|Polish Music Newsletter|
April 2007, Vol. 13, No. 4. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
I cannot talk objectively about Szymanowski, for you cannot expect objectivity or reasonability from someone in love.
(Event postcard above features artwork by Armin Horovitz)
The concert opened with violinist Paul Tseitlin's sensitive rendering of Szymanowski's La Berceuse d'Aïtacho Enia, Op. 52. This was followed by a cliff-hanging performance of Szymanowski's Concerto No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 35 played by Mr. Tseitlin and the 23-year-old, Belarus-born pianist Yevgeniy Milyavskiy. The chemistry between the two young performers crackled with visceral energy. Mr. Milyavskiy's forceful mastery of the piano reduction demanded the listener imagine the sheer orchestral volume of the brass, the basses, the percussion, especially in the final section of the concerto - Allegro assai.
The second half of the concert opened with cellist Yao Wang playing Lutoławski's Sacher Variations and the Midnight Winds giving the West Coast premiere of Wojciech Kilar's Quintet for Winds. It closed with a brilliant performance by Susan Svrček, a specialist in new piano music and founding member of the Piano Spheres concert series. Ms. Svrček's reading of the Grażyna Bacewicz's Second Sonata for Piano written in 1953 was pure story-telling, utilizing a language of amazing virtuosity, subtlety of touch and phrasing, and dramatic variations in tempi and dynamics.
During his lifetime Szymanowski enjoyed considerable international renown and his music was performed and widely praised throughout Europe. At home he was less fortunate – his embrace of modernity was eschewed by audiences and critics immured in nineteenth century aesthetics. History also had a hand in preventing a reassessment of Szymanowski's artistic stature in Poland. His death on the eve of World War II and the subsequent devastation of Poland and her cultural heritage was followed, in 1981, by the declaration of martial law in Poland by the Communist government. To quote Isaiah: “The race is not given to the swift nor favor to the wise, but all things depend on time and chance.” Time and chance finally caught up with Szymanowski this year when the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland proclaimed 2007 the “Year of Karol Szymanowski.” We can only hope that his music finally takes its rightful place in the concert repertoire.
Barbara Kraft is a public relations specialist and producer, writer and narrator of KCRW's hour-long documentary on Segerstrom Hall, “Transforming O.C.” Ms. Kraft's other recent projects include hosting two of KCRW's Politics of Culture programs, on the Los Angeles Opera's production of Kurt Weill and Berthold Brecht's The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and on the Los Angeles Opera's “Recovered Voices – A Lost Generation's Long Forgotten Masterpieces” project.
TRUE HOMMAGE TO SZYMANOWSKI
The music of Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937), a composer deemed by some, like Arthur Rubinstein, to be second only to Chopin among Polish composers, was performed by Polish-born pianist Anna Kijanowska at Merkin Hall in New York City on March 29th in a program entitled "An Homage to Karol Szymanowski." Ms. Kijanowska has achieved international recognition for her interpretations of Szymanowski's works. Two other outstanding performers appeared with Kijanowska: Sharon Roffman, violinist, a protégége of Itzak Perlman, and Iris Jortner, cellist, a founding member of the Tel Aviv Quartet. The combined artistic talents of Roffman and Jortner, along with Kijanowska's “stylistic perception and technical mastery” (Jed Distler, Classics Today, 2006) promise an enlightening and inspiring performance of Karol Szymanowski's works. [Read more about the artists on the Polish Cultural Institute website]
The program featured works representative of Szymanowski's three stylistic periods, which can be described as late Romantic, impressionistic, and mature. This latter period is marked by the influence of Polish Highlander folk music, and is also known as his "New Objectivity" period. Works performed were: Sonata, Op. 9 in D minor for violin, transcribed for cello by Kazimierz Wilkomirski; Myths, Op. 30 for violin and piano; and Piano Mazurkas op. 50 and 62 (selections). Arthur S. Leonard, New York Law School Professor who regularly comments on law, music, film and current events on his website Leonard Link, says this about the performance:
Ms. Kijanowska, who recently got a great notice from the NY Times for her recording of the Szymanowski mazurkas, was absolutely splendid in the solo second half, the rock on which the collaborations depended in the first. She makes a big sound -- perhaps too big for Merkin Concert Hall, where this concert took place -- but always under control, never harsh.”
FITELBERG & SZYMANOWSKI
During the Szymanowski Year, one must not forget the very close relationship shared between Karol Szymanowski and Grzegorz Fitelberg as colleagues, composers, friends and musicians. One might say they enjoyed a very harmonious, inspirational, musical career, shared together throughout their personal and professional lives. A mutual bond of complete respect, trust and understanding existed between Fitelberg and Szymanowski.
