February 2005

Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 11, no. 2

PMC News

Letter From The Director

A few thoughts on our anniversary…

Marek ZebrowskiThe readers of our Newsletter and the thousands of correspondents who e-mail us regularly know this already: the Polish Music Center at USC is a unique institution, the only such center dedicated to Polish music outside of Poland. This invaluable resource was brought to life twenty years ago by one extraordinary person, Wanda Wilk. Twenty years later, her wish to popularize Polish music in America is a resounding success as Wanda and her husband, Dr. Stefan Wilk, continue to generously support PMC’s numerous activities. Thank you, Wanda and Stefan for all you’ve done for Polish music!

On the subject of thanks, I would also like to thank the numerous individuals and institutions who have supported our work for the past two decades. Polish Music Center enjoys the friendship and patronage of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, the Friends of Polish Music, the Modjeska Art and Culture Club of Los Angeles, as well as the leading members of the Polish community in Southern California, who have contributed to our success in many meaningful ways.

All of us should be proud of the Center and what we have already accomplished. This anniversary is a good opportunity to mention the three most important aspects of our activities: the Polish Manuscript Collection, the Polish Music History Series, and our public programs. The original 1985 donation of manuscripts by Witold Lutosławski and Stanisław Skrowaczewski initiated the PMC’s extraordinary collection of compositions, personal papers and memorabilia of leading figures in the history of Polish music. Other donations soon followed and, thanks to the efforts of the former PMC Director, Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, PMC’s manuscript collection has grown substantially during the past few years. In December 2004 we were delighted to receive the Zygmunt and Luisa Stojowski Collection, another important donation to our ever-growing research resources that are housed in the Special Collections at the Doheny Library.

The Polish Music History Series was launched in 1981 by Wanda Wilk, who wrote a guide to the works of Karol Szymanowski. Seven volumes on a wide variety of topics have been published since then. The latest title in the series is a recently-minted monograph on the fascinating and little-known Polish avant-garde composer Józef Koffler, who perished in the Holocaust. Our ninth volume, devoted to Maria Szymanowska—an extraordinary pianist and composer of the early Romantic era—is scheduled to be published later this year.

The annual Paderewski Lectures—another tradition initiated by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk in 2002 to honor Paderewski’s special links to the State of California and USC, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1923—presents outstanding Polish musicians and emphasizes the achievements of Polish contemporary music. Previous speakers in the series included Zygmunt Krauze in 2002, Joanna Bruzdowicz in 2003, and Stanisław Skrowaczewski in 2004. We are very happy to announce that Marta Ptaszyńska will be our 2005 Paderewski Lecturer.

Celebrating anniversaries inevitably invites a discussion of what lies ahead. As new Director, my first and most important goal is to make the PMC’s future secure for the next 20 years. In cooperation with all of you, dear readers and supporters, we are going to continue promoting Polish music, publishing books on Polish composers and history of Polish music, and serving as a resource for all interested in our important mission. Our next event is the March 9th performance of songs by Karłowicz and the Piano Quintet of Zarębski. Later this year, concerts of Polish Renaissance and Baroque music, the 2005 Paderewski Lecture, and celebrations of the Polish Independence Day in November will follow. Naturally, in order to accomplish our goals, I will need your help. Polish Music Center needs supporters to underwrite our operations, and volunteers to help out with our events. We are looking for members of a Concert Committee—a body charged with helping to prepare, publicize, and run concerts and other events organized by Polish Music Center. We could also use your skills in language, music and public relations to help in our day-to-day operations, all with the goal of promoting Polish music locally, nationally and internationally.

In the year of our twentieth anniversary, I am launching a special fund drive, designed to secure the budget for our operational expenses and needs. These include continued publishing of the Polish Music History Series, binding numerous scores in our library, storing the PMC’s archives, and acquiring additional file cabinets for our new offices in Stonier Hall on the USC campus. As always, your generosity is deeply appreciated and gratefully acknowledged. All contributions are important to us, as they validate what we do and indicate the degree of your support for the Polish Music Center.

It is my hope that, in the coming years, the Polish Music Center will continue to be a vibrant hub for research, study and performance, a place to meet visitors from near and far, and an institution that continues building upon the record of the past two decades. Personally, I am looking forward to a meaningful dialogue with all friends and guests of the PMC, making sure that we meet all of your needs and expectations. I am ready to hear your ideas and eager to accept your help in our numerous projects and endeavors. In closing, on behalf of all of us at the PMC, I offer my many thanks for supporting us since January of 1985. Please continue utilizing our research resources, enjoying our concerts, lectures and publications, and funding our future as we embark on another chapter of our history. Your comments and contributions can be sent to:

Polish Music Center
USC Thornton School of Music
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0851

As always, you can also e-mail us at: polmusic@usc.edu

Thank you.

Marek Zebrowski, Program Director
Polish Music Center

Donated Recordings

A CD recording of Music by Zbigniew Preisner: Moje Kolędy [My Christmas Carols]
ARMS Records 1427-004.
12 tracks, featuring a variety of performers including, among others, the Sinfonia Varsovia and the composer himself.

