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Faces of Love – Valentine's Day Concert at the Wrocław Opera

Oblicza MiłościThe Wrocław Opera invites you on 14 February 2021 at 6.00 p.m to the Valentine's Day Concert entitled "Faces of Love". The carnival evening will be broadcast on YouTube in two parts: devoted to musical and operetta.

The musical part will feature an overture performed by the Wrocław Opera Orchestra conducted by Adam Banaszak and numerous fragments of Leonard Bernstein's Candide, which was premiered at the Wrocław Opera in December 2017. Martin's laughing song Words, words, words will be performed by Jakub Michalski, Kunegunda's aria Glitter and be gay will be performed by Maria Rozynek-Banaszak, and Song Old Lady by Barbara Bagińska. We also hear fragments of other musicals, including My Fair Lady or Man from La Mancha, performed by Katarzyna Haras, Maciej Krzysztyniak, Jacek Jaskuła and Tomasz Rudnicki.

The second part, devoted to operetta, will open with the overture to The Revenge of the Bat by Johann Strauss and will also feature Prince Orlofsky's cuples performed by Dorota Dutkowska. The most beautiful arias from operettas by Franz Lehár and Emmerich Kálmánn will be performed by Elżbieta Kaczmarzyk-Janczak, Eliza Kruszczyńska, Hanna Sosnowska and Łukasz Rosiak. Anna Lichorowicz will present Ludomir Różycki's Waltz Caton, and Aleksandra Opała Ah! que j’aime les militaires by Jacques Offenbach. We will also hear Edward Kulczyk and Jędrzej Tomczyk.

The concert will be hosted by two soloists: Jacek Jaskuła and Aleksander Zuchowicz, who will also sing during the evening.

Full programme is available at: https://www.opera.wroclaw.pl/1/ 

Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra: From the Italian land to Poland

POSIThe Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra is proud to invite you on 13 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m. to a concert dedicated to the musical heritage of Italy. The programme includes an extensive selection of compositions by masters of Italian music. Also the conductor, highly regarded in his homeland, admired throughout Europe and beyond, well known to Warsaw audiences – Massimiliano Caldi – is Italian.

The repertoire will include Rossini’s impressive and incredibly beautiful overtures: to Cinderella and to The Italian Girl in Algiers, as well as compositions from the most outstanding operas composed in the later period: Prelude to Act 3 of Giuseppe Verdi’s epochal Traviata and Intermezzo from Pietro Mascagni’s veristic Cavalleria Rusticana.

The appealing programme will be completed by Concerto soirée, the author of which, Nino Rota, is primarily remembered as “Fellini’s composer” (he is also the creator of the unforgettable soundtrack to Coppola’s Godfather and films by Visconti, Zefirelli and others). Rota was a musician with an excellent “classical” composer education, admired from an early age – even he himself regretted that he owed his fame more to films than to his concertos. This brilliant composition for piano and orchestra will remind of the lesser-known face of the Italian maestro – he was admired for the brilliant virtuosity as well as for charm and wit compared to Prokofiev’s works. We will hear it performed by Maurizio Baglini, who very positively attracted the audience of the 13th International Chopin Competition in 1995, and although he didn’t win the competition at that time, his later career confirmed his great talent. Not much later he won the World Music Piano Master in Montecarlo and began active concert activity on major stages around the world. He is also a valued teacher and has been successfully managing the Amiata Piano Festival in his native Tuscany for many years now.

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

The concert will be broadcast online from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music on the YouTube channel and on the website https://sinfoniaiuventus.pl/ 

Szczecin | Ballet Premiere of "Visions of Love / Myths"

The Castle Opera invites you on Opera na Zamku13 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m. to the ballet premiere of Visions of Love / Myths choreographed by Zofia Rudnicka to the music of Fryderyk Chopin and Karol Szymanowski. The performance is co-organised by the Institute of Music and Dance as part of the "Choreographic Comissions 2021" programme.

The first part of the evening is a dance story of five women of different ages. We will see them in the park, lost in thought and frozen in the frame. Gradually, we will learn about their dreams, hopes and expectations. The protagonists' desires are as timeless as Chopin's music. Selected works by the composer, including preludes – piano miniatures, belonging to the most beautiful musical works of the artist, will create an atmospheric background for the virtuosity of classical dance and an exciting journey into the depths of a woman's soul.

The second part of the performance is the world of ancient mythology, in which fantastic transformations of deities and heroes explain phenomena taking place in nature. We will see the tragedy of Narcissus in love with himself and the metamorphosis of forest nymphs fleeing from the advances of lustful idols. Each myth is a different picture, dance and mood. All of them perfectly reflect the poetry of Szymanowski's hypnotic music, characterized by unusual tonal colors and drama. Neoclassical dance will emphasize the value of brilliant music and fully illustrate the supernatural transformations of mythical heroes.

