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PADEREWSKI LECTURE 2003 - JOANNA BRUZDOWICZ


Poster design Bozenna and Lukas Bogucki,
from a photo by Jorg Tittel, 2003.

Information about Events Reports and Pictures Bruzdowicz's Bio



2003 PADEREWSKI LECTURE: JOANNA BRUZDOWICZ
USC BING THEATER, DECEMBER 7, 4 p.m.

Polish Music Center presents the eminent Polish composer, now living in France, Joanna Bruzdowicz (b. 1943) in the 2003 Paderewski Lecture, held at the Bing Theater, USC Campus (December 7, 2003; at 4 p.m.). The 2003 Paderewski Lecture includes live music performances (West Coast premieres of String Quartet No. 2, Cantus "Aeternus" for reciting actor and string quartet and of "Song of Hope and Love" for cello and piano, dedicated to Holocaust victims). The Lecture is illustrated with video fragments of opera performances ("The Gates of Paradise" and "The Penal Colony") and excerpts from films by French avant-garde film director, Agnes Varda ("Vagabond" and "The Gleaners and I"). Ms. Bruzdowicz will lecture on her music in English; her son, Jorg Tittel will recite the multi-lingual poetry in "Cantus Aeternus."

The Annual Paderewski Lectures commemorate Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941), a pianist, composer, politician (the first prime minister of independent Poland after WWI), humanitarian, and orator, who was greatly acclaimed as a virtuoso musician and a statesman. The Lectures highlight his links to California and to USC, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1923. Simultaneously, the Lectures spotlight current achievements of Polish music by presenting composers and musicians of international stature to the American public. The first Paderewski Lecture was given in 2002 by composer-pianist Zygmunt Krauze who discussed and performed music by Chopin, Paderewski, Szymanowski, Serocki, Sikorski, and his own works. (In 2002/2003 the Paderewski holdings of the Center provided material for an Exhibition "Paderewski: Portrait of a Musician" held in Alfred Newman Recital Hall Gallery.)


Poster design Bozenna and Lukas Bogucki, from a photo by Jorg Tittel, 2003.

PROGRAM:

  • Joanna Bruzdowicz's "Paderewski Lecture" illustrated with film and video fragments
  • Joanna Bruzdowicz: String Quartet No. 2 "Cantus Aeternus," (with Jörg Tittel, actor)
  • Joanna Bruzdowicz: "Erotiques" for solo piano (Radoslaw Materka, piano)
  • Joanna Bruzdowicz: "Spring in America" for violin and piano (Daphne Wang, violin)
  • Joanna Bruzdowicz: "Song of Hope and Love" for cello and piano (Marek Szpakiewicz, cello, Radoslaw Materka, piano)

  • During her visit to USC, Mrs. Bruzdowicz will donate two manuscripts to our collection (she previously gave two scores), thus becoming a Benefactor of the Polish Music Center, along with such distinguished members of the Polish music world as Witold Lutoslawski, Wanda Bacewicz, Alina Baird-Sawicka, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and others.

    EVENT DETAILS: Suggested donation: $10. Parking: $6.
    Bing Theater is located at 3500 Watt Way, Los Angeles, California 90089-0791.
    PARKING DIRECTIONS: Enter at the Jefferson Boulevard Entrance at McClintock Avenue (#5). Drive down McClintock. The Vermont Avenue Parking Plaza (PSA) is on southwest corner of McClintock and Downey Way. Walk down Downey Way towards the center of the campus, turn left into Watt Way, walk past the field. Bing Theater will be on your right. For more information visit USC venues site: http://www.usc.edu/about/visit/upc/event_venues/bing.html


    BRUZDOWICZ'S MUSIC AND FILM AT IGM ART GALLERY
    USC HEALTH SCIENCE CAMPUS, DECEMBER 6, 7:30 p.m.