Excerpts from a letter from Maciek and Artur at ARMS Records that accompanied the CD donation:

Dear Friends, This is not a record we wish to promote—it’s a limited release, a gift for those who waited for a long time for the re-issue of items that were already sold in millions of copies…My Christmas Carols…are a collection of beautiful music that can accompany you for the rest of the year. . . This record also serves as an early announcement for the upcoming release with a completely different music by Zbigniew Preisner.

A CD of music by Stanisław Skrowaczewski: Skrowaczewski’s World, Chamber Music by Stanisław Skrowaczewski.
Performed by the Ensemble Capriccio and Friends.
INNOVA Recordings CD (332 Minnesota Street E-145, St. Paul, MN 55101, USA; innova@composersforum.org; (651) 251-2823)

This recording features three of Skrowaczewski’s intense and exhilarating chamber pieces, the 1998 Musica a Quattro for string trio and clarinet, the 1991 String Trio, and the 1988 Fantasie per Sei. The composer’s provides a fascinating insight into this work and his composition methods in the liner notes:

Fantasie per Sei was written in 1988, commissioned by the Atlanta Virtuosi. This commission came as a result of the (successful) performance of my Music at Night by the Atlanta Symphony. The choice of instruments reflected my predilection for the sound of an unorthodox string quartet, where the second violin is replaced by the contrabass, with added oboe (one of my beloved instruments) and the piano (used here almost as an accompanying orchestra). Hence the result is many unusual sound combinations. The work has there main movements played without an intermission. These main movements have several “inner digressions,” nevertheless they are thematically and harmonically interconnected. Which means here that the entire work uses almost the same musical material—the same or similar “bricks” (or cells), from which “the house” is built. The soloistic display of all instruments was also a factor for me. -S.S.

Donated Scores

Several scores were recently donated by Alicia Jonas, a pianist, teacher and composer now residing in New York City. Her collections of piano pieces (geared especially for the young pianists) are imaginative and fun to perform. The PMC is happy to add the following items to our score library collection:

  • Life at the ZOO – Music and Poems by Alicia Jonas [for piano, 4-hands]
    Published by Zen-On Music Company, Ltd.
  • Sonatina in Three Movements (2000) [for piano]
    Published by Wydawnictwo Muzyczne CONTRA
  • Piano Mirage/Fortepianowe Miraże [for piano]
    Published by Wydawnictwo Muzyczne CONTRA
  • Christmas Carols for 4 Hands / Kolędy na 4 ręce [for piano]
    Published by Wydawnictwo Muzyczne CONTRA
  • Winter/Zima [for string orchestra]
    Published by Wydawnictwo Muzyczne CONTRA

Ms. Jonas also provided excerpts from the Clavier Magazine, with descriptions of her compositions and how to order them:

Piano Magic, 30 Solo Pieces for Piano by Alicia Jonas, includes the pieces the composer made up during her students’ lessons. . . These little pieces can be played by any beginner. Rhythmic concepts, a variety of articulations, dynamics, and a wide range of the piano are included, along with charming titles and simple ink illustrations. (Beethoven House Music, 877-633-8656; $14.)

Life at the Zoo, Piano 4-Hands, by Alicia Jonas. The first part of the collection focuses on rote learning… The pieces convey brief impressions of a zoo; they are not developmental in the traditional sense. The second part of the book encourages improvisation by having students make up endings for the primo part, with the help of a few guiding remarks from the composer… There are colorful drawings throughout the book. (Beethoven House Music, 877-633-8656, $16.)


Lutosławski Award 2004

The jury of the 2004 International Witold Lutosławski Composers’ Competition, comprised of Chen Yi, Arne Nordheim, Charles Bodman Rae, and Zygmunt Krauze (president of the Lutosławski Society), gathered at the Philharmonia Narodowa [Warsaw Philharmonic] Hall on 3 December and 4 December 2004. They considered 157 eligible scores from the total of 169 entered for the Lutosławski Award. (12 scores did not meet the requirement of the rules.) The competition was open to composers of all nationalities and ages with submissions of unpublished and un-premiered compositions for one of the following: string quartet, works for violin and piano, cello and piano, oboe and piano, clarinet and piano, voice and piano

After its deliberations the jury decided to award the prizes as follows:

I Award – Marios Joannou ELIA (Cyprus) for the work Holy Bread for string quartet

II Award – Thoma SIMAKU (Albanian/British) for the work Voci Celesti for string quartet

III Award – Marcin BANASIK (Poland) for the work 8 songs to the words of Halina Poswiatowska for mezzosoprano and piano

Honorable mentions were given to: Payman AKHLAGHI (USA) for the work String Quartet: Mirage of an Echo; Yuan GUO (Chinese) for the work String Quartet On the Note G; and Edward BOWMAN (British) for the work air reaches the wound—two movements for string quartet.

