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Katowice | Concert on the occasion of the 110th anniversaries of Grażyna Bacewicz's birth and Mieczysław Karłowicz's death


On February 24, 2019 at 12:00 p.m., the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of František Macek will perform the works of Mieczysław Karłowicz, Grażyna Bacewicz, and Wojciech Kilar.

Mieczysław Karłowicz was born in Vishniev, on the Belorussian lands absorbed by Lithuania. His Lithuanian childhood lasted only a short time: the family sold the estate when he was only five years old and moved to Heidelberg. In November 1906, the composer wrote in a letter to Adolf Chybinski: "Today [...] I finished the composition, which I will probably call the Lithuanian Rhapsody. I have tried to encapsulate within it the total grief, sadness and eternal servitude of that race whose songs I heard in my childhood... Whether or how much I have succeeded in instilling into the form of an orchestral work even just a particle of what hangs vanishing into the air in every part of that region, I am unable to judge".

In Grażyna Bacewicz's output, violin compositions play a prime role, however, it is impossible to disregard her pieces for piano – among them Concerto from 1949, awarded by the Polish Composers' Union. The piano part of this work will be performed by Piotr Sałajczyk. Kościelec 1909, another symphonic poem by Wojciech Kilar after Krzesany, refers not only to the Tatra folklore, but also to the legacy of Mieczysław Karłowicz. Thus, the programme of the concert is composed of three compositions created over the period of seventy years, and at the same time three proofs of the seductive power of stylization and references to the tradition.

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

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: http://www.nospr.org.pl/pl/koncerty/1238/nospr-frantisek-macek-piotr-saajczyk 

Katowice | Moniuszko from the heart: vocalists in the Silesian Libary

IPIUM Silesia

A special concert celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Stanisław Moniuszko will be held on February 26, 2019 at 5.00 p.m. in the auiditorium hall "Parnassos" of the Silesian Library in Katowice.

The concert of Stanisław Moniuszko's arias and songs in the Silesian Library is one of the first proposals for music lovers prepared by the Institution for the Promotion and Dissemination of Music "Silesia" as part of the "Moniuszko from the heart" cycle in the Year of Moniuszko.

Young vocalists from the Katowice and Kraków Music Academies, winners of the last International Vocal Competition of Sacred Music "Ars et Gloria", will perform fragments of Moniuszko's operas. Laureate of the third prize, Justyna Bujak, will present recitativo and aria Ah! Out child is dying... from Halka, Patryk Wyborski will sing Miecznik's aria Who wants to win the hearts of my girls, and Piotr Kalina will perform Jontek's aria The fir trees sigh on mountain peaks, interpretation of which also won him a distinction at the Jan Kiepura International Vocal Competition in Krynica-Zdrój. Jakub Schmidt, winner of the first prize at the "Ars et Gloria" competition in his age category, will sing the famous Skołuba's bass aria. The programme of the concert will also include other Moniuszko's arias and songs.

Admission to the event is free! Free entrance cards are available at the IPiUM Silesia office (2 Sejmu Śląskiego Square, ground floor, room 20) or can be booked by phone: (32) 219 33 44 / 33.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://www.silesia.art.pl/strona-glowna/koncerty/362_moniuszko-od-serca-wokalisci-w-bibliotece-slaskiej 

Warsaw | Sinfonia Iuventus Carnival Concert


The original programme of the Sinfonia Iuventus Carnival Concert on 22 February 2019, 7 p.m. at the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio in Warsaw, will delight every enthusiast of ambitious masterly symphonic music coming into interactions with the “lighter Muses”.

Leonard Bernstein was a master of such synthesis: he referred to his Candide as an operetta but this large work drawing from motifs of the Voltairian ironic and bitter tale combines traditions of many genres. They are announced by the grand overture, potpourri, played also as a standalone symphonic composition. West Side Story by the same author became a milestone in the history of musical. Admired on the Broadway stage, it earned the author his great popularity, particularly in the film version (1961). The daring dance scenes lived to see the author’s take in the form of the colourful orchestral suite.

