Polish Music Newsletter

May 2010, Vol. 16, No. 5. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California

Anniversaries  |  Awards | Calendar of Events  | Chopin Year
Discography | Honoring the Crash Victims | Festivals  | News | Performances | PMC News

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HONORING THE CRASH VICTIMS

MUSICIANS HONOR THOSE LOST

Following the tragic crash of the Polish presidential airplane on April 10, 2010 in Smolensk, Russia, the artistic circles in Poland and abroad have been paying their respects to the victims of the crash. The week following the accident was declared a period of national mourning, during which artistic and entertainment institutions were asked to cancel or appropriately alter their performances and events. Numerous operas and orchestras complied with the request and most of the museums and galleries were also closed for the week, including the newly opened Chopin Museum in Warsaw.

Several notable soloists and ensembles have performed concerts honoring the victims of the crash in the last few weeks:

  • On April 12, the Polish National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michał Dworzyński performed Mozart’s Requiem during a memorial mass at the St. John’s Cathedral in Warsaw. Solos were performed by soprano Marta Boberska, mezzo-soprano Anna Lubańska, tenor Rafał Bartmiński and bass Wojciech Gierlach.

  • “Before the opening work in the Philadelphia Orchestra’s concert at Carnegie Hall on [April 13], the pianist Piotr Anderszewski spoke to the audience about the plane crash in Russia on Saturday that took the lives of Lech Kaczynski, the president of Poland, and dozens of the country’s military and political leaders. Born in Warsaw to Polish-Hungarian parents, Mr. Anderszewski spoke of how wrenching this tragedy has been for his home country. With Charles Dutoit, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s chief conductor, looking on, Mr. Anderszewski asked for a moment of silence and dedicated the first piece on the program to those who were lost.” [quoted from the New York Times]

  • The Polish Composer’s Union (ZKP) organized a week-long artist’s wake for the victims, during which there were 47 artistic events involving over 90 artists. The wake took place in the Church of Artistic Circles in Warsaw and was visited by ca. 3,000 people.

  • On April 17 the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed H.M. Górecki’s 3rd Symphony “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs.” The program of the concert was originally supposed to feature a premiere performance of Górecki’s 4th Symphony and would have been attended by Polish President, Lech Kaczyński, and the First Lady. After the concert, the orchestra honored the fallen with a moment of silence.

  • Also on April 17 the Polish Radio Choir in Kraków, members of Capellae Cracoviensis and Sinfonietta Cracovia conducted by Marc Minkowski performed Mozart’s Requiem in honor of the victims. The concert took place at the Kraków Old Town Market and featured solo performances by: Julia Lezhneva (soprano, Russia), Anna Lubańska (mezzo-soprano, Poland), Daniil Shtoda (tenor, Russia) and Wojciech Gierlach (bass, Poland). The concert was attended by several thousand people.

  • On April 18, during the funeral ceremonies for the President Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria Kaczyńska, the Berliner Philharmoniker performed Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosis. The orchestra was conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. The concert took place at the Bazylika Mariacka.

  • On April 19 at the Salesian Basilica in Warsaw, Polish musicians from across the specturm gave a concert entitled "Fryderyk 2010. Artyści w hołdzie ofiarom katastrofy lotniczej w Smoleńsku” [Fryderyk 2010. Artists for the victims of the plane Crash in Smolensk] (see more in Awards section)

  • Rafał Blechacz has dedicated his recital on April 20 at the Mikołaj Kopernik University in Toruń to the victims of the plane crash in Smolensk. The program included works by Chopin, Bach, Mozart and Debussy.

Polish Presidential Tu-154 plane crashed on the morning of April 10, 2010 during a landing approach at the military airstrip near Smolensk. The 96 dignitaries and civilians on-board were members of a Polish delegation joining the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Katyń massacre. In addition to Polish president, Lech Kaczyński and First Lady, Maria Kaczyńska, the victims included some of the most prominent figures of Polish political circles, security service and the plane crew. The complete list of victims is available at www.prezydent.pl.

*          *          *

RELATED INFORMATION

On the order of Russian President Medvedev, Katyń-related documents were released online for the first time on April 29. The documents include packet Number One, which contains the Politburo order of March 5, 1940, suspected to be the Katyń death warrant. The documents in Russian are available here: http://www.rusarchives.ru/publication/katyn/spisok.shtml.

Read PMC Manager and Newsletter Editor Krysta Close’s blog post on the international implications of the plane crash in Smolensk at uscpublicdiplomacy.org.

[Sources: muzyka.onet.pl; muzyka.onet.pl; zkp.org.pl; muzyka.onet.pl; culture.pl; muzyka.onet.pl; muzyka.onet.pl; muzyka.onet.pl, nytimes.com]

CELEBRATIONS OF THE LATE PRESIDENTS

The Warsaw Archdiocesan Cathedral Boys' and Men's Choir, better known as Cantores Minores, sang for the funeral of President Ryszard Kaczorowski on Monday, April 19, at St. John's Cathedral in Warsaw. President Kaczorowski was the last president of the Polish Government-in-Exile. He was one of the 96 victims who died in last week's air crash in Smolensk, Russia.
 
Cantores Minores also had the honor of singing for the wake of President and Mrs. Lech Kaczyński while they lay in state at St. John's Cathedral on April 17.
 
The Cantores Minores choir was founded 20 years ago by its current conductor, Joseph Herter, an American who has been living in Poland for over 35 years.

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TOAST TO PADEREWSKI

On Saturday, April 24, the Board of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles teamed up with Pear Valley Vineyards and Back Roads Wineries to present a concert to benefit the Paderewski Festival Youth Exchange. The “Toast to Paderewski” is an annual concert, wine tasting and silent auction event, of which all proceeds benefit the Paderewski Festival Youth Exchange Program for young pianists. This year’s event was dedicated to the memory of those who perished in the crash in Smolensk, several of whom were supporters of the Festival.

The concert was performed by PMC Director and Paderewski Festival Artistic Director, Marek Zebrowski, and members of the Midnight Winds: Amy Tatum – flute, Andrew Leonard – clarinet, and Maciej Flis – bassoon, with guests Gabrielle Castriotta – oboe and Nathan Board – horn. The program consisted of Krzesimir Dębski’s Film Medley for wind quintet (2009), Grażyna Bacewicz’s Quintet for Wind Instruments (1933), and W.A. Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds, KV 452, as well as I.J. Paderewski’s Ménuet, Op. 14 no. 1 and Légende, Op. 16 no. 1, and F. Chopin’s Contredanse, Opus post., arranged for wind quintet by Mr. Zebrowski. The Chopin arrangement was made especially for this concert and was dedicated to the memory of the First Lady of Poland, Maria Kaczyńska, who was a supporter and friend to the Festival.


L to R: Paso Robles City Councilman Nick Gilman, Paso Robles Mayor Pro-Tem Fred Strong, First District San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Frank Mecham, Paderewski Festival Board President Joel Peterson, Tarnów District Supervisor Mieczysław Kras, City Councilman Ed Steinbeck,Tarnów City Council President Ryszard Zadło, and
Paso Robles Mayor Duane Picanco, outside of the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. [Photo: Carolyn V. Watson]

In attendance at the concert were several Polish dignitaries representing the District of Tarnów in Poland. The District of Tarnów and the City of Paso Robles signed a Sister City agreement in November 2008, to create business and cultural exchange opportunities between the two regions where Paderewski had owned land. Tarnów District Supervisor Mieczysław Kras and Tarnów City Council President Ryszard Zadło remained in Paso Robles for the week after the “Toast to Paderewski” event to discuss details of the 2010 Youth Exchange, which will bring 2 Polish piano students to California during the Paderewski Festival (Nov. 11-14, 2010). In June 2009, 3 students from California spent a week in the manor once owned by Paderewski in Kąśna Dolna near Tarnów.

In her article “Poland, Paso toasts to Paderewski's legacy” in the Paso Robles Press, Hayley Thomas relays the following about the “Toast to Paderewski” event and visit of the Tarnów delegation.

Polish Consul General Joanna Kozinska-Frybes, Tarnow City Council President Ryszard Zadło and Mieczysław Kras, Supervisor of the Tarnow district, mingled with guests and enjoyed front-row seats to the concert, which featured the works of Chopin, Debski, Bacewicz and Paderewski.

The delegation met with the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, local business leaders and members of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance on Friday, April 23 as part of their Paso Robles visit. Paderewski Festival treasurer Stephen Cass said the group discussed ways Paso Robles and Tarnow could expand their relationship, which may include importing Paso Robles wines to Poland.

Cass said remembering Paderewski means remembering the musician, the politician and the humanitarian.

"[Paderewski] was a great musician, and we love his music, but he was also a great human being and humanitarian," said Cass. "He was one of the first major celebrities to do fundraising efforts for people that really needed help, and there was a massive refugee issue in WWII. He played massive concerts to raise millions of dollars to help with relief for those people. He was an extremely good person."

Added festival marketing director Rob Sharp, "he was a big 'first' guy. Paderewski planted the first Zinfandel vineyards in Paso, he was a pioneer in Paso, the first prime minister of a democratic free Poland, so really, he was first to do a lot of things that still affect us today."

Read the entire article here: www.pasoroblespress.com. Other related articles: Polish dignitaries honored by city, county officials and Music festival connects Poland and Paso Robles


Statue of the Paderewski Manor in Kąśna Dolna, presented by Supervisor Mieczysław Kras to Mayor Duane Picanco
[Photo: Dina Mande-Gould]

CHOPIN & PADEREWSKI YEAR

PADEREWSKI COMPETITION IN LOS ANGELES

The Paderewski Music Society in Los Angeles announces the American Paderewski Piano Competition (APPC), to be held from May 26-29, 2010. This competition is open to pianists of any nationality between the ages of 16 to 32. All rounds of the Competition will take place in Thayer Hall of the Colburn School of Music in downtown Los Angeles.

The 2010 Competitors are as follows: Aleksey Artemev - Uzbekistan, Gloria Campaner - Italy, Yang Ding - China, Leonard Gilbert - Canada, Christopher Goodpasture - USA, Beiyao Ji - China, Esther Keel - USA, Nicholas King - USA, Joseph Kingma - USA, Piotr Kosiński - Poland, Martin Labazevitch - USA/Poland, Weiwen Ma - China, Ryan McCullogh MacEvoy - USA, Paweł Motyczyński - Poland, Alexander Nelson - USA, Anna Nizhegorodtseva - Russia, Minkyung Oh - Korea, Igor Pancevski - Macedonia, Sun-A Park - USA, Pavel Petrov - Russia, Jason Stoll - USA, Hsiang John Tu - USA, Francesco Villa - Italy, Przemysław Winnicki - Poland. Find more details about this year’s competitors here.

