|Polish Music Newsletter|
2014 PADEREWSKI FESTIVAL PREVIEW
The Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles continues to grow from strength to strength. Each year there are more events presenting various facets of Polish culture and celebrating Ignacy Jan Paderewski, an extraordinary pianist, composer, politician, and humanitarian.
The highlight of this year’s Festival will be South Korean pianist Zheeyoung Moon, the featured performer at this year’s Gala Concert on Saturday, November 8. Held in the Ballroom of the Historic Paso Robles Inn, Ms. Moon’s program will include works by Chopin, Paderewski and Liszt, among others. Winner of the First Prize at the 2013 Paderewski International Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Zheeyoung Moon will also lead a Master Class for all interested pianists on Friday, November 7.
The Festival will be held in various venues in and around Paso Robles from November 6-9. Other highlights of this year’s Festival include a celebration of Paderewski’s birthday with Cassandra Tarantino and Cuesta College North County Chorus; a recital of violin and piano music with a winner of the Paganini Competition in Italy, violinist Mariusz Patyra and pianist Krzysztof Herdzin (below); the Youth Piano Competition Winners’ recital; and recitals by students from Poland and Ukraine participating in the Festival’s cultural exchange program. Film screenings, dance performances and exhibits of Paderewski memorabilia will also accompany concerts presented during the 2014 Festival.
The other important aspect of the Paderewski Festival is its Youth Piano Competition and the 8th annual auditions will be held in Paso Robles on Saturday, October 25. The application deadline is Friday, October 3. The contest is open to piano students competing in two groups: Juniors (ages 10-14) and Seniors (ages 15-18). All contestants must currently study with an established piano teacher and reside within the following counties: San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Barbara. Residents of other California counties and professional pianists may not apply.
All participants in the 2014 auditions will receive a certificate. Prizes ranging from $200-$750 will be awarded to the best performers in each category who will be invited to perform during the 2014 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles. The Competition Jury will be headed by pianist and composer, Marek Zebrowski, Director of the Polish Music Center at USC and Artistic Director of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles. Awards will be made at the discretion of the Jury, whose verdict shall be final. The Jury reserves the right to withhold a prize or prizes in each age group and its decisions will not be subject to appeal.
The 2014 Youth Competition Winners’ Concert will be held in the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom on Saturday, November 8, 2014. Selected winners may also have an opportunity to travel to Poland in summer of 2015 on a Festival-sponsored exchange program that includes piano workshops, master classes, and concert performances at Kąśna Dolna, Paderewski’s estate in southern Poland, and at the historic Jagiellonian University in Kraków.
More information on the Festival, tickets, and Youth Competition can be found at: www.paderewskifest.com
[Source: press release]
RECENT DONATIONS TO THE PMC
Dąbrowski Paderewski Program Gift
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the recovery of Polish national freedom, on June 4 2014 the Grand Theatre National Opera in Warsaw held a gala concert whose hero was the spirit and work of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Under the baton of Maestro Jerzy Maksymiuk, the National Philharmonic presented the monumental patriotic work of Paderewski, his Symphony in B Minor, popularly known as the "Polonia" Symphony. The concert was preceded by two short excerpts from the film “Paderewski man of action, success and fame,” directed by Wiesław Dąbrowski and produced by his Ave Arte Foundation. The event was featured in a special edition of the Polish Market magazine, a copy of which Mr. Dąbrowski has generously donated to the PMC.
Thank you for enlarging the PMC’s Paderewski Collection!
Populist Records CD Gift
Andrew McIntosh of Populist Records, a small LA-based record label for contemporary music, recently donated their fourth album entitled ‘gnarwhallaby [exhibit a]’ to the PMC. Created to revive and expand the repertoire of the Warsztat Muzyczy and the Quartett Avance, the disc features an intriguing mix of music by Polish composers Włodzimierz Kotoński, Zygmunt Krauze and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. It is performed by the LA-based gnarwhallaby ensemble, comprised of: Brian Walsh, clarinets; Matt Barbier, alto and tenor trombones; Derek Stein, cello; and Richard Valitutto, piano and melodica.
Thank you for your efforts in bringing focus to contemporary Polish music!
Warner Classics CD Gift
In recognition of the PMC's assistance with editing the English language version of the CD liner notes, Maria Peryt of Warner Classics Poland has donated 2 copies of the classical/electronic creation entitled Tempus Fantasy. This fascinating and almost hypnotizing take on the works of the most outstanding composers of 19th- and 20th-century piano classics was conceived of and created by pianist Katarżyna Borek and electronic musician Wojciech “Vojto Monteur” Orszewski. It also features gorgeous album art by Jarek Kubicki
Thank you for your vision of how classical piano music can be transformed and enhanced, and for sharing that vision with the PMC!