Many of Szymanowski's compositions enjoyed a very close collaboration with Fitelberg, who arranged, co-composed, completed and orchestrated many of the works. Amongst these compositions include Nocturne and Tarantella (op. 28), Etude for Orchestra (in B Flat Minor – Op. 4 No. 3), and the Fourth Symphony, “Synphonia Concertante” for Piano and Orchestra to name but only a few.
There was a very special symbiotic bond between them, as best friends or even brothers. Fitelberg without Szymanowski, Szymanowski without Fitleberg - impossible to imagine. Inseparable. Always in synch.
The Polish Music Center at USC is pleased to announce that Krzysztof Meyer, a distinguished Polish composer, pianist and author of several books on music, will be the 2007 Paderewski Lecturer. Professor Meyer's discussion of his works on October 4, 2007, at Newman Hall, will also include a concert of his compositions performed by leading Southern California artists.
Krzysztof Meyer was born on 11 August 1943 in Kraków, Poland. From the age of five he studied the piano and, from 1954, theory and composition with Stanisław Wiechowicz. After graduating from the Chopin State Secondary School of Music in Kraków Meyer enrolled at the College of Music in Kraków, studying composition with Krzysztof Penderecki and graduating with distinction in 1965. He earned his theory degree a year later. In addition, in 1964, 1966, and 1968, he studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, France.
During the years 1965-1967 Meyer appeared as the pianist for the group "MW2 Ensemble," giving concerts of contemporary music both at home and in most European countries. At this time he also performed many of his solo and chamber music compositions.
From 1966 to 1987 Krzysztof Meyer taught at the State College of Music (now Academy of Music) in Kraków, holding the chairmanship of the Department of Music Theory from 1972 to 1975. Since 1987 he has been professor of composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany and a frequent lecturer on the subject of contemporary music in many countries, including Russia, Germany, Austria, Brazil, and Japan. Between the years 1985-1989 he held the office of President of the Polish Composers' Union.
Krzysztof Meyer is a recipient of numerous awards, including the First Prize at the Competition for Young Composers in France (1966), the Aaron Copland Scholarship (1966), the First Prize for his Symphony No. 3 at the Fitelberg Competition (1968), Grand Prix at the Prince Pierre de Monaco International Composers' Competition for his opera Cyberiada (1970), and the two-time recipient of the Special Mention at the Tribune Internationale des Compositeurs UNESCO in Paris for String Quartet No. 2 and String Quartet No. 3 (1970 and 1976). He is also a laureate of the Ministry of Culture Award (1973 and 1975), the First Prize winner of the Karol Szymanowski Competition in Warsaw for his Symphony No.4 (1974), and the recipient of a Special Medal bestowed by the Government of Brazil for his String Quartet No. 4 and Concerto retro (1975 and 1977). Among other distinguished prizes that Krzysztof Meyer had received are the Gotfried-von-Herder-Preis (Vienna, 1984), the annual Award of the Polish Composers' Union (Warsaw, 1992), the Jurzykowski Award (New York, 1993) and Johann- Stamitz-Preis (Mannheim, 1996). Krzysztof Meyer is a member of the Freie Akademie der Künste in Mannheim.
Meyer's compositions have been performed all over the world at international festivals of contemporary music, including Warsaw Autumn, Musicki Biennale Zagreb, Holland Festival, Musikprotokoll -Graz, Aldeburgh Festival, Schleswig-Holstein, and the Luzerne Festival, among others. Some of his works were commissioned by or composed for the most eminent soloists (Lyric Triptych for Peter Pears, the Flute Concerto for Aurèle Nicolet, the Concerto da camera per oboe for Lothar Faber, the Pezzo capriccioso for Heinz Holliger, the Violoncello Sonata for David Geringas, Canti Amadei for Ivan Monighetti, and the 2nd Violin Concerto for Dmitri Sitkovetsky). Meyer's Symphony No.1 was one of the three obligatory contemporary compositions at the International Course for Conductors in Monaco directed by Igor Markevich in 1971, and his Hommage à Johannes Brahms was required for the Conductors' Competition in Dublin in 1999. Krzysztof Meyer was a composer in residence for the Cologne Philharmonic during the 1991-1992 Season, and at the International Music Festival in Seattle, Washington in June 1996.
Krzysztof Meyer is also recognized as a prominent author of books and articles on the subject of contemporary music. His monograph on the life and work of Dmitri Shostakovich (Kraków 1973), was the first biography of this composer in Poland that appeared in a new, expanded edition in Paris in 1994. Since then the book became an international bestseller and was translated into six languages, including German, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, Polish, and Japanese. With his wife, Danuta Gwizdalanka, Krzysztof Meyer has published a highly-acclaimed two-volume biography of Witold Lutosławski (Kraków 2003-2004). Krzysztof Meyer's life and work have been extensively discussed in numerous books and journal articles by authors such as Thomas Weselmann, Martina Homma, and others.