In the words of Henryk Martenka, the Director of the prestigious International Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland: “Paderewski gained an unconditional respect from the American people, one attributed only to individuals of great success in fighting for the good of a nation, and is one of only a handful of Poles and Europeans that function permanently in the American cultural sphere.  The live memory, perhaps even Paderewski’s legend, forever inspires the creation of something new and of great value.”  The American Paderewski Piano Competition, which feeds directly into the Competition in Bydgoszcz, is an important part of Paderewski’s legacy in America.

Wednesday, May 26 – Saturday, May 29
American Paderewski Piano Competition
Semi-finals, 5/26:
2:00 PM – 6:30 PM & 5/27, 9:00 AM – 7:30 PM [$10, students $5]
(See order of Semi-final performances here)
Finals, 5/28: 10 – 12 AM  /  2 – 4 PM  /  5 – 7 PM [$15, students $7.50]
Awards Ceremony, Laureates' Concert, and Reception, 5/29: 6:30 PM [$40]
Colburn School of Music, Thayer Hall
200 South Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA
More info: APPC-2010.pdf or www.ijpaderewski.org

CHOPIN COMPETITION PARTICIPANTS ANNOUNCED

Although the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw has happened every four years since 1927, this year’s events are of particular significance, for performers and audience members, due to the special anniversary year. The eliminations of this XVIth edition continue apace as the “Preliminaries” have just concluded in Warsaw. The organizers allowed for two additional days of eliminations to accommodate the candidates who were unable to fly to Poland due to volcanic ash cloud over Europe. On April 30th, the jury chaired by Prof. Andrzej Jasiński, qualified 81 pianists to take part in the competition.

The most pianists were invited from Japan (16) and Russia (11). Poland will be represented by six young pianists: Marek Bracha, Jacek Kortus, Marcin Koziak, Joanna Różewska, Gracjan Szymczak and Paweł Wakarecy. For a complete list of pianists who will take part in the main competition please visit konkurs.chopin.pl.

The final stage of the XVIth Competition will be inaugurated on October 1 and 2, 2010. Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire will be among the soloists for the inaugural concerts, and both concerts will take place at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. The first round of the competition will take place between October 3-7, second round between October 9-13, third round between October 14-16 and the final round between October 18-20. Forty pianists will be allowed to enter the second round, 20 pianists in the third round and only 10 finalists at the final stage.

As always, the program of the competition is exclusively Chopin’s music. The 1st round requires competitors to perform two Etudes, a Nocturne or another Etude, and a Ballade, Scherzo, Barcarole in F sharp Major op. 60 or Fantasy in F Minor op. 49. The program of the 2nd round includes a Waltz, one full cycle of Mazurkas, a Polonaise and two works not performed in the first round. The semi-final requires a performance of the Polonaise-Fantasia in A flat Major op. 61, a Sonata and another work not performed in previous rounds. The final round includes a performance of one of Chopin’s Piano Concertos.

The jury of the competition consists of: Andrzej Jasiński – chairman, Martha Argerich, Dang Thai Son, Bella Davidovich, Philippe Entremont, Fou Ts'ong, Nelson Freire, Adam Harasiewicz, Kevin Kenner, Michie Koyama, Piotr Paleczny and Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń.

The concert of the laureates will take place in the Moniuszko Concert Hall of the Grand Theater-National Opera on October 21, 2010. Six of the highest scoring pianists will receive: I Prize -30,000 € and a Gold Medal, II Prize - 25,000 € and a silver medal, III Prize - 20,000 € and bronze medal, IV Prize - 15,000 €, V Prize - 10,000 €, VI Prize - 7,000 €. The remaining finalists will receive 4,000 € each. Additionally there are several special awards: Frederic Chopin Society Award for the best performance of a Polonaise in the 2nd round (3,000 €), Polish Radio Award for the best performance of Mazurkas (3,000 €), National Philharmonic Award for the best performance of a Concerto (3,000 €), National Frederic Chopin Institute Award for the best performance of a Sonata (3,000 €) and an Award of the Provost of the Chopin Music University in Warsaw for the best performance of Polonaise-Fantasia in A flat Major op. 61 (3,000 €).

[Sources: polmic.com; wiadomosci.wp.pl; culture.pl; muzyka.onet.pl]

ANNIVERSARY OF CHOPIN’S BAPTISM

On April 23 at the St. Roch and John the Baptist Church in Brochów, a special mass was held to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s baptism in the very same church. The liturgy was attended by: Bogdan Zdrojewski – Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Waldemar Dąbrowski – Chairman of the Chopin 2010 Committee and, Andrzej Sułek – director of the National Frederic Chopin Institute. During the mass, Villa Musica Ensemble performed Józef Elsner’s Muzyka podczas Mszy Świętej z odgłosem wdzięcznych pieni [Music during the Holy Mass with the Sound of Graceful Songs], with words by Kazimierz Brodziński.

The church in Brochów is a unique architectural treasure, with a design that combines a sacred space with a structure for military defense. It is approximately 10 kilometers from Żelazowa Wola where Chopin was born. In honor of Chopin’s 200th birthday, the church has been carefully restored and the acoustics of the basilica were specially tuned so that it can accommodate concerts.

[Source: culture.pl]

BALLET PREMIERE: CHOPIN, THE ROMANTIC ARTIST

The fact that Chopin never composed a ballet has not stopped the dancers of the Polish National Ballet from celebrating the anniversary of this great composer. At the initiative of Waldemar Dąbrowski, director of the Polish National Theatre [Teatr Wielki] and coordinator of the Chopin anniversary celebrations, a new ballet has been designed in Warsaw, invoking the great Polish Romantic’s life and history.

CHOPIN, the Romantic artist, a ballet in two acts, will premiere on May 9 at the Grand Opera National Theater. A truly European choreographic world premiere, the inspiration comes from Warsaw but the ballet will look at the legend of the great Polish composer from the point of view of Paris, with which Chopin had such close ties.

The production is choreographed by Patrice Bart, the great French ballet master from the Paris Opera who is one of few contemporary choreographers specializing in the creation of new full-length ballets. The script is the work of writer Antoni Libera and musical concept is created by Stanisław Leszczyński, including not only pieces by Fryderyk Chopin but also composers who were influenced by his work: Hector Berlioz, Sergei Lyapunov, Franz Liszt, and Robert Schumann. The music is set to life by conductor Tadeusz Kozłowski, the Orchestra of the Polish National Opera, mezzo-soprano Agnieszka Rehlis and pianists Krzysztof Jabłoński, Paweł Sobowiec and Sławomir Wilk. 

May 9, 11, 12, 15 & 22
CHOPIN, the Romantic artist

Teatr Wielki
Plac Teatralny 1, 00-950 Warsaw

[Source: www.teatrwielki.pl. muzyka.onet.pl, culture.pl]

NEW DESIGN FOR CHOPIN.PL

Chopin.pl, a website started in 1997 under the supervision of the Fryderyk Chopin Society in Warsaw, encompasses an extensive wealth of information about Chopin in both English and Polish. Now, in the anniversary year, chopin.pl has a new website design and organizational layout. Please visit chopin.pl to learn more.

CHOPIN MUSEUM OPEN FOR THE PUBLIC


Ostrogski Castle - Frederic Chopin Museum
Photo by Marek Dusza

The long awaited opening of the brand new Frederic Chopin Museum in Warsaw took place on March 1, 2010, however the museum opened for the public on April 6, 2010. On the first day an estimated 400 patrons visited this state of the art Chopin center, which requires reservations. According to Łukasz Stępniak, representative of the museum, the reservations are filled until May and there are even requests for days in the next calendar year. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or in person at the museum. There are some interesting photos from the first days at the museum available at www.culture.pl.

[Sources: culture.pl; rmfclassic.pl]

CHOPIN & GUESTS FEATURES PREMIERE

On May 2nd, the Celebrity Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Maestro Andrew Rozbicki returns with a magnificent recreation of music by Fryderyk Chopin and world famous arias and songs. Entitled “Chopin and Guests,” this year’s concert features soloists from Poland—mezzo-soprano Beata Wardak, tenor Leszek Świdziński, baritone Tomasz Rak—as well as pianist Elizabeth Schumann.

 The program includes Chopin’s, Piano Concerto no.1 in E-minor, vocal and instrumental music and the World Premiere of Walter Buczyński’s Remembrances (Chopin 2010). Composer and pianist, W. Buczyński was the first-ever Canadian to participate in the Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw 1960.

Sunday, May 2, 2010, 5:00pm
Chopin and Guests concert with the Celebrity Symphony Orchestra

Convocation Hall, University Of Toronto
31 King College Circle
For tickets: www.uofttix.ca
Information and tickets: www.rozbicki.com

PADERWSKI PLAYS AGAIN


Aeolian piano roll performed by I.J Paderewski. Polish Music Center Collection.

The Polish Museum of America will present a pianola concert given by Rex Lawson, founder of the Pianola Institute in London, on Sunday May16th in the Great Hall of the Museum at 2 pm. The concert will feature a1925 Steinway reproducing piano (or pianola) and a program comprised of piano rolls punched out by Ignacy Paderewski on the works of Chopin, Liszt, and Schubert. Although the founders of the Pianola Institute have given a multitude of pianola concerts throughout Europe and North America, this is the only such concert known to be scheduled for this year.

The concert is dedicated to the memories of the late Polish President Lech Kaczyński and his wife, First Lady Maria Kaczyńska.

Sunday, May 16, 2010
Paderewski Recital presented by The Pianola Institute
The Polish Museum of America
984 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL
Info & tickets: 773-384-3352 x 104 or 206

[Source: chopin-paderewski.org, www.pianola.org]

VANCOUVER CHOPIN FESTIVAL

The Vancouver Chopin Society and Consulate General of the Republic of Poland will organize a three day Festival 14-16 May, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. The Festival will include lectures, performances and master-classes.

On Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10am, Prof. Irena Poniatowska will give a lecture about Chopin’s Preludes at the Vancouver Academy of Music, 1270 Chestnut Street, Vancouver. Prof. Poniatowska teaches at the Institute of Musicology of the Warsaw University, and is theauthor of many books and over 100 articles published in the leading music periodicals in Poland and abroad.

On Friday, May 14, 2010 at 8 pm brilliant Polish mezzo-soprano Urszula Krygier will sing Chopin songs at Magee Theatre, 6360 Maple Street, Vancouver. Ms. Krygier has performed these songs in many of the major halls in the world, including La Scala in Milan, and she will give a pre-performance talk at 7 pm. She will be joined by Zbigniew Raubo on piano. The second half of the concert will be a performance of Chopin’s Piano Trio Op. 8 and Cello Sonata, Op. 65, played by Libby Yu – piano, Joseph Elworthy – cello, and Joan Blackman – violin.

On Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 8 pm Don Mowatt and Carolyn Finlay will give a dramatic reading at the Magee Theatre. Entitled "Weeping Muse, Broken Lyre," it is a series of dramatic dialogues, in costume, between composer Frederic Chopin and author George Sand. The words in the title refer to the images on the memorial monument to Chopin in Père Lachaise Cemetery, sculpted by Sand's son-in-law.

On Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm, pianist Zbigniew Raubo will perform an All-Chopin recital at Vancouver Playhouse. He will perform: Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52; Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major, Op. 47; Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp minor, Op. 39; Scherzo No. 4 in E major, Op. 54; Four Mazurkas, Op. 41; and Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58.

For more details, see the Festival flyer at www.chopinsociety.org.

CHOPIN FESTIVAL IN SWEDEN

According to the international news service of Polish Radio:

The Royal College of Music in Stockholm and the Polish Institute in the Swedish capital are jointly launching the Swedish Chopin Festival today.

Initiated by established pianist and college professor Staffan Scheja, the four-day event is one of the highlights of Sweden’s ongoing Chopin Year commemorations.

The festival will see performances of almost all the pieces for piano composed by Fryderyk Chopin, staged by 33 Swedish pianists, ranging from world-class virtuosos to gifted young artists at the threshold of their musical career.

To read the entire article, visit thenews.pl.

D.C. CHOPIN FESTIVAL

Under the High Patronage of His Excellency the Ambassador of Poland Mr. Robert Kupiecki and His Excellency the Ambassador of France Mr. Pierre Vimont, the Andrzej Markowski Foundation presents the Chopin Festival in Washington, D.C., May-June 2010.

5 May: Opening of the Chopin Festival
Recital - Anna Radziejewska (soprano) and Mariusz Rutkowski (piano)
Kreeger Museum
Program: Songs by Chopin, Karłowicz, Lutosławski, Paderewski and Britten
 
9 & 10 May:
Piano recital – Eugene Indjic
Dumbarton Oaks Museum
Program: Chopin - 4 Mazurkas op 30, Sonate no 3 op 58, 4 Impromptus op.29, 36, 51, 66, Scherzo op.32

16 May: Chamber music – Royal String Quartet and Eugene Indjic (piano)
Phillips Collection
Program: Górecki, Bacewicz and Chopin

19 May: Lecture given by Prof Marek Dyżewski
Kreeger Museum
Lecture title: “Chopin in the eyes of poets and painters”

22 May: Films about Fryderyk Chopin
National Gallery of Art
Program: Youth of Chopin (1952) directed by Aleksander Ford

27 May: Lecture given by Prof Aleksander Laskowski & Piano recital - Jaś Lisiecki
Salon of the Polish Embassy
Title: “Identity of Fryderyk Chopin”
Program : TBA

6 June: Final Concert Recital– Olga Pasichnyk (soprano) and Natalya Pasichnyk (piano)
Pope John Paul II Cultural Center
Program: Songs and piano works by Chopin, Lutosławski, Ravel and Szymanowski

NAT’L PHIL & PALECZNY CELEBRATE CHOPIN & SCHUMANN

On Saturday, May 22, the National Philharmonic and their conductor Piotr Gajewski will perform a program featuring pianist Piotr Paleczny, entitled “The Polish Masters & Schumann.” The program will include Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Piano Concert No. 1 and the Manfred Overture of Schumann.

A judicious merging of the National Chamber Orchestra and Masterworks Chorus on July 1, 2003 created the National Philharmonic, with a 55-year combined history of high caliber musical performances in the local area. The National Philharmonic became the Music Center at Strathmore’s ensemble-in-residence in February 2005. Since then, the Philharmonic has performed more than 100 concerts in the Concert Hall at Strathmore, showcasing world-renowned guest artists in time-honored symphonic masterpieces conducted by Maestro Piotr Gajewski and monumental choral masterworks under National Philharmonic Chorale Artistic Director Stan Engebretson.

Saturday, May 22, 2010 | 8 P.M.
The Polish Masters & Schumann

Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman LN., North Bethesda, MD
Click here to purchase tickets online or call (301) 581-5100

[Source: nationalphilharmonic.org]

AUGUSCIK / CHOPIN WORLD SOUND

The European premiere of the concert series “Chopin 200 - Grazyna Auguscik's World Sound” too place on February 23, 2010, with the Poznań Philharmonic. Polish jazz vocalist Grażyna Auguścik will continue her series with a May 2010 E.U. Tour.

Grażyna Auguścik is known for unusual musical projects of the highest artistic merit and this time is no different. She has invited classical and jazz musicians to integrate jazz vocals with the sound of three trombones, bass and accordion in arrangements created by Jarosław Bestera and Andrzej Jagodziński. The tour features band members Jarek Bester-accordion, Matt Ulery-bass, and the Chicago International Trombone Trio.

Chopin 200 - Grazyna Auguscik's World Sound E.U. Tour

9 May 2010 | 8:30pm
Sonntagskonzert im Spiegelsaal
Berlin, Germany

11-12 May 2010
TBA

13 May 2010 | 7pm
Teatr Praga
Warsaw, Poland

14 May 2010  | 8:30pm
Pick & Roll Club
Sopot, Poland

15 May 2010
City Hall
Słupsk, Poland

16 May 2010
P.C.I.
Rome, Italy

The U.S. premier concert of “Chopin 200 - Grazyna Auguscik's World Sound” will take place on Sunday, July 25, 2010 in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

[Sources: www.grazynaauguscik.com; culture.pl]

CONCERTS IN ŻELAZOWA WOLA

From May 2 until the end of the summer, Żelazowa Wola Manor will host a cycle of Chopin recitals every Sunday. Each of the recitals will be performed by world class pianists, including laureates of the International Chopin Competition. To celebrate Chopin’s 200th birthday the manor was extensively renovated. All the additional facilities have turned the manor into a world-class museum.

The concerts at Żelazowa Wola were established in 1954 by Prof Zbigniew Drzewiecki. Until 2005 the Chopin Society in Warsaw was responsible for organization of the recitals, but since 2006 the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute oversees this great tradition.

Recital schedule for May:

  • 2 May 2010, 12:00 noon - Karol Radziwonowicz; 3:00 pm - Aleksandra Świgut
  • 9 May 2010, 12:00 noon - Bronisława Kawalla; 3:00 pm - Magdalena Lisak
  • 16 May 2010, 12:00 noon - Beata Bilińska; 3:00 pm - Janusz Olejniczak
  • 23 May 2010, 12:00 noon - Piotr Machnik; 3:00 pm - Igor Lovchinsky
  • 30 May 2010, 12:00 noon - Paweł Kowalski; 3:00 pm - Wojciech Świtała

For more information please visit www.chopin.nifc.pl.

[Source: culture.pl]

SKORACZEWSKI AT POLISH EMBASSY

Dariusz Skoraczewski and Michael Adcock will play a cello and piano recital at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington D.C. on May 8. The recital is one of the art and music events of "Embassy series.”

 

“CHOPIN IS COOL” COMPETITION

Marek Gawdzik and his project "Fryderyk.Ch." has won First Prize the "Chopin is cool" competition for the best advertising campaign to popularize Chopin and his work among young people. Participants in the competition were challenged to prepare a contemporary and unique advertising campaign targeted at people between 18 and 35 years of age.

According to Gawdzik’s project, stickers, posters and gadgets signed "Fryderyk.Ch." would appear in numerous Polish cities. In clubs, pubs and restaurants there would be free postcards with greetings from Fryderyk Ch. from Paris signed "Tęsknię" [I miss you]. Copies of Chopin’s notes and sheet music, signed with request for contact would be scattered around higher education institutions and the Warsaw Subway would be plastered with stickers saying "Stukot niczym Metro Forte. Fryderyk Ch." [The sound of train wheels is just like Metro Forte. Fryderyk.Ch], making a play on words with the musical term, mezzo forte. Similar creative messages would make their way into shopping malls and fitting rooms of boutiques. The web address www.fryderyk.ch would host Fryderyk.Ch’s blog with fragments of his music and daily posts.

The 2nd prize went to Izabela Austin and Paulina Munakova for their project, "Real Chopin." 3rd prize was given to Krzysztof Bętkowski, Iga Szulc and Wojciech Kres for the "Chopin Alternator." The competition was organized by the Bureau of the Chopin 2010 Celebrations in collaboration with The School for the Masters of Advertising.

[Source: rmfclassic.pl]

CHOPIN’S TULIPS

The new kind of tulip, named “Preludium Chopina” [Chopin’s Prelude], was presented on April 23 in Łazenki Park. The bulbs of the new flower were donated by the Kingdom of Netherlands, the home of tulips, as a gift for Chopin’s 200th birthday. Having been planted back in November 2009, they bloomed for the first time this spring in their lilac color, supposedly loved by the composer.

The creation of “Preludium Chopina,” took Jan Lighart, a well known planter, twenty years to develop by crossing several other strains of tulip. Having developed the light crème-colored “Maria Kaczyńska” tulip, the red “Irena Sendler” tulip and the “Mikołaj Kopernik” tulip, this is the 4th kind to be named after a Pole. To date the Royal General Bulb Growers' Association (KAVB) has registered some 4,500 kinds of tulips.

[Sources: rmfclassic.pl, thenews.pl]

 

1
NEWS

KULENTY PREMIERE

Polish composer Hanna Kulenty's opera The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams will have its Polish premiere on May 15 and 16 at the Wrocław Opera. The production is directed by Ewelina Pietrowiak and conducted by Wojciech Michniewski. This one-act opera was written in 1995 to a libretto in English by Canadian writer Paul Goodman.The premiere is a part of the Musica Polonica Nova Festival in Wrocław.

Hanna Kulenty is a Polish composer, born on March 18, 1961 in Białystok, Poland. Since 1992 she lives both in Warsaw (Poland) and in Arnhem (The Netherlands). She has been considered one of the leading figures on the Polish composers’ scene since the success of her opera The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams at the 5th edition of the prestigious Münchener Biennale in 1996. Of the many awards Kulenty has won, the most prestigious one was the first prize at UNESCO’s 50th International Rostrum of Composers with her composition Trumpet Concerto (2002). To explore the composer’s thoughts on composition, works, recordings and manuscripts in the PMC Collection, please see her PMC Composer Page.

The following are Director Claus Guth’s thoughts on creating the 9 December 1996 premiere performance of The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams, from the website of the Münchener Biennale:

The prerequisites for an exciting collaboration with Hanna Kulenty and Paul Goodman were ideal: we had intensive and fundamental conversations, and only after we had exchanged ideas did Hanna Kulenty go off on her own and compose the work, without delay, without stopping. The result was surprising and unleashed a very suggestive maelstrom effect, which I had never experienced before.