KOLBERG & PANUFNIK YEAR 2014
KOLBERG CONCERT AT ‘KOLORY POLSKI’
The 15th “Colors of Poland” Travelling Festival of the Łódź Philharmonic is held in a variety of locations in Poland throughout the summer months. It began in mid-June and will continue through the end of August 2014. On Sunday July 13, the Lautari Ensemble will present a program featuring music from Volume 67 of Oskar Kolberg’s Collected Works. The original solo piano compositions of Polish folk dances will be heard in arrangements produced by the Lautari Ensemble, consisting of Michał Żak (wind instruments), Maciej Filipczuk (violin), Jacek Hałas (piano & accordion) and Marcin Pospieszalski (double bass). The concert at the Lutheran Church in the town of Zelów begins at 7 p.m.
[Source : kolorypolski.pl]
‘IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF KOLBERG & CHOPIN’
On June 28, the "Krokowski Summer of Music 2014" was inaugurated with the concert entitled "In the Footsteps of Kolberg and Chopin” at the Regional Museum in Krokowa, Poland. Founded in 1999 by the "European Meetings" Foundation that serves the Zamek Krokowa properties, the Regional Museum in Krokowa is the only Polish-German museum in Poland, standing as evidence of the possibility of reconciliation and understanding between cultures. The ceremonial opening of the musical season was led by the Count von Krokow. The concert’s theme of "In the Footsteps of Kolberg and Chopin" refers both to Parliament’s declaration of 2014 as the Year of Kolberg and the activities of the "European Meetings" Foundation.
For this concert, the Regional Museum in Krokowa invited soprano Iwona Kowalkowska to showcase the little-known works of Kolberg to the public in Pomerania. On their program, Kowalkowska and pianist Szymon Musioł presented songs by Kolberg, Chopin and Niewiadomski and piano works by Chopin and Paderewski.
[Sources: Hanka Kolberg, zamekkrokowa.pl]
KOLBERG CD OF SONGS
Oskar Kolberg: Songs for voice with piano
In February of this year, the recording "Songs for voice and piano" by Oskar Kolberg was premiered on the Acte Préalable label. During the same month, a selection of the songs programmed on the CD was performed at the inauguration of the Kolberg Year in Przysusze, where Oskar Kolberg was born. The performers for both the album and the inaugural concert were prof. Iwona Kowalkowska – soprano, prof. Wojciech Maciejowski – tenor, and prof. Andrzej Tatarski – piano. The artists are colleagues at the Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań.
POLAND’S NEW MINISTER OF CULTURE
On Tuesday, June 18, President Bronisław Komorowski installed Małgorzata Omilanowska as Poland’s new Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Omilanowska replaces outgoing Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski, who has served in the post since November of 2007 but was recently elected to a seat in the European Parliament.
According to the external service of Polish Radio:
WORLD PREMIERES AT THE INSTALAKCJE FESTIVAL
From June 14-15, Warsaw’s Nowy Teatr hosted the 3rd ‘Instalakcje’ Festival of musical installations, curated by composers Wojciech Blecharz and Paweł Mykietyn. The theme of this year’s Festival is the body and its metaphor in music.
Held on June 14 at 8:00, the inaugural concert of the 2014 Festival was comprised entirely of World Premieres, including:
The concert was performed by Barbara Kinga Majewska – soprano and KWADROFONIK: Emilia Sitarz, Bartłomiej Wąsik – piano, and Magdalena Kordylasińska-Pękala, Miłosz Pękala – percussion, with sound design by Robert Migas and direction by Yulka Wilam.
KOŁODZIEJCZYK WORLD PREMIERE IN BRZEZINY
The World Premiere of Nikola Kołodziejczyk’s Concerto brzeziński for trumpet, two typewriters, sewing machine, brass quartet, trombone, vocals, and jazz trio will take place on July 6 during the ‘Kolory Polski’ Festival. The composition was commissioned by the Łódź Philharmonic Orchestra, who are the organizers of the Festival, and the town of Brzeziny, where the concert will be held. Performers for this program will be: Štěpánka Balcarova – trumpet; Agnieszka Kiepuszewska – voice, sewing machine; José Manuel Albán Juárez – typewriter, percussion; Marcin Żupański – flute; Dawid Główczewski – saxophone; Karolina Stalmachowska – oboe; Maciej Garbowski – bass; Michał Bryndal – percussion; Nikola Kołodziejczyk – piano; Michał Tomaszczyk – trombones; Marcel Bárta – bass clarinet, saxophones.
PRZYBYLSKI WORLD PREMIERE IN BERLIN
On June 20, the Deutsche Oper Berlin gave the World Premiere of two chamber operas by young Polish composer Dariusz Przybylski: Fall (2013) and Musical Land (2013). The June 20th program, which also featured new chamber operas by Birke J. Bertelsmeier, was called LoveAffairs and was given repeat performances on June 21 and 24-27. These new works were commissioned by the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
LOVE AFFAIRS is the result of a collaboration between twelve young drama professionals, all grant recipients from the "Musical Theatre Academy, today" of the Deutsche Bank Foundation – composers, directors, dramatic advisors, conductors, set designers and culture facilitators. On a quest for the lost land of love or aleatoric chance encounters, the works develop ideas ranging from intimate monologues to multimedia installations featuring simultaneous scenes on two screens.
