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Wrocław | Stage premiere of Rafał Augustyn's „Descensus Christi ad inferos"


The stage version of the Descensus Christi ad inferos oratorium by Rafał Augustyn will be premiered on 26 and 28 February 2020 at the Bakery Centre for Performing Arts of the Jerzy Grotowski Institute in Wrocław.

What was Jesus doing on Easter Saturday? The canonical gospels are silent about this episode, so we need to consult apocryphal records, such as the beautiful Latin text translated from ancient Greek which is included in the Gospel of Nicodemus. The fast-paced and eventful story starts among Jerusalem Jews who are looking for witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection, and then moves to the abyss that the Greeks called Tartar where the holy fathers and the first mother, Eve, held captive by Satan, await their liberation.

Inspired by the eminent philologist Professor Jerzy Woronczak, Rafał Augustyn started working on Descensus Christi ad inferos in the 1990s. Completed in 2016, the oratorio was first performed at the 14th Song of Our Roots Festival of Early Music in Jarosław. Incorporating a range of stylistic idioms, from chant to medieval motet technique to contemporary elements, the piece forms a cohesive, tightly-knit whole.

The piece will be sung by three choirs. The chant schola will narrate the story and the National Forum of Music Choir will complete the ‘cantus firmus’, with the solo parts sung by a group of solo singers. Despite its psychological interest and delving into serious theological matters, the libretto (as well as music) contains a good dose of humour.

Koncert zrealizowano w koprodukcji Instytutu Grotowskiego i Narodowego Forum Muzyki. Partnerem wydarzenia jest Stowarzyszenie Schola Gregoriana Silesiensis.

Tickets are available at: www.bilety.grotowski-institute.art.pl/ 

More information at: http://grotowski-institute.art.pl/wydarzenia/descensus-christi-ad-inferos/

Warsaw | Sinfonia Iuventus and Konstanty Andrzej Kulka


The Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra conducted by Maciej Tomasiewicz will present works by Gioacchin Rossini, Gabriel Fauré and Pyotr Tchaikovsky on 29 February 2020 at 7.00 p.m. at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. The masterpieces of Karol Lipiński will be performed by a truly legendary violinist, one of the most outstanding musicians of his generation – Konstanty Andrzej Kulka.

Karol Lipiński was one of the foremost luminaries of Polish Romantic music and among the greatest virtuosos of his era. He was perceived as a competitor of Paganini, and there were those who praised his playing and talents as a composer in even more superlative terms. Konstanty Andrzej Kulka will perform works that were particularly appreciated by 19th-century virtuosos: Rondeau de Concert in C Major and an operatic paraphrase, presented here as a variation (which considerably increases the technical challenge) – on motifs from the opera La Cenerentola (Cinderella) by Rossini. The creativity of this opera master will recall the brilliant and witty overture to L’Italiana in Algeri.

The second half of the concert will be filled with the expressiveness and cheer of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Serenade in C Major, a piece that showcases a surprisingly rich palette of colours and shades from the string ensemble. The French neo-romanticist Gabriel Fauré, whose subtle harmonic and colour sensitivity paved the way for a generation of modernists, is now remembered for only a few works, including the incredibly popular and moving Requiem as well as the subtle, reflective, captivating euphonium Pavane.

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

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

Kraków | "Elementi 8": screen or sounds and pixels


"Elementi" is an annual event that focuses attention on contemporary music: created, performed and interpreted here and now. The eighth edition, which will take place on 6-8 March 2020 at the Academy of Music in Kraków, will include, among others, a two-day scientific conference, four concerts of new music, lectures and meetings with invited guests.

This year, the main theme of "Elementi" is "screen" – everything that is related to the multimedia and intermediality of music, its visual aspect, as well as film, stage, commercial and artistic work. The importance of music in the context of current social, cultural and technological development changes will be discussed.

