Polish Music Newsletter Vol. 18, no. 8
Sunset At The Ridings
The 2012 Paderewski Festival Fall Fundraiser, September 23, 4-7 p.m., will marry unparalleled views and a glorious sunset as seen from the spectacular residence of Marilyn and Ken Riding in the Adelaida hills on Paso Robles’ Westside with a brilliant concert by Dr. Lorenzo Sanchez featuring music by Paderewski and Chopin. Splendid wines, including Cass Sparkling, Treana White and Epoch 2009 Estate Blend will be paired with delicious hors d’oeuvres by Chef Kelly Wangard of Summerwood Inn & Winery. Six peerless auction lots, including a private tour of the Paderewski Vineyard coupled with wine tasting and overnight stay at Belvino Viaggio, and collections of difficult-to-secure magnums of notable local wines, will round out the fundraiser. Seating is limited.
All proceeds will benefit the 2012 Paderewski Festival and Youth Exchange in Paso Robles.
The centerpiece of Dr. Sanchez’s program will be Paderewski’s monumental Piano Sonata in E-flat minor, Op. 21. Published in 1903, it is one of Paderewski’s last compositions. Cast in a three-movement form, the Sonata is a pianistically challenging and brilliant work. A few more intimate works by Frederic Chopin will round off the program.
The concert will be held on Sunday, September 23 at 4 p.m. with a reception to follow. Tickets are $75 per person and they can be reserved online at www.paderewskifest.com or by calling Kristen at 805-237-7575, ext. 201.
After his early studies of piano with Anita Olsen, Lorenzo Sanchez obtained his Masters’ Degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City in 1988. Since that time he has performed throughout the United States, Mexico, and Italy. Dr. Sanchez is keenly interested in premiering new works and has appeared in concerts featuring music by such African-American composers as William Grant Still and George Walker. He has performed in solo, vocal and chamber concerts of music by Mexican composers and has edited, published, and recorded music by Domingo Lobato. Dr. Sanchez has also appeared as soloist and lecturer during the Paderewski Festival events in the 1990s.
The Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles is a non-profit organization that sponsors an annual series of concerts featuring internationally acclaimed artists, the Paderewski Youth Piano Competition and Exchange Program. The 2012 Paderewski Festival will be held from November 8-11. Highlights of this year’s festival will include the unveiling of a statue of Ignacy Jan Paderewski in the Paso Robles City Park, concerts by internationally acclaimed artists, a recital of Paderewski Youth Piano Competition winners, and the Gala Concert at the historic Paso Robles Inn Ballroom.
Also this year, the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles will host three young pianists from Poland participating in the festival’s cultural exchange program. Initiated in 2008, the program has created study and performance opportunities for young California Central Coast pianists in Paderewski’s former manor house in Kąśna Dolna and at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków during 2009 and 2011. The first group of young Polish pianists came to perform in Paso Robles in 2010, and this November festival audiences will have a chance to hear performances by another group of talented youth from Poland.
Sunday, September 23, 2012 | 4 p.m.
Sunset at the Ridings – Festival Fundraiser with Lorenzo Sanchez, piano
Tickets: $75 per person
For information and reservations: call Kristen Carrillo at 805-237-7575 ext. 201, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Recording Of Polish Music
The Polish Music Center presents pianist Aron Kallay (right) in two fundraising recitals for a recording of Polish and Lithuanian Music. Gone are days when major labels would sign young soloists to exclusive recording contracts, giving them carte blanche for their musical content. These days, the only way to even be considered for distribution is for the musician to self-produce and self-fund the entire project, from renting a hall to hiring a mastering engineer, which can easily add up to $3,000!
During the month of August, the Polish Music Center will present pianist Aron Kallay in two intimate concerts held in two stunning locations in Paso Robles and Pacific Palisades, CA. Proceeds will go toward helping Aron fund a recording of this exciting, eclectic, and often deeply moving music. He plans to record works by Joanna Bruzdowicz, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Veronika Krausas and Marek Żebrowski. Ms. Krausas and Mr. Żebrowski will be in attendance. All donors will have their names listed in the CD program notes and receive a free digital download of the project before it is available to the public.
Additional tax deductible donations are appreciated and can be made in person at the event(s), or by calling the Polish Music Center at 213-821-1356, or online at giveto.usc.edu (please indicate “Polish Music Center – Kallay” in the Instructions box).
The first concert will be held on Saturday, August 11 at 4 p.m. in the Library Room of Cass Winery in Paso Robles. Seating is limited to 20 guests and the admission price of $10 includes a glass of wine (attendance is complimentary to Cass Wine Club members). Cass Winery is located at 7350 Linne Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446. To reserve your seat at this exclusive event please e-mail: email@example.com or call 805 239 1730.
The second concert will be held on Saturday, August 18 at 3 p.m. at the home of Lolita Davidovich and Ron Shelton in the Via Bluffs neighborhood of the Pacific Palisades. The house features stunning views of the Pacific Coast, Santa Monica Mountains, and Santa Monica Pier, and a cool ocean breeze. The concert will be preceded by a short talk and followed by a wine and cheese reception with the artist. $50 donation requested at the door and seating is limited to 30 guests. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 818. 397. 6954 to reserve your seat and receive the address.
Pianist and composer Dr. Aron Kallay has been praised as possessing “that special blend of intellect, emotion, and overt physicality that makes even the thorniest scores simply leap from the page into the listener’s laps.” Aron is a champion of contemporary composers, microtonal music, and music that combines electronics with acoustic instruments. As such, he is dedicated to expanding the repertoire by commissioning new works that challenge the idea of what it means to be a pianist in the 21st century. He has appeared on numerous new music festivals, including MicroFest, Jacaranda, In Frequency, Hear Now, What’s Next, and the Other Minds Festival and will be making his first tour of the Midwest and East Coast in 2012. Working as co-director and co-founder of People Inside Electronics (PiE), a concert series that features new and classic electro-acoustic music, Dr. Kallay currently divides his time between practicing, performing, composing, writing about music theory and piano pedagogy, and teaching. He is on the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music and Chapman University, where he teaches music technology, electro-acoustic media, and piano. For further information, please visit Aron Kallay’s website at: www.aronkallay.com
View details of this event and other upcoming concerts with Aron Kallay online here!
New Donations To PMC
Contributing further to donations made in 2010 and 2011, Polish-American community member Szymon Letowski donated another large box of interesting materials related to Polish music to the PMC in July. Amongst the 18 items in this latest donation is a rare early edition of the book Chopin the Composer by Edgar Stillman Kelley. Although this copy was part of the first printing in 1913, it remains in mint condition. Also included is a Polish translation of Charles Bodman Rae’s excellent discussion of The Music of Lutosławski [Muzyka Lutoslawskiego]. Thank you for another treasure trove of materials!
Szymanowski (2012) & Lutosławski (2013) Anniversaries
Karol Szymanowski—Anniversary Year
Overview by Gary Fitelberg
2012 marks two major anniversaries for the great Polish composer, Karol Szymanowski: his 130th birthday on October 6, and his 75th death anniversary on March 29. These milestones have already been celebrated in many special ways and will continue to receive numerous tributes internationally over the course of the year.
Below is the statement given by PWM on the occasion, as Poland’s largest music publisher celebrates Szymanowski’s history with new editions of his greatest works:
Today, 29 March 2012, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Karol Szymanowski’s death – one of the most accomplished Polish composers of European and worldwide significance and a representative of the Young Poland movement in music. His invaluable contribution to musical culture includes symphonic works, vocal-instrumental, solo and chamber works.
Karol Szymanowski was born on 3 October 1882 in Tymoszówka, Ukraine, and died on 29 March 1937 in Lausanne. He began his musical education under his father, and then continued in Elizawetgrad with G. Neuhaus. In 1901 he moved to Warsaw, where in 1904 M. Zawirski gave him private lessons in harmony and Z. Noskowski taught him counterpoint and composition. In Berlin in 1905 he founded the “Printing Cooperative of Young Polish Composers”. Its purpose was to promote new Polish music through publication and performance. The first composers’ concerts of its members were held in the years 1906-1908 in Warsaw and Berlin. In 1912 Szymanowski signed a contract with Universal Edition in Vienna, where he visited several times. He undertook a number of trips to Italy and Sicily, visited Arab North Africa. The ancient and Eastern cultural monuments made a deep impression on the composer, and influenced the development of his artistic individuality.