Polish parliament has announced that the year 2007, in addition to honoring Karol Szymanowski, will also honor Artur Rubinstein. 2007 marks the 25 th anniversary of death and 120 th anniversary of birth of this great Polish pianist. Rubinstein was born in 1887 in Łódź to a wealthy Jewish family. From an early age he studied piano, first in Łódź, later in Warsaw and Berlin. In 1939 he immigrated with his family to United States, where he stayed for the rest of his life. His career spanned over 80 years and he has played over 6000 performances, especially known for his interpretations of Chopin and Szymanowski. He died in Geneva on December 20, 1982. Read more about Artur Rubenstein here.
The Center for Documentation of the Life and Output of Witold Lutosławski has opened in the freshly renovated Pusłowski Palace in Kraków. The Center operates under the Musicology Department of Jagiellonian University in Kraków. The main operational focus of the organization is to acquire, edit and provide materials relating to the life and creations of Witold Lutosławski. The center will be creating a computer database of materials and information about the composer. Also of interest is the cooperation between this and similar national and international organizations in the preparation of conferences and seminars about life and music of Witold Lutosławski. During the opening ceremony on 13 March 2007, Marta Ptaszyńska, an composer and long time friend of Lutosławski, donated her collection of Lutosławski memorabilia to the Center. The items were presented in the opening exhibition dedicated to Lutosławski. For more information (in Polish only), visit the official website of the Center: www.muzykologia.uj.edu.pl/instytut/osrodek_lutoslawskiego.htm.
CHOPIN PIANO DISCOVERED
A Pleyel piano in the Cobbe Collection of keyboard instruments has been discovered to be the instrument that was owned by Chopin when he was staying in London. The true history of the instrument was discovered by Chopin scholar Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger. This piano is truly unique, as it is one of only four made by Pleyel, Chopin's piano manufacturer of choice, that were owned by Chopin that are still thought to be in circulation. Read more about this exciting discovery on www.timesonline.co.uk.
COMPLETE WIENIAWSKI EDITION
Legenda Op. 17 for violin and piano marks the first in a series of 27 planned volumes of the Complete Works of virtuoso violinist and composer Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880). The series will be published in cooperation with Wieniawski Society in Poznań. Upcoming volumes will include L'Ecole moderne, Etiudy-Kaprysy Op. 10 for violin solo and Etiudy-Kaprysy Op. 18 for two violins. Future plans include also Legenda Op. 17 for orchestra (full score), Le Carnaval Russe Op. 11 and Fantaisie brillante sur des motifs de l'opera “Faust” de Gounod op. 20.
Since many of Wieniawski's works are still missing, there is a chance that the number of volumes will increase as more music is found. The supervising committee consists of: Maciej Jabłoński (Poznań) – chairman, Jadwiga Kaliszewska (Poznań) – vice-chairman, Jan Stęszewski (Warsaw/ Poznań) – vice-chairman, Zofia Chechlińska (Warsaw), Dieter Gutknecht (Cologne), Andrzej Jazdon (Poznań), Janusz Kempiński (Poznań) – secretary, Renata Suchowiejko (Kraków) and Tadeusz Szantruczek (Poznań). The financing comes from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. For more information please visit PWM website.
LEBRECHT ON GÓRECKI
According to the index page of his weekly column on the website of La Scena Musical (www.scena.org/columns/lebrechtindex.htm), “Norman Lebrecht is a prolific writer on music and cultural affairs, whose weekly column has been called 'required reading for anyone interested in classical music.'” Clearly, Lebrecht's musical caché is quite far-reaching, as he was granted an exclusive interview with the notoriously hermitic but famous Polish composer, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. His article, entitled “How Gorecki makes his music – an exclusive interview,” (February 28, 2007) does indeed offer an exclusive look into the world of this elusive artist.
Lebrecht begins with the requisite mention of Górecki's blockbuster hit, the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs (Symphony No. 3):
It shattered two cardinal rules of contemporary music - that the symphony was dead and melody forbidden - by showing there was life in the old forms yet and that new serious music could appeal, incredibly, to a modern clubbing audience. At his peak, Gorecki teetered at number six in the UK pop charts, just behind Paul McCartney.
But then Lebrecht quickly ventures into the unchartered territory of Górecki 's more recent works, written sporadically since the 1990's. He pokes and prods at the composer's adamant contention that, “'What I think about the music, my philosophy, that does not leave my work room.'” The article is enlightening and entertaining, exploring Górecki's colorful history and personality, his musical influences, the exciting promises of his newest work (a string quartet entitled Songs are sung), and more. Read the entire article at www.scena.org/columns/lebrecht/070228-NL-gorecki.html.
