Fechner in Poland and Polish Premiere of Ryterband Sonatina for Guitar

Tomasz Fechner performing the Polish premiere of Sonatina for Guitar by Roman Ryterband

On June 3-5, 2016, the first Guitar Festival in Tczew (Poland) took place. Despite the fact that it was only the first edition of the festival, guitarists from all over Poland came to the Center of Culture and Art in Tczew to participate in it. This year’s edition featured concerts, masterclasses and a guitar competition for guitar solo and guitar ensembles.

On the first day of the event, people had a chance to hear two solo guitar recitals of the Academy of Music in Gdansk alumni. Monika Dżuła-Radkiewicz and Bartosz Paprot (Festival Director) presented their solo repertoire at the highest level of virtuosity, playing music by A. Tansman, F. Sor, F. Martin, J. K. Mertz, J. Turina, M. Castelnuovo-Tedesco and F. Schubert.

On the second day, PMC Research Assistant Tomasz Fechner played his solo recital, including the Polish premiere of Sonatina for Classical Guitar by Roman Ryterband (b. 1914, Łódź, Poland – d. 1979, Palm Springs, USA). Although the piece was composed by a Polish-American composer in 1978, he has not been well known in Poland until this premiere of the Sonatina. The composition attracted a lot of attention of Polish guitar enthusiasts and professors who were excited about broadening the canon of guitar sonatas with a piece by a Polish composer.

The Guitar Festival in Tczew is not only about concerts but also a competition. After three days of guitar auditions, played by guitarists divided into 4 categories, jury members Emilia Majewska, Jan Paterek, Bartosz Paprot, Tomasz Fechner and Maciej Staszewski gave out the first prizes to:

  • Group 1 (soloists, up to 13 years old)
    • :1st prize – Dorota Perczynska
  • Group 2 (soloists, up to 21 years old):
    • 1st prize ex aequo – Oskar Strukiel-Piotrowski, Ilona Skowronska
    • Grand Prix – Jagoda Swidzinska
  • Group 3 (guitar ensembles, up to 13 years old)
    • 1st prize ex aequo –  The Ensemble of Arkadiusz Baczynski, Szymon Brillowski, Karolina Wesiora, Aleksandra Wrobel, Teofil Kowalewski and Duo “Dwie Maje” (Maja Rynkiewicz and Maja Jodlowska)
  • Group 4 (guitar ensembles, up to 21 years old)
    • 1st prize – The Felice Guitar Quartet (Natalia Kornatka, Dorota Perczynska, Karolina Woloszyn, Olga Hala)
Jury members, from the left: Jan Paterek, Emilia Majewska, Tomasz Fechner, Bartosz Paprot and Maciej Staszewski

The Guitar Festival in Tczew was closed with a concert of a rock band Czarne Kwiaty. The festival was organized under the auspices of the President of Tczew, Mirosław Pobłocki.

During his visit in Poland Tomasz Fechner also served as an ambassador for Polish Music Center, helping to establish or further the international dialogue between the PMC and several Polish Academies of Music in Gdańsk, Poznań and Łódź. He met with such music professionals as Professor Krzysztof Olczak of the Academy of Music in Gdańsk and composer Jerzy Kornowicz of the Warsaw Autumn Festival, among others.

Fechner with Krzysztof Olczak, head of the composition department at Gdańsk Music Academy, discussing works by Roman Ryterband