|Polish Music Newsletter
December 2005, Vol. 11, No. 12. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California
Henry Vars, the evening was dedicated to Vars' music and the generosity of his family. This Gala event was co-sponsored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in L.A. and the Polish Music Center USC and presented to a capacity crowd in the beautiful Bovard Auditorium on the USC campus at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 11th, 2005.
Dean Cutietta and Wanda Wilk
After Ms. Lourdes Saab, the L.A. Deputy Chief of Protocol of the Board of Supervisors, presented a Certificate of Commendation to the Polish Consulate on behalf of Los Angeles County in honor of Polish Independence Day, the Consul General again took the stage. She was joined by the honorable Paulina Kapuścińska, Polish Consul for Culture, Education & Media for Los Angeles. Together, they commended Mrs. Elizabeth Vars (pictured at right with the Consul General), the widow of the composer, for her gift of manuscripts and presented her with the Amicus Poloniae award. Mrs. Vars was touched by the recognition and by the fact that her husband was being honored that night, and responded with great emotion. Robert Vars, son of the composer, also spoke on behalf of their whole family, relating personal anecdotes about life with his brilliant father.
With the completion of the official speeches, the evening moved directly into a splendid program of Henry Vars' music. Spiced with witty commentary by conductor Gabriel Alegría, the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra performed varied arrangements of some of Vars' most popular songs, including Miłość ci wszystko wybaczy [Love Forgives All], Już nie zapomnisz mnie [You'll Never Forget Me] and Sex Appeal. Despite the fact that Vars' songs are nearly 80 years old, the young group interpreted his music with style, sensitivity, and impressive skill, enhancing the timelessness of Vars' melodies with the excitement of modern jazz. Although the violin and the banjo are no longer commonly heard in today's jazz ensembles, they were blended seamlessly into the Orchestra, adding an unmistakable 1920s flair. Vocal soloists Yolanta Tensor, Angela Vicente, and Matt Falker also joined the Orchestra on several numbers, singing in Polish and English. Even Marek Żebrowski, Director of the Polish Music Center and pianist, joined in the mix, delivering touching renditions of Sunrise in Manhattan and Lady with a French Poodle, two of Vars' greatest film tunes. Between the ceremonial speeches and the lively music, both Vars and Poland were honored by this wonderful evening. [KC]
Marek Żebrowski & the honorable Krystyna Tokarska-Biernacik
1-3 December 2005One of the priorities of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute (est. 2001) is to inspire, support, coordinate and disseminate the results of academic research on the person, work and broadly understood context of Fryderyk Chopin's music. One of the means employed to achieve this end is their program of annual international conferences and symposia, organized in late autumn. Each conference of the cycle is devoted to a different area of contemporary Chopinology. The theme of this year's conference is "The Sources of Chopin's Creative Style: Inspirations and Contexts". For a detailed conference schedule, visit chopin.nifc.pl.
A mesmerizing contemporary voice acclaimed for breathing vigorous new life into the fast-fading rural folk traditions of Central and Eastern Europe and other regions, "white-voice" (open-throat) singer Mariana Sadovska, a long-time musical collaborator with Poland's leading contemporary theater group, Gardzienice, performs Without Ground at Symphony Space. Without Ground is a ground-breaking song cycle accompanied by haunting, original video work by Lars Jan, a video artist, theater director, and writer who has collaborated with members of Pig Iron Theatre Company, The Wooster Group, Gardzienice, and many others.
Sadovska has made her way across the remote, rural landscape of Ukraine, absorbing songs from women whom she met throughout her travels. In her hands, however, these folk songs are no sterile collection of ethnomusicology, but a thrilling, taut and slightly terrifying journey through village life in Ukraine. Each song is given to her by a specific person. She believes that songs are dialogues between the singer and the listener—first between that person and Mariana, and now a spellbinding dialogue between Mariana and her audience. From the desperation of a widow after her husband's death to a young girl speaking to doves at a well, Mariana sings of people half a world away, but through her strength and vitality delivers a universal experience.