EXPERIMENTAL WEB RADIO
There is a new Polish online radio station specializing in-out-of-the-ordinary music. Most of it is pop-culture oriented, but there are special programs dedicated to jazz and experimental contemporary music. To see the schedule of shows and to connect to the streaming server please visit radio.sitka.pl. The website is in Polish and you will need Winamp or iTunes to listen to the stream.
POLISH NOTES SUR CHOPIN
The Polish translation of Notes sur Chopin by André Gide will finally be published by Astraia in Kraków. The book was first released in France in 1948 and at the time created quite a stir, as Gide was fascinated by Chopin's music and expressed interesting opinions regarding interpretation of his music. Virtuoso artists like Rubinstein and Gavot were among the pianists criticized. André Gide received the Literary Nobel Prize in 1947. The Polish edition of the book will include an audio CD with the discussed works recorded by Blechacz, Kortus, Wolanin and other outstanding artists. For more information or to order a copy please visit the publisher's website, www.astraia.pl.
ROXANNA PANUFNIK STORY
From an outside perspective, the daughter of famous Polish composer, Sir Andrzej Panufnik, Roxanna Panufnik seems like she could be easily caught up in with living up to her father's legacy. Quite the contrary, as a successful composer and a mother of three, she lives and creates independently from her father's music, and from anyone's expectations. Philadelphia Inquirer Music Critic David Patrick Stearns caught up with Ms. Panufnik while she was in Philadelphia in March to work with the Choral Arts Society on her newest piece, Love Abide, and the interview lends intriguing insight into her life and thoughts as a composer and as a human being. Read Stearns' article, “Young British composer doesn't play to stereotype,” on www.philly.com.
photo by KEITH SAUNDERS
MUSIC AT KOSCIUSZKO FDN.
KOSCIUSZKO CHOPIN COMPETITION
The Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City will hold the 58th Annual Chopin Piano Competition on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14. Brilliant young pianists from across the country will compete, beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday at the Foundation House, and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, in the Lang Recital Hall of Hunter College. Friday's preliminaries are free and open to the public, but there is a $15 charge for Saturday's finals. David Dubal will chair the jury, which includes Mirian Conti and Jed Distler.
The Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition was established in 1949, in honor of the hundredth anniversary of the death of Frederic Chopin. The inauguration took place at the Kosciuszko Foundation House in New York City, with Witold Malcuzynski as guest artist, and Abram Chasins, composer and music director of the New York Times Radio Stations, presiding. Over the years, many outstanding musicians have been associated with the competition including Van Cliburn, Ian Hobson, and Murray Perahia. Today the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition continues to encourage gifted young pianists to further their studies, and to perform the works of Polish composers.
Reservations are highly recommended, as the Competition is extremely popular. For details and reservations, call the Foundation Office at (212) 734-2130. Visit the Kosciuszko Foundation website for more information.
The Mozartean Players make their Kosciuszko Foundation Chamber Music Series debut on Sunday, April 15 at 3 PM. Their program features period instruments, including pianoforte, and includes works of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.
The Mozartean Players in their current configuration as a piano trio is comprised of Steven Lubin, fortepiano, Anca Nicolau, violin, and Myron Lutzke, cello. Founded in 1979, it is one of the oldest continuously active early-music organizations in America. It is also one of the most distinguished, as measured by all criteria: critical response, the breadth and volume of its performing history, the influence it has borne on other musicians, and the quality of its recorded legacy. The group has performed under the auspices of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum in New York City (where it offered multi-concert seasons for five years), the Lufthansa Festival of London, the Tage alter Musik Festival of Regensburg, and scores of distinguished series in twenty-five states and other international venues.
The group has performed and recorded early romantic works (Schubert and Mendelssohn) as well as Classical. These performances have served as models for many young artists at home and abroad. Their repertoire spans the era from Haydn through Schumann, the period during which the piano, starting as the delicate, five-octave, wooden-frame instrument of the classical period, changed gradually into the larger, early-romantic piano. The stringed instruments are accordingly in period disposition.
‘COLORS OF THE EAST'
Polish-born conductor Mariusz Smolij has built himself a stellar reputation around the world, largely through his championing of American composers such as Barber, Copland, Kernis, Rouse, Ellington and others. Now, in his position as Music Director of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra in Lafayette, Louisiana, he is working to shine the spotlight on Eastern European composers. The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra 's April 21 st season finale concert, entitled “Colors of the East”, will be a prime example of that effort. With composers Kilar (Polish), Khachaturian (Armenian), Janacek (Czech), and Borodin (Russian), Maestro Smolij will bring a new flavor to the Heymann Performing Arts Center stage. ASO will be joined on stage for the April 21st concert by Chorale Acadienne for Kilar's Exodus and Borodin's Polovetsian Dances.
POLISH FILM FESTIVAL L.A.