The secret behind this phenomenon lies in the arcs of suspense that Hanna Kulenty draws so skillfully. She works with an intuitive, sleep-walking confidence and immerses herself in a world of sound with an almost manic intensity. Listening to her music, I always had to make a decision: turn off the cassette immediately or take a highly emotional journey. Starting point of the piece is the multiple personalities of the protagonist - medicine refers to this condition with the abbreviation MPS and says that in 90% of all cases the afflicted were sexually abused as young children. The victim can apparently deal with such an experience only by distributing emotions to several (internal) persons. The pain has to be distributed, and thus a type of "amnesia" exists between the so-called "alter-persons", i.e., a loss of memory. The personalities have no knowledge of the life histories of the other personalities, they don't remember the same things. Therefore it happens that people suffering from multiple personalities give names to the "distributed roles". […] A fatal cycle begins where whoever is "responsible" appears, depending on the external situation. […]

The theatre medium allows the artistic device of turning the schizoid thoughts of a person, described beforehand, into real living beings. In this manner, the single contrary conditions and emotional states of a person can be shown simultaneously, given that one succeeds in designating the singers and actors as being one person. The set designer Christian Schmidt and I try to approach the lead role Clara from the outside and simultaneously documentarily: the unmoving look out of the window, a realistic room. And so a growing friction between Clara's monstrous fantasies and the external banal situation is created, until reality and imagination become intermingled on stage during the course of the rest of the piece. […]Perhaps we will succeed - above all by means of the power of suggestion in Hanna Kulenty's music - in blurring for a short time the sensitive border between reality and imagination.

[Claus Guth, What is real, what is normal?]

May 15 and 16, 2010 | 5:00 pm
Kulenty Premiere: The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams

Wrocław Opera
ul. Świdnicka 35, 50 - 066 Wrocław

[Sources: www.hannakulenty.com, www.muenchenerbiennale.de]

BLECHARZ PREMIERE

A new composition by Wojciech Blecharz, entitled Hypopnea and written for solo accordion, will be given its World Premiere on May 12 at 7:00 pm as a part of the Musica Polonica Nova Festival in Wrocław. It will be performed by Maciej Frąckiewicz, to whom the piece is dedicated.  Frąckiewicz is part of the TWOgether Duo with cellist Magdalena Bojanowicz.

Blecharz recently shared the following details about his new piece with the PMC:

In my new piece for accordion solo, Hypopnea, I am trying to explore the unconventional timbre of the accordion. After a number of meetings with wonderful accordionist, Maciej Frąckiewicz, we created new timbre for his instrument: out of tune, unstable, unreliable, with random occurrences of air in the sound, with descending quarer-tone glissandi at the end of each crescendo, full of beatings and pitch bending. The inspiration for technological and spiritual aspects of this composition is my own breathing and its dysfunction.

This is why, in playing this piece, the musician is no longer the master of his instrument and has to deal with breathing difficulties and accept imposed disabilities. This gives new ways of phrasing, of shaping the dynamic contour and density of the texture.

The structure of the piece is divided onto 7 phases: /HYPOPNEA shallow breath / KI life force, energy flow/ /APNEA suspension of breathing / PNEUMA circulation of the air/ /OXYGEN / SPIRITUS breath-spirit/ /PRANAYAMA restrain-release/ RESPIRATOR restrained release

The arrangement of sound objects represents the words of a "breath mantra":

...breath itself is the personal mantra of our life
twenty thousand times a day a person tells the world 
in whispers sighs shouts words gasps breathing in and out
the mantra of their life
twenty thousand times a day...

To learn more about Wojtek Blecharz and hear samples of his music, visit his page at myspace.com/wojtekblecharz.

MOSS PREMIERE

The world premiere of Piotr Moss’ Double Cello Concerto “Passions” will take place on May 6, as part of the 3rd edition of the contemporary music festival, “Île de découvertes,” in the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines theater in the Île-de-France region. Commissioned by the Orchestre National d’Île de-France, the concerto receives its first performance with this orchestra and accompanying cellists Jérôme Pernoo and Raphaël Chrétien under the direction of Kaspar Zehnder.

During the 3 days of the Festival, there will be 10 different public events, including: orchestral concerts, an opera for children, chamber concerts, conservatory student concerts, conferences, meetings with composers, and pedagogical presentations. The theme of this year’s Festival is contemporary Italian music.

May 6, 2010 | 8:30 pm
Piotr Moss - Double Cello Concerto premiere

Île de découvertes Festival
Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Theater
Île de-France, France

MACIEJEWSKI CELEBRATION

To celebrate the 100th birthday of Roman Maciejewski, Poznań Opera is preparing the staging of a new musical monodrama, Maski Władzy. The premiere of the work will take place on May 7, 2010 at the Poznań Opera. Krzysztof Słowiński is the musical director of the project while Sylwester Biraga is responsible for directing the play. The single actor in the play is Tomasz Raczkiewicz, accompanied by the Poznań Grand Theater Orchestra.

During his career, Roman Maciejewski worked closely with theatre directors such as Ingmar Bergman and Knut Strøm. These collaborations resulted in a fair amount of theatrical music which, even when separated from the stage action, remains artistically valid by itself. Musical settings from Caligula by Albert Camus, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the Chinese drama Lute Song by Kao-Tsa-Tcheng went into the creation of the new monodrama. According to Shakespearian formula, the actor plays the whole world. The various sections of the work show a man in different circumstances, wearing different masks—the true face is revealed only rarely. The actor alternates between the tyrant and the victim to show the duality of human nature.

May 7, 2010
100th birthday of Roman Maciejewski

Poznań Opera
ul. Fredry 9, 61-701 Poznań

[Source: opera.poznan.pl]

ANDERSZEWSKI’S “SZYMANOWSKI PROJECT”

Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski has undertaken a personal quest to shine a light on the oft-ignored music of Karol Szymanowski, who is recognized as the father of Polish modern music. Anderszewski’s latest endeavor in this journey is the “Szymanowski Project” at Carnegie Hall in New York, during which he is performing Szymanowski’s alluring compositions in three concerts of orchestral music, chamber music, and piano pieces. Playbill writer Harry Haskill shares Anderszewski’s thoughts about Szymanowski’s music:

“It is a very sad thing, but as a pianist in Poland, you are asked to play Chopin and nothing else. Nobody asks you to play Szymanowski,” says Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski. Paradoxically, it was the very fact that he felt no pressure to program Szymanowski's music that first sparked Anderszewski's interest. Determined to find out whether there was more to the composer's scores than first met his eye, he decided to give a concert performance of Métopes, a set of three Debussy-esque piano miniatures inspired by the mythology and landscape of ancient Greece.

“I learned measure after measure without understanding what the music was all about,” Anderszewski says. “One day, when I could more or less play through the piece, an incredible line suddenly appeared, hidden within the music. It's a line that is not very obvious unless you know the piece very well. This discovery was one of the greatest artistic satisfactions I've ever had. It was like sailing into unknown waters and suddenly seeing a new piece of land.”

[Reprinted from PLAYBILL®. PLAYBILL® is a registered trademark of Playbill Incorporated, NYC. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Read the entire article at soundinsights.carnegiehall.org]

Anderszewski also recently discussed the power and depth of Szymanowski’s music with Stuart Isacoff in the Wall Street Journal:

"He was influenced by many musical trends," Mr. Anderszewski admits, "in a period—especially before the first World War—of incredible turmoil, decadence and what seemed like the end of the world. You may say his work is lacking in a clear sense of style, but for me it is the opposite: He actually summarized European music of his time. He is, for me, the symbol of the cosmopolitan composer of his era, a synthesis of all that was happening. That's the real Szymanowski.

"Of course it's ironic," continues the pianist. "Chopin, who left home to live in Paris, longed to express his Polishness in every piece. Szymanowski remained in Poland, took an active part in local musical life, even decided to give up a lucrative offer to teach in Cairo in order to devote his energy to the Warsaw Conservatory. Yet he is musically less Polish than Chopin."

Nevertheless, says the pianist, this music is remarkably compelling, especially for its eroticism. To make his point, Mr. Anderszewski points to works that will be performed on the Zankel Hall programs. One is a set of three piano pieces entitled "Metopes." "These are pieces about women," he says, "taken from the Odyssey. One is about the Sirens: Imagine the plight of Ulysses, knowing that if he hears their songs he will crash his ship on the rocks. But he also knows they are the most beautiful sounds that can be imagined, so he has his men put wax in their own ears and then, because he will lose control, tie him up. Doesn't that touch all of our lives—the temptation, the beauty, the desire even to die sometimes? Szymanowski understood that, and this music is filled with the torture of being tempted.”

Read the entire article, entitled “Out of Chopin’s Shadow,” at online.wsj.com.

For the first Carnegie Hall concert on April 13th, Anderszewski joined The Philadelphia Orchestra and Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit in a program of Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 4, Op. 60 “Symphonie concertante,” (this piece was dedicated to victims of the Smolensk crash during the concert), Debussy’s La mer, and Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps. Read reviews of the concert at the New York Times and the Classical Music Network.

For the last two concerts in the Szymanowski Project series, Anderszewski is joined by the Belcea Quartet (Corina Belcea-Fisher – violin, Laura Samuel – violin, Krzysztof Chorzelski – viola, and Antoine Lederlin – Cello), as well as violinist Henning Kraggerud and soprano Iwona Sobotka. The May 1st program includes: Szymanowski’s String Quartet No. 1, Janáček’s In the Mists, Szymanowski’s Mythes for Violin and Piano, Op. 30 and Słopiewnie, Op. 46b, and Bartók’s String Quartet No. 1. The May 2nd program features: Szymanowski’s Metopes, Op. 29, Schumann’s Märchenbilder, Op. 113, Bartók’s Three Hungarian Folksongs from Csík, BB 45b, and Szymanowski’s Songs of a Fairytale Princess, Op. 31 and String Quartet No. 2.

Watch an excerpt from Bruno Monsaingeon's 2008 film, Piotr Anderszewski: Unquiet Traveller, during which the pianist discusses his initial reaction to playing Szymanowski’s music. DVD copies of the film may be purchased at arkivmusic.com.

Saturday, May 1 & Sunday, May 2 | 7:30 pm
Piotr Anderszewski presents Szymanowski Project recitals
Carnegie Hall, Zankel Hall
57th St. and Seventh Ave., New York, NY
Tickets & Info: www.carnegiehall.org or 212-247-7800

[Sources: webfactory.fcny.org/kf, carnegiehall.org, nytimes.com, online.wsj.com]

KOSZALIN PHIL NEWS

According to the announcement, the construction work should for the new Koszalin Philharmonic Building begin in July of this year and the completion date is estimated for April 2013. The building will stand in the park near the CK 105 Culture Center, which currently serves as a temporary home of the Koszalin Symphonic Orchestra.

The new Philharmonic building was designed by architects from Poznań. It is supposed to be a four level, 5,5 thousand square meter building with a concert hall and all the necessary amenities. The concert hall will seat 518 visitors and the stage is designed for orchestras up to 70 players plus a 40 piece choir.

The Stanisław Moniuszko Philharmonic in Koszalin was created in 1956. In the beginning the group performed under the name Koszalin Symphonic Orchestra Society. The orchestra consists of 62 full time musicians. The Koszalin Philharmonic has performed with the top Polish conductors and soloists and has 13 CDs to its name. To find out more about the ensemble please visit www.filharmoniakoszalinska.pl.