The upcoming edition will feature lectures by music theoretician Krzysztof Szwajgier and musicologist Jan Topolski, as well as composers: Joanna Bailie and Óscar Escudero. The concerts will include works by young Polish composers, among others students and PhD candidates of the Academy of Music in Kraków. It has become a tradition to reach for new and important works by outstanding contemporary artists and to invite well-known professional ensembles specializing in contemporary music performance. This year, the Danish Current Resonance Ensemble and the Kraków Contemporary Music Ensemble will perform, among others, compositions by Jessie Marino, Joanna Bailie, Michael Beil, Simon Steen-Andersen and Alexander Schubert. One of the planned concerts – organized in the 360 ​​° Hevre gallery in cooperation with the Intermedia Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków – will take on a slightly different, more performative, audiovisual (and later perhaps party) character.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Full programme available at: http://elementi.amuz.krakow.pl/ 

Rzeszów | A Concert at the End of the Carnival


The works by Ignacy Zalewski and Wojciech Kostrzewa will be performed by Duo Karolina Mikołajczyk & Iwo Jedynecki on 25 February 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Artur Malawski Philharmonic in Rzeszów during the "Concert at the end of the carnival".

Duo Karolina Mikołajczyk & Iwo Jedynecki (violin and accordion) is one of the most interesting chamber ensembles of the young generation. They are the winners of the international competitions in Poland, Croatia, France and Austria. In November 2014, during the Concert of the Year – a competition for chamber ensembles, they received the Rectors' of Polish Music Universities Award and the ZAiKS Association of Authors Award. The ensemble's repertoire includes literature from all eras, from Baroque to the 21st century. They perform works by composers of different nationalities, diverse in character, representing different styles. In addition to the compositions written originally for violin and accordion, the artists make their own transcriptions of literature for violin and piano.

The programme of the upcoming concert will include, among others, Mazurka (2016) by Ignacy Zalewski and The Hollywood Fantasy (2019) by Wojciech Kostrzewa. The latter is an impressive 3-part composition written by a laureate of the Grand Prix at the 3rd Krzysztof Penderecki International Composers' Competition. The work is based on the most famous themes from such Hollywood films as Casablanca, Pink Panther, Godfather, Pirates of the Caribbean, American Beauty, Harry Potter and many others.

Full programme available at: http://www.filharmonia.rzeszow.pl/repertuar/dzien,25-02-2020.html 

Poznań | Premiere of works by Monika Kędziora and Janusz Stalmierski

AM Poznań

A concert "String Parnassus" will take place on 24 February 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań as part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the academy.

The Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań is called the cradle of the Polish violin school, whose foundations were created by, among others, the excellent violinist prof. Jadwiga Kaliszewska. This work was continued by a large group of its graduates – outstanding pedagogues who educated and continue to educate subsequent generations of musicians. In the year of the 100th anniversary of the Poznań Academy of Music, we will listen to a unique orchestra prepared by teachers of the Institute of Violin Making Instruments.

A group of pedagogues with prof. Mariusz Derewecki, the artistic director of the project, will present works by Stanisław Moniuszko, Wojciech Kilar and Romuald Twardowski. The concert will also premiere two works written by composers connected with the Academy: Sub glaciae, sum summa aqua ... by Monika Kędziora and Mild Light by Janusz Stalmierski. The programme will also feature Piotr Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence, inspired by the composer's visit to Florence, in arrangement for string orchestra. The concert will be hosted by Piotr Niewiedział.

The admission is free.

More information at: https://amuz.edu.pl/event/smyczkowy-parnas/ 

Warsaw | Sinfonia Iuventus under George Tchitchinadze: Mozart & Elgar


The Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra conducted by George Tchitchinadzi will perform works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Edward Elgar on 22 February 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio in Warsaw. Violists Katarzyna Budnik and Maria Machowska will perform as soloists.

The concert will begin with the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's ouverture to Così fan tutte. This sunny opera, preceded by a charming, lively overture, is a wonderful summary of Mozart’s comedic work and more broadly – his affirmative, joyful attitude towards the world and people; it also represents the completion of his triptych of later works in this genre, in which opera buffa equalled opera seria in quality for the first time in its history.

Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola was created at the end of the composer’s youthful period in Salzburg when he was already bathed in the radiance of European fame. The title itself indicates the genre, combining symphony and concerto, although it is clearly dominated by the latter. Two instruments carry on a lively dialogue and the entire work is filled with a cheery and carefree atmosphere.

The beginning of Edward Elgar’s career did not foretell the enormous popularity and fame which would be bestowed upon the more than 40-year-old musician. His later success first manifested on the European continent, where his works gained recognition from acclaimed artists such as Richard Strauss and conductor Hans Richter, who directed the premiere of the Enigma Variations op. 36 at London’s St. James Hall on 19 June 1899. This event was a milestone in Elgar’s career and his variations soon gained even greater fame throughout Europe.

