|Polish Music Newsletter
April 2006, Vol. 12, No. 4. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California
2006 PADEREWSKI LECTURE-RECITAL
The Polish Music Center is pleased to announce that celebrations of the annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital will culminate this year on Thursday, October 12th, with a concert and lecture at Newman Recital Hall on the USC Campus. The event begins at 7:30 PM and is free and open to the public. This year's festivities will honor the composer and student of Paderewski, Zygmunt Stojowski (1870-1946), on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his death and in celebration of the receipt of the Stojowski Collection—a very special gift of manuscripts and personal papers, donated to the PMC by the family of the composer.
The Paderewski Lecture-Recitals celebrate the legacy of Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941), by highlighting the accomplishments of the most distinguished Polish composers. Since their inception in 2002, the event has featured the music of Zygmunt Krauze, Joanna Bruzdowicz, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, and Marta Ptaszyńska in concerts, master classes, and meetings at USC and the greater Los Angeles area.
The October 12th event at Newman Hall will feature renowned scholar and conductor, Joseph Herter, who will deliver a retrospective lecture on the life and music of Stojowski, as well as performances by pianist Jonathan Plowright (pictured at right), who recorded Stojowski's compositions for piano and orchestra as well as his solo works on Hyperion Records. In addition, throughout the fall 2006 season, performances of several works by Stojowski are planned on the USC Campus and around Southern California. More details on these events will be posted on the Polish Music Center website: www.usc.edu/dept/polish_music.
PMC LIBRARY UPDATE
Last year, the Polish Music Center celebrated its 20th anniversary year with a series of concerts and educational events throughout the greater Los Angeles area. This year (and quite likely through the next) will be dedicated to maintaining and updating our unique library of books, scores, and manuscripts of works by leading Polish composers and our website, two unique and invaluable resources in the world of Polish music.
The PMC library catalogue currently lists over 6000 items. Another 4500 items still await cataloguing. As a result of our on-going inventory, since 2004 we have added over 500 items to the web-listed USC Homer catalogue (library.usc.edu) that now includes some 3500 PMC entries. During the next two years, we will implement a variety of procedures designed to make our holdings more accessible, searchable, and compatible with the USC Library systems. This project is linked to the complete overhaul and redesign of the Polish Music Center website, which will make the PMC catalogue searchable via the Internet. With these changes in mind, we hope to fulfill our two-pronged mission of serving the USC community and the world-wide audience interested in Polish music.
This exciting project will require the far-reaching cooperation of various USC departments and other institutions, a substantial amount of manpower, and considerable financial resources. If you did not have a chance to help us during our 2005 Fund Drive or would like to supplement your support, please consider making a contribution to the Polish Music Center, helping to secure the future of this unique institution and furthering our mutual goal of making the richness of Polish culture available to all. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions at (213) 821-1356 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your contributions may be sent to:
Polish Music Center USC
Jacek Kaspszyk was born in Poland and studied at the Warsaw Academy of Music, graduating in 1975, and that same year he made his début at the National Opera in a new production of Don Giovanni. In 1976 he made his début at the Düsseldorf Opera and the next year was appointed as Principal Conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony, becoming Music Director in 1980. In 1978 he had gained top prize at the Karajan Competition and made his New York début.
Moving to London in 1982 he has since appeared regularly with all of the London orchestras and with the Hallé, RSNO, RLPO, Bournemouth Symphony, BBC NOW (with whom he made his Prom début) and BBC SSO. Elsewhere in Europe he has conducted such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, Bayerischer Rundfunk, RSO Berlin, Orchestra National de Paris, Vienna Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish National Radio Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, with which he toured Australia. In Asia he has toured with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and the Tokyo Philharmonic, as well as visits to the Hong Kong Philharmonic and New Zealand Symphony. In the US he has conducted the San Diego Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic and at the Detroit Opera. Other operatic appearances include productions at Lyon, Bordeaux, Opéra Comique, Royal Stockholm, English National, Opera North and Scottish Opera.
Jacek Kaspszyk returned to Poland in 1994, after an absence of 12 years. He became Principal Guest Conductor of the National Philharmonic and in 1998 took the position of Artistic Director of the National Opera. Last year he took the position of General Director of the National Opera and has overseen a great increase in the company's international reputation, with many productions visiting the US, South America and other European houses.
The "Polish-German Year" was inaugurated in August 2005 by the presidents of the two countries in the Berlin Konzerthaus and will continue through the end of April 2006. The main idea of the project is to give both nations the opportunity to learn more about each other, sharing in the cultural bounty and experiencing the traditions, specialties and discoveries of each country. Since Poland and Germany share a border and Poland is now a part of European Union, the partnership between the two nations can only be strengthened by learning more about each other. As part of the "bonding" there will be hundreds of events in many fields such as culture, economics, politics and science. A calendar in Polish can be found at: www.de-pl.info/pl/callendar.php and a calendar in German can be found at: http://www.deutsch-polnisches-jahr.de/veranstaltungen-de-kalender.php.
