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4th Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition for Young Composers

MKdMKKrakow Branch of the Polish Composers’ Union announces 4th Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition for Young Composers. The subject of the Competition is a composition for chamber orchestra, with a duration from 9 to 12 minutes.

Composers from every country, who will not be over the age of 35 at the moment of its closing, can take part in the Competition. One participant can submit no more than two compositions. A composition cannot be earlier performed, published in any form or awarded in any competition. Score in pdf format, marked with an emblem and a title, with duration written, application form, a short bio note, a note about the piece and a photo (in jpg format), should be sent to the address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. not later than on 15 March 2021 (11:59 p.m., UTC+01:00).

The Jury of the Competition: Marcel Chyrzyński (chairman), Zbigniew Bargielski, Ivan Buffa (Slovakia), Wojciech Widłak and Szymon Bywalec, grants one Main Prize – 1.000 USD (gross). What is more, the awarded composition will be premiered in April 2021 on the concert during 33rd Krakow International Festival of Composers. The Jury may not award the Main Prize. Honorary awards may be granted. The decision of the jury is irrevocable and will be announced not later than on 21 March 2021.

Marcel Chyrzyński
President of the PCU's Krakow Branch

Competition regulations and the application form are available at: http://festiwal.zkp.krakow.pl/konkurs/

Chamber Music Competition for youth

KonkursThe Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź and the Stanisław Liszewski Foundation announce the 2nd Wiłkomirski National Chamber Music Competition, addressed to students of primary and secondary music schools. Instrumental chamber ensembles, from duet to quintet, of any composition (excluding ensembles with organ and harpsichord) may participate in the Competition, which will be held on 22-24 April 2021 in a single-stage mode. Applications will be accepted by e-mail until 20 March 2021.

Due to its open programme formula, the competition is a unique event that gives artistically talented youth the opportunity to confront each other in the field of chamber music in a group of different compositions. In connection with the celebration of the May 3rd Constitution Year passed by the Sejm, the organisers also decided to include in the programme an obligation to perform one piece by a Polish composer, for which special prizes are provided for each age group in the form of participation in concerts organized by the Stanisław Liszewski Foundation and the the Academy of Music in Łódź. The competition jury will consist of outstanding instrumentalists – teachers of Polish music academies who are recognized authorities in the field of chamber music, and their teaching experience also includes working with talented youth from music schools. The Honorary Chairman of the Organizing Committee is Her Magnificence Rector of the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź, dr hab. Elżbieta Aleksandrowicz, prof. AM.

Detailed information on age categories, repertoire, registration, as well as regulations and contact details: http://www.amuz.lodz.pl/pl/wydarzenia/ii-ogolnopolski-konkurs-muzyki-kameralnej-im-wilkomirskich 

Maria Sławek and Piotr Różański at JCC Krakow

WOSPOn 31 January 2021 Maria Sławek and Piotr Różański, artists affiliated with the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow, will perform a special online concert broadcast directly from the center of the Kazimierz district – especially for the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.

In partnership with the Jewish Community Centre of Krakow (JCC Krakow), Maria and Piotr will perform a concert for the 29th finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. “Z głową” is this year's main theme leading up to the finale of the initiative. This time the Foundation will focus on buying equipment for laryngology wards, otolaryngology, and for diagnosing head injuries. This is already the second WOŚP finale that is dedicated to laryngology.

The programme will include: Ernest Bloch's Nigun from Baal Shem Tov suite, Grzegorz Fitelberg's Mazurka, Henryk Wieniawski's Kujawiak, Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Chanson sans paroles and Jules Massenet's Meditation.

The concert will be broadcast on JCC Krakow's main Facebook page.

JOIN: Facebook Event

Lodz Philharmonic: Carnival Organ Recital

FLThe organ is usually associated with religious, serious and dignified music. The "Carnival Organ Recital", which will be held at the Arthur Rubinstein Lodz Philharmonic on 31 January 2021 at 4.55 p.m., will prove that it does not always have to be the case.

The concert will be performed by Krzysztof Lukas, winner of international organ competitions in Germany, France, Italy and Russia. The organist has played concerts in most European countries, North Africa and Asia. He is associated with the Academy of Music in Katowice.

Krzysztof Lukas will present musical pieces related to the carnival, among others, thanks to their dance character, such as La Fiesta by Ch. Corea or La Valse des Anges by J. Bret. There will be both original compositions for organs and transcriptions. The Finale of Louis Vierne's Organ Symphony No. 6, considered one of the most difficult pieces for this instrument deserves special attention. Organ symphonies were created by many composers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, wanting to show the tonal possibilities of this instrument, making it almost similar to an orchestra. They imitate the color and texture of orchestral sound. Krzysztof Lukas will also perform Marian Sawa's Fuga Bolero and Konstanty Gorski's Fantasy in F minor.