    In addition to the Paderewski Lecture, Ms. Bruzdowicz's residency at USC will include attending a film screening at the IGM Art Gallery (Institute for Genetic Medicine, USC Health Sciences Campus), presenting Agnes Varda's film, "The Gleaners and I," introduced with a performance of her solo violin work "Il Ritorno" and followed by a reception (December 6 at 7:30 p.m.). This event is organized by the USC HSC Cultural Events Guild, led by Lynn Crandall, Gallery Director, and Young-Nak Church, Peter Choh, Community Outreach, in conjunction with "Quiet Time," an exhibition of contemporary Korean art at IGM Art Gallery.

    The composer's collaboration with the distinguished French film director, Agnčs Varda, sometimes called the "Grandmother of the New Wave" of experimental and socially engaged cinema dates back to the 1960s. The director's approach to filmmaking may be summarized in her statement, "In my films, I always wanted to make people see deeply. I don't want to show things, but to give people the desire to see." Several of the films that Bruzdowicz scored for Varda received international awards; the most notable titles are: "Sans Toit, ni Loi" (1985), awarded a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival; Vagabond (1985), a fictional documentary about a female drifter; "Jacquot de Nantes" (1991), selected for recognition by the Cannes Festival; and "The Gleaners and I," a documentary and first-person video essay by Varda (2001), the winner of the best non-fiction film awards from the New York, Los Angeles and Boston film critics associations, and the U.S. National Society of Film Critics. Bruzdowicz's music for "The Gleaners and I" is elegant, discreet, and refined, highlighting the mood of quiet reflection about the vagaries of human life permeating Varda's original documentary.

    EVENT DETAILS: Tickets: $10. Parking: Free. The IGM Art Gallery is located in the Institute for Genetic Medicine, USC Health Science Campus, 2250 Alcazar Street, Los Angeles. The free parking is next to the Institute.



    MANUSCRIPT DEPOSIT AT USC DOHENY LIBRARIES
    RARE BOOKS DEPARTMENT, DECEMBER 8


    On Monday, 8 December 2003, Joanna Bruzdowicz donated two manuscripts to the Polish Music Center's Manuscript Collection, Piano Concerto composed in 1974 and "Marlos Grosso Brasileiras" (1980), for flute, violin, harpsichord and tape. The composer previously gave two scores of music for chamber ensembles, "Tre contre Tre" and "Trio dei Due Mondi." With the new gift the total value of her donations exceeded $10,000 and, thus, she became a Benefactor of the Polish Music Center, joining such distinguished members of the Polish music world as Witold Lutoslawski, Wanda Bacewicz, Alina Baird-Sawicka, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and others. The donation ceremony took place at the Rare Books Room of the USC Doheny Library, in the presence of Executive Director of the Doheny Library, Jo Ellen Williamson, Director of Special Collections at USC, Marje Schuetze-Coburn, Curator of Special Collections, John Ahouse, Dr. and Mrs. Stefan and Wanda Wilk, and Maja Trochimczyk.


    "POLISH BIRTHDAYS" CONCERT.
    UNITED UNIVERSITY CHURCH, DECEMBER 8, 7:30 p.m.
    Marek Szpakiewicz, cello, Radosław Materka, piano

    Ms. Bruzdowicz will end her USC residency with participation in the "Polish Birthdays" concert on December 8 at 7: 30 p.m., at United University Church, USC University Park Campus, with a program of cello and piano music celebrating the 2003 birth anniversaries of Poland's greatest 20th century composers: Witold Lutosławski (90th), Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki (70th), Joanna Bruzdowicz and Marta Ptaszyńska (60th). The recital of solo and chamber music will be performed by USC doctoral students, Radosław Materka, piano and Marek Szpakiewicz, cello, the winner of the 2003 MPE International Competition.

