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Polish Baltic Philharmonic online – Marcin Markowicz

MarkowiczThe Polish Baltic Philharmonic invites you to a symphonic concert featuring violinist and composer Marcin Markowicz. The online broadcast will take place on 29 January 2021 at 7.00 p.m. on the Philharmonic's YouTube channel.

Marcin Markowicz will perform his own Violin Concerto, commissioned in 2018 by the "Spaces of Music" Chamber Music Festival in Konin. This will be the first performance of the piece in Gdańsk. The versatile musician – performer and composer – has served as concertmaster of the NFM Orchestra in Wrocław, and is currently concertmaster of the Polish Radio Orchestra, member of the Lutosławski String Quartet and artistic director of the Princess Daisy Ensemble Festival in Książ. Marcin Markowicz also plays in the Jazz Band Młynarski-Masecki. Together with Marcin Masecki, he has been organising a series of chamber concerts in Warsaw.

The Polish Baltic Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ewa Strusińska will also present relatively rarely performed pieces: Romance in F major No. 2, Op. 50 for violin and orchestra by Ludwig van Beethoven and Overture for wind instruments by Felix Mendelssohn.

More information at: https://www.filharmonia.gda.pl/ 

"Polish heroines of music" – a new album released by Anaklasis

PWMDoes music call for gender equality? It can surely defend itself. Nonetheless, the artistic advantages of excellent present-day women-composers and their eminent predecessors are worthy of being noticed and highlighted. Women have their separate and distinctive voice in Polish music. In recognition of the need to acknowledge that voice, on 29 January 2021 Anaklasis will release the CD Polish heroines of music, comprising orchestral works by Elżbieta Sikora, Hanna Kulenty, Grażyna Bacewicz, and Agata Zubel.

This most recent album in the"Sounds" series is the result of cooperation between PWM Edition and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, which aim is to create and disseminate a new canon of music by Polish women-composers by promoting Polish culture worldwide. The third project participant is the French Orchestre Pasdeloup, which has undertaken to record four pieces by outstanding Polish women-artists. The orchestra is led on this album, appropriately to the task, by Marzena Diakun, an extraordinarily gifted woman-conductor.

Elżbieta Sikora’s piece Sonosphère V. Wanda Landowska, included on the CD, combines acoustic tradition with electric modernity. The mastery of French jazz guitarist Misja Fitzgerald Michel, whose virtuosic electric guitar solo conjures up, in accordance with the composer’s intentions, the nervousness and sound colour of Jimi Hendrix’s playing, will leave no one indifferent. Hanna Kulenty’s Aisthetikos brings us in contact with metaphysical trance and musical surrealism. This work is interpreted here by excellent soloists: saxophonist Bartłomiej Duś and pianist Magdalena Duś, who premiered the piece less than a year ago at Kielce’s Świętokrzyska Philharmonic. Contradizione is a classic by the eminent composer and violin virtuoso Grażyna Bacewicz, who also was a proficient pianist and writer. Agata Zubel’s In the Shade of an Unshed Tear attempts to explore the possibilities of a Beethoven orchestra in contemporary music. Anaklasis release features the world premiere recording of this composition.

More information at: www.anaklasis.pl 

Presentation of new websites of the Polish Composers' Union: "POLMIC Digital Archive" and "Roman Maciejewski"

pThe Polish Composers' Union launches new websites: "POLMIC Digital Archive" and the portal dedicated to "Roman Maciejewski". The presentation of both sites (open to public) will take place on the Zoom platform on Thursday, 28 January 2021 at 2 p.m.

The PCU's Music Library collection of recordings, photographs, scores and documents will be published at www.archiwumcyfrowe.polmic.pl. A significant part of the collection is related to the "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music, organised since 1956 by the Polish Composers' Union. The portal will also feature scores, many of which have not yet been published, publications related to the festivals, concerts and other events organised by the PCU, as well as articles on contemporary music. We will also make available extremely interesting archival documents concerning the functioning of the PCU in the political reality of the People's Republic of Poland. All spheres of life were permeated by politics at that time, the best example of which was the famous Conference of Composers and Music Critics in Łagów Lubulski.