My Nikifor [Mój Nikifor] by Krzysztof Krauze; Tulips [Tulipany] by Jacek Boruch; The Perfect Afternoon [Doskonałe popołudnie] by Przemysław Wojcieszek; The Call of the Toad [Wróżby kumaka] by Robert Gliński; Down Colorful Hill [W dol kolorowym wzgorzem] by Przemyslaw Wojcieszek; Pitbull by Patryk Wega; The Cross-Way Café [Rozdroze Café] by Leszek Wosiewicz; Persona Non Grata by Krzysztof Zanussi; Homo Father by Piotr Matwiejczyk; Vinci by Juliusz Machulski; Fallow Land [Ugor] by Dominik Matwiejczyk. Films produced outside of Poland: My Summer of Love by Pawel Pawlikowski; One Long Winter Without Fire by Greg Zglinski; Karol—The Man Who Became Pope by Giacomo Battiato; The Unbraid Man by Marta Meszaros. Documentaries include: Arden2, Betrayal, The Battle for Warsaw; After the Gulag; Artur Szyk; and the World Premiere of Life is a Dream in Cinema: Pola Negri.
The Festival will present a retrospective of Feliks Falk's films with of The Collector [Komornik] - Poland's official submission to the 2006 Academy Award, Hero of the Year [Bohater roku] and Top Dog [Wodzirej] and special screening of Andrzej Wajda's English-language film The Shadow Line, in honor of his 80th birthday. The year of Krzysztof Kieslowski will be celebrated with special screenings of Camera Buff [Amator], Big Animal [Duże zwierze], The Double Life of Veronique [Podwojne zycie Veroniki], Colors: Blue, Red & White, Short Film About Killing and Short Film About Love at the Bing Theatre at LACMA (May 5-6/12-13) and his documentaries at The Egyptian Theatre (May 14/21/28). The retrospective is organized in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles Filmforum, Polish Cultural Institute in New York, TVP, Polish National Film Archive, Consulate General of Poland in Los Angeles and Polish American Film Society.
The following filmmakers and artists will be among this year's guests:
To ensure your invitation to the Opening Gala, the minimum level of support requested is $50 as a Festival Friend sponsor. Please make your invaluable, tax-deductible financial contributions to: Polish American Film Society and mail your checks to 7726 Ethel Ave., North Hollywood, CA 91605. For more information please call Vladek Juszkiewicz, director of Polish Film Festival: 818-982-8827 or visit www.polishfilmla.org.
[Vladek Juszkiewicz, festival director]
LONDONOver the last four years the Polish Film Festival in London has gone from strength to strength and is now a highly anticipated event in Britain's cultural calendar.
Following the decline in Polish film production in the mid 1990s, the industry has had a remarkable resurgence. From the multi-award winning My Nikifor to the romantic Angel in Love, film production in Poland has confounded stereotypes and we are proud to bring you a programme of the best films of 2005.
The Festival opens with one of the year's highlights - Krzysztof Zanussi's Persona Non Grata and we are thrilled to be screening a retrospective of this highly respected director's work. Along with feature films the Festival also includes the best shorts, animation and documentaries, which give a fascinating insight into the cultural and social life of Poland.
[Paweł Potoroczyn, festival director]
Then, on April 8, the Szczecin Opera Orchestra under Maestro Jacek Kraszewski, with Dariusz Samól and Robert Matuszewski, saxophones, will perform five world premières of Canadian works for saxophone and orchestra. The concert is organized under patronage of the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw, and will be opened by the Canadian Ambassador to Poland.
Then, on April 22nd at the Waldorf=Astoria, the Foundation will host its 71st Annual Dinner and Ball, with special guest, Van Cliburn, one of the most distinguished laureates of their Chopin Competition. After winning the Competition in 1952, Mr. Cliburn went on to win the Tchaikowsky Competition in Moscow and establish a worldwide reputation. Mr. Cliburn will receive the Kosciuszko Foundation's Medal of Recognition at the event. The Kosciuszko Foundation Annual Dinner and Ball is a preeminent social event in the Polish-American Community. It is a lavish evening of dining and dancing and a showcase of the Kosciuszko Foundation Debutante Cotillion. The Dinner and Ball is a primary fund-raising event for the Kosciuszko Foundation, directly supporting the education and cultural exchanges and programs.
57th Annual Chopin Piano Competition
Kosciuszko Foundation House
The world premiere of this opera took place in 1896 in Torino, and Polish premieres were in 1898 in Warsaw and 1901 in Lwów. Other presentations of the opera will take place on March 31, April 22, June 11 and 30. Visit the theater's official website for more information: www.teatrwielki.pl.
The program consisted of: Jacek Wiktor Ajdinović, Arrière-pensée du temps for piano trio (2005); Weronika Ratusińska, Piano Trio (2004); Barbara Kaszuba, Trio "Wyspy Szczęśliwe" [Happy Islands] (2003); Jakub Kowalewski, Furioso for piano trio (2005); Marcin Gumiela, String Quartet (2004); Sławomir Kłodnicki, 4th String Quartet (2004); and Katarzyna Głowicka, Preludes for string quartet (2000).
