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Warsaw | National Philharmonic – "Yes, we play!"

Tak Gramy

Warsaw Philharmonic Ensembles will perform again in August and September as part of the series "Yes, we play!". The symphonic concerts on 13 and 14 August 2020 will feature works by Romuald Twardowski and Richard Strauss.

Due to safety reasons the National Philharmonic online concerts in June were cancelled, but for August and September the institution prepared a series of various events meant as a bridge between the interrupted artistic season 2019/20 and the new coming one 2020/21.

On 13 and 14 August Maestro Andrzej Boreyko will conduct the National Philharmonic Orchestra in a unique program, which will include the three-part Serenade for string orchestra by Romuald Twardowski – the nestor of Polish composers, who celebrated his 90th birthday in June, and the nine-part orchestral suite The Middle Class Gentleman, Op. 60 by Richard Strauss, originally performed as music to the Molière comedy. Andrzej Seweryn will take part in this concert as the narrator.

During the next events we will hear, among others, choral works by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki performed by the National Philharmonic Choir and songs by Romuald Twardowski interpreted by Tomasz Konieczny. At the end of September, the final concert of the 63rd "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music will take place. The National Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir together with the Chopin University BigBand and conductors: Andrzej Boreyko, Maciej Tomasiewicz and Bartosz Michałowski will perform compositions by contemporary artists. Some of them (such as works by Polish artists Mikołaj Laskowski and Joanna Woźna) were commissioned by the "Warsaw Autumn" Festival and the National Philharmonic.

Information on tickets athttp://www.filharmonia.pl/aktualnosci/tak--gramy

Wrocław | Zdunik & Mykietyn


Two works featured in the programme of the concert on 14 August 2020 at the National Forum of Music differ in almost everything: stylistics, time of creation, and assumptions underlying the composition. The first one is a new work by Polish composer, while the second one is widely known and popular composition, which this evening will be performed in a rarely presented orchestral version, and in the last movement we will hear for the first time the new pipe organ at the NFM.

Paweł Mykietyn’s Concerto No. 2 for cello and symphony orchestra was premiered last March in Warsaw. The solo part was played by Marcin Zdunik, recognizable for his broad repertoire and eagerness to reach for contemporary works, and the whole was conducted by Bassem Akiki. The same artists will perform during this concert. The work was brilliantly received, it was praised especially for the communicativeness and emotionality of the musical language.

The Pictures at an Exhibition is one of the most famous works of Modest Mussorgsky. It was written as a tribute to the composer’s friend, the painter Victor Hartmann. Mussorgsky turned his friend’s paintings into music, as it were. Mussorgsky’s suite was originally intended for the piano, but soon it received numerous arrangements for orchestra. The most famous is undoubtedly the orchestration by Maurice Ravel. During this concert, the work will sound in much less frequently performed Walter Goehr’s orchestration from 1942.

More information at: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/component/nfmcalendar/event/8045 

Gdańsk | 22nd Gdańsk Carillon Festival

Festiwal Carillonowy

The 22nd edition of the Gdańsk Carillon Festival will take place between 31 July and 29 August 2020. Special concerts from the towers of St. Catherine Church and the Main Town Hall will be held every Friday and Saturday. This year, all concerts will be broadcast live on the Internet.

Gdańsk is the only city in Poland that has working instruments consisting of bells weighing from several kilograms to several tons. Performing carillon pieces from the tower of the Main Town Hall is an almost 460-year-old tradition of Gdańsk. Carillon sounds accompanied the most important city events. During this year's Festival, old and new pieces performed on carillons by talented artists will be heard on Fridays at 8.30 p.m. from the tower of the St. Catherine Church and on Saturdays at 12.05 p.m. from the tower of the Main Town Hall. All concerts will be broadcast online. You will be able to listen to Friday concerts live, and watch the performers on the screen in the Carmelites' garden at the St. Catherine Church.

The 22nd edition of the Festival held a reference to the four elements – the programme is divided into four mini-series: Aqua, Aer, Terra and Ignis. Saturday concerts from the tower of the Main Town Hall will be performed solo, while Friday concerts will feature carillons accompanied by other instruments, including trumpets, French horns and flutes. Among the performers will be Monika Kaźmierczak, the city carillonist and the organizer of the Festival, carillonists Anna Kasprzycka, Magdalena Cynk-Mikołajewska, Wojciech Lauer, trumpeters Emil Miszk and Paweł Hulisz, French horn player Michał Szczerba and flautist Katarzyna Czubek.

During the prologue to the Festival entitled "Gdańsk yesterday and today", trumpeter and composer Emil Miszk (Winner of the Fryderyk 2019 in the "Debut of the Year – Jazz" category) and Monika Kazmierczak will perform compositions by Emil Miszk and Geert D'hollander. The artists will also premiere Katarzyna Kwiecień-Długosz's Daylight for trumpet and carillon.