During World War I, Szymanowski was in his home village Tymoszówka and in 1919 he came to independent Poland. At the turn of the year 1920/21 he made his first trip to America with Paweł Kochański and Artur Rubinstein. As a composer he achieved considerable success in the U.S., and his music became known in the country.
The years 1922 to 1926 brought many international performances of Szymanowski’s works: in Paris, London, Vienna, Trieste, Venice, Salzburg, Prague, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago. In 1927-29 Szymanowski was director of the Warsaw Conservatory, and later rector of the Warsaw Music Academy. Later, having no regular income, he performed as a pianist in concerts throughout Europe with his Fourth Symphony. The composer’s other prominent works include the Symphony III Song of the Night, the opera Hagith, the ballet Harnasie and many others.
We are pleased to announce that this year Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne will reprint an edition of Karol Szymanowski’s Symphony II, and will prepare new versions of the performance materials for the Symphonies I and II.
The 75th anniversary of the death of Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) – widely considered to be the most important Polish composer since Chopin and described by Sir Simon Rattle as ‘one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century’ – is marked by major performances in the UK during 2012.
Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra will perform a major Szymanowski series in 2012, undertaking a four-programme international tour of his music to include a complete cycle of all four symphonies and both violin concertos set alongside the music of Brahms. Taking in Paris, New York, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, the tour culminates at the Barbican in December. Pierre Boulez also includes Szymanowski in his programmes with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican and in Paris and Brussels in April and May.
Other major conductors and orchestras celebrating Szymanowski in the UK include Edward Gardner and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (Stabat Mater, 18 & 20 February) and Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Symphony No.3 ‘Song of the Night’, 22 February). [See also thenews.pl for more on this concert]
Edward Gardner, speaking about the impact of Szymanowski’s music said: “For me Polish music has a really unique voice, and Szymanowski personifies something special. The first piece of his I conducted was Stabat Mater, which I’m revisiting with the CBSO next year. It’s deeply and intrinsically beautiful, yet so human. Szymanowski’s musical language speaks so clearly to us, you don’t need to know the religious context to feel the spirituality of the piece: it feels other-worldly in the most beautiful way. I think in the last 10 or 15 years we’ve begun to appreciate how great Szymanowski is, and this feeling will grow. Anyone who listens to his music finds it remarkable. His is an individual voice that demands to be heard.”
Many performances for the big summer festivals of 2012 are still to be announced.
Sir Simon Rattle, on being asked to describe Szymanowski’s music said: “I cannot talk objectively about Szymanowski, for you cannot expect objectivity or reasonability from someone in love. And reasonability is out of place when this music is concerned, anyway […] Szymanowski is one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.”
“Szymanowski is one of the great composers of the twentieth century.” Sir Simon Rattle
Szymanowski has become known at home and abroad as a champion of Polish music during the turbulent decades of the early twentieth century. Though renowned for drawing on his nation’s great folk traditions, he was keen to release Polish music from what he identified as its lethargy and provincialism and he travelled widely in his lifetime drawing inspiration from composers such as Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin and Stravinsky as well as the exoticism of Islamic culture and Orientalism.
His music has always had an important place in the UK, even during his lifetime, but it has been heard more frequently and on ever higher-profile platforms in recent years, including King Roger at the Edinburgh Festival in 2008, the Stabat Mater at the BBC Proms in 2009, and a festival at the Wigmore Hall in 2010. It is in 2012, however, with this series of high profile performances that his reputation as a composer of impressionistic, exotic and exquisitely orchestrated music looks set to be consolidated.
As part of its Polska Music programme to increase the presentation and popularity of Polish music in the world, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute of Poland is supporting many of the UK performances. Its website is a valuable source of information, pictures, clips and other resources. BBC Radio 3 recently featured him as Composer of the Week. His music is published by Universal Edition and full biographical information is also available.
Szymanowski afficionado and author from England, Adrian Thomas, has this to say: “So, as the 75th anniversary of the hour of Szymanowski’s death approaches, all praise to William Hughes for his selfless service to lovers of Szymanowski’s music by giving us access to Polish writings, especially those penned immediately after his death.” Prof. Thomas has linked to Dr. William Hughes’ extensive recent translations of important texts regarding the life and works of Karol Szymanowski on his blog at cornishadrian.wordpress.com.
Polish pianist Anna Kijanowska plans several concert performances of Szymanowski. According to her website:
During the 2012-2013 concert season Anna will celebrate a Szymanowski year (in honor of the 130th anniversary of his birth and the 75th anniversary of his death), as well as the centennial of Witold Lutosławski’s birth with solo recitals, chamber music and concerti performances in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. She is particularly looking forward to her debut performances in Mongolia and South Korea, and excited about returning to Singapore, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia. Highlights of her 2012-2013 performance calendar include appearances at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, recitals at Yale and Richmond Universities, the Kosciuszko Foundation, the Polish Consulate, and the Smith Center in Las Vegas, and performances at festivals in Poland, Germany and Australia.
Anna’s forthcoming concerti performances include Lutosławski’s piano concerto, Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds. She will also appear with violinist Sharon Roffman for a number of engagements on the east coast of the USA, performing music by Szymanowski, Lutosławski, Górecki and Franck.
Also, the Polish American Society of Greater Cincinnati commemorated the 75th anniversary with Szymanowski exhibit and concert on February 3 and 4, 2012, featuring the Cincinnati Symphony with John Storgårds, conductor and Christian Tetzlaff, violin, The highlight of the program was Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Works by Brahms and Beethoven are also included in the program.
Last but not least, the Polish Music Center at the USC Thornton School of Music will present their annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital in honor of Szymanowski’s legacy. Performers will include two of Los Angeles favorite performers of contemporary music, pianist Mark Robson and tenor Timur Bekbosunov (pictured above).
This special anniversary year will include many more celebrations, some of which are listed below. From amongst the multitude in Poland and abroad, this is just a small sample of the numerous honors and tributes to Szymanowski held in 2012.
Szymanowski In Buenos Aires
During the second half of July, Szymanowski’s rare, one-act opera Hagith was performed at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. It was the first performance in Argentina and, as far as we know, all of America. It was performed in Polish by soloists Ewa Biegas – soprano, Hans-Jürgen Schöpflin – tenor, Christian Baumgärtel – tenor, and Aleksander Teliga –bass, with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Colón by Baldur Brönnimann. Stage direction and costume design were created by Michał Znaniecki—who serves as current General Director of the Poznań Opera—making his Teatro Colón debut.
Hagith was written in 1913, when Szymanowski was 30 years old, but it was not premiered until 1922. The libretto by Felix Dörmann (with Polish translation by Stanisław Barącz) is based upon the Books of Kings from The Bible.
The performances were covered by the Argentine Polish Cultural Association, which creates one hour programs dedicated to Polish composers for radio broadcast transmitted by Argentina’s PBS radio. The repertoire, prepared by Andrzej Jezierski, covers the rich history of Polish music
[Sources: press release, teatrocolon.org.ar]
While in Argentina directing Hagith, Michał Znaniecki is also presenting a new musical theater project entitled Desconocidos [Unknown] at the historic Villa Ocampo in Buenos Aires. The production brings together soprano Ewa Biegas, pianist Grzegorz Biegas and an outstanding cast of Polish and Argentine actors and dancers.
Desconocidos takes as its starting point the novel Efebos—a text written by Szymanowski that allegedly had disappeared in a fire—as well as passages from his opera Król Roger and songs written by Szymanowski and his student, Piotr Perkowski. Efebos discusses the problems and dilemmas of homosexuality, and the author’s apparent attempt to destroy it was perhaps to protect his family, perhaps for fear of omnipresent political power of Stalinism. However, parts of the text did survive, including discussions of the lives of Szymanowski and Perkowski. This story is brought to life onstage through Szymanowski’s compositions and the ghosts of his life story.
The protagonist of Desconocidos is a young communist (played by Ewa Biegas), sent by the authorities to destroy Szymanowski’s home and the troubling writings therein. Forced to burn the manuscripts, she instead decides to learn them by heart and thus to fight for their survival. The songs are an intimate reflection of Szymanowski and Perkowski, as well as the memories of concentration camps and the occupation of Warsaw during WWII, where Szymanowski’s companions—also homosexuals—were dying. The ghosts present themselves to the narrator and her worldview is transformed. She strives to preserve the works of Szymanowski and Perkowski, uncensored, and is killed trying to steal them away from the villa.