For video clips from the on-line announcement and a full list of the nominated artists and winners, please visit muzyka.onet.pl/fryderyki/index.html, the official announcement webpage.
This Competition honors the great Polish soprano Marcella Kochańska-Sembrich, who made her Metropolitan Opera debut in its brand-new building in 1883. After an enormously successful career, the popular singer founded the vocal programs at both the Juilliard School and Curtis Institute. Previous winners of the competition include Barbara Hendricks and Jan Opalach. The winner of the Sembrich Competition in New York is customarily sent to the Moniuszko International Competition in Warsaw, next held in May 2007. Cash scholarship prizes are $1000, $750, and $500.
For information and program go to: www.beethoven.org.pl.
The festival starts on April 29 and ends on May 14 and takes place on the stage of the Opera Nova (pictured above). During the two weeks of the festival the audience will have a chance to see national and international opera companies present their achievements. To date, this festival has gathered over 70,000 people for the performances. The festival will be opened by the Prague State Opera and closed by the Boris Ejfman Ballet Theatre. Opera Nova will present the new staging of Mozart's Magic Flute. The festival will also include an exposition dedicated to Mozart and screenings of opera performances released on DVDs.
For detailed program of the festival please visit www.opera.bydgoszcz.pl.
Deutche Grammophon CD 477 590-3
Re-released in February 2006
César Franck (1822-1890): Sonata for Violin and Piano in A
BOX of 15 CDS:
Interest in the International Chopin Piano Competition has not diminished over the intervening eight decades. On the contrary, each year it attracts a growing number of entrants, conscious of the fact that a prize-winner's title won in Warsaw is for a budding pianist a spring-board to a major international career. Suffice it to recall the names of successive past winners of the Competition: Lev Oborin, Alexander Uninsky, Jakov Zak, Halina Czerny-Stefańska, Bella Davidovich, Adam Harasiewicz, Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, Garrick Ohlsson, Krystian Zimerman, Dang Thai Son, Stanislav Bunin and Yundi Li. But what brings to Warsaw such large numbers of young pianists in the first place? It is the magical power inherent in Chopin's music. As Franz Liszt said: "Chopin was not only an outstanding virtuoso, not only an artist of great renown, he was much more than it—he was Chopin!"
The International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition is affiliated with the Geneva-based World Federation of International Music Competitions, of which it is a founding member. Before 1939 the Chopin Competitions was owned and organized by the Warsaw Music Society and the Fryderyk Chopin Higher School of Music (in which Aleksander Michałowski and Jerzy Żurawlew were faculty members) and, after the war, by the Fryderyk Chopin Society in Warsaw. The 15th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition was held in Warsaw on 2-24 October 2005. [Stanisław Dybowski]
Orders can be placed by mail at:
CONCERTS AND PERFORMANCES
Tancredi is one of the lesser-known serious operas of Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868), who is best known for his rollicking comic operas and his penchant for vocal fireworks. With Tancredi, Rossini achieved maturity as a composer and established himself in Italy and abroad as the leading composer of Italian opera seria. Similarly, Ms. Podleś has made her mark on the opera world largely through her "signature" role in Tancredi, although her voice is just as stunning beautiful and richly expressive when singing the music of Mahler and Prokofiev.
Mr. Żebrowski giving an interview to two dedicated fans
Polish Music Center Director and acclaimed pianist Marek Żebrowski gave two concerts in Marburg, Germany, on the 15th and 17th of March 2006. The first, a recital held in the auditorium of Huelsen-Haus, featured works by Bach-Busoni, Mozart, and Chopin. Żebrowski's second performance took place in the historic aula of Phillips University and it was held in connection with the Marburger Kamerapreis 2006 Film Festival. Both events also featured a selection of Mr. Żebrowski's own film compositions: The Running Spirit, Sunset Theme, and Le Cineaste.
The Marburger Kamerapreis Festival is organized by Prof. Karl Pruemm from the Marburg University, and this year's laureate, Judith Kaufmann, was honored for special visual qualities in her films. The gala evening on March 17th opened with Marek Żebrowski's film music, followed by the official remarks from the University President, Prof. Dr. Volker Nienhaus. The mayor of Marburg, Egon Vaupel, and the City Alderman for Culture, Dr. Kerstin Weinbach, also spoke at the ceremony. The highpoint of the event was the appearance of actress Monica Bleibtreu, whose gracious remarks about Judith Kaufmann introduced the filmmaker to the audience. The musical part of the evening was dedicated to film scores, with Marek Żebrowski performing Beethoven's Sonata Op. 13 (used in the film The Man Who Wasn't There), and with Chopin's virtuoso Grand Polonaise Brillante Op. 22 (used in The Pianist by R. Polański), which closed the evening on a sparkling note.
Mr. Żebrowski's appearances were extensively covered by the German media. "Interpretations Charm the Public in Marburg" was a headline of the review in the Mittelhessische Anzeigen Zeitung on 17 March 2006. Marburger Express Magazine and other cultural and film magazines carried announcements and reports from the events and screenings during the Kamerapreis 2006 Festival.