Polish Music Abroad
The Art Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences [IS-PAN] just published the third volume in the series, Muzyka polska za granicą [Polish Music Abroad]. The title of the latest volume, American Dream, presents in print the proceeds of the October 2019 conference in Warsaw. Entitled “American dream. Polscy twórcy za oceanem,” the 2019 conference concentrated on Polish composers who were active overseas, particularly in the US. This excellent new publication reached the Polish Music Center courtesy of Dr. Bolesławska-Lewandowska and Dr. Guzy-Pasiak just in time to ring in the New Year.
An impressive roster of researchers and a fascinating selection of subjects are to be found on the pages of this publication. They include: Karol Rathaus and Queens College in New York by Jolanta Guzy-Pasiak, Jerzy Fitelberg in New York Based on Archival Sources by Ewelina Boczkowska, The American Period in Life and Work of Michał Kondracki Based on Library Resources of Warsaw University, Polish Composers’ Union and Digital Libraries by Iwona Lindstedt, American Dream: Symphonic Works by Henryk Wars (1902-1977) and the Compositional Legacy of Roman Ryterband (1914-1979) by Marek Zebrowski, An American by Choice: Wiktor Łabuński (1895-1974) by Sławomir Dobrzański, Andrzej Panufnik, Leopold Stokowski, the Kosciuszko Foundation and the Genesis of Sinfonia sacra by Beata Bolesławska-Lewandowska, Searching for a “Pasture” – the American Plans of Roman Palester in light of the Composers’ Correspondence with Jerzy Fitelberg and Kazimierz Wierzyński by Lech Dzierżanowski, The Composer’s Creative Corner in California – Zygmunt Mycielski in the United States by Barbara Mielcarek-Krzyżanowska, Paweł Szymański’s Music in the United States by Violetta Kostka, and Marcella Sembrich-Kochańska and Her American Archives by Małgorzata Komorowska.
The other volumes in this series cover the subject of the Composers, Sources and Archives in Vol. 1, and Polish Music Between Warsaw and Paris (1919-1939) in Vol. 2. The entire series is jointly and expertly edited by Beata Bolesławska-Lewandowska and Jolanta Guzy-Pasiak, and can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on the three-volume series Muzyka polska za granicą with the table of contents and introduciton for each volume can be found at: www.ispan.pl
Paderewski Program from Warsaw
Wiesław Dąbrowski, President of the Ave Arte Foundation, recently sent us two copies of the program of the VII International Paderewski Festival in Warsaw. Held November 4-8, 2020, the Festival celebrated the Maestro’s 160th birthday as well as the 180th birthday of Paderewski’s friend and patron, Helena Modrzejewska, known as “Modjeska” in America. Festival concerts also featured works by Beethoven, commemorating the 250th anniversary of his birth and the fact that Paderewski often programmed Beethoven’s works in his concert appearances.
The inaugural concert on November 4 was held at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, with piano soloists Jekaterina Drzewiecka and Michał Francuz as well as violinist Bartłomiej Nizioł with Sinfonia Varsovia in a repertoire of works by Beethoven, Paderewski and Stojowski. The November 5 concert at the Wilanów Palace Orangery featured solo and chamber music by Bach, Mozart, and Paderewski, played by pianists Pavel Dombrovsky, Michał Szymanowski and the Sinfonia Iuventus orchestra, under the baton of Marek Wroniszewski.
Returning to the Royal Castle at the heart of Warsaw’s Old Town, the November 6 concert spotlighted Sinfonia Varsovia under the baton of Jerzy Maksymiuk with pianist Szymon Nehring in a repertoire of solo works by Chopin, Paderewski and Szymanowski, as well as in the string orchestra version of Chopin’s F minor Piano Concerto arranged by Kevin Kenner. This concert also included orchestral performances of Szymanowski’s Etude in B-flat minor (arranged for strings by Tomasz Radziwonowicz) and Bacewicz’s Concerto for Orchestra.
The Festival continued with a morning concert directed to the youngest audience on November 7, featuring works by Paderewski and Prokofiev. The closing concert was held on November 8 at the Ballroom of the Łazienki Palace in Warsaw and featured Krzysztof Herdzin’s jazz improvisations on themes from several of Paderewski’s most famous works, including Menuet Op. 14, Légende Op. 16, Nocturne, Op. 16, Polish Fantasy, Op. 19 and Piano Concerto, Op. 17.
Two short documentaries directed by Wiesław Dąbrowski (Paderewski—the Man of Action, Success and Fame and Presidents’ Homage to Paderewski) were screened on several occasions throughout the Festival. More information on this year’s Festival can be found on the Ave Arte website, www.avearte.pl.
As always, to all of our friends and donors: Thank you! Dziękujemy!