    Program:

  • Henryk Górecki: "Intermezzo" for piano, dedicated to Stefan and Wanda Wilk (1997)
  • Joanna Bruzdowicz: "Erotiques" for solo piano (1972)
  • Witold Lutosławski: "Sacher Variation" for solo cello, dedicated to Paul Sacher for his 70th birthday (1975)
  • Joanna Bruzdowicz: "Stigma" for solo cello (1973)
  • Joanna Bruzdowicz: "Song of Hope and Love" for cello and piano (1994)

  • EVENT DETAILS: Suggested donation: $10. Parking on USC Campus: $6.
    The United University Church is located at USC University Park Campus,
    817 W. 34th Street (near the corner of Jefferson and Hoover), Los Angeles.
    PARKING DIRECTIONS: Enter at the Jefferson Boulevard Entrance at McClintock Avenue (Gate #5). Turn left into West 34th Street and drive towards Jefferson East Parking Plaza (PSD), which is on the left. Walk back along 34th Street to the Church.


    PHOTOS AND REPORTS


    Joanna Bruzdowicz with her cousin and manager, Debra Bruzdowicz.
    Photo by Maja Trochimczyk, 2003. Larger image, 200 dpi.


    Bruzdowicz rehearsing with Marek Szpakiewicz, cello.
    Photo by Maja Trochimczyk, 2003. Larger image, 200 dpi.


    Bruzdowicz with the Associate Dean of the Thornton School of Music,
    Christopher Sampson, Photo by Maja Trochimczyk, 2003. Larger image, 200 dpi.


    Bruzdowicz's manuscript of the Piano Concerto.
    Photo by Darren Schenck, 2003. Larger image.


    Joanna Bruzdowicz and her manuscripts, photo by Darren Schenck. Larger image, 200 dpi.


    Radoslaw Materka, pianist and Marek Szpakiewicz, cellist.
    Photo by Maja Trochimczyk, 2003. Larger image, 200 dpi.


    Bruzdowicz with Materka and Szpakiewicz.
    Photo by Maja Trochimczyk, 2003. Larger image, 200 dpi.


    Joanna Bruzdowicz with Prof. Eleanor Schoenfeld.
    Photo by Maja Trochimczyk, 2003. Larger image, 200 dpi.


    L to R: Polish Ladies of LA: Helena Kolodziej, Debra Bruzdowicz, Joanna Bruzdowicz,
    actress Karolina Dryzner. Kolodziej Residence, Beverly Hills, 2003. Larger image, 200 dpi.


    Bruzdowicz with her son Jorg Tittel, cutting her birthday cake.
    Photo by Maja Trochimczyk, 2003.


    Bruzdowicz's birthday cake, courtesy of Lynn Crandall.
    Photo by Maja Trochimczyk, 2003. Larger image, 200 dpi.


    Joanna Bruzdowicz with the director of IGM Art Gallery, Lynn Crandall.
    Photo by Maja Trochimczyk, 2003. Larger image, 200 dpi.


    Bruzdowicz. Photo by Vladek Juszkiewicz.
    Larger image.


    Vladek Juszkiewicz (director of Polish Film Festival in LA)
    with a painting by Danuta Rotschild. Photos by Maja Trochimczyk, 2003. Larger image, 200 dpi.


    Krysta Close (singer and PMC office manager) with flags and flowers.
    Photo by Maja Trochimczyk, 2003. Larger image, 200 dpi.


    KRYSTA CLOSE'S REPORT
    IN NEWS OF POLONIA (January 2004)

    In early December 2003, the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California hosted eminent Polish composer, now living in France, Joanna Bruzdowicz (b. 1943). Ms. Bruzdowicz gave the 2003 Paderewski Lecture, held at the Bing Theater on the USC Campus (December 7, 2003; at 4 p.m.) The Annual Paderewski Lectures commemorate Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941), a pianist, composer, politician (the first prime minister of independent Poland after WWI), humanitarian, and orator, who was greatly acclaimed as a virtuoso musician and a statesman. The Lectures are designed to highlight his links to California and to the University, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1923. Paderewski is not the main subject of the Lectures, however, but rather current achievements in Polish music. Paderewski's name is commemorated by composers and musicians of international stature discussing and sharing their work with the American public. The first Paderewski Lecture was given in 2002 by composer-pianist Zygmunt Krauze. Mr. Krauze lectured about and performed music by Chopin, Paderewski, Szymanowski, Serocki, Sikorski, and his own works. He was assisted in this task by members of the Polish Folk Dance Ensemble, Krakusy, and choreographer Maciej Pasternak who prepared original choreography to the music by Chopin and Szymanowski.