The online broadcast of the concert will be available on YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N44h4khrk5k 

More information at: https://filharmonia.lodz.pl/pl/wydarzenia/karnawalowy-recital-organowy-0 

Artur Zagajewski's "EUR post cold wave new synth romantic punk" – online premiere

EURThe world premiere of Artur Zagajewski's EUR post cold wave new synth romantic punk took place in Warsaw's Cukry Studio at the beginning of September 2020 The online premiere of this piece will be held on 30 January 2021 at 9.00 p.m. as part of the Hashtag Ensemble residence at the "Codes" Festival of Tradition and Avant-garde Music.

"Since I have already had the opportunity to write music to be performed in a specific urban space, where sounds are closely related to the surroundings, this time I decided to act differently than usual. I decided to confront the premiere venue (the ruined but atmospheric cellar of the Warsaw "Cukry") with a completely different aesthetic – the modernist EUR district of Rome, where order, clean and simple form and smooth architecture reign. Moreover, I imagined Hashtag Ensemble as a post-punk (new romantic) group, therefore, while working on the piece, I found additional sources of musical inspiration – Ultravox, The Cure, Siekiera, and... Sigur Rós.” This is what Artur Zagajewski wrote about his piece, created as part of the "Composing Commissions" programme operated by the Institute of Music and Dance.

What might be the sound of the post cold wave new synth romantic punk, inspired by the EUR distric of Rome? You will be able to find out during the concert broadcast, which will be available at: https://youtu.be/A2-RCeVRj2M 

Sinfonia Iuventus online: Mykietyn, Elgar and de Falla

POSIThe Jerzy Semkow  Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra invites you to an online concert broadcast from the New Art Hause – Palace in Radziejowice on 30 January 2021 at 8.00 p.m. The ensemble conducted by Monika Wolińska will perform Paweł Mykietyn's Double Concerto for two flutes and orchestra, Edward Elgar's Sospiri and Manuel de Falla's Suite from the ballet El amor brujo.

A pair of excellent flute players, ranked among the greatest contemporary virtuosos of this instrument, Agata Kielar-Długosz and Łukasz Długosz, will perform Paweł Mykietyn’s Double Concerto, which premiered (in their performance) in 2016. The artists themselves wrote about this work as follows: “It consists of three attacca movements, the first and third of which are based on the composer’s continuous accelerando technique. The innovative approach to the agogic sphere of the work is extremely interesting. The solo parts – in close symbiosis with the orchestra part – are treated very originally. Paweł Mykietyn’s concert will certainly significantly enrich contemporary flute literature. It is wonderful!”

 In one of his radio programmes, composer and publicist Roman Palester expressed the following opinion about De Falla’s fascinating ballet El Amor Brujo: “It is probably the most direct and the most captivating piece he wrote. In the piece, De Falla was able to project the entire «canto jondo», which is the primeval, extremely expressive way of folk singing originating from Andalusia, […] full of sharp and nervous rhythm, with melodics inspired by an eternal tradition and expression reflecting gloomy, magic dancing rituals from the one hand, and fresh Andalusian nights on the other.” Harp is a solo instrument frequently paired with string orchestra, and this is the set of instruments chosen by Edward Elgar, great English Neo-Romanticist, who in 1914 composed its Sospiri (Sighs), a piece he initially wanted to compose for violin and piano as a pendant to the popular Salut d’amour. The piece finally took the form of a subtle orchestral adagio characterised by peaceful and thoughtful mood.

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

The concert will be broadcast on the YouTube channel and on the website https://sinfoniaiuventus.pl/ 

Polish Baltic Philharmonic online – Marcin Markowicz

MarkowiczThe Polish Baltic Philharmonic invites you to a symphonic concert featuring violinist and composer Marcin Markowicz. The online broadcast will take place on 29 January 2021 at 7.00 p.m. on the Philharmonic's YouTube channel.

Marcin Markowicz will perform his own Violin Concerto, commissioned in 2018 by the "Spaces of Music" Chamber Music Festival in Konin. This will be the first performance of the piece in Gdańsk. The versatile musician – performer and composer – has served as concertmaster of the NFM Orchestra in Wrocław, and is currently concertmaster of the Polish Radio Orchestra, member of the Lutosławski String Quartet and artistic director of the Princess Daisy Ensemble Festival in Książ. Marcin Markowicz also plays in the Jazz Band Młynarski-Masecki. Together with Marcin Masecki, he has been organising a series of chamber concerts in Warsaw.

