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Warsaw | 30th Portraits of Composers

PortretyThe 30th edition of "Portraits of Composers" will be held on 9-10 December 2021 at 6.30 p.m. at PROM Kultury Saska Kępa at 23 Brukselska St. in Warsaw.

The "Portraits of composers" festival have been organized by the Polish Composers' Union since 1988. Every year it presents chamber works by several contemporary composers. This year, the festival will feature works by Mateusz Ryczek and Tomasz Skweres, who will also perform in both concerts as a cellist.

Mateusz Ryczek is a winner of numerous composition competitions, his works are performed at concerts and festivals in Poland and abroad. The concert on 9 December will feature the premiere of his Fairy Tales for soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, viola and piano. Tomasz Skweres is a composer living in Austria and Germany. He is also a winner of many composition competitions. He composes music commissioned by festivals and ensembles, both Austrian, German and Polish. The works by both composers will be performed by the excellent singer Joanna Freszel, cellist Tomasz Skweres and the Slovak ensemble QUASARS under the direction of Ivan Buffy.

"Portraits of composers" were financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the "Music" programme carried out by the National Institute of Music and Dance. Admission to the concerts is free!

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Detailed programmehttps://www.zkp.org.pl/

Opole | Opera at Philharmonic: "The Haunted Manor"

FOAs part of its 70th anniversary season, the Józef Elsner Opole Philharmonic invites you on 10 December 2021 at 7.00 p.m. and on 11 December 2021 at 6.00 p.m. to the concert performances Stanisław Moniuszko's The Haunted Manor.

The action of the four-act opera composed to the libretto by Jan Chęciński takes place in the first half of the 18th century. It tells the sotry about two brothers, Zbigniew and Stefan, who – after having finished their service in the army – return to their homeland with the intention to remain bachelors. The author of the work, despite the experience of studying and working abroad, made the decision to return to his homeland (which at that time did not exist on maps), and through his operas he criticized the society and illustrated social conflicts. The Haunted Manor, written at the beginning of the 1860s, became a patriotic manifesto, and for this reason it was banned by the censorship.

This legendary work will be performed by the Opole Philharmonic Orchestra and the Silesian Opera Choir under the baton of Tadeusz Kozłowski, who this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of his artistic activity. As soloists will perform: Aleksandra Kubas-Kruk (Hanna), Monika Ledzion-Porczyńska (Jadwiga), Paweł Skałuba (Stefan), Adam Palka (Zbigniew), Anna Borucka (Cześnikowa), Leszek Skrla (Miecznik), Wołodymyr Pańkiw (Skołuba), Albert Memeti (Damazy), Stanisław Duda (Maciej), Iwona Noszczyk (Marta), Michał Bagniewski (Grześ), Jolanta Wyszkowska (Old Woman).

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Ticket Information: https://filharmonia.opole.pl/ 

Warsaw | Gala Concert of Warsaw Wind Ensemble Composition Contest 2020

WWECCThe Warsaw Wind Music Association invites you to the Gala Concert of the International Composition Contest for  Wind Orchestra – Warsaw Wind Ensemble Composition Contest 2020, which will take place on Sunday, 5 December 2021 at 7.00 p.m. at the "Alternatywy" Culture Centre in Ursynów in Warsaw (9 I. Gandhi St.). The concert will feature the premiere of works by the Competition Winners in the international and Polish categories, as well as distinguished works.

Compositions awarded in the 1st (international) Competition category will be performed by the Concert Orchestra of the Representative Artistic Ensemble of the Polish Army under the baton of Lt. Marcin Ślązak. Compositions awarded in the 2nd (Polish) Competition category will be performed by the Representative Orchestra of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences under the baton of Chris David Westover (USA) – the winner of the Warsaw Wind Ensemble Conducting Competition 2019. Among the awarded composers from Poland are: Marcin Molski (1st place), Krzysztof Falkowski (2nd place), Wojciech Zwierniak (3rd place), Tomasz Labuń, Piotr Sarnecki and Bartłomiej Szułakiewicz (distinctions).

The event will be combined with the Gala Concert of the International Competition for Conductors of Brass Orchestras – Warsaw Wind Ensemble Conducting Competition 2021. The concert will feature the winners of the Competition, the final stage of which will take place on the same day from 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at the "Alternatyty" Culture Centre in Ursynów. The event will be open to the public and broadcast online on the Competition website and on social media. The gala will be available on the YouTube channel of the Warsaw Wind Music Association.

The event is organized by the Warsaw Wind Music Association, PWM Edition and the "Alternatywy" Culture Centre in Ursynów. Co-financed by the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the "Music" programme, carried out by the National Institute of Music and Dance.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Katowice | "Generation '51 on their 70th birthday": Silesian Quartet, Piotr Lato & Piotr Sałajczyk

KwartetThe Generation ‘51 composers began a current in Polish music which Andrzej Chłopecki called neoromanticism. The next concert of the Silesian Quartet in the series "Generation '51 for their 70th birthday" on 4 December 2021 at 6.00 p.m. in the NOSPR Chamber Hall will be an opportunity to verify this statement.