A letter from Vladek Juszkiewicz, Festival Director:
The Polish American Film Society is proud to announce that the eighth annual Polish Film Festival Los Angeles will be held under the auspices of the First Lady of the Republic of Poland, Madam Maria Kaczyńska and of Polish television TVP. We are extremely pleased that the First Lady will be joining us personally as we celebrate the achievement of Polish filmmakers from April 26 - May 3, 2007. (Please see the 2007 Program for details and showtimes)
POLISH VIOLINIST'S MASTER CLASS
Interested in violin technique? Last month's Strings Magazine has an article written by James Reel, entitled “Master Class: GIVE IT A BRAKE - Learn to obey the speed limits in Mendelssohn's E minor Violin Concerto.” The article features the musical insights of Polish violinist Vincent P. Skowronski. He says, "If you like to chop wood and you want to play Mendelssohn, you have to compromise in the middle and not beat the hell out of it." Read the full text of the article here.
KING ROGER PREMIERE IN WROCŁAW
The premiere of Wrocław Opera's production of Karol Szymanowski's opera King Roger took place on 1 April 2007. Mariusz Treliński is the director of the opera and Boris Kudlička is the set designer - this duo also worked on this opera together at the Grand Theater-National Opera.
The lead is performed by one of the best Polish baritone voices, Andrzej Dobber, who is currently singing in Great Britain and will soon perform in the Metropolitan Opera's staging of Aida. For more information please visit Wrocław Opera website, www.opera.wroclaw.pl.
CHOPIN COMPLETE SOLO PIANO WORKS
Ann Arbor, MI -- The piano studio of Professor Arthur Greene continue to present the complete solo piano works of Fryderyk Chopin chronologically through April, from his earliest surviving work, a polonaise written at age seven, through his last mazurka penned in 1849, in a concert series running March 6 through April 14, 2007. The concert dates still to come are April 7, 10 and 14th. All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-concert talk and will take place in the Britton Recital Hall in the E.V. Moore Building at 1100 Baits Drive in Ann Arbor. In conjunction with the final concert, an afternoon Chopin Symposium will take place on Saturday, April 14 beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Britton Recital Hall. The Symposium will feature Jeffrey Kallberg, one of America 's leading Chopin scholars and author of Chopin at the Boundaries: Sex, History, and Musical Genre, as well as U of M's Mark Clague, Nadine Hubbs, and Wayne Petty. All concerts and the symposium are free of charge and do not require tickets. There is a weblog for listeners to record their impressions and comments at http://sitemaker.umich.edu/chopinproject. Further information is available at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~agreene/Chopin.html.
Professor Greene's students come from the United States, Canada, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Taiwan, China, Korea, Japan, and Ireland. Professor Greene feels that “rather than presenting just one person's approach, here we will have a diverse array of backgrounds, providing a kaleidoscope of personalities. I'll be playing some on each concert, but I have given my students most of the well-known masterpieces. For me, the most exciting things about this project are the chance to unearth fascinating and great music that never gets played, to explore Chopin to the fullest, and the chance to share the presentation of it all with my beloved and incredibly talented students.”
All of the performances will be recorded and distributed through the University of Michigan store on iTunes.
This event is sponsored in part by the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, the University of Michigan Center For Russian and Eastern European Studies, the Copernicus Endowment, and Hammell Music of Michigan.
The 7th International Artur Rubinstein in Memoriam Piano Competition has finished on March 30, 2007. The competition is geared towards young pianists between ages 14 and 21. This year there were 15 competitors from around the world. The first prize went to Denis Żdanow from Ukraine, second prize was given to Marcin Kozak from Poland and third to Shiran Wang from China. The remaining awards as follows: Irina Czistjakowa, Władimir Farkow and Walentin Dmitriew. Special awards went to Michał Szymanowski and Gracjan Szymczak. Among the laureates of the competition from previous years is Rafał Blechacz, winner of the recent Chopin Competition, who in 2002 took the 2 nd prize in Rubinstein Competition. For more information about the competition please visit the official website.
LUTOSŁAWSKI MEDAL FOR WIT
Antoni Wit, conductor and director of National Philharmonic in Warsaw has received the Witold Lutosławski Medal from the W. Lutosławski Society in Warsaw. Wit's award recognizes his passion and efforts in promoting Lutosławski's music. In addition to programming his music regularly, he has recorded Lutosławski's complete orchestral works for Naxos. Among the few people who have received the honor before Wit are Esa-Pekka Salonen and Tadeusz Kaczyński. The award ceremony took place during the final concert of the 12 th Lutosławski Forum in Warsaw. Present were Jadwiga Rappé (chairman of the Lutosławski Society), Zbigniew Skowron (chairman of the award board, professor from the Warsaw University) and Andrzej Wajda (honorary member of the Lutosławski society).