The chamber operas were performed by soloists of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Children’s Choir of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, with Martin Nagashima-Toft on the conductor’s podium.
WEINBERG & POSMYSZ AT LINCOLN CENTER
The Passenger—Mieczyslaw Weinberg's uncompromising 1968 opera about the Holocaust, set to a libretto by Alexander Medvedev and based on the book The Passenger by Polish writer and concentration camp survivor Zofia Posmysz—will have its New York premiere July 10, 12, and 13, in a co-production with Lincoln Center Festival and Park Avenue Armory. The Houston Grand Opera (HGO) production, directed by David Pountney, will be performed on an enormous, multi-tiered set that takes full advantage of the scale of the Armory's soaring Wade Thompson Drill Hall.
In addition to the opera performances, author Zofia Posmysz will travel to New York from Warsaw to attend the premiere and participate in two panel discussions, Andrzej Munk's film based on the same story will be screened, and the ARC Ensemble will perform chamber concerts devoted to the music of Weinberg.
Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger has been called by the Independent (U.K.) “the most significant opera composed in the Russian language since Prokofiev’s War and Peace.” With an unflinching eye, this late 20th-century masterwork focuses on a former SS prison camp overseer on board an ocean liner who fears her secret past is about to be revealed. Framing the action is a towering multi-level set that seamlessly moves between the carefree world of the ocean liner above and the grim camp below. Director David Pountney’s definitive production of this Polish-born, Soviet-trained composer’s most important work was inspired, in part, by the soaring space of Park Avenue Armory’s massive Wade Thompson Drill Hall, where he staged Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten for Lincoln Center Festival in 2008.
Despite being called “a perfect masterpiece” by Shostakovich, The Passenger was suppressed by Soviet authorities and remained on the shelf until the premiere of this production in 2010. Patrick Summers conducts the Houston Grand Opera, Orchestra, and Chorus with a stellar cast of singers, including Melody Moore, Michelle Breedt, and Joseph Kaiser.
Prior to each performance, the ARC Ensemble will perform chamber concerts devoted to the music of Weinberg. The 45-minute concerts are free for ticket holders and begin at 6:00 pm. The programs are as follows:
Co-presented by Lincoln Center Festival and Park Avenue Armory, the Lincoln Center Festival 2014 presentation of The Passenger is made possible in part by generous support from the Polska Music Program of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Robert and Helen Appel, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Larry A. and Klara Silverstein, Judy and Michael Steinhardt, Nancy & Morris W. Offit, and One Anonymous. The Polish Cultural Institute New York has generously supported Zofia Posmysz’s travel to New York for participation in discussion panels.
PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are required to attend the screening and panel discussions and are available for The Passenger ticketholders only. Any additional tickets will be made available to the general public on stand-by at the time of the events.
THE CHOPIN PROJECT IN ASTORIA, OR
By popular demand, two of the Astoria Music Festival’s most popular shows will combine for a night of New Media Futuristic Art and Modern Dance, featuring Academy-Award winning technical wizard J-WALT and Portland’s award-winning Agnieszka Laska Dancers, whose RITE OF SPRING was a highlight last summer. Astorians had a chance to see the glimpse of The Chopin Project, which was featured on the special (sold out) Mother's Day concert last year. This year, ALDancers perform the complete work—Chopin's 20 preludes from Op. 28 plus Nocturne Op. 9 No. 1 in B-Flat Minor—with pianist Alexandre Dossin, winner of the First Prize and Special Prize at the 2003 Martha Argerich International Piano Competition.
Robert Wachowiak of Chicago’s Dziennik Zwiazkowy says this of the Agnieszka Laska Dancers: “…the performance, authored by a renowned choreographer, running her dance company in Portland, Oregon for many years now, was incredible — beyond our imagination. As a result we started to sense the music of our greatest romantic composer not only through hearing it but by seeing it as well…” According to the American Record Guide, "Dossin’s Chopin is a model of how to avoid eccentricities and let the music speak for itself. (...) It is doubtful if listeners will be able to resist once they have listened."
[Source: press release]
‘MONSIEUR CHOPIN’ IN BERKELEY
Hershey Felder as ‘Monsieur Chopin,’ the one-man show that was a hit in L.A. theaters, will be playing in Berkeley during July and August. Opening night is Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 7:00 pm. The Music of Fryderyk Chopin features book by Hershey Felder and direction by Joel Zwick, and is a co-production with Eighty-Eight Entertainment. Running time: 1 hr 45 min, no intermission
In his passionate portrayal of the “Poet of the Piano,” Hershey reveals the beloved and romantic composer’s secrets about his creations—and the secrets he carried to his grave—against a gorgeous, lush score of more than a dozen compositions. Come back with Hershey to meet the mysterious ‘Monsieur Chopin.’ “[Felder] carries a rapt audience along on a wave of true, powerful, and wordless passion,” declares the Boston Globe.
