On December 4 and 5, 2017 at the Łowicka Center in Warsaw, the 27th edition of the “Composer Portraits” concert series will take place. “Composer Portraits” have been organized by the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP) since 1988. Every year during this festival chamber music of several contemporary composers is presented. The honorees of this year’s edition are Carlos Malcolm and Agnieszka Stulgińska.
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a greater contrast between the two composers than the one between this year’s “Portraits” honorees. On the one hand, a gentle neoclassicist with Iberian color and distant echoes of the music of Gabriel Fauré and Claude Debussy. A day later—a new avant-gardist, looking for a metaphysical justification in psychology, biology and physics of elementary particles. On Monday, Carlos Malcolm—a Cuban born in 1934, who pampers his audience with the words of Caribbean poets, using a modest, classic cast. On Tuesday, Agnieszka Stulgińska—born almost half a century later, who presents instrumental theater, amplified gifts of the earth and an almost physical battle on the stage.
During the series, there will be two premieres of works that were commissioned by the Polish Composers’ Union, thanks to the support of the PZU Foundation. Momento musical for piano 4 hands (2017) by Carlos Malcolm is the result of his most recent composing experiences in Poland. The work was performed by the composer and Korean pianist Kyeong-Yeon Seo. Trzy kobiety [Three Women] for three women and 10 instruments (2017) by Agnieszka Stulgińska is a piece about femininity, motherhood, living a difficult and raw life, travel, space, longing, intimacy, strength and generations. It was performed by singers Maniucha Bikont and Marta Grzywacz and the Hashtag Ensemble.