Antoni Wit is one of Poland 's greatest conductors. For 17 years he served as the director of the Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio and Television (NOSPR) in Katowice and since 2002 he serves as the director of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. Very recently he has received 2007 MIDEM Classical award for his recording of Turangalîla by Oliver Messiaen with NOSPR.
For more information about the Lutosławski Society please visit their official website, www.lutoslawski.org.pl.
WIENIAWSKI COMPETITION WINNERS
Regi Papa, a junior at the Manhattan School of Music, won First Prize in the Kosciuszko Foundation's Wieniawski Violin Competition, held last week in Manhattan. Mr. Papa, a resident of Greece, receives a cash scholarship prize of $5,000. He has won numerous competitions in Greece, and made his Carnegie Hall debut last year performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto. Second Prize went to Kinga Augustyn, a native of Poland currently in the Masters Program at the Juilliard School. She will receive a cash scholarship prize of $2,500. Ms. Augustyn has already released her first CD, a recording of the Paganini Caprices for solo violin for Luna music. She has appeared with numerous orchestras in Poland and in the United States.
Polish violinist Hanna Lachert, of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, served as Chairman of the jury. Serving with her were Yoko Takebe, also of the New York Philharmonic and of the Manhattan School of Music; and Isaac Malkin, Professor at the Manhattan School of Music.
The Kosciuszko Foundation Wieniawski Violin Competition, held every other year, was established to honor Poland 's legendary 19th century violinist/composer Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880) and other Polish composers. Wieniawski entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of 8 and gave his first public concert in Paris as a teenager. Named solo violinist to the Tsar in 1860, he taught at the St. Petersburg Conservatory from 1862-9 and the Brussels Conservatory from 1874-7. His many international appearances included an American tour with pianist Anton Rubinstein in 1872.
COMPETITIONS & FESTIVALS
The eighth Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors will take place in Katowice during November 16th through November 25th, 2007. The deadline to apply for the conductor competition is April 30th and the application form is available at www.konkursfitelberg.art.pl/form.pdf. This very prestigious competition is recognized by the World Federation of Music Competition in Geneva. After the Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw and Wieniawski Violin Competition, it is the third most important and largest music competition in Poland.
VI INTERNAT'L MONIUSZKO COMPETITION
The competition will take place between April 13 and 22 in the Grand Theater – National Opera in Warsaw (see the Competition Calendar for details of each event). The Competition is open to all singers born after 13 April 1972. This year's edition attracted 253 applications, of which 117 were accepted from 19 countries. Poland will be represented by 65 candidates. The jury of the competition consists of: Kazimierz Kord – chairman, Claudio Desderi, Zdzisława Donat, Mirella Freni, Larisa Gergieva, Piotr Kamiński, Charles Kellis, Tom Krause, Hanna Lisowska, Virgilius Noreika, Bogdan Paprocki, Hanna Rumowska-Machnikowska, Sergio Segalini, Guo Shuzen and Galina Wiszniewska – vice-chairman.
2007 OCHLEWSKI COMPETITION SUBJECT
PWM [Polish Music Editions] has just announced that trombone will be the subject for the 2007 Tadeusz Ochlewski Composition Competition. The competition is open to all Polish nationals under the age of 30. There can be only one submission per composer and the work has to be under 7 minutes long. The work also can not have been already published or honored by another competition. All of the pieces must be submitted by July 15, 2007 and the winner will be announced by the end of July. This year the jury consists of Zdzisław Stolarczyk (a trombonist with NOSPR), Zygmunt Krauze (composer), and Andrzej Kosowski (PWM Chief Editor). The winning compositions will be published by PWM. For official regulations in Polish please visit PWM website.
XI EASTER BEETHOVEN FESTIVAL
The 11th edition of the Easter Ludwig van Beethoven Festival started on March 25 and will end on April 6, 2007. The motto for this year is “Beethoven, Music and Literature”. The program of this year's edition consists of over 30 concerts performed by top international orchestras and ensembles, such as: Bamberger Symphoniker, Basel Chamber Orchestra, RSO Frankfurt, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Camerata Salzburg, Leipziger Streichquartett, Sinfonia Varsovia, Warsaw Grand Theater Symphony Orchestra and Choir, Polish National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Choir, Polish Radio and Television National Symphony Orchestra, and Polish Radio Choir. The soloists and conductors include Nigel Kennedy and Christian Tetzlaff, singers Sylvie Valayre - soprano, Antonello Palombi - tenor, pianists Elisabeth Leonskaja, Muza Rubackyte, Rudolf Buchbinder, Nelson Freire, and Alexander Lonquich, and conductors Lawrence Foster, Christopher Hogwood, Paavo Järvi, and Antoni Wit. Also scheduled is a jazz concert performed by top Polish jazz artists. Alongside the concert there will be an exhibition of the Jagiellonian Library collection, an international symposium on “Beethoven, Music and Literature” organized by the Kraków Music Academy, and a master class by Christa Ludwig. For the official program and information go to the festival website, www.beethoven.org.pl.
