|Polish Music Newsletter
February 2005, Vol. 11, No. 2. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California
On the subject of thanks, I would also like to thank the numerous individuals and institutions who have supported our work for the past two decades. Polish Music Center enjoys the friendship and patronage of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, the Friends of Polish Music, the Modjeska Art and Culture Club of Los Angeles, as well as the leading members of the Polish community in Southern California, who have contributed to our success in many meaningful ways.
All of us should be proud of the Center and what we have already accomplished. This anniversary is a good opportunity to mention the three most important aspects of our activities: the Polish Manuscript Collection, the Polish Music History Series, and our public programs. The original 1985 donation of manuscripts by Witold Lutosławski and Stanisław Skrowaczewski initiated the PMC's extraordinary collection of compositions, personal papers and memorabilia of leading figures in the history of Polish music. Other donations soon followed and, thanks to the efforts of the former PMC Director, Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, PMC's manuscript collection has grown substantially during the past few years. In December 2004 we were delighted to receive the Zygmunt and Luisa Stojowski Collection, another important donation to our ever-growing research resources that are housed in the Special Collections at the Doheny Library.
The Polish Music History Series was launched in 1981 by Wanda Wilk, who wrote a guide to the works of Karol Szymanowski. Seven volumes on a wide variety of topics have been published since then. The latest title in the series is a recently-minted monograph on the fascinating and little-known Polish avant-garde composer Józef Koffler, who perished in the Holocaust. Our ninth volume, devoted to Maria Szymanowska—an extraordinary pianist and composer of the early Romantic era—is scheduled to be published later this year.
The annual Paderewski Lectures—another tradition initiated by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk in 2002 to honor Paderewski's special links to the State of California and USC, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1923—presents outstanding Polish musicians and emphasizes the achievements of Polish contemporary music. Previous speakers in the series included Zygmunt Krauze in 2002, Joanna Bruzdowicz in 2003, and Stanisław Skrowaczewski in 2004. We are very happy to announce that Marta Ptaszyńska will be our 2005 Paderewski Lecturer.
Celebrating anniversaries inevitably invites a discussion of what lies ahead. As new Director, my first and most important goal is to make the PMC's future secure for the next 20 years. In cooperation with all of you, dear readers and supporters, we are going to continue promoting Polish music, publishing books on Polish composers and history of Polish music, and serving as a resource for all interested in our important mission. Our next event is the March 9th performance of songs by Karłowicz and the Piano Quintet of Zarębski. Later this year, concerts of Polish Renaissance and Baroque music, the 2005 Paderewski Lecture, and celebrations of the Polish Independence Day in November will follow. Naturally, in order to accomplish our goals, I will need your help. Polish Music Center needs supporters to underwrite our operations, and volunteers to help out with our events. We are looking for members of a Concert Committee—a body charged with helping to prepare, publicize, and run concerts and other events organized by Polish Music Center. We could also use your skills in language, music and public relations to help in our day-to-day operations, all with the goal of promoting Polish music locally, nationally and internationally.
In the year of our twentieth anniversary, I am launching a special fund drive, designed to secure the budget for our operational expenses and needs. These include continued publishing of the Polish Music History Series, binding numerous scores in our library, storing the PMC's archives, and acquiring additional file cabinets for our new offices in Stonier Hall on the USC campus. As always, your generosity is deeply appreciated and gratefully acknowledged. All contributions are important to us, as they validate what we do and indicate the degree of your support for the Polish Music Center.
It is my hope that, in the coming years, the Polish Music Center will continue to be a vibrant hub for research, study and performance, a place to meet visitors from near and far, and an institution that continues building upon the record of the past two decades. Personally, I am looking forward to a meaningful dialogue with all friends and guests of the PMC, making sure that we meet all of your needs and expectations. I am ready to hear your ideas and eager to accept your help in our numerous projects and endeavors. In closing, on behalf of all of us at the PMC, I offer my many thanks for supporting us since January of 1985. Please continue utilizing our research resources, enjoying our concerts, lectures and publications, and funding our future as we embark on another chapter of our history. Your comments and contributions can be sent to:
Polish Music Center
A CD recording of Music by Zbigniew Preisner: Moje Kolędy [My Christmas Carols]
ARMS Records 1427-004.
