Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 13, no. 1
Best Of 2006
Awards & Honors
The American Academy of Arts and Letters has honored Polish composer Marta Ptaszyńska (the Helen B.& Frank L. Sulzberger Professor in Composition at the University of Chicago) with the prestigious Benjamin H. Danks Creative Music Award for 2006, with a special distinction for opera and oratorio
Pianist Piotr Anderszewski ‘s excellent recording of the rare piano works of his neglected countryman, Karol Szymanowski (1883-1937) was chosen as the Gramophone Magazine‘s Best Instrumental Disc of the Year
Polish film composer Zbigniew Preisner, a long-time collaborator of filmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski, became a member of the Cinéfondation and short films Jury at the 2006 International Film Festival in Cannes, honoring the 10th anniversary of death of Kieślowski
Young Polish conductor Michał Dworzyński won the fifth edition of the International Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, giving him the opportunity to serve as an assistant conductor for the London Symphony Orchestra
Polish jazz vocalist Anna Serafińska was given the first prize at the “Lady Summertime” International Jazz Vocal Competiton in Finland
Polish conductor Jerzy Semkow was awarded the Commander’s Medal of Arts and Letters by the French ministry of Culture
2005 Frederyk Awards: Album of the Year in the Outstanding Recording of Polish Music category: Antoni Wit and the National Philharmonic, for the recording of Witold Lutosławski’s concertos
At the 53rd session of the Tribune Internationale des Compositeurs UNESCO, the composition of Polish composer Wojciech Widłak, Wziemięwzięcie, was ranked among the top 10 scores submitted and was put on a special international “recommended for performance” list
Young Polish composer and organ player Dariusz Przybylski won the 3rd prize at the International Composition Competition Franz Josef Reinl – Stiftung in Vienna for his composition Fünf Rilke – Lieder for countertenor and string quartet
2006 Polish Composer’s Union (ZKP) Award winners: composer Zbigniew Bagiński and musicologist Alicja Jarzębska
Winners of the 47th edition of Tadeusz Baird Competition for Young Composers: The Rest is Silence by Dariusz Przybylski and Son’tasy 2.1 by Adrian Foltyn, ex-aequo
Young violinist Agata Szymczewska was the First Prize winner at this year’s 13 th International Wieniawski Violin Competition. The competition is chronicled on a 10 CD set from DUX records (1301-1310)
65th death anniversary of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, who died in New York City on June 29, 1941, was officially recognized by President of the U.S., both houses of the U.S. Congress, the President of Poland, and the Polish Sejm
The original manuscript of Frederic Chopin’s Mazurka op. 6 no. 3 was purchased by the National Frederic Chopin Institute at an auction in London
Krzysztof Penderecki, Wojciech Kilar and Henry Mikołaj Górecki have become members of a 7 piece programming committee for the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR), newly affiliated as a National cultural institution
Kazimierz Kord resigned from his position as the general and musical director of the Grand Theater-National Opera and Janusz Pietkiewicz was named general director
Jazz at Lincoln Center presented its first full-scale exhibit of original jazz posters from the golden age of Polish poster art (1950s-1980s; post-World War II to the fall of Communism)
On May 1, conductor Piotr Sułkowski was appointed the new artistic director of the Kraków Opera, replacing Ryszard Karczykowski
The University of Wrocław has started a new series of musicological publications, Musicologica Wratislviensia . The 1 st volume of the series, entitled Musicology in Wrocław and edited by Maciej Gołąb, is a product of the Polish-German-Ukrainian Conference that took place in 2003
Jacek Kaspszyk, one of Poland ‘s most renowned conductors, has been appointed chief conductor of the Wrocław Philharmonic
The 2006 Film Music Festival in Łódź focused on the music of Henryk Kuźniak, composer of scores to such famous Polish movies as Vabank and Seksmisja
Wojciech Nentwig was appointed as the new executive director of Poznań Philharmonic, replacing Grzegorz Nowak at the Philharmonic after a controversy surrounding Nowak’s contract and conflicts with Philharmonic employees
The first three publications in the “Musica Claromontana” series, a joint project of Polish Music Editions (PWM) and the Jasna Góra monastery were announced: Missa Pastoralis by Marcin Józef Żebrowski, Psalmy Nieszporne by father Eryk Brikner and Missa F by Józef Elsner
The world premiere of Paweł Łukaszewski’s Mass for choir and wind instrumentstook place in London ‘s Temple Church on January 28, 2006
On February 12th, the Verdehr Trio gave the world premiere of a new Polish work commissioned by the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York especially for this concert. The Kurpia Triptych is based on folk music from the Mazowsze region in central Poland, and was composed by Grzegorz Duchnowski
Jacek Sykulski’s Missa 1956, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Poznań factory strike that claimed 70 lives, premiered on June 28 in Adam Mickiewicz Square
The new mass entitled Missa Solemnis Sandomieriensis “Beati Mundo Corde” – Prayer with John Paul II, by composer and clarinetist Wojtech Mrożek, was premiered on June 11 by the Silesian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Choir
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek’s Oratorio 1956, commemorating the deadly demonstrations in Poznań in June of 1956, was premiered by the Poznań Philharmonic under Michał Nesterowicz in June
The world premiere of Zygmunt Krauze’s new opera Bal w operze [A Ball in the Opera] took place on September 10th in Łódź, during the 5th edition of the Dialogue of Four Cultures Festival
The world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s new work, Divertimento for cello solo, took place at the Chamber Music Festival in Giverny, France
The Warsaw Autumn festival, Poland’s only international festival of contemporary music, featured 13 premieres during this 49th year, from the following composers: Tadeusz Wielecki, Erik Oña, Zbigniew Bagiński, Zbigniew Penherski, Paweł Mykiety, Magdalena Długosz, Anna Zawadzka-Gołosz, Jarosław Siwiński, Jacek Kochan, Jerzy Kornowicz, Bogusław Schaeffer, Aleksander Szczetyński, Joanna Woźna and an opera by Zygmunt Krauze
