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Kielce | "Stage for Polish Music": proMODERN vocal sextet


On 10 March 2020 at 6.30 p.m. the Oskar Kolberg Świętokrzyska Philharmonic in Kielce will host a concert of proMODERN vocal sextet as part of the "Stage for Polish Music" programme of the Institute of Music and Dance.

The “Stage for Polish Music” is a new project of the Institute of Music and Dance aimed at Polish music performers and organised in collaboration with the Warsaw Philharmonic and arts institutions in Poland. Programmes featuring Polish music, selected on the basis of a competition, will be presented at the Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Hall and then repeated in other cities in Poland, including Kielce.

The proMODERN sextet has become synonymous with the best vocal performances of contemporary music. The group consists of excellent singers-soloists connected by passion and ability to interpret the most demanding works by 20th-century composers. The programme of the upcoming concert will include compositions written by artists connected with Warsaw. We will listen to the only vocal compositions a capella by Witold Lutosławski, Orpheus in the woods by Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz, the Song to the Virgin Mary by Andrzej Panufnik and Three Sonnets by Stanisław Moryto, dedicated to the composer's wife and created shortly before his death in 2018 on the commission of the proMODERN ensemble.

More information at: http://filharmonia.kielce.pl/ 

Katowice | Fryderyk Awards – Classical Music Gala


This year's edition of the Fryderyk Festival will be inaugurated on 8 March 2020 at 7:40 p.m. by the Classical Music Gala at the NOSPR Concert Hall in Katowice. The awarding ceremony will feature performances by eminent artists.

The soloists will be Bartłomiej Nizioł (violin), Marek Bracha (piano), Ewa Tracz (soprano), Szymon Komasa (baritone) and Jakub Józef Orliński (countertenor), the winner of the Gramophone Music Award (Young Artist of the Year), the Opus Klassik, the Coryphaeus of Polish Music and the 'Polityka's' Passport 2019 in the classical music category. ProMODERN vocal sextet, Berlin Piano Trio and Altberg Ensemble have also been invited to participate in the concert. The classical music gala in Katowice could not take place without the host of the concert – the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra. The musicians will play under the baton of Lawrence Foster, who is the first conductor and artistic director of NOSPR from September 2019.

The artists will present, among others Roxana's Song from the opera King Roger by Karol Szymanowski, Ecloga VIII by Krzysztof Penderecki, 6th Violin Concerto (part III) by Grażyna Bacewicz and Polonaise in A major, Op. 40 No. 1 by Frederic Chopin. The Golden Fyderyk in the "Classical Music" category will go to the great violinist Krzysztof Jakowicz. Polish Radio Programme 2 and TVP Kultura will broadcast the event as its patrons.

The Fryderyk Festival is a three-day festival of Polish music, celebrating various genres, conventions and styles. On 14 March, there will be an award ceremony in the categories of popular music and jazz and a day later, there will be a festival featuring Polish artists.

More information at: http://fryderyki.pl/ 

Warsaw | Secular Spirit in Religious Music

Chór PR

The Polish Radio Choir will present works by Gioacchino Rossini and Karol Szymanowski on 8 March 2020 at 8:00 p.m. at the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio in Warsaw.

The Litany to the Virgin Mary, Op.59 by Karol Szymanowski is based on two stanzas from the Litany by the inter-war poet Jerzy Liebert of the Skamander group. In formal terms, the composition is a two-part cantata for solo soprano, female choir and symphony orchestra. It is also one of the last works originating from the so-called "national" period in Szymonowski's work. As he wrote in a letter to Zofia Kochańska, "this is perhaps my deepest, most focused thing." And indeed this focus and personal, sometimes intimate tone can be heard from the beginning of the composition.

For centuries, the greatest composers used the text of the traditional medieval Stabat Mater sequence, from Palestrina, through Pergolesi, Vivaldi, Dvořák, Verdi, and Szymanowski, to Penderecki or Pärt. Gioacchino Rossini' Stabat Mater is one of the most valuable pieces of religious music. The work, consisting of ten parts, is intended for a quartet of soloists, mixed choir and symphony orchestra, and testifies to the mastery of counterpoint art.