The instruments featured in Eugeniusz Knapik’s Trio for violin, clarinet and piano provide a connection with Béla Bartók’s Contrasts, but also with Darius Milhaud’s and Alexander Arutiunian’s suites, Stravinsky’s Soldier's Tale and Khachaturian’s Trio, written for the same type of ensemble. Yet, it was not referencing history that mattered for the composer. It was the sum of timbres offered by such an ensemble and reaching for the essence of the trio genre. The piece, commissioned by Walter Verdehr in 2003, premiered at the “Warsaw Autumn” International Festival of Contemporary Music.

Can performers provide inspiration for the composer? Two years ago, the Silesian Quartet performed Bettina Skrzypczak’s String Quartet No. 4 and Mieczysław Weinberg’s Piano Quintet in one concert in Bern. It was after the concert, at which the composer was present, that the idea of writing a new piece for the same classical type of ensemble, piano and string quartet, burdened with a long tradition, yet also letting one’s sonic-timbre imagination wander freely. Bettina Skrzypczak's Piano Quintet will be premiered by the Silesian Quartet and Piotr Sałajczyk.

Bettina Skrzypczak's piece was co-financed by the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the "Composing Commissions" programme, implemented by the National Institute of Music and Dance.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Ticket Information: https://nospr.org.pl/

Kraków | Cracow Duo celebrates its 20th anniversary

CracowDuoThe Polish Composers' Union – Krakow Branch and the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow invite you to a concert to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Cracow: Kalinowski & Szlezer which will take place on 4 December 2021 at 7.00 p.m. in the Aula "Florianka" Hall.

The cellist Jan Kalinowski and pianist Marek Szlezer studied together in Cracow and Paris and began to perform together as Cracow Duo twenty years ago. Since that time their concerts and recordings received the highest critical acclaim in Poland and abroad. They share a special commitment and fascination with music written by rarely performed Polish composers. Among their many programs, the Cracow Duo frequently presented compositions for cello and piano by Fryderyk Chopin, Aleksander Tansman, Karol Szymanowski, Zygmunt Stojowski, Szymon Laks, Ludomir Rożycki and Tadeusz Majerski, as well as works by contemporary Polish and foreign composers written specially for them. Since 2009, Cracow Duo regularly records and releases CDs. In 2019 they were recognized with Global Music Awards Outstanding Achievement for the best duo performance in Classical Music.

During the upcoming concert, the ensemble will perform two world premieres. We will hear the first performance of the piece The Gates of Light – Quasi una fantasia (2021) by Marta Ptaszyńska, which was created as part of the "Composing Commissions" programme implemented by the National Institute of Music and Dance, and Three dreams and the lullaby (2020) by Maciej Zieliński. There will also be a Polish premiere of Michał Dobrzyński's Quasi una partita (omaggio a Tansman). In addition, the programme will include works for cello and piano by Zbigniew Bujarski, Anna Zawadzka-Gołosz, Tomasz Jakub Opałka, Marcel Chyrzyński and Wojciech Widłek.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Warsaw | Adam Bałdych & Sinfonia Iuventus

POSIA concert of Adam Bałdych and his excellent quartet alongside the Jerzy Semkow Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra under the baton of Szymon Bywalec will take place on 4 December 2021 at 7.00 p.m. at the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio in Warsaw.

Adam Bałdych, violinist and composer, called "a child prodigy of violin", started his career at the age of 14. Soon he was hailed an innovator combining the achievements of classical music with contemporary improvised violin. In his recent pieces, composed for renowned orchestras, there are clearer references to classical music.

In 2019, on commission from AUKSO orchestra, he composed Early Birds Symphony for the auksodrone festival. Teodor, on the other hand, was composed for his son, born in the summer of 2020. Adam Bałdych ran the project with his wife – vocalist Kari Sál, and with Krzysztof Dys, Michał Barański and Dawid Fortuna, who are members of his ensemble, Adam Bałdych Quartet. The artist decided to go back to the years of his childhood and draw inspirations from the exceptional atmosphere of the 1980s. It was not only the time of the explosion of synthetic sounds and provocative music projects, but also the golden era of Polish Jazz represented by such eminent musicians as Tomasz Stańko, Michał Urbaniak or Zbigniew Namysłowski. The 80s, marking the decline of the Polish People’s Republic, abounded in rebellious compositions and avant-garde peregrinations, both in jazz and classical music.