Full programme and online broadcasts will be available at: www.carillongdansk.pl  and https://www.facebook.com/carillony/ 

Coming out of silence – O'Bows Quartet for You

O'Bows Quartet

The project "Coming out of silence – O'Bows Quartet for You" is a series of four online chamber concerts performed by an oboe quartet, which will take place from 9 August to 11 October 2020.

The O'Bows Quartet, composed of: Magdalena Maniewska (oboe), Alisa Kopac (violin), Joanna Kravchenko (viola), and Weronika Kulpa (cello), was founded in 2018 in Gdańsk. From the very beginning, it has been very active on the concert stage, presenting a wide range of sound possibilities of such quartet of instruments. The O'Bows Quartet's artistic interests focus mainly on the 20th and 21st century music, with particular emphasis on the works of Polish composers.

The title of the concert series "Coming out of silence  O'Bows Quartet for You" refers to the effects of the current epidemic situation in the world and the "silence" that has been going on for several weeks in the concert halls of most artistic institutions. At this time, the virtual stage is the only alternative for artists, and online concerts make it possible to establish some kind of interaction between the artists and the audience. Each of the four scheduled concerts, lasting 35-45 minutes, includes the performance of two compositions and a discussion of the repertoire in the context of the development of the oboe quartet. Grażyna Bacewicz's Trio for oboe, violin and cello and Tadeusz Szeligowski's Trio for oboe, viola and cello will be presented during the final concert.

The project is implemented under the "Culture on the web" programme of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

All concerts will be broadcast on the O'Bows Quartet's YouTube channel. Links to individual events will be also published on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/obowsquartet/ 

"Polskie Muzyczki": educational films on Polish composers

Polskie Muzyczki

The idea of ​​a new project "Polskie Muzyczki" ("Polish Women Musicians") is to create a series of educational films devoted to Polish composers, which will be posted on YouTube and Facebook. The premiere of the project will take place on1 August 2020 at 5.00 p.m.

The project was created in response to the needs of the audience participating in joint concerts of clarinetist Barbara Borowicz and pianist Anna Miernik, who promote Polish music and the achievements of Polish composers.

In times of uncertainty for culture, the winners of international competitions temporarily transferred some of their activities to the Internet. The artists want to pursue the idea of ​​"learning through play" –  their short film episodes will contain high-quality content presented in a light and pleasant form of a dialogue. Facts from the history of music will intertwine with funny anecdotes, which will make the materials accesible to an average audience and help to break the "artist-viewer" barrier. Each of the eight episodes will be devoted to a different Polish composer, including Piotr Rytel, Witold Friemann, Antoni Szałowski, Grzegorz Fitelberg, Marcel Chyrzyński, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Mikołaj Górecki. The composers themselves – Maciej Zimka, Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska, Martyna Kosecka and Michał Papara – will take part in a few episodes. The aim of the project is to encourge listeners to participate in live concerts when it is fully possible. 

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Subsequent episodes will be available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE6etN2Avl9NSZqMhxwA5Gg 

"With Classics through Poland”: Polish Violin Duo

Z KlasykąNext concerts as part of the "With classics through Poland" series will take place on 7, 8 and 9 August 2020 at the Zygmunt Mycielski State Primary Music School in Strzyżów (7.00 p.m.),  the Sanok Community Centre (6.00 p.m.) and at the Regional Centre of Borderland Cultures in Krosno (5.00 p.m.).

The aim of the project, which began in the second half of 2019, is to bring music performed by the most outstanding Polish artists to smaller community centres, cities, towns and villages; to reach audiences who have difficult access to classical music. Through contact with the great art and artists, new audiences are being introduced to the world of classical chamber music, having a chance to become its new enthusiasts.

Within the next week, the Polish Music Management, operating at the Institute of Music and Dance, will visit the Podkarpackie voivodeship together with Polish Violin Duo, composed of violinists Marta Gidaszewska and Robert Łaguniak. The young artists have already won over 100 awards, including at competitions in Poland, Japan, USA, Serbia, Greece, Sweden, England, France, Italy, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the upcoming concerts they will present Grażyna Bacewicz's Suite for two violins, Romuald Twardowski's Sonatina for two violins, Michał Spisak's Suite for two violins, as well as works by Georg Philipp Telemann, Joachim Kaczkowski and Henryk Wieniawski.

Admission to the concerts is free, however invitations are required.

The project is carried out thanks to the support of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage Prof. Piotr Gliński and under his patronage.

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

Kraków | Triumph of Live Music: 16th Festival of Polish Music


Great works by Krzysztof Penderecki and Józef Kozłowski, Mikołaj Gomółka's psalms, piano music of Chopin's time and the first performance of the original version of Karol Kurpiński's opera Jadwiga, the Polish Queen – this is, in a nutshell, the 16th edition of the Festival of Polish Music, which will run from 6 to 9 August 2020.