XV ŚWIĘTOKRZYSKIE DAYS OF MUSIC
The fifteenth edition of this music festival started on March 30th and will continue until the 29th of April, 2007 at the Świętokrzyskie Philharmonic in Kielce. One of the goals of the festival is presentation and propagation of music by Polish composers, especially contemporary. There are 9 concerts planned that will include music by Maurycy Moszkowski, Piotr Perkowski, Witold Lutosławski, Grażyna Bacewicz, Wojciech Kilar, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Stanisław Moryto, and Grzegorz Duchnowski. The main event of the festival will be the premiere of the Concerto for two pianos composed by Maciej Małecki, a Świętokrzyskie Philharmonic commission. The esteemed artists performing this year include: Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, Tomasz Strahl, Krzysztof Jabłoński, andWojciech Michniewski. The festival was organized with the help from PWM and Penderecki European Music Center. A history of the festival and program details are available in Polish.
XIV BYDGOSZCZ OPERA FESTIVAL
The National Frederic Chopin Institute has just released the first four volumes of their new complete recordings series, The Frederic Chopin Institute Series. It is special, because all the performances are performed by highly esteemed pianists, winners or laureates of the Chopin Competition, on the professionally restored period pianos made by Errard and Pleyel. These are the instruments that Chopin used to write his music and as such, present his music the way he heard it.
The volumes currently available are:
Volumes in preparation:
To order a CD or receive more information please visit the National Chopin Institute website.
Cédric Tiberghien Interpretations
"The Romantics favoured autonomous pianistic genres midway between the aphoristic style of the prelude and the vast expanses of the sonata or fantasia. One of these was the ballade, the musical equivalent of the short story or novella. This recording sets the four Ballades of Chopin, a coherent but divisible entity, against the four Balladen op.10 of Brahms, which form what might be described as a ‘ballade sonata', composed in a single burst of creativity.” [from the Harmonia Mundi website]
Musica Divina – 15th Century Music from the Krasiński Manuscript
“..Even though the Krasinski manuscript contains relatively late copies of works by Antonio Zacara da Teramo and Johannes Ciconia, it is difficult to overestimate its significance for the history of 15th-century music, and not only in Poland. It is indeed unique among the musical collections surviving in Central Europe, in terms of its repertoire, stylistic diversity and clear references to local culture. On could hardly find in this territory a composer of the stature of Nicolaus de Radom, who, unlike Petrus Wilhelmi de Grudencz (b1392), was not a musician of regional importance but one aho was in the mainstream of the development of European polyphony. In this sense, Nicolaus de Radom and the Krasinski manuscript belong to the real pearls of Polish culture, conceived of not as a culture of asingle nation but one that contributed to the overall European heritage.” [Paweł Gancarczyk, BeArTon website]
Contemporary music resonated throughout Warsaw during the month of March. Resplendent in spring sunshine and basking in an unusually mild weather, the Polish capital hosted the Twelfth Lutosławski Forum—a series of concerts featuring new music by some of the best-known contemporary composers. On March 5, the Arditi Quartet presented an evening of string quartets by Henri Dutilleux, Witold Lutosławski, Sofia Gubaidulina, and Iannis Xenakis at the Chamber Hall of the Warsaw Philharmonic. The following evening at the same location, the Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy was heard in a program of string ensemble works by Wojciech Kilar, Aleksander Lasoń, Witold Lutosławski, and Béla Bartók. The conductor, Marek Moś, led the ensemble with verve and precision throughout this exciting concert that included a world premiere of Lasoń's Aukso for String Orchestra. Kilar's recent work for strings, Ricordanza (2005) opened the program, whilst Lutosławski's celebrated Musique funèbre opened the second half of the evening. Bartok's evocative and virtuosic Divertimento for Strings provided a fitting closing for the program. The appreciative audience demanded an encore afterwards, and Marek Moś was more than happy to oblige with an impeccably charming rendition of Strauss's Pizzicato Polka.
On Thursday, March 8, the Twelfth Lutosławski Forum continued with a concert of symphonic music in Warsaw 's Philharmonic Hall. Conductor Sławek Wróblewski led the student orchestra of the Frederic Chopin State Music School in Warsaw. The program opened with Maria Pokrzywińska's Omen for Thirteen Instruments. This relatively short and straightforward work was followed by the Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra by Marta Ptaszyńska. This virtuoso, three-movement concerto was given a spellbinding performance by the young and very talented marimba player, Marta Klimasara. After the intermission, the orchestra of young instrumentalists presented three short and highly personal works: Canzona di barocco by Henryk Czyż, Interludium by Witold Lutosławski, and Hominibus by Jarosław Siwiński.
