|Polish Music Newsletter
June 2003, Vol. 9, No. 6. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California
The Stefan & Wanda Wilk Prizes for Research in Polish Music are sponsored by the Polish Music Center (PMC) at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California and financially supported by the Stefan and Wanda Wilk Endowment Fund. The creators and sponsors of the Wilk Prizes, Dr. Stefan Wilk (radiologist) and Mrs. Wanda Wilk (M.M., music education, USC), initiated the competition for best essays on Polish music written in English by a non-Polish author in 1982. The competition is intended to stimulate research on Polish music in academic circles outside of Poland. The winners include such experts in Polish music as Stephen Downes, Jeffrey Kallberg, Martina Homma, Anne Mc Namee, Barbara Milewski, James Parakilas, Sandra Rosenblum, and others. The prizes are awarded in two independent competitions, each held biennially (in different years):
Stefan and Wanda Wilk, USC campus, 1985.
On Wednesday, May 14, San Diego Opera was informed that Ewa Podleś was
injured in a car accident on her way to San Diego. Although her injuries are
not life-threatening, Ms. Podleś will be unable to perform her recital
scheduled for this Saturday, May 17th at Sherwood Auditorium in La Jolla.
The accident happened while she was being driven to the airport after a
performance in Santa Fe, New Mexico. According to her agent, Matthew Sprizzo,
Ms. Podleś car was struck by another vehicle, spun three times, and she was
ejected from the car. She suffered a broken arm and other injuries which are
still being evaluated.
This powerful new staging of Don Giovanni, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's beloved "comic opera" and a perennial favorite for its
endless stream of exquisitely beautiful melodies, with the orchestra, chorus, and soloists of the Los Angeles Opera led by Principal
Conductor Kent Nagano, was specially created for the Polish National Opera and its L.A. counterpart by director Mariusz Trelinski,
with choreography by Emil Wesolowski, set design by Boris Kudlicka, and costumes by the fashion genius, Arcadius - all well known
for their work at Warsaw's Teatr Wielki. It is the first time the two opera companies have presented the same production in the same
season, a collaboration for which the first seed was planted when Placido Domingo, Artistic Director of the L.A. Opera, was bowled
over by Trelinski's earlier staging of Madama Butterfly.
The opera is performed in Italian with English Supertitles at the:
Festival logo by Leonard Konopelski
Witold Lutosławski's music was selected for the opening concerts at the Los Angeles Philharmonic's new home, the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The three "Inaugural Galas" are scheduled for October 23rd, 24th and 25th. Other composers will be Gabrieli, Ligeti, Haydn, Stravinsky, Salonen, Adams, and Revueltas.
The Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Polish Cultural Institute present
A CONVERSATION WITH JÓZEF SZAJNA
SUNDAY, JUNE 8, 2003, 3 PM
The brilliant Polish painter, scenic designer, and theater director, Józef Szajna, a member of the wartime resistance who was sent to Auschwitz in 1941 and whose early works of art done in Buchenwald are represented in the BMA's extraordinary exhibition, LAST EXPRESSION: ART AND AUSCHWITZ (on view through June 15), will discuss his experiences and the works on display in a conversation with BMA Curator Marilyn Kushner. His remarks will be given in Polish and translated into English. This is a rare opportunity to meet a remarkable survivor of modern Polish history and a major figure in contemporary Polish culture.
For more information of Józef Szajna, visit the Polish Cultural Institute website.
The Polish Institue of Arts and Sciences of America, Inc. was founded in 1942 in order to continue the
work and tradition of the prestigious Polska Akademia Umieję(Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences), which had been destroyed
by the Nazis in 1939 and not permitted to operate by the Communist regime in 1951. PIASA is a non-profit, non-political institution
concerned with advancing knowledge about Poland's humanistic heritage and about Polish-American contributions to the life, culture,
and history of the U.S.A. PIASA provides a major research center for scholars in the U.S. and abroad by publishing the scholarly,
multi-disciplinary quarterly The Polish Review, by operating the Alfred Jurzykowski Memorial Library, and through frequent
events, lectures, symposia, seminars, etc. such as this one.
The 61st annual PIASA meeting will be held at McGill University in Montreal, Canada on June 6th and 7th, 2003. This international, multi-disciplinary conference on Polish Studies is hosted and co-sponsored by the Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences in Canada and the Canadian Foundation for Polish Studies. Dr. Maja Trochimczyk of USC's Polish Music Center, along with collegues Prof. Anne Swartz and Prof. Paul Cadrin, will be presenting lectures on Polish National Composers. Dr. Trochimczyk's topic concerns the connections and the conflicts between Paderewski and Szymanowski, two of Poland's leading historical composers. Prof. Swartz will discuss the portrayals of Polish gentry in operas by Stanislaw Moniuszko and Prof. Cadrin will talk about the ecstatic vision and harmonic language of Szymanowski's Third Symphony.