The Polish Composer’s Union [ZKP] finished its 60th anniversary celebrations by presenting 6 new commissioned compositions by Jarosław Siwiński, Roman Berger, Wojciech Ziemowit Zych, Magdalena Długosz, Zbigniew Bargielski and Dobromiła Jaskot October 15th in the Polish Radio Lutosławski Concert Studio
The latest composition by Wojciech Widłak, PostScriptum for orchestra, was premiered at the Aksamitna Kurtyna II Festival on October 10th
Between February 3rd and 18th, Radio France presented the 16th edition of “Présences—Festival de Création Musicale” with featured composer Krzysztof Penderecki, marking the first time that all of his works have been presented collectively to the public. During the inaugural concert, the 8th Symphony: Lieder der Vergänglichkeit was conducted by the composer himself
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the company, Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz presented Paderewski’s opera Manru, its first time back on a Polish stage in 15 years
Polish baritone Andrzej Dobber made his Paris Opera debut in February, singing the title role in Verdi’s Rigoletto
In one of the most important events of the Polish-German year 2005/2006, the town of Münster, Germany celebrated the 40th anniversary of the premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s St. Luke’s Passion with three days of music by the composer
Tomasz Stańko, at the height of his career, gave his 4th American tour with his Quartet, promoting their new CD, Lontano
The “Internationale Maifestspiele 2006” festival in Wiesbaden, Germany presented two operas with ties to Poland : Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chénier conducted by Grzegorz Nowak, and Krzysztof Penderecki’s Ubu Rex conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk
The second edition of the “Chopin and His Europe” festival in Warsaw featured such artists as Martha Argerich, Rafał Blechacz, Garrick Ohlsson, Dang Thai Son, Nicholas Angelich, Andrzej Bauer and more
The Branford Marsalis Quartet opened this year’s JVC Jazz Festival, which continues the great tradition of the “Jazz Jamboree,” the jazz festival with the longest history in Europe
Adding to the music/memorabilia now available through the Zygmunt & Luisa Stojowski collection, the Sibley Music Library at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York has many rare, out-of-print musical scores online for free downloading, including eleven works of Zygmunt Stojowski.
The PMC Stojowski Celebration came to a head with the Paderewski Lecture-Recital, featuring pianst Jonathan Plowright and Stojowski scholar Joseph A. Herter, and attended by family of the composers (sons Henry and Alfred pictured at right with J. Plowright)
The Polish Music Center presented a Fall full of Polish music, from Chopin to Szeligowski – Relive it all again here
Maria Szymanowska – Pianist and Composer, the latest volume in the PMC’s Polish Music History Series, was published
The “Sacred Triptych” consists of three DVDs with the best-known work of three Polish composers: Krzysztof Penderecki’s Credo, Wojciech Kilar’s Missa pro paceand Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s 3rd Symphony: Symphony of Sorrowful Songs . All three pieces were recorded during live anniversary performances. The DVDs also contain a bonus 20 minutes of footage of never before published interviews with the composers expressing their views about the music. www.nospr.org.pl
Re-release of Szymanowski/Franck recording by Kaja Danczowska, violin and Krystian Zimerman, piano on Deutche Grammophon (CD 477 590-3)
Deutsche Grammophon CD of the Month for May 06: Krystian Zimerman, piano & Simon Rattle, conductor lead the Berliner Philharmoniker in Brahms Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor, Op.15. 477 541-3
The Szymanowski Quartet, one of the most charismatic quartets of the younger generation, makes its recording debut with distinctive performances of three contrasting works from Haydn, Bacewicz & Dvorak. Avie Records, AV 2098 – Hybrid SACD
Rafał Blechacz, winner of the 2005 National Polish F. Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, signed a five year contract with Deutsche Grammophon
Polish Radio and the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage released the first 10-CD set in the “Media with culture” series, which introduces Polish music missing from the recording market and promotes Polish music and culture, especially contemporary. www.nospr.org.pl
Music for String Orchestra is the 1 st release in the “Poland Abroad” recording series, based on the “Poland at heart – composing abroad: Polish composers in Europe (1850-1950)” Festival of October 2005
BBC CD of the Month for August: Antoni Wit conducts the Staatskapelle Weimar in Strauss’ Eine Alpensinfonie
The Polish National Radio Orchestra is featured on three new “The Very Best of…” compilations from Naxos Records. These releases are dedicated to music of Antonin Dvorak (Naxos 552139-40), Edward Elgar (Naxos 8.552133-34) and Franz Liszt (Naxos 8.552131-32)
Fall Full Of Music…
Looking back at the Fall 2006 Season at the Polish Music Center, we can be proud of having presented a great number of very unusual and exciting music programs. Since Polish music is often represented on only by her most famous sons—Chopin, Moniuszko, and Szymanowski—our offerings this time around focused on reminding our audiences that Polish music repertoire is truly vast and incredibly varied.
It is also essential to make sure that not only Polish-born artists present our musical heritage on stage. One of the most important missions of Polish Music Center is to enable musicians all over the world to become familiar with Polish music and incorporate it in their programs. This we do by making our library holdings available online, by helping with e-mail inquiries about repertoire from all over the world, and by encouraging local musicians to explore Polish repertoire. Thus, on September 7, conductor Gabriel Alegría and a string orchestra composed of USC students presented a concert of “Polish Premieres.” In addition to the charming Serenade for Strings Op. 1 by Mieczysław Karłowicz, no less than two world premieres were programmed that evening: Tadeusz Kassern’s Concertino for Oboe and Strings (dating from 1946) and Zygmunt Stojowski’s Two Fugues for Strings, written when Stojowski studied in Paris in late 1880s. This concert inaugurated the “Stojowski Festival” at USC that culminated with more music and festivities during the month of October, celebrating Stojowski on the 60th anniversary of his death.
The next PMC Fall Season concert was on September 13. The Midnight Wind Quintet, composed of USC Thornton School of Music alums (including the Polish-born Maciej Flis), presented wind quintets by Grażyna Bacewicz and Tadeusz Szeligowski . Both works are rarely played (even in Poland!) and the audience at the United University Church had a chance to hear these two rare repertoire gems. Another interesting work on the same concert was August Freyer’s Toccata for Organ, Op.1. This German-born composer, who lived from 1803 until 1883, spent most of his life in Poland . He was a prominent pedagogue, an organist in Warsaw, and the author of several books on music theory and singing. Freyer was also a teacher of Elsner who, in turn, taught Chopin. Szymon Grab—a USC scholarship student from Legnica —was a featured soloist on this program.
October 11 was a special day for Polish music in Southern California. At noon, at the United University Church on the USC campus, Stojowski’s virtuoso Concertstück for Cello and Orchestra was given its first California performance by Lars Hoefs, cello, and Marek Żebrowski, piano. Two of Stojowski’s surviving sons—Alfred and Henry—accompanied by their families were on hand for the event. Following the concert, there was a gala opening of the Stojowski Room at the Polish Music Center. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by all present members of the Stojowski family, Deans Cutietta and Lopez, numerous other Thornton School of Music officers, the Founder and main benefactors of the Polish Music Center, Wanda Wilk and her daughter Diane, as well as other specially invited guests. The Stojowski Room contains a collection of the composer’s manuscripts, letters, music scores, books, photographs and other valuable memorabilia. Based on these unique materials, the author Joseph Herter is preparing a book on Zygmunt Stojowski that will be published by the Polish Music Center next year.
Only a day later, on October 12, the Polish Music Center featured a brilliant pianist, Jonathan Plowright, in concert of music by Stojowski and Paderewski. This English-born virtuoso found Stojowski’s music irresistible and, after long and considerable research, recorded a great number of Stojowski’s solo works and compositions for piano and orchestra for Hyperion Records. The Paderewski Lecture-Recital— an annual PMC event—also featured Mr. Herter, lecturing about Stojowski and Paderewski, and their links to Southern California.
Paderewski was a frequent visitor to Paso Robles, where he also owned several huge tracts of ranchland. There he planted Zinfandel grapes, almonds and other crops, starting a revival of viniculture in Southern California. He was adored by local residents, many of whom remembered and cherished Paderewski for transforming their lives. Mr. Plowright repeated his program of Paderewski and Stojowski at the Cass Winery in Paso Robles on October 14, reviving the local tradition of a music festival honoring Paso’s most important celebrity.
Finally, on October 29, in cooperation with the Polish Club of Laguna Woods, we presented a concert of songs by Karłowicz (performed by Krysta Close), the wind quintets of Bacewicz and Szeligowski (performed again by the Midnight Quintet), and solo piano music of Chopin (performed by Marek Żebrowski). For many in the audience, this repertoire represented a first time hearing of this particular musical niche.
Judging by the reaction of our audiences, our musical offerings were received with interest and enthusiasm. Encouraged by such a response, we will continue on our mission of bringing you the most fascinating and worthy musical choices in the very best possible interpretations by internationally acclaimed artists. Already we are planning a celebration of Karol Szymanowski’s 120th anniversary of birth and 70th anniversary of death in March 2007. Please join us for this and other upcoming concerts—we advertise them on our website, via direct mailing, and through personal recommendation of those who faithfully come to our events. May the New Year bring you much health and happiness, and may the Polish Music Center continue to be your trusted cultural resource for years to come. Thank you for your support and see you at our concerts!
2007 – Year Of Karol Szymanowski
The Polish Sejm has declared the year 2007 to be the Year of Karol Szymanowski. 2007 marks the 125th birth anniversary and 70th death anniversary of this great Polish composer. As can be expected, many Polish cultural institutions has already prepared certain concerts and made programming adjustments to celebrate the Szymanowski Year.
The composer’s family has declared that they will donate another part of the art collection that belonged to the composer to the Szymanowski Museum at Villa Atma in Zakopane, Poland . Also, the library of the Warsaw University has acquired the manuscript of the arrangement of Szymanowski’s 4th Symphony for two pianos, written partly by Grzegorz Fitelberg with many additions by Szymanowski. It will be on public display starting January 2007.
Orchestras around Poland have concerts with Szymanowski’s music already programmed. The inaugural concert of the Szymanowski Year will be presented by the Opole Philharmonic on 17 January at 7 pm. The program, featuring conductor Bogusław Dawidow and soprano Katarzyna Trylnik, will include Szymanowski’s Four Polish Dances, Roxanna’s Song from the opera King Roger, Penthesilea op.18, Pieśni kurpiowskie op.58, and the 1st Symphony. The Grand Theater-National Opera will repeat their highly successful Szymanowski and Danceconcert, consisting of dance interpretations of Szymanowski’s 3rd Symphony, Stabat Mater and Harnasie. In the U.S., the Polish Music Center at USC in Los Angeles will present an anniversary concert on March 22 nd at 7:30 pm. Many more events are likely to be planned during the year. For information about some of the events, visit the Polish Music Infomation Centre.
More Changes At The National Theater
Tomasz Bugaj was appointed the new Music Director of the Grand Theater-National Opera. Janusz Pietkiewicz is the new Chief Director as of late last year and Ryszard Karczykowski remains the Artistic Director. Bugaj is a graduate of Music Academy in Warsaw and Warsaw University. In the 1970’s, he received several awards in conducting competitions and has since been an active artist in Poland and abroad. He has served as Music Director for the Warsaw Chamber Opera, as well as Artistic Director of the Pomeranian Philharmonic, Łódź Philharmonic and Kraków Philharmonic. He is also an active teacher in the Kraków Music Academy and Warsaw Music Academy. He has conducted most major Polish orchestras as well as orchestras in Russia, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Finland, Norway, Spain, USA and Chile.