    The 2003 Paderewski Lecture, like its predecessor, was in a lecture-recital format. In the first half, opened with Paderewski's "Cracovienne Fantastique" played by Lorenzo Sanchez, Ms. Bruzdowicz discussed her music and ideas, illustrating her talk with recordings of her Concerto for Double Bass (one movement), Cello concerto "The Cry of Phoenix" dedicated to 50th Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising (one movement), and "Stabat Mater" - a choral work commissioned for the unveiling of Styka's "Crucifixion" panorama at the Forest Lawn Memorial in Glendale in 1993, and dedicated to Mrs. Wanda Wilk. This work's recording came from its recent performances at the Vatican, for the Pope. The composer ended her presentation of her music with excerpts from films by noted French director, Agnčs Varda, "The Vagabond" and "The Gleaners and I", for which Ms. Bruzdowicz composed the music. The latter of these films, still not well known in the Polish and Polish-American communities, was particularly interesting as a winner of 42 international awards since its creation in 2001. For technical reasons, videos of Bruzdowicz's operas (advertised earlier) could not be shown, but if they had been, the event would have lasted for four hours. After the presentation of the films, the composer generously answered numerous questions from the audience, clearly fascinated with her art and personality.

    The second part of the Paderewski Lecture included live music performances, all West Coast premieres, of: String Quartet No. 2, "Cantus Aeternus" for reciting actor and string quartet, performed by Jorg Tittel, the composer's son, actor, director and producer, and USC string quartet (Daphne Wang, Teresa Woo, Leah Nelson, and Eunjee Kim); "Spring in America" - Sonata for Violin and Piano, commissioned by the Lincoln Center in New York (1994), performed by Daphne Wang and Lorenzo Sanchez; "Song of Hope and Love" for cello and piano, dedicated to Holocaust victims and commissioned by U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, of Washington D.C. (1997). In addition to the hauntingly beautiful "Song of Hope and Love", the pianist and the cellist featured in this work (Radoslaw Materka and Marek Szpakiewicz respectively), each played a solo work from the 1970s, thus expanding the scope of Bruzdowicz's music heard in the program back into her more avant-garde phase. The rich harmonies and textures of "Erotiques" for piano revealed inspiration from the music of Olivier Messiaen, Bruzdowicz's teacher and mentor. Experimental sonorities in "Stigma" for solo cello placed her among best "avant-garde" composers of Poland, along Witold Lutoslawski and Krzysztof Penderecki. The audience was delighted both with the music and the interpretative talents of the two musicians, both USC doctoral students of mature talent and worthy of our attention.

    The Paderewski Lecture program by Maja Trochimczyk presented a biography of Joanna Bruzdowicz, which I would like to cite here, to better acquaint Southern Californians with this skilled composer:

    "Joanna Bruzdowicz (b. 1943, in Warsaw) comes from a musical family: her father was an architect and cellist, and her mother was a pianist. She began to compose at the age of six and later dedicated much of her efforts to promoting music for young people. She studied composition in Warsaw with Kazimierz Sikorski (M.A., 1966), and in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, Oliver Messiaen and Pierre Schaeffer (1968-1970). In Paris she joined the electro-acoustic Groupe de Recherches Musicales and wrote her doctoral thesis Mathematics and Logic in Contemporary Music at the Sorbonne. In Poland, Belgium and her new home, France, she has been active as a composer and music administrator (co-founder of Chopin-Szymanowski Association in Belgium, Jeunesses Musicales in Poland, GIMEP in France, and International Encounters in Music in Catalonia; Vice-President of the International Federation of Chopin Societies).