Desconocidos will be performed on August 3 and 4 during the “7 Noches” Festival, and accompanied by a workshop on the life and work of Karol Szymanowski.
‘Szymanowski: Beyond King Roger’ In Santa Fe
As reported in last month’s newsletter, King Roger—the landmark opera by the Polish composer Karol Szymanowski—is in performance by the Santa Fe Opera from July 21 to August 14. The title role is sung by Metropolitan Opera star from Poland, Mariusz Kwiecień, in his first US appearance as King Roger (watch an interview with Kwiecień on youtube.com). Stephen Wadsworth, one of the most acclaimed opera directors in the world, is director.
According to John Stege in his review entitled “A Thorough Rogering” for the Santa Fe Reporter:
The mystery and menace that lie at the heart of the piece are intact, all right, but in the lucid vision presented here, many of the woolly excrescences that could cling to King Roger become irrelevant. For this authoritative treatment of one of the more puzzling, and rewarding, works in the repertoire, credit the combined genius of three people—conductor Evan Rogister, stage director Stephen Wadsworth and, above all, Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role.
In honor of the premiere, the Santa Fe Center for Contemporary Arts hosted Szymanowski: Beyond King Roger, a series of events surveying the work’s musical and cultural context. Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue, a series of films that explore the metaphysical relevance of the Ten Commandments in the contemporary world, were screened from Monday, July 23, through Saturday, July 28.
Several concerts exploring Szymanowski’s musical legacy took place during the series. On July 28, pianist Sławomir Dobrzański—author of the PMC’s Polish Music History Series Vol. 9, about pianist Maria Szymanowska—and violinist Krzysztof Zimowski presented a recital of music by Karol Szymanowski. The program included the Mazurkas, Op. 50 (selections), Roksana’s Song for Violin and Piano, Four Polish Dances, and Myths for Violin and Piano, Op. 30. On Tuesday, July 29, the Del Sol Quartet presented works by two celebrated Polish contemporary composers, Paweł Szymański and Paweł Mykietyn. This concert included a discussion of musical lineage in Poland, from Szymanowski to Bacewicz and beyond.
Szymanowski’s 130th Birthday Concert
On July 21, the Karol Szymanowski Association and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra in collaboration with the Ludwig van Beethoven Society, presented a free concert celebrating Szymanowski’s 130th birthday in the Church of the Holy Cross [Kościół św. Krzyża] in Zakopane. Violinist Łukasz Blaszczyk and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra led by Maestro Massimiliano Caldi performed works by Józef Michał Poniatowski, Franciszek Lessel and Johannes Brahms, as well as Szymanowski’s Second Violin Concerto. The concert was the finale gala of the 35th edition of the Karol Szymanowski Music Days Festival.
This concert is part of a series, featuring the most important but forgotten works of Polish symphonic music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, presented alongside other European masterpieces. The series, called “Jeszcze polska muzyka” [Polish Music Still Alive] has been presenting concerts since 2010, with the goal of preserving Polish cultural heritage as an agent for the formation of national identity.
Szymanowski On Display
An exhibition dedicated to Karol Szymanowski on the 130th anniversary of his birth and the 75th anniversary of his death was launched on April 20, 2012 in the Witold Rowicki Foyer of the Warsaw Philharmonic. Curated by Elżbieta Jasińska-Jędrosz, this exhibition is on view before and after concerts and during the intervals until the end of this artistic season.
The exhibition was arranged by the Music Collection Room of Warsaw University Library and consists of a number of charts graphically designed by Janusz Jędrosz, presenting the great Polish composer’s life and the historical context of his music. The author collaborated on the project with Magdalena Borowiec and Piotr Maculewicz. You are welcome to visit this exhibition.
Lutosławski Year – 2013
In 2013, the world will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Witold Lutosławski. As the Polish government prepares to declare 2013 the Year of Lutosławski, international musical ensembles and associations are organizing concerts, competitions, publications, conferences and events of all kinds to honor this giant of 20th century classical music. As plans take shape, continue to follow this Newsletter as well as the new Lutosławski Centennial Celebration Facebook page organized by composer Steven Stucky and his colleagues in London for details.
Below is a list of upcoming performances in August:
August 21, 2012
CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA
Cleveland Orchestra (in Edinburgh) – Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
August 22, 2012
Cleveland Orchestra (in Edinburgh) – Franz Welser-Möst, conductor and Lars Vogt, piano
August 28, 2012
CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA
Cleveland Orchestra (in Salzburg) – Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
August 31, 2012
SYMPHONY NO. 3
Berliner Philharmoniker (in London, BBC Proms) – Sir Simon Rattle, conductor
Lutosławski 2013 – Promise
Lutosławski 2013 – Promise is a new program of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, to be managed by the Institute of Music and Dance. Announced on July 18, the goal of the Program is to prepare the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the composer. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2012. The Program budget is PLN 6,500,000.
The Program aims to prepare a multitude of artistic, scientific, educational, documentary and promotional events—referring to the figure and works of Witold Lutosławski in the context of 20th-century music, history and culture—for 2013, the year of the 100th Anniversary of the Lutosławski ‘s birth. Educational and promotional projects aimed at gaining new audiences for Lutosławski’s works and contemporary music, and thereby breaking the stereotype of its inaccessibility, play a key role in the Program. Measures taken in 2013 must be also long-term initiatives which will be continued in the future years.
- highlight the value and role of Witold Lutosławski’s works in 20th-century music, and in particular – the importance of the composer’s compositions commissioned and premiered by the most outstanding world conductors, artists and groups,
- promote Witold Lutosławski as a versatile composer (contemporary music, music for children, songs), a multidimensional artist (pianist, composer, conductor) and a great moral authority,
- promote Polish music of the 20th century and contemporary music as an expressive, interesting, complex and recognizable cultural phenomenon with an emblematic figure of Lutosławski,
- present Polish composers and Polish music universities as interesting, dynamic and prospective centers which offer professional education to young artists from around the world,
- present historical changes in the Poland of 20th century based on the biography of Witold Lutosławski.
Applications for the Program Lutosławski 2013 – Promise may by submitted by entities established under Polish law (central and local culture institutions, associations, foundations, churches and religious organizations, universities and art schools, companies).
Lutosławski Centenery Competition
In order to celebrate and popularize the 100th birthday of Witold Lutosławski, the Witold Lutosławski Society and the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP) announce the 2013 Composition Competition. All submissions must be made under a pseudonym by 25 January 2013—the 100th birthday of the competition’s patron.
The competition is international in character and has no territorial restrictions or age limit for competitors. The task of the competition is the competition of a piece for a symphonic orchestra similar to those employed by Lutosławski in his last symphonies, or example: 3(2picc)3(1ci)3(2picc, 1clb)3(1 cfg), 4441, timp, batt, cel, 2 ar, 2 pf, archi). Submissions must be original, must not have been awarded prizes in other competitions nor performed publicly, and must 10-25 minutes in length.
The members of the jury are: Luca Francesconi, Kazimierz Kord, Magnus Lindberg, Steven Stucky, Paweł Szymański and Tadeusz Wielecki. First prize – 10,000 Euro. The winning composition will be performed during the 2013 ‘Warsaw Autumn’ International Festival of Contemporary Music, with other potential future performances as well.
All composers must pay a 50 Euro participation fee directly to the Society’s bank account—email email@example.com for payment details. To submit, send 1) works under a pseudonym and saved on a CD, DVD or USB stick, 2) proof of the participation fee payment, 3) an envelope with the same pseudonym containing the author’s name, email and street addresses, and telephone number to:
Witold Lutosławski Society
ul. Bracka 23
00-028 Warsaw, POLAND
Further questions should be addressed to Society’s office by telephone/fax (+48 22 826 90 25) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
[Sources: press release, lutoslawski.org.pl]
Premieres & Recognition For Pasieczny
Award winning guitarist and composer Marek Pasieczny (b.1980) is one of the most popular contemporary polish composers and guitarists of the younger generation. His 2011 composition Chaconne for 13-course baroque lute and string quartet will be premiered by the work’s dedicatee, lutenist Jerzy Żak, at the Letni Festiwal Nowego Miasta in Warsaw on August 5, 2012. Performed with the string quintet of the Warsaw Camerata, the program will also include works by Sylvius Leopold Weiss and Aleksander Tansman.Pasieczny’s Chaconne is written in the form of concerto, with 22 variations, and was commissioned by Wrocław Baroque Festival.