The Ignacy Jan Paderewski Scholarship Program promotes Paderewski’s legacy of advocating freedom and democracy through the pursuit of education and open relations between nations. This annual program provides the opportunity for outstanding students from Poland to attend the leadership training programs at The Fund for American Studies, held at Georgetown University. The Ignacy Jan Paderewski Scholars will study political, business and cultural affairs, and their participation will help advance closer ties between the United States and Poland.
The Fund for American Studies has taken on an effort initiated by life-long Paderewski enthusiast Ambassador and Retired Lt. General Edward L. Rowny. Rowny’s devotion to Paderweski can be traced to his family, who were lovers of Paderewski’s music and admirers of his patriotism and statemanship. Please consider contributing to this worthy educational effort by contacting The Fund for American Studies at:
More Penderecki Released
Fifteen of the more important early compositions of Krzysztof Penderecki have been released by Schott Music. Schott Music has been the exclusive publisher of Penderecki’s compositions since 1970. Now another fifteen works from the late 1950s to the 1960s which laid the foundation for Penderecki’s international reputation have been added to the publishing catalogue. Strophes, Emanations and Psalms of David from 1959; Anaklasisfrom 1960 and Fonogrammi, Dimensions of Time and Silence, Polymorphia, Fluorescenses, Dies Irae, Stabat Mater, Capriccio for oboe and strings, Capriccio for violin and orchestra, Concerto for violoncello and orchestra, De natura sonoris no. 1, and Passio Et Mors Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Secundum Lucam.
In 1959 Penderecki’s three works Strophes, Emanations and Psalms of Davidwon first prizes in the 2nd Warsaw Competition of Young Polish Composers of the Composers’ Union. This marked the beginning of Penderecki’s astonishing career. Only one year later, in 1960, his piece Anaklasis for 42 string instruments, premièred by the Südwestfunk Orchestra under the direction of Hans Rosbaud at the Donaueschingen Festival, was celebrated by the press. With these works and other works following in rapid succession, such as Dimensions of Time and Silence, Polymorphia and Fluorescences. With Dies Irae in memory of the victims of Auschwitz (Prix Italia 1968) and Stabat Mater for three mixed choruses a cappella which later became part of the St. Luke Passion performed for the first time in 1966 at the Cathedral of Münster, Penderecki laid the foundations for his international reputation as a composer. For the St. Luke Passion, Penderecki was awarded the Great Arts Award of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1966 and the Prix Italia in 1967. In the same year, he was also awarded the Sibelius Gold Medal. The St. Luke Passion is an unrivaled unification of religiosity and the musical avant-garde and is known as one of the most important compositions after 1945.
Waterville Trio At Carnegie
On January 20th in the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York, the Waterville Trio will perform an excellent program of mostly Polish music. The evening will feature the New York premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano. Also performed will be the Trio in G minor, Op. 8 of F. Chopin and the Trio in C major, KV 548 of W.A. Mozart. See a flyer for the performance here, or visit the Carnegie Hall website at www.carnegiehall.org .
The Waterville Trio is comprised of Hélène Jeanney, piano, Hanna Lachert, violin, and Qiang Tu, cello (pictured above, from left to right). Carnegie Hall is merely one of the esteemed venues that has hosted this excellent group of internationally acclaimed musicians. And in the midst of their busy performance schedule, the Trio’s violinist Hanna Lachert has found the time and energy to assist the transferal of the Zygmunt Stojowski memorabilia owned by the New York Philharmonic to the Polish Music Center at USC, filling out the Zygmunt and Luisa Stojowski Collection acquired on 27 December 2004.
Polish Music In Los Angeles
January in L.A.’s Walt Disney Concert Hall will provide two opportunities to hear excellent examples of two ends of the Polish classical music spectrum. The first is a part of the world-renowned new music series, the L.A. Philharmonic’s “Green Umbrella Series.” Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen will lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group in a program including Witold Lutosławski‘s ground-breaking composition, Chain I , as well as Franco Donatoni’s Hot, Steven Stucky’s Nell’ombra, nella luce, and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Catch and Release (U.S. premiere). The concert will take place on Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 8:00pm.
The next opportunity will come the very next day, when the Los Angeles Philharmonic Colburn Celebrity Series presents virtuoso pianist Hélène Grimaud. Her varied program will include 2 Chopin pieces, the Berceuse and the Barcarolle, as well as Brahms’ Two Rhapsodies, Op.79, Rachmaninoff’s Sonata No.2 in B-flat Minor, Op.36, and the Chaconne of Bach/Busoni. The concert will be held on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 8:00pm.
Moniuszko Vocal Competition
The 6th International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition will take place in Warsaw at the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera on April 13-22 2007. Application for this competition and supporting documents must be submitted to the Competition Office by January 31, 2007. Please see www.teatrwielki.pl for details.
Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski returns to the public spotlight in January, after five months dedicated to other pursuits. Anderszewski has spent his sabbatical in careful contemplation, reading Fernando Pessoa, monitoring the state of cuisine in Italy and, latterly, recording in his native Warsaw. In 2007 he comes properly out of hibernation, and on 11 January will play Mozart’s A major piano concerto KV488 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. KV488 is a relatively new addition to his repertoire which he will continue to programme throughout the rest of the season following his debut with the Concertgebouw.
Over the coming months Anderszewski’s concert itinerary will take him to North and South America and a variety of locations in Europe. He will encounter some prestigious new orchestras plus some glamorous old friends – the Philadelphia, Los Angeles Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra all feature in his schedule. Some performances will be under the baton of familiar collaborators whilst others will be interesting introductions to new maestri, such as Russian wunderkind Tugan Sokhiev, Estonian Olari Elts and the young French-Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Among Anderszewski’s concerto engagements a few chamber concerts lighten the mix, and in February he will give a solo recital in Carnegie Hall’s main auditorium. This time New Yorkers can hear him play the piece with which he first made his reputation – Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.