Hershey Felder performed George Gershwin Alone on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre and on the West End at Duchess Theatre. His Composers Sonata (1999–2014)—George Gershwin Alone; Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven, As I Knew Him; Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro; and Hershey Felder as Franz Liszt in Musik—has been presented at dozens of theatres across the U.S. and around the world, including a command performance of Monsieur Chopin for the Polish Ambassador to the United States. He received Los Angeles Ovation Awards for Best Musical and Best Actor for George Gershwin Alone in 2007, and live broadcasts of the production have been aired worldwide. His compositions include Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Fairytale, a musical; Les Anges de Paris, Suite for Violin and Piano; Song Settings; Saltimbanques for Piano and Orchestra; Etudes Thematiques for Piano; and An American Story for Actor and Orchestra. As director, Mr. Felder premiered Mona Golabek in The Pianist of Willesden Lane at the Geffen Playhouse in April 2012 and recently premiered Chris Lemmon in Jack Lemmon Returns. Mr. Felder has been a scholar in residence at Harvard University’s department of music and is married to Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada.
Attend opening night of “Monsieur Chopin” on July 27 at 7 pm, and save 20% off regular-priced tickets (50% if you’re under 30!) on the performance. Just use the code CHOPIN online or by calling the box office at 510 647-2949 (Tues - Sun, noon - 7). Link to the promo code: http://tickets.berkeleyrep.org/Default.aspx?promo=CHOPIN
[Source: press release]
OCHLEWSKI COMPOSERS’ COMPETITION
The theme of this year's edition of the Tadeusz Ochlewski Composers’ Competition is an original composition for small orchestra inspired by Polish folk music. The difficulty of the composition should correspond to the technical capabilities of an orchestra at a secondary level music school. The competition theme is related to the 2014 Year of Kolberg.
This year's jury will consist of: Andrew Kucybała – director of the S. Moniuszko State Music School in Bielsko-Biala and conductor of the Symphony Orchestra at that school; Slawomir Kupczak – composer, conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the S. Moniuszko National Music School in Jelenia Góra; and Dr. Daniel Cichy – Editor-in-Chief of PWM.
Submission deadline: August 31, 2014
Details of the contest rules and entry forms can be found at: www.pwm.com.pl/konkurs_kompozytorski.html
TRANSATLANTYK CALLS ALL YOUNG COMPOSERS
To be held from August 8-14, 2014, the Transatlantyk Festival Poznań is a festival of ideas. Perhaps the most important of them is to give young talents an entrée into an international career. Therefore, for the fourth time, the Festival announces two prestigious composition competitions: the Transatlantyk Film Music Competition and Transatlantyk Instant Composition Contest.
The Transatlantyk Film Music Competition is intended for composers who appreciate the opportunity to create music polished in every detail. The Transatlantyk Festival will provide young competitors with two short films, to which the composers will create original soundtracks. Organizers allow the young artists an unlimited field of imagination, and the choice of instrumentation and the character of the music depends solely on the contestants. Submitted works—full, professionally prepared mock-ups are required—are then evaluated by an international committee of prominent experts. The Festival audience will meet only a selected elite group of 10 finalists.
The Transatlantyk Film Music Competition gives young artists many opportunities. High monetary prizes (first prize is 40 thousand PLN), tough competition, and the presence of a jury composed of distinguished representatives of the world of music and film who assess the work of the finalists, give the competition international significance. In recent years, the international jury included: Marco Beltrami, Christopher Young, Richard Gladstein, Petr Zelenka, Jan AP Kaczmarek, Robert Townson, Mark Isham, et al. Competition’s laureates such as Matthijs Kieboom, Nicholas Stroiński, Krzysztof A. Janczak, Garth Neustadter and Xiaotian Shi have successfully developed their international careers, and they all appreciate the positive influence of Transatlantyk Festival Poznań.
Along with the title of the Transatlantyk Young Composer 2014, the winner of the Film Music Competition will receive:
Winners of the second and third prize will receive:
The Transatlantyk Instant Composition Contest is a spectacular and unique contest of simultaneous composition and synchronous piano improvisation to a motion picture. Young artists who have the talent to improvise and express emotions through the instrument, find a unique challenge here. They watch a short film and then, on stage and in front of the audience, they must create a composition connected to the picture. They see the film for the first time during auditions. Immediately after watching the picture, they go on stage and create music to the film they have just seen. This art requires extraordinary musical and emotional imagination, as well as exceptional technical proficiency.
The Transatlantyk Instant Composition Contest has two stages. The first stage consists of auditions, open to all enrolled participants. For the finale, the second part of auditions, the jury selects 10 most creative young musicians. Many outstanding and famous personalities sat on the jury in previous years, including Rolfe Kent, George Clinton, Roy Conli, Mark Marder, Zachary Matz, Leszek Możdżer, Peter Golub, Dave Porter, Vasco Hexel, et al.