John Williams is a true legend of film music. His soundtrack for Catch me if you can, the mischievous Steven Spielberg’s comedy from 2002, may be a slightly less known achievements of the author but it matches those most famous in terms of quality and beauty of musical ideals. Orchestral miniatures: Escapades with the saxophone solo (Paweł Gusnar in this part, one of the most valued Polish saxophonists of his generation) based on the film score is a charming and funny stylization of the film music of the 1960s, the time settings of the film. The vibraphone that used to be very popular at that time, with a pronounced part played by Dominik Bukowski, was its specific “hallmark”. The bravura saxophone is also the concertising hero of Darius Milhaud's Scaramouche suite (the character is a fanfaron soldier from the commedia dell’arte) composed in 1937 as part of music for The Flying Doctor comedy by Molière. Danzón No. 2 by Arturo Márquez is a symphonic gem of Mexican music (imitating the Cuban dancing style), popularized as encore , played gladly by the famous Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Wojciech Rodek, active on many stages in Poland and abroad, will stand behind the conductor’s console.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

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

Kraków | Stars with Sinfonietta: Patrick Gallois


On February 23, 2019, French flutist and conductor Patrick Gallois will perform with Sinfonietta Cracovia at the Gallery of 19th-century Polish Art in the Cloth Hall at 7:00 p.m..

Patrick Gallois, a student of Jean-Pierre Rampal, has been playing a double role for years, presenting audiences around the world with the full spectrum of his artistic talent.

The concert in Kraków will feature the Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor by Johann Sebastian Bach, with the famous Badinerie in the rendition of Gallois. Under his baton we will also listen to the first symphonic works of two unparalleled Viennese classics: Symphony No. 1 in E flat major, written by only eight-year-old Mozart, and Symphony No. 1 in D major by Joseph Haydn. The programme will also include Krzysztof Penderecki's Chaconne in memoria del Giovanni Paolo II and the impressionist Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun by Claude Debussy in the Gallois' arrangement for flute, harp and string orchestra.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Information on tickets at: www.sinfonietta.pl 

Warszaw | International Organ Concerts 2019


The Collegiate Church of the Evangelical Reformed Parish in Warsaw cordially invites you to the Evangelical Reformed Church for a cycle of organ recitals on the historic organs of the Schlag und Söhne company from 1900.

This wonderfully renovated historic instrument is used not only during the Sunday liturgy. Its beautiful and warm sound can be admired also during organ recitals, which are held on the fourth Sunday of every month of 2019 at 7.00 p.m. (exceptionally on the third Sunday of December). During the tenth jubilee edition, outstanding musicians from six European countries will perform: Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Greece, Italy and Poland. The artistic director of the festival is Michał Markuszewski.

Admission to all concerts is free,

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: www.festiwal.reformowani.pl

Read more: Warszaw | International Organ Concerts 2019

Kraków | „Elementi 7: retro” – academic conference and concerts


"Elementi 7: retro" is three days of intense musical meetings and concerts. Olga Drenda, Andrzej Mądry, and Artur Zagajewski will be the special guests of this year's edition, which will take place on 1-3 March 2019 at the Music Academy in Kraków.

The student conference "Elementi", initiated seven years ago, quickly grew into a cyclical event, including not only lectures and discussions, but also concerts, lectures, meetings, and composers' workshops. The word "retro" – the theme of this year's edition – provokes to ask questions about the presence of the past in contemporary art, while providing an excuse to take up the problem of nostalgia, widmontology, or spiritology. These issues will be discussed in the papers during the two-day academic conference (1-2 March), featuring lectures given by invited guests: Olga Drenda, Andrzej Mądry and Artur Zagajewski.

An important part of "Elementi 7" are concerts of new music. Gośka Isphording and Erik Bosgraaf (1 March), and Contemporary Ensemble Music Co-operative (2 March) will perform during the first two days. On the last day there will be a concert of students of the composition of the Music Academy in Kraków (3 March).

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Kraków-Wieliczka | 2nd Festival and Piano Competition "Piano e Forte" 2019


The Music School Complex in Wieliczka and the Sfogato Music and Art Society have the honor of inviting you to the 2nd Festival and Piano Competition "Piano e Forte". Applications for the Competition should be submitted by  February 15, 2019.

