The International Festival of Kraków Composers (formerly known as Days of Music by Kraków Composers) was held from April 18-26, 2015. A fixture in the cultural life of Kraków since 1989, the main purpose of the Festival is the promotion and presentation of contemporary works by the city’s composers—from well-established professionals and professors, through the outstanding middle generation to the youngest composers and students of composition—created in relation to the musical tradition of neighboring countries, countries throughout the European Union and the music of the world. This concept is realized through concerts and meetings with composers, as well as special lectures conducted by the music theorists of the Academy of Music in Kraków and musicologists of Jagiellonian University, among others.
Previously, musicologist Jerzy Stankiewicz was the Artistic Director and creator of the Festival’s program. Since 2014, the person responsible for the Festival is composer Marcel Chyrzyński, who writes the following introduction to this year’s edition:
The program of the 27th International Festival of Kraków Composers is a nod towards the music of Far East. Within the nine days of the festival, alongside the music by Kraków and European composers, the compositions by artists coming from Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia and India will be presented. The traditional instrumentation of these countries, including shakuhachi, Chinese sheng, as well as Korean gayageum and heageum will be used during the concerts.
The following premieres of Polish music took place during this year’s Festival:
- Wiaczesław Siemionow – Toccata-Barbaro for accordion trio (2014): performed during the Festival Opening Concert ‘POLONIUM’ program on April 18 by Motion Trio. Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Republic of Poland (MKiDN) within the program “Collections” [Kolekcje] spotlighting “Commissioned Compositions” [Zamówienia kompozytorskie], as implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT).
- Paweł Sydor – Szalom for two cellos and string orchestra (2014): performed during the ‘FRIENDS FROM UKRAINE’ program on April 19 by Lviv Virtuosos Chamber Orchestra with Dorota Imiełowska – cello and Łukasz Pawlikowski – cello
- Piotr Moss – Dédicace VI pour violon et alto à Bogusław Schaeffer pour son 85e anniversaire (2013) and Jarosław Płonka – Rich and Timeless for two violas (2014 – Festival commission): performed during the ‘FIRST PERFORMANCES AND TRANSCRIPTIONS OF 20th c. CLASSICS’ program on April 20 by Bogusława Hubisz-Sielska – viola, Lech Bałaban – viola and Jan Bałaban – violin
- Jakub Polaczyk – Korpodyque for gayageum, heageum, violin and piano (2014/15): performed during the ‘SOUTH KOREAN MUSIC’ program on April 21 by the Good-Mori Ensemble and Modern Ensemble from South Korea
- Franciszek Araszkiewicz – Sound Scripture for infrared harp and video layer (2015), Jurij Bulka – #! (2015), Marcin Pączkowski – Etiuda elektroniczna nr 4 (2015), and Franciszek Araszkiewicz/Piotr Roemer/Szymon Strzelec – Strefy/Zones (2015): music by students of the Electroacoustic Music Studio performed during the ‘KOKTAJL ELEKTRONICZNY’ program on April 22 by students of the Kraków Academy of Music: Franciszek Araszkiewicz –infrared harp, Paweł Cal – French horn, Jakub Gucik – cello and Marek Chołoniewski – sound engineer, project coordination
- Szczepan Tesarowicz – 3 Uty japońskie for high voice and piano (2015): performed during the ‘INSPIRATIONS’ program on April 23 by Anna Zawisza – soprano and Renata Żełobowska-Orzechowska – piano
- Maciej Jabłoński – Tao. Concerto da camera nr 2 for alto saxophone and large chamber ensemble (2014/15 – Festival commission), Wojciech Widłak – Añoranza. Fase inicial for 15 musicians (2015) and Marcel Chyrzyński – War Game. Concerto for alto saxophone and large chamber ensemble (2014/15): performed during the ‘MUSICAL JOURNEY’ program on April 24 by the New Music Orchestra with Bartłomiej Duś – saxophone, Szymon Krzeszowiec – violin and Szymon Bywalec – conductor
- Mateusz Bień – Figury płaskie for string quartet (2015), Michał Pawełek – IC 1470 for string quartet (2015), Stanisław Rzepiela – Square for string quartet and video (2015) and Wojciech Ziemowit Zych – Retoryka niedo-…/Niedo-…retoryka for string quartet (2007): performed during the Festival’s closing program, ‘ANIMATION AND MUSIC/MUSIC AND ANIMATION,’ on April 26 by the Cztery Czwarte String Quartet