|Polish Music Newsletter|
POLISH MUSIC CENTER APPEAL
To all of our readers and friends of Polish Music:
The Polish Music Center's 2005 Fundraising Drive was the first attempt at sharing the goals of our mission with you, the Polish-Americans we strive to serve. Although we were generally satisfied with the results, we would like to make this year's fundraising much broader and much more successful. We would like to increase the number of responsive participants as well as solicit your opinion on how to present concerts that would attract the widest possible audience.
First of all, we would like to encourage a much greater rate of response from all. Each individual contribution, regardless of amount, matters to us. But, more importantly, greater participation of the Polish-American community is our main goal this time around.
We would also like to ensure that the music programs we offer, on the USC campus and beyond, are actually attended by the greatest possible number of those who receive our mailings and follow our website announcements. As you send your contributions to the Polish Music Center, please also take and moment and indicate to us your preference for the day and the hour when our concerts should take place. Over the past few seasons, Polish music was heard on the following concert series:
Your vote on this will be our guidance for future concert planning.
Finally, we would like to thank all who have contributed in the past. Individual donations are integral to the continuation of our concert programs, publications, library maintenance, and other musical outreach we provide locally, nationally, and internationally. We look forward to your continued support.
To all who plan to help the Polish Music Center this year, we extend our gratitude and an invitation to actively participate in presenting Polish music around the world. Thank you for considering this year's appeal. We look forward to hearing from you!
Marek Żebrowski, Director & Krysta Close, Manager
NOSPR PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE
Krzysztof Penderecki, Wojciech Kilar and Henry Mikołaj Górecki have become members of a 7 piece programming committee for the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR). Creation of the committee comes as a result of change in the orchestra's affiliation. Previously, the orchestra was solely a part of the Polish Radio organization but now it will be a National cultural institution, co-led by the minister of culture, Polish Radio and the President of Katowice. Krzysztof Penderecki became the chairman of the committee and Wojciech Kilar vice-chair. Other members are: Krystyna Kępska-Michalska, programming director of Polish Radio; Elżbieta Markowska, director of Polish Radio Channel 2; Grzegorz Michalski, vice director of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute; and Grażyna Szołtysik, vice president of Katowice. The committee will be the advisor to the director of the orchestra.
HERTER TO REPRESENT KOS. FOUND.
Since 1974, Mr. Herter has been living in Poland . He has been guest conductor at the Polish National Opera, Polish Radio Theater, and at festivals and orchestras throughout Poland. He has established a reputation for introducing major works by Western composers to Polish audiences, including Broadway musicals.
Mr. Herter is a musicologist, choral editor and arranger, and has published numerous articles on Polish music and musicians. He has just completed the first major biography of Zygmunt Stojowski, to be published by the Polish Music Center early next year. Mr. Herter has been honored by the Mayor of Warsaw for his services to the city and its citizens.
KACZMAREK'S NEW PROJECT
Polish film composer, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, who has recently won an Academy Award for his score to the movie Finding Neverland, has been hired to compose the soundtrack to European mini series co-production of War and Peace. The series is a cooperation between Italian, German, French, Russian, Spanish, British and Polish broadcasters. The budget of the production is one of the highest in the history of European TV, 26 million Euro. The series should be completed by the fall of 2007, and in Poland it will be shown by the Polsat TV station. Robert Dornhelm is the director of the series and Clemence Poesy, Alexander Beyer and Malcolm McDowell are among the actors.