[news from Anderszewski’s official website, www.anderszewski.net]
Cassatt Quartet & Markowicz In NY
Pianist Roman Markowicz joins the celebrated Cassatt String Quartet for a concert on Sunday, January 21 at 3 PM at the Kosciuszko Foundation House in New York City. The concert program will include string quartets by Mendelssohn and Ravel and the piano quintet of Erno Dohnany.
Hailed as one of America’s outstanding young ensembles, the Manhattan based Cassatt String Quartet has performed throughout North America, Europe and the Far East . Formed in 1985, the quartet is celebrated for its commitment to American music and for its tireless leadership as teachers at numerous universities and conservatories. The ensemble was formed in 1985 with the encouragement of the Juilliard Quartet, and their numerous awards include a Tanglewood Chamber Music fellowship, two top prizes at the Banff International String Quartet Competition, and a 1996 recording grant from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. The quartet takes its name from the celebrated American impressionist painter Mary Cassatt.
Pianist Roman Markowicz, born in Poland, was educated at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, as well as at the Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School in New York City. Among his mentors were such eminent pianists as Maria Wilkomirska, Artur Balsam and Ania Dorfman, In 1968 political circumstances forced Mr. Markowicz and his family to leave Poland and resettle in the United States, where as a scholarship student he continued his musical education. Currently he divides his musical activities between performing, music education and music criticism. He is a sought after soloist and chamber musician, and in that capacity he has performed all over the United States, as well as several European countries; he recently partnered with renowned Polish contralto Ewa Podleś for recitals in Spain.
In addition, Mr. Markowicz has been active for many years as a highly regarded music reviewer for the Nowy Dziennik [Polish Daily News], the leading Polish language newspaper in New York . His writings appear regularly also on the Internet site www.kamerton.net .
Blechacz Thrills In Poland
Two Polish orchestras have prepared a pleasant surprise for fans of Rafał Blechacz, the 1st prize winner of the International F. Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2005. This young pianist will perform on Tuesday, January 19 at Podlasie Philharmonic in Bialystok and on Friday, January 22 at A. Malawski Philharmonic in Rzeszow. The program of the first recital will feature works by Haydn, Liszt and Debussy as well as Chopin’s Ballade in A flat Major, Op. 47, Preludes, Op. 28, Mazurkas, Op. 50 and Polonaise in A flat Major, Op. 53 . During his recital in Rzeszow, Blechacz will perform a program of music by Haydn, Beethoven and Chopin’s Barcarolle in F sharp Major, Op. 60, Nocturnes, Op. 62, Mazurkas, Op. 17 as well as Polonaise in A flat Major.
New Polish-American Publication
Three Rustic Polish Dances (“Polka”, “Mazur Lyrique” and “Kozak”) by Polish-American composer Walter Legawiec have been published by Alliance Publishing Inc. in Wisconsin . These works are written for string orchestra and were recently performed at the Wisconsin State Music Convention with great success. The Alliance Catalogue includes music and recordings of more than 200 selected artists-composers from the United States and Europe. Of special interest are the works of prominent Czech and Slovak composers that are not found anywhere else in the world.
2006 Gloria Artis
Gloria Artis is one of the highest awards given by the Polish government in the field of culture. During a December 14, 2006 ceremony in Katowice, Polish pianist Krystian Zimmerman received the Gloria Artis gold medal. The medal was presented to the artist by State Secretary Jarosław Sellin. The same medal will be awarded to Ewa Podleś (contralto) and Tadeusz Strugała (conductor). A silver medal Gloria Artis will be given to Barbara Nieman-Rachoń(singer).
Fitelberg Composition Competition
The results of the Grzegorz Fitelberg National Composition Competition were announced on December 17, 2006. First prize went to BartoszKowalski- Banasewicz (pictured at right) for his Symphony No. 2. Second prize was given to Tomasz Jakub Opałka for Epiderma and the third prize went to Radosław Łuczkowski for Musica per orchestra. Honorary mention went to Krzysztof Urbański for Mała Świąteczna Symfonia [Little Holiday Symphony]. The composition awarded the First Prize will be performed during the inauguration concert for the Grzegorz Fitelberg International Conducting Competition. Also in the program of this concert will be two new compositions from Wojciech Kilar and Stanisław Moryto commissioned by the Silesian Philharmonic.
Paweł Łukaszewski has received the St. Brother Albert Award for his achievements and contributions in the realm of sacred culture and art. Paweł Łukaszewski is a composer, conductor and organizer of many musical events. The award was presented on December 14, 2006 in Łazienki Royal Palace.
“Garden Music” Results
The Botanical Garden at Jagiellonian University, the oldest of its type in Poland, has been the place of artistic inspiration for 200 years, mainly for poetry and painting. For several years music has been inspired by the Botanical Garden, often prepared by the Club of Contemporary Music ‘Malwa’ – the search for the right repertoire for this setting gave birth to the idea of the International “Garden Music” Composition Competition.
The results of this year’s competition were announced on December 29, 2006 in Kraków. The jury consisting of: Krzesimir Dębski (Poland), Burkhardt Söll (Holland), Nathan Shirley (USA), Jan Baryła (Poland) and Anna Kozłowska (secretary) has awarded the first prize to Andrzej Mozgała (Poland) for Babie Lato. The second prize went to Krzysztof Aleksander Janczak (Poland) for The Six Seasons and the third to Georges Kontogeorgos (Greece) for Spring in the secret gardens. The jury also gave three honorary mentions to: Mary Ann Jayce-Waler (USA) for A Winter Fantasy; Kamil Kosecki (Poland) for …Soul of The Winter… ; and Claudio Gabriele (Italy) for his untitled composition. In all, there were 57 compositions submitted from 19 countries.
