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Kraków | Stars with Sinfonietta: Sergei Babayan and Rafael Payare


Sinfonietta Cracovia will inaugurate the Beethoven Year on 23 January 2020 at 7.00 p.m. in the St. Katherine of Alexandria Church in Kraków. The orchesta will perform with the outstanding pianist Sergei Babayana, under the baton of Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare. The programme will include Ludwig van Beethoven's Great Fugue.

Sergei Babayan is an Armenian-American pianist, the winner of numerous international competitions who continues to appear as soloist with leading orchestras. He is famous for his extremely diverse repertoire, which he will be present to the Krakow audience during the concert as part of the extremely popular series "Stars with Sinfonietta".

The virtuoso will perform with the charismatic Rafael Payar – Honorary Guest Conductor of Sinfonietta Cracovia. They will present two piano concertos: Concerto for piano and string orchestra by Alfred Schnittke and Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-major KV 271 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The evening will be inaugurated by another work by Alfred Schnittke Moz-Art à la Haydn – a good-natured Mozartian parody that ends with an evocation of Haydn's Farewell Symphony. The concert will end with Ludwig van Beethoven's Great Fugue (in arrangement for string orchestra), which is still considered to be controversial.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Information on tickets at: www.sinfonietta.pl 

Chełmno | Laureates of the 15th National Christmas Carols and Pastorals Competition


The 15th National Polish Carol and Pastorals Competition, organized by the Choir Collegium Cantorum Friends' Association in Chełmno, took place on 18 January 2020. The Jury decided to award the following awards:

The Grand Prix award went to the Di Nuovo Female Chamber Choir from Poznań conducted by Dorota Wojnowska.

The "Mixed Choirs" category: the Strong in Faith Choir a cappella from Olsztyn, the KOE Chamber Choir from Sokołów Podlaski, the University of Łódź Academic Choir (Golden Bands); and the Powidoki Chamber Choir from Piastów (Silver Band).

The "Homogeneous Choirs" category: the Di Nuovo Female Chamber Choir from Poznań, the Vocal Ensemble of the FCUM Department of Church Music in Warsaw, and the Polirytmia Women's Choir from Zielona Góra (Golden Bands)..

The "Vocal Ensembles" category: the Lumen Vocale Solo Ensemble from Poznań and the Cantavi ad Homini Vocal Ensemble from Śrem (Golden Bands); the Contrapunkt Vocal Ensemble from Grudziądz (Silver Band).

The "Senior Choirs" category: the Parati Semper Choir from Świecie (Golden Band), the Cantilen Chamber Male Choir from Wrocław (Silver Band) and the Choir of the Third Age University of Helena Kretz from Łódź (Brown Band).

The "Parish Choirs" category: Schola Padre Pio from Gdańsk and Cantate Collective of the parish of St. James the Apostole in Piotrków Trybunalski (Golden Band), Corda Cordi Choir from Śrem, Iunctus Choir from Oleśnica and Choir of the parish of Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians in Niemcz (Silver Band), Laudate Dominum Choir of the parish of St. Kazimierz in Łochów and the Choir of the parish of the Transfiguration in Morzewo (Brown Band).

The "Children's and Youth Choirs" category: Intention Children' Choir from Nakło nad Notecią, Inovroclaviensis Cantans Choir from Inowrocław (Golden Band); the Canzon Girls' Choir from Murowana Goślina (Silver Band).

A special award for the best conductor went to Aneta Mroczek – conductor of the KOE Chamber Choir from Sokołów Podlaski.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information athttps://e-chelmno.pl/pl/11_wiadomosci/58802_laureaci_xv_ogolnopolskiego_konkursu_koled_i_pastoralek_chelmno_2020.html 

Łódź | Harpsichord without borders: 3rd Simnar of Contemporary Hapsichord Music

Klawesyn bez granic

The artists and scientists interested in contemporary harpsichord music will take part in the 3rd seminar entitled "Harpsichord without borders", which will take place on 22 January 2020 at the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź.

