January Festivals

A-Ż Festival in Łódź

The fifth A-Ż Festival in Łódź was held Nov. 24-Dec. 9, 2017. All nine concerts were presented at the Concert Hall of the Łódź Music Academy. Living up to the billing, this Festival presented a wide range of programs and performers, beginning with the opening concert that featured film music written for the best-known Polish films, shot in the city’s famed film studios. Students of the Academy also presented a concert of love songs and ballads, the Academy’s Baroque Orchestra gave a concert of Handel’s WaterMusic, and String Orchestra PRIMUZ featured Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as well as works by Krzysztof Grzeszczak. Not forgetting about popular music, the Festival also welcomed American trumpet virtuoso Rex Richardson and presented the Łódź Music Academy big band ensemble. The Belgian Brass ensemble gave a concert of favorite arrangements of music by Mozart, Bizet and Bernstein for brass quintet and the Festival ended with a performance of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Third Symphony.

The Festival ended with the 71st session of the Musica Moderna conference, held in various Łódź Music Academy venues from December 10-14, 2017. This year’s program included compositions by faculty of the Academy as well as performances by a marimba duet from Warsaw and Kraków, and the Sepia Ensemble representing Poznań Music Academy. Premieres of student compositions were heard alongside works by Keiko Abe, Marcin Błażewicz, Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska, Robert Gogol, Tomasz Goliński, Sławomir Kaczorowski, Artur Kroschel, Marta Ptaszyńska, Dominika Puka, Katarzyna Taborowska-Kaszuba, Marta Śniada, and Agnieszka Zdrojek-Suchodolska.

[Sources: amuz.lodz.plpolmic.plamuz.lodz.pl]

Łańcuch Festival XV

The 15th edition of the Łańcuch Festivalwill take place in Polish Radio’s Lutosławski Studio from January 27 – February 11. Besides Lutosławski’s compositions, his contemporaries including Grażyna Bacewicz, Jerzy Fitelberg, Artur Malawski and Zbigniew Turski, as well as works by Karol Szymanowski, will be featured on the Festival concert programs. In addition, more recent works by Zygmunt Krauze and Krzysztof Meyer—two composers associated with Lutosławski’s legacy—will also be heard. The overall aim of this year’s programming was to feature Polish music from the last century, spotlighting the centenary of Poland’s regained independence that is being celebrated throughout 2018.

January 27 – February 11, 2018
Łańcuch Festival

Polish Radio Lutosławski Studio
ul. Modzelewskiego 59, 00-977, Warsaw
Info: www.lutoslawski.org.pl
Tickets: www.studianagran.com.pl/koncerty/sala-witolda-lutoslawskiego

[Sources: polmic.pllutoslawski.org.pl]

Opera Rara in Kraków

A total of fourteen events, including three piano/voice recitals, three orchestral concerts, two concert staging of operas and two new premieres written especially for the local audiences represent the 2018 Opera Rara Festival that takes place in Kraków from January 18 – February 13. Works by Jean-Philippe Rameau, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Marc-Antoine Charpentier will be presented alongside the premiere of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat written by Michael Nyman in 1986, and a presentation of the 1683 opera Venus and Adonis by John Blow.

Szymanowski’s Third Symphony and Schoenberg’s Erwartung will also be heard at the Słowacki Theatre on the edge of Kraków’s Old Town. Christopher Maltman, Anna Larsson, Roberta Mameli, Juan Sancho and Natalia Kawałek will be heard in voice and piano recitals while the Capella Cracoviensis, Festival Orchestra Kraków and Sinfonietta Cracovia with Jurek Dybała complete the roster of distinguished participants in this fine festival.

January 18 – February 13, 2018
Opera Rara Festival

Various venues in Kraków
Tickets & Info: operarara.pl

[Sources: polmic.ploperarara.pl]