The aim of the "Piano e Forte" Festival and Competition is to show the history of piano evolution in the context of the development of the piano repertoire: research on mutual relation and the impact of new achievements in the field of the piano mechanism on the repertoire as well as the influence of innovative compositional techniques for the development of the instrument. The "Piano e Forte" competition seeks to inspire young pianists to deepen their knowledge of the history of the instrument, raise awareness of the performing practices of a diverse repertoire on contemporary and historical pianos, as well as to explore the interpretational trends and piano literature of different eras. The "Piano e Forte" Festival and Competition, whose originator and artistic director is the pianist Marta Polańska, is an innovative project that captures the issue in a holistic way. The organizers of the event are: The Music School Complex in Wieliczka and the Sfogato Society of Music and Art in Kraków. The first edition (2018) took place on the 320th anniversary of the first mention of the invention of the Italian builder Bartolomeo Cristofori, showing the historical route of the piano "From the Italian land to Poland". By presenting the repertoire of works by Polish composers, the first edition celebrated the 100th anniversary of Poland's regaining Independence.

The second edition of the Festival and Competition will take place on March 1-9, 2019 and will celebrate the anniversaries of prominent Polish composers:
Stanisław Moniuszko on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth,
Maria Szymanowska on the occasion of the 230th anniversary of the composer's birth,
Fryderyk Chopin on the 170th death anniversary of the composer
and Grażyna Bacewicz on the occasion of the 110th birth and 50th death anniversary.

The programme of the Festival will include: workshops on the construction of the grand piano and its prototypes, the harpsichord and organs – an instrument on which Fryderyk Chopin and Stanisław Moniuszko also played; lectures on the history of instruments, as well as piano works of the aforementioned Polish composers; the 2nd Piano Competition "Piano e Forte," and the Gala Concert of Young Piano Masters.

The Competition Rules and other information can be found at www.PianoeForte.pl 

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Warsaw | Chamber music for saxophone and piano: After All


A concert at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music on February 27, 2019 at 7.00 p.m. will announce a new album by Andrzej Karałow and Pablo Sánchez-Escariche Gascha entitled After all.

After all is a debut album of musicians who engage in solo, chamber, orchestral and experimental activities on a daily basis. They have been performing in a duet since 2016, playing classical and contemporary music – including works dedicated to the duo, among others, by Australian composers: Kirsten Milenko and Harry Sdraulig. The title piece After All was dedicated to the performers by the composer Żaneta Rydzewska.

The presence of some pieces on the CD with music for saxophone and piano may seem predictable. The performers believe, however, that the combination of the selected works creates a specific exhibition of how the contemporary composer's ideas relate to or confronts the music of a bygone era. After all is a personal perspective on the compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries and their past interpretations: starting from music written at the beginning of the 20th century, transcribed specifically for our needs (Paul Hindemith and Karol Szymanowski), through the already classical, virtuoso Sonata by William Albright, ending with the works of young composers (Żaneta Rydzewska, or Andrzej Karałow).

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Katowice | Vivat Academia! 90th Jubilee of Karol Szymanowski Music Academy


The Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music will celebrate its 90th jubilee on February 14, 2019 at 6.00 p.m. in the Archdiocesan Museum in Katowice.

The Institution for the Promotion and Dissemination of Music "Silesia" invites you to the next concert of the "Vivat Academia!" series, which include meetings with outstanding artists and professors at the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice. The guest of the evening will be Professor Eugeniusz Knapik, who was the Rector of the Academy in 2002-2008 and for many years was the head of the Department of Composition and Theory of Music. He studied composition with Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and piano with Czesław Stańczyk, and still as a student, he began his didactic work at the Katowice Academy. He was the first performer of the cycle Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen in Poland. As a pianist, he participated in many prestigious concert and festival events around the world. As a composer, he received many awards at national and international competitions, including the UNESCO International Composers' Tribune in Paris (1978 – distinction and 1984 – 1st place for String Quartet).