The seminar will start at 10.00 a.m. with the lectures deliverd by Krzysztof Urbaniak, Ewa Rzetecka-Niewiadomska, Magdalena Itman-Wasilewska and Weronika Ratusińska-Zamuszko. The presentation part will be followed by a concert at 4.00 p.m. in the ballroom of the Palace of the Academy of Music. The programma will include works by Olga Hans, Johan Huys, Weronika Ratusińska-Zamuszko, Marian Sawa, and Daniel Strządała performed by, among others, the laureates of the 1st Elżbieta Chojnacka Harpsichord Competition.

The event's partners are the Elżbieta Chojnacka Center for Contemporary Harpsichord Music and the Palace in Rybna. Admission is free!

Full programme available at: http://www.amuz.lodz.pl/pl/koncerty-i-wydarzenia-zapowiedzi/styczen-2020/154215-klawesyn-bez-granic 

Warsaw | Silence of the Mermaids

Milczenie syren

On 22-24 January 2020, Warsaw's Nowy Teatr invites you to the Silence of the Mermaids – a unique concert-film-performance. The programme includes works by Kaija Saariaho, Tomasz Sikorski, Philip Glass and Jimi Hendrix.

The author of the script and program – Michał Pepol – describes the play as follows: "Singing is the essential strength of mermaids, and working under their spell is a perverse dream of many a musician. I would also like to have this power of a mermaid and always be able to seduce an audience. But this would require an unconditioned opening into the dark side of my subconscious. A meeting with a mermaid is a meeting with myself, one most sensitive and delicate, and at the same time a self-censored fraction of my hidden self. So let this be a concert-liberation from conventions, genres, habits and expectations. Let this be a concert-hybrid, just like a mermaid is. Let's look the mermaid in the eye and listen to her. While listening to her, let's listen to ourselves. Let's get seduced by the polyphony of the human voice, cellos, and the inhabitants of the ocean."

Cellist Michał Pepol will also take part in the concert as one of the performers together with Magdalena Cielecka. The project was inspired by the exhibition "The Beguiling Siren is Thy Crest" commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

Information on tickets at: https://nowyteatr.org/pl 

Wrocław | Christmas Carols


On 22-26 January 2020, the National Forum of Music will host a series of concerts entitled "Christmas Carols" as part of the Youth Philharmonic and the Family Philharmonic.

The NFM Boys Choir and the Con Brio Choir invite the young music lovers to joyful carolling at the National Forum of Music.

Małgorzata Podzielny, Artistic Director of the NFM Boys' Choir, will conduct a concert of the most beautiful Christmas carols and pastorals, in arragements spiced up by percussive instruments and accompanied by the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra. The audience will learn about the history of the Christmas season repertoire, often sung at home, about who wrote the carols and about their forms and genres.

Information on tickets at: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/ 

Kraków | University Concert


The Collegium Novum in Kraków will hold a University Concert on 22 January 2020 at 7:00 p.m. featuring the Messages Quartet. The programme will include string quartets by Stanisław Moniuszko, Aleksander Tansman and Krzysztof Penderecki.

The aim of the Messages Quartet is to promote Polish chamber music, especially the less known and the latest compositions. The ensemble performs in Poland and abroad, including Vienna, London, Sao Paulo or Moscow. The Messages Quartet is a laureate of the "Young Poland" Scholarship Programme financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, thanks to which they recorded a debut album with Szymon Laks's string quartets (2017, DUX).

The quartet's repertoire includes works by Polish composers, among others, Szymon Laks, Andrzej Panufnik, Mieczysław Weinberg, Karol Szymanowski, Stanisław Moniuszko, and Grażyna Bacewicz, as well as masterpieces of the world literature. The quartet presents a versatile and innovative repertoire as part of a series of chamber concerts at the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, and also cooperates with the Composition Department of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.