12 tracks, featuring a variety of performers including, among others, the Sinfonia Varsovia and the composer himself. Excerpts from a letter from Maciek and Artur at ARMS Records that accompanied the CD donation:
Dear Friends, This is not a record we wish to promote—it's a limited release, a gift for those who waited for a long time for the re-issue of items that were already sold in millions of copies...My Christmas Carols...are a collection of beautiful music that can accompany you for the rest of the year. . . This record also serves as an early announcement for the upcoming release with a completely different music by Zbigniew Preisner.
A CD of music by Stanisław Skrowaczewski: Skrowaczewski's World, Chamber Music by Stanisław Skrowaczewski.
Performed by the Ensemble Capriccio and Friends.
INNOVA Recordings CD (332 Minnesota Street E-145, St. Paul, MN 55101, USA; email@example.com; (651) 251-2823)
This recording features three of Skrowaczewski's intense and exhilarating chamber pieces, the 1998 Musica a Quattro for string trio and clarinet, the 1991 String Trio, and the 1988 Fantasie per Sei. The composer's provides a fascinating insight into this work and his composition methods in the liner notes:
Fantasie per Sei was written in 1988, commissioned by the Atlanta Virtuosi. This commission came as a result of the (successful) performance of my Music at Night by the Atlanta Symphony. The choice of instruments reflected my predilection for the sound of an unorthodox string quartet, where the second violin is replaced by the contrabass, with added oboe (one of my beloved instruments) and the piano (used here almost as an accompanying orchestra). Hence the result is many unusual sound combinations. The work has there main movements played without an intermission. These main movements have several "inner digressions," nevertheless they are thematically and harmonically interconnected. Which means here that the entire work uses almost the same musical material—the same or similar "bricks" (or cells), from which "the house" is built. The soloistic display of all instruments was also a factor for me. -S.S.
Several scores were recently donated by Alicia Jonas, a pianist, teacher and composer now residing in New York City. Her collections of piano pieces (geared especially for the young pianists) are imaginative and fun to perform. The PMC is happy to add the following items to our score library collection:
Piano Magic, 30 Solo Pieces for Piano by Alicia Jonas, includes the pieces the composer made up during her students' lessons. . . These little pieces can be played by any beginner. Rhythmic concepts, a variety of articulations, dynamics, and a wide range of the piano are included, along with charming titles and simple ink illustrations. (Beethoven House Music, 877-633-8656; $14.) Life at the Zoo, Piano 4-Hands, by Alicia Jonas. The first part of the collection focuses on rote learning... The pieces convey brief impressions of a zoo; they are not developmental in the traditional sense. The second part of the book encourages improvisation by having students make up endings for the primo part, with the help of a few guiding remarks from the composer... There are colorful drawings throughout the book. (Beethoven House Music, 877-633-8656, $16.)
The jury of the 2004 International Witold Lutosławski Composers' Competition, comprised of Chen Yi, Arne Nordheim, Charles Bodman Rae, and Zygmunt Krauze (president of the Lutosławski Society), gathered at the Philharmonia Narodowa [Warsaw Philharmonic] Hall on 3 December and 4 December 2004. They considered 157 eligible scores from the total of 169 entered for the Lutosławski Award. (12 scores did not meet the requirement of the rules.) The competition was open to composers of all nationalities and ages with submissions of unpublished and un-premiered compositions for one of the following: string quartet, works for violin and piano, cello and piano, oboe and piano, clarinet and piano, voice and piano After its deliberations the jury decided to award the prizes as follows: I Award - Marios Joannou ELIA (Cyprus) for the work Holy Bread for string quartet II Award - Thoma SIMAKU (Albanian/British) for the work Voci Celesti for string quartet III Award - Marcin BANASIK (Poland) for the work 8 songs to the words of Halina Poswiatowska for mezzosoprano and piano Honorable mentions were given to: Payman AKHLAGHI (USA) for the work String Quartet: Mirage of an Echo; Yuan GUO (Chinese) for the work String Quartet On the Note G; and Edward BOWMAN (British) for the work air reaches the wound—two movements for string quartet.