The winners of this year’s award will be a part of the 11th Lutosławski Forum, which is presented by the Philharmonia Narodowa at their concert hall. The details of the concerts comprising the 11th Lutosławski Forum are as follows:

12 February 2005 | 6:00 PM | Concert Hall
Symphonic concert with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice—Gabriel Chmura, conductor and Orchestra director and Ivan Monighetti, cello. Chmura has structured the program of this inaugural evening so as to include a number of works by composers who remain largely unknown to Polish music aficionados. Especially noteworthy among this group is Mieczysław Weinberg, a close associate of Dmitri Shostakovich who passed away eight years ago. Also featured is Lutosławski’s Venetian games, a milestone work in the composer’s oeuvre, marking the beginning of his aleatoric period. [excerpted from the website of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute]

Alexander Tansman—Concerto for orchestra
Mieczysław Weinberg—Cello Concerto Op. 43
Witold Lutosławski—Venetian games
Benjamin Britten—Suite from Death of Venice, Op. 88a

15 February 2005 | 7:00 PM | Chamber Music Hall
Special chamber concert, in cooperation with Witold Lutosławski Society, featuring pieces by Laureates of 2004 International Witold Lutosławski Composers’ Competition and its Patron. Performances by the Rubinstein Quartet; Alicja Wegorzewska-Whiskerd, soprano; and Mariusz Rutkowski, piano.

Thoma Simaku—Voci Celesti for string quartet
Marcin Banasik—8 songs to the words of Halina Poswiatowska for mezzo and piano
Marios Joannou Elia—Holy Bread for string quartet
Witold Lutosławski—5 songs to word of Illakowiczówny

16 February 2005 | 7:00 PM | Chamber Music Hall
A chamber concert featuring the Keller Quartet: András Keller, I violin; János Pilz, II violin; Zoltán Gál, viola; and Judit Szabó, cello.

Béla Bartók—Violin duos (choice)
Anton Webern—6 Bagatelles Op. 9
Györgi Ligeti—String Quartet No. 1 Metamorphoses nocturnes
Béla Bartók—String Quartet No. 5

Chopin’s Birthday

February 22nd of this year is the 195th birth anniversary of Chopin and there will be celebratory performances of his music throughout Poland. For more events around the world, see the Calendar of Events below.

  • The F. Chopin Society in Warsaw will be presenting piano recitals by Jerzy Sterczynski in Żelazowa Wola and by Karol Radziwonowicz at Ostrogski Castle in Warsaw.
  • An anniversary concert featuring three distinguished Polish instrumentalists—pianist Krzysztof Jablonski, cellist Tomasz Strahl and violinist Konstanty Andrzej Kulka—is held at the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw on February 23rd.
  • On February 24th young pianists—Rafał Blechacz, winner of the Piano Competition in Hamamatsu in 2003, and Maria Gabrys, laureate of the 3rd prize at the International F. Chopin Piano Competition in Marienbad—pay a musical tribute to the composer at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. The pianists are accompanied by the string quintet I Solisti di Varsavia.
  • On February 27th tenor Wojciech Maciejowski, accompanied by pianist Laura Sobolewska, gives a recital at Radziwiłł Hunting Palace in Antonin.
  • A special recital by an eminent pianist from Vietnam, Dang Thai Son, will be held on March 1st at the National Philharmonic. The recital is organized by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute and the National Philharmonic.

Application Deadlines: Piano Competition

The application deadline for the 11th Miłosz Magin International Piano Competition is February 17, 2005. Application is open to pianists of all nationalities and ages. The Competition will take place from 17th to 22nd March 2005 in Paris.

Born in Łódz on 6 July 1929, Miłosz Magin showed considerable musical abilities since his early childhood. He was a prodigious virtuoso of the piano, but his performing career was curtailed due to a broken wrist in 1963, at which time he turned his focus to his earlier love of composition. Magin also became a sought after teacher. In 1985, he and his wife, also a pianist, founded the International Piano Competition – Miłosz Magin. Devoted to the discovery of young international talents and to the promotion of Polish music, this competition takes place every two years in Paris with an increasing notoriety.

More information is available on the Competition website, www.concours-magin.com or at: Concours MAGIN
31, rue David d’ Angers
75019 Paris FRANCE
Tel/Fax : 33 (0) or 33 (0) 1 43 86 03 16
E-mail : ConcoursMagin@aol.com

The application deadline for the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition is February 20, 2005. The Competition is open to citizens and permanent residents of the US and to international full-time students with valid student visas. Applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 22 as of April 1, 2005.

The Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition was established in 1949, in honor of the hundredth anniversary of the death of Frederic Chopin. The inauguration took place at the Kosciuszko Foundation House in New York City, with Witold Malcuzyński as guest artist, and Abram Chasins, composer and music director of the New York Times Radio Stations, presiding. Over the years, many outstanding musicians have been associated with the competition including Van Cliburn, Ian Hobson, and Murray Perahia. Today the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition continues to encourage gifted young pianists to further their studies, and to perform the works of Polish composers.

More information is available on the Kosciuszko Foundation website, http://www.kosciuszkofoundation.org/MUChopin.html or at:

Chopin Piano Competition
Kosciuszko Foundation
15 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10021
tel: (212) 734-2130 fax: (212) 628-4552

The application deadline for the 15th International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw is 1 March 2005. The Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities born between 1977 – 1988. The Competition shall be held in Warsaw from 2 – 24 October 2005.

The Frederick Chopin Piano Competition is the founder-member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions based in Geneva. It is one of the oldest events of its type in the world, and enjoys great prestige and universal renown. Winning one of the prizes awarded at the Frederick Chopin International Piano Competition marks the beginning of a great artistic career and opens a path to the most famous concert halls.