XIV AUDIO ART FESIVAL
The Audio Art Festival takes place between November 23 and December 9 at the Center for Contemporary Art in Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. The festival serves as an alternative to the commercial pop culture as well as the academic avant-garde. The audio-art activities combine characteristics of both fields and add an aspect of new technology, musical play and home created instruments. The Sound Spaces project broadens the scope of festival with concerts and other activities presented in the context of different cultural events. This year's artists and composers include: Arturas Bumšteinas, Cornelius Cardrew, Dubravko Detoni, Viking Eggeling, Aleksandra Gryka, Ewa Guziołek, Paweł Hendrich, Antanas Jasenka, Andrzej Kijanowski, Wojciech Kosma, Aleksander Kościów, Yannis Kyriakides, Ryszard Latecki, Mieczysław Litwiński, Maciej Małecki, Andrzej Markowski, Bohdan Mazurek, Lawrence Moss, Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil, Anna Pęcherzewska, Kazimierz Pyzik, Bogusław Schaeffer, Michał Silski, Robert Smithson, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Agnieszka Stulgińska, James Tenney, Tadeusz Wielecki, Tadeusz Wierzbicki, Anna Zielińska, Lidia Zielińska, Laptop Quartet “20, 21”, Kwartludium ensemble, Pablostrom ensemble, Volga ensemble and others.
For more information in Polish about the festival please visit www.glissando.pl .
ACTIVITIES OF THE FRYDERYK CHOPIN INSTITUTE
Polish National Chopin Piano Competition
The Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw announces an international conference entitled Chopin in Paris: The 1830s. The conference will take place in Warsaw, 30 November - 2 December 2006.
The main focus of the conference will be on Chopin's first decade in Paris, and papers may engage with this theme from a variety of perspectives: the cultural context, including concert life and opera; the climate of ideas, as registered through journals and other literature; the context of virtuoso pianism; and the styles and structures of Chopin's compositions.
The scholarly committee of the conference is Profs. Jim Samson and Zofia Chylińska, the Deputy Director is Grzegorz Michalski, and the organizing committee consists of Artur Szklener, Anna Iwanicka-Nijakowska, and Marita Albán Juárez.
For the circulated papers of the conference and full schedule of events and speakers, see www.nifc.pl/chopin/events/news/id/269.
LECHOŃ & SZYMANOWSKI
The Kosciuszko Foundation presented An Evening of Poetry and Music on Thursday, November 30 at 7:00 p.m., honoring Jan Lechoń, poet, and Karol Szymanowski, composer, at the Foundation House. The event commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the great poet's death. This “salon” featured readings of Lechoń's poetry in Polish and English, and performances of music by Szymanowski, Lechoń's friend. Beata Dorosz of the Institute of Literary Research , Polish Academy of Sciences gave an introduction to the evening.
Jan Lechoń (1899-1956) was one of Poland's most interesting and gifted poets of the twentieth century; some experts even claim that he would have become a third Nobel laureate, ranking with Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska.
Already publishing poetry at the age of 13, Lechoń (whose real name was Leszek Józef Serafimowicz) entered the University of Warsaw at 16 to study philology, and during his student days completed two collections of poetry and a one-act play that was performed by some of Warsaw's leading actors. As a result, he was invited into Warsaw's cultural aristocracy. But he was emotionally unstable, and a nervous breakdown and attempted suicide clouded his youth. In 1930, he left Warsaw and attached himself to the Polish Embassy in Paris, where he served as an unofficial cultural attaché. In 1939, with the outbreak of war, he fled Paris, moving through Portugal and South America. He finally settled in New York in 1941, and remained here the rest of his life. During World War II, he contributed to the propaganda efforts of the Polish Government-in-Exile.
At the suggestion of a psychiatrist, Lechon began keeping a diary (Dziennik, 1949-56), containing some of his most fascinating writing. He documented his own inner life, but also included perceptive observations on world events, Polonia in the United States, and life in New York City. He was, however, obsessed by feelings of futility as an émigré here, and was unable to write poetry. Finally, he jumped to his death on June 8, 1956 from a Manhattan hotel window.
The Unfashionable Poet
They say: ”Nothing can bring back the time that has gone,
What can I do? Get drunk with the ambrosia flask,
Kosciuszko Foundation programs are supported by the The Anne Felicya Cierpik Fund, the Mary Koons Charitable Trust, and the Kosciuszko Foundation Cultural Fund.