More information: https://www.opera.szczecin.pl/ 

Silesian Philharmonic: Sebastian Perłowski and Waldemar Matera

FSThe Silesian Philharmonic's concert on 12 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m. will be filled with music by Mozart, Dvořák and Żeleński. The Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sebastian Perłowski will perform together with Waldemar Matera, who will delight the audience with the beautiful sound of the French horn.

Władysław Żeleński's Gavotte, Op. 45 was composed as a piano piece in the composer's late period. However, during the upcoming concert, we will listen to an arrangement for orchestra, which will certainly allow the listeners to discover new colors and different shades of the work.

Waldemar Matera, French horn player of the Silesian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, will perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's French horn Concerto No. 3 in E flat major. Mozart wrote a total of four concertos for this instrument and to this day they are the basis of the horn's repertoire. In the 18th century, the horn did not have a valve system yet, so all the possibilities of the player were limited to producing the sound only through the appropriate positioning of the lips against the mouthpiece.

The evening will be crowned by Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 7 in D minor, commissioned by the London Philharmonic Society in 1884. In his study of the composer’s work, Otakar Šourek wrote: "Dvořák worked at the D minor Symphony with passionate concentration and in the conscious endeavor to create a work of noble proportions and content, which should surpass not only what he had so far produced in the field of symphonic composition, but which was also designed to occupy an important place in world music". This piece combines lyrical and heroic motifs with a triumphant coda in a major key.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information athttps://filharmonia-slaska.eu/ 

Szczecin Philharmonic: Kisielewski & Strauss

KisielewskiThe first concert of the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Rune Bergmann in 2021 will be held on 12 February at 7.00 p.m. on the streaming platform https://livefilharmonia.szczecin.pl/. The programme will include Richard Strauss's Metamorphosen and Stefan Kisielewski's Concerto for chamber orchestra.

Stefan Kisielewski was one of the most colourful figures on the Polish music scene. Composing was only one of several fields of his public activity. He was also known as a writer, journalist and commentator, social and political activist. Because of his uncompromising stand in all these areas, he became an object of communist repressions. He was dismissed from the faculty of Cracow's State Higher School of Music, where he had taught theory; the periodical "Ruch Muzyczny", of which he was the founder and editor-in-chief, was closed for some time. He was banned from the Parliament, where he represented the Catholic club "Znak"; he was forbidden to publish feuilletons in the Catholic weekly "Tygodnik Powszechny"; he had to publish his books under a pen name in the underground. Despite this persecution, he always remained a great authority.

Kisielewski's music was virtually absent from philharmonic halls, both for political reasons and owing to the conservative neo-Classical style to which the composer remained faithful throughout his artistic life. He viewed music as an autonomous art, and the creative process – as multi-level organisation of sounds. He rejected all extra-musical contents, as well as the Romantic aesthetic. He composed works which were clear in form and made frequent use of classical formal patterns. His musical language combined the traditional tonality with modern atonal music. The strong element of humour and self-irony, characteristic of his works, reflected very well the personality of that man, his brilliant wit and unmanageable humour. The Concerto for chamber orchestra (1949) is one of his most famous ochestral works.

More information athttps://filharmonia.szczecin.pl/pl 

Benedykt Konowalski has died...

KonowalskiBenedykt Konowalski, composer, conductor and pedagogue, died on 27 January 2021 in Warsaw. The Funeral Service will take place on 12 February at the Bródno Cemetery.

Benedykt Konowalski graduated from law at the University of Warsaw. Then he studied composition with Jan Maklakiewicz and Tadeusz Szeligowski (degree in 1960) as well as conducting under Stanisław Wisłocki (degree in 1964) at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw. In the years 1956–72 he was the music director of the Central Artistic Ensemble of the Polish Army in Warsaw. From 1966 he lectured at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw, from 1987 as a professor. In the years 1984-87 he was the Vice-Rector of this institution.

He was a composer of symphonies, concerts, oratorios, chamber and choral works. His work includes suites, vocal, vocal-instrumental and ballet music as well an opera and songs for children. As a conductor, he conducted symphonic concerts in the country and abroad. He recorded music programmes for Polish Radio and TV and recorded a dozen or so CDs for Polish Records and the Philips phonographic company in Paris. He conducted performances in music theaters and philharmonics. He made many world premieres of works by contemporary Polish composers. He was a co-founder and in 1972-92 he was the chairman of the editorial board of the Music Publishing House of the Authors’ Agency in Warsaw.