Since 1975, permanent events accompanying the International Chopin Competitions have included a commemoration of the anniversary of the great composer’s death. The date of October the 17th has been included into the Competition calendar as a day of reverence to Chopin. On this occasion, the Mozart Requiem is performed in the Holy Cross church on Krakowskie Przedmiescie St. in Warsaw, where the heart of the Polish composer is buried in an urn. The same work was played at Chopin’s funeral which was held in the church of St. Madeleine in Paris in October 1849.

More information is available on the Chopin Society website, www.konkurs.chopin.pl or at:

Towarzystwo im. Fryderyka Chopina
Okólnik 1
00-368 Warszawa, Poland
tel. +48 (22) 826 81 90, +48 (22) 827 95 89, +48 (22) 827 54 71
fax:+48 (22) 827 95 99
E-mail: konkurs@chopin.pl

New Penderecki Reference Book

A new book on Krzysztof Penderecki has just been published by Cindy Bylander. Entitled Krzysztof Penderecki: A Bio-Bibliography, it is published by Greenwood Press as part of its Bio-Bibliographies in Music series.

This volume on Penderecki provides a comprehensive overview of the prolific writings about the composer and his music. The works list is comprised of compositions written through 2003. It includes the early works for theater that are not often included in other such lists. The performances that are cited in the works list include world premieres and selected presentations such as Polish or American premieres. The discography contains information about recordings released through 2003. The annotated bibliography is comprised of over 1,300 books, articles, and dissertations that were published in North America, England, Poland, Germany, and France through 1998, the year of Penderecki’s 65th birthday. This reflects the vast majority of writings about the composer. Appendices include a chronological list of Penderecki’s compositions and a list by his works by genre.

This book is available for sale through www.greenwood.com and www.amazon.com.

Poland Featured In The Strad

Keep an eye out for a forthcoming article concerning the string music scene in Poland in the April issue of The Strad. This article will cover the following topics:

  • Key string performers and teachers, both past and present, including chamber musicians as well as soloists
  • String music (classical, folk, jazz) to come out of Poland
  • Distinguishing characteristics of the Poland’s ‘school’ of string playing
  • Leading orchestras and educational establishments
  • Key musical developments that have affected the string world (in jazz and folk music, as well as classical)
  • How political development has affected the musical life of Poland over the last 100 years, particularly the fall of communism

Hailing out of London, The Stradis a classical music magazine for all strings enthusiasts including violinists, violists and cellists. Offering practical advice on technique, profiles of leading performers, master classes by the great teachers and exploring the craft of the luthier, The Strad is for those who appreciate stringed instruments. Also including in-depth articles on violins, violas, cellos, viols, double basses, bows, orchestras and music schools, The Stradis the voice of strings.

Northwest Chopin Foundation

On Saturday, February 12th The Northwest Chopin Foundation presents over 70 of Washington state’s best young pianists will assemble to celebrate the music of Frederic Chopin in an all-day Northwest Chopin Festival. These earnest young pianists will do their best to perform this beautiful yet challenging music before two distinguished adjudicators, an audience of music teachers, their students, and the general public. This event starts at 9:00 am and is free to the public. For more information and a schedule of events, visit http://www.chopinnw.org/competition.html.

The NW Chopin Foundation together with Musical Experiences present “Fred Kronacher Illuminates Chopin” 2 PM Sunday, February 27th at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall in Benaroya Symphony Hall. Mr. Kronacher, a distinguished musicologist and pianist, will discuss and perform works of Frederic Chopin in his own engaging and informative way. Included in his performance will be the majestic Polonaise in C sharp Minor, the lovely Nocturne in F sharp Minor, the thrilling Scherzo in E, plus waltzes, mazurkas, and the beloved Ballade #3.

Warsaw Phil: Górecki, Chopin In UK

8 February 2005, 7:30 PM, Colston Hall: Bristol, U.K.

Having celebrated their centenary in 2001 and having just completed their 2004 North American tour, the Philharmonia Narodowa [Warsaw Philharmonic] continues the collaboration between Artistic Director Antoni Wit and pianist Ewa Poblocka, serving up an appropriately Polish first half in Bristol, U.K. The concert begins with an early, but timeless symphonic piece by Górecki, whose music has gained worldwide attention over the past decade. Then Ms. Poblocka joins the orchestra for a performance of the lovely Second Piano Concerto of Poland’s greatest composer, Chopin. The concert closes with Brahms’ mighty First Symphony which took over 20 years to write as he wrestled with the challenge of becoming heir to Beethoven. A pre-concert talk will be given by the Warsaw Philharmonic’s Orchestral Manager at 6:15 pm in the Colston Hall Bar.

New Book About Zarębski

Juliusz Zarębski: Man – Music – Culture
by Golianek Ryszard

Juliusz Zarębski’s talent failed to develop fully because of the composer’s short life; that he was attaining to individuality and independence in the use of the sound techniques and the expression evoked in his compositions can only be seen in his last works. The high level of Zarębski’s work ensures him, however—in the Polish perspective—the position of the most outstanding post-Chopinesque composer, owing to whom one can find in the Polish music of the 2nd half of the 19th century references to the stylistic and aesthetic tendencies considered as innovative at that time. And albeit the reception of his works was rather superficial in Poland, it was in fact due to his creative output that one can speak about any continuity between Chopin’s work and the artistic achievements of Mieczysław Karłowicz and Karol Szymanowski occurring in the early 1900s. [R.D. Golianek]

This book is published by Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne (ISBN / ISMN 83-224-0844-7) and is available on their website, www.pwm.com.pl.

