The Polish American Historical Association (PAHA) announced the winners of the PAHA awards for 2014 at the 72nd Annual Meeting in New York (January 2-4, 2015): the Amicus Poloniae Award “recognizing significant contributions enhancing knowledge of Polish and Polish‐American heritage by individuals not belonging to the Polish‐American community” was given to Ms. TERRY TEGNAZIAN, co‐founder of Aquila Polonica Publishing, and Dr. MAJA TROCHIMCZYK, of Moonrise Press and former PMC Director, received the Distinguished Service Award “given occasionally to a member of PAHA who has rendered valuable and sustained service to the organization.”
On January 28, Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (MKiDN) published the results of the call for applications for the 4th edition of the ministry’s program “Collections – Composing Commissions,” which is operated by the Institute of Music and Dance in Warsaw (IMiT). 90 pairs of composers and music organizations were awarded grants amounting to a total of 2 million PLN. Amongst the 2015/2016 winners are Hanna Kulenty/Warsaw National Philharmonic, Rafał Augustyn/NOSPR, Tomasz Opałka/Kraków Music Academy, Anna Ignatowicz-Glińska/ZKP, Aleksandra Gryka/Kwartludium New Music Foundation, Krzysztof Wołek/“Crossroads” Center for Intercultural Creative Initiatives, Paweł Mykietyn/Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk, Wojciech Ziemont Zych/Kwadrofonik Association, Joanna Woźny and Lidia Zielińska/National Music Forum, and many others.
Gramophone Magazine’s Editor’s Choice list included three recordings featuring several Polish composers and performers: No. 1: JS BACH English Suites Nos 1, 3 & 5 – Piotr Anderszewski, piano (Warner Classics); No. 5: PENDERECKI Chamber Works, Vol 1 – Jan Kalinowski – cello, Maria Machowska – violin, Artur Rozmysłowicz – viola, Marek Szlezer – piano, Tadeusz Tomaszewski – horn, Roman Widaszek – clarinet (DUX 0780); No. 6: CHOPIN Études complete – Zlata Chochieva, piano (Piano Classics PCL0068)
On February 23, two Polish musicians were awarded the Decoration of Honor “Meritorious for Polish Culture” from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage [MKiDN]: virtuoso violinist and cultural organizer Janusz Wawrowski, and pianist, theoretician and composer Marcin Tadeusz Łukaszewski.
Winners of the 9th US National Chopin Piano Competition, organized by the Chopin Foundation of the United States in Miami, were First Prize: ERIC LU; Second Prize: RACHEL NAOMI KUDO, Third Prize: GEORGE LI; Fourth Prize: ERIC ZUBER; Fifth Prize: JOSHUA WRIGHT; and Sixth Prize: ALEXANDER BEYER
Violinist Kinga Augustyn was recognized with the 2015 “Outstanding Pole Abroad” Award [Wybitny Polak za granicą] in the “Young Pole” category. 2015 marked the fifth anniversary of this prestigious competition organized by the Polish National Emblem Foundation [Fundacja Polskiego Godła Promocyjnego], which also runs the “Poland Now” [Teraz Polska] awards.
On April 23, the 2015 Fryderyk Awards were announced. The winner of the Golden Fryderyk Award in the classical music category was: Kazimierz Kord. The Album of the Year winners were as follows: Choral, Oratorio and Opera: Where are you. Pieces from Warsaw (by proMODERN); Chamber Music: Paweł Łukaszewski: Musica Sacra 5 (by Baltic Neopolis Orchestra, CANTATRIX, “Musica Sacra” Cathedral Choir of Warsaw-Praga, Morpheus Saxophone Ensemble, proMODERN); Solo Recital: Kaja Danczowska. Skrzpce/Violin (historical); Symphonic and Concert music: Kilar/Moś/Aukso (by AUKSO Chamber Orchestra, Marek Moś); Best Recording of Polish Music Abroad: Grażyna Bacewicz: Symphony for String Orchestra (by Ewa Kupiec; Capella Bydgostiensis; Mariusz Smolij); Best Recording of Polish Music: Where are you. Pieces from Warsaw (by proMODERN)
In April, TVP Kultura announced its 2014 Gwarancje Kultury [Guarantee of Culture] Awards in three categories: “Culture Online” category: Culture.pl (the online platform of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute); Classical Music category: Mariusz Treliński (film, opera and theatre director) and Boris Kudlička (Theatre and film set designer); and Supergwarancje: Peter Gelb (General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera)
Winners of the first edition of the Kropka Competition for music critics were: Anna Burzyńska (Didaskalia), Karolina Kolinek-Siechowicz (Ruch muzyczny), and Barbara Kinga-Majewska (Glissando). The best debut certificates went to Katarzyna Trzeciakand to Worldpress blogger Aleksandra Bliźniuk. And special prizes went to Alex Ross (The New Yorker) – prize for foreign critics, Maciej Froński – Piotr Metz Award for Popular Music, Aleksandra Bliźniuk – PWM Editor-in-Chief Award, and Rafał Augustyn– the MEAKULTURA Foundation Award.