* * * * *The winners of this year's award will be a part of the 11th Lutosławski Forum, which is presented by the Philharmonia Narodowa at their concert hall. The details of the concerts comprising the 11th Lutosławski Forum are as follows: 12 February 2005 | 6:00 PM | Concert Hall
Symphonic concert with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice—Gabriel Chmura, conductor and Orchestra director and Ivan Monighetti, cello. Chmura has structured the program of this inaugural evening so as to include a number of works by composers who remain largely unknown to Polish music aficionados. Especially noteworthy among this group is Mieczysław Weinberg, a close associate of Dmitri Shostakovich who passed away eight years ago. Also featured is Lutosławski's Venetian games, a milestone work in the composer's oeuvre, marking the beginning of his aleatoric period. [excerpted from the website of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute]
15 February 2005 | 7:00 PM | Chamber Music Hall
Special chamber concert, in cooperation with Witold Lutosławski Society, featuring pieces by Laureates of 2004 International Witold Lutosławski Composers' Competition and its Patron. Performances by the Rubinstein Quartet; Alicja Wegorzewska-Whiskerd, soprano; and Mariusz Rutkowski, piano.
A chamber concert featuring the Keller Quartet: András Keller, I violin; János Pilz, II violin; Zoltán Gál, viola; and Judit Szabó, cello.
31, rue David d' Angers
75019 Paris FRANCE
Tel/Fax : 33 (0) 1.42.08.40.61 or 33 (0) 1 43 86 03 16
E-mail : ConcoursMagin@aol.com
The application deadline for the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition is February 20, 2005. The Competition is open to citizens and permanent residents of the US and to international full-time students with valid student visas. Applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 22 as of April 1, 2005.
The application deadline for the 15th International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw is 1 March 2005. The Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities born between 1977 - 1988. The Competition shall be held in Warsaw from 2 - 24 October 2005.
8 February 2005, 7:30 PM, Colston Hall: Bristol, U.K.Having celebrated their centenary in 2001 and having just completed their 2004 North American tour, the Philharmonia Narodowa [Warsaw Philharmonic] continues the collaboration between Artistic Director Antoni Wit and pianist Ewa Poblocka, serving up an appropriately Polish first half in Bristol, U.K. The concert begins with an early, but timeless symphonic piece by Górecki, whose music has gained worldwide attention over the past decade. Then Ms. Poblocka joins the orchestra for a performance of the lovely Second Piano Concerto of Poland's greatest composer, Chopin. The concert closes with Brahms' mighty First Symphony which took over 20 years to write as he wrestled with the challenge of becoming heir to Beethoven. A pre-concert talk will be given by the Warsaw Philharmonic's Orchestral Manager at 6:15 pm in the Colston Hall Bar.
by Golianek Ryszard
The event's finale, traditionally held at the lodge on Szyndzielnia mountain, will feature the Polish-Ukrainian formation Riverboat Ramblers. This group plays both the great standards of Swing, Dixie Land and New Orleans jazz, as well as Bossa Nova, varied Latin American music and great Russian traditional tunes.
A competition addressed to young musicians who have yet to make their recording debut is another important element of the Bielsko Jazz Blizzard. Those who emerge victorious from the competition get an opportunity to record and release their first album. Traditionally, the Blizzard will include a vast exhibition of photographs portraying musicians who appeared at previous editions of the event. This year's festival will also include an exhibit titled "This Is Jazz", consisting of Andrzej Karewicz's photographs of the some of the world's top jazz stars.This article was reprinted from the website of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, www.culture.pl
In its production of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by James Levine, the Metropolitan Opera features Mariusz Kwiecien in the role of Count Almaviva, in a cast that includes Janice Watson, Andrea Rost, Jossie Pérez, and John Relyea. The popular opera is based on the Beaumarchais play, La Folle Journée, ou The Marriage of Figaro. According to the San Francisco Gate, "Kwiecien commands attention whenever he's onstage. His lustrous, virile tone and rugged, wide-eyed good looks provide immediate appeal." Mariusz Kwiecien has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Milan's Teatro alla Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Vienna State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Geneva's Grand Théâtre, San Francisco Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, The Netherlands Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre. His recordings include Zemlinsky's Der König Kandaules (Capriccio). Kwiecien will be coming to the LA Opera for their 2005-2006 20th Anniversary Season Opening Gala Weekend, sharing the role of Silvio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci on September 11. Performances are at 8:00 pm on Thursday, February 3; Monday, February 7; Saturday, February 12; and Friday, February 18. For information and tickets visit www.metopera.org.