Bielsko Jazz Blizzard

This will be the seventh edition of the Bielsko Jazz Blizzard – Lotos Jazz Festival, which will once again host an array of top Polish and foreign jazz stars. This year’s edition will feature appearances by the legendary two-time Grammy Award winners The Yellowjackets (USA) and one of the world’s top trumpeters, Terence Blanchard, to be accompanied by his sextet (USA). Also scheduled to perform in their only appearances in Poland are the American groups The Doug Wamble Quartet and Gutbucket, a group that refers to its music as punk-jazz. Visiting from France will be the No Jazz ensemble, which combines funk, jazz and acid jazz with trip-hop and even jungle, while Poland will be represented by the musician Alchemik (The Alchemist) who will be joined by an array of guests that will include the Golec brothers, Mika Urbaniak and her musicians playing jazz-hip hop, and Wojciech Staroniewicz with his “Hand-Made” project.

The event’s finale, traditionally held at the lodge on Szyndzielnia mountain, will feature the Polish-Ukrainian formation Riverboat Ramblers. This group plays both the great standards of Swing, Dixie Land and New Orleans jazz, as well as Bossa Nova, varied Latin American music and great Russian traditional tunes.

A competition addressed to young musicians who have yet to make their recording debut is another important element of the Bielsko Jazz Blizzard. Those who emerge victorious from the competition get an opportunity to record and release their first album. Traditionally, the Blizzard will include a vast exhibition of photographs portraying musicians who appeared at previous editions of the event. This year’s festival will also include an exhibit titled “This Is Jazz”, consisting of Andrzej Karewicz’s photographs of the some of the world’s top jazz stars.

This article was reprinted from the website of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, www.culture.pl

Kwiecien Sings Mozart At Met

In its production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by James Levine, the Metropolitan Opera features Mariusz Kwiecien in the role of Count Almaviva, in a cast that includes Janice Watson, Andrea Rost, Jossie Pérez, and John Relyea. The popular opera is based on the Beaumarchais play, La Folle Journée, ou The Marriage of Figaro.

According to the San Francisco Gate, “Kwiecien commands attention whenever he’s onstage. His lustrous, virile tone and rugged, wide-eyed good looks provide immediate appeal.” Mariusz Kwiecien has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Vienna State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Geneva’s Grand Théâtre, San Francisco Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, The Netherlands Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre. His recordings include Zemlinsky’s Der König Kandaules (Capriccio). Kwiecien will be coming to the LA Opera for their 2005-2006 20th Anniversary Season Opening Gala Weekend, sharing the role of Silvio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci on September 11.

Performances are at 8:00 pm on Thursday, February 3; Monday, February 7; Saturday, February 12; and Friday, February 18. For information and tickets visit www.metopera.org.

Master & Disciple Concert

1 February 2005, 7:00 pm
Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic Orchestra of Łódz
Ars Cameralis with Monika Sikorska-Wojtacha and Barbara Karaskiewicz-Zagajewska, piano

The soloists of the Master & Disciple concert are connected to the city of Łódz in numerous ways. Monika Sikorska-Wojtacha was born there and studied piano with a great master, Wladysław Kedra. After his death, she moved to Katowice, where she studied with Prof. Woytowicz. She is well-known for her interpretations and recordings of Polish contemporary music.

Barbara Karaskiewicz-Zagajewska studied in Katowice with Monika Sikorska-Wojtacha, graduating with distinction in 1999. She is the prizewinner of numerous competitions, gathering prizes for her performances of works by Szymanowski. She has performed in various festivals in Poland (Slupsk, Warsaw, Gdańsk). She is also a frequent soloist with symphony orchestras in Lublin and Silesia, as well as in Estonia. She also records for Polish Radio and TV and performs in chamber music recitals.

The all-Polish program of this concert includes the following composers: Fryderyk Chopin, Juliusz Zarębski, Roman Statkowski, Stanisław Moniuszko/Henryk Melcer, Grażyna Bacewicz, Witold Lutosławski, Maurycy Moszkowski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Karol Szymanowski, and Bolesław Woytowicz.

Ostrowska & Zukowska

Malgorzata Ostrowska and Wanda Zukowska in concert
Sunday, February 6, 2005, 4:00 PM
Grace Ford Salvatore Auditorium
637 Lucas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017
For more information please call: (310) 396-2165 or visit polisheventsla.com

Since the early eighties, Malgorzata OSTROWSKA has been one of the most popular and interesting figures in Polish show business. With the band “Lombard”, she played over a thousand concerts in Poland and internationally. She has recorded ten cds, of which three have gone gold. In 1997, she signed with the Sony Music Polska label, where she put out three albums titled “Alchemia”, Przed Switem”, and “Instynkt”. Malgorzata Ostrowska is very happy with her successful career and is commonly seen on the biggest Polish television shows.