The Polish Baltic Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ewa Strusińska will also present relatively rarely performed pieces: Romance in F major No. 2, Op. 50 for violin and orchestra by Ludwig van Beethoven and Overture for wind instruments by Felix Mendelssohn.

More information at: https://www.filharmonia.gda.pl/ 

"Polish heroines of music" – a new album released by Anaklasis

PWMDoes music call for gender equality? It can surely defend itself. Nonetheless, the artistic advantages of excellent present-day women-composers and their eminent predecessors are worthy of being noticed and highlighted. Women have their separate and distinctive voice in Polish music. In recognition of the need to acknowledge that voice, on 29 January 2021 Anaklasis will release the CD Polish heroines of music, comprising orchestral works by Elżbieta Sikora, Hanna Kulenty, Grażyna Bacewicz, and Agata Zubel.

This most recent album in the"Sounds" series is the result of cooperation between PWM Edition and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, which aim is to create and disseminate a new canon of music by Polish women-composers by promoting Polish culture worldwide. The third project participant is the French Orchestre Pasdeloup, which has undertaken to record four pieces by outstanding Polish women-artists. The orchestra is led on this album, appropriately to the task, by Marzena Diakun, an extraordinarily gifted woman-conductor.

Elżbieta Sikora’s piece Sonosphère V. Wanda Landowska, included on the CD, combines acoustic tradition with electric modernity. The mastery of French jazz guitarist Misja Fitzgerald Michel, whose virtuosic electric guitar solo conjures up, in accordance with the composer’s intentions, the nervousness and sound colour of Jimi Hendrix’s playing, will leave no one indifferent. Hanna Kulenty’s Aisthetikos brings us in contact with metaphysical trance and musical surrealism. This work is interpreted here by excellent soloists: saxophonist Bartłomiej Duś and pianist Magdalena Duś, who premiered the piece less than a year ago at Kielce’s Świętokrzyska Philharmonic. Contradizione is a classic by the eminent composer and violin virtuoso Grażyna Bacewicz, who also was a proficient pianist and writer. Agata Zubel’s In the Shade of an Unshed Tear attempts to explore the possibilities of a Beethoven orchestra in contemporary music. Anaklasis release features the world premiere recording of this composition.

More information at: www.anaklasis.pl 

Presentation of new websites of the Polish Composers' Union: "POLMIC Digital Archive" and "Roman Maciejewski"

pThe Polish Composers' Union launches new websites: "POLMIC Digital Archive" and the portal dedicated to "Roman Maciejewski". The presentation of both sites (open to public) will take place on the Zoom platform on Thursday, 28 January 2021 at 2 p.m.

The PCU's Music Library collection of recordings, photographs, scores and documents will be published at www.archiwumcyfrowe.polmic.pl. A significant part of the collection is related to the "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music, organised since 1956 by the Polish Composers' Union. The portal will also feature scores, many of which have not yet been published, publications related to the festivals, concerts and other events organised by the PCU, as well as articles on contemporary music. We will also make available extremely interesting archival documents concerning the functioning of the PCU in the political reality of the People's Republic of Poland. All spheres of life were permeated by politics at that time, the best example of which was the famous Conference of Composers and Music Critics in Łagów Lubulski.

The series of monographic websites devoted to Polish contemporary composers is also growing. At www.maciejewski.polmic.pl you can find a detailed biography of Roman Maciejewski (1910–1998) presented in an attractive audio-visual form with many illustrations and a comprehensive presentation of his work with sample recordings. Roman Maciejewski spread his musical wings in the interwar period, gaining the recognition of such authorities as Karol Szymanowski, and after emigration, due to the political situation in the world and his own philosophy of life, he gradually disappeared from the consciousness of music lovers. Thus, Maciejewski became part of a larger phenomenon  a "piece" of a puzzle composed of a whole generation of intellectuals and artists, often outstanding, yet forgotten. A generation that musicologist Tadeusz Kaczyński called with the term "lost generation". Fortunately, from around 1989, the work of émigré composers gradually began to be included in the general history of Polish music, which also contributed to the growing interest in Maciejewski. Currently, his works are more and more appreciated by performers, musicologists and music lovers.

The projects were co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the "Digital Culture" programme.

Both portals will be presented on the zoom platform: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/76732024573?pwd=V2ZJa1hBdmJGK0JqZVdyQWNIUzRaUT09  (Meeting ID: 767 3202 4573, Passcode: 93s1jH)