    As a composer, she has devoted her attention to opera, symphonic and chamber music, works for children, and music for film and television. She has written four concerti and numerous chamber pieces, as well as over 25 hours of film music. Her compositions have been selected for 12 CDs and over 20 LPs; she has been featured in TV programs produced in Belgium, France, Germany and Poland. Ms. Bruzdowicz's music has been praised for its "poetic palette of sound" and its qualities of being "ultramodern and refined" while remaining expressive and personal. Her output includes several operas, which bring to the stage some of the greatest works of European literature (e.g. "The Penal Colony," after Kafka, 1972; "The Women of Troy" after Euripides, 1973; and "The Gates of Paradise," after Jerzy Andrzejewski, 1987).

    Ms. Bruzdowicz's music is always meaningful, always associated with poetic or natural imagery, with ideas borrowed from classic literary texts or reflecting her own fascinations. With her active social conscience, she could have been easily seduced by a "politically-correct" or "engaged" approach to composing. Yet she was saved from this danger by her musical talent, which allows her to create music that overflows with fascinating melodic, textural, and rhythmic gestures. Her works are filled with kaleidoscopically shifting ideas and melodies; the moods alternate between somber reflection, sweet lyricism, and exuberant outbursts of joy."

    All these traits could be heard in the music selected for the Sunday concert, ranging from the experimental sound effects in "Stigma" to the romantic lyricism in "Song of Hope and Love." In the first work on the program, String Quartet No. 2 "Cantus Aeternus" for voice and String Quartet, the acting and linguistic talents of Jorg Tittel were particularly notable. He recited poetry in Polish (Baczynski, Milosz, Galczynski), French (Eluard), English (Miller), Spanish (Valverde), and German (Bachmann). The music and the spoken word created a fascinating atmosphere. In this work we entered the musical world of Joanna Bruzdowicz, the world of profound philosophical questions and intense sonic beauty.

    In addition to the Paderewski Lecture, Ms. Bruzdowicz's residency at USC included attending a film screening at the IGM Art Gallery (Institute for Genetic Medicine, USC Health Sciences Campus), presenting Agnes Varda's "The Gleaners and I" followed by a reception (December 6 at 7:30 p.m.). This event was organized by the USC HSC Cultural Guild, led by Lynn Crandall, in conjunction with "Quiet Time," an exhibition of Korean art at IGM Art Gallery.

    During her visit to USC, Mrs. Bruzdowicz also donated two manuscripts to the Polish Music Center's Manuscript Collection: Piano Concerto, composed in 1974 and "Marlos Grosso Brasileiras" (1980), for flute, violin, harpsichord and tape. The composer previously gave two scores of music for chamber ensembles, "Tre contre Tre" and "Trio dei Due Mondi." With the new gift, the total value of her donations exceeded $10,000 and, thus, she became a Benefactor of the Polish Music Center, joining such distinguished members of the Polish music world as Witold Lutoslawski, Wanda Bacewicz, Alina Baird-Sawicka, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and others. The donation ceremony took place at the Rare Books Room of the USC Doheny Library, in the presence of Executive Director of the Library, JoEllen Williamson, Director of Special Collections at USC, Marje Shuetze-Coburn, Curator John Ahouse, Dr. and Mrs. Wilk, and Maja Trochimczyk.

    Ms. Bruzdowicz ended her USC residency with participation in the "Polish Birthdays" concert on December 8 at 7: 30 p.m., at United University Church on the USC University Park Campus, with a program of cello and piano music celebrating the 2003 birth anniversaries of Poland's greatest 20th century composers: Witold Lutoslawski (90th), Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki and Krzysztof Penderecki (70th), Joanna Bruzdowicz and Marta Ptaszynska (60th). The recital of solo and chamber music was performed by USC doctoral students, Radoslaw Materka, piano and Marek Szpakiewicz, cello.