The following article was printed in the PMC Newsletter, vol. 6 no. 4, April 2000 edition:
PADEREWSKI'S PIANOS IN CHICAGO
"...[Jane] Stirling's journey [from Scotland] to the macabre celebrity she was to enjoy - if that's the word - on the morning
of 30 October, 1849, had been a long and in some ways improbable one. She has taken a great deal of flak from biographers in the
century and a half since. They have seen her as a grotesque groupie - even a sort of stalker. Yet, she appears to have acted in
good faith, however powerful her feelings - and, as far as she could, in her beloved's best interests. Strip away some of the
prejudice and hers is a moving story - and one that tells us much about Chopin, his society and the Scotland of his time.
It isn't hard, though, to see why she put people's backs up: who was she, to assume proprietorship over a composer who was so widely revered? And if there was an unmistakable air of theatre about this funeral, the entire production was hers: she had paid out Ł5,000, Ł2,000 on music alone. It didn't stop there, either: in the course of the weeks that followed, she would buy up every item of Chopiniana she could find. She did it, she insisted, to save the pieces from the attentions of trophy-hunters - but some wondered whether there could be any trophy-hunter more insatiable than her. Her extravagance, financial and emotional, bemused and in some ways unsettled Paris - she mourned as deeply as if she really were 'Chopin's widow'."
This excerpt was taken from Michael Kerrigan's article "Chopin's Scottish Widow." To view the rest of this article, visit www.scotsman.com and search for the "Chopin's Scottish Widow". You must register with the site to view their articles but the material is available for free.
A quirky "carless" car commercial for the new Saturn L-series used the music of Polish-French composer Gregory Czarkinsky to win the day at the Advertising Age Best Awards ceremony this year. Czarkinsky's "Sonatine Disparue" provides a subtle and simple yet never comical backdrop to this ingenious ad. According to Bob Garfield of AdAge.com, "The choreography, cinematography, direction and editing were crafted as if there were no joke afoot, and the accompanying piano etude by the Polish- French musician-composer Gregory Czerkinsky is a gentle and irresistible counterpoint...Jill Lajdziak [Saturn's vice president for sales, service and marketing] watched it twice without saying a word and said, 'I have nothing else to say. I love it.'" So did the judges, because they awarded this unusual advertisement the "Best in Show" award.
To hear and see this ad, visit AdAge.com
Please be advised that the location of the website of composer Jerzy Gablenz has changed. The former website, http://home.eol.ca/~dgablenz/, has been changed to www3.sympatico.ca/jerzy.gablenz.
The Songs of Karol Szymanowski and His Contemporaries is a collection of eighteen essays edited by Zofia Helman, Teresa Chylinska, and Alistair Wightman. The essays deal with various aspects of the song oeuvre of the Polish composer studied in a rich context of literary and musical issues (essays by Tomasz Baranowski, Edward Boniecki, Paul Cadrin, Stephen Downes, Maciej Golab, Danuta Jasinska, Elzbieta Jasinska-Jedrosz, Laura Grazyna Kafka, Daniela Philippi, Mieczyslaw Tomaszewski, Andrzej Tuchowski, Roman Vlad, Adam Walacinski, and Alistair Wightman). Additional texts discuss songs by Szymanowski's contemporaries in Germany, France and Russia, including the Viennese circle, Ravel and Stravinsky (Wolfgang Ruf, Serge Gut, and Alicja Jarzebska). The book is a result of the International Scholarly Symposium, Song in the Oeuvre of Karol Szymanowski and His Contemporaries, which took place in Zakopane, Poland, in March 1997.Prof. Zofia Helman, University of Warsaw, Poland, is the author of numerous books and studies of twentieth-century Polish music (on Karol Szymanowski, Roman Palester, Polish neoclassicism, etc.). Dr. Teresa Chylinska of Kraków, Poland, is the editor-in-chief of the Complete Works of Karol Szymanowski (PWM and Universal Edition), as well as the editor of multiple volumes of the composer's correspondence and writings. Dr. Alistair Wightman (United Kingdom) is a British expert on Polish music, the author of books about Mieczyslaw Karlowicz and Karol Szymanowski.
The book is available from the Polish Music Center, for $40 (paperback only). ISSN 0741-9945 and ISBN 0-916545-06-7