In the concert part of the evening, an outstanding singer Ewa Biegas, a graduate and currently a teacher at the Music Academy in Katowice, together with Eugeniusz Knapik will perform his songs to the words of Krzysztof Ildefons Gałczyński as well as Maurice Ravel's Greek Songs. The famous Silesian cellist Adam Krzeszowiec will perform Knapik's Filo d'Arianna for cello solo, which was recorded on a CD released by Radio Katowice. 

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Full programme available at: https://www.silesia.art.pl/strona-glowna/koncerty/351_vivat-academia-koncert-i-spotkaniebrz-prof-eugeniuszem-knapikiem 

Kraków | "Polish Music Experience"


A concert promoting the new album of Cracow Duo and Sinfonietta Cracovia with Polish contemporary music, recorded under the baton of Jurek Dybał for the prestigious Warner Classics label, will take place on February 10, 2019 at 7.00 p.m. in the concert hall of the Manggha Museum in Kraków.

The "Polish Music Experience" album is a selection of the most interesting compositions from the repository of Polish contemporary music performed by Krakow virtuosi specializing in interpretations of contemporary music: Cracow Duo duet (Jan Kalinowski ‒ cello, Marek Szlezer ‒ piano) and Sinfonietta Cracovia under the baton of Jurek Dybał. The CD contains works by the most outstanding Polish artists of the past and present century: Krzysztof Penderecki, Wojciech Kilar and Krzysztof Meyer, as well as the composition of one of the most talented and most awarded Polish composers of the young generation: Tomasz Opałka.

On February 10, Cracow Duo and Sinfonietta Cracovia will perform, among others, energetic and color-diverse composition Hemisphere2 by Tomasz Opałka in the new version dedicated by the composer to the performers, and virtuoso Musica concertante for cello, piano, string orchestra and percussion by Krzysztof Meyer. The repertoire of the concert will also include Concerto for string orchestra by Grażyna Bacewicz ‒ composer's opus magnum, sometimes referred to as her "Symphony No. 9," and the electrifying Double Concerto for cello, piano and string orchestra by Astor Piazzolla.

The event will inaugurate a new concert cycle of Sinfonietta Cracovia "Sinfonietta po krakowsku", in which the most talented Cracovian soloists will take part.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Information on tickets at: www.sinfonietta.pl 

Katowice | Weinberg in Poland


A concert on February 9, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.in the headquarters of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice will feature chamber music works of Mieczysław Wajnberg and Grażyna Bacewicz in the interpretation of the Silesian Quartet and the pianist Wojciech Świtała.

String Quartet No. 12, Op. 103 (1969/1970) is one of the experimental works of Mieczysław Wajnberg, filled with despair, drama and irony. It includes elements of serial music of the Second Viennese School of Arnold Schönberg, banned by Soviet ideologists, and allusions to Bela Bartók's string quartets. Piano Quintet No. 1 (1952) is one of the most frequently performed works of Grażyna Bacewicz. This popularity is due to the beauty of the themes, the charming game of contrasts, and the phantasmagoric "thoughts" (the idiom of the so-called "night music" by Bartók). 

Information on tickets at: http://www.nospr.org.pl/pl/koncerty/1402/kwartet-slaski-wojciech-switaa-wajnberg-w-polsce 

Katowice | The Youth's Wednesday: Violinofonica


On February 13, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., the violin quartet Violinofonica will perform at the headquarters of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice as part of the concert series "The Youth's Wednesday".

Violinofnica Violin Quartet was founded in January 2017 by violinist Agnieszka Marucha, along with the most talented students of her class at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. The ensemble aims to promote a rare repertoire for 4 violins and to help young violin players to gain stage experience. In the artistic season of 2018/2019, the quartet performed at the Ryszard Kapuściński awards ceremony in Warsaw, the Music Salon in Suwałki and the Korean Institute in Warsaw. In July 2018, the quartet debuted abroad during the Bosa Antica Festival in Italy.