Along with the title of the Transatlantyk Instant Composer 2014, the winner will receive:
Winners of the second and third prize will receive:
2014 US PIANO COMPETITION APPLICATIONS:
Paderewski Festival Youth Piano Competition – Paso Robles, CA
The Board of Directors of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles invites piano teachers in California’s Central Coast counties of San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Barbara to encourage their talented young pianists to submit applications for the Festival's 2014 Youth Piano Competition.
The competition is open to piano students in two age groups: Juniors (ages 10-14) and Seniors (ages 15-18). All competitors must currently study with an established piano teacher and reside within the counties of San Luis Obispo, Monterey or Santa Barbara. Professional pianists may not apply. The Competition Jury will be headed by pianist and composer Marek Zebrowski, Director of the Polish Music Center USC and Artistic Director of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, along with pianists India D'Avignon and Paul Woodring, both from the Music Department at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. Awards will be made at the discretion of the Jury, whose verdict shall be final.
Prizes ranging from $200-$750 will be awarded to the best performers, and winners will be invited to perform during the 2014 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles. All participants in the 2014 auditions will receive a certificate. Selected winners may also apply to travel to Poland in summer of 2015 under the Paderewski Festival Youth Exchange Program, administered and sponsored jointly by the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles and the Province of Tarnów in Poland. This all-expenses-paid program includes piano workshops, master classes and concert performances at Kąśna Dolna, Paderewski's estate in southern Poland, and at the historic Jagiellonian University in Kraków.
Application deadline for the 2014 Paderewski Festival Youth Competition applications is FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014. Rules and entry forms can be found on the Paderewski Festival website: www.paderewskifest.com
Auditions will be held on Saturday, October 25, 2014, at Cass Winery, 7350 Linne Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446. The 2014 Youth Competition Winners’ Recital will be held in the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 4 p.m. Admission to this event is free and open to the public.
For questions or additional Paderewski Festival Youth Piano Competition information, please contact Diane Sayre at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805-712-4215.
National Chopin Piano Competition – Miami, FL
National Chopin Piano Competition applications are now available online. The November 3rd application deadline may seem like a long time from now, but it is actually less than five months away. And when you have this much great Chopin repertoire to prepare, it is really just around the corner.
The National Chopin Piano Competition of the U.S. is designed to offer performance opportunities and financial support for young American pianists and to enable Prize Winners to take part in the prestigious International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. Poland. Initiated in 1975 and held an Miami every five years, the National Competition closely follows the regulations and requirements of the International Chopin Competition. The Competition is open to pianists holding U.S. citizenship (native born or naturalized), born between 1985 and 1999, representing a professional level of performance. Previous First Prize Winners of this Competition are not eligible.
The First Prize in this competition yields the largest cash award of any piano competition in the U.S.—$75,000—and automatic acceptance to the XVII International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw as well as concert performances in the United States and abroad.
Application deadline for the 2014 National Chopin Piano Competition is FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014
Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition
The 2014 Application for the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition is now available! The Competition is open to citizens and permanent residents of the United States, Polish citizens, and to international full-time students with valid U.S. student visas. Applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 26 as of October 24, 2014. Note: the 2014 Competition features updated repertoire requirements. All requirements and application information are available on www.thekf.org.
Prizes for this Competition are $5,000/ $2,500 / $1,500. Preliminaries will be held on Friday, October 24, 2014 at 10 AM and Finals will be held on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 10 AM at the KF House in New York City.
The Kosciuszko Foundation's 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 a guest artist, and Abram Chasins, composer and music director of the New York Times Radio Station, 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's Chopin Competition continues to encourage gifted young pianists to further their studies and to perform the works of Polish composers.
Application deadline for the 2014 Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition is FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014.
LIRA ENSEMBLE CELEBRATES 50 YEARS
In 2015, the Lira Ensemble will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. Lira began as a small group of talented young women singers, but today the Lira Ensemble includes a symphony orchestra and a dance troupe as well as the Lira Singers, based at Loyola University Chicago as artist-in-residence since 1995.
Over nearly 50 years, the Lira Ensemble has performed countless religious, seasonal, classical, and traditional concerts, sometimes with music commissioned and written expressly for Lira by Polish and American composers. Lira has made hundreds of appearances at schools, universities, museums, art galleries, hospitals, nursing facilities and private homes where we represented Polish culture, Polish Americans and even Poland itself. This list reflects a portion of the varied work of the Lira company, all done with the highest artistic quality with dignity and respect for Polish tradition:
Lira’s work is ongoing. Future plans include the return of the Lira Children's Chorus, "Dzieci," the Lira Chamber Chorus with male voices, and "Zapraszamy!"—Lira's theatrical extravaganza (funds collected are waiting for a better economy).