TANSMAN COMPETITION RESULTS
The 6th edition of the International Tansman Festival and Competition of Musical Personalities took place in Łódź between November 14 and 18. This year's focus was the composer's competition. The Festival featured an international jury consisting of widely known musical personalities: Zygmunt Krauze – chairman (Poland), Krzysztof Penderecki (Poland), Heinz Holliger (Switzerland), Michael Nyman (Great Britain), Wing Wah Chan (Hong Kong), Joel Hoffman (USA), Menachem Zur (Israel). The Grand Prix of the competition went to Krystof Maratka (Czech Republic) for Luminarium - Concerto pour clarinette et orchestre, the 2nd prize was not awarded, and the 3rd prize was shared ex- aequo by John Marlow Rhys (Great Britain) for Primavera and La Luna Piena - Song cycle for high soprano and orchestra and Satoshi Ohmae (Japan) for Spazio Variato per orchestra. 4th prize was given to Geoffrey Álvarez (Great Britain) for Concertino for chamber orchestra, and the Audience Award went to Krystof Maratka (Czech Republic) Luminarium - Concerto pour clarinette et orchestre. For more information about the festival and competition please visit www.tansman.lodz.pl .
ROMUALD TWARDOWSKI AWARDED
Polish composer, Romuald Twardowski , has received the I. J. Paderewski Award from the International Friends of Music Association - Committee of the I. J. Paderewski Award in Baltimore. The Paderewski award is given bi-annually by the Committee. Twardowski has received the award for his outstanding achievements in music composition and social-cultural activities.
NEW FROM DUX
Penderecki – Clarinet Concerto, Flute Concerto, Agnus Dei
Polish pianists at the XV International Chopin Piano Competition
Stabat Mater, Arias - Bononcini
JULIAN FONTANA PROJECT
A new World Premiere recording project is in the works for Hubert Rutkowski, pianist and Acte Préalable Recording Project Competition 3rd prize winner. Read about the project on www.hubertrutkowski.ovp.pl, which includes biographical information about the subject, Julian Ignace Fontana, known best for close relationship with Frederic Chopin. More information is also available on www.julianfontana.com.
NEW SKOWRONSKI RELEASESKOWRONSKI PLAYS! ~AVEC ET SANS~ Volume II - Live in Concert
Works for Violin and Piano: Nigun, Ernest Bloch; Sea Shell, Carl Engel; Dance of the Harnaise & Sonata in D Minor, Karol Szymanowski
Vincent P. Skowronski , violin & Saori Chiba, piano
Works for two solo violins: Sonatine , Arthur Honegger ; Duo, Darius Milhaud
Vincent P. Skowronski & Katherine Hughes, violins
( S :CR -08 )
The excerpts below are from WQXR-FM's highly prestigious radio review program, “ First Hearing.” The critics commenting on the Szymanowski Sonata in D Minor are Martin Bookspan and Speight Jennings:
“Vincent P. Skowronski provides us with a performance of the Szymanowski Sonata that is wonderfully played. I love his self-indulgence, the portamentos, the tremendous panache…the way this kind of music should be played.” ---Martin Bookspan ---
“I agree with you, Martin…this is a wonderful performance of the sonata by Mr. Skowronski… and beautifully recorded.” ---Speight Jenkins---
PIANISTS – DEFINING CHOPIN
Pianists - Defining Chopin is a story of four American pianists, the top winners of the US National Chopin Competition, as they represent the country at the 2005 International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland. The Chopin Piano contest in Poland is the oldest and the most prestigious piano contest in the world. This film unfolds in cinema verite style, as we follow the contestants through each stage of the grueling 30 days long competition. We experience the individual highs and lows through the enormous psychological and physical toll they are required to endure and we learn what it really means to be a pianist: the price they pay. It is a tale of victory and defeat, of joy and disappointment, of great life experiences and adventure, always with Chopin's magnificent music at its center.Pianists - Defining Chopin is also a profoundly educational film as it is highlighted throughout by teachers and students discussing the secrets of and approaches to Chopin's music, analyzing the Polish nature of Mazurkas and Polonaises, trying to pin down whether there is an "ideal" interpretation of Chopin.