Wanda ZUKOWSKA’s charismatic appeal and accomplished musicianship crosses many boundaries. She started composing in her early childhood. At thirteen she presented her first three-movement, fully orchestrated, symphonic composition and a few years later was the leader of a jazz ensemble. She is now popularly known as VANDDI.

What has really made her music popular to millions is her song-writing. Several of her songs were voted “Song of the Year” or received Top Ten rankings overseas, and many won major awards at international song competitions and festivals. Songs like “The Star Over You “(“Gwiazda Nad Toba”) or “Just Invite Me to The Dance “(“Tylko Mnie Popros do Tanca”) recorded by Anna Jantar, undeniably one of Vanddi’s most beautiful tunes became the evergreens of pop music market in Europe and continue being re-recorded by new artists after more than a decade of popularity. Vanddi frequently tours the US and Canada while working with recording artists, often composing and producing in her music studio in Westchester County, NY.

In her solo-piano program titled “Pianothoughts” the audience experiences all new, live improvisations at every performance ( studio-recorded version available on CD). Vanddi’s piano style goes far beyond jazz and classical idiom.


TX Chopin Competition

The Thirteenth Annual Chopin Piano Competition was held in Corpus Christi on January 15, 2005. Every fifth year, such as this year, the competition includes a Grand Prix Competition for previous first place winners of the Annual Chopin Piano Competitions in Corpus Christi. The Grand Prix Competition is held the same years as the International Piano Competition in Warsaw.

Yuri Blinov (Belarus), winner of the Ninth Annual Chopin Piano Competition in 2001, won the 2005 Grand Prix Competition. He will be awarded a debut performance in Carnegie Hall, two recitals for The Fryderyk Chopin Society of Texas in Corpus Christi, and a CD recording of his performance.

Amy JiaQi Yang (China, USA), winner of the Tenth Annual Chopin Piano Competition in 2002, was a very close runner-up and was given a special prize rather than a second place prize. She was awarded a debut performance in Carnegie Hall and two recital performances for the Fryderyk Chopin Society of Texas.

In this year’s Thirteenth Annual International Chopin Piano Competition, a second place prize was awarded to Eunae Cho (South Korea).

2004 Polityka Passports

Polityka [Politics], the weekly magazine, presented its annual cultural awards known as the “Polityka Passports”. This was the twelfth year of the awards, which recognize artists who have demonstrated far-reaching originality as well as a penchant for exploration and for exceeding the boundaries of convention. In the Classical Music catagory, the prize went to Agata Zubel, “For unusual vocal achievements, for stage personality and for the ability to combine harmoniously creative art with performance”. Other nominees were Lukasz Borowicz and Cezary Duchnowski.

Agata Zubel is a composer and singer, and was born in 1978 in Wrocław. She has won many awards at Polish composers’ competitions, including First and Third Prize at the Composers Competition in Wrocław (1992 and 1994 respectively); Second Prize at the Academy of Music Silver Jubilee Competition in Wrocław (1998); First Prize at the Andrzej Panufnik National Composers’ Competition in Cracow (1999) for her piece Lumière for solo percussion; Third Prize at the Polish Classical Guitar Composition Competition (2000); First Prize and Polish Radio’s Programme 2 Special Award at the Adam Didur National Composers’ Competition (2000) for A Song about the End of the World; and honoured with distinction at the National Composers’ Competition held on the 80th anniversary of the Academy of Music in Poznań (2000). Her works have been performed at numerous concerts and festivals of contemporary music throughout Poland.

2004 Silesian Oscar

On 14 January 2005, in the Parnassos hall of the Silesian Library in Katowice, the presentation ceremony for the “Silesian Oscar” Promotional Emblem Award took place for the fourth time. Professor Janusz Janeczek, Rector of the Silesian University, is the chairman of the Award Chapter. The award honors personalities, institutions, self-governments and firms contributing to the development of the region.

Twelve prize-winners were chosen from among 130 candidates, representing various domains of social life: culture, science, sport, economy and politics. Prize-winners include Wojciech Kilar and “Słąsk” (the Stanisław Hadyna Song and Dance Ensemble).

37 Year Old Film Wins

A long-forgotten Polish film made in 1967 won the grand prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Odwrót [Retreat] recreates an anonymous climber’s epic solo descent after a mountaineering accident. Filmed in black and white in Poland’s Tatra Mountains by director Jerzy Surdel, Odwrót was rescued from obscurity by American Alex Bertulis, who spent $10,000 to restore the film’s sole copy.

The full version of this article is available at http://climbing.com/news/odwrot/.

Internet News

Prominent Poles On The Web


Roman Solecki, Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut, has a web site containing a continuously growing set of short biographies of prominent Poles, dead or alive, who live(d) in Poland or abroad. These biographies are searchable by name or by area of interest, including specialties like Painters, Mathematicians etc. Each entry includes a photo or portrait and links to sources. Some of the Professor’s most recent entries for Penderecki and Moniuszko are taken from the information available on the Composer Pages of the Polish Music Center website.

