Polish Music Festival in Brazil

For four years in a row, cellist Lars Hoefs has organized and led as the artistic director a festival devoted to Polish music in Campinas, Brazil. Held April 3-5, 2019 at the Institute de Artes UNICAMP—part of the São Paulo State University in Campinas—the IV Festival de Música Polonesa presented several interesting concerts and lectures covering a wide spectrum of mainly contemporary Polish music. The Kraków-based ensemble Messages Quartet was invited as special guests to perform with Maestro Hoefs and members of the UNICAMP faculty. The four women of the quartet—violinists Małgorzata Wasiucionek and Oriana Masternak, violist Maria Shetty and cellist Barbara Urbanek-Kalinowska—also presented master classes and workshops for UNICAMP students.

Curated by Professor Esdras Rodrigues, the first concert of the Festival at the Auditório da Adunicamp featured Krzysztof Penderecki’s Der unterbrochene Gedanke, Piotr Sarnecki’s String Quartet No. 4 and Mozart’s Divertimento K. 138. The evening ended with the South American premiere of a David Lynch animated short, Pożar [Fire] that was accompanied by a live performance by the Messages Quartet of the film’s score, entitled Music for David and composed by PMC Director Marek Zebrowski. The rehearsal of the latter piece is pictured below.

Afternoon hours of Thursday, April 4, were devoted to masterclasses in violin, viola and cello, given by members of the Messages Quartet, and the Festival’s second day concluded with an evening concert at Auditório do Instituto de Artes. Artistic director Lars Hoefs and Professor Alexandre Zamith opened the concert with a South American premiere of Roman Ryterband’s Triptyque Contemporain, a 1944 work for cello and piano—watch the performance on www.youtube.com. Afterwards, the Messages Quartet took the stage to perform Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 71 no. 2 and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s String Quartet No. 1 “Already It Is Dusk.”

A mid-afternoon concert on Friday, April 5 opened with Lars Hoefs performing Grażyna Bacewicz’s 1949 Kaprys polski, transcribed for solo cello by Andrzej Orkisz. Maestro Hoefs then joined the Messages Quartet in a performance of Franz Schubert’s String Quintet in D major, D. 956.  The Festival also featured Prof. Lars Hoefs’s lecture, “Chopin: Romanticism and Nationalism” as well as various group discussions and question and answer sessions.

[Sources: press release, iar.unicamp.br. Photos used with permission of the Festival]