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"Alla Polacca" –The first Polish CD with music for guitar and harp duo

Alla Polacca"Alla Polacca" is the title of the first Polish album containing Polish music for the guitar-harp duo. The pieces on the album were recorded by the unique ACh Duo, formed by guitarist Aleksander Pankowski vel Jankowski, a graduate of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice and harpist Noemi Hańczyk, a graduate student at the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław. The premiere of the album, released by the Association for Polish Guitar Music Development under the small great music (QBK) record company, will take place on 15 January 2021.

The name of the disc is inspired by the title of one of the parts of Suite in modo polonico by Alexandre Tansman, which was included on the album in an original arrangement for guitar and harp, made by the composer himself. The recording of Suite is the very first full recording of this piece in the world – it was never fully recorded after its creation. The album also contains original transcriptions of Fryderyk Chopin's works arranged by Anna Wołowczyk (Prelude in D flat major, Op. 28 No. 15) and by the performers themselves (Waltz in C sharp minor, Op. 64 No. 2). The entire publication is complemented by compositions played solo by the artists – Grzegorz Jurczyk's Fogbound Mountains for guitar (2013) and Roman Ryterband's Deux images for harp (1943).

The artists of Ach Duo began their collaboration in 2012 during their studies at the Feliks Nowowiejski Music School Complex in Szczecin under the guidance of guitarist Piotr Pałac. Ever since, the duo has been winning recognition at national and international festivals. In 2018 the musicians intensified their collaboration, which led to their current achievements, including 1st place at the International Harp Competition Suoni d’Arpa in Saluzzo (Italy, 2018), as well as 2nd place at the International Harp Competition Marcel Tournier in Cosenza (Italy, 2018) and 3rd place at the II International Guitar Competition "Ida Presti" in Samobor (Croatia, 2020) that came with the special audience prize of a recital in Croatia in 2021. The duo’s repertoire features both harp and guitar pieces by such composers as Alexandre Tansman and Máximo Diego Pujol and their own musical arrangements. The unusual combination of musical instruments and the original repertoire define ACh Duo’s uniqueness as the only ensemble of its kind actively performing in Poland.

The album is co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of The "Musical trace" program implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information: www.AChDuo.com; https://facebook.com/AChDuo 

Stage for Polish Music: Chopin Piano Quintet

FilharmoniaThe Chopin Piano Quintet will perform in the "Stage for Polish Music" series on Tuesday 12 January 2021 at 6:30 p.m. The concert will be broadcast on the YouTube channel of the Oskar Kolberg Świętokrzyska Philharmonic in Kielce.

The Chopin Piano Quintet is made up of graduates of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. They were united by their passion for chamber music and the desire to create unique musical interpretations thanks to the use of sound possibilities of a piano quintet. Awards in international competitions opened them the way to concert halls in Poland and Europe. Intensive activity resulted in invitations to international festivals, incl. Quartetto di Bergamo, XX International Chamber Music Festival Lago di Garda 2015, Val Tidone Festival in Italy, Emanacje Festival in Lusławice. In 2016, the ensemble's DVD with Robert Schumann and Dmitri Shostakovich's piano quintets was released by the DUX label.

The piano quintet is one of the most intriguing genge of chamber music: the fusion of two organisms that are essentially separate, self-sufficient and at the same time perfect. The programme of the upcoming concert will include Grażyna Bacewicz's Piano Quintet No. 1 of 1952. It is a work of exceptionally strong expression which highlights characteristic features of Bacewicz's musical idiom. The second movement is in the rhytm of an Oberek, the composer's favourite Polish folk dance. References to folklore and neoclassical stylistics characterized the work of Szymon Laks. His compositions are also burdened with the nightmare of wartime camp experiences. The Piano Quintet of 1960 is a version of the String Quartet No. 3 "On Polish Folk Themes", written just after the war in Paris. It is the voice of an artist who "survived thanks to music", an eyewitness to the clash between culture and barbarism. Juliusz Zarębski's Quintet of 1885 is a masterpiece of mature romanticism. Showing a fascination with Schubert and Liszt and being stylistically ahead of Dvořák, it remains a completely original work. The four parts of the Quintet create an amazing unity in diversity. Connected by a leitmotif, they open up a rich world of emotions: from an intimate confession to triumph and ecstasy.

The project is carried out in cooperation with the Institute of Music and Dance, financed by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport.

More information at: http://www.filharmonia.kielce.com.pl/press/press_12.01.21.html 

#Elektrofonia. Chopin University Electronic Music Studio Students Concert

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The Chopin University Electronic Music Studio students concert will be held online on 11 January 2021 at 7.00 p.m. The programme will include works prepared by students of composition.

We will hear Electra for voice and computer by Jakub Kaczmarek to the text of Electra by Euripides, spAcE for cello and tape and ansia for tape by Jan Wachowski, The Weather for tape by Vili Polajnar, Coś#213 for cello and computer by Andrea Yakuszau, Anemoi for bass flute and tape by Marcin Molski, l'Apocalipse Arab for voice, live electronics and video by Robert Prokopowicz to poems by Etel Adnan.