Information on tickets athttp://www.filharmonia.krakow.pl/Home/8615-KONCERT_UNIWERSYTECKI.html 

Kielce | Stage for Polish Music


Piatr Sałajczyk's piano recital will take place on 21 January 2020 at 6.30 p.m. at the Oskar Kolberg Świętokrzyska Philharmonic as part of the new program of the Institute of Music and Dance – "Stage for Polish Music".

The pianist is a laureate of the "Fryderyk" award and the "Orpheus" award "for outstanding performances of Polish music". Nominated to "Polityka's Passport" award for "sensitivity and intelligence in approaching the forgotten repertoire". He teaches piano at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, of which he is a graduate. He is interested in modern music as well as unknown music of Polish romanticism. In 2017, he released a four-disc album with a complete set of piano works by Juliusz Zarębski. A year later, he registered all works by Władysław Żeleński.

The programme of the recital in Kielce will include Sonata by Franciszek Lessel, Grande Polonaise, Op. 6 by Juliusz Zarębski, Variations, Op. 62 by Władysław Żeleński, Sonata No. 2 by Mieczysław Weinberg and suite The Life of Machines by Władysław Szpilman.

More information athttp://filharmonia.kielce.com.pl/press/press_21.01.20.html 

Jerzy Kaszycki has died at 93


Jerzy Kaszycki – pianist, composer, sound and vision director, pedagogue, member of the Polish Composers' Union and honorary member of the Sfogato Music and Arts Society in Kraków – has passed away at the age of 93 in Kraków. The funeral will take place on 21 January 2020 at 1.40 p.m. at the Batowice Cemetery.

Jerzy Kaszycki was a graduate of the State Higher School of Music in Kraków (now the Academy of Music in Kraków): he studied piano in the class of Jan Hoffman and Sergiusz Nadgryzowski and composition under the direction of Stanisław Wiechowicz.

For many years he was associated with the Kraków Television. He was the music director of the Groteska Theatre in Kraków and also lectured at the State Higher School of Music in Kraków. He wrote music for around 75 theatre plays, working with such well-known directors as Mieczysław Kotlarczyk, Andrzej Wajda, Krystyna Skuszanka, and Jerzy Krasowski. He also gained popularity as an author of songs.

He received the Silver and Gold Cross of Merit, the "Merited Culture Activist" Badge, the Golden Badge of the City of Kraków, the Honorary Badge of the Polish Radio and Television. He was a member of the Management Board of the Krakow Branch of the Polish Composers' Union, as well as an honorary member of the Sfogato Music and Arts Society in Kraków.

Chełmno | 15th National Christmas Carols and Pastorals Competition


The Choir Collegium Cantorum Friends' Association in Chełmno invites lovers of beautiful carols and pastorals on 18 January 2020 to the Hall of School Complex No. 1 in Chełmno (35 Dominikańska St.) for the 15th National Christmas Carols and Pastorals Competition.

The aim of the competition is to present the artistic achievements of choirs and vocal ensembles, stimulate interest in choral music, popularize artistically valuable Christmas carols and pastorals, confront the achievements, exchange experiences and establish cooperation between choirs and conductors. During the competition auditions choirs will be judged by a Jury composed of: Prof. Bernard Mendlik – Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz (chairman), Prof. Andrzej Ryłko – Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, DSc Michał Kozorys – Academy of Music in Gdańsk, Michał Rajewski – Artistic Director of the Competition. 24 choirs have signed up to the Competition! The compulsory programme includes works by Polish composers. The best choir will receive a Grand Prix of PLN 2,000. The jury will also grant a special award for the Best Conductor. Winners of individual choir will receive cups or material prizes.

As part of the Competition, choirs will march to the Grudziądz Gate and sing carols at the Christmas creche. The competition will end with a solemn mass, followed by the results announcement, award presentation and winners concert.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://www.facebook.com/Og%C3%B3lnopolski-Konkurs-Kol%C4%99d-i-Pastora%C5%82ek-w-Che%C5%82mnie-1790576574517934/