The premiere of Marek Pasieczny’s new string quintet entitled Concerto Chaconne for guitar and string quartet took place during the XV International Guitar Music Festival on June 7, 2012 in Trzęsacz, Poland. Pasieczny performed the quintet together with world the renowned Silesian String Quartet. The work was commissioned and dedicated to Cezary Strokosz and “The 15th Anniversary of International Guitar Music Festival in Trzęsacz, Poland.”
It has also been announced that Marek Pasieczny will be the featured artist on the front cover of the August issue of the international publication Classical Guitar Magazine. The issue features an interview conducted by Classical Guitar’s Guy Travis, discussing Pasieczny’s compositional style and ethics.
Częstochowa Phil Named After Jewish-Polish Violinist
According to the external news service of Polish Radio, www.thenews.pl:
The Philharmonic Orchestra in Częstochowa has been named after the famous violinist Bronisław Huberman (pictured at right), who was born there in 1882. A decision to this effect has been approved by the City Council and the official ceremony is planned for 3 October, to coincide with the opening of the orchestra’s newly-refurbished concert hall.
A child prodigy, Huberman started to perform in public at the age of seven and at fourteen played Brahms’s concerto in the composer’s presence.
In 1936, he founded the Palestine Orchestra known today as The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He also provided 75 Jewish musicians with immigration documents and financed their move to Palestine, effectively saving them from certain death at the hands of the Nazis.
Huberman’s extraordinary technique and musicality secured him a lasting place in the history of violin-playing worldwide. He died in 1947.
Huberman was also a champion of the idea of the pan-European movement. In a book ‘My Road to Pan-Europa’, published in Vienna in the 1930s, he wrote “the political unification of the continent is the supreme goal.”
“There will be no more threats of war and omnipresent hatred will give way to tolerance,” Huberman wrote, adding “let us not mix the notion of patriotism with religious beliefs, as this leads to the fomenting of chauvinism, hatred and constant animosities.”
“Let us cultivate respect for history, tradition and distinct identities regarding the most valuable cultural and spiritual values of our nations,” the work continues.
(Posted by mk/jb on July 9, 2012)
New Guest Conductor For Tokyo Symphony
According to a Tokyo Symphony Orchestra press release, Krzysztof Urbański was nominated the chief guest conductor of the ensemble. Urbański’s posting actually began in April 2012 and his contract will run for three years. The press conference with the Polish conductor will take place in the Polish Embassy in Tokyo on August 9, 2012.
“I am happy to say that my position as the guest conductor will afford me the opportunity to strengthen my relationship with this great orchestra. I knew I could add Tokyo Symphony Orchestra to my list of favorite ensembles already when I first worked with them in November 2009.”
The 29 year-old Krzysztof Urbański is currently musical director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as well as the chief conductor and artistic director of Norway’s Trondheim Symfoniorkester. In November 2009, Urbański debuted with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, in performances including Orawa by Wojciech Kilar and Piano Concerto No. 2by Frederic Chopin. The program of the second concert with the ensemble in June 2011 included Mała suita by Witold Lutosławski and Violin ConcertoNo. 2 by Karol Szymanowski.
Stojowski On The Air
By Joseph A. Herter
Classical music radio station WFMT in Chicago will present a two-hour documentary entitled, A Romantic Master Rediscovered: Zygmunt Stojowski, on Sunday afternoon, August 26, at 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. [Central Daylight Time]. Produced by Jon Tolansky, the program features works by composer and pedagogue Zygmunt Stojowski, who was admired by Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Paderewski, Enescu, Heifetz and many more leading musicians of his day for his colorful, romantic and sometimes exotic music. Tolansky holds interviews with Stojowski’s two sons, Alfred and Henry, both in their nineties. Conversations with British pianist Jonathan Plowright, Polish conductor Łukasz Borowicz, Polish-American Stojowski scholar Joseph A. Herter (see PMHS Vo. 10), as well as Professor of the Arts at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts Henry Fogel, are also part of the program.
WFMT, found at 98.7, has live streaming for their classical music concerts. Since there is a seven-hour difference in time between Chicago and Warsaw, Polish listeners will have to tune-in to their computers at eleven o’clock in the evening. The station’s website is found at: www.wfmt.com.
Stojowski—not to be confused with the conductor Stokowski—was born in Poland where he studied with Władysław Zeleński in Cracow. Further studies took him to Paris where his teachers included Léo Delibes, Théodore Dubois, Louis Diémer, and after graduation from the Conservatoire national, Ignacy Jan Paderewski. In 1905, Stojowski relocated to New York, where he became a highly acclaimed and sought after piano pedagogue. At first a founding faculty member of the Institute of Musical Art, Stojowski later opened his own teaching studio. To mention only a few of his more famous students, the cavalcade of stars include conductor Antonia Brico, pianist Shura Cherkassy, film composer Alfred Newman, composer/pianist/entertainer Oscar Levant as well as pianists Arthur Loesser, Mischa Levitzki and Alexander Brachocki.
The Polish artist spent the last 41 years of his life in the USA where he died in 1946. Until recently, his compositions remained forgotten and unperformed.Stojowski’s legacy has enjoyed a recent revival an international recordings and performances after a century of neglect—including an upcoming recording of the composer’s Symphony and Rhapsodie Symphonique on Hyperion Records performed by pianist Jonathan Plowright (see also Plowright’s recording of Stojowski’s solo piano music on Hyperion CDA67437) As this Stojowski documentary aims to show, though, Stojowski left a treasure trove of beautiful works that deserve to be frequently heard.
[Sources: press release, kcme.org]
4th Int’l Bacewicz Composition Competition
The Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź and the Arthur Rubinstein Łódź Philharmonic announce the 4th Grażyna Bacewicz International Composer Competition. This competition is open to composers of all nations, regardless of age. Each participant may submit more than one score, however the registration fee for each score is 40 €. All submitted works must be: a) composed since December 31st, 2009, b) unpublished, c) never performed in public or awarded in any other competition, and d) submitted anonymously.
The jury—Zygmunt Krauze (Poland), Chairman; Agustin Charles (Spain); Paul Patterson (UK); and Chen Yi (China, USA)—will announce the three winners in late September. The winning compositions will be performed on December 7th, 2012 at the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic in Łódź, Poland. Monetary prizes funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage are: 1st Prize – 27,000 PLN (approx. 6,000 €), 2nd Prize – 18,000 PLN (approx. 4,000 €), and 3rd Prize – 9,000 PLN (approx. 2,000 €).
The subject of the competition is a piece for either:
- Voice solo and string orchestra with the option of using percussion instruments (up to four players) – in the case of a composition for voice solo, the text may be written in any language but a translation into English must accompany the composition, or
- Instrument solo and string orchestra with the option of using percussion instruments (up to four players)
Nominations for Koryfeusz Award Open Aug. 10
Poland’s Institute of Music and Dance (ImiT) has launched the 2nd Edition of the Coryphaeus of Polish Music Award [Koryfeusz Muzyki Polskiej] to recognize individuals, groups of artists and institutions in the broad field of the Polish art music (both in terms of genre and chronology). The award was initiated by Polish music circles and is granted by these circles to their most eminent representatives.
The award will be granted in three categories: Personality of the Year, Event of the Year and Merit Award. On August 10, an application system will be launched at www.koryfeusz.org.pl, by which candidates may be proposed until September 10, 2012. All details, rules and archives of the first edition are available at www.koryfeusz.org.pl.
As in the previous year, the award ceremony will be held on October 1—marking the 2nd anniversary of the Institute of Music and Dance and the International Music Day.
ACLS Fellowship In East Euro Studies
The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) announces its Dissertation Fellowships in East European Studies for one year tenures starting June 1and September 1, 2013. Applicants must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program at a U.S. university, with all requirements except for the dissertation completed by June 2013.
Applications will be accepted for work related to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo/a, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. All topics, periods, and approaches in the humanities and social sciences are welcome.
Fellowship categories include:
- Research fellowships for use in Eastern Europe
- Writing fellowships for writing the dissertation in the United States after research is complete
Application deadline: November 15, 2012. Further information is available at www.acls.org/programs/eesp.
ACLS has secured funding (for one year only) for this competition, which in the past has been supported by the Title VIII Program of the U.S. Department of State.
[Source: press release]
KF Chopin Piano Competition
The Kosciuszko Foundation’s 63rd Annual Chopin Competition will be held in New York City on September 28-29, 2012. 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 September 28, 2012. The application deadline is September 10, 2012.