BACEWICZ IN MASSACHUSETTS
The faculty of the Community Music School of Springfield performed Grażyna Bacewicz's String Quartet No. 2 on March 18, 2007 at their 18th annual Celebrate Women in Music Concert. The performers were: Krzysztof Gadawski, violin, Martha Knieriem, violin, Carol Hutter, viola, Boris Kogan, cello. They were able to obtain the music for this performance on a PMC recommendation to contact Theodore Presser, the U.S. distributor for PWM [Polish Music Editions]
At the beginning of March, Ballet Florida presented Val Caniparoli's Lady of the Camellias, a setting of the Alexander Dumas novel to the music of Chopin and dance. Reviewer Lawrence Budmen, special correspondent for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, says this about the ballet:
A more successful synthesis of music and dance could hardly be imagined. Chopin was the king of the 19th century Paris salon. The Polish composer's glittering, poetic keyboard works form the perfect soundtrack to the tragic love story of the courtesan Marguerite and the youthful Armand Duval.
Budman also has nothing but praise for company's performance of this lush ballet. Read his entire review on www.southflorida.com.
STOJOWSKI COLLECTION UPDATE
In 2005, the Polish Music Center at USC received a generous donation of manuscripts, sketches, correspondence, and published scores of music by Zygmunt (Sigismond) Stojowski (1870-1946) from the composer's family. Now known as the Zygmunt & Luisa Stojowski Collection, this new addition to the PM archive consists of 32 boxes of varying sizes. During the summer of 2005, the Stojowski Collection was appraised by a specially hired expert. Although study copies will remain in the Polish Music Center, the originals will reside permanently in Special Collections at the Doheny Library on the USC campus. In the coming months, as the Collection's detailed inventory is being made, we will continue publishing the contents in our Newsletter, informing our public of this important legacy left by a fascinating and undeservedly forgotten composer. All inquiries regarding the Stojowski Collection should be directed to the Polish Music Center at USC via e-mail to: email@example.com. The following is our report on the contents of Box XIII and XIV of the Stojowski Collection.
Case no. 4:
On March 31 st, 2007, Professor Feliks Flis, a valued pedagogue at the Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź, passed away. He was author of an original method of aural training and a member of The Chair of Aural Training of The Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. Prof. Flis was especially recognized for his research into the newest and most advanced methods for teaching theory, by utilizing audiovisual and electronic aides in developing the students' aural skills. He had taught courses in solfege, harmony, and form & analysis in Łódź since the mid 1960s. He served as Dean of the Music Education Department from 1978-1987, Vice-Rector of the Music Academy from 1987-1993, and the Assistant Dean of the Composition Department from 1993-1996. Earlier in his life he distinguished himself as a choral conductor, and the ensembles he led had won numerous awards at various competitions and festivals. For his artistic achievements, Prof. Flis was awarded with numerous medals and citations, including the Golden Cross of Merit (1973), the City of Łódź Award (1975), and the Commander Cross of Poland (1979). A funeral ceremony for Prof. Flis is planned for April 4th, 2007 at 2 pm at the Roman-Catholic Cemetery of Doły (Smutna Str.)
On March 28th, 2007, Wojciech Drabowicz, a great Polish baritone, died in a car accident on A2 freeway near New Tomyśl. He was a winner of three international voice competitions (Bytom, Moscow, Vienna), has received the Hiolski Award for his creation of the title role of Szymanowski's King Roger with the National Opera in Warsaw. He was a soloist with the Grand Theater in Poznań and his future plans involved a tour with the National Philharmonic. He has performed on the stages of Brussels, Paris, Lille, Lyon, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Antwerp, Tel-Aviv, Berlin, Montreal, Carnegie Hall, Geneva, Dublin, and Warsaw. He has worked with such conducting greats as Claudio Abbado, Charles Dutoit, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kent Nagano, Antonio Pappano, Kazimierz Kord, Peter Eötvös, and Gienadij Rozdziestvienski. His early death is a great loss to the music community in Poland and the world.
BORN THIS MONTH:
Copyright 2007 by the Polish Music Center
Send your comments and inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Assistant Editor: Daniel Kamiński
Contributions from: Marek Żebrowski,
Gary Fitelberg, Marysia Ostafin,
and Daniel J. Kij
Sources of information: Polish Cultural Institute, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Fanfare, American Record Guide, PWM,
Nowy Dziennik, Polish Music Information Centre, Polish American Journal, PAP, ZKP, BBC Music Magazine,
infochopin.pl, Gramophone Magazine, Classics Today, Polish Cultural Institute, Leonard Link,
Strings Magazine, Sun-Sentinal, dailyadvertiser.com, harmoniamundi.com, bearton.pl
Formatting by Krysta Close, April 4, 2007
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