This film was made possible by the participation of: Veda Kaplinsky of the Juilliard School of Music in New York; Susan Starr of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia; Emilio Del Rosario of the Music Institute of Chicago; Enrique Graf of the College of Charleston, SC; Ruth Slenczynska; Agustin Anievas; Edward Aldwell and; Seymour Bernstein.
To learn more about the film and to purchase, please visit www.tomaszmagierski.com.
POLAND ABROAD – VOL. I
“Poland Abroad” was the working title of a festival that ultimately took place in Berlin 's Konzerthaus during October 22 through 30, 2004 under the motto“ Poland in the heart – Composing abroad: Polish composers in Europe 1850-1950.” This concert series, organized at the author's suggestion by Berlin 's Konzerthaus, Deutschland Radio, and the Rundfunk Orchestra, and accompanied by an international musicological symposium at Berlin 's University of the Arts, was held around the time of Poland 's entry to the European Union. It represents the first major presentation devoted exclusively to Polish music of the Romantic to the Classical Modern era. The concerts were broadcast throughout Germany by Deutschland radio, and also in Poland, France, and other European countries as a result of international composition between broadcasting syndicates.
KNITTEL – MUSIC OF OUR TIMES
Krzysztof Knittel – Music of Our Times
ROYAL STRING QUARTET ON BeArTon
Royal String Quartet is arguably one of the best and most successful Polish string quartets. These young musicians have already won numerous awards, recorded 4 CDs and are a part of BBC's New Generation Artists program. They have performed all around the world and studied with world renowned artists. Below are two of their latest CDs released on Polish BeArTon label.
Royal String Quartet – The Best of Zarębski
From BeArTon's website: “In any talk about 19th-century Polish music two names inevitably crop up: Fryderyk Chopin and Stanisław Moniuszko. Adding a third name into the picture, that of Juliusz Zarębski, all too often provokes astonishment and sometimes even consternation. The fact that Poland boasted such an outstanding composer and pianist, a cosmopolitan artist who studied with Liszt and a citizen of Europe, who followed, in a certain sense, the path of Chopin is not present in the public consciousness. This despite the fact that the high artistic merit of his musical output earned him the top place among Polish composers of the post-Chopin period. Zarębski indeed represented innovative concepts of European calibre which appeared in Polish music in the second half of the 19th century.” [ Marek Wieroński ]
Royal String Quartet - Quartets of Moniuszko, Szymanowski, Bacewicz
From BeArTon's website: “Without belittling the contribution of 19th-century composers to the development of chamber music, there is no doubt that it was members of the Young Poland group in the early 20th century, notably Karol Szymanowski, who imbued string quartet writing with a stamp of freshness and originality, giving it a new and important role. From that time onwards, the string quartet has never ceased to be an area of exploring innovative and experimental ideas by all prominent Polish composers.
The string quartets by Stanisław Moniuszko, Karol Szymanowski and Grażyna Bacewicz featured on this CD are very representative for the periods in which they were composed. They are examples of various kinds of musical expression and form of the string quartet in its specifically Polish shape.” [ Marek Wieroński ]
A FESTIVE EVENING AT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
The Consulate-General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles sponsored an evening commemorating Polish Independence Day and the 25th anniversary of the imposition of Martial Law in Poland. A full house at Murphy Hall at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles welcomed the Honorable Krystyna Tokarska-Biernacik, who delivered the opening remarks. The Consul-General's historical introduction about the two anniversaries was followed by an awards presentation to three outstanding members of Polish community in Southern California. Mr. Zdzisław Zakrzewski was decorated with the Commander's Cross of the Polonia Restituta Star, Mr. Andrzej Dąbrowa was decorated with the Chevalier's Cross of Merit, and Ms. Anna Zdrowak received a Medal of the Commission of National Education. The Honorable Paulina Kapuścińska, Consul for Culture & Media, joined Madame Tokarska-Biernacik in the presentation of the awards.