[Source: muzyka.onet.pl]

NY KOSCIUSZKO FDN. CONCERTS

Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm, soprano Lauren Skuce and pianist Marija Stroke will perform in the Chamber Music Series of the Kosciuszko Foundation. Their program features a set of songs by Chopin, commemorating the bicentennial of the composer's birth; and Songs of Life and Love by New York-based composer Bruce Adolphe. The afternoon will include the popular song-cycle Frauenliebe und Leben of Robert Schumann and ends with the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss.

Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm
Recital with soprano Lauren Skuce and pianist Marija Stroke
Kosciuszko Foundation House
15 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065
Information: (212) 734-2130
Tickets & info: www.thekf.org/kf/events

On Friday, May 7, 2010 at 7:30pm pianist Edward Auer will play a special benefit concert supporting the Cultural Fund of the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York. Auer’s program will include Chopin’s Four Ballades, Polonaise Fantasy, Mazurkas and more.

Edward Auer was the first American to win the prestigious International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. He returned to Poland more than 20 times for concert tours, playing in every major city and with every major orchestra. The artist has played solo recitals and concertos more than 30 countries on five continents.

For the past two years, Edward Auer has been working on an ambitious series of recordings of the works of Chopin, to celebrate that composer’s 2010 bicentennial. As currently projected it will consist of at least eight volumes. The first, Chopin Nocturnes Volume 1, was released to great acclaim and a dazzling review from New York Concert Review’s Harris Goldsmith.

The Kosciuszko Foundation is dedicated to promoting educational and cultural exchanges between the United States and Poland and to increasing American understanding of Polish culture and history. Your contribution to the Kosciuszko Foundation Cultural Fund helps to support a wide variety of cultural programs including:

  • Chamber Music Series, broadcast monthly on WQXR-FM
  • Authors Evenings with Norman Davies, Jan Karski, Susan Sontag, and Adam Zamoyski
  • Tribute to Warsaw Uprising including a dramatic reading of poetry by Elzbieta Czyzewska (2009)
  • Exhibitions of extraordinary Polish art
  • Chopin Memorial Concert at Lincoln Center, hosted by Tony Randall and Billy Joel (1999)
  • The Sembrich Voice Scholarship Competition
  • Publication of the full-color art album entitled Polish Masters from the Kosciuszko Foundation Collection
  • Chopin Piano Competition, now in its 61 year
  • Screenings of films by Krzysztof Kieslowski and Krzysztof Zanussi
  • Gala Concerts at Carnegie Hall with Ewa Podleś (2003) and honoring Paderewski, featuring Sinfonia Varsovia (2001)

Friday, May 7, 2010 | 7:30pm
Benefit concert with Edward Auer

Kosciuszko Foundation House
15 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065
Information: (212) 734-2130
Tickets & info: www.thekf.org/kf/events
A reception with the artist will follow the concert

[Source: www.thekf.org]

CONSTITUTION DAY CELEBRATIONS

Los Angeles, CA

On Sunday, May 2 at 3:00 pm, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles will celebrate the May 3rd Constitution Day with a special mass at the Polish Church in West Adams. This mass will also commemorate the victims of the April 10 crash in Smolensk.

Sunday, May 2, 2010 | 3:00 pm
May 3rd Constitution Day Commemoration
Our Lady of the Bright Mount
3424 W. Adams, Los Angeles, CA 90018

Washington, DC

On Monday, May 3, 2010, at 7:00 pm, the Kosciuszko Foundation in Washington, DC celebrates “Constitution Day with Chopin.” The concert of Chopin's music will feature pianist Regina Romanowska, a graduate of Moscow State Conservatory, inspired Romantic and distinguished interpreter of F. Chopin's music. Ms. Romanowska will play a wide variety of Chopin’s compositions, including mazurkas, waltzes and etudes, as well as the Consolation in D flat Major by Chopin’s colleague, Franz Lizst.

May 3, 2010 | 7 pm
Constitution Day with Chopin
Georgetown University, Gaston Hall
37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, DC

San Francisco, CA

The Polish American Community in the San Francisco Bay Area will celebrate the 219th annual commemoration of the May 3rd Polish Constitution of 1791 on Sunday, May 2nd. Poland's constitution was the first democratic one in Europe and the second in the world, after the Constitution of the United States. The San Francisco Polish May 3rd Constitution Festival at the Golden Gate Park is hosted by the Polish American Congress. This is a day for live Polish music, folk dances, original art, jewelry, food and merchandise imported from Poland.

Sunday, May 2, 2010 | 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
May 3rd Constitution Festival

County Fair Bldg. (former Hall of Flowers)
9th Av. and Lincoln Way, San Francisco, CA
Admission is free
Information: www.pacnorcal.org or call (925) 360-9286.

ALL THAT JAZZ EXHIBIT

A photo exhibit entitled “All That Jazz” by Polish-born American artist Ryszard Horowitz is currently on display in Poznań, Poland. According to the international service of Polish Radio:

On display are several dozen black-and-white photographs from the late 1950s, featuring the stars of Polish and world jazz scene, such as Krzysztof Komeda, Jan ‘Ptaszyn’ Wróblewski, Count Basie and Cootie Williams. They were made both in Poland and the United States, where Horowitz emigrated in 1959.

Ryszard Horowitz is one of the youngest known survivors of the concentration camp of Auschwitz. He was five years old when the camp was liberated in January 1945.

A graduate of the Fine Arts Academy in Kraków, he developed a successful career in the United States, particularly as a forerunner of the computer-aided photo processing. In 1967 he set up his own photographic studio. He made a name as a pioneer of special effects photography prior to digital technology.

In addition to many other legendary jazz musicians, Horowitz had the opportunity to photograph Dave Brubeck in both Poland and the US. Horowitz shares the following excerpt of a letter he received from Brubeck after sending him one of the photos on his website, www.ryszardhorowitz.com:

“The Quartet tour of Poland in 1958 always remain [sic] an important part of my life story. It was the first time I had been in Europe wince I was there as a soldier in World War II. The month of March in Poland is gray and grim but hearts and minds of the people we met were colorful, vivid and warm as it was manifested in their music and art.”

Horowitz has toured around the world exhibiting his jazz photos. In 2008, he was presented with the Gloria Artis Gold Medal awarded by the Polish Ministry of Culture.

[Sources: thenews.pl; ryszardhorowitz.com]

 

AWARDS

PTASZYŃSKA AWARDED GUGGENHEIM FELLOWSHIP

Polish composer and percussionist Marta Ptaszyńska has received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Award in the Creative Arts - Music Composition category for 2010. Often characterized as "midcareer" awards, Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

During this year’s eighty-sixth annual competition, the Foundation has awarded 180 Fellowships to artists, scientists, and scholars from United States and Canada. The successful candidates were chosen from a group of some 3,000 applicants. For a list of the 2010 Creative Arts Fellows, please see www.gf.org.

[Source: Guggenheim Memorial Foundation]

FRYDERYKI WINNERS HONOR CRASH VICTIMS

"Artists wanted to express how they feel, and the best way they can do it is through music,”
said Stanisław Trzciński, one of the organizers of the special concert.
Photo: Marek Dusza/Quote: culture.pl

The presentation of the winners of this year's Fryderyki Awards, the Polish equivalent of the American Grammy Awards, was altered in recognition of this spring’s more somber tone. Instead of the two separate ceremonies that have been the tradition for 15 years, a single concert on April 19 at the Salesian Basilica in Warsaw was performed in the honor of the victims of the April 10 plane crash near Smolensk. The concert was entitled "Fryderyk 2010. Artyści w hołdzie ofiarom katastrofy lotniczej w Smoleńsku” [Fryderyk 2010. Artists for the victims of the plane Crash in Smolensk]. The list of award winners was read, however only near the end of the concert and without the usual hype.

The concert began with playback of the original recording of Czesław Niemen’s song Dziwny jest ten świat [It is a Strange World]. During the evening several Polish pop/jazz/classical stars performed, including Agata Zubel, Bartłomiej Kominek, Janusz Olejniczak, Włodzimierz Nahorny and Wojciech Karolak, Kayah with the Royal String Quartet, Anna Maria Jopek, Staszek Sojka, Dorota Miśkiewicz, and Justyna Steczkowska. Janusz Olejniczak performed some of Chopin’s music and Krzysztof Kolberger recited lyrical texts. The same stage was shared by pop and jazz musicians and the event culminated with a performance of the song Dziwny jest ten świat, arranged by Adam Sztaba for 12 string instruments and performed by all artists participating in the concert, including also: Maryla Rodowicz, Ewa Bem, Kuba Badach and Piotr Cugowski.

The concert was broadcast live by TVP 1. Some photographs from the concert are available at culture.pl. The following artists were honored with the Fryderyk Award:

FRYDERYK 2010 – CLASSICAL MUSIC

Composer of the Year

Stanisław MORYTO

Album of the Year – Choral and Oratorio Music

Felix Nowowiejski: Missa Pro Pace, Missa Stella Maris (DUX)
Soloists: Anna Dramowicz – organ and Maciej Ingielewicz – organ; Ensembles: the Olsztyń Chamber Choir “Collegium Musicum” – conductor Janusz Wiliński and the Felix Nowowiejski Philharmonic Orchestra in Olsztyń, conductor – Janusz Przybylski

Album of the Year – Early and Baroque Music

Battalia (Megavox)
Soloists: Piotr Wawreniuk; Michał Kiljan; Piotr Dąbrowski; Robert Krajewski; Roman Miller

Album of the Year – Chamber Music

Royal String Quartet – Szymanowski & Różycki String Quartets (Hyperion)

Album of the Year – Symphonic and Concerto Music

Rafał Blechacz – Chopin Piano Concertos (Universal Music Polska)
Soloist: Rafał Blechacz; Ensemble: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Conductor/Artistic Director: Jerzy Semkow

Album of the Year – Solo Music

Bartłomiej Nizioł – 6 solo violin sonatas, Op.27, of Eugène Ysaÿe (Magnus Ventus)
Soloist: Bartłomiej Niziol - violin

Album of the Year – Contemporary Music

Agata Zubel – Cascando (CD Accord)
Soloists: Agata Zubel, Michał Moc, Cezary Duchnowski, Jan Pilchł Orchestra/Ensemble: Seattle Chamber Players, Cellists: Andrzej Bauer, Bartosz Koziak, Marcin Zdunik, Mikołaj Pałosz; Conductor/Artistic Director: Agata Zubel

Album of the Year – Vocal Recital

Andrzej Hiolski – Opera arias, Songs & Cantatas (Polskie Nagrania)
Soloist: Andrzej Hiolski

Album of the Year – Opera, Operetta, Ballet

Ewa Podleś. Concert with the Polish Radio Orchestra (DUX)
Soloist: Ewa Podleś – contralto; Orchestra/Ensemble: NOSPR; Conductor/Artistic Director: Łukasz Borowicz

Phonographic Debut of the Year: Marcin ZDUNIK – Haydn & Denisov - Cello Concertos

Outstanding Recording of Polish Music

Rafał Blechacz – Chopin Piano Concertos (Universal Music Polska)
Soloist: Rafał Blechacz; Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Conductor/Artistic Director: Jerzy Semkow

Golden Fryderyk for the Lifetime Achievement: Ewa Demarczyk, Wojciech Karolak

FRYDERYK 2010 – JAZZ

Jazz Musician of the Year

Tomasz Stańko

Jazz Album of the Year

Tomasz Stańko "Dark Eyes" / Universal Music Polska / ECM

Jazz Phonographic Debut of the Year

Trio Mania (Piotr Mania, Paweł Żuchowski, Tomasz Sowiński)

For more information about the award please visit galafryderyk.pl.