The upcoming concert will feature Ewa Tracz – soprano, Anna Borucka – mezzo-soran, Andrzej Lampert – tenor, Jarosław Bręk – bass-baritone. The artists will be accompanied by the Polish Radio Choir, Katowice City Singers 'Camerata Silesia' and the Polish Radio Orchestra in Warsaw conducted by Michał Klauza.

Information on tickets at: https://chorpolskiegoradia.pl/event/karol-szymanowski-litania-do-marii-panny-op-5/ 

Katowice | Pre-inauguration of the 'Fryderyk 2020' Music Festival at the Silesian Philharmonic


The pre-inauguration of the 'Fryderyk 2020' Music Festival will take place on Women's Day, 8 March 2020 at 12.00 p.m. at the Silesian Philharmonic.

The concert programme will be based on compositions related to the Silesia region. There will be Wojciech Kilar's music composed for the films Pan Tadeusz, The Promised Land, Portrait of a Lady, and Trędowata. We will also listen to the Silver Concerto for harpsihord, string orchesta nad muiltimedia by Adam Wesołowski, which was premiered last November. During the upcoming concert it will be performed by Piotr Sałajczyk in the version for piano. The harmony of image and sound will emphasize the unusual and intriguing relationship between music and the industrial severity of the Historic Silver Mine in Tarnowskie Góry. The programme will be complemented by an expressive work of the Silesian Philharmonic Patron – Henryk Mikołaj Górecki's Concerto for piano and string orchestra, Op. 40.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Cenre POLMIC.

More information at: https://filharmonia-slaska.eu 

Opole | Sinfonia Iuventus at the Opole Philharmonic


Sinfonia Iuventus is an orchestra of the most talented graduates and students of art colleges, which gives concerts with the most outstanding conductors and soloists. On 7 March 2020 it will perform together with clarinetist Szymon Klima at the Józef Elsner Opole Philharmonic.

Szymon Klima became famous for an extraordinary project to “expand” the 10-minute cycle of appealing Dance Preludes (1954) by Witold Lutosławski, an improvisation inspired by this piece which resulted in concerts as well as the album Lutosławski Retuned (performed by a trio also featuring Adam Kowalewski and Piotr Wyleżoł). The March concert will feature these preludes in their original form and the artist will also perform the spectacularly expressive Clarinet Concerto (1949), the best-known work today by the somewhat forgotten, yet prolific British composer Gerald Finzi. The dance, quasi-folk idiom of Lutosławski’s Preludes will be completed by the lively third of the Dances op. 34, which Henryk Mikołaj Górecki composed in 1998 for the Rybnik Philharmonic. Sergei Prokofiev, one of the pioneers of ambitious film music from the USSR, composed appealing music for Aleksandr Faintsimmer's Lieutenant Kijé (1934), whose fame (in the form of a concert suite) considerably outlived the film itself.

This colourful and attractive programme will be led by Marek Wroniszewski – Deputy Director of the Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra who has been associated with this institution since October 2017, initially as the assistant conductor and then as the orchestra manager.

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Informaiton Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://sinfoniaiuventus.pl/ 

Wrocław | The Power of Women


The Women's Day, which falls on March 8, is a great opportunity to take a closer look at the artistic achievements of outstanding women composers active in the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century. These varied and extremely original works will be performed on 7 March 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the National Forum of Music in Wrocław by the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra conducted by Joseph Swensen and the violinist Thomas Bowes.

The composer Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil, living in Wrocław, is the author of numerous instrumental compositions. They include the ICE-LAND, a work for strings and amplified harp, written in 2011. The inspiration for its creation was the artist's visit to Dettifoss, the powerful Icelandic waterfall that also inspired Ridley Scott. The director decided to film the first scene of his Prometheus at the waterfall.

Grażyna Bacewicz's work belongs to the Neoclassical current. The Concerto for String Orchestra was created in 1948. This is a concise, three-movement piece in which the expressive, lively rhythm comes to the fore, pointing also to folk as a source of inspiration.

The programme will also include Reflection on B-A-C-H by Sofia Gubaidulina, Lamenting with Ariadne for vola and chamber ensemble by Thea Musgrave, Nocturne for solo violin by Kaija Saariaho, and the world premiere of the Violin Concerto No. 2 „Narcissus” by the Jamaican composer Eleanor Alberga.