Skowronski In Top 10
Avec et Sans: Live in Concert, Vol. 2
Works by Ernest Bloch, Carl Engel, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud and Karol Szymanowski
Vincent P. Skowronski, violin; Karen Hughes, violin; Saori Chiba, piano; Donald Isaak, piano
Skowronski Classical Recordings S:CR 008
Daily Herald reviewer Bill Gowen has placed Polish violinist Vincent P. Skowronski’s recording “Avec et Sans: Live in Concert, Vol. 2” on his annual list of “recordings of exceptional merit,” calling all ten of his choices “worthy of the highest accolade.” Gowen gives the following review of the disc:
Evanston-based concert violinist and pedagogue Vincent Skowronski, now retired from the stage, continues to mine musical gems from his lengthy recital career in Chicago and the suburbs. Editing and mastering engineer Christian Elser has done a magnificent job bringing these important performances to life, in particular the Symanowski D Minor Sonata, rescued and remastered from a vintage vinyl recording (remember those?). Kudos also to Skowronski’s colleagues, pianists Saori Chiba and the late Donald Isaak, and violinist Katherine Hughes.
A selection from this recording will be played on WFIU-FM, Indiana University’s classical music radio station, later this month. The composition chosen for air-play is the tantilizing and powerful Sonata in D Minor, Opus 9 for violin & piano, by Karol Szymanowski. This is an online, global broadcast and is scheduled for Saturday, January 20th at approximately 12:30pm Eastern Standard Time.
Listen here: www.indiana.edu/~wfiu.
Szymanowski On EMI
Karol Szymanowski: Songs of a fairy-tale princess, op. 31; Harnasie, op. 55; Lovesongs of Hafiz, Op.26
Iwona Sobotka, soprano; Katarina Karneus, mezzo-soprano; Timothy Robinson, tenor; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; City of Birmingham Chorus; Sir Simon Rattle, conductor
EMI Classics 64435
According to Robert Levine of ClassicsToday.com, “[…] All of the music recorded here is gripping and thrilling, filled with harmonic and orchestral surprises, and Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Orchestra and Chorus obviously feel passionately about it. The performances and sonics are exemplary. This out-of-the-ordinary program is vastly entertaining, very rewarding, and comfortably otherworldly.”
Weinberg On Chandos
Mieczyslaw Weinberg Symphonies
Mieczysław Weinberg: Symphony no. 14, Op. 117 and Symphony no. 16, Op. 131
National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Gabriel Chmura, conductor
“This is the third recording of Weinberg’s music for made for Chandos by NOSPR. Gabriel Chmura wonderfully captures the character of these compositions by the Polish-born composer. The orchestra playing is dynamic and expressive but also soft and tender where necessary.” [muzyka.onet.pl]
Mieczysław Weinberg was born from Moldavian parents in Warsaw in 1919. Shortly after the beginning of WWII he immigrated to Russia, where he lived until his death in 1996. More information about the composer is available on www.weinberg.listen.to, website created by a Weinberg fan.
New From DUX
Shostakovich Cello Concertos
Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto no. 1 in E flat Major Op. 107; Cello Concerto no. 2 in G Major Op. 126
Rafał Kwiatkowski, cello; Polish Radio Orchestra; Wojciech Rajski, conductor
Polish violinists at the XIII International Wieniawski Violin Competition
Henryk Wieniawski: Capriccio Op. 10 No. 6 „Prelude”; Fantasy on themes from „Faust” by Gounod Op. 20; Capriccio Op. 10 No. 5 “Alla Saltarella”; Variations on an original theme Op. 15; Capriccio Op. 10 No. 8 “Le Chant du Bivouac”; Polonaise in D Major Op. 4; Capriccio op. 10 No. 7 “La Cadenza”; Polonaise in A Major Op. 21
Agata Szymczewska (1st prize), Anna Maria Staśkiewicz (3rd prize), Maria Machowska (5th prize), Jarosław Nadrzycki (5 th prize), Wojciech Pławner (6th prize) – violinists; Marcin Sikorski and Andrzej Guz – pianists
XIII International Wieniawski Violin Competition, vol. 11-13
Competitors in the XIII International Wieniawski Violin Competition, violin
DUX continues to release more volumes in their chronicle of the 2006 edition of the Wieniawski competition. All recorded material is performed live by the participants of the XIII International Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań, 2006.
Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Serenade in C Major Op. 48; Edward Elgar: Serenade in E Minor Op. 20; Antonin Dvorak: Serenade in E Major Op. 22
Silesian Chamber Orchestra; Jan Wincenty Hawel, conductor
Pyotr Tchaikovsky: The Seasons. 12 Characteristic Pieces Op. 37a; Fritz Kreisler: Love’s Joy; Love’s Sorrow; Sergei Rachmaninoff: Daisies; Lilacs
Tatiana Shebanova, piano
Stojowski Collection Update
In 2005, the Polish Music Center at USC received a generous donation of manuscripts, sketches, correspondence, and published scores of music by Zygmunt (Sigismond) Stojowski (1870-1946) from the composer’s family. Now known as the Zygmunt & Luisa Stojowski Collection, this new addition to the PM archive consists of 32 boxes of varying sizes. During the summer of 2005, the Stojowski Collection was appraised by a specially hired expert. Although study copies will remain in the Polish Music Center, the originals will reside permanently in Special Collections at the Doheny Library on the USC campus. In the coming months, as the Collection’s detailed inventory is being made, we will continue publishing the contents in our Newsletter, informing our public of this important legacy left by a fascinating and undeservedly forgotten composer. All inquiries regarding the Stojowski Collection should be directed to the Polish Music Center at USC via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org . The following is our report on the contents of Boxes VIII and IX of the Stojowski Collection.