Performers: Aleksandra Klimczak – solo soprano, Mateusz Błaszczak – cello, Piotr Rościszewski – cello, Marcin Molski – bass recorder, Robert Prokopowicz – voice, live electronics. Artistic supervision: Wojciech Błażejczyk.

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www.droba.polmic.pl - a new website devoted to Polish music theorist and critic

Kultura_w_sieci_2020_300On the initiative of the programme board of the ‘Warsaw Autumn’ International Festival of Contemporary Music, whose members were Krzysztof Droba’s colleagues and friends a new website – www.droba.polmic.pl was created, devoted to Krzysztof Droba. It is the Polish Composers’ Union’s first website dedicated to a music theorist and critic.

The first public presentation of the new website took place during the 49th Polish Composers' Union Musicological Conference, on October 26th, on the internet platform of the Academy of Music in Cracow - the conference co-organiser - and was broadcast to Vimeo. 

The Polish Composers’ Union gives its sincere thanks to all the persons and institutions whose assistance and commitment have made this project possible, and in particular:

• the Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, for making photographs of state decoration ceremonies available;
• our colleagues from the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, especially to Ruta Stanevičiūtė, Onutė Narbutaitė, Vytautas Landsbergis, and Feliksas Bajoras, for their inestimable support in documenting Krzysztof Droba’s work in the field of Lithuanian music and sharing memories;
• experts: Professors Teresa Malecka and Eugeniusz Knapik, for their support;•
Eva Maria Jensen, Maria Wiktoria Hübner, and Kazimierz Płoskoń, for sharing photos;•
composers, performers and the publisher: PWM Edition, for their kind permission to make recordings of works dedicated to Krzysztof Droba available on our website;
• all those who have agreed to share their memories of Krzysztof.

We are particularly grateful to Mr Bogusław Droba, Krzysztof’s brother, for kindly sharing with us his memories and materials from the family collection.

Partners:
Academy of Music in Cracow
Academy of Music in Lodz
Lithuanian Composers Union
PWM Edition

Subsidised by the National Centre for Culture under the programme Kultura w sieci.

More: "About the project"

Roman Berger's jubilee album

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For the 90th birthday of its Honorary Member Roman Berger, the Polish Composers' Union – in co-operation with the National Centre for Culture Poland and thanks to support from the Society of Authors ZAiKS – released a CD with a monumental work of this great composer and philosopher entitled Missa pro nobis.

Roman Berger was born in 1930 in Cieszyn, Poland, in the family of Józef Berger, a doctor of theology and evangelical minister in Český Těšín (in the disputed region of Zaolzie) and a wartime prisoner of concentration camps in Auschwitz and Dachau. After graduating from the Polish secondary school in Český Těšín, in 1949 Roman Berger entered the State High School of Music in Katowice, studying piano with Marta Furmanik and music theory with Jan Gawlas. In 1952, his family was forced to move to Bratislava, where he resumed his studies at the Academy of Music and Drama, first as a pianist and later as a composer in the class of Dezider Kardoš (1961–1966). He has never come back to live in Poland, and Slovakia became his new homeland.

In an essay prepared for the CD booklet, Roman Berger wrote:

The (confidential) message that the Polish Composers’ Union was going to release my Missa pro nobis on CD moved me greatly, [...] Classical (and even more pop) music, especially sacred compositions, are not written for our own pleasure (“so that it feels nice,” as stated in Sławomir Mrożek’s Émigré). I therefore took this message as an expression of the PCU management (presided over by Mieczysław Kominek) solidarity with the message of my work, intended as a response to St John Paul II’s ‘commandment’ which the Holy Father put forward in the context of the 50th anniversary of the Holocaust (let me quote from memory): “Let people dare to sing today, as long as their song will be a lament, a protest, or a sign of hope”.

The project is carried out in cooperation with the National Centre for Culture and co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Records issued by POLMIC are intended for promotion, education and scientific research only. They are not for sale. They are provided free of charge to interested institutions and individuals, but due to the very small circulation and large interest, music libraries have priority, where a larger group of people can benefit from each set. If you are interested, please contact the Polish Music Information Center POLMIC (Izabela Zymer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Roman Maciejewski – pieces for two pianos

MaciejewskiThe project "Roman Maciejewski – pieces for two pianos" was created thanks to the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the "Culture on the Web" programme.

It is dedicated to the promotion of Polish music and compositions for piano duo, emphasizing the important role of Roman Maciejewski in Polish musical life.

The project includes audio-video recordings of such Roman Maciejewski's works as Mazurka, Lullaby, Tarantella, the Negro spirituals series, Deep River, Listen to the Lambs, Sometimes I feel like Motherless Child and I want to be ready. The pieces were performed by the Chopin Piano Duo composed of Anna Boczar and Bartłomiej Kominek.

The recordings were made in September 2020 in the Concert Hall of the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice. Sound director – Małgorzata Polańska (DUX), video director – Grzegorz Kućmierz ("Presto" Artistic Agency).