The series of monographic websites devoted to Polish contemporary composers is also growing. At www.maciejewski.polmic.pl you can find a detailed biography of Roman Maciejewski (1910–1998) presented in an attractive audio-visual form with many illustrations and a comprehensive presentation of his work with sample recordings. Roman Maciejewski spread his musical wings in the interwar period, gaining the recognition of such authorities as Karol Szymanowski, and after emigration, due to the political situation in the world and his own philosophy of life, he gradually disappeared from the consciousness of music lovers. Thus, Maciejewski became part of a larger phenomenon  a "piece" of a puzzle composed of a whole generation of intellectuals and artists, often outstanding, yet forgotten. A generation that musicologist Tadeusz Kaczyński called with the term "lost generation". Fortunately, from around 1989, the work of émigré composers gradually began to be included in the general history of Polish music, which also contributed to the growing interest in Maciejewski. Currently, his works are more and more appreciated by performers, musicologists and music lovers.

The projects were co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the "Digital Culture" programme.

Both portals will be presented on the zoom platform: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/76732024573?pwd=V2ZJa1hBdmJGK0JqZVdyQWNIUzRaUT09  (Meeting ID: 767 3202 4573, Passcode: 93s1jH) 

"Musica-Ars Amanda": The Colours of Inspiration

FKSo far, the concerts from the "Musica-ars amanda" series have mainly presented symphonic repertoire, but the current epidemiological situation has prompted the Krakow Philharmonic to look for chamber music scores. On 28 January 2021, pieces by world-famous Polish composers of the 20th century will be presented by the Philharmonic string orchestra and flautist Magdalena Di Blasi under the baton of Tomasz Chmiel. Transmission on YouTube at 6.00 p.m.

We will hear works by Grażyna Bacewicz, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Tadeusz Baird and Wojciech Kilar, inspired by early or folk music. Despite many apparent similarities, at the root of each work lies a different story and it should be read in a different context.

Two of them – Baird's Colas Breugnon (1951) and Bacewicz's Divertimento (1965) belong to the movement known as neoclassicism. Górecki and Kilar are a generation of artists for whom neoclassicism was just a page from history. In the 1960s, they belonged to a group of composers creating avant-garde, very radical and sonorous works with shocking sound. Three Pieces in Old Style (1963) were written by Górecki in the midst of that period of rebellion against tradition. However, they also turned out to be a harbinger of the composer's new, individual style, the main features of which were the simplification of the musical language and…. return to tradition. Wojciech Kilar followed a similar path from the avant-garde to the style called by some Polish minimalism, and the breakthrough in his work was the famous Krzesany. It initiated a series of "Tatra" works, culminating in Orawa – apart from film music, one of the most frequently performed works by Kilar.

More information at: https://www.filharmonia.krakow.pl/ 

The premiere of the virtual art installation "eMaze"

eMazePrzemysław Scheller in collaboration with the visual artist Ashley Pinek invite you on 28 January 2021 at 8.00 p.m. for a sincere response to the cultural and social lockdown – the premiere of the virtual art installation "eMaze" set on the m33t platform.

During the vernissage, you will be able to meet its creators online. The number of participants is limited to 20 but the room will be open for several weeks thereafter.

The online immersion installation is not only an authentic artistic experience. It also takes up the challenge of preserving the social nature of cultural events. It can be visited by anyone in their own home and together with others, sharing their experiences and impressions. To visit the exhibition, use a computer with headphones, microphone and camera, download m33t (https://m33t.ch) and enter eMaze as a room. In order for others to be able to see and hear all users, m33t must be granted access to the camera and microphone. There is only one eMaze room and it is always limited to 20 participants.

The "eMaze" project was supported by the ZAiKS Author's Association.

JOIN: FB Event

Winners of Polityka's Passports 2020

Paszporty PolitykiOn 26 January 2021, for the 28th time, outstanding artists were awarded Polityka's Passports – one of the most important cultural awards in Poland. Seven winners were selected from among 21 nominations. This year the jury also presented an additional, special award in a 'remote culture' category.

The awards are presented in seven categories: film, literature, theatre, visual arts, classical music, popular music and digital culture. Since 2002, the "creator of culture" award has also been presented for special achievements in promoting culture. During the ceremony broadcast by TVN, the winners received PLN 20,000, and the nominees – PLN 15,000. This year's passports were collected by: Piotr Domalewski (film), Justyna Sobczyk and Teatr 21 (theatre), Artur Liebhart – Millennium Dosc Against Gravity (remote culture), Mira Marcinów (literature), Małgorzata Mirga-Tas (visual arts), Duet Siksa (popular music), Studio Different Tales (digital culture), Bożena and Lech Janerka (ceator of culture).

