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Jan Węcowski has passed away...

Wecowski JanComposer and musicologist Jan Węcowski died in Warsaw on 11 February 2021, at the age of 89. Since 1964 he was a member of the Polish Composers 'Union and in 1973-1975 he was president of the PCU's Warsaw Branch. He was a long-term lecturer at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy Music in Warsaw and the editor-in-chief of the Academy's publishing house.

He graduated in musicology from the University of Warsaw, where he studied with Hieronim Feicht. He also completed supplementary studies in history and classical philology as well as a library course at the University of Warsaw. Already from 1957 he was engaged in teaching. He was a member of many organizations and associations.

In the years 1960-1981 he collaborated with the Polish Radio and created over 500 music programmes and wrote over 200 album reviews. From 1990 to 1992 he was the artistic director of the Polish Radio and advisor to the vice president of the Radio and Television Committee. In 1967-88 he was editor, director and artistic director of the Veriton record label, and in 1988-90 he was artistic director and deputy representative at the Arston record label. From 1970 he collaborated with Polish Television. In 1998–2006 he was the editor-in-chief of the Publishing House of the Academy of Music in Warsaw.

As a musicologist, he participated in many scientific conferences in Poland and abroad. He discovered the oldest known preserved music manuscript in Poland – Exsultet (ca. 1060) from the Tyniec Sacramentarium and several dozen early music pieces (including by Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki). On his initiative about 500 early and contemporary music pieces have been published.

Jan Węcowski's compositions were performed in Poland and abroad, incl. in France, Italy and Germany, and have been released on many CDs. He was also the author of Polish and Latin poetry texts and translations from French, Italian and Latin, which were used in numerous works by Polish composers.

Warsaw | National preliminary round of the 2nd Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music 2021

IMiTThe national preliminary round of the 2nd Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music will be held in Warsaw on 4 and 5 May 2021. It is addressed to candidates holding Polish citizenship or the Karta Polaka (Polish Ethnicity Card), regardless of their place of residence. The deadline for the submission of applications is 15 April 2021.

The Qualification Committee of the preliminary round will select up to ten qualifiers in each of two categories – pianists and chamber ensembles. The participants who qualify in such a way are exempted from the entry fee and are further awarded a scholarship sufficient to cover the costs of travel and accommodation during their stay in Rzeszów (11–18 September 2021).

During the preliminary round held in Warsaw, the candidates from the piano category are required to perform the entire programme of Stage I of the Competition, pursuant to Annex A (attached to the Rulebook), not exceeding 20 minutes of musical presentation. The candidates from the chamber ensemble category are required to perform the programme from Stage I, pursuant to Annex B (attached to the Rulebook), not exceeding 20 minutes of musical presentation; performance of individual movements will be accepted. The candidates wishing to take part in the preliminary round should submit their applications by filling in e-forms available on the website of the Competition: pianists and chamber ensembles.

The second edition of the Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music will take place at the Artur Malawski Podkarpacka Philharmonic Hall in Rzeszów between 11 and 18 September 2021. The Prize Winners Concert will be repeated at the National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw on 20 September 2021. The participants will contest in two categories: for pianists and for chamber ensembles, with the total prize money exceeding 80,000 euros.

The Rules and Regulations of the Competition are available at: https://www.konkursmuzykipolskiej.pl/article/contest-rules 

Kraków | Faces of Piano – a special concert for 1, 2, 4 and 6 hands

SPMKThe Polish Chamber Musicians' Association and the Pro Musica Bona Foundation invite you to a special online concert streamed live from the Władysław Żeleński State Secondary Music School in Kraków on 23 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m.

The "Faces of Piano" project is a series of concerts presenting various faces of piano music – from solo pieces to chamber works for various ensembles. The upcoming event will feature 9 pianists (Anna Duda, Łukasz Dębski, Dominika Grzybacz, Monika Gardoń-Preinl, Marta Mołodyńska-Wheeler, Agnieszka Plata, Ireneusz Boczek, Grzegorz Mania and Piotr Różański) who will perform pieces for 1, 2, 4 and 6 hands!

The programme will include works by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Moritz Moszkowski, Antonín Dvořák