The material is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ocngeRpR2w

Świętokrzyska Philharmonic: New Polish Music – Concerts for Soloists and Orchestra

FilharmoniaAs part of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage programme "Culture on the Web", the Oskar Kolberg Świętokrzyska Philharmonic has made audiovisual recordings of works by Polish composers, commissioned or premiered by the Philharmonic in recent years. The materials are available on the Philharmonic's YouTube channel.

The following works were recorded in 2020 as part of the "New Polish music – concerts for soloists and orchestra" project: Aistheticos for saxophone, piano and orchestra by Hanna Kulenty, Wind's Anger for saxophone and orchestra by Bartosz Kowalski, Sinfonia Concertante for percussion and orchestra by Ignacy Zalewski, and Concerto for flute, piano and orchestra by Mikołaj Majkusiak.

The pieces were performed by renowned soloists: percussionist Leszek Lorent, saxophonists Paweł Gusnar and Bartosz Duś, flautist Anna Karpowicz and pianists Marek Bracha and Magdalena Duś. They were accompanied by the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Jacek Rogala. The presentation of each composition is preceded by a short lecture that introduces the composer, his or her sound language and the ideas behind the selected piece. The concerts are hosted by Beata Młynarczyk, an animator and educator who focuses on popularizing music. The WDK Cultural Information Platform in Kielce – the media patron of the project – was responsible for the registration and post-production.

The announcement of concerts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apG9sOdqKo4&feature=emb_logo 

"House Party with Dwójka": Ania Karpowicz and Aleksandra Świgut

DomówkaIn the next episode of "House Party with Dwójka" flautist Ania Karpowicz and pianist Aleksandra Świgut will present a programme inspired by the sound of the human voice – "Death and the Maiden". The event will be broadcast on Saturday, 9 Januray 2021 at 7.00 p.m. on the Polish Radio Channel 2 (Dwójka), its websiteFacebook and YouTube.

Ania Karpowicz is a graduate of flute solo studies at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold with Janos Balint (2011) and at the Bacewicz Musical Academy in Łódź in with Antoni Wierzbiński (2009). Prizewinner of national and international music competitions in Poland and Germany. She specialises in micro-projects in city spaces realized with local communities. In 2017, in cooperation with the pianist Marek Bracha, she initiated an urban space festival „WarszaMuzik” – a series of musical interventions in the courtyards of the surviving tenement houses of the Warsaw Ghetto. In 2013 she established the Hashtag Ensemble cooperative and leads its works: performing concerts of 20th- and 21st-century music, as well as engaging in improvisational and educational initiatives.

Aleksandra Świgut is a graduate and teacher of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, a prize-winner of the 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments in Warsaw (2018). Her wide experience with historical and modern instruments and different performance practices makes her interpretations unique. She studied with Piotr Paleczny at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Wojciech Świtała and Maria Szwajger-Kułakowska at Katowice Music Academy and David Dolan at the Guildhall School of Music in London. She holds a doctorate from Gdańsk Music Academy, where she studied with Waldemar Wojtal. She has won many prizes in piano competitions, including in Ettlingen, Enschede and New Orleans and at the Polish Chopin Competition in Warsaw.

Ania Karpowicz and Aleksandra Świgut will perform in one of Warsaw's tenement houses apartment during the next episode of "House Party with Dwójka". For the meeting with the listeners and internet users, the artists prepared a unique repertoire composed of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert and Mieczysław Weinberg. 

World premiere of Piotr Jędrzejczyk's "α¹ Cap" available online

EMThe recording of α¹ Cap – the latest piece by Gdańsk composer Piotr Jędrzejczyk, which had its world premiere on 31 December 2020, is now available on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/5AaqtZPmbpc. It is the world's first piece for amplified classical guitar, seaboard and electronics.

The piece was premiered by the composer himself together with guitarist Marcin Kozioł. Piotr Jędrzejrzyk explained the idea behind his piece: "The inspiration for the creation of "α¹ Cap" for seaboard, amplified guitar and electronics were the achievements of the Gdańsk astronomer Jan Heweliusz, or more precisely, the so-called double stars of which Hevelius was one of the first researchers. A double star is a system of two stars that visually appear to be close or physically located at a short distance from each other and gravitationally interact with each other. It was the interdependence and orbit around the common center of mass that inspired me to create a duo based on some kind of analogous relationship. Hence the title of the composition (α¹ Cap is an abbreviation of Alpha¹ Capricorni, the name of one of the stars in the Capricorn constellation that forms the binary Alpha Capricorni discovered in 1659 by Hevelius). Although the title star belongs to the group of stars that are not really close to each other in the case of which there are no gravitational dependencies it was the first double star I met and that is why I put it in the title of the composition. Apart from the reference to astronomy in the sphere of inspiration the work also contains other references to the laws of physics and mathematics which applies to many of my compositions from recent years - the material of "α¹ Cap" is based on the Pean curve and the fractal principle of self-similarity. The piece was written in 2020 thanks to the financial support of the City of Gdańsk as part of the Cultural Scholarship."

Sheet music available soon at: https://experimentalworkshop.eu