    The events sponsors and supporters included: CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND (the Honorable Krystyna Tokarska-Biernacik and the Honorable Roman Czarny), FRIENDS OF POLISH MUSIC (Wanda Wilk, pres.), PADEREWSKI LECTURE COMMITTEE (Bogna Szupinska, president and organizer of wonderful reception held at Tory Webb Hall in the Hancock Foundation Building), POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (Richard Widerynski, pres.), HELENA MODJESKA POLISH ARTS AND CULTURE CLUB OF LOS ANGELES (Jola Zych, pres.), POLAM Federal Credit Union (Christopher Hiller, president), USC HSC CULTURAL GUILD (Lynn Crandall, pres.), Wanda Presburger, and Jerzy Wagner. Support was also given to the project by numerous members of the Polish American community: Lukasz and Bozenna Bogucki designed wonderful posters and program books for the event, Tadeusz Podkanski arranged for video recording of the Lecture itself, Bogna Szupinska provided flowers, members of the Polish Folk Dance Ensemble, Krakusy, (including the Slusarz family) dressed in Polish national costumes and volunteer Anna Harley-Trochimczyk served as ushers and handed out the programs.


    MAJA TROCHIMCZYK'S INTRODUCTION
    TO 2003 PADEREWSKI LECTURE

    Dzien Dobry Panstwu! Good Afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen!

    The 2003 Paderewski Lecture began with Ignacy Jan Paderewski's Cracovienne Fantastique peformed by USC graduate Dr. Lorenzo Sanchez. Beautiful strains of Paderewski's music provided the most appropriate welcome to the Second Annual Paderewski Lecture given this year by our guest of honor, Polish composer Joanna Bruzdowicz. My name is Maja Trochimczyk and I serve at USC as the Stefan and Wanda Wilk Director of the Polish Music Center.

    The purpose of annual Paderewski Lectures is to celebrate the memory of Paderewski, a pianist, composer, statesman, orator and humanitarian by presenting the most distinguished and talented Polish composers of our times, who discuss their own music. Paderewski, the original "long-haired musician" with flaming hair and mystic eyes - to cite one of his 19th century fans - was also referred to as the "New Chopin," the "Archangel," the "Master of Harmonies," the "Lion of Poland," Mister President, the Modern Immortal, and last but not least, the "Red Pollack," more brave than the Trojans, a patriot of such indomitable spirit that his mere presence would have saved Troy from falling to the Greeks. This reference appeared in a 1914 poem by John Houston Finley, Editor-in-Chief of the "New York Times." Like Paderewski, USC Trojans are usually victorious. I thought of mentioning that Trojan connection because Paderewski is also a member of the Trojan Family, thanks to his honorary doctoral degree of 1923. Paradoxically, he is a recipient of a Doctor of Law degree for his political activities. Now, of course, he is better known as a musician. For more information about Paderewski I would like to refer you to the web site created at the PMC by two Paderewski fans: my mentor, founder and honorary director of the Polish Music Center, Wanda Wilk, and myself. The address is in the program book, also featuring a brief outline of Paderewski's career.

    So we will not talk about Paderewski today. The subject will be our guest of honor, Joanna Bruzdowicz, who comes to us from France, her country of residence and citizenship for over 20 years. She also lived in Belgium and ran a festival in Catalonia, Spain. Like Paderewski, she has become the citizen of the world; like Paderewski, she remained greatly attached to her home country; like Paderewski, she dedicated her life to music and humanitarian ideals of making the world a better place through music.

    Joanna Bruzdowicz studied in Poland and France, with Nadia Boulanger, Pierre Schaeffer, and Olivier Messiaen among her teachers. I will summarize her career with a bit of statistics: She composed 6 operas, 12 works for orchestra, over 40 chamber pieces, scored 24 feature films and documentaries, produced numerous music programs, organized several associations and societies, dedicated to the music of Poland, Chopin, Szymanowski, and Music for Youth. She received numerous awards from Poland and France, and worked with some of the greatest musicians and filmmakers of our times.

