. The Quartet has been among the leading European musical ensembles for the last decade. It is a genuine family quartet featuring Wojciech Walasek Sr. (cello), his daughter Emilia (violin II), and his two sons Wojciech Jr. (violin I), and Kamil (viola). All graduated with distinction from the Chopin Music Conservatory/Academy in Warsaw. Wojciech Walasek Sr., founder of this quartet, was also the founding member of the acclaimed Wilanow Quartet and the principal cellist with the Polish National Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently, he is professor of chamber music at the acclaimed Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw and Guest Professor in Seoul, Korea. For his outstanding musical career, he received several awards including The Medal of Merit for Cultural Achievements form the Government of Poland. The Walasek Family Quartet performed at the Polish Embassy in Washington D.C. on 13 October 2004. The program of the concert was as follows: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart—Divertimento in D Major, KV 136: Allegro, Andante, Presto; Stanisław Moniuszko—Quartet No. 1 in D minor: Allegro agitato, Andantino, Scherzo, Finale (Un ballo campestre e sue consequenze); Frederic Chopin (arr. by W. Walasek)—Preludes Op. 28, No. 4 and No. 7; Mazurka Op. 24, No. 1; Dmitri Shostakovich—Quartet No. 3: Allegretto, Moderato con modo, Allegro non troppo, Adagio, Moderato. Information for this article from Cecylia Barczyk and the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, Washington D.C.
Born This Month
- 1 November 1901 – Szymon LAKS, composer, violinist (d. 1986)
- 2 November 1876 – Eugeniusz MORAWSKI, composer, conductor (d. 1948)
- 3 November 1915 – Henryk JABLONSKI, composer
- 4 November 1857 – Stanisław NIEWIADOMSKI, composer (d. 1936)
- 6 November 1860 – Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI, pianist, composer, statesman (d. 1941)
- 23 November 1933 – Krzysztof PENDERECKI, composer, conductor
- 24 November 1932 – Andrzej KURYLEWICZ, composer, jazz pianist
- 24 November 1899 – Jan MAKLAKIEWICZ, composer, teacher (d. 1954)
- 26 November 1896 – Józef KOFFLER, composer (d. 1944)
- 27 November 1893 – Stanisław WIECHOWICZ, composer, choral conductor (d. 1963)
- 28 November 1928 – Jan FOTEK, composer
Died This Month
- 1 November 1947 – Władysław POWIADOWSKI, choral conductor, teacher (b.1865)
- 2 November 1929 – Stanisław BARCEWICZ, violinist, teacher (b.1858 )
- 2 November 1881 – Jan Nepomucen BOBROWICZ, guitarist (b.1805)
- 3 November 1888 – Józef BRZOZOWSKI, composer, cellist, conductor, teacher (b.1805)
- 6 November 1946 – Zygmunt STOJOWSKI, composer, pianist, teacher (b. 1870)
- 9 November 1856 – Aleksander MARTIN, composer, violist (b. 1856)
- 11 November 1912 – Józef WIENIAWSKI, pianist, teacher, composer (b.1837)
- 15 November 1853 – Józef NIEDZIELSKI, voice and violin teacher (b.1793)
- 15 November 1986 – Aleksander TANSMAN, composer, conductor, pianist (b. 1897)
- 14 November 1860 – Feliks NOSKOWSKI, pianist, teacher (b.1874)
- 26 November 1855 – Adam MICKIEWICZ, romantic poet, texts used by many composers (b.1798)