The jury will be chaired by David Dubal, renowned pianist & professor at the Juilliard School in New York and the Manhattan School of Music. 2012 Prizes: $5,000/ $2,500 / $1,500
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 Malcuzynski 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.
Also this month, the Kosciuszko Foundation will present a concert by Urszula Borzdynska, mezzo-soprano and Violetta Koss, piano. The program of their recital will include several Polish selections—Waltz in G Flat Major, Scherzo No.3, Etude Op. 10 No. 8, Polonaise Op. 44, and “Piosnka Litewska” Op.74 No.16 – F.Chopin, “Daleko Został Cały Świat” Op.2 No1 -K. Szymanowski -, “Ave Maria” – S. Kwiatkowski, “Śpiew Zosi” – K.Kurpinski, “Złota Rybka” – S.Moniuszko, and “Zasmuconej” – M.Karlowicz—as well as works by G.Caccini, G.Giordani, C.W.Gluck, W.A.Mozart, P.Mascagni.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012, at 7:00pm
Urszula Borzdynska, mezzosoprano concert
Kosciuszko Foundation, New York, NY
[Sources: press release, thekf.org]
40 Years of AIPC
2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the American Institute of Polish Culture in Miami, FL. Help support the work of the Institute by placing an ad or personal message in their yearly magazine, Good News, or by making a contribution.
To pay tribute to four decades of sharing Polish heritage with American society by direct donation, visit www.ampolinstitute.org to donate online or by mail.
To place an ad in Good News, contact email@example.com or (305) 864-2349 for details. Print-ready ads (300dpi or higher) must be received by August 20, 2012. By placing an ad or personal greeting in Good News, your message will reach about 3,500 individuals worldwide during any given year, including many businesses and organizations. Please note that the magazine will be printed during the fall and mailed to you.
[Sources: press release, ampolinstitute.org]
Grubba In Zagreb
Gedymin Grubba was born in 1981 in northern Poland. He is an organist, a composer, a conductor and a manager of culture. In 2006 he graduated from the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk, where he studied organ with Roman Perucki and composition with Eugeniusz Głowski. Since 2003 he has been the Chairman of the Promotion of Art Gabriel Fauré Foundation in Gdańsk, which organizes about forty concerts a year, including The International Festival of Organ Music in the Pelplin Cathedral. The Festival is one of the most significant events of that kind in Poland.
During the last 15 years of his artistic work (1996-2011), Gedymin Grubba has given over 500 concerts as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor. He has been an adjudicator for organ competitions and has taken part in numerous master classes in Europe. He also regularly gives demonstrations of the world famous organ in the Cathedral in Oliwa. He is a laureate of many organ and composition competitions. In 2009 he was rewarded for his cultural activity with the prestigious “Mestwin” award. He is a member of the Polish Composers’ Union Youth Circle. He has made several recordings for the Polish and European radio and TV as a performer and conductor, as well as 14 solo CD recordings.
August 23, 2012 | 8:00 p.m.
Gedymin Grubba @ the 2012 Organ of the Zagreb Cathedral Festival
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
31 Kaptol, Zagreb, Croatia
[Source: press release, gedymin.org]
Echo Sacrosong N. American Tour
The 45 member choral and instrumental ensemble “Echo Sacrosong” will be visiting the US and Canada from Rzeszów, Poland during August and September 2012. Their performances celebrate the work of Pope John Paul II—calling for peaceful coexistence among all peoples and religions and building a civilization of love and cooperation for the improvement of living conditions for all people, especially the poor.
Echo Sacrosong will perform their spectacle of song and dance at several free concerts in Linden, NJ [8/18, St Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish]; Brooklyn, NY [8/19, St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish and St. Frances De Chantal (6:30pm)]; Baltimore, MD [8/24, Holy Rosary Church]; Washington D.C. [8/25, various venues]; Harrison, NJ [8/26, Our Lady of Czestochowa Church (2pm)]; Passaic, NJ [8/26, Holy Rosary Church (7pm)], Ontario, CAN [8/28, St. Hedwig’s Parish (7pm)], Bridgeport, CT [8/31, St. Michael the Archangel (6pm)]; Trenton, NJ [9/2, St. Hedwig Church (11am)]; and Doylestown, PA [9/2, National Shrine Our Lady of Czestochowa (5pm)].
To find out more about Sacrosong, visit: echosacrosongu.eu.interia.pl.
[Source: press release]
Silver Gloria Artis For Znaniecki
Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bogdan Zdrojewski, has awarded a silver medal Gloria Artis to Michał Znaniecki, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the artistic work of this director, designer and playwright. Known especially for his work with operas, Znaniecki is the former artistic director of Polish National Opera in Warsaw. He is also the founder of Ape Teatrale, which brings lesser-known works to spaces other than traditional theaters with performances in gardens, squares, churches and streets in the main towns of Poland and Italy.
Prof. Tomaszewski – Honorary Citizen of Kraków
The Kraków City council has bestowed the title of the Honorary Citizen of Kraków to Professor Mieczysław Tomaszewski (left), an eminent Polish musicologist and music theorist specializing in Chopin’s music. The ceremony will be held on Thursday September 27 at 12:00pm in the Debating Chamber of the City of Kraków.
The citation reads, “By giving the title of the Honorary Citizen of the Royal Capital City of Kraków, we would like to acknowledge Professor Tomaszewski’s outstanding accomplishments and his involvement in scientific research, publishing, and teaching. […] Sixty years ago, Professor Tomaszewski chose to spend his life in Kraków while publishing and conducting scientific research. This decision influenced not only the professor’s life but also the cultural and academic development of our city.”
Professor Mieczysław Tomaszewski authored about 250 scientific texts and essays, including 24 books. The primary focus of his research is the music of the nineteenth and twentieth century, especially the music of Chopin, and Polish contemporary music. From 1952-1988, Professor Tomaszewski was the editor and director of the Polish music publishers PWM. Since 1959, he taught at the Music Academy in Kraków.
Krzysztof Droba’s book, Odczytywanie na nowo. Rozmowy z Mieczysławem Tomaszewskim [Reading again. Talks with Mieczysław Tomaszewski] was published by PWM in Kraków in 2011.
Zdybel Wins Bassoon Competition
Organized by the International Double Reed Society (IDRS), the Gillet-Fox Bassoon Competition was held during this year’s IDRS Conference (July 7-11, 2012) at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Jury members for the Competition were: Carolyn Beck (USA, University of Redlands), Leonardo Dean (Venezuela, Simon Bolivar Orchestra), Anders Engström (Sweden, the Royal Opera of Stockholm), Leonard Hindell (USA, New York Philharmonic) and Karen Pierson (USA , Ohio State University). Finalists were required to perform Alexandre Tansman’s Suite pour basson et piano.
Winners of the 2012 Gillet-Fox Bassoon Competition are:
- First Prize: Katarzyna Zdybel (right)
- Second Prize: Amanda Swain
- Honorable Mentions: Bogdan Dumitriu, Ingrid Hagan, and Laura Miller
Kaczka Honored At GMA
Polish flautist Krzysztof Kaczka and his recording partner, percussionist Reed Nicholas, have received the Award of Excellence for creativity/originality from the Global Music Awards (GMA) for their recent recording Nostalgy (Acte Prealable AP0256). According to the GMA, Nostalgy “is a unique, and highly successful project for transcriptions of Frederick Chopin’s pieces to flute and marimba. The sounds are marvelous.”
Currently serving as the principal flautist with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra (China), Kaczka made his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall as the IBLA Grand Prize winner. For a full bio of the artist, visit www.pearlflutes.com (Eng) or kflute.muzzo.pl (Pol).
Global Music Awards (GMA) is a top-tier music talent competition that honors talented artists and showcases original music and unique voices. These awards are a stamp of credibility for gifted, emerging musicians—bringing recognition, valuable publicity and an opportunity to stand out. GMA also grants a humanitarian award for music dedicated to social justice, humanitarian causes or environmental issues.
Winners in 2nd Edition of “Blank Pages Of Music”
On July 18, the Selection Board chose projects to be carried out in the 2nd Edition of the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT) Program entitled “Blank pages of Music.” The Selection Board was composed of the following experts: prof. Barbara Przybyszewska-Jarmińska – the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences, prof. Ryszard Wieczorek – Division of Musicologists of the Polish Composer’s Union (ZKP), and Brygida Błaszczyk – IMiT.