Box VIII: Books & Scores
- Arthur Foote: Suite Op. 63 in E-major for String Orchestra (orchestral score). Published by Arthur P. Schmidt— Boston, Leipzig, New York. Dedication on the cover: “To Sigismond Stojowski | Greetings from Dedham | Arthur Foote | Jan. 1910
- Jules Massenet: Grisélidis—Conte lyrique en 3 Actes, avec un Prologue (piano-vocal score). Published by Au Menestrel, Heugel & Cie, Paris. Dedication on the inside cover: « A mon excellent confrère | Stojowski | un très cher souvenir. | J. Massenet | 20. Nov. 1901
- Serge Prokofiev: Musiques d’enfants, Op. 65 pour piano. Boosey & Hawkes. Stamped “complimentary Copy” on the cover
- Stanisław Moniuszko: Halka—Opera in 4 Acts (piano-vocal score). Hardcover; published by Gebethner & Co. Warsaw (before 1900). Inscribed inside title page: “Dnia 12 Grudnia | 1856 r. | Lubieński
- Selections of piano music by various composers [From the Etude Magazine?]. Hardcover; undated. Fragile
- Edward MacDowell’s Woodland Sketches and Chopin’s Nocturnes. Published by P.L. Jung, 1896 (MacDowell). No publisher information for Chopin. Hardcover. Includes some pencil annotations in the score.
- Peter I. Tchaikovski: The Nutcracker Suite (simplified piano arrangement by Leopold W. Rovenger). Published by Rubank, Inc., Chicago 1942.
- Frederic Chopin: Etude op. 10 no. 12. Published by Schirmer, Inc. New York 1916. Signed: “Willerby Simmons” on the cover
- Frederic Chopin: Polonaises for piano. Published by Schirmer, Inc. 1904
- Frederic Chopin: Selected works (“Chopin’s Music to Remember”). Published by Edward Schuberth And Co., Inc. New York, 1945
- J.S. Bach: Italienisches Konzert und Chromatische Fantasie Und Fuge. Universal Edition. Signed “Stojowski” on the inside cover
- W.A. Mozart: Sonatas for piano. Hardcover; published by Schirmer, New York, 1918. Inside cover page dedication: “To my dear sister and pal | for a Happy Birthday. | from | Bertha”
- J. Guy Ropartz: Carnaval—Impromptu Symphonique [for orchestra]. Score; published by Bruneau & Cie, Paris [no date]. Dedication on the cover: “A mon cher camarade et ami | Paul Brand …. J. Guy Ropartz ”
- Album of music for piano 4-hands, including Suite (based on works by Chopin) by Mili Balakiriev; Suite caractéristique by Alexandre Glazunov, and other works by Debussy. Goldner, and Liszt. Published by Zimmermann, Leipzig, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Riga, and London on the occasion of centenary of Chopin’s birth. Hardcover with gold-stamped inscription on the front cover: “To | Harry Meyerwitz | Christmas 1920 | from His Friend | Armand Vecsey.” The inside cover inscription: “To my beloved | God Mother in | The Roman-Catholic Faith | Mme. Luisa Stojowska, | With the love | and great admiration of | her Son in God, | Harry Dominic Meyerowitz | H.N.S., R.A.S. & N. A. S. [etc., etc.] | 2nd Wednesday in Lent | [A.D.] 1953”
- Collection of folk songs from the Mazowsze region (arranged for choir). Published by the Catholic Publishers, Katowice [1930s?]
- Folder with miscellaneous music, including Violin 1 orchestral part for Chmiel by St. Wiechowicz (manuscript); an official hymn of Peru (photocopy); and several negative photocopies of orchestral parts for an unidentified composition
- Joseph Hoffman: Piano Playing. Hardcover; published by Doubleday, New York, 1912. Stamped inside: Luisa Morales Macedo
- Ridley Prentice: Hand Gymnastics. Hardcover; published by Novello & Co., London [no date]
- Mary Venable: The Interpretation of Piano Music. Hardcover; published by Oliver Ditson Co., Boston, 1913. Inside title page dedication: “To Sigismund Stojowski | This volume is respectfully inscribed by | Mary Venable | College of Music of Cincinnati, | Jan. 25, 1914”
- Percy Goetschius: Exercises in Melody Writing. Hardcover; published by Schirmer, New York, 1910. Inside title page dedication: “Dem lieben Freun | und hochverehrten Meister, | Sigismund Stojowski, | zum freundlichen Andenken | Percy Goetschius | New York City | Mai 1912.”
- Percy Goetschius: The Homophonic Forms of Musical Composition. Hardcover; published by Schirmer, New York, 1898. Inside title page dedication: “ Dem hochverehrten Meister, | u. Geschäfts Kollegen u. Freund, | Sigismund Stojowski, | zum freundl. Andenken | Percy Goetschius | New York City | Mai 1912.”