Sheet Music Downloads

Sheet music downloads have become the preferred method of acquiring classical music repertoire. Created by professional musicians, EveryNote.com presents classical sheet music download of over 6000 popular and hard-to-find music scores over 300 composers, including a large variety of Polish composers. A major Internet provider of classical sheet music files download online, EveryNote.com offers the largest and most complete digital sheet music download library on the Web in the world. Instantly download, view and print your favorite classical music score. Everynote.com currently offers thousands of classical music compositions for Piano, Violin, Classical Guitar and Voice. Many more instruments coming soon! EveryNote.com has been featured in The New York TimesGlobe and MailMusical America and many other publications.


CD ACCORD records the most distinguished Polish composers, soloists, chamber ensembles, symphonic orchestras and choruses. Their newest releases are a wonderful example of this claim. Check them out at: www.cdaccord.com.pl/newreleases.php.

Calendar of Events

FEB 4: Music by Bach, Chopin & Franck. Rika Zayasu, piano. Jack Lyons Hall, University of York. York, U.K..

FEB 4: Kilar: Orawa, Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 & Brahms Symphony No. 1. Ewa Poblocka, piano. Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Antoni Wit, cond. Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, U.K.

FEB 4: Polish singer-songwriters Chris & Thomas play at the Hotel Cafe. 1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. 8:00 pm.

FEB 5: La Jolla Chamber Music Society presents Piotr Anderszewski in recital. Program: Bach – Overture in the French Style in B Minor, Szymanowski – Masques, Chopin – Three Mazurkas, Opus 63 (1846), Chopin – Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor. 8:00 pm. Sherwood Auditorium at the Museum of Contemporary Art – San Diego, 700 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037. www.la-jolla-music-society.com.

FEB 5: Chopin Etudes. Freddy Kempf, piano. The Anvil, Basingstoke, U.K. 7:45 p.m. www.theanvil.org.uk.

FEB 7: Chopin. Imogen Cooper, piano. BBC Radio Lunchtime Concert. Live from Wigmore Hall. 1:00 p.m. www.wigmore-hall.org.uk.

FEB 8: Chopin, Górecki & Brahms. Ewa Poblocka, piano, Antoni Wit, cond. and the Warsaw Philharmonic. Colston Hall, Bristol, U.K. www.colstonhall.org.

FEB 9: Pianist Piotr Anderszewski brings Szymanowski, Chopin & Bach (See FEB 5 for program) to Carnegie Hall’s Keynote Series. Zankel Hall – Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY. 7:30 pm. www.carnegiehall.org.

FEB 9: Romantic Piano. Chopin, Rachmaninov. Helene Grimaud, piano. SBC Royal Festival Hall, London. U.K.www.rfh.org.uk.

FEB 10: Chopin, Kilar & Beethoven. Ewa Poblocka, piano. Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Antoni Wit, cond. Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, U.Kwww.nottinghamclassics.org.uk.

Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki. Photo by Vladek Juszkiewicz

FEB 12: Górecki: Totus Tuus. St. Stephen’s Church, Bournemouth, U.K.www.bsolive.com.

FEB 15: Donald Crockett and the USC Contemporary Music Ensemble present Lutosławski’s Chain I and Grave.8:00 pm, Alfred Newman Recital Hall, USC, Los Angeles, CA. https://www.usc.edu/music/concerts/concertFeb2005.html.

FEB 15: “Chopin: the Music and the Legacy”. Christian Poltera, cello and Kathryn Stott, piano. Leeds College of Music, Leeds, U.Kwww.leedsconcertseason.com.

FEB 20: Chopin, Beethoven & Schoenberg. Imogen Cooper, piano. Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, U.K.

FEB 20: Jim Svejda features Marek Szpakiewicz, cello, in concert and interview. KUSC FM 91.5, Los Angeles. 8:00 pm.

FEB 23: Piotr Anderszewski, piano plays music by Szymanowski, Chopin & Bach (see FEB 5 for program). SBC Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, U.K. www.rfh.org.uk.

FEB 27: Krzysztof Jablonski, piano, plays in the Old First Concerts series. Sponsored by the San Francisco Chopin Council. Program includes Chopin’s Polonaise in F-sharp minor, Op. 44; Ballade in G minor, Op. 23; Three Waltzes Op. 34; Andante Spianato & Grand Polonaise Brillante in E flat major Op. 22. 1751 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA. (415) 474-1608. 4:00 pm. Tickets: $20 General, $15 Seniors/Students, available at www.oldfirstconcerts.org.


Songs Of The Vilnius Region

On 30 January 2005, The Embassy of the Republic of Poland & Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania co-sponsored a concert entitled “Songs Of The Vilnius Region”. The trio of performers was comprised of Dr. Maria Krupoves – vocals and guitar, Joey Weisenberg – mandolin, and Travis DiRuzza – bass.

Dr. Maria Krupoves, an artist and folklorist, is internationally acclaimed as a singer and interpreter of the folksongs of Central and Eastern Europe, especially those of her native Vilnius. She has traveled extensively to find such songs, many of them now dying out, which are in Yiddish, Polish, Lithuanian, Belorussian, Gypsy (Roma), Karaim, Tatar, and other languages. Dr. Krupoves sings in all of these, and can speak seven of them. Dr. Krupoves also teaches the history of Jewish music and the history and folklore of the stateless cultures of Lithuania (Yiddish, Karaim, Tatar, Roma, and Russian Old Believers) in the Vilnius Yiddish Institute and Center for Stateless Cultures at Vilnius University.