Following the official introduction, pianist Wojciech Kocyan—the First Prize Winner of the Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz —presented a recital of works by Chopin. His strong opening with the Ballade in G minor, Op. 20 was followed by a virtuoso presentation of three Etudes from Opus 10 and 25. The two Nocturnes (Op. 55 and 27) and the fiery Scherzo in B-flat minor, Op. 31 suitably framed Mr. Kocyan's musical offering. The appreciative audience gave the artist a standing ovation, eliciting a generous encore from Mr. Kocyan—the famed A-flat Polonaise, Op. 53, which provided a grand and fitting conclusion to this festive evening.
PTASZYŃSKA'S ELEGIA RISES ABOVE
An impressive performance of Polish composer Marta Ptaszyńska's composition for solo viola, Elegia in memoriam John Paul II , was presented by Composers Concordance on May 25, 2006 at the New York University Frederick Loewe Theatre. The American premiere of this piece took place at USC in Los Angeles during the annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital in October 2005 which featured Marta Ptaszyńska. According to the program notes written by the composer for the Paderewski Lecture-Recital: "Elegia in Memoriam Pope John Paul II for viola solo is dedicated to the memory of the late Pope and based on an old Icelandic prayer folk song, dating from the ninth century:
O great God of the earth,
The intensity of mood and expression is preserved throughout the entire piece. Despite the mournful character of the music, the texture is vibrant and full of contrasting colors.”
Composers Concordance (“Compcord”) is a presenting organization for contemporary music founded in 1983 by Patrick Hardish and Joseph Pehrson. It offers a yearly concert series in chamber settings, working closely with composers and performing works that the composers feel are the most valuable to their careers.
The Compcord concert featuring Ptaszyńska's composition was reviewed in the most recent issue of the New Music Connoisseur (Summer/Fall 2006, pp. 20-21) by Anne O'Neill. The Connoisseur is a newsletter focusing on the work of the composers of our time, with additional coverage of rare and neglected classical music from all national and ethnic sources. According to O'Neill, Ptaszyńska's Elegia was a “simple and yet affecting tribute,” whose “sheer musical rapture” set it apart from the rest of the selections on this daring concert program. The viola soloist, Michael Hall, captivated his audience with his “utterly masterful [performance]… sheer involvement and a gorgeous tone.” One can only hope that such a review will help to secure Elegia in Memoriam Pope John Paul II (2005) a place in the standard concert hall repertoire.
“IMPRESSION OF ŁÓDŹ”
The musical improvisations of renowned film director David Lynch, and pianist, composer and PMC director Marek Żebrowski traveled from New York (see November Newsletter ) to Poland on Saturday, November 25, as a featured event of the opening of the Camerimage Festival in Łódź. With Lynch on keyboards and Żebrowski on a Steinway concert grand, the two again spun keyboard improvisations based on various vignettes from the city of Łódź. This event preceded the Polish premiere of the new David Lynch film, Inland Empire, on which Żebrowski and Lynch collaborated. Inland Empir was filmed partly in Łódź, the center of filmmaking in Poland. For more details on the festival, visit the official website: www.camerimage.pl .
AN AFTERNOON WITH PTASZYŃSKA
On Saturday October 14th, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts hosted an afternoon with Polish composer Marta Ptaszyńska featuring her Holocaust Memorial Cantata in the Bruno Walter Auditorium, as a part of their “Treasures of the Music Division” series. The Holocaust Memorial Cantata was written for solo voices, mixed choir and orchestra (percussion, harp, strings) to a poem by Leslie Woolf Hedley entitled Chant for All the People on Earth, written in English, Hebrew, Yiddish and Polish. A Professor of Composition at the University of Chicago, Ms. Ptaszyńska donated her manuscript for the piece to the Library's Music Division several years ago. During this program, Ms. Ptaszyńska discussed the work and a film of the Cantata in concert under the baton of Lord Yehudi Menuhin and performed by Sinfonia Varsovia and the Warsaw Chamber Choir with soloists Zofia Kilanowicz, Roman Gierlach and Ryszard Minkiewicz was screened.