Benedykt Konowalski was a laureate of the Composers' Competition of the Warsaw Branch of the Polish Composers' Union, the Feliks Nowowiejski International Organ Competition and the Grażyna Bacewicz International Composers' Competition. He was awarded, among others, the Knight's Cross, the Officer's Cross, the Honorary Badge of the ZAiKS Association of Authors, the “Polonia Mater Nostra Est” Order of the Social Foundation of Polish Nation Remembrance for Special Merits for the Nation and Polish State, the Medal Commemorating 80 Years of Polish Independence, the Medal of Merit to Polish Culture and the ZAiKS Association of Authors, the Silver Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis, the Medal of Merit to the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and the “Milito Pro Christo” Medal.

World Kociewie Day: "Kociewie painted with music" online concert

ProgressThe World Kociewie Day is celebrated annually on 10 February. On this occasion, the online premiere of the concert entitled "Kociewie painted with music" will be held next Wednesday at 6.00 p.m. on the Progress Chamber Orchestra YouTube channel.

The World Kociewie Day was established in 2007 on the initiative of the Kociewie Local Tourist Organisation from Tczew and the Kociewie Culture Association from Starogard Gdański to commemorate the first written mention of the region. When talking about the cultural heritage of Kociewie, one cannot ignore the tradition and spiritual and material culture that are typical only for this region. To place the Kociewie folklore in the context of the music of other regions of Poland, the programme of the concert will include a series of Kociewie Songs for soprano, piano and orchestra by the Gdańsk composer Maciej Zakrzewski, 5 Folk Melodies by Witold Lutosławski and 4 Pieces in Polish Style for string orchestra by the outstanding contemporary composer and teacher Stanisław Moryto, who died in 2018.

The concert was performed by the Progress Chamber Orchestra conducted by Szymon Morus, soprano Magdalena Chmielecka and pianist Jakub Ostrowski. The event will be preceded by a short conversation with the performers, introducing the audience to the musical land of Polish folklore.

The project was co-financed by the National Centre for Culture as part of the "Culture on the web" programme.

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Archiving of Bogusław Schaeffer's works under the "Digital Culture" Programme

Repozytorium SchaefferaThe Aurea Porta Foundation, which promotes Polish contemporary art, is expanding the Repository of Bogusław Schaeffer's Works. Thanks to the project, the rich artistic output of one of the most outstanding contemporary Polish artists, composer and playwright, will be preserved for posterity.

The expansion of the Repository of Bogusław Schaeffer's Works by the Aurea Porta Friends of Arts Foundation reintroduces the artist’s world-renowned yet often forgotten works to the culture world. The project covers conservation, resource listing and publishing digitized paper materials – scores, graphics and texts (manuscripts, facsimiles) – from the composer's private collections. The list of archived works makes it possible to reuse the digital resources (scores and recordings of Bogusław Schaeffer's compositions) for dissemination and educational purposes. It broadens the archiving work carried out for the last 11 years.

A crucial step in archiving is the production of separate digitization tracks that meet the applicable standards for individual resources of various types, preservation states and physical copy storage locations. The scores and music literature are presented as * jpg files. Most of the resources can be saved to a local drive and automatically converted to PDF files. Audio and audio-visual materials are available in mp4 and mp3 formats providing a high resolution of the presented materials while maintaining the website’s responsiveness on mobile devices.

The materials are available on www.aureaporta4schaeffer.pl. Most of them are free to use, without logging in, whereas in cases in which separate license agreements apply, they will be made available under fair use.

The project was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

WATCH: Project Announcement

1st Polish National Composers' Competition for a School Miniature

Konkurs kompozytorskiThe Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz and the Fryderyk Chopin Music School Complex in Piła announce the 1st National Composers' Competition for a school miniature for students of secondary music schools. The deadline for submissions is 20 May 2021.

The competition is open to all students of secondary music schools in Poland. The subject of the competition is a piece composed for 2 to 4 instruments, selected from the following list: violin, viola, cello, clarinet or soprano / alto saxophone, piano. Estimated duration of the piece: 4-7 minutes. One participant may submit a maximum of two works to the competition.

The first, second and third prizes in the competition are:

  • premiere of the winning compositions during the concert of laureates performed by the instrumentalists of the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz in the Fryderyk Chopin Music School Complex in Piła;
  • audio recording of award-winning works;
  • individual consultations with a composition teacher of the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz chosen by the laureate.

Rules and regulations are available at: http://www.amuz.bydgoszcz.pl/konkurs/