[Sources: polmic.com; culture.pl; wyborcza.pl; rmfclassic.pl; wyborcza.pl]

TVP KULTURA AWARDS

Winners of 5th annual “Cultural Guarantee Awards” given by TVP Kultura, the Polish Television cultural station, have been announced. Jurors included publicists of TVP Kultura and specialists from several artistic disciplines. The 2009 awards were given in the following categories:

Classical Music: Marcin Zdunik, cellist

Jazz, Rock and other music genres: Mateusz Kołakowski, pianist – for the CD “Mateusz Kołakowski & Dave Liebman - Live at Jazz Standard”

Theater: Karolina Gruszka, actress – for her role in Lipiec by Iwan Wyrypajew

Film: Bartek Konopka, director – for his film Rabbit a’la Berlin

Visual Arts: Jakub Julian Ziółkowski, painter and sculptor

Creative development of children and teenagers: Czarodziejska Kura Magazine

Literature: Dariusz Czaja, essaist – for his book Lekcje ciemności

Additionally two honorary awards were given by the director of TVP Kultura, Krzysztof Koehler: posthumously to Tomasz Merta, former undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and to Mariusz Wilczyński, graphic designer of TVP Kultura, for creating an unique image.

[Source: culture.pl; wyborcza.pl]

MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN POLISH CULTURE

The Polish magazine Twój Styl has published a list of the most influential women In Polish culture. Magdalena Sroka, director of the Kraków Festival Bureau, was named the most influential woman in Polish cultural life. She is responsible for organization of the Film Music Festival, Sacrum Profanum Festival and Misteria Paschalia Festival.

The top 15 women featured in the article also include: Krystyna Janda, Elżbieta Penderecka, Joanna Mytkowska, Beata Stasińska, Grażyna Kulczyk, Milada Ślizińska, Kayah, Ilona Łepkowska, Agnieszka Morawińska, Aneta Szyłak, Agnieszka Odorowicz, Bogna Świątkowska, Agnieszka Jacobson–Cielecka and Maria Anna Potocka.

[Source: muzyka.onet.pl]

RADZIWIŁŁ COMPETITION RESULTS

16 year old Jinman Li of China, currently a student in the Poznań Music Academy, has won the 23rd edition of the Antoni Radziwiłł Tournament for Foreign Piano Stipend Recipients in Antonin, Poland.

Jinman Li was born in 1994, and she has received several awards in Chinese national competitions. Since 2009 she is a piano student of Prof. Alicja Kledzik in Poznań.

The Tournament is open to foreign nationals studying at the Polish music educational institutions. Over the two competition days, artists perform a Chopin program and a free-choice program in two separate concerts. The audience decides the winner. The Tournament is organized by Wielkopolska Chopin Center Antonin in Ostrów Wielkopolski and Center for Culture and Art in Kalisz at the beautiful Hunting Palace in Antonin.

[Sources: muzyka.onet.pl; muzyka.onet.pl; chopin-antonin.pl]

FESTIVALS

MUSICA POLONICA NOVA

The 27th edition of the Musica Polonica Nova Festival will take place in Wrocław between May 8-16, 2010. The festival is organized by the Wrocław Philharmonic with the help of the Polish Composer’s Union [ZKP] and Polish Radio.

During the 12 concerts there will be over 60 works by 45 composers performed, including 16 premieres (see below). There will also be four discussion forums, film screenings, and historic recordings presentations. The festival will also present numerous different areas of compositional art. A performance of several “mass songs,” a genre promoted by the Communist regime during the early 1950s, will try to answer the question whether these kinds of ideologically-charged compositions should still a stigma. These songs will be performed in juxtaposition with Panufnik’s Symfonia Pokoju [Symphony of Peace] from 1951 and II Symphony “Olympian” by Zbigniew Turski. The latter piece was honored in 1948 with a gold medal in the art category during the Summer Olympics in London, then condemned by the Polish Composer’s Conference in Łagów Lubuski the following year.

During the last few days of the festival, presentations will focus on forms combining music with theater, picture, screen and movement. The culminating moment will feature the Polish premiere performance of Hanna Kulenty’s opera Matka czarnoskrzydłych snów [Mother of the Black-winged Dreams]. Please read more about the Kulenty premiere in the News section. Andrzej Krzanowski’s Suita will be premiered on May 15, it is a concert version of his sensational multimedia mega-opera Audycja V from 1977.

The following are premieres happening during the festival include:

  • Aleksander Nowak: Król Kosmosu znika – concerto for orchestra, thread and piano (2009)
  • Jarosław Mamczarski: Genus Computationis – violin concerto (2006)
  • Dariusz Przybylski: Discours  for accordion and cello (2009)
  • Wojciech Blecharz: Hypopnea for accordion solo (2010) (see details about this piece in the News section)
  • Bartosz Kowalski: Piąty błękit for accordion and cello (2010)
  • Mikołaj Majkusiak: Rhytmes of doubts for accordion and cello (2010)
  • Ewa Podgórska: Tempo capriccioso for 2 clarinets and string orchestra (2009)
  • Aleksander Nowak: Mała Partita (2010)
  • Piotr Moss: Masques – concerto for flute and orchestra (2009)
  • Stanisław Krupowicz: Symphony for orchestra (1980)
  • Paweł Hendrich: Liolit for chamber orchestra (2010)
  • Andrzej Krzanowski: Suita z Audycji V for soprano, choir and instrumental ensemble to the words by Zbigniew Dolecki (1978)
  • Wojciech Ziemowit Zych: Stale obecna tęsknota (2005)
  • Karol Nepelski: **PRIMORDIUM: Encephalon (2010)

For more information about the Musica Polonica Nova Festival, please visit www.musicapolonicanova.pl.

[Source: musicapolonicanova.pl]

GAUDE MATER FESTIVAL

The year’s 20th anniversary edition of the Gaude Mater Festival of Sacred Music will take place in Częstochowa, Poland between April 30 and May 6. The program of the festival, entitled “Ars sacra – Dialogue of cultures,” will feature works spanning from the middle ages to the contemporary and from different cultures around the world.

The inaugural concert will feature a special presentation of world-class jazz vocalist and virtuoso, Bobby McFerrin, who will be performing in Poland with an orchestra for the first time. The following day, audiences will hear Haendel’s Messiah performed by the Retrospect Ensemble (Great Britain) directed by Matthew Halls. The final concert will feature a performance of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Seven Gates of Jerusalem conducted by the composer.

This year’s edition will celebrate the 200th birthday of Chopin with a musical play entitled Z fascynacji Chopinem [Out of a Fascination with Chopin], directed by Katarzyna Deszcz. The usual concert of Polish premieres will be replaced this year with a concert entitled "Marek Jasiński in Memoriam," dedicated to the late composer, with compositions by Marian Borkowski, Marek Jasiński, Juliusz Łuciuk, Paweł Łukaszewski, Józef Świder and Romuald Twardowski. A contemporary premiere of Józef Elsner’s Mass op. 22 for male choir and wind ensemble will be performed on May 2, during the “Liturgical Inauguration of the Festival.”

Each year the festival invites highly acclaimed international artists to perform, and this year the roster is also very impressive: Morphing Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Rozaneh Ensemble from Iran, Retrospect Ensemble from Great Britain, James Oxley and Paul Esswood, Vilnius Municipal Choir "Jauna Muzika" from Lithuania, "Schola Gregoriana Pragensis" from the Czech Republic, The Sakala Brothers from Zambia, Joseph Malovany from the US, Old Russian Religious Music Ensemble “Sirin” from Russia, Ensemble "AL-KINDI" from Syria and Turkey, Sandra Trattnigg from Austria, and "De Caelis" Ensemble from France.

Outstanding Polish ensembles will also be featured, including: Cardinal Wyszyński Univeristy Choir, Podlaski Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Częstochowa Philharmonic with Jerzy Salwarowski, Polish Orchestra of the 18th Century, Cantores Minores Choir, Wratislavienses Chamber Choir, Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra, Polish Chamber Choir "Schola Cantorum Gedanensis,” “Camerata Silesia,” and Polish Radio Choir.

The festival will be accompanied by the 3rd International Conference “Man-Faith-Culture,” including a musicology session entitled "Filip Gotschalk – Jasnagóra musician from Silesia" and a seminar for conductors, musicians and musicologists.

The detail program of the festival is available at www.gaudemater.pl.

[Source: culture.pl]

SOUNDS NEW FESTIVAL

During the Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival, which will take place in Canterbury between May 7 and 16 2010, there will be several Polish accents. On May 13 Polish pianist Barbara Drążkowska will perform a world premiere of Septem – 7 miniatures written especially for her by Szymon Brzóska, as well as Epiphora by Paweł Mykietyn. On May 10, the Cantus Ensemble, Croatia’s leading contemporary music group, will perform the UK premiere of Lidia Zielińska’s Siedem wysp Conrada [Conrad’s Seven Islands]. This year’s edition of the festival is entitled “Symbolism and Numerology in Music.”

A detailed program of the festival is available at: www.soundsnew.org.uk.

[Source: polmic.com]

FILM MUSIC FESTIVAL

Tan Dun, Leszek Możdżer, music from Disney films and Lord of the Rings trilogy soundtrack with special guest, Howard Shore, are all a part of the program of the 3rd Film Music Festival in Kraków, taking place from May 20-22.

Certainly the highlight of the Festival will be the first ever live performance of Tan Dun’s soundtrack to the film Hero. Composer Tan Dun has prepared the score especially for this occasion and will lead the Sinfonietta Cracovia and Pro Musica Mundi Choir himself. Tan Dun will also present The Banquet Concerto – a project based on a soundtrack to the famous Chinese adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Also by Tan Dun, the Internet Symphony Eroica will be performed during the festival.

According to the festival website, the Festival of Film Music in Kraków, organized by the Kraków Festival Office and RMF Classic, has been entirely dedicated to music created for the needs of picture. The unique combination of the highest quality of interpretation of film music performed by leading musicians and orchestras, in combination with high quality of projected picture, decides on the uniqueness of the event. The programme of the venture puts its stake on genre diversity: from retrospective reviews and exclusive ceremonial concerts in performance, through monographic concerts of chosen and distinguished composers of film music, and finally at mass outdoor screenings.