FRIDAY | 9 DECEMBER 2005 | 8:30 pm
On December 2, 2005 the Sudety Philharmonic in Wałbrzych premiered the new work of Polish composer/conductor Józef Wiłkomirski: Concert Suite for Marimba and Orchestra. The marimba solo was performed by Katarzyna Myćka and the orchestra was conducted by Jan Miłosz Zarzycki. The rest of the program consisted of Beethoven's Egmont Overture and Borodin's 2nd Symphony in b Minor. Wiłkomirski is the former director of the Sudety Philharmonic.
In 2003 in Radziejowice Palace, the reactivated Warsaw Quintet played their first concert. The ensemble that once included such greats as Szpilman, Gimpel, Wroński, Kamasa and Ciechański now includes only violist Stefan Kamasa from the old line up. New members are: Konstanty Andrzej Kulka and Krzysztof Bąkowski on violins, Rafał Kwiatkowski on cello and Krzysztof Jabłoński on piano. The Warsaw Quintet will be performing on the 13 December at the Warsaw National Philharmonic. Program: Kazimierz Wiłkomirski - Air for cello and piano; Juliusz Zarębski - Piano Quintet in G Minor op. 34; Johannes Brahms - Piano Quintet in F Minor op. 34.
Camerimage 2005: 27 November - 6 December 2005Since its inception in 1993, the Camerimage Festival in Łódź has become one of Poland's premiere film festivals. During the final gala of the 2005 Festival on December 6th, the audience was treated to a presentation of the Charlie Chaplin movie Behind the Stage from 1916, with its new music score composed by Krzesimir Dębski. The youngest son of Charlie Chaplin, Eugene will attend the Gala, to experience the re-working of his father's classic.
The Dębskis and Eugene Chaplin
"Good Night, sweet Prince,
Flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest"
W. Shakespeare, Hamlet
JKK Fine Arts
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On December 2, 2005, the day before the ceremony of the European Film Awards, the European Film Music Concert will take place in the Volksbühne Theater in Berlin. French film composer Maurice Jarre (Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, Gumbi, etc.) will be an honorary guest of the evening and the musical performers will be the Flemish Radio Orchestra. During the concert the audience will hear compositions by Brunon Coulais, Albert Iglesias and Stephen Warbeck. The music of Polish film composer, Zbigniew Preisner will also be featured, including music from Kieślowski's Trois couleurs.
McCreesh is 45 years old and is a graduate of Manchester University. Currently he lives in London and collaborates with such groups as the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and San Francisco Symphony.
The Paderewski Trio will perform in concert on Sunday, December 11 at 3 PM at the Kosciuszko Foundation House. The program includes trios of Beethoven and Mendelssohn and, with guest violist Toby Appel, the Piano Quartet in G minor of Mozart. Winners of the 32nd Artists International Annual Debut Prize in 2003, they have performed regularly in the Foundation's highly regarded Chamber Music Series, broadcast over WQXR-FM. There will be a reception and discussion with the artists after the concert. You can reserve your place by calling (212) 734-2130.
The Paderewski Trio is made up of Krzysztof Kuznik, violin (right); Rafal Jezierski, cello (left); and Juny Jung, piano (center). Born in Pozńan, Poland, Rafal Jezierski first studied with his father, a professional cellist and singer. After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music, he is currently a completing his Master's Degree at The Juilliard School, where he is studying with Bonnie Hampton. Krzysztof Kuznik graduated from both the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and the Manhattan School of Music. A founding member of the Elsner String Quartet, he is currently on the violin faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and frequently performs with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Korean-born pianist Juny Jung is the music director and founder of the Simons' Pond Music Festival in Pennsylvania. He graduated from both the Manhattan School of Music and the Mannes College of Music.