    Bruzdowicz's visit to Los Angeles was made possible by many individuals and organizations who are listed in the program. I would like to thank them all for their generous support. First, I would like to acknowledge the grant from the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland and the assistance given by the Honorable Krystyna Tokarska-Biernacik, Consul General, and The Honorable Roman Czarny, consul for culture, education and public relations. We owe a debt of gratitude to our indispensable Friends of Polish Music led by Ms. Wanda Wilk, founder and honorary director of the Polish Music Center, whose dedication and enthusiasm brought the center into being and gave us resources to function and thrive. We should also thank the Polish American Congress of Southern California, President Richard Widerynski, for their support of our activities.

    Next, I would like to thank the Helena Modjeska Polish Art and Culture Club of Los Angeles, represented here by its board and numerous members, with special thanks to Jola Zych, President, and board member Helena Kolodziej, who generously provided our guest with warm hospitality of her wonderful home in Beverly Hills. Ms. Bogna Szupinska, architect and a long-time president of the Board of the Polish Folk Dance Ensemble Krakusy, now also president of the Paderewski Lecture Committee, organized the decorations and reception for our guests. She also encouraged some of young Krakusy dancers to beautify our event with Polish national costumes. These dancers assisted us as ushers. Designers Lukasz and Bozenna Bogucki created our beautiful poster and postcards. Ms. Lynn Crandall, the director of IGM Gallery and her USC Cultural Events Guild of Health Science Campus, organized a lovely, intimate film screening and reception for Joanna Bruzdowicz in the context of the "Quiet Times" exhibition of contemporary Korean art. Jorg Tittel, actor and the composer's son, provided for us copies of films by Agnes Varda with the music by Joanna Bruzdowicz, fragments of which will be screened today. He also will appear in person in the String Quartet, reciting poetry in several languages, including Polish, French, and German that he may call his own.

    I am grateful to professors of the Thornton School of Music, especially Prof. Peter Marsh, John Perry, and Eleanor Schoenfeld who worked with their students on the repertoire presented today. I thank the musicians, pianists Lorenzo Sanchez and, Radoslaw Materka, cellist, Marek Szpakiewicz, and violinist Daphne Wang, with her string quartet. Radek and Marek, USC doctoral students and prize-winning musicians with established careers, will repeat some of the repertoire presented today during the "Polish Birthdays" Cello and Piano Recital on Monday evening that will close Joanna Bruzdowicz's residency at USC.

    My most sincere thanks are reserved for Joanna Bruzdowicz herself, for the gift of her music. I mean "the gift of music" quite literally: Tomorrow, during a ceremony at the Rare Books Department of Doheny Library, Ms. Bruzdowicz will deposit two manuscripts of her works in the Polish Manuscript Collection. This time she selected her Piano Concerto of 1974 and "Marlos Grosso Brasileiras" for flute, violin, harpsichord, and tape (1980). She previously donated two scores ("Tre Contre Tre" and "Trio dei Due Mondi") and now, with the additional two manuscripts, her gift increases in value to 10,000 dollars. Thus she earned the title of the Benefactor of the Polish Music Center and joined the ranks of such luminaries of Polish music world as Witold Lutoslawski, Wanda Bacewicz (the composer's sister), Alina Baird (the composer's widow), and Jozef Patkowski. I would like to end my introduction with presenting Ms. Bruzdowicz with the Certificate of Recognition which reads: "Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California has the honor of presenting CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION to Joanna Bruzdowicz, PMC BENEFACTOR for donation of music manuscripts, valued at $10,000, to PMC manuscript Collection."

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Panie i Panowie, Szanowni Goscie, I present to you Ms. Joanna Bruzdowicz!

    Maja Trochimczyk
    Stefan and Wanda Wilk Director, Polish Music Center


    ABOUT JOANNA BRUZDOWICZ


    Bruzdowicz at USC, 2001. Photo by Maja Trochimczyk.