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

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

Brodnica | 2nd ClassiX Festival


Classical, electronic, jazz and contemporary music, complemented by modern visual art. Outstanding names, the latest art projects and a number of fringe events. The 2nd ClassiX Festival in Brodnica will be held on 26-29 March 2020.

On the last weekend of March Brodnica will host eight concerts and a series of fringe events featuing 55 artists in four so-called festival zones: café, workshop, climate and beauty with a classic-futuristic fashion show. The leitmotif of the second edition is "Beauty through distortion" expressed in music, light, image and fashion.

Outstanding Polish instrumentalists accepted the invitation to participate in the festival, including Rafał Kwiatkowski, Anna Maria Staśkiewicz, soloists of the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra, as well as representatives of the modern jazz and modern classic current: Sebastian Wypych, Olo Walicki, Nikola Kołodziejczyk, Nika Lubowicz, Big Band Konglomerat, Dutch jazz musician Roderik Povel, Hania Rani and Dobrawa Czocher.

There will be premieres of completely new works. The final concert will premiere Brodnica Symphony by Mat Kwiatkowski – artistic director of the Festiva. This is a spectacular work for cello, electronics, male and female voice and a 19-person big band, combining classical, jazz and contemporary aesthetics. Mateusz Kwiatkowski joined forces with young Polish motion designer Bartek Wójcicki, working in the areas of new media with strong emphasis on motion design and 3D video mapping. The music is complemented by live visualization, which in its theme closely refers to the history of Brodnica and the 100th anniversary of Brodnica's return to free Poland.

Tickets available at BDK, Empik and online at: https://goingapp.pl/city/42/bilety-w-calej-polsce 

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Full programme available athttps://www.facebook.com/brodnicaclassix/ 

Gdańsk | First album of Art’n’Voices released by DUX


Art’n’Voices presents their latest album "Midnight Stories" – twelve unique compositions and almost an hour of music in which you can get lost. The premiere of the album will take place on 22 February 2020 at the Academy of Music in Gdańsk.

The album contains works by Paweł Łukaszewski, Krzysztof Komeda, as well as artists of the young generation, including Szymon Godziemba-Trytek, Zuzanna Falkowska, Anna Rocławska-Musiałczyk and Jakub Szafrański. The Art’n’Voices vocal ensemble was formed in 2010. In its repertoire it has music of different periods, starting from the Renaissance, however, it favors contemporary music compositions, a significant part of which was written especially for the ensemble. Their third, latest album, is entirely devoted to works inspired by the broadly understood theme of the night. Due to the large variety of texts used by individual artists, each of the twelve recorded compositions shows its own vision in which, in various shots, the motif of the coming of nightfall and everything related to it is presented.

The CD is available for online sale at www.dux.pl and will soon appear in physical and digital international distribution.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information about the concerthttps://www.amuz.gda.pl/

Kielce | Premiere of "Aisthetikos" by Hanna Kulenty


The world premiere Hanna Kulenty's Aisthetikos for soprano saxophone, piano and orchestra will take place on 21 February 2020 at the Oskar Kolberg Świętokrzyska Philharmonic. With this work, the composer returns to the PWM Edition.

The title comes from the Greek language, where it means sensual perception – only the reception of the work with all senses allows you to feel its multidimensionality and depth. In her latest composition, Hanna Kulenty took into account the properties of all senses, creating a surreal universe that organizes musical phenomena in time.

"Aisthetikos is a one-piece composition, where the parts of the duo: saxophone and piano, lead an almost indissoluble narration against the shadow, literally the shadow of the orchestra," comments the composer. "I try to embrace this cosmos with my human senses, where every thing is in its time, and I am only transforming this time, slowing or accelerating this cosmic nature." Aisthetikos waves, accelerates and slows down, plays with listeners and puts their musical experiences to the test.

During the world premiere, the solo parts will be performed by Magdalena and Bartłomiej Duś, for whom the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic under Jacek Rogal will create a "shadow". The work was commissioned by the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic and co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund under the "Composing Commissions" programme, implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance. The concert programme will also include an the Fidelio Ouverture by Ludwig van Beethoven and the 94th Symphony in G major "Surprise" by Joseph Haydn.

The concert is held under the patronage of the PWM Edition as part of the TUTTI.pl project promoting the performance of Polish music.

Information on tickets athttp://filharmonia.kielce.com.pl/press/press_21.02.20.html