In the 'classical music' category, Ania Karpowicz was awarded a Passport "For consistency and effectiveness in promoting forgotten 20th century music and contemporary music, including the work of young women composers. For creating the Hashtag Ensemble and the WarszeMuzik festival, which have already become part of our musical landscape". Flutist Ania Karpowicz (b. 1983), prizewinner of national and international music competitions, studied in Łódź and Detmold. In 2013 she established the Hashtag Ensemble cooprative, which performs at contemporary music festivals in Poland. She initiated a number of concerts and festivals, including WarszeMuzik – a series of musical interventions in the courtyards of the surviving tenement houses of the Warsaw Ghetto, presenting chamber music composed by Jewish composers who used to live in Warsaw. As a soloist, she places particular emphasis on the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. She is also involved in the promotion of women's creativity.

This year's nominees were also Krystian Lada and Martyna Pastuszka.

Polityka's Passport Gala 2020 is available to watch at: https://www.polityka.pl/fotoreportaze/2100723,1,cieszcie-sie-slowem-tworzcie-paszporty-inne-niz-zawsze.read?src=mt 

Kraków | 3rd International Piano Competition "Chopin at Wawel"

Chopin pod WawelemThe 3rd edition of the International Piano Competition "Chopin at Wawel" will be held in Kraków on 7-11 July 2021.

International Piano Competition „Chopin at Wawel” based upon the National Competition For Young Pianists „Chopin at Wawel” is the first international, monographic,  piano competition held in Krakow. The originator and founder of the Competition, dr hab. Gajusz Kęska, repeatedly emphasized the need to promote the city as a center of performing the Fryderyk Chopin’s music, also by stating that in the past Krakow was the cradle of the Polish piano school. The competition is organised by “Porta Musicae” Artistic Association in collaboration with the Academy of Music in Krakow and Fryderyk Chopin Secondary Music School in Krakow.

As in previous editions, participants will perform in four age groups and will be judged by distinguished teachers and pianists, experts on Fryderyk Chopin’s artistic work and university professors from Poland, Italy, Russia and China. The total prize pool is PLN 17,500. The winners concert will be held on 11 July 2021.

Applications should be send by 31 May 2021 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

The Competition rules and application form are available athttp://www.chopinpodwawelem.com/ 

Zbigniew Ciechan has died...

Ciechan ZbigniewComposer, pianist, arranger, teacher and music journalist Zbigniew Ciechan passed away on 24 January 2021 at the age of 91.

Initially he studied at the State Higher School of Music in Poznań and then at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw, from which he graduated in 1962. He was a student of Witold Rudziński.

In the years 1961-66 he was the musical director of the "Stodoła" student cabaret in Warsaw, in 1964 – the Alibabki ensemble, and from 1966 to 1970 – the "Granica" Artistic Ensemble of the Polish Army. He prepared educational and popularizing programmes for the Polish Radio – Music for Children section. He taught at the Academy of Music in Warsaw and at the Institute of Music Education at the Pedagogical University in Kielce. He was the editor of the magazine "Music Education at School", the author of the first textbook for arranging pop music in Poland and other textbooks.

Zbigniew Ciechan received many important awards and distinctions, including several Polish Radio Awards, the Award of the Polish Composers' Union (1977) and the Award of the Prime Minister of Poland (1983). In 2018 he was honored with the Special Award of the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

May he rest in peace.

Elżbieta Markowska has passed away...

MarkowskaThe tragic news about the death of Elżbieta Markowska, former director of the Polish Radio – Channel 2 and president of the Witold Lutosławski Society, was announced on 24 January 2021.

Elżbieta Markowska graduated in musicology from the University of Warsaw under the supervision of Professor Józef Chomiński. From 1970 she was associated with the Polish Radio, first as a music editor in Channel 3, then twice as the director of Channel 2, rebuilding the importance of musical culture after martial law. In 2015-2018 she was the president of the Witold Lutosławski Society.

She collaborated closely with the Polish Composers' Union, both professionally and through personal contacts. Contemporary music was at the center of her interests, which was reflected in her work for the Polish Radio and Witold Lutosławski Society, as well as her friendships with numerous composers. Polish Radio holds her numerous broadcasts and interviews. Her conservasions with conductor Jan Krenz were published as a book Jan Krenz, Fifty Years with a Baton (1996). She also published the album Lutosławski 1913-2013 (2012) and the study entitled Musicians in Occupied Warsaw 1939-1945 (2014) together with Katarzyna Naliwajek-Mazurek.

May she rest in peace.