Lira is an institution worthy of your investment—an investment in the future of your heritage. To make a donation to support the ongoing needs of this cultural institution, visit www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr or call 773-508-7040 or 1-800-547-5472. The Lira Ensemble is a federally-recognized charity, so gifts are tax deductible per Federal Tax Code, and a receipt will be provided.
The Lira Ensemble’s 50th anniversary celebrations begin with holiday concerts and continue with events during 2015. Donors of $100 or more will receive invitations to exclusive celebratory occasions.
[Sources: press release, liraensemble.org]
NEW EDITION OF PWM’S QUARTA/KWARTA
PWM’s Polish contemporary music magazine Quarta publishes news, interviews, essays and reviews concerning Polish composers and music. Originally published as two separate language editions—Quarta and Kwarta—content is now published in English and Polish on the same electronic pages. Content of this quarterly magazine is freely accessible in PDF format.
PAWEŁ ŁUKASZEWSKI WINS ORPHÉE D’OR
Polish composer and 2011 Paderewski Lecturer Paweł Łukaszewski was granted the 2014 Hector Berlioz Prize of the prestigious Orphées d'Or at a ceremony on June 30 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. The Orphées d'Or are the annual Grand Prizes given out by the Academie du Disque Lyrique, and the Hector Berlioz Prize category specifically recognizes the year’s best recording of sacred music. Łukaszewski was honored for the disc featuring his Missa di Maria a Magdala, issued by DUX. The CD has previously received the Choc de Classica award and a Fryderyk Award nomination.
Amongst the other winners of the 2014 Orphées d'Or are such giants of the classical music world as Jonas Kaufmann, Renée Fleming, Krzysztof Penderecki, Philippe Jaroussky, and Joyce DiDonato.
55th BAIRD COMPETITION FOR YOUNG COMPOSERS
Winners in the Tadeusz Baird Competition for Young Composers have been announced by the 2014 jury, which consisted of Krzysztof Knittel – chairman, Marek Chołoniewski – secretary, Klaudiusz Baran and Paweł Mykietyn – members. Organized by the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP), the instrumentation for this year’s submissions was cello and accordion. The 2014 laureates are:
These winning compositions plus the other two that made it to the final round of the Competition were performed on June 9 at the Mazowieckie Center for Culture and Art in Warsaw by the TWOgether Duo—Magdalena Bojanowicz, cello and Maciej Frąckiewicz, accordion—with Tadeusz Sudnik providing sound projection.
The Tadeusz Baird Competition for Young Composers (formerly the Youth Competition of Polish Composers’ Union) has been organized annually since 1958. Its aim is to help young Polish composers launch their careers and to encourage their independent activity. Until 1990, the Competition rules stated that its subject was any piece lasting more than 5 minutes. The participants obtained a 3-month scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and Art for work on this composition. The 1st prize was a scholarship in a Western country, the 2nd prize—participation in a music festival in some country of the Eastern block, the distinction—housing and participation in the “Warsaw Autumn” Festival in Warsaw. After 1990, the Ministry ceased to grant artistic scholarships. Since then, the main prize—the Tadeusz Baird Award of 2500 PLN for further compositional study—has been funded by Alina Sawicka-Baird, wife of the late composer. The distinctions are financed by Polish Composers’ Union Management Board.
Since 1990, the Tadeusz Baird Competition is open to all Polish composers who are under 35 until the closing date (earlier, it was reserved only for graduates from state higher schools of music composition classes). The subject of the competition is now different in each year. Since 2003 the competition has been carried out in two stages, with the pieces chosen by the Jury for the second round performed during a public concert, after which ultimate verdict is declared.
FESTIVAL OF POLISH MUSIC
The 10th edition of the Festival of Polish Music will be held from July 4-20, 2014, in Kraków. The essence of the festival is not only to present valuable works by Polish composers, written from the Middle Ages to the present day, but also to contrast them with the world's music and display them in various contexts.
Recognizing the centenary of this great modern composer, works by Sir Andrzej Panufnik will be featured on the first three programs of the Festival, which will be inaugurated on July 4 by NOSPR and flautist Łukasz Długosz with conductor Alexander Liebreich in the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic Hall. Other Polish composers who will be performed at the Festival include: Paweł Mykietyn, Krzysztof Penderecki, Karol Szymanowski, Alexander Tansman, Józef Michał Ksawery Poniatowski, and many more.