Live concerts in Kraków will feature, among others, the Choir and Orchestra of the Silesian Philharmonic under the baton of Maciej Tworek, the Mixed Choir of the Wawel Cathedral and the Kraków Festival Orchestra under the direction of Rafał Jacek Delekta, as well as excellent soloists: soprano Edyta Piasecka, mezzo-soprano Roksana Wardenga, tenor Wojciech Parchem, bass-baritone Krzysztof Szumański, countertenor Sławomir Bronek and historical piano specialist Tobias Koch.

The inaugural concert of the 16th edition of the festival will take place on 6 August in the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria. In tribute to the late Krzysztof Penderecki, we will hear his unique piece – Chaconne per archi. The programme will also include Requiem by Józef Kozłowski – a Polish composer active at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries in Russia.

The Festival will also present works by Mikołaj Gomółka, Fryderyk Chopin, Michał Kleofas Ogiński, Karol Kurpiński, Maria Szymanowska, Józef Elsner, and Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński. The final evening will feature a concert version of a forgotten historical opera by Karol Kurpiński, Jadwiga, the Polish Queen. It will be the first performance of its original (source) version.

Information on tickets at: http://www.fmp.org.pl/ 

Łódź | International piano master classes for the second time at the Karol Poznański Palace

BISMABISMA Bacewicz International Summer Music Academy are master classes directed at musicians who want to expand their knowledge and develop skills in piano performance. The courses conducted by Michel Béroff, Claudio Martinez Mehner, Piotr Sałajczyk and Ilya Maximov will take place between 2 and 8 August 2020 in the historical building of the Academy of Music in Łódź. 25 pianists from all over the world will perform live-streamed concerts and take part in the Final Gala with audience participation.

This is the second edition of BISMA, courses organized by the Stretto Music Foundation and the Academy of Music in Łódź. Pianists from Poland, Switzerland, Spain, Romania, France, Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Australia and Japan will work on their skills in performing wide piano repertoire. Eminent pianists from prestigious European universities will share their experience: Michel Béroff from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris (professor of Seong-Jin Cho, the winner of the last Chopin Competition in Warsaw) and Claudio Martinez Mehner from the Hochschule für Musik in Basel and the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne. They will be accompanied by artists of the younger generation: Ilya Maximov (Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg) and Piotr Sałajczyk (Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice).

The project includes four concerts by participants, which will be broadcast live on the Academy of Music in Łódź Facebook page. These will be: "Beethoven 2020", "Chopin & Friends" – a concert of representatives of the Polish team for the upcoming 18th International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, and "Pearls of piano music". The courses will end with the Final Gala, during which the four young pianists participating in the project will present their recitals, and the best of them will be awarded the International Grażyna Bacewicz Award. As the only event of this year's edition, the Final Gala will be open to the public. Due to the limited number of seats, the organisers ask all interested music lovers to arrive at least half an hour before the start. The ceremony will be also broadcast online.

In addition to concerts, this year's master classes will be broadcast live!

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: http://www.bisma.pl/ 

Two distinguished PWM Editors has passed away in July

Szurmiak Bogucka

With a delay, we learned about the death of the senior editors for many years associated with the PWM Edition, who rendered great services to the publishing movement and the Polish musicological community. Mirosława Kaczorowska-Guńkiewicz died on 2 July 2020 in Kraków at the age of 88. Aleksandra Szurmiak-Bogucka (in the photo) passed away on 17 July 2020 in Kraków at the age of 91.

Late Mirosława Kaczorowska-Guńkiewicz – musicologist, from 1966 a member of the Musicologists' Section of the Polish Composers' Union, was the closest collaborator of the editor-in-chief Eżbieta Dziębowska in publishing the monumental "PWM Music Encyclopedia". In 2012 she took part in a film devoted to the history of this ambitious publishing venture, which is available online on the PWM website. She also worked on music editions, preparing for publication, among others, works by Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki. She was active in her community until the last years of her life.

Late Aleksandra Szurmiak-Bogucka – an outstanding ethnomusicologist, member of the Musicologists' Section of the Polish Composers' Union, specialized in the traditional music culture of the Polish Carpathians and Subcarpathia. In the 1950s, together with her husband Kazimierz Bogucki, she made recordings of traditional musical folklore as part of the so-called 'Action to Collect Folk Music'. In the years 1965-91 she was the Head of the Editorial Office of Early Polish Music and Folklore (editor of the series "Rites and Folk Customs"). In 1986 she received the Oskar Kolberg Award for contributions to the folk culture. Professionally active almost until the end of her life, she was a juror of numerous folklore competitions, the author of many publications, the unquestionable authority of several generations of musicians, folklorists and regionalists.