Toby Appel has appeared in recital and concerto performances throughout North and South America, Europe, and the Far East. He has been a member of such renowned ensembles as "Tashi", and has appeared with jazz artists Chick Corea and Gary Burton. In 1975, Mr. Appel was featured in a CBS television special performing works commissioned by him for three violas, all played by Toby Appel. In 1980, Mr. Appel was the winner of Young Concert Artists International Award. A most versatile artist, Mr. Appel has appeared as a narrator and is a frequent commentator for National Public Radio's Performance Today. Mr. Appel is currently teaching on the viola and chamber music faculties at the Juilliard School in New York City and is Artist Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
The Paderewski Trio will appear in two additional concerts at the Kosciuszko Foundation on February 5 and March 26, 2006. The Foundation's Chamber Music Series continues with the New York State Baroque Orchestra in a special holiday concert on Sunday, December 18.
On December 1st and 2nd, young talented pianists will have a chance to perform on the stage of the F. Chopin School of Music in Sochaczew, which is located very near to Chopin's birthplace in Żelazowa Wola. The jury, chaired by Prof. Jan Kadłubiski and consisting of distinguished pedagogues from various music academies, will single out the most interesting performances. All participants will receive diplomas. Laureates will receive awards, perform in the winner's concert at 5:00 pm on December 2nd and perform for the Warsaw Musical Society at 11:00 am on Sunday Dec. 4th.
The choir was established in 1971 by the Gdańsk University. To date the ensemble has performed few hundred concerts in Poland and abroad.
Edward Pałłasz is a long time contributor to the Polish Radio, for which he has written many compositions. He points out that in the radio shows, music plays a huge role. According to the composer, music, "can either support, or be in opposition to, the words". The Grand Splendor was awarded for 18th time and the Honorary Grand Splendor for the 6th time.
This year marks the 12th edition of the contemporary music festival "Laboratory of Contemporary Music" in Warsaw, inaugurated on 1 December with a concert including works by Edward Bogusławski, Jurij Laniuk, Ihor Szczerbakow and Marek Stachowski. Performers included Urszula Krygier, soprano, Jozsef Ormeny (Ukraine) on piano and the "Leopolis" Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Roman Rewakowicz. During the festival there will be performances by Polish and international artists, such as: the Polish Chamber Choir "Schola Cantorum Gedanensis" conducted by Jan Łukaszewski, the City of Tychy Aukso Symphony Orchestra with Marek Moś, the Polish Radio Orchestra with Piotr Borkowski and Hungarian pianist Szablocs Esztenyi, Taiwaneese cellist Pi-Chin Chien and Italian flutist Mario Caroli.
For the detailed program go to: www.polmic.com.
Between December 2nd and 4th there will be five concerts taking place in three different spaces in Warsaw: the Zachęta Gallery, Holy Trinity Church, and Philosophical Diner. This year's edition sums up the two year existence of plain., which started in November 2003 with a series of five days of improvised concerts performed by Noël Akchoté. During the years there have been over 30 musicians from around Poland who have performed in the plain. concerts. December performers include pianists John Tilbury, Andy Guhl, Luc Ex, bassist John Edwards, trumpeter Brigit Ulher, tubist Zdzisław Piernik, cellist Andrzej Bauer and violinist Dagna Sadkowska.
For the program go to: www.polmic.com.
This 9th edition of the International Chamber Music Festival takes place between December 3 and 7 in Gdańsk and this year's edition is dedicated to the works of J.S. Bach. During five festival evenings the audience will hear performances by artists who have a special place for Bach's music in their repertoire. Among others the performers are: Russian vocal group "Ot Paromenja", Antoni Pilch (lute), Bogusław Grabowski and Piotr Słopecki (organ), Goran Söllscher (guitar), Joanna Mądroszkiewicz (violin) and Magdalena Broks (piano).
For the program go to: www.polmic.com.
The Audio Art Festival, held in Warsaw at the Ujazdowski Castle, is one of the mostly deeply rooted alternative events in Poland. Audio Art performances combine pop culture and academic avant-garde, creating a collage of sounds and opportunities for new technologies as well as DIY instruments. Audio Art comes from the desire of shortening the distance between creator, performer and technology of presentation.
For the program of the 13th edition of Audio Art go to: www.polmic.com.
The Silesian Quartet was created 27 years ago and is considered one of the best chamber ensembles in Europe. The members of the ensemble hail from the Music Academy in Katowice. Their repertoire includes over 300 compositions, of which some 200 are 20th century works. The Quartet recently has released a recording of arrangements of compositions by Grzegorz Ciechowski of "Republika" fame. In these great arrangements by Stefan Sendecki the ensemble fuses together the classical quartet sound with legendary rock compositions.
