Krauze’s Virtual Salon
On alternate Fridays, beginning in July and running until September, the YouTube and Facebook channels of PWM Editions will feature pianist and composer Zygmunt Krauze’s live improvisations on works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Paderewski. All of the broadcasts will be carried live from Maestro Krauze’s studio on the upper floor of his suburban Warsaw residence. Speaking about this project, he further explained that,
I’ve chosen works that I happen to like, those that bring me much join and vigor. Because music—good music—has that effect. A prelude by Bach, Beethoven’s Sonatas, and of course Polish music, including Chopin and Paderewski… Performing them for many years, knowing each down to every note, I began to change and modify them, and provide them with my own ideas of form and artistic expression. That’s how I began to improvise. To these classics I also added my own Stone Music, performed directly on piano strings using stones and metal rods. Piano has its secrets and Stone Music illuminates one of them. I’m delighted that pianist and composer Marcin Masecki, whose highly original style I truly cherish, accepted my invitation to perform during one of these salon sessions. He even promised to make it to Warsaw with his own upright! I can’t wait to begin improvising with him.
The first broadcast will take place on July 3 at 8:00 p.m. (Central European Daylight Time) on PWM’s YouTube and Facebook channels. Successive musical sessions will be aired every two weeks throughout the summer. Each event will feature improvisation on a selected work and comments by the composer. In between these sessions, Maestro Krauze will be answering questions and comments posted by the online community. The subject of the last broadcast will be decided by a public vote.
More information and a short trailer about the series—with a charming introduction to it (in Polish) by Zygmunt Krauze—is available at pwm.com.pl.
Krauze’s Piano Concerto Honored
The Professional Association of French Theatre, Music and Dance Critics [Syndicat Professionnel de la Critique Théâtre, Musique et Danse] bestowed its Critics’ Association Award in mid-June to Zygmunt Krauze’s Piano Concerto No. 3 “Fragments of Memory” for the Best Musical Premiere of the 2019/2020 Season. This work was commissioned jointly by the Warsaw Autumn Festival, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Orchestre National de Metz, who co-organized its world premiere last September in Warsaw with the composer as the soloist. The Concerto received its French premiere in January 2020 at the Metz Arsenal with the Orchestre National de Metz as a cooperative venture of the French Institute in Warsaw, Polish Institute in Paris and Metz Polytechnic.
Krauze’s links with France continue to blossom after his longtime residence in Paris in the 1970s. He collaborated with composer Pierre Boulez as an artistic adviser to the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), and continues to perform in France frequently and to much public acclaim. Receiving his prize, Krauze admitted that:
It is a great pleasure for me to be awarded by French critics with this prize for the second time. I’m glad that my works are still valued in France, [a country] with which an important part of my creative path is connected.