- Józef Orłowski: Helena Paderewska 1914-1929. Hardcover; published in Chicago, 1929. Inscribed on the inside: “Wielce Szanownemu i Drogiemu Panu | Zygmuntowi Stojowskiemu| Znakomitemu Kompozytorowi | i Wirtuozowi – Zasłużonemu Patryocie | w pracy obywatelskiej niezrównanemu | w hołdzie najgłębszym oddany autor | Dr. Józef Orłowski”
- Józef Orłowski: Paderewski i Odbudowa Polski. Hardcover; published by H.T. Beckett, Chicago, 1939. Inscribed in Polish to Luisa Stojowska by the author
- Charles Dennee: The International Library of Music for Home and Studio—Volume III, The Pianist’s Guide. Hardcover; pubklished by the University Society, New York, 1925
- Józef Reiss: Statkowski, Melcer, Młynarski, Stojowski. Paperback, published by Czytelnik, 1949
- Sigismond Przybylski: L’Adieu—Comédie en une acte. Handwritten manuscript of a play in French
Box IX: Books, Scores And Other Memorabilia
- Wooden box with a label: “(STAMPS, SOUVENIRS, RECEIPTS, PINS) POLISH VICTIMS RELIEF FUND ” – contains various items related to the Polish Victims’ Relief Fund Campaign in the US during and after WW I
- F. Chopin: Etudes Op. 10 & 25 and Three Posthumous Etudes. Lee Pocket Score
- F. Chopin: 24 Preludes Op. 28, Prelude Op. 45, Sonatas Op. 35 & 58, Fantasy Op. 49.Lee Pocket Score
- Wooden box with several plaques: “Od Przyjaciół i Wielbicieli” from Koło Polskie, Luisa Stojowska (Honorary membership of the Paderewski Foundation), a copper plate for a visiting card and a copper plate engraving of Stojowski’s photo
- Łucjan Kamieński (Ed.): Trzy Polonezy Staropolskie [for piano]. Muzyka, Warszawa 1928
- Various authors (Moniuszko, Chopin, etc.) – a set of arrangements for piano and the “salon orchestra” – Seyfarth, Lwów [before 1918?]. Very fragile
- C. Saint-Saens: Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 44 (orchestral score). Durand, Paris. Signed “Sig. Stojowski | 150 W. 76 th St. | N.Y. City ” on the front cover and inside. Contains interpreter’s markings in the score. Very fragile
- Roman Statkowski: Krakowiak (arr. for piano and small orchestra by Otto Langey). With piano solo and orchestral parts. Schirmer, New York, 1909
- W.J. Henderson: The Orchestra and Orchestral Music. Hardcover; Scribner 7 Sons, New York, 1910
- Arthur Mees: Choirs and Choral Music. Hardcover; Scribner & Sons, New York, 1901
- Stephen B. Stratton: Mendelssohn. Hardcover; Dent & Co. London Dutton & Co. New York, 1901 [inscribed on the inside page “To Mr. Stojowski with best wishes of the season from Allen”]
- N. Kilburn: The Story of Chamber Music. Hardcover; Walter Scott, London and Charles Scribner, New York, 1904
- F. Liszt: Chopin. Hardcover; Oliver Ditson & Co., Boston . Inside title page: “To Helena from Mamma. March 18 th 1876” and the following page: “Stojowski”
- A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians. Hardcover; Dent& Sons, Dutton & Co. London & Toronto, 1934
- Wagner-Kalender zum 25. Todestage. Februar 1908. Inside inscription in Polish from M. Mackiewicz [?] illegible
- A. Gedalge: L’enseignement de la Musique. Soft cover; Librarie Gedalge, Paris. Inside title page inscription: “A Sigismond Stojowski, ami inoubliable, Norman Frauenheim, Paris 1925”
- A selection of Monthly Newsletter of the Kosciuszko Foundation (incomplete)—various issues from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s
- Muzyka —issues no. 3 (March 1928), no. 4 (April 1929), no. 10 (October 1929), and 7-8 (August 1937)
- J. Reiss: Encyklopedja Muzyki. Soft cover; Arct Publishers Warszawa, 1924. Very fragile
- W.M. Kozłowski: 3 publications: 1. T.G. Masaryk a mesyanizm polski – Poznań 1925; 2. Filozofja narodowa polska a idea słowiańska; 3. Stanowsko Locke’a w historji pedagogiki w świetle współczesnych jej dążeń. All three have dedications in Polish to S. Stojowski by the author
- Łukaszewski & Mosbach: Niemiecko-polski słownik kieszonkowy. Hardcover, E. Bock, Berlin, 1878
- Dictionnaire Français-Polonais.Hardcover; Behr, Berlin, no date. Signed on the inside title page: “ Marie Bogdańska” – very fragile
- K. Baedecker: Les Etats-Unis. Hardcover ; Leipzig 1905. Fragile
Born This Month
- 1 January 1927 – Juliusz LUCIUK, composer, musicologist
- 1 January 1872 – Tadeusz JARECKI, conductor (d. 1955)
- 2 January 1894 – Artur RODZINSKI, conductor, music director (d. 1958)
- 2 January 1907 – Henryk GADOMSKI, composer and conductor (d. 1941, Auschwitz)
- 3 January 1885 – Raoul KOCZALSKI (d. 1948), pianist and composer
- 13 January 1921 – Wanda WILK, founder of the Polish Music Center
- 17 January 1898 – Jerzy LEFELD, pianist and piano professor
- 22 January 1944 – Vincent SKOWRONSKI, violinist
- 23 January 1888 – Jerzy GABLENZ, composer (d. 1937)
- 25 January 1913 – Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI, composer (d. 1994)
- 25 January 1928 – Andrzej CWOJDZINSKI, composer and conductor
- 28 January 1717 – Just Franciszek KASPER, priest, composer, conductor (d. 1760)
- 26 January 1886 – Artur RUBINSTEIN, pianist (d. 1981)
- 31 January 1926 – Stanislaw PRÓSZYNSKI, composer
Died This Month
- 1 January 1953 – Ludomir RÓZYCKI (b. 1884), composer, pianist, member of the group Young Poland
- 9 January 1842 – Józef KROGULSKI (b. 1815), pianist, conductor, voice teacher
- 9 January 1981 – Kazimierz SEROCKI (b. 1922), composer, co-founder of the Warsaw Autumn Festival
- 11 January 1935 – Marcellina SEMBRICH-KOCHANSKA (b. 1858), singer – coloratura soprano
- 12 January 1934 – Pawel KOCHANSKI (b. 1878), virtuoso violinist, Szymanowski’s collaborator
- 17 January 1969 – Grazyna BACEWICZ (b. 1909), composer, violinist, pianist
- 19 January 1951 – Stanislaw GOLACHOWSKI (b. 1907), musicologist
- 21 January 1618 – Krzystof KRAINSKI [Crainscius], preacher, author of a song collection (b. 1556)
- 23 January 1946 – Feliks NOWOWIEJSKI (b. 1877), composer, conductor, organist
- 23 January 1921- Wladyslaw ZELENSKI, composer (b. 1837)
- 26 January 1946 – Ignacy FRIEDMAN, composer and virtuoso pianist (b. 1882)