The concerts will take place in Kraków’s Blonia Fields. The concerts will be enriched by projections on an 18 meter-wide screen. For more information please visit www.fmf.fm.

[Sources: muzyka.onet.pl; fmf.fm]

ANIMA MUNDI FESTIVAL

The International Anima Mundi Festival is taking place in Kielce, Poland until May 2 under the patronage from the bishop of Kielce, Kazimierz Ryczan. The idea behind Anima Mundi is to showcase the variety of musical cultures, their uniqueness and exoticism, and concerts take place in churches around Kielce. This year’s Festival was inaugurated with a concert of Jewish religious music performed by the Hagada Ensemble. For the first time in Poland, Anima Mundi has brought the brothers Ratko and Radis Teofilowicz to perform traditional Serbian folk music a capella.

Some of the other prominent artists include the Lwów Virtuosi chamber orchestra, Rostislav Wygranienko (Ukraine), Poznańskie Słowiki Choir, Dariusz Przybylski. Bogna Nowowiejska, Sabbaton Choir, Anna Seniuk, Edward Kusztal, and Agata Augustyn.

[Source: muzyka.onet.pl]

PROBALTICA FESTIVAL

A concert of the Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra, featuring conductor Iman Resnis and pianist Rinko Kobayashi, will inaugurate the Polish part of the Probaltica Festival of Music and Art of the Baltic Countries on May 1. The 17th edition of the festival will conclude on May 15.

The main idea behind the festival is to promote cooperation amongst the Baltic Countries, especially artistic and cultural areas. Since 2001 the Festival has taken place in all 10 Baltic countries at the same time.

"Probaltica is intended to bring together the citizens of the countries with access to the Baltic Sea through music. Through concerts and international personnel arrangements the musicians get to know each other and performances of works by  national composers allows audiences to become familiar with other cultures" – said Aleksandra Iżycka, spokesperson for the city of Toruń.

The program of the festival includes solo recitals, chamber concerts and symphonic concerts. The artists invited to perform include: Eugen Indjic, 4th Prize winner at the 1970 International Chopin Competition, St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra from Wilno with Donatas Katkus, National Instruments Orchestra from Kaliningrad, pianist Ian Hobson, Probaltica European Orchestra, Gotlands Blasarkvintett from Sweden, Multicamerata Ensemble from Toruń, Art Vio String Quartet from Lithuania, Zoom Trio from Denmark, violinist Konstanty Andrzej Kulka with Camerata Vistula Orchestra, and more.

Traditionally the festival also hosts exhibitions, and this year The Court of Artus building will house the exhibit "Tańczące obrazy" [Dancing Images] by Renata Uzarska-Bielawska, graduate of the Fine Arts Department of the Mikołaj Kopernik University, as well as biographical expositions dedicated to Frederic Chopin and Roman Maciejewski.

For a complete program of the festival please visit www.probaltica.art.pl.

[Sources: culture.pl; muzyka.onet.pl]

KRAKÓW COMPOSER’S DAYS

The 22nd edition of Kraków Composer’s Days will begin on May 23 in Kraków and continue until May 29. The festival is organized by the Kraków chapter of the Polish Composer’s Union.

One of the more important events of the festival will be the concert dedicated to late Prof. Adam Kaczyński, a pioneer of contemporary music and creator of the MW2 ensemble. The program of the festival also includes a concert celebrating the 80th birthday of Roman Berger, a Polish composer living in Bratislava. There will be several premiere performances during the festival including works by Lukas Langlotz and Michel Roth from Basel. There will be a concert dedicated to works of one of the greatest composer’s of the 20th century, Maurizio Kagel. The 150th birthday anniversary of Gustav Mahler will be celebrated by the international project "Mahler.reflected".

The artists invited to perform include among others: Mitteleuropaeische Orchester from Vienna, New Music Orchestra from Katowice, MW2 Ensemble, Cracow Duo (cellist Jan Kalinowski, pianist Marek Szlezer), Airis Quartet and outstanding soloists from Kraków: Elżbieta Stefańska (harpsichord), Barbara Świątek-Żelazna (flute), and Marek Mietelski (piano).

The festival will be accompanied by a series of lectures and meetings with international musicians and musicologists. Concerts will take place in the Florianka Concert Hall, the Kraków Music Academy and at the Musicology Institute of the Jagiellonian University.

The goal of the festival is the presentation of the latest works of composers from all generations of the Kraków school.  

[Source: muzyka.onet.pl; zkp.krakow.pl]

GRAND ORGAN OF THE ARCHCATHEDRAL

Beginning on May 1, 2010 until September 25, 2010 (except for Sundays and holidays), the John the Baptist Archcathedral in Warsaw will host daily organ recitals as part of the 7th edition of the "Grand Organ of the Archcathedral" Festival.

Each of the organ recitals will be performed by highly recognized Polish artists, such as Przemysław Kapituła or Piotr Rachoń. Each of the concerts will also present one work of Mieczysław Surzyński, legendary Polish composer, organist and improviser, who has worked at the Cathedral in the early 20th century.

After the concerts there are tours of the church’s crypts and tombs. The Archcathedral is the place of final rest of such persons as: Warsaw Archbishops, King Stanisław August Poniatowski, Polish Presidents - Gabriel Narutowicz, Ignacy Mościcki, and Stanisław Wojciechowski, prime Minister - Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and Nobel Prize recipient- Henryk Sienkiewicz.

For more information, please visit www.kapitula.org.

[Source: culture.pl; muzyka.onet.pl; kapitula.org]

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PERFORMANCES
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MAZURKAS OF THE WORLD

The most original genres amongst Frederic Chopin’s compositions has its roots in traditional Polish village music—mazurka, polonaise and kujawiak—which the composer encountered in his childhood, and they created the musical landscape of his times. The ‘Mazurkas of the World’ Festival (5-11 April, 2010) was aimed at reviving and introducing these rhythms and musical phrases into the contemporary musical environment.

In the course of the Festival, artists with different musical backgrounds met: classical pianists performing Chopin’s mazurkas, jazz musicians, and the best village musicians. It was an opportunity to unite musicians and dancers from different countries where the mazurka is played and danced: France, Sweden, Estonia and the Republic of Cape Verde, at events such as concerts, dance workshops and parties. The crowning event of the Festival was Dance Night – a dance party accompanied by the music of Festival performers at Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, near ‘Skwer’ (a branch of ‘Fabryka Trzciny’ Art Centre).

The educational project ‘Mazurek – Reactivation’ that preceded the Festival was directed at children, adolescents and adults and included teaching traditional dances, singing and playing simple instruments, as well as at popularizing the knowledge about village music and its impact on classical music. Educational activities will continue after the end of the Festival, throughout the year 2010.

[Source: www.festivalmazurki.pl, thenews.pl]

POLLINI PLAYS CHOPIN AT CARNEGIE HALL

On Sunday, April 18, Italian pianist and winner of the 1960 Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Maurizio Pollini, played the first of his three successive All-Chopin recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium (other recital dates: April 29 and May 9). The following is an excerpt from Steve Smith’s review of the first recital in the New York Times from April 19:

At 68, Mr. Pollini remains a challenging, even polarizing artist, whose combination of intellectual lucidity and supreme technique can leave some listeners cold. Watching his brisk, forward-leaning stride to the piano on Sunday, you braced yourself for a show of steely brilliance.

And just as quickly, you were disarmed by the sensitivity and imagination Mr. Pollini brought to the two Opus 27 nocturnes that opened the program.

[…]

Mr. Pollini’s nonpareil physical capacity was on display in the complete Preludes (Op. 28), the shortest and fastest dispatched like glittering aphorisms. Feathery lines fluttered with no discernible attack, as if the piano itself had somehow learned to sing; repeated notes shifted in hue according to their surroundings. Longer, sweeter melodies were no less well served, Mr. Pollini’s unsentimental approach warding off triviality.

[Photo credit: Watkins - www.scottwatkinspianist.com/photos.html; Source: www.carnegiehall.org, www.nytimes.com]

BLECHACZ D.C. PREMIERE

A Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, the unanimous winner of the 2005 Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition and the first Polish pianist to win since Krystian Zimerman in 1975, is rapidly becoming one of the world's most renowned young pianists. He has made his Washington D.C. recital debut at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater on Saturday, February 27, 2010, as part of the Hayes Series presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society.

According to reviewer Philip Kennicott of the Washington Post:

Blechacz still looks every inch the sincere student. He is tall and a bit gawky, with a mop of hair approaching Cousin Itt proportions. He wore his sacklike black suit a bit awkwardly and smiled almost sheepishly at the enthusiastic audience. Even his program -- a Bach partita, a Mozart sonata, some Debussy and three large essays by Chopin -- felt like a student recital, calculated to show his range and test his facility.

But it was immediately clear from the first sweet, liquid notes of the Bach Partita No. 1, BWV 825, that Blechacz is a student only in the deeper sense: a musician in service to the music, searching its depths, exploring its meaning and probing its possibilities. He plays with humility and absolute clarity and you might even call his approach dutiful, but that would leave the false impression that he is dry and academic.

[…]

There is a polonaise lurking somewhere in Chopin's huge and daunting Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op. 61, but Chopin would rather it smolder than burst into flame. Few pianists can project this drama, the Chopin of scattered thoughts, chromatic anguish, the modernist Chopin that feels like a knot in your stomach. Still in his mid-20s, Blechacz has mastered the most difficult of Chopin's moods and gestures, he can make the music crystal clear in its emotional confusion. Not many performances of this deconstructed polonaise are likely to rise to the level of the one Blechacz gave Saturday afternoon.

[Sources: www.washington.polemb.net, www.washingtonpost.com]

STAŃKO QUINTET IN BALTIMORE

Sunday, April 18, the Tomasz Stańko Quintet played two sets at An die Musik Live in Baltimore, MD. Like his hero Miles Davis, the Polish jazz master also has an impressive record as talent scout and mentor, and his latest ensemble pools young players from the North of Europe. Tomasz has had strong connections to Finland in particular since the early 1970s when he was part of Edward Vesalas creative circle. Now he welcomes two prodigiously gifted Finns into his group, pianist Alexi Tuomarila and drummer Olavi Louhivuori, both expressive and imaginative players. The rest of the quintet consists of Jakob Bro on guitar, Anders Christensen on bass, and of course Tomasz Stańko on trumpet.

Tomasz Stańko's smouldering Slavic soul music and grainy-toned trumpet finds a new context on his most recent recording, Dark Eyes, which features the same quintet of musicians.

