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Warsaw | 100th anniversary of Wajnberg’s birthday at POLIN Museum


Mieczysław Weinberg was born on 8 December 1919 in Warsaw. He is the author of the opera titled The Passenger, the Kaddish Symphony and over 150 other pieces which are now being re-discovered by musicians all across the world. On the occasion of the composer’s 100th birthday, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews invites its audience to the three concerts on three consecutive evenings, on 7-9 December 2019.

On Saturday, 7 December, flutist Ania Karpowicz, pianist Marek Bracha and the Hashtag Strings will perform a programme composed of Weinberg’s early pieces. For the evening’s finale, we will listen to the Double Concerto for flute, grand piano and strings, a new piece by young Warsaw-based composer Mikołaj Majkusiak, inspired by Weinberg’s 21th Symphony Kaddish.

On Sunday, 8 December, a meeting with Dr Daniel Elphick, a British musicologist whose book titled Music behind the Iron Curtain: Weinberg and his Polish Contemporaries has just been published by Cambridge University Press, will take place at POLIN Museum. University of London lecturer will talk about Polish and Jewish threads in Weinberg’s life opus. Following the meeting, a duet of Mark Glanville (bass-baritone) and Marc Verter (grand piano) will present the material from their new record titled Citizen of Nowhere. POLIN Museum’s main hall will resound with, i.a., songs composed by Weinberg to the lyrics of Tuwim and Peretz.

On Monday evening, 9 December, Gidon Kremer, the leading ambassador of the Polish-Jewish composer’s oeuvre will perform for the finale of the Wajnberg@100 series. This eminent Latvian violinist and conductor will perform the Polish premiere of Chronicle of Current Events. Weinberg’s music will be accompanied by a video screening. Kremer will be accompanied by the Kremerata Baltica orchestra and the soloists: Eszter Zemlenyi (soprano) and Georgijs Osokins (grand piano).

More information at: https://www.polin.pl/pl/aktualnosci/2019/11/06/100-rocznica-urodzin-mieczyslawa-wajnberga 

Warsaw | Krzysztof Herdzin: One Man – Orchestra


Although terms such as “an icon of Polish jazz” are sometimes overused, in the case of Krzysztof Herdzin, they are absolutely justified and well deserved. The Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra will perform under his baton in the Witolda Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio on 7 December 2019 at 7 p.m.

This outstanding artist – a pianist, chamber musician, conductor, composer, arranger, band leader, producer and academic lecturer – is one of the greatest musicians of his generation and, although generally associated with the jazz scene, he is also active in the sphere of classical music (as a well-educated graduate of the Music Academy in Bydgoszcz, including a class taught by the incredible K. Popowej-Zydroń) and pop. He is the first Polish composer to record for DECCA Records in London, the monographic album Suite on Polish Themes, with one of the most famous orchestras worldwide – the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

Selected compositions from this incredibly fascinating album will be included in the programme of the concert in December, conducted by the composer himself and featuring talented soloist performers Katarzyna Budnik (viola) and Paweł Gusnar (saxophone). The programme will highlight Herdzin’s activity as a composer, whose works, varied in form and genre (including those ordered by the Polish Composers’ Union and the Institute of Music and Dance), have resounded at prestigious festivals, as well as in the best Polish and foreign concert halls. “I would describe the compositions on the album Suite on Polish Themes as impressionist-neoclassical and strongly associated with Polish folklore,” said the artist of his London recording. “This is contemporary music with expanded tonality, inspired both by my Polish masters – Karol Szymanowski, Grażyna Bacewicz, Tadeusz Baird, Wojciech Kilar – as well as Shostakovich, Prokofiev and the French group Les Six.”

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: www.sinfoniaiuventus.pl 

Poznań | The world premiere of "Anhelli" by Dariusz Przybylski


The world premiere of Anhelli – the opera-mystery by Dariusz Przybylski commissioned by the Poznań Grand Theater – will take place on 6 December 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

The work of the young composer is based on the poem of the same title by Juliusz Słowacki. The opera is staged by the Latvian director Margo Zālīte, the musical director is Grzegorz Wierus, the stage design was created by Dorota Karolczak. The main roles will be performed by Joanna Freszel, Jan Jakub Monowid and Jaromir Trafankowski.