STOJOWSKI COLLECTION UPDATE
LUISA STOJOWSKA: FINANCIAL RECORDS
1. Folder no. 1: Contains correspondence regarding the Stojowski apartment at 16 East 96th Street
LUISA STOJOWSKA: MUSICAL RECORDS
1. Three notebooks of Luisa Morales-Macedo (1914-15; 1915-1916; undated), containing exercises in music theory and harmony
LUISA STOJOWSKA: CORRESPONDENCE
1. Folder no. 1: Correspondence in English. Contains postcards, Christmas & Easter cards and some letters from family, friends and acquaintances
LUISA STOJOWSKA: VARIOUS FAMILY CORRESPONDENCE & PAPERS
1. Folder 1: Correspondence items. Contains a copy of the 9 November 1979 letter from Frederic Gamble to Dr. Mennin at Juilliard; carbon copy of Jose Mariano Macedo's last will; a hand-painted card from several friends of Luisa (with multiple signatures); the Von Ende Music School envelope addressed to Matilde Macedo de Morales
STOJOWSKI FAMILY PAPERS
1. Folder no. 1: Various school records, papers in physics, coursework in medicine, etc. of Alfred Stojowski
IGNATIUS STOJOWSKI PAPERS
1. Folder no. 1: Correspondence in various languages. Contains personal and business letters, a large number of notes of condolences to Ignatius on the death of his father (mostly from the religious community), letters and references concerning employment, and subletting of rooms to various tenants
GUIOMAR NOVAES – CORRESPONDENCE & PAPERS
1. Folder no. 1. Contains concert programs, press clippings (American and South American), reviews, tributes and the NY Times obituary of G. Novaes. Also includes a newspaper clipping [no date or masthead] with a photo of L. Stojowska and G. Novaes at the Rio de Janeiro International Piano Competition [1959?]
1. Folder no. 1: The Paderewski Fund for Polish Relief. Contains various papers of the PFPR, including brochures, campaign bulletins, numerous press clippings relating to Paderewski's visits in the US, reviews from various Paderewski recitals, etc, a program of a gala October 1939 concert “Hollywood Committee for Polish Relief” conducted by Leopold Stokowski, and copies of a fundraising recital by Stojowski's students in NY 29 May 1940. Also includes the NY Times 14 September 1933 about Hubermann refusing to play in Germany, quoting from a letter from Hubermann to Furtwaengler
1. Folder 1: Polish Musicians Relief Fund. Contains correspondence, bank receipts, list of donations from Rubinstein, Hubermann, Kaper, Łabuński, and letters confirming receipts from the persons helped (Szałowski, Spisak, Neumark, Kondracki, etc.)
POLISH MUSICIANS' COMMITTEE DOCUMENTS
1. Envelope no. 1: Contains cancelled checks, signed by Stojowski and Fitelberg, made out to various parties (private and business enterprises)
1. Folder no. 1: Newspaper article “Poles Wonder When Soviets Will Leave” – very fragile, dated October , the 3 May 1944 issue of The Polish Review (very fragile)
BORN THIS MONTH:
Copyright 2006 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, Tomasz Magierski,
Joseph A. Herter, and Gary Fitelberg
Sources of information: Polish Cultural Institute, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Fanfare,
American Record Guide, PWM, Nowy Dziennik, Polish Music Information Centre,
Polish Jazz Net, Polish American Journal, PAP, ZKP, BBC Music Magazine,
infochopin.pl, Gramophone Magazine, Hänssler Classic.
Formatting by Krysta Close 12/4/06