The 2014 PMC Fund Drive letter was inadvertantly left out of our December Newsletter, however it is not too late to give! Please see below for your opportunity to support our 2015 programs and events.
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Another year has gone by and—at least for us—this year seemed to pass more quickly than others. Perhaps it was due to a great number of concerts and other initiatives promoting Polish music that we organized during 2014, a lot of hard work that we hope will continue to bear fruit in the months and years to come.
In March we produced a concert highlighting our unique collection of manuscripts; in this case it was music by Bronisław Kaper and Henryk Wars. The world-famous jazz pianist, composer and arranger Jan Jarczyk presented music by these composers, rescored for jazz trio and string quartet. It was a splendid collaboration between well-known jazz musicians and young Thornton School students, for whom this concert was a most exciting introduction to Polish film and stage music. Attended by several members of the Wars family, the concert also attracted a large crowd of local Poles who had known both composers personally, as they had made their homes in Southern California for several decades.
Earlier this fall, the Polish Music Center organized a week-long celebration for Sir Andrzej Panufnik, honoring the centenary of the composer’s birth with two concerts. The first—our annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital—featured Panufnik’s chamber music performed by leading area musicians, including Juliana Gondek and the Eclipse String Quartet. This concert was preceded by Lady Panufnik’s lecture about her late husband’s home and artistic life, illustrated with fascinating photos from the private family archive. The second, presented by USC’s Thornton Symphony Orchestra led by Carl St. Clair, featured two of Panufnik’s orchestral masterpieces and a conversation between Lady Panufnik and the Maestro.
Continuing with concerts honoring Polish musical heritage, for the ninth year running we have programmed and organized the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles on California’s Central Coast. This annual event in early November brings local performers and world-class artists to a variety of venues in a town Paderewski once considered his second home. Among many highlights of this year’s Festival were concerts of Polish choral music, an evening of Polish virtuoso violin and piano repertoire, a Gala Concert with the winner of the International Paderewski Piano Competition in Poland, and three concerts featuring young pianists from Poland and Ukraine, appearing under the auspices of the Festival’s Cultural Exchange Program. The Paderewski Festival is growing with each year, as it continues to present new aspects of Polish culture and history—this year included dance performances by the L.A.-based Krakusy Ensemble, a screening of Impromptu (a feature film about Chopin), and exhibits of Paderewski memorabilia. Our concert season ended back in L.A. on November 11, with a performance by virtuoso violinist Mariusz Patyra and pianist Krzysztof Herdzin in celebration of Poland’s Independence Day at USC.
Still another aspect of the Polish Music Center’s activities in 2014 was a 6-week long visit of Monika Płuciennik (left), an experienced archivist who began work on cataloguing our manuscript collections. Jointly-funded by the PMC with the National Archives in Warsaw, Polish Consulate in Los Angeles and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this undertaking will eventually lead to the proper listing and digitizing of all of our treasures, which will be searchable worldwide via the internet. Beginning with the Kaper and Wars Collections, we made an important first step in a project that is certain to take many years to complete due to its scope.
As you can imagine, all of our concerts and library-related projects require your continued and generous support. Since the Polish Music Center is not endowed with operational funds, each year we must raise the capital required for covering our costs, such as renting USC venues, hiring performers, printing program booklets, and promoting concerts, as well as hiring student help, supporting researchers worldwide, maintaining our vast and informative website, and covering housing and transportation for visiting scholars. As always, we are very grateful to those have supported us financially, attended concerts, volunteered at events, assisted in our library, or spread a good word about us. We know how important our one-of-a-kind Center is to our Polish-American community and beyond, and how its continued mission contributes to the cultural landscape of California and the world. Therefore, each year we ask you to consider making a fully tax-deductible gift to support this vital institution, which has developed innovative new projects advancing Polish culture since its founding in 1985. To show our thanks for your support, your gift will be recognized in our concert program booklets throughout the year and the first 50 donations of $100 or more will receive Teresa Chylińska’s English-language book about Karol Szymanowski.
Please consider making a year-end, tax-deductible donation to sustain our concerts and programs throughout 2015. To donate by credit card, contact the PMC directly or visit https://giveto.usc.edu—you will find a PMC checkbox under University-wide Giving Opportunities > Centers and Institutes > Music. Checks may also be mailed to: USC Polish Music Center, 840 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90089-0851. All donations must indicate “USC Polish Music Center,” either in the remittance line of your check or the online form, to ensure your contribution is routed directly to us.
As always, we invite you to stop by the Polish Music Center to experience first-hand the impact of our exceptional programs and learn more about how your year-end gift can advance the profile of Polish music around the world. Please call us at (213) 821-1356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or to schedule a visit to the Center.
Thank you for your consideration. With our best wishes for the Holiday Season, we remain sincerely and gratefully yours,
Marek Zebrowski, Director Krysta Close, Assistant Director
P.S. We’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to our Measures & Frames concert on March 28, 2015 concert at 8:00 p.m. in USC’s Newman Recital Hall. This venue, well-known to our supporters, will be transformed by light and video presentations created by leading filmmakers, including Agnès Varda and David Lynch, with live accompaniment featuring the Penderecki Quartet from Toronto performing music by Polish, American and European composers.