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Sinfonia Varsovia in Spain: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

SVAfter a long break, Sinfonia Varsovia sets off on a foreign tour to Spain. Two concerts will be held on 24 and 26 May 2021 in Madrid and Barcelona. The programme includes works by Witold Lutosławski, Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. The German violinist Viviane Hagner will perform as a soloist, and the orchestra will be conducted by Alexander Liebreich.

Alexander Liebreich is one of the leading conductors of his generation. In the 2012/2013 season, after numerous well-received guest appearances with the National Polish Radio Orchestra in Katowice, Liebreich became its chief conductor. Since 2018, he has been the artistic director of the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Viviane Hagner made her stage debut as a 10-year-old under the baton of Zubin Mehta himself. She has performed with the most important orchestras in the world, such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonics and the Cleveland Orchestra. She is one of the world's leading violinists, successfully combining a concert and teaching career.

The upcoming concerts that will begin with Lutoslawski's Musique funèbre, in homage to the victims of the pandemic, and will conclude with Mendelshonn's Midsummer Night's Dream, as a song of hope to better times. In Madrid, the orchestra will perform at the Auditorio Nacional de Música, in Barcelona – at L 'Auditori de Barcelona.

More information: www.sinfoniavarsovia.org 

Stuttgart Composition Prize for Mikołaj Laskowski

LaskowskiIn 2021, Mikołaj Laskowski received the 66th Composition Prize of the City of Stuttgart, which is a joint initiative of SWR radio, the ECLAT festival and the city of Stuttgart.

The city of Stuttgart has been awarding a composition prize every year since 1955. This year, 86 participants submitted a total of 151 works for the composition prize.

The Jury was composed of: Björn Gottstein (artistic director of the Donaueschinger Musiktage festival and music editor at SWR), Martin Schüttler (composer, professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart), Annesley Black (Canadian composer), Monika Pasiecznik (musicologist), Boglarka Pecze (Hungarian clarinetist, Trio Catch), Samir Odeh-Tamimi (Palestinian-Israeli composer) and Markus Hechtle (German composer).

Second prizes went ex aequo to Mikołaj Laskowski for 5 Things That Really Matter (2018) for large ensemble and electronics and Francesco Ciurlo for Abstraction to the point of (2020) for oboe and ensemble. According to the Jury, "Laskowski impressed with his post‐digital, media‐critical approach". First prize went to Benjamin Scheuer for Eight Types of Breathing (2020) for clarinet, accordion and samples.

The award‐winning compositions will be presented at the award ceremony at the ECLAT Festival Neue Musik Stuttgart in February 2022.

More information: https://www.stuttgart.de/kultur/kulturpreise-und-stipendien/kompositionspreis.php 

Open call for UN/MUTE virtual residency

IPNYPolish musicians, composers and performance artists, who have never been to New York before and who are interested in an international artistic, cross-discipline cooperation project with European and New York City based artists are invited to apply for a virtual residency. Apply by sending a bio and short cover letter (max. 1,000 words) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 22 January 2021.

This paid virtual residency will take place online in the spring of 2021, over a period of three months. The ideal candidate is either a Polish citizen residing anywhere in the world, but in New York/New York City, or is an artist who permanently resides in Poland and has any or no citizenship. It is a requirement for the residency that the candidate has never been to New York before.

Covid-19 has shuttered artists from residencies, travel, and exhibitions. This project dives into our digitalized world connecting EU and New York City based artists from various disciplines and gives them an opportunity to work on a collaborative artistic project. The project explores what it means for a European artist to virtually meet a transatlantic counterpart based in NYC, of different age, race, culture and artistic medium in order to create a new and unique work of art together.

During the residency, the process of creative collaboration is put under a magnifying glass and presented via edited Zoom recordings on a website giving the viewers the unique opportunity to monitor it. The collaborative three-month long virtual residency is facilitated and hosted by Undercurrent gallery in Brooklyn, New York. A presentation of the art works is scheduled to take place on Europe Day, 9 May 2021.

More information athttps://instytutpolski.pl/newyork/2021/01/07/open-call-un-mute-residency/

Ensemble InterContemporain will premiere Agata Zubel's "Triptyque" at the Présences Festival

ZubelAgata Zubel's Triptyque for instrumental ensemble will be premiered by the Ensemble InterContemporain on 7 February 2021 in the Radio France Auditorium in Paris as part of the Présences Festival.

Every year, the Présences Festival brings together all lovers of contemporary music. 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the event, initiated by Claude Samuel, then music director of Radio France. This year's concerts will take place between 2 and 7 February. During the grand finale of the festival in the headquarters of Radio France (Maison de la Radio) Ensemble InterContemporain will premiere Agata Zubel's Triptyque. The group has been associated with the Festival for many years and has previously collaborated with the Polish composer.

The recording of the concert will be available online at https://www.francemusique.fr/ and via the France Musique application on 24 March 2021 at 8:00 p.m.

Jakub Szafrański wins "AERCO: My first 50 years" International Composition Competition

Jakub SzafranskiJakub Szafrański, a composer of the young generation, won the 'AERCO: My first 50 years' International Composition Competition, to which over 200 works were submitted. The Pole received the first prize in the category of pieces for eight-voice choir for his Waterfall for two sopranos, two altos, two tenors and two baritones to words by Henry Vaughan (1621-1695).

In addition to receiving a cash prize of EUR 2000, Szafrański’s work will be published by Hal Leonard Europe and will be premiered by the British vocal ensemble Voces8. The AERCO (Associazione Emiliano Romagnola Cori) competition in Bologna aims at promoting a cappella choral compositions. This year's competition jury consisted of internationally-renowned choral conductors and composers from Italy, the United Kingdom, Romania, Russia, Latvia and the Philippines. The jury was chaired by Philip Lawson, a Grammy-winning British composer and arranger, a former member of the King’s Singers.

Jakub Szafrański (b. 1988) is a graduate of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. In 2015 he received a diploma in choral conducting under the supervision of prof. Ryszard Zimak, and two years later a diploma in composition under the supervision of prof. Paweł Łukaszewski. As a composer, he concentrates on works for a cappella choir, predominantly to liturgical and sacred texts. He won the 1st prize at the 57th Tadeusz Baird Competition for Young Composers (2016) and several other awards at composition competitions in Poland and abroad. His works have been performed by leading Polish and foreign ensembles, including the New Music Orchestra, proMODERN vocal sextet, Poznań Chamber Choir, Trinity College Cambridge Choir, Kammerchor Hannover and Janua Muzika from Vilnius. On the commission of the Polish Composers' Union, Jakub Szafrański wrote a piece Karpaty for the 60th Jubile "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music.

WATCH: Phillip Lawson Announces AERCO Competition Winners