For 12 years now the ensemble has organized a Chamber Music Festival: "Silesian Quartet and Their Guests". Every year the quartet invites great stars of classical music to perform during the festival. This event has become an international venue and one of the more important chamber music festivals in Europe. This year's edition (the 13th annual) focuses around the works of Dmitri Shostakovich. The festival starts on December 3 and goes until December 12, 2005.
Vincent P. Skowronski, violin; Saori Chiba, Donald Isaak and Neil Penesis, pianists
CESAR FRANCK: Sonata in A Major
KAROL SZYMANOWSKI: La Fontaine d'Arethuse and Chant du Roxanne
GRAŻYNA BACEWICZ: Mazurka No. 1
CAMILLE SAINT-SAENS: Sonata No. 1 in D Minor
The following review is excerpted from STRAD Magazine: "The performance here by Vincent P. Skowronski presents a musician with a highly personal approach to music; the opening movement of the Franck Sonata employs a very fluid tempo, the second is turbulent, and while there is repose in the third movement, it is still a very fiery reading. The intensity continues into the final Allegretto and complements Skowronski's powerful approach...The Szymanowski and Bacewicz are stunningly performed and derived from live, unedited concert hall performances. Recorded during a live, unedited studio recital for international radio broadcast [on WFMT-FM, Chicago, IL], the Saint-Saens receives a similarly stunning presentation as well as a sturdy interpretation. However, it is rather different from the urbane French view held by most violinists—the duo tears into the first movement. The following Adagio is relaxed and the charming allegretto leads to a hectic finale. These are truly spontaneous performances."
MAKOWICZ VS. MOŻDŻER DVDThe DVD, set to be released on the December 9, 2005 was recorded live at the Wrocław Philharmonic in November 2004. The first part of the concert consists of traditional American jazz standards and the second of their arrangements of compositions by Chopin.
This is not the first release of the talented duo. In November 2004 the pianists released a live CD from their duel concert at the New York's Carnegie Hall on 25 September 2004 entitled "Makowicz vs. Możdżer - at Carnegie Hall".
In other news, Możdżer's CD The Time, recorded in trio with Danielsson and Fresco, has gone double platinum since its release, signifying that over 22 thousand listeners have decided to purchase it. To celebrate the sales, there will be a special concert in the Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk on December 2005. The trio concert will start at 8:00 pm.
TOMASZEWSKI RECORDS IN POLANDMarek Tomaszewski, former member of the Marek & Wacek piano duo, has finished recording the material for his new solo release. For the session he chose the Witold Lutosławski Recording Studio of the Polish Radio Studio. Currently Marek Tomaszewski lives in Paris and concentrates on teaching, but during the 1960's and 70's his duo was one of the most widely known performance groups around Europe, and they also performed concerts in USA and Canada. The duo's career was cut short buy a tragic car accident, resulting in the death of Wacek Kisielewski in 1986.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
DEC 4: The Chopin Foundation Annual Chopin Christmas Concert. Performances by the Winners of the 10th Annual San Francisco Chopin Competition and special guests at the Queen Ann Hotel, 1590 Sutter Street (at Octavia), San Francisco, CA. 4:00 pm. Admission is free (donations welcome). Reservations suggested due to limited seating. For more information call 1-925-944-5733 or email: email@example.com.
DEC 14: Yundi Li (1st prize winner of the 2000 Chopin Competiton) performs a program of music by Mozart, Schumann, Liszt and Chopin. Vienna Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria. 7:30 pm.
BORN THIS MONTH:
Copyright 2005 by the Polish Music
Send your comments and inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Assistant Editor: Daniel Kamiński Sources of information: Kosciuszko Foundation, PAP, Polish Music Information Centre,
Strad Magazine, onet.pl, PWM, infochopin.pl, Adam Mickiewicz Institute,
and Nowy Dziennik Formatting by Krysta Close, 12/9/05.