The Festival has been organized since 2005 by the Polish Music Association, founded by a group of musicologists, culture managers and music lovers. The organizers aim to mobilize the creation of compositional art by commissioning and premièring works of contemporary music. To date, the festival's stars have included pianists Ivo Pogorelich and Nicolai Khozyainov, world-famous violinist Nigel Kennedy, as well as the Academy of St.-Martin-in-the-Fields, the London Sinfonietta, Elżbieta Chojnacka, Akiko Suwanai, Piers Lane, Peter Jablonski, Jonathan Plowright, Grigori Zhyslin and many others. Such distinguished personalities on the Polish music scene as Krzysztof Penderecki, Agnieszka Duczmal and Jerzy Maksymiuk have also appeared, and the Festival has hosted such distinguished composers as Wojciech Kilar, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Paweł Mykietyn.[Source: fmp.org.pl]
ENTER MUSIC FESTIVAL
The Enter Music Festival (June 17-18, 2014) promotes individual research in music and presents a panorama of musical energy oscillating around jazz stylistics and sounding good in the open air. For this Festival, Artistic Director Leszek Możdżer invites artists he has already met on the world’s music scene or those he would like to hear live himself, both those who are famous and the fresh ones. He often performs with them in his own projects.
The festival is a mixture of unpretentiousness, independence and freedom, resulting from the atmosphere of an open-air event with the exclusiveness caused by a limited number of spectators as well as the list of performing artists that always guarantees the highest level of musical experiences.
According to the external service of Polish Radio:
‘KOLORY POLSKI’ FESTIVAL
From June 15 to August 30, 2014, the 15th edition of the “Kolory Polski” [Polish Colors] Festival will be held, featuring works from across different genres and epochs. Hosted by the Łódź Philharmonic, the Festival presents concerts of jazz, classical, baroque, film, musical, folk, Jewish, electronic, Balkan and góral music, to mention a few, in the most beautiful places of the Łódź region. Concerts are performed in numerous venues selected for their historical value as well as their atmosphere.
The inauguration of this year's edition of the Festival took place on Saturday, June 28 in the convent of the Ursuline Sisters in Sieradz, Poland. The performance featured outstanding violinist Konstanty Andrzej Kulka who, along with the "Sinfonietta" Youth Orchestra of the Łódź Region, played Orawa by Wojciech Kilar, Three Pieces in the Old Style by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi. On the conductor's podium was Adam Klocek, managing and artistic director Kalisz Philharmonic.
KAROL SZYMANOWSKI MUSIC DAYS
The 37th edition of the annual Karol Szymanowski Music Days Festival will be held from July 9-19 in various venues around the beautiful town of Zakopane, Poland, where from 1922-1926, Szymanowski spent significant time immersed in Highlander music. Much of the music he composed during this time and thereafter was influenced by this local folk tradition.
Below is the schedule of the 2014 Festival:
OGRODY MUZYCZNE FESTIVAL
The Musical Gardens [Ogrody Muzyczne] Festival is held annually in the courtyard of the Royal Castle in Warsaw. This year’s Festival began on June 27 and will continue until July 19. Its current 14th edition honors Italy and her cultural heritage, and recognizes Italy’s presidency of the European Union during the second half of this year. With a rousing subtitle, “Evviva l’arte,” the program includes presentations of well-known operas, ballets, film screenings, and other art-related happenings with the Italian flavor.
Polish composer Zygmunt Krauze has served for many years as Music Director of this Festival and leading Polish artists will be featured in the upcoming concerts. They include the young virtuoso violinist Janusz Wawrowski and the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra led by maestro Marek Moś. They will perform The Four Seasons Recomposed—a contemporary take by Max Richter on Antonio Vivaldi’s timeless classic.
MARIAN SAWA CELEBRATIONS
The Marcin Józef Żebrowski Music School in Częstochowa organized the third biennial celebrations of Marian Sawa’s music, presenting concerts, workshops, master classes and concerts, including world premieres of Sawa’s music. This year’s festivities took place June 30—July 4 and were co-sponsored by the local Center for Arts Education and Marian Sawa Society.
Marian Sawa (1937-2005) was a prolific composer with over one thousand works in his catalogue, consisting mainly of organ and choral music. Previous editions of Sawa Festival in Częstochowa were held in 2010 and 2012. More concerts and celebratory events are planned for next year, which will mark the 10th anniversary of Sawa’s death.
ORGAN MUSIC IN OLIWA
The 57th Organ Festival in Oliwa began on July 1 and will continue throughout the summer until August 26. Concerts are held on Tuesdays and Fridays at the historical Gothic Cathedral of Oliwa, which has one of the most magnificent organs in northern Poland. A number of well-established and young-and-rising organ virtuosos from across the world will be heard throughout the Festival. Several world-premiere concerts are also on the Festival’s calendar.
The opening concert on July 1 featured Roman Perucki and the Baltic Philharmonic led by maestro Łukasz Borowicz in the first performance in northern Poland of Metasinfonia for Organ, Strings and Timpani by Sir Andrzej Panufnik. The closing concert on August 26 will feature the world premiere of the organ version of Jordan, a three-movement composition by Bronisław Kazimierz Przybylski, presented by organist Jerzy Kukla. This concert will also feature Feliks Nowowiejski’s rarely heard Ninth Organ Symphony, Op. 45.