[Source: ecmrecords.com/stanko-us]

LANDOWSKA IN MEMORIAM

For all harpsichord lovers, 2009 marked the anniversary of Wanda Landowska’s death. Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1879, Landowska died in 1959 at her home in Lakeville, CT. A groundbreaking musician and a visionary performer, Landowska brought the harpsichord and its music back from oblivion. In her honor, on Saturday 24 April 2010, the acclaimed harpsichordist Władysław Kłosiewicz presented a tribute recital in Lakeville, CT that was free to the public. His concert featured music from the "Golden Age of the Harpsichord" - pieces by the French composers Louis Couperin, François Couperin, Jean Philippe Rameau and Johann Jakob Froberger, among others.

The recital was part of an international project "Landowska in Memoriam" led by the Polish Pro Academia Narolense Foundation in collaboration with the Musicology Institute of Warsaw University. It is supported by the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw, Gotham Early Music in New York and Crescendo Inc., in Lakeville. The project will continue in places of Wanda Landowska's life – Warsaw, Berlin, and Saint-Leu-La-Foret (France).

Władysław Kłosiewicz is artistic director and manager of a Baroque orchestra, the Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense. Since 2004 he has led his own international early music ensemble, Narol Baroque. He was professor of harpsichord and Baroque music interpretation at Universitaet für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria for many years. He was a juror at the I and II Wanda Landowska International Harpsichord Competitions. In the opinion of European reviewers, he is one of today's leading harpsichord players and conductors specializing in Baroque music.

A student of Ruggiero Gerlin, Landowska’s closest associate, Kłosiewicz is one of the greatest artistic individuals of our time. He has a rich virtuoso technique strictly subordinated to musical expression. A very talented improviser with a thorough knowledge of Baroque, he is an unrivaled performer of works by Louis Couperin and Johann Jakob Froberger. The artist's realizations of continuo parts are marked by great imaginativeness and stylistic authenticity.

NOWAK STEPS IN FOR RPO

Polish conductor Grzegorz Nowak stepped in for an ailing colleague during a recent concert of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Cadogan Hall in London. The April 9th concert had been billed as a celebration of the music of Shostakovich, made particularly special by the fact that it was to be conducted by the composer’s son, Maxim Shostakovich. Unfortunately, due to illness requiring hospitalization, Maxim Shostakovich was unable to be at the concert. However, neither audience members nor critics seemed disappointed by the replacement of RPO Principal Associate Conductor Nowak on the program.

Below are excerpts from several of the glowing reviews:

“Of special note was the alacrity with which Nowak contrasted the brief D major second lyrical theme with the following mock virtuosity of the dazzling passage for overlapping pizzicato strings, suggesting a 'giant balalaika' as one commentator has called it. The brief, suitably loud, and even coarse C major flourish which ends the overture was delivered with maximum carnivalesque panache.” SEEN AND HEARD UK CONCERT  REVIEW, Geoff Diggines  

“The RPO always plays well for Nowak and the rollicking performance of the Festival Overture got the show off to a brilliant start…. Nowak’s interpretation of the 5th oozed defiance in every bar. A strong opening, relaxed into the exposition, with some fine violin playing – there is much exposed writing here and the RPO players showed a confidence in their stratospheric music…. With the RPO on top form, utterly responsive to their conductor’s demands, this was a great performance of a great Symphony, an evening which will remain long in the memory.” Musical Pointers Review, Bob Briggs

“[Russian pianist Natasha Paremski’s] natural feel for shaping music was mirrored with total accord by the RPO and Grzegorz Nowak, a supremely musicianly conductor who seems to work largely under the radar of international glare. He drew a magnificent Shostakovich Fifth Symphony from his marvellously pliant orchestra.” Sheffield Telegraph, Bernard Lee


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DISCOGRAPHY
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AGA ZARYAN ON BLUE NOTE

Aga Zaryan – Looking Walking Being
Aga Zaryan – vocal; Michał Tokaj – piano; Michał Barański – bass; Łukasz Żyta – drums; David Dorużka – guitars; Munyungo Jackson – percussion
EMI 6313902

Aga Zaryan is the first Polish vocalist to have released an album under the Blue Note insignia, the American the label specializing in jazz music. Blue Note is of the most recognized names in the music industry and it is legendary for releasing such esteemed singers as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Diane Reeves. On the day of the release the album achieved gold record status in Poland.

[Sources: amazonka.pl; zaryan.com; emimusic.pl]

ŚWIĘTOKRZYSKIE PHILHARMONIC CD

Album Polski 4
Marta Ptaszyńska: Concerto for marimba and orchetra; Grażyna Bacewicz: III Symphony
Agnieszka Raddatz-Pstrokońska – marimba, Świętokrzyskie Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra; Jacek Rogala – conductor
Świętokrzyskie Philharmonic

CHOPIN ON ONYX

Chopin: Piano Sonata No 3
FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN (1810–1849): Piano Sonata no.3 in B minor op.58; Fantaisie-impromptu in C sharp minor op.66; Prélude in C sharp minor op.45; Scherzo no.4 in E op.54; Nocturne in F op.15 no.1; Fantaisie in F minor op.49; and Waltz no.7 in C sharp minor op.64 no.2
Nikolai Lugansky, piano
ONYX 4049

Read a brief review of the CD at: telegraph.co.uk

NEW FROM DUX

Bartłomiej Pękiel. Missa Brevis, Missa Pulcherrima, Motety
Bartłomiej Pękiel: Missa Brevis, Missa pulcherrima, Sub Tuum praesidium, Ave Maria, Salvataor orbis, Magnum Nomen Domini, Resonet in laudibus
Il Canto
DUX0726

POLISH RADIO RELEASES

Roman Statkowski – Maria
Wioletta Chodowicz – soprano; Dariusz Pietrzykowski – tenor; Artur Ruciński – baritone; Wojtek Gierlach – bass; Katarzyna Rzymska – soprano; Krzysztof Kur – tenor; Remigiusz Łukomski – bass; Polish Radio Choir; Polish Radio Orchestra; Łukasz Borowicz – conductor
PRCD1258-1259

Maria is an opera in 3 acts by Roman Statkowski, with a libretto by the composer based on a story by Antoni Malczewski. The premiere of the opera took place in Warsaw on March 1, 1906, with later stagings in Poznań (1919, 1924, 1936), Wrocław (1965) and Bytom (1989). This CD is a recording of the concert that opened the 2008/2009 season at the Polish Radio Lutosławski Concert Studio.

Polskie Radio przypomina vol. 06: Marek & Vacek
Wacław Kisielewski – piano, Marek Tomaszewski – piano; Wojciech Trzciński – keyboards; Jerzy Czekalla – electric guitar; Andrzej Elmann – acoustic guitar; Zbigniew Wrombel – bass guitar; Andrzej Tylec – drums; Józef Gawrych – percussion
PRCD1147

A remastered, special edition of the famous album by the piano duo Marek & Vacek. The original LP was released in 1984. This CD release is part 6 of the "Polskie Radio Przypomina" [Polish Radio Reminds] series of re-editions.

Różyczka Original Soundtrack
Original music by Michał Lorenc
Henryk Miśkiewicz – clarinet, bass-clarinet, saxophone; Sebastian Frankiewicz – drums; Marcin Pospieszalski – upright bass; Robert Siwak – percussion; Jan Smoczyński – piano; Bogdan Kupisiewicz – guitar; Anna Sikorzak-Olek – harp; Tomasz Kiniorski – flutes; Agnieszka Kopacka-Aleksandrowicz – celesta
PRCD1307

“The style of my illustration in many ways ties in with the music of the 60s which was very common in the cinema at that time. There is jazz lyricism of the artists that I’ve worked with for many years. Their musicality and abilities are unparalleled. There is the nostalgia of the Jewish theme and the Różyczka’s music-box, which lives its own life (...)” – says Michał Lorenc.

REVIEW FOR PLOWRIGHT’S HOMMAGE

Joshua Kosman’s review of Hommage à Chopin (Hyperion) for the San Francisco Chronicle:

“For this imaginative and superbly played recital disc, British pianist Jonathan Plowright has assembled a baker's dozen of Chopin tributes by composers ranging from Balakirev, Grieg and Tchaikovsky to such latter-day showmen as Leopold Godowsky. The results are simultaneously predictable and surprising, with Chopin emerging as a refractory force for other composers' personalities.”

Read the entire article here: www.sfgate.com.

 

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ANNIVERSARIES
BORN THIS MONTH:
  • 2 May 1846: Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI (d. 23 July 1909), composer
  • 2 May 1913: Florian DABROWSKI, composer and teacher
  • 5 May 1819: Stanislaw MONIUSZKO (d. 4 June 1872), composer - Father of Polish Opera
  • 12 May 1805: Jan Nepomucen BOBROWICZ (d. 2 November 1881), guitarist and composer
  • 17 May 1943: Joanna BRUZDOWICZ, composer living in France, 2003 PMC Paderewski Lecturer
  • 18 May 1905: Wlodzimierz ORMICKI, composer, conductor, music theoretician
  • 20 May 1903: Jerzy FITELBERG (d. 25 April 1951), composer, son of the famous conductor
  • 28 May 1836: Jan KARLOWICZ (d. 14 June 1903), father of composer Mieczyslaw
  • 29 May 1903: Marian NEUTEICH (d. 1943, Warsaw), composer and cellist
  • 31 May 1932: Boguslaw MADEY, conductor and composer
  • 31 May 1913: Irena GARZTECKA (d. 14 November 1963), composer and pianist
DIED THIS MONTH:
  • 1 May 1948: Marcel POPLAWSKI (b. 1882), composer and teacher, studied law and engineering before turning to composition
  • 4 May 1896: Józef SIKORSKI (b. 1813), composer and music theorist
  • 6 May 1892: Nikodem BIERNACKI (b. 1826), violinist and composer
  • 10 May 1964: Hanna SKALSKA-SZEMIOTH (b. 29 April 1921), composer, student of Sikorski
  • 13 May 1958: Eugeniusz MOSSAKOWSKI (b. 1885), opera singer (baritone)
  • 21 May 1848: Felix JANIEWICZ (b. 1762), violinist, conductor, and composer
  • 21 May 2007: Adam FALKIEWICZ (b. 4 Jan 1980), composer
  • 23 May 1957: Alicja SIMON (b.1879), musicologist
  • 25 May 1917: Edward RESZKE (b. 1853), opera singer (bass), brother of Jan
  • 31 May 2006: Franciszek WYBRAŃCZYK (b. 28 May 1934), co-founder and former director of the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, organizer and promoter of Polish and European music

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Copyright 2010 by the Polish Music Center

Send your comments and inquiries to: polmusic@thornton.usc.edu
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Assistant Editor: Daniel Kamiński

Contributions from:
Marek Żebrowski,Wojciech Blecharz
Chris Onzol & Joseph A. Herter

Sources of information: Polish Cultural Institute (NY & UK), Adam Mickiewicz Institute, PWM,
Nowy Dziennik
, Polish Music Information Centre - Warsaw, Polish American Journal,
Poland.pl, PAP, ZKP, infochopin.pl, Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza


Formatting by Krysta Close, May 5, 2010.

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