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information: www.sinfoniaiuventus.pl 

Wrocław | Ãtma Quartet: Death and the Maiden

AtmaThe programme of Ãtma Quartet's concert on 2 December 2021 at 7.00 p.m. at the National Forum of Music in Wrocław includes two works. One of them represents the modern era, the other – Romanticism. What they have in common is their genius form, with the depth of emotions and the intimacy of expression going hand in hand with the mastery of craft.

Krzysztof Penderecki composed the String Quartet No. 3 'Leaves from an Unwritten Diary' in 2008. Its premiere took place on 21 November of the same year, exactly on the artist’s 75th birthday. It is a one-movement work in which the composer enters a dialogue with his past, as evidenced by the subtitle. The piece begins with a dark introduction marked as Grave (Italian: “hard”), followed by a restless, virtuoso episode of Vivace (Italian: “lively”), a sentimental waltz (Tempo di valse) and a romantic nocturne (Adagio notturno). A Hutsul or Gypsy melody played on the violin by Penderecki’s father from Rohatyn, also resounds here, developed in various ways: like a vague, last-minute memory recalled. This is one of the artist’s most moving, personal and reflective compositions.

An entirely different work is the dramatic, intense 14th String Quartet in D minor D 810 'Death and the Maiden' by Franz Schubert. The second movement, Andante con moto, is a variation on a song composed by Schubert to a poem by Matthias Claudius, in which a young girl asks death to spare her life.

The project is part of the commemoration of the centenary of regaining independence and rebuilding Polish statehood.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Ticket Information: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/ 

Warsaw | 6th SuperSam + 1: Biliana Voutchkova & Teoniki Rożynek

SuperSamThe next concert in the 6th SuperSam + 1 series of master performances will take place at the SPATiF Club in Warsaw on 2 December 2021 at 8.00 p.m. Biliana Voutchkova will perform on one stage with Teoniki Rożynek.

"Super" in the title means that the programme will be based on renowned artists – masters. "Sam" (from Polish, means 'alone', 'by himself/herself') refers to the solo performances as well as the creative loneliness. "+ 1" in the title means that each evening will be crowned with a duo performance. In most cases, the artists will meet on stage for the first time – like Bulgarian musician Biliana Voutchkova and Polish composer Teoniki Rożynek.

Teoniki Rożynek composes instrumental, electroacoustic and electronic music. Her works have been performed at various festivals, including the "Warsaw Autumn", Musica Electronica Nova, Sacrum Profanum, Unsound, Containerclang (Cologne) or Bedingo International Festival of Exploratory Music. She has collaborated with such ensembles as Kompopolex, Spółdzielnia Muzyczna, Capella Cracoviensis and Sinfonia Varsovia. She creates music for films, theatre and television productions as well as performances.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information: http://supersam.mozg.pl 

Kraków | 54th Organ Music Days

KrakowThe 54th Organ Music Days –  one of the oldest organ festivals in Poland, established at the Krakow Philharmonic in 1966 on the initiative of prof. Eugenia Umińska and Henryk Czyż – will be held in Krakow on 1-5 December 2021. The concerts of this year's edition, due to the conservation of the philharmonic organ, will be held primarily in Krakow's churches.

The first concert will take place on Wednesday, 1 December at 8.00 p.m. in the Saint Michael the Archangel and Saint Stanislaus the Bishop and Martyr Basilica. The Italian organist Eugenio Maria Fagiani will perform works from Johann Sebastian and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, to Wilhelm Rust, Gaetano Donizetti and Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck. The second concert will be held on Friday, 3 December at 7.30 p.m. in the Church of Of Our Lady Queen of Poland. Julian Gembalski, an outstanding Polish organist, will present works by Georg Muffat, Piotr Drusiński and Johann Sebastian Bach and his own pieces –Two Advent Hymn Preludes, as well as improvisations on Advent songs.

A day later, on Saturday, 4 December at 6.00 p.m., the Krakow Philharmonic will host a special oratorio concert to celebrate the 625th anniversary of the establishment of the Faculty of Theology and the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Krakow. The Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir under the direction of Tomasz Tokarczyk will perform works by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki – Beatus Vir, Wojciech Kilar – Victoria, and fragments of the opera about John Paul II – Totus Tuus by Paweł Sydor. Stanislav Kuflyuk (baritone), Adrian Domarecki (tenor), Sylwia Ziółkowska (soprano), Dawid Roy (baritone), Grzegorz Królak (bass), mezzo-sopranos – Agnieszka Karpińska and Klaudyna Nitkiewicz and Karol Bonawentura Mieliński (baritone) will perform as soloists.

The last concert of the 54th Organ Music Days will be held on Sunday, 5 December at 6.00 p.m. at the Sanctuary of Saint John Paul II. Bogdan Narloch on the organ and Roman Gryń on the trumpet will present compositions by Clarke, Stanley, Bach, Chopin, Wawiłow, Czerniewicz, Dubois and Bédard. Admission to all concerts outside the Krakow Philharmonic is free!

More information: www.filharmonia.krakow.pl