The Program encourages Polish and foreign researchers who want to carry out scientific research on neglected and overlooked areas of Polish music in Poland and abroad. From a shortlist of 22 high quality applications, the Board selected the following projects to be co-funded by IMiT:
- Emil Młynarski – musical life and activity, in particular in Warsaw – Elżbieta Szczepańska-Lange
- Religious folk songs in Podlasie – Tetiana Zachykievich and Julita Charytoniuk
- Preparing the publication of Constantin Régamey’s six early songs for voice and piano from the manuscript discovered in the Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne – Jerzy Stankiewicz, Wanda Gładysz and Anna Bednarczyk
As required by the Programme Regulation, the Selection Board has chosen the research projects to be co-funded by taking into account formal correctness, content and uniqueness of submitted projects as well as the previous research achievements of the applicants. The chosen applications refer to documentation and interpretation of sources which are getting less and less accessible with time, within neglected areas of the Polish music culture in its broad sense. Moreover, research proposals must be well planned and are expected to produce notable effects indicated in the applications within a defined time, and all authors have experience in research and represent different centers in Poland.
Chopin FDN Scholarships
The Chopin Foundation of the U.S. in Miami is proud to announce the 12 young recipients of their annual Scholarship Awards. Eight pianists received full scholarships of $1000, and four received half scholarships of $500. The scholarships are renewable for up to 4 years for performer between the ages of 14-17 in their first year of application, and are designed to prepare America’s top teenage talent in the repertoire required to enter the National Chopin Piano Competition, held in Miami every 5 years. The next competition is in 2015.
The 2012-2013Scholarship Award winners are: Mikowai Ashwill (17), Connie Chen (17), Gabrielle Chou (17), Michael Davidman (15), Hugo Kitano (17), Kate Liu (18), Drew Petersen (18), Kadar Qian (15), Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner (16), Rhed Shi (18), Hanson Tam (15) and Weian Wang (17). View all the recipients at www.chopin.org.
[Sources: press release, chopin.org]
Polska Arts In Edinburgh
Throughout the summer of 2012, festivals in Edinburgh will offer a total of 180 performances, concerts and installations from the best contemporary Polish artists. Coordinated by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, events in the project Listen / Touch / See: Polska Arts in Edinburgh will occur at the city’s four major festivals: the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF), Fringe Festival, Jazz&Blues Festival, and Art Festival. This project encompasses the widest range of Polish cultural events to be presented in the Scottish capital to date. Below is a discussion of the musical events taking place.
A large number of rising stars of the Polish jazz scene took part in Edinburgh’s Jazz&Blues Festival (July 20-29). The acclaimed Aga Zaryan (right) performed alongside the Marcin Wasilewski Trio, the Maciej Obara Quartet, Marcin Masecki’s project Profesjonalizm, Mitch&Mitch and Their Incredible Combo, and the various projects conducted by guitarist Raphael Rogiński. Read more about the full lineup at www.culture.pl.
In the arena of classical music, the Edinburgh International Festival will feature several concerts with works by to two outstanding Polish composers, Karol Szymanowski and Witold Lutosławski. From August 16-19, Szymanowski will be performed during a four-concert residency by the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Valery Gergiev, Edinburgh International Festival’s Honorary President. This series will juxtapose the composer’s major works with those of Brahms. In addition to the four symphonies, Szymanowski’s two violin concerti will be performed by soloists Leonidas Kavakos and Nicola Benedetti—whose performance of Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1 won her the BBC Young Musician title in 2004 at the age of 16.
Works of the more contemporary Witold Lutosławski will also be presented at the EIF by the magnificent Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst. These two concerts, held on August 21-22, will bring together Lutosławski’s music with Smetana’s six-part symphonic poem Má Vlast and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6. Based in Polish folk music, Lutosławski’s colorful Concerto for Orchestra is a virtuoso showpiece that will shine a spotlight on the individual talents of Cleveland’s exceptional players. Compelling German pianist Lars Vogt is the soloist in Lutosławski’s Piano Concerto, a piece full of energy and shimmering colors that proudly displays the inspiration its composer took from Chopin and Rachmaninov.
The LSO and Cleveland Orchestra concerts are preceded by two study events held on August 16. First, at 10 a.m., during a lecture entitled Polish Modernism – Szymanowski and Lutosławski,Prof. Stephen Downes of the University of Surrey will offer unique insights into the work of these two composers. Then, at 5 p.m., EIF hosts a panel discussion entitled Szymanowski’s Homeland – Europe’s Forgotten Orient at 5 pm. EIF’s artistic director Jonathan Mills deems Szymanowski the perfect composer for our times, as an artist who continued to look to the East as well as the West for inspiration and solid musical reference. On the panel are Roman Berchenko, Russian composer, musicologist and musical journalist, and Piotr Deptuch, Polish conductor and a musicologist. Both have an in-depth knowledge of Szymanowski’s music and life. The panel is moderated by Aleksander Laskowski from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
On August 22, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival will host Wovoka, a band led by Raphael Rogiński – guitarist, composer and performer, improviser, cultural animator and student of musical folklore. A soulful ensemble whose name is based on a Native American prophetic leader, Wovoka pays tribute to the forgotten spiritual and musical traditions of North American music, blending the rhythmic melodies of Native American Indian song with influences of early blues and gospel music from the African American tradition. Rogiński will also play a solo show that same evening at Fringe, this time highlighting his deep roots in Jewish music and culture.
On August 24, another of Rogiński’s groups will also perform at Fringe. The band Cukunft [Yiddish for ‘the future’] was established by with the idea of continuing the Jewish musical traditions of Eastern Europe, with all their richness and in all forms and genres. The musicians interpret pre-war pieces and also compose their own new songs using the entire spectrum of Jewish music which, for them, remains very much alive. Cukunft’s repertoire is created spontaneously, but is also backed by serious musical and sociological research. Currently focused almost entirely on Jewish country music from the Galicia region, the band’s present line-up includes Raphael Rogiński on electric guitar, Paweł Szamburski on clarinet, Paweł Szpura on drums and Michał Górczyński on bass clarinet.
Summer Festival Of The New Town In Warsaw
2012 marks the fifth edition of the Letni Festiwal Nowego Miasta [Summer Festival of the New Town], presented by FNOK from July 28 to August 12 in various churches around Warsaw. As usual, Polish music dominates the Festival’s program, which is available at www.fnok.pl. The Festival’s format mixes concerts with meetings led by different “Friends of the Festival” discussing such topics as: Weronika Grozdew-Kołacińska – “Polish folk music – Sources and inspirations,” Aleksander Kościów – “composer and writer,” and Sylwester Biraga – “But the theater!”
Concerts include early music by Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki, Wacław z Szamotuł, Bartłomiej Pękiel, Mikołaj Gomółka, Mikołaj Zieleński performed by the Favola in Musica vocal ensemble, and the premiere of a work by guitarist and composer Marek Pasieczny (see News section above). New to this year’s edition will be a concert featuring works by contemporary composers in Warsaw, including: Alicja Gronau – Introduction for string orchestra and Last of February II; Bartosz Kowalski – Mała polska muzyka; and Sławomir Czarnecki – Poemat choreograficzny Wałaski. The concert is performed by the Festival’s organizing ensemble, the Warsaw Camarata.
Transatlantyk Film & Music Festival
This year’s Transatlantyk Film and Music Festival will take place in Poznań, Poland from August 15-22, 2012. The Festival features outstanding films and music from around the world. Legendary and young artists and representatives from all aspects of the film and music professions come together for hundreds of screenings and numerous concerts. This Festival is intended to be a new artistic platform aimed at building a stronger relationship between society, art and the environment through music and movies. It strives to inspire discussions on current social issues.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Festival is the Transatlantyk Film Music Competition 2012. The winners are chosen by a commttee chaired by Festival Director Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. From amongst the high quality compositions submitted by composers from Poland, Sweden, USA, UK, Spain, Greece, Serbia, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Austria and Lithuania, the following ten finalists were selected:
- Włodzimierz Antoniw
- Daniel Beijbom
- Adam Brzozowski
- Jan Glembotzki
- Tomasz Opałka
- Łukasz Pieprzyk
- Paweł Pudło
- Xiaotian Shi
- Mikołaj Stroiński
- Wehrmeijer Sunna
The grand finale, attended by the ten finalists, will take place on August 20th in Poznań. On August 21 at the Festival’s closing gala, the winner will be named Transatlantyk Young Composer 2012. He or she will receive Transatlantyk Young Composer Award – First Prize in the amount of $20,000 USD. The jury will also award Second Prize ($10,000 USD) and Third Prize ($5,000 USD).