The ensemble performs a wide repertoire (from baroque to the latest music), however its core is Polish music, including specifically commissioned works. Among them we will find Silesian Melodies by Weronika Olbrot and Migotanie by Iwona Kisiel, both composed in 2018. These works, which will be performed on February 13 in Katowice, had their world premiere in Italy during the 11th International Festival of Chamber Music of Bosa Antica. In addition, in the band's interpretation, we will listen to Duets on folk themes for two violins and Quartet for four violins by Grażyna Bacewicz, Four Silesian melodies by Witold Lutosławski and works by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, Georg Friedrich Telemann and Jacob Dont.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: http://www.nospr.org.pl/pl/koncerty/1363/sroda-modych-kwartet-skrzypcowy-violinofonica 

Debut of Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak in broadcast from The Metropolitan Opera to cinemas


After Adriana Lecouvreur with Piotr Beczała, another MET transmission with the participation of Polish singer is aheod of us. Aleksandra Kurzak will play Micaëli during the upcoming performance of Carmen at The Metropolitan Opera. The Warsaw Cinema Praha invites you to broadcast on February 2, 2019 at 6.35 p.m.

Aleksandra Kurzak made her debut in The Metropolitan Opera in 2004 in Hoffmann's Tales, and so far she sang on the famous New York scene over 40 times. However, in Carmen the Polish soprano will appear for the first time in the broadcast from the cycle "The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD". Bizet’s masterpiece of the gypsy seductress who lives by her own rules has had an impact far beyond the opera house. The opera’s melodic sweep is as irresistible as the title character herself, a force of nature who has become a defining female cultural figure. Carmen was a scandal at its premiere but soon after became a triumphal success and has remained one of the most frequently staged operas in the world.

The score of Carmen contains so many instantly recognizable tunes that it can be easy to overlook how well constructed it is. The major solos are excellent combinations of arresting melody and dramatic purpose—from the baritone’s famous Toreador Song to the tenor’s wrenching Flower Song to the title character’s alluring Habanera and Seguidilla—and the duets and ensembles are equally beguiling. Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine reprises her remarkable portrayal of opera’s ultimate seductress, a triumph in her 2017 debut performances, with impassioned tenors Yonghoon Lee and Roberto Alagna as her lover, Don José. Omer Meir Wellber and Louis Langrée share conducting duties for Sir Richard Eyre’s powerful production, a Met favorite since its 2009 premiere.

The list of places in Poland, where you can watch broadcasts from Met, is available here.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

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

Warsaw | The University's Composers In Memoriam


Students of the piano classes at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music will perform a concert in memory of the University's Composers on February 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the FCUM Concert Hall.

The programme of the concert will include piano works of composers associated with the University of Music in Warsaw: Juliusz Wertheim, Stefan Kisielewski, Jan Ekier, Marian Sawa, Władysław Żeleński, as well as Roman Statkowski and Grażyna Bacewicz, whose 160th death and 110th birthday anniversaries are celebrated this year. The concert is organised under the artistic supervision of Dr Monika Quinn.

Free entrance cards are available from February 4 at the Chopin University Press (Mon.–Fri., 4:00-7:00 p.m.) and via www.umfc.bilety24.pl.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Katowice | The 8th Festival of Premieres "Polish Modern Music"

NOSPROn the last weekend of March, the NOSPR invites music lovers to a special event: the 8th Festival of Premieres "Polish Modern Music". Tickets on sale from Tuesday, 29 January!

This year’s eighth edition of the festival will present premiere performances of nearly 30 works by Polish composers of various generations, from young novices to doyens of Polish art of composition, such as Zbigniew Bargielski, Ryszard Gabryś, Hanna Kulenty, Artur Zagajewski, Krzysztof Meyer, Piotr Moss, Aleksander Nowak, and Mikołaj Górecki.

Apart from the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, the organiser of the event, the festival will host some of the foremost Polish ensembles, including the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy, Camerata Silesia – the Katowice City Singers’ Ensemble, Silesian String Quartet, and the New Music Orchestra, as well as outstanding soloists: Linus Roth, Agata Zubel, Joanna Freszel, Dariusz Przybylski, Jadwiga Kotnowska, and Maciej Frąckiewicz.

The festival will be accompanied by music installations: Gdzieniegdzie [Here and there] by Paweł Hendrich and Tomasz Strojecki and mYear19 by Michał Moc.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Full programme available at: http://www.nospr.org.pl/pl/