More information at: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/ 

Katowice | Grażyna Bacewicz and America(ns)!


The Silesian String Quartet together with Marek Andryski will perform on 7 March 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the headquarters of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall in Katowice as part of the "Grażyna Bacewicz and America(ns)!" concert series.

The programme includes: String Quartet in B minor, Op. 11 by Samuel Barber, Five Tango Sensations for bandoneon and string quartet by Astor Piazzolla and String Quartet No. 4 by Grażyna Bacewicz. It is the best known and most often performed among Grażyna Bacewicz’s seven string quartets. It was written in 1951, following a commission from the Polish Composers’ Union, which invited its members to take part in a composers’ competition for a string quartet organised in Liège, Belgium. Bacewicz’s piece, entered as “1951”, won the first prize.

In one of the interviews, the composer said: "The Quartet consists of three movements; its uses all instruments and the melody features elements of folklore." It could be said that the piece owes its success to that folkloristic note making the work less abstract and more accessible than those quartets which owe its high status only to technical excellence and thoughtful, logical dramaturgy.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: http://www.nospr.org.pl/ 

Wieliczka and Kraków | 3rd "Piano e Forte" Festival and Piano Competition 2020


The 3rd "Piano e Forte" Festival and Piano Competition will last until 7 March 2020.

The originator and artistic director of the "Piano e Forte" Festival and Piano Competition is pianist Marta Polańska. Organizers: the Music School Complex in Wieliczka and the Sfogato Music and Arts Society in Kraków. This innovative project aims to inspire young pianists to deepen their knowledge of the history of the instrument, increase awareness of the performance practices of a diverse repertoire on contemporary and historical pianos, as well as learn about interpretive trends and piano literature of different eras. The goal of the "Piano e Forte" Festival and Piano Competition is also to show the history of piano evolution in the context of the development of the piano repertoire.

The 3rd "Piano e Forte" Festival and Piano Competition 2020 takes place on the eve of the eighteenth International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, therefore the repertoire includes works and issues related to Chopin and his performance practice. The programme of this year's Festival also refers to the 210th anniversary of the birth of Robert Schumann, a contemporary and friend of Frederic Chopin, the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven and the 335th anniversary of the birth and 270th anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach.

The whole event will include "Piano e Forte" Concert, workshops on the construction of the piano, grand piano and one of its prototypes – harpsichord, lectures on the history of instruments, as well as piano works of Ludwig van Beethoven, instrumentological workshops and museum lessons at the Gallery of Artistic Craft of the National Museum in Kraków, 3rd "Piano e Forte" Piano Competition 2020 (6 March 2020) and Gala Concert of Young Piano Masters (7 March 2020) in the concert hall of the Bronisław Rutkowski Primary and Secondary Music School in Kraków.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Full programme is available at: www.pianoeforte.pl 

Kielce | "Not Only Beatrice" Women's Day Concert


On 6 March 2020 at 7.00 p.m. the Oskar Kolberg Świętokrzyska Philharmonic will host an uunusual concert on the occasion of Women's Day with the participation of the world-famous marimbists  the Axoum Duo (Elwira Ślązak and Gabriel Collet).

The concert will start with the "Beatrice" Symphonic Poem, Op. 17 No. 1 by Feliks Nowowiejski performed by the Silesian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyna Szymczak - participant of the "Conductor-In-Residence" programme implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance. This Romantic-style work sparkles with flickering sounds of the harp and percussion section.

The Axoum Duo we present the Concerto for two marimbas and orchestra "Conversation with a stone" by Gabriel Collet, inspired by the poetry of Wisława Szymborska (Nobel Prize). The composer said: "Due to my interests in literature and philosophy, the idea to connect poetic thought with music came naturally; combining two worlds, which are both important in my life, thus embodying the spirit of poetry, Loose links drawn and inspired by several Wislawa Szymborska poems are reflected throughout the music, forming altogether a thoughtful composition. The concerto is instrumental, in three parts. Rich in empathetic, emotional, and tonal themes."

In addition, the programme will include the Valse triste by Jean Sibelius and the Romeo and Juliet overture-fantasia by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

More information at: http://www.filharmonia.kielce.com.pl/press/press_06.03.20.html