Film Songs And Ballads In Toruń
The third Festival of Film Songs and Ballads will take place in Toruń from August 2-4, 2012. The program of concerts is centered on film music written by the best-known Polish film composers.
The Festival starts with the competition round during which a number of singers, actors and students will vie for cash prizes, including a special prize of the Polish Film Society. The Festival concludes with the Gala Concert, where such stars as Olga Bołądź, Lesław Żurek and Anna Czartoryska will perform with the Toruń Symphony Orchestra, led by Krzesimir Dębski. Other eagerly-awaited concerts include the latest film music by Michał Lorenc and the recital of singer Katarzyna Dąbrowska, devoted to works by Agnieszka Osiecka.
According to the organizers, the goal of the Festival is to “promote the most interesting works by artists who have imbued the film music literature with compositions that still mesmerize the audience with their artistic valor.” The Festival’s roots may reach back to the film Prawo i pięść [The Law and the Fist] that was shot in Toruń in 1964 and featured a famous ballad “Nim wstanie dzień” [Before the Daybreak], with music by Krzysztof Komeda and lyrics by Agnieszka Osiecka.
VIII Chopin & His Europe Festival
The Fryderyk Chopin Institute presents the eighth edition of the International Music Festival ‘Chopin and his Europe’, which will take place from August 17 to 31 in various distinguished venues around Warsaw. As every year, the Festival will bring together leading figures of international musical life; great soloists and excellent ensembles will perform concerts on the theme “From Bach to Debussy and Kilar,” playing on both contemporary and historical instruments. Besides works by the titular protagonists, audiences will also hear compositions by Beethoven, Brahms, Grieg, Liszt, Mozart, Paderewski, Ravel, and Schumann, among others.
Highlights will include the presentation of rarely performed Polish music by Franciszek Lessel, Feliks Dobrzyński, Józef Wieniawski, Maurycy [Moritz] Moszkowski, Roman Maciejewski and many others, as well as performances of young and talented Polish soloists, including Aleksandra Kuls and Michał Szymanowski. For the first time, audiences will hear Chopin’s concertos in chamber versions, performed by American pianist Kevin Kenner, the Casal Quartet and double bassist Grzegorz Frankowski.
Performers Andreas Staier, Alexander Melnikov, Evgeni Koroliov, Nicholas Angelich and François-Frederic Guy will be returning to the Festival. British pianist Howard Shelley—who astonished critics around the world with his recording of concertos by Lessel and Dobrzyński (NIFCCD 101)—will be performing and recording them again, this time with Concerto Köln on historical instruments from the era. Young pianist Jan Lisiecki and the Sinfonia Varsovia conducted by Christian Zacharias will play Schumann’s Piano Concerto. Frans Brüggen’s Orchestra of the 18th Century will also be return to the festival for significant performances with the following musicians: winner of the 2010 International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, Russian pianist Yulianna Avdeeva; Warsaw audience favorite, Romanian pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa; South African pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, known for his extraordinary musicality; and one the best violinists in the world today, Isabelle Faust. Another former Chopin Competition winner, Janusz Olejniczak will also perform with the Orchestra.
The event of Frans Brüggen’s Orchestra performing with Martha Argerich and Maria João-Pires on the same program, playing Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 and Piano Concerto No. 3 on historical instruments, may be the pinnacle of a truly magnificent concert schedule. Martha Argerich (pictured at left) has also announced her participation in a chamber concert entitled ‘From Mazurka to Tango.’
During two musical evenings presentation of Chopin’s books including new publications of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute will take place. Renowned musicians Nelson Goerner, Hana Blažiková and Wojciech Świtala will participate in it.The Festival will end with conductor Jerzy Maksymiuk leading Sinfonia Varsovia, Ukranian pianist Valentina Lisitsa and Russian pianist Dmitri Alexeev in concertos by Chopin and Ravel.
A full schedule of the Festival is available at chopin.nifc.pl.
The “Music Gardens” Festival was established in 2001 in Warsaw. It is organized by the “Music Gardens” Foundation every July and offers about 30 events, attracting about 40-50 thousand spectators every year. Its objective is to present significant audio-visual productions—either live or on-screen—of concert music, operas, ballets and films on art and nature. These presentations take place in a tent for about one thousand spectators, specially constructed at the courtyard of the Royal Castle in Warsaw.
Held from July 2-29, this year’s Festival was focused on the Republic of Cyprus, which assumed the Presidency of the European Union on July 1, 2012. During the festival, not only was music from Cyprus presented, but also from the countries of the Mediterranean basin, with events highlighting the points of confluence between Polish culture of the Mediterranean culture. Hence the thematic title of the 2012 Festival: “In the shade of cypress trees.”
The Festival’s annual program includes a series of concerts of 20th century and contemporary music called “Passage” as well as special events with large symphony orchestras, choirs and ensembles, such as: Sinfonia Varsovia, National Symphonic Orchestra of Polish Radio and Sinfonia Iuventus. The star performers in this year’s Festival were: Elżbieta Chojnacka – harpsichord, Agata Zubel – singer and composer, Maciej Grzybowski – piano, and the Italian vocal-piano chamber ensemble, Duo Alterno. In addition, the Festival held special events for children.
Chopin At The Olympics
London’s less expected “Olympic” venue included the very respectable Cadogan Hall where, on July 31, the Chopin Marathon was launched. Designed to represent Polish cultural heritage, the concert was organized by the Ludwig van Beethoven Association in collaboration with the Polish Olympic Committee, Fryderyk Chopin Institute and Adam Mickiewicz Institute. The honorary patronage of the event was held by Poland’s First Lady, Anna Komorowska, who attended the event.
The idea of the Chopin Marathon is rooted in the ancient tradition of including artists and poets alongside the competing sportsmen. Pianists Paweł Wakarecy and Marcin Koziak (pictured above)—the two top Polish competitors in the 2010 Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw—presented a number of Chopin’s most famous piano works. A special English-language edition of a magazine promoting Polish culture entitled Polska Now! and designed by Witold Siemaszkiewicz was available to the London public during the Marathon.
Mobile Concert Hall In Warsaw
The Silent Concert series is a mobile concert hall providing summer concerts for the Warsaw public in places where music performances rarely occur. For this series held in the Bemowo district, organizers at the New Chamber Orchestra Foundation (FNOK) selected a plaza with a fountain at the intersection of the Radiowa and Powstańców Śląskich streets. The performances took place on three consecutive Sundays—July 8, 15, and 22.
Because of the noisy and crowded environment, each listener received a pair of headphones to remain connected with the live music. This solution allowed individuals to stroll around the plaza or sit in the lawn chairs provided while enjoying a private and uninterrupted musical experience.
Performers included the Nerros String Quartet (July 8), the Arundo Wind Quartet (July 15), and the Merlo String Quartet (pictured above, on July 22). The program included works from both classical and popular music repertoire, selected for complete relaxation and the satisfaction of experiencing an art event. A verbal introduction preceded each of the works performed. Warsaw’s Polish Music Information Centre was the media patron of this initiative.
Polish Representation in iPALPITI 2012
The 15th annual iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates was held in venues throughout greater Los Angeles from July 12-29, 2012. This year’s iPalpiti Orchestral Ensemble of International Laureates—a rotating group of international soloists chosen from amongst exceptional young prize-winners (ages 19-32)—features violinist Kamila Bydlowska of Łódź, Poland, a chamber music prizewinner around Europe and a graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington. Also on the 2012 roster is cellist Lars Hoefs, who regularly performs rare works of Polish repertoire with chamber music partner and PMC Director, Marek Żebrowski, and also mentored young students during the 2011 Paderewski Festival Youth Exchange in Kąśna Dolna, Poland.
Founded by Eduard Schmieder as ‘Young Artists International’ in Dallas, Texas in 1991, iPalpiti Artists International has grown into an ensemble of international recognition, establishing a summer residency in Beverly Hills in 1999. iPalpiti [ee-PAHL-pit-ee is Italian for “heartbeat”] has performed to sold-out audiences in prestigious venues such as the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Mozarteum Grosse Hall (Salzburg), Nikkei Hall (Tokyo), Disney Hall (Los Angeles), YMCA Jerusalem, Carnegie Hall (New York). iPalpiti has been invited as ensemble-in-residence to festivals in Slovenia, Israel, Carinthia, Belgium, Italy, and Poland, as well as the Martha Argerich Festival in Japan.