Anhelli is a poetic journey to the snow hell, a land which makes people bad and harmful. A land that is just as horrifying as it is beautiful. The guide of Anhelli – the man-angel – is the Shaman, who has the knowledge of the forefathers. Our guide will be a Polish-Latvian artistic duo: Dariusz Przybylski and Margo Zālīte. He composes music full of expression, filled with emotion: delicate and subtle at times, and in other fragments blowing up with a sudden explosion of sounds. She thinks in pictures, creates stage compositions parallel to music and then breaks them when the viewer feels safe. Together, they build contemporary opera theatre close to the romantic visionariness.

At 6:00 pm you can meet the director and the composer on the second balcony – conversation hosted by Marcin Bogucki (with translation).

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.

More information at: https://opera.poznan.pl/pl/anhelli 

Katowice | Italian Inspirations at the Silesian Philharmonic


The final concert of the 7th International Days of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki will take place on 6 December 2019. The Italian artists will take music lovers on a musical journey through steppe landscapes and film-like images.

Massimiliano Caldi, the winner of the 6th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors, will lead the Silesian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, which will perform together with Raffaele Trevisani, an excellent flutist with extraordinary sensitivity and numerous international successes. The evening will open with the first symphonic poem in Polish music literature  – The Steppe, Op. 66 by Zygmunt Noskowski, particularly valued by Massimiliano Caldi. Then we will listen to the Concerto-Cantata, Op. 65 for flute and orchestra by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, in which the outstanding soloist will have the opportunity to show the whole range of his virtuoso skills. The concert will culminate in the Nino Rota's La Strada Suite, combining themes from the film of the same title directed by Federico Fellini.

Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund under the "Music" programme implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Full programme available at: https://filharmonia-slaska.eu 

Łódź | Symphonic Concert in Memory of Grażyna Bacewicz


On 6 December 2019 at 7 pm. the Artur Rubinstein Łódź Philharmonic will host a symphonic concert in memory of Grażyna Bacewicz.

In 2019 Grażyna Bacewicz's name appeares in many concert programmes due to two anniversaries: the 110th anniversary of the birth and the 50th anniversary of the composer's death. The concert at the Łódź Philharmonic will be also dedicated to her memory. The programme will feature Music for strings, trumpets and percussion, which was written at the beginning of a new stage in the composer's work, associated largely with the neoclassical current. Nevertheless, the work shows interest in sonorism, related to the composer's search for new sound qualities.

The participation of trumpet played in the mentioned work somehow determined the selection of other repertoire items. We will listen to two concertos for two trumpets: one by the baroque master Antonio Vivaldi, the other by the contemporary Australian composer Brendan Collins. The programme will also include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Divertimento and Symphony No. 1 'Classical Symphony' by Sergei Prokofiev – probably the most famous work in the neoclassical style. The Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by Agnieszka Nagórka. José Cháfer and Sławomir Cichor will perform as soloists.

The Łódź Philharmonic invites you to a pre-concert meeting at 6.15 p.m., which will be hosted by Małgorzata Janicka-Słysz.

Information on tickets at: https://filharmonia.lodz.pl/pl/wydarzenia/koncert-symfoniczny-pamieci-grazyny-bacewicz 

Opole | Bacewicz, Różycki & Tchaikovsky


The Józef Elsner Opole Philharmonic will celebrate the 110th anniversary of the birth and the 50th anniversary of the death of Grażyna Bacewicz with a concert on 6 December 2019 at 7 p.m.

Ludomir Różycki and Grażyna Bacewicz are both a little underappreciated twentieth-century Polish composers, but their compositional languages ​​are quite distant from each other. Pyotr Tchaikovsky can hardly be accused of being unpopular, however, how many music lovers can hum his Symphony No. 1?

This rarely performed work will be presented during the upcoming concert next to Ludomir Różycki's symphonic scherzo Stańczyk, Op. 1, inspired by the famous painting by Jan Matejko, and Grażyna Bacewicz's Piano Concerto, written exactly seventy years ago and based on Polish traditional melodies. The Opole Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Marek Wroniszewski. Piotr Sałajczyk will perform as a soloist.