Kwiecien singing Malatesta in Seattle Opera's Don Pasquale
©2003 Chris Bennion Photo
Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic Orchestra of Łódz
Ars Cameralis with Monika Sikorska-Wojtacha and Barbara Karaskiewicz-Zagajewska, piano The soloists of the Master & Disciple concert are connected to the city of Łódz in numerous ways. Monika Sikorska-Wojtacha was born there and studied piano with a great master, Wladysław Kedra. After his death, she moved to Katowice, where she studied with Prof. Woytowicz. She is well-known for her interpretations and recordings of Polish contemporary music. Barbara Karaskiewicz-Zagajewska studied in Katowice with Monika Sikorska-Wojtacha, graduating with distinction in 1999. She is the prizewinner of numerous competitions, gathering prizes for her performances of works by Szymanowski. She has performed in various festivals in Poland (Slupsk, Warsaw, Gdańsk). She is also a frequent soloist with symphony orchestras in Lublin and Silesia, as well as in Estonia. She also records for Polish Radio and TV and performs in chamber music recitals. The all-Polish program of this concert includes the following composers: Fryderyk Chopin, Juliusz Zarębski, Roman Statkowski, Stanisław Moniuszko/Henryk Melcer, Grażyna Bacewicz, Witold Lutosławski, Maurycy Moszkowski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Karol Szymanowski, and Bolesław Woytowicz.
Sunday, February 6, 2005, 4:00 PM
Grace Ford Salvatore Auditorium
637 Lucas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017
For more information please call: (310) 396-2165 or visit polisheventsla.com Since the early eighties, Malgorzata OSTROWSKA has been one of the most popular and interesting figures in Polish show business. With the band "Lombard", she played over a thousand concerts in Poland and internationally. She has recorded ten cds, of which three have gone gold. In 1997, she signed with the Sony Music Polska label, where she put out three albums titled "Alchemia", Przed Switem", and "Instynkt". Malgorzata Ostrowska is very happy with her successful career and is commonly seen on the biggest Polish television shows.
Wanda ZUKOWSKA's charismatic appeal and accomplished musicianship crosses many boundaries. She started composing in her early childhood. At thirteen she presented her first three-movement, fully orchestrated, symphonic composition and a few years later was the leader of a jazz ensemble. She is now popularly known as VANDDI.
What has really made her music popular to millions is her song-writing. Several of her songs were voted "Song of the Year" or received Top Ten rankings overseas, and many won major awards at international song competitions and festivals. Songs like "The Star Over You "("Gwiazda Nad Toba") or "Just Invite Me to The Dance "("Tylko Mnie Popros do Tanca") recorded by Anna Jantar, undeniably one of Vanddi's most beautiful tunes became the evergreens of pop music market in Europe and continue being re-recorded by new artists after more than a decade of popularity. Vanddi frequently tours the US and Canada while working with recording artists, often composing and producing in her music studio in Westchester County, NY.
In her solo-piano program titled "Pianothoughts" the audience experiences all new, live improvisations at every performance ( studio-recorded version available on CD). Vanddi's piano style goes far beyond jazz and classical idiom.
Agata Zubel is a composer and singer, and was born in 1978 in Wrocław. She has won many awards at Polish composers' competitions, including First and Third Prize at the Composers Competition in Wrocław (1992 and 1994 respectively); Second Prize at the Academy of Music Silver Jubilee Competition in Wrocław (1998); First Prize at the Andrzej Panufnik National Composers' Competition in Cracow (1999) for her piece Lumière for solo percussion; Third Prize at the Polish Classical Guitar Composition Competition (2000); First Prize and Polish Radio's Programme 2 Special Award at the Adam Didur National Composers' Competition (2000) for A Song about the End of the World; and honoured with distinction at the National Composers' Competition held on the 80th anniversary of the Academy of Music in Poznań (2000). Her works have been performed at numerous concerts and festivals of contemporary music throughout Poland.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
CONCERTS AND PERFORMANCES
Dr. Maria Krupoves, an artist and folklorist, is internationally acclaimed as a singer and interpreter of the folksongs of Central and Eastern Europe, especially those of her native Vilnius. She has traveled extensively to find such songs, many of them now dying out, which are in Yiddish, Polish, Lithuanian, Belorussian, Gypsy (Roma), Karaim, Tatar, and other languages. Dr. Krupoves sings in all of these, and can speak seven of them. Dr. Krupoves also teaches the history of Jewish music and the history and folklore of the stateless cultures of Lithuania (Yiddish, Karaim, Tatar, Roma, and Russian Old Believers) in the Vilnius Yiddish Institute and Center for Stateless Cultures at Vilnius University.
Copyright 2005 by the Polish Music