Since its inception, iPalpiti continuously fulfills its mission: advancing the careers of young, professional, talented classical musicians and promoting peace and understanding through music. Referred to as a “Musical Peace Corps,” iPalpiti’s international membership brings unique insight to music making, creating a cultural network among 200+ artists from all over the world, forging life-time friendships and promoting universal awareness and understanding.
Szymanowski In Austria
Two arias from Karol Szymanowski’s operetta Loteria na mężów czyli Narzeczony Nr 69 [Lottery for Husbands or Fiance No. 69]—“Rozkazać sercu” and “Kiedy ja byłam bardzo młoda”—were performed during the Carinthian Summer Music Festival on July 20, 2012. Soprano Lavinia Dames performed with the Junge Philharmonie Wien and conductor Michales Lessky at the Alban Berg Hall in Ossiach, in Austria’s southernmost province of Carinthia. Also on the program were songs by Strauss, Künneke and Stolz.
New on ON DUX
The Very Best of Kilar
Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk – cond., Wrocław Opera Choir, Peter Jablonski – piano, Izabela Kłosińska – soprano, Tomasz Krzysica – tenor, Piotr Nowacki – bass, Wrocław Witold Lutosławski Philharmonic Orchestra, Marek Pijarowski – cond., Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Wojciech Rajski – cond., Magdalena Prejsnar – piano, Sinfonia Viva, Tomasz Radziwonowicz – cond., Opolski Philharmonic Orchestra, Bogusław Dawidow – cond., Kielce Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacek Rogala- cond., Silesian Chamber Orchestra
Karol Szymanowski: Słopiewnie, Op. 46 and Pieśni kurpiowskie, Op. 58
Dagmara Świtacz – soprano, Piotr Sałajczyk – piano
Władysław Żeleński Songs
Urszula Kryger – mezzosoprano, Warsaw Soloists „Concerto Avenna” – cond. Andrzej Mysiński
Wojciech Kocyan plays Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Robert Schumann: Carnaval Op. 9 (1834/1835), Faschingsschwank aus Wien Op. 26 (1839/1840), Gesange der Frühe. Fünf Klavierstücke Op. 133 (1853)
Wojciech Kocyan – piano
Leszek Kułakowski Piano Concerto/Sketches for Jazz Trio & Symphony Orchestra LIVE
Leszek Kułakowski (b. 1955): Piano Concerto and Sketches for Jazz Trio & Symphony Orchestra
Bogdan Kułakowski – piano, Leszek Kułakowski Trio, The Baltic Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Szymon Bywalec – cond.
New on NAXOS
PENDERECKI, K.: Fonogrammi, etc.
Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b. 1933): Fonogrammi* • Horn Concerto ‘Winterreise’† • Partita # • The Awakening of Jacob • Anaklasis • De natura sonoris I
Urszula Janik, flute*; Jennifer Montone, horn†; Elżbieta Stefańska, harpsichord #; Michał Pindakiewicz, electric guitar #; Konrad Kubicki, bass guitar #; Barbara Witkowska, harp #; Jerzy Cembrzyński, double bass #; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Antoni Wit, cond.
Each of these six orchestral works bears the imprint of Penderecki’s greatness as a composer. Fonogrammi alternates piquant sonorities, pulsating vehemence and moments of great intimacy. Intensity accompanied by neo-Romantic elements can be heard in The Awakening of Jacob whilst Anaklasis is a stunning example of juxtaposed, multiple sound patterns. De natura sonoris I explores more improvisational, jazz-influenced areas, as does the richly orchestrated Partita. The Horn Concerto, composed in 2008, offers an evocative landscape, glacial, powerful, yet wistful. [from naxos.com]
Read an interview with conductor Antoni Wit entitled “Polish Ambition – Antoni Wit Talks to Jeremy Siepmann.”
MONIUSZKO, S.: The Haunted Manor [Historical recording, 1953-54]
Stanisław Moniuszko (1819 – 1872): Straszny dwor [The Haunted Manor]
Soloists: Bogdan Paprocki, Edmund Kossowski and Barbara Kostrzewska; Poznan State Moniuszko Opera Orchestra; Poznan State Moniuszko Opera Chorus; Walerian Bierdiajew, cond.
Born in a small village near Minsk, Stanisław Moniuszko acquired wider musical experience in Berlin and made his name as a Polish national celebrity with his opera Halka. The Haunted Manor is generally considered to be Moniuszko’s masterpiece. In a plot thick with masculine challenges and feminine trickery, the story revolves around two brothers and the romantic complications which arise in a house cast under a spell of love. Polish opera legend Bogdan Paprocki leads a powerful cast in a vibrant performance set down in Poznań in 1953 and 1954, the first ever recording of the opera. [from naxos.com]
This recording is not available on CD in the United States, due to possible copyright restrictions. Available for streaming and download only at www.naxos.com.
WEINBERG: Symphony No. 6 and Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes
Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996): Symphony No 6, Op 79* and Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes, Op 47, No 1
Glinka Choral College Boys’ Choir*; St Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra; Vladimir Lande – cond.
Weinberg is increasingly recognized as one of the outstanding composers of the second half of the twentieth century. His Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes is a concise medley of tunes that embrace folk influence, both melancholic and high spirited, culminating in a joyous and unstoppable dance. Scored for a very large orchestra and a children’s choir, Symphony No. 6is a work of huge expression, anguished and dynamic, encompassing lament, circus gallops, burlesque, and a cataclysmic and heartrending slow movement. Weinberg’s friend, Shostakovich, was so impressed that he used it as teaching material in his own classes. [from naxos.com]
One of Poland’s most prominent jazz saxophonists, Tomasz Szukalski, died in Warsaw on August 2 after a long illness. He was 65 years old and resided in the Artists’ Retirement Home in Skolimów near Warsaw. He studied clarinet and picked up saxophone on his own during his teenage years. From 1972 Szukalski began to collaborate and record with Zbigniew Namysłowski and his group, appearing also with such artists as Włodzimierz Nahorny, Tomasz Stańko and Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski. As a composer, Szukalski was often inspired by such jazz legends as McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane and participated in numerous jazz festivals across Europe.
During the past few years Szukalski found himself in a very difficult living situation and many of his friends, including Tomasz Stańko, Adam Makowicz, Leszek Możdżer, Michał Urbaniak and Urszula Dudziak came to his rescue with a series of concerts called “Dzień Szakala” [The day of the Jackal], a play on words that reflected his Szukalski’s nickname, “Szakal.”
Born This Month
- August 4, 1879 – Józef REISS, musicologist, Polish music expert (d. 1956)
- August 7, 1935 – Monika (Izabela) GORCZYCKA, musicologist (d. 1962)
- August 8, 1946 – Mieczyslaw MAZUREK, composer, teacher, choral conductor
- August 8, 1897 – Stefan SLEDZINSKI, conductor, musicologist
- August 10, 1914 – Witold MALCUZYNSKI, pianist, student of Lefeld
- August 11, 1943 – Krzysztof MEYER, composer, musicologist
- August 17, 1907 – Zygmunt MYCIELSKI, composer, writer
- August 18, 1718 – Jacek SZCZUROWSKI, composer, Jesuit, priest (d. after 1773)
- August 20, 1889 – Witold FRIEMAN, composer, pianist
- August 21, 1933 – Zbigniew BUJARSKI, composer
- August 22, 1924 – Andrzej MARKOWSKI, composer and conductor
- August 23, 1925 – Wlodzimierz KOTONSKI, composer
- August 28, 1951 – Rafal AUGUSTYN, composer, music critic
- August 29, 1891 – Stefan STOINSKI, music etnographer, organizer, conductor (d. 1945)
Died This Month
- August 15, 1898 – Cezar TROMBINI, singer, director of Warsaw Opera (b. 1835)
- August 15, 1936 – Stanislaw NIEWIADOMSKI, composer, music critic
- August 17, 1871 – Karol TAUSIG, pianist and composer, student of Liszt (b. 1841)
- August 21 1925 – Karol NAMYSLOWSKI, folk musician, founder of folk ensemble
- August 22, 1966 – Apolinary SZELUTO, composer and pianist
- August 23, 1942 – Waclaw WODICZKO, conductor (b. 1858), grandfather of Bohdan, conductor
- August 27, 1865 – Józef NOWAKOWSKI, pianist, composer, student of Elsner, friend of Chopin
- August 29, 1886 – Emil SMIETANSKI, pianist, composer (b. 1845)