    Joanna Bruzdowicz (b. 1943, in Warsaw) comes from a musical family: her father was an architect and cellist, and her mother was a pianist. She began to compose at the age of six and later dedicated much of her efforts to promoting music for young people. She studied composition in Warsaw with Kazimierz Sikorski (M.A., 1966), and in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, Oliver Messiaen and Pierre Schaeffer (1968-1970). In Paris she joined the electro-acoustic Groupe de Recherches Musicales and wrote her doctoral thesis Mathematics and Logic in Contemporary Music at the Sorbonne. In Poland, Belgium and her new home, France, she has been active as a composer and music administrator (co-founder of Chopin-Szymanowski Association in Belgium, Jeunesses Musicales in Poland, GIMEP in France, and International Encounters in Music in Catalonia; Vice-President of the International Federation of Chopin Societies).

    As a composer, she has devoted her attention to opera, symphonic and chamber music, works for children, and music for film and television. She has written four concerti and numerous chamber pieces, as well as over 25 hours of film music. Her compositions have been selected for 12 CDs and over 20 LPs; she has been featured in TV programs produced in Belgium, France, Germany and Poland. Ms. Bruzdowicz's music has been praised for its "poetic palette of sound" and its qualities of being "ultramodern and refined" while remaining expressive and personal. Her output includes several operas which bring to the stage some of the greatest works of European literature (e.g. "The Penal Colony," after Kafka, 1972; "The Women of Troy" after Euripides, 1973; and "The Gates of Paradise," after Jerzy Andrzejewski, 1987).

    Ms. Bruzdowicz's music is always meaningful, always associated with poetic or natural imagery, with ideas borrowed from classic literary texts or reflecting her own fascinations. With her active social conscience, she could have been easily seduced by a "politically-correct" or "engaged" approach to composing. Yet she was saved from this danger by her musical talent, which allows her to create music that overflows with fascinating melodic, textural, and rhythmic gestures. Her works are filled with kaleidoscopically shifting ideas and melodies; the moods alternate between somber reflection, sweet lyricism, and exuberant outbursts of joy.

    The composer's recent recognition stems from her collaboration with the distinguished French film director, Agnčs Varda, sometimes called the "Grandmother of the New Wave" of experimental and socially engaged cinema. Several of the films that Bruzdowicz scored for Varda received international awards. The most notable of the Varda-Bruzdowicz titles are: "Sans Toit, ni Loi" (1985), awarded a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival; "Vagabond" (1985), a fictional documentary about a female drifter; "Jacquot de Nantes" (1991), selected for recognition by the Cannes Festival; and "The Gleaners and I," a documentary and first-person video essay by Varda (2001), the winner of the best non-fiction film awards from the New York, Los Angeles and Boston film critics associations, and the National Society of Film Critics.

    Bruzdowicz's strong ties to California include the 1993 premiere of her cantata "Stabat Mater" for a capella chorus, performed at the unveiling of Jan Styka's monumental panorama of the Crucifixion at the Forest Lawn Memorial in Glendale. The work was commissioned by the Polish Music Center and is dedicated to Mrs. Wanda Wilk. The composer has donated manuscripts of two works to the PMC Manuscript Collection: "Tre Contre Tre," for flute, oboe, viola and three percussionists (1979) and "Trio dei Due Mondi," for violin, cello and piano (1980).


    2003 PADEREWSKI LECTURE IS SPONSORED BY:

    • CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND
    • FRIENDS OF POLISH MUSIC
    • PADEREWSKI LECTURE COMMITTEE
    • USC HSC CULTURAL EVENTS GUILD
    • POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
    • HELENA MODJESKA POLISH ARTS AND CULTURE CLUB OF LOS ANGELES
    • POLAM FEDERAL CREDIT UNION


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    Copyright 2003 by the Polish Music Center
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    This page was updated on 3 April 2003 by Maja Trochimczyk