More information about the Festival at: www.trojmiasto.pl/Festiwal-Muzyki-Organowej
MUSIC AND ARCHITECTURE IN TORUŃ
Another music festival featuring historical venues with interesting programming in a city where Copernicus was born is running from June 24 until August 30 this year in Toruń. Called “Europe &Toruń. Music & Architecture,” this will be the 18th edition of the Festival that presents a wide spectrum of music from the Baroque to contemporary and from classical to experimental and jazz. A number of interesting guest artists will be heard, including flutist Łukasz Dłgosz, organist Roman Perucki, choral ensembles Cantores Minores Wratislavienses and Claret Gospel Choir from Côte d’Ivoire, as well as combined military band orchestras from Toruń and Warsaw. Young Polish pianist Wojciech Waleczek will perform with a string quartet from the Toruń Symphony Orchestra, cellist Tomasz Daroch will present an evening of duets for cello and piano, and maestro Maciej Figas from the Opera Nova in nearby Bydgoszcz will lead the Toruń Symphony Orchestra in an “Opera Night” program featuring soloists Dariusz Stachura, Paweł Skałuba and Adam Szerszeń.
The High Definition Ensemble, led by “piano hooligan” Piotr Orzechowski, will present a genre-bending evening of musical theatricals, spanning contemporary avant-garde, jazz, classical music and free improvisation. A special light show will accompany some of the performances and young pianists from the Paderewski Piano Academy complete the roster of this summer’s attractions in this charming mediaeval city.
NEW CD OF MYKIETYN & LUTOSŁAWSKI
Lutosławski/ Mykietyn : String Quartets
The members of the Lutosławski Quartet began their collaborations in 2007. Notorious for performing contemporary music, they focus on the popularization of Polish music, including Witold Lutoslawski and Grazyna Bacewicz.
The manuscript for Paweł Mykietyn’s String Quartet is housed in the Polish Music Center’s Manuscript Collection.
[Source : pwm.com.pl]
CD REVIEWS OF POLISH MUSIC
The June 2014 issue of Muzyka 21 features on its cover such teasers as “Jacek Urbaniak—the Renaissance hits of Cyprian Bazylik from Sieradz,” and “Ewa Podleś—Still Topping the Charts.” Further into the magazine, Łukasz Kaczmarek nominates Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831) – Complete Piano Works on Acte Prealable by Sławomir Dobrzański, pianist and a group of assisting artists, as the “Record of the Month.” Mr. Kaczmarek also gives thumbs up to CD Accord’s All-Chopin recording by Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń, once a finalist in the 1975 Chopin Competition, but now one of the most successful piano pedagogues in Poland specializing in Chopin.
Continuing the Chopin theme, Mr. Kaczmarek also raves about the CD Accord recording featuring Paweł Wakarecy, a fascinating young pianist who attracted much positive comment during the 2010 Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Mr. Wakarecy presents a program of works by Juliusz Zarębski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Frederic Chopin.
In his review of a recent recording devoted to the music of Wojciech Kilar, Stefan Banasiak recommends the CD “Kilar - Aukso - Marek Moś” featuring AUKSO Chamber Orchestra, pianist Beata Bilińska, tenor Wiesław Ochman and the Choir of the Katowice Music Academy, led by Maestro Marek Moś. Published by PWM and produced by the Katowice Cultural Institute – City of Gardens, the disc inaugurates the Masters of Music CD series, whose aim is to present the achievements of composers associated with Katowice.
Pianist Cedric Tiberghien’s recording of Karol Szymanowski’s Etudes Op. 4 and Op. 33, Masks Op. 34 and Metopes Op. 39 for the Hyperion label earned a strong recommendation from Paweł Chmielowski. The same reviewer had excellent things to say about violinist Kinga Augustyn’s CD of “Polish Violin Music” on Naxos, presenting works by Aleksander Zarzycki, Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and Zygmunt Noskowski.
The Accord CD titled “Landscape of Memories” and featuring piano trios by Hanna Kulenty, Zbigniew Bargielski, Sir Andrzej Panufnik, Roxana Panufnik and Zygmunt Mycielski in performance by the BMF Piano Trio (Bartłomiej Wezner, Michał Szałach, and Filip Syska) was praised for its “passion for discovering and bringing to the public Polish contemporary music” by Maria Ziarkowska.
NOWAK & RPO - WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING
Kletzki / Szymanowski / Lutosławski:
The latest recording by Maestro Grzegorz Nowak and the Royal Philharmonic was declared “CD of the week” by The Guardian. Below is an excerpt of the review by Graham Rickson of the www.theartsdesk.com:
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Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Layout Assistance: Chuck Bragg
Translation Assistance: Marek Żebrowski
Jan A. Jarnicki, Hanka Kolberg, Marek Żebrowski
Sources of information:
Consulate General of Poland in Los Angeles, Polish Cultural Institute (NY & UK),
Adam Mickiewicz Institute, PWM, Nowy Dziennik, Polish Music Information Centre - Warsaw,
Polish American Journal, Poland.pl, PAP, ZKP,Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza
Formatting by Krysta Close, July 3, 2014.
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