More information at: https://filharmonia.opole.pl/wydarzenia/68-sezon-artystyczny-p-salajczyk-m-wroniszewski/ 

Gdańsk | Krzysztof Olczak's Benefit Concert


A benefit concert of an extraordinary man – accordionist and composer Krzysztof Olczak, who has been active in the musical field for 40 years, will take place on 6 December 2019 at 7 p.m. at the Baltic Sea Culture Center (Gdańsk Old Town Hall).

Krzysztof Olczak studied accordion at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and composition at the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk, where he is currently a professor. He educated many excellent musicians, including accordionists Mirosław Tybora, Paweł Zagańczyk, Cezary Paciorek, Paweł Nowak, Szymon Jabłoński, and composers Agnieszka Stulgińska, Agata Krawczyk, Kamil Cieślik and Piotr Jędrzejczyk. During the upocoming concert, we will listen to the works by Krzysztof Olczak performed by a group of Gdańsk musicians. Admission to the event is free!

Marta Korga-Bistram

More information at: http://www.nck.org.pl/pl/wydarzenie/4455/benefis-krzysztofa-olczaka 

Warsaw | The 110th Anniversary of the Birth and the 50th Anniversary of the Death of Grażyna Bacewicz


The Warsaw Philharmonic plans to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the birth and the 50th of the death of Grażyna Bacewicz with three concerts showcasing a selection of her works for solo instrument and orchestra. The first concert will take place on 6 December 2019 at 7.30 p.m.

The series will open with an extraordinary event: the world premiere of Violin Concerto No. 6. Bacewicz had quite a critical (often too critical) approach to her compositions – to the extent that she decided to leave this piece on the shelf and never allowed it to be performed or published. We do not know much about this mysterious work, except that the author went on to use some of its musical material in her Viola Concerto a year later. Therefore, we might conjecture that Grażyna Bacewicz did not regard Concerto No. 6 as a complete write-off. Thanks to the initiative of Maestro Andrzej Boreyko, the score will be given a new lease of life in these December concerts after fifty years of gathering dust in the archives of the National Library.

The most expanded of Strauss’ symphonic poems, Ein Heldenleben unquestionably brought him success; however, it had to run the gauntlet of severe criticism before it finally began to be appreciated. Many believed that the work was too long, its autobiographical subtext not fully comprehensible for the listener, and, most importantly, that the music was too bizarre. And then of course there was the difficulty of playing the piece live. Currently, Ein Heldenleben is a popular choice for every symphony orchestra and an audience favourite. It was performed on this stage for the first time under the baton of its composer, in December 1903, and returns to the repertoire of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra after an absence of almost twenty-five years.

Piotr Maculewicz

More information at: http://www.filharmonia.pl/koncerty-i-bilety/repertuar/koncert-symfoniczny184 

Lusławice | Multimedia exhibition "Krzysztof Penderecki – Heritage of Polish Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries"


Professor Krzysztof Penderecki – the patron and founder of the Lusławice centre – celebrated his 86th birthday on 23 November 2019 at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Music Center. In addition to the concert, a multimedia exhibition "Krzysztof Penderecki – Heritage of Polish Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries" was inaugurated on Maestro's birthday, presenting the achievements of Polish contemporary music using modern audiovisual technologies and multimedia systems.

The exhibition emphasizes the special role of Krzysztof Penderecki and his impressive contribution to the development of Polish and world culture, and also reveals the richness of Polish contemporary music and its creators. The substantive layer of the exhibition is largely based on the private collections and archives of Elżbieta and Krzysztof Penderecki. The exhibition space is divided into three parts: the Artist, Meetings and the Work, each of which is a whole that can be viewed independently, in any order.

The exhibition materials were prepared by the Lusławice Center's substantive team and extended with audio and video materials obtained under license from concert, performance and recording producers, including: PWM Edition, Polish Television, Grand Theater – National Opera, Baltic Opera, Wrocław Opera, Krakow Opera, Silesian Opera, Animated Film Studio in Bielsko Biała, Miniature Film Studio in Warsaw, National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute, and DUX.

The exhibition can be visited free of charge during concerts held at the European Music Center in Lusławice.