On April 30, 2015 the Wojciech Kilar Award’s Expert Council, consisting of directors of the most important Polish cultural institutions, selected the winner of the first edition of Wojciech Kilar Award. The inaugural winner is Elliot Goldenthal, one of the most versatile composers of contemporary music, and the Award was presented on May 28, 2015 at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre during the Polish Music Gala: Scoring4Wajda as part of the 8th Kraków Film Music Festival.
The annual awards of the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP) were announced on May 26: Hanna Kulenty—for her outstanding body of compositions, strong individuality and combination of musical vigor with interesting structural solutions; Zbigniew Penherski—for his outstanding body of compositions and artistic independence; Ryszard Daniel Golianek—for discovering forgotten areas of Polish music and for promoting opera-related subjects as well as for his organizing and educational outreach; Alina Żórawska-Witkowska—for transforming the scholarship on Polish 18th century music, including the three-volume series of books about music at the Royal Court of August II (1997), August III (2012), and Stanisław August Poniatowski (1995).
On June 15, 2015, the winners of the 56th edition of the Tadeusz Baird Competition for Young Composers were announced: 1st Prize ($2,500) – Aleksandra Kaca for Smugi cienia for harp, piano and cello and Honorable Mention – Monika Dalach for Tick! – Time (Time is ticking) In memoriam H.M.G. for cello, harp and harpsichord. The jury consisted of Jerzy Bauer – chairman, Zbigniew Baginski – secretary, Krzysztof Baculewski and Sławomir Czarnecki.
On June 24, Ewa Podleś was awarded the coveted Prix Prestige Lyrique l’Orphée d’Or2015 from the Académie du Disque Lyrique in Paris for two live recordings on the DUX label: Ewa Podleś & Garrick Ohlsson: Live at The Fryderyk Chopin University in Warsaw, and World Opera Stars: Ewa Podleś live with Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra. Other Polish musicians recording on DUX were also honored: the Sinfonia Viva Orchestra and the Poznań Chamber Choir with soloists – Prix Hector Berlioz for Oratorio la morte di San Filippo Neri, and pianist Mariusz Rutkowski, tenors Karol Kozłowski, Dariusz Stachuraand Tadeusz Szlenkier, and mezzo Anna Radziejewska – Prix Gerald Moore for Oskar Kolberg composer Vol. 2: Songs.
On Oct 8, renowned Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman received an honorary doctorate from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, in recognition of his popularization of Polish composers in concerts around the world and his spectacular victory at the Chopin Competition 40 years earlier.
On October 14, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage Prof. Małgorzata Omilanowska decorated 23 persons with Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals for Merit in Culture “Gloria Artis.” Amongst those honored were composer Krzesimir Dębski and pianist Jerzy Marchwiński, who both were awarded Silver Medals for Merit in Culture.
The finalists in the 13th Tadeusz Ochlewski Composers’ Competition, organized by the Polish Music Publishers (PWM Edition, Kraków), were: Krzysztof Ratajski for Rebounds for 5-part children choir (First prize); Szymon Godziemba-Trytek for A Wonderer’s Song for 3-part children choir (Honorable mention); and Atrament by Piotr Stawarskiand Kolebany i Obertas by Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska (recommendations for publication)
On October 20, 2015, the winners of the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition were announced by the 17-person jury, led by Prof. Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń: 1st prize (30 000 €) – Seong-Jin Cho(SK); 2nd prize (25 000 €) – Charles Richard-Hamelin(CAN); 3rd prize (20 000 €) – Kate Liu (US); 4th prize (15 000 €) – Eric Lu (US); 5th prize (10 000 €) – Yike (Tony) Yang(CAN); 6th prize (7 000 €) – Dmitry Shishkin(RUS); Honorable Mentions (4000 €) Aljoša Jurinić(CRO), Aimi Kobayashi(JAP), Szymon Nehring(POL), and Georgijs Osokins(LAT).
On November 11, the winners of the fifth edition of IMiT’s “Koryfeusz [Coryphaeus] of Polish Music” award were announced: Personality of the Year: composer Paweł Mykietyn; Music Event of the Year: opening festival of the new NOSPR studio in Katowice by the National Polish Radio Symphonic Orchestra; Merit Award: composer and conductor Stanisław Skrowaczewski. Entitled “Polish Parade,” the gala concert celebrating the winners included works by Henryk Wars, Władysław Szpilman, Jerzy Wasowski, Włodzimierz Nahorny and Włodek Pawlik and featured an impressive list of international soloists
Video game soundtracks contribute greatly to a game’s success in terms of setting its tone and atmosphere for consumers, and the action role-playing video game “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” won over 300 awards in 2015, including “Game of the Year” at the Global Game Awards. The incredible award-winning score of the video game was written by Polish composer Mikołaj Stroiński.
The first Grażyna Bacewicz International Violin Competition was held in Łódź from December 9-13, 2015. The Competition was open to violinists of all nationalities with no age limit. The following prizes were awarded: 1st prize (ex aequo) – Anne Luisa Kramb& Sławomira Wilga; 2nd Prize – Mateusz Makuch; 3rd prize (ex aequo) – Robert Łaguniak & Amelia Maszońska; and Distinction: Roksana Kwaśnikowska. Diplomas for outstanding pianists were also awarded to: Michał Francuz, Hanna Holeksa, Wojciech Kubica, Marcin Sikorski, Krzysztof Stanienda, and Wojciech Wołoszyn.