Polish Accents at the Goethe Institute – a Review by Marek Zebrowski

Flutist Krzysztof Kaczka, German Deputy Consul General Stefan Biedermann, Polish Consul General Mariusz Brymora, and guitarist Perry Schack on June 4

The Goethe Institute in Los Angeles is an elegant and modern venue located in the Mid-Wilshire/Museum-Mile district. With a well-stocked library of books, magazines, sound recordings and many rare DVDs, it is a very attractive place to visit and become familiar with German culture today.

On Saturday, June 4, the Institute hosted a special event celebrating 25 years of Polish-German relations since the fall of Communism in Central Europe. Held in the Institute’s small auditorium, the evening began with an excellent animated film commissioned by the German Consulate in Kraków, which succinctly summarized the historical background and the last quarter century of the neighborly relations between Germany and Poland. Stefan Biedermann, Deputy Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, officially opened the proceedings with a well-crafted address, building on the points made in the bilingual video shown beforehand. Consul General of the Republic of Poland, Mariusz Brymora, in turn presented the Polish perspective of the past twenty-five years in Polish-German relations, closing on a prediction of the upcoming Polish-German football match that delighted the mixed audience of Polish and German emigres.

The official part over, it was time for the Polish-German duet of flutist Krzysztof Kaczka and guitarist Perry Schack to present a musical interlude with works by Molino, Bach, Giuliani, Chopin, Villa-Lobos and Piazzolla. Born in Poland, Mr. Kaczka, graduated from the Musikhochschule in Munich. During the last decade he has won several prestigious competitions and performed in concerts and festivals all across the globe. Perry Schack also studied in Munich and that’s where the two musicians met and founded Duo Artus, an ensemble dedicated to promoting the flute and guitar repertoire and to arranging a number of well-known works in classical catalogue for this combination of instruments. With their mix of charm and virtuosity, the audience warmly responded to the artists and elicited another Piazzolla favorite as an encore before enjoying a delightful reception at Goethe Institute’s outdoor garden.

More information about the 25th anniversary and related events around the world is available at 25de.pl.

[Photo credit: Adam Sosiński]