|Polish Music Newsletter
July 2003, Vol. 9, No. 7. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California
Hanna Kulenty's "Trumpet Concerto" was recorded by Marco Blauw as the soloist with the WOSPR Orchestra (National Polish Radio Orchestra of Katowice), under the direction of Belgian conductor Ronald Zollman. The Concerto was commissioned by the Orchestra and premiered on 3 March 2003 in Katowice; the live recording from the premiere was submitted to the competition. The work is in one movement and lasts for 23 minutes. For more information about Kulenty and her list of works visit her PMC composer page.
In the same competition, Jacek Grudzien's work "Ad Naan" for cello and computer sound was recognized with an Honorary Mention. Andrzej Bauer was the cello soloist in this recording.
Much work remains to improve communication between the competitions and the media, to share experience and organizational/technical information, the manner of composition and operation of the jury, selection of candidates as well as the prize-awarding policies. Plans have also been drawn to extend support to laureates of particular competitions, through e.g. providing them with opportunities for joint appearances.
Information about this event was taken from an article written by Romuald Połczyński for the Towarzystwo Muzyczne im. Henryka Wieniawskiego. To read this article, and to learn more about the H. Wieniawski Violin Competitions, please visit www.wieniawski.pl.
To commemorate this significant event, the District IX Polish Singers Alliance of
America [PSAA] has prepared a musical program of the "Cantata to St. Stanislaus BM",
composed by Piotr Górecki. Set to the Polish text of the late Franciszek Lach of Long
Island and Chicago, the lyrics tell of the conflict between the king and bishop,
Stanislaus' murder at the altar, the brutal desecration of his body, its miraculous
restoration, the king's exile and penance, and increasing devotion to the martyr. |
St. Stanislaus Church Sanctuary, entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976
This performance will highlight a combined chorus of a hundred singers, as well as soprano, baritone and bass soloists. Conducted by Dr. Thomas Witakowski, director of choral music at Buffalo State College, the work will be accompanied by Mr. Gorecki (composer and National Choral Director of the PSAA) on the organ. The first free performance was on June 29th at St. Stanislaus BM Church (Buffalo, NY) and the next will be at St. Stanislaus Church of Cleveland, OH on Sunday, July 27th, time of performance to be announced.
St. Stanislaus Church is located in the Warszawa Historic District in the southeast side of Cleveland, at 3649 East 65th Street between Broadway and Fleet Avenues. More information can be obtained from Adeline S. Wujocikowski at email@example.com or from the St. Stanislaus Church in Cleveland at (216) 341-9091 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
THE NOONDAY CEMETERY & OTHER STORIES by Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski
translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston
New Directions, June, 2003
Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski (1919-2000) was one of Poland's greatest essayists and thinkers. He is best known for his devastating personal account of the Soviet gulags in A World Apart. It is one of the first (1951 - a decade before the works of Solzhenitsyn and others appeared) and still one of the best books on the subject in world literature. Though the English edition had a preface by Lord Bertrand Russell, the book was greeted coolly and even with skepticism at the time by a western European intelligentsia that still harbored considerable sympathy for communism and respect for Stalin. Having left Russia with General Anders' army and fought at Monte Cassino, Herling-Grudzinski was a co-founder in 1947 and one of the original editors of Kultura, then published in Rome, which virtually sustained Polish culture during Communist rule. Herling-Grudzinski lived in Italy from 1952 on. His Journal Written at Night, begun in 1971 and continued to the end of his life, is one of the great monuments of Polish literature.
In the title story a WWII German officer's widow and a cemetery custodian are inexplicably shot to death. In others, a Polish woman raped by Serbs is pressured to keep her child; an archaeologist's wife who witnessed the war's horrors mysteriously loses her memory; and a musicologist falls in love with a madrigalist and murderer. In his stories, noted for their "original traditionalism", Herling-Grudzinski traces the individual fate that marks each person's private road toward reconciliation with death.
This review was excerpted from the Polish Cultural Institute Newsletter.
(Picture: CATHRYN TREMAIN)
According to Knight, "He's a composer on a grand scale. If he commits to something it's 150 per cent. He just thinks it and breathes it and rings you up all the time, and plays bits of music over the phone receiver and drops off 30 tapes for you to listen to, and it's all brilliant."
Skubiszewski's rich, sweeping score for the Deluge series ranges from the achingly beautiful, to the sweet and melodious, and draws on styles as diverse as Irish airs, '40s jazz, reggae, classic and contemporary tunes - he's a huge fan of Massive Attack, and has worked with the likes of Killing Heidi and Jebediah.
He may be a composer on a grand scale, but in the flesh, Skubiszewski is disarmingly down-to-earth, constantly worrying whether he's talking too fast, whether he's boring, whether the reporter needs a blanket on her bare knees to guard against the cold. "He's a complete European gentleman, coupled with being extraordinarily talented," Knight says. "He gets melancholic, he can't help it, being Polish. But he combines humor and melancholy beautifully."
It took 20 years after his first discovery of music (through the Blues at 12 years old), and the death of his father, before Skubiszewski was true to his own desire to make music. "Look, I always wanted to be musician, and I suppose maybe ( that) partly coincided with the death of my father ... you know, I loved him, but I always felt pressured."
Skubiszewski, who left his family in Poland and migrated to Australia in 1974, completed veterinary science at Melbourne University, then packed up and moved to Campsie, in outback New South Wales, a piano among his few belongings.
"I lived in army tent with a piano and I practise all the time, and I had a job one day a week just to support myself. That's when I made really decision that I wanted to dedicate myself to music and I suddenly felt strength of ideas." He later moved to Sydney with Lee, a teacher and painter - now his wife and greatest supporter - with whom he fell in love at first sight.
Skubiszewski's first big break was being asked to compose the music for the film Lilian's Story, directed by fellow Pole Jerzy Domaradzki. He has since worked with many Australian directors, including Gregor Jordan (Two Hands), Richard Flanagan (The Sound of One Hand Clapping), and, most recently, Tony McNamara (The Rage in Placid Lake, premiering in August).
The above was excerpted from an article written by Gabriella Coslovich on June 16 2003 for www.theage.com.au.
On May 17th, Amy DeBusk Moore of Texas won the National Piano Guild High School diploma and as well as the Guild's highest honor, the Paderewski Medal. Named after Polish pianist, composer and statesman Ignace Paderewski, the medal is awarded to students who have been national or international winners - memorizing 10 to 20 pieces - for 10 years. Each competitor for these awards must undergo rigorous training with a Guild-member instructor and is expected to be a versitile pianist and musician as well as to have extensive performance experience. The Guild offers diplomas at the high school, collegiate and young artist levels.
This year marks the 5th annual Rozstaje Festival of Traditional Music in the main Market Square of Krakow. Started by
Krakow 2000 Bureau as part of the Krakow 2000 - European City of Culture programme, this festival celebrates both the
cultural unity and diversity of Galicia and the numerous common features of folk culture of all the lands situated
along the ranges of the Carpathian Mountains.
spectators at the 2002 Festival
For more information: