The 56th International ‘Warsaw Autumn’ Festival of Contemporary Music [Warszawska Jesień] will be held in various venues throughout Warsaw from September 19-27, 2014. Created in 1956 and running annually with only two exceptions since its beginning, Warsaw Autumn is a festival with a long tradition and is a true witness to music history. It is the only contemporary music festival in Poland on an international scale and with an international status. For many years, it was the only event of this kind in Central and Eastern Europe. Nonetheless, it remains a living organism: it thrives as much as Polish cultural funding and the general condition of music allow.
The Festival is organized by the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP). The Repertoire Committee, an independent body appointed by the Union’s Board, determines the program of each edition of the festival. Warsaw Autumn is, therefore, an international and nonprofit festival of a nongovernmental association.
Today, Warsaw Autumn has fulfilled its original goal to familiarize Polish audiences with the classic works of the early twentieth century. Yet there remain gaps regarding the classics of the second half of the twentieth century. Filling in these gaps goes hand-in-hand with the Festival’s other primary (and timeless) objective: to present new music from Poland and abroad. Organizers strive to present this music in a way that is both of the highest artistic quality and accessible to a wide and varied audience, highlighting that which is new and different and exotic but also enriches the listener.
Regarding organizers’ dedication to the newest music of Polish composers, the following are thecomposers and pieces that will be given their World Premiere at this year’s Festival:
- Tomasz Sikorski – Five Songs to words by Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński will be premiered by soprano Iwona Socha and pianist Bartłomiej Kominek during the presentation of the new Tomasz Sikorski website, www.sikorski.polmic.pl (Sept. 19)
- Artur Zagajewski – brut(Arte dei Suonatori Foundation commission) will be premiered by its commissioning ensemble, Arte dei Suonatori, with conductor Stefan Asbury (Sept. 19)
- Wojciech Ziemowit Zych – Roundflow / Throughflow / Outflow (Foundation for the Promotion of Young Cellists commission) will be premiered by the Warsaw CELLONET Group with conductor Andrzej Bauer (Sept. 19)
- Winners of the 5th Zygmunt Mycielski Composition Competition—Szymon Godziemba-Trytek – Wietnam, Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska – Allegro ma non troppo, Alina Kubik – Labirynt, Marcin Piotr Łopacki – Dłoń, and Jakub Polaczyk – Possibilities —will be performed by the Inspiro Ensemble and Aleksandra Wojtaszek, conductor during the First Concert of the Polish Composers’ Union Youth Circle (Sept. 20)
- Hanna Kulenty – Van… (Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Warsaw commission) will be premiered by pianists Piotr Kopczyński and Julia Samojło (Sept. 20)
- Wojtek Blecharz – (one)[year](later) for Chinese instruments (Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra commission) will be premiered by the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra, with whom the composer has collaborated for nearly 2 years, and conductor Shun Liu (Sept. 21)
- Jakub Sarwas – Crépuscule du soir mystique for soprano, instrumental ensemble and electronics (National Forum of Music commission) will be premiered by the Orkiestra Muzyki Nowej [New Music Orchestra] with soprano Monika Madejska and conductor Szymon Bywalec (Sept. 22)
- Cezary Duchnowski – Parallels (Warsaw Autumn commission) will be premiered by the European Workshop for Contemporary Music (Sept. 23)
- Piotr Moss – Duettino IV, Artur Cieślak – Monologue, and Edward Sielicki – Labyrinth III will be premiered by pianists Marcin Piotr Łopacki and Carlos Malcolm, violinist Miłosz Wieliński, clarinetist Piotr Zawadzki, and cellist Marianna Sikorska during the Concert of the Polish Composers’ Union’s Warsaw Branch from the Musical Seasons cycle – “Autumn” (Sept. 25)
- A new version of Andrzej Kwieciński – Concerto. Re Maggiore will be premiered by its dedicatee, harpsichordist Gośka Isphording, and the Sinfonia Varsovia ensemble with conductor Daniel Gazon (Sept. 25)
- Karol Nepelski – Bio-chorales and Sławomir Kupczak – Concert for Eleven will be performed by Poland’s Neoquartet and Ukraine’s Ensemble Nostri Temporis with bassist Jarosław Stokowski and conductor Grzegorz Wierus during the UKRAINE – POLAND concert (Sept. 26)