Remembering Roman Maciejewski

by Joseph A. Herter

This year marks the 95th anniversary of the birth of Polish composer Roman Maciejewski who was born in Berlin on February 28, 1910. Maciejewski, who died in 1998, spent 25 years of his life working in Los Angeles (1951-’76) and is best remembered in America for his monumental Requiem which received its American premiere at the Los Angeles Music Center in 1975 with the Master Chorale and orchestra under the baton of the late Roger Wagner.

In Poland, several events have been planned to commemorate the birth of this excellent but eccentric composer. In anticipation of this 95th anniversary, however, two publications were released in 2004 as a birthday prelude.

The first is a short paperback book on Maciejewski printed in both Polish and English, under one cover and of approximately 60 pages in length. Written by the young Polish musicologist Marlena Wieczorek, it is entitled Roman Maciejewski—Klasyk XX wieku / Roman Maciejewski—A 20th Century Classic. The book, which contains a wealth of information on the composer, begins with a short introduction by Janusz Cegiełła and is followed by seven sections: 1. Life and Works, 2. Compositions, 3. Comments about the Composer, 4. Footnotes, 5. List of Works, VI. Discography and VII. Bibliography. There are also five photos of the composer. The only flaw with the book is that there is no general index given. It is published by Nadbałtyckie Centrum Kultury in Gdańsk: This book is available from sekretariat@nck.org.pl.

The second publication is the first Polish edition of Maciejewski’s beautiful arrangements Polish carols entitled Msza Pasterska [Pastoral Mass]. The carols, which were first published and performed in Sweden while the composer was working there in the 1980’s, are scored for four-part treble chorus and organ. The carols are also printed with superb English translations and are available from the Wydawnictwo Karmelitów Bosych in Cracow: www.wkb.krakow.pl.

Two events on the 28th are planned in Warsaw. A screening of the documentary film Outsider, based on Maciejewski’s life, will take place at twelve o’clock noon in the auditorium of the National Library (Biblioteka Narodowa) at 213 al. Niepodległości. Directed by Stefan Szlachtycz, the movie was made in 1992 for Polish Television. Among those who include their recollections of Roman in the motion picture is Los Angeles resident Elżbieta Wars, the widow of the late Polish film composer Henryk Wars. Introducing the movie will be Michał Jagiełło, director of the library, and Wojciech Maciejewski, the brother of the deceased composer.

On that same day, Polish Radio’s Second Channel (Program II) will host a lengthy afternoon radio broadcast dedicated to Maciejewski’s music. Included in the broadcast will be the composer’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra performed by pianist Maciej Grzybowski with Wojiech Michniewski conducting the Polish Radio Orchestra. Recorded this past December, the broadcast will be the first airing of this performance.

Finally, the biweekly magazine Ruch Muzyczny will carry an interview with the composer’s brother Wojciech Maciejewski in one of their February issues.


Born This Month

  • 2 February 1909 – Grażyna BACEWICZ, composer, violinist, pianist (d. 1969)
  • 7 February 1877 – Feliks NOWOWIEJSKI, composer, organist
  • 8 February 1953 – Mieszko GÓRSKI, composer, teacher (active in Gdansk and Koszalin)
  • 9 February 1954 – Marian GORDIEJUK, composer, teacher, theorist (active in Bydgoszcz)
  • 14 February 1882 – Ignacy FRIEDMAN, pianist and composer (d. 1948)
  • 18 February 1881 – Zygmunt MOSSOCZY, opera singer (bass), chemist (d. 1962)
  • 27 February 1898 – Bronisław RUTKOWSKI, organist, music critic, conductor and composer (d. 1964)
  • 28 February 1910 – Roman MACIEJEWSKI, composer, pianist (d. 1998 in Sweden)
  • 28 February 1953 – Marcin BŁAŻEWICZ, composer, teacher (active in Warsaw)


Died This Month

  • 3 February 1959 – Stanisław GRUSZCZYŃSKI, tenor (active throughout Europe, b. 1891)
  • 3 February 1929 – Antoni Wawrzyniec GRUDZIŃSKI, pianist, teacher, and music critic (active in Łódz and Warsaw, b. 1875)
  • 7 February 1954 – Jan Adam MAKLAKIEWICZ, composer (active in Warsaw, b. 1899)
  • 7 February 1994 – Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI, composer and conductor (b. 1913)
  • 9 February 1959 – Ignacy NEUMARK, composer and conductor (active in Copenhagen, Oslo and Schveningen, b. 1888)
  • 10 February 1905 – Ignacy KRZYŻANOWSKI, pianist and composer (active in Kraków and Warsaw, b. 1826)
  • 14 February 1957 – Wawrzyniec Jerzy ŻUŁAWSKI, composer, music critic, teacher, and mountain climber (b. 1916)
  • 23 February 1957 – Stefan SLĄZAK, singer, organist, conductor (active in Silesia, b. 1889)
  • 27 February 1831 – Józef KOZŁOWSKI, composer (active at the Russian Court in Petersburg, b. 1757)
  • 29 February 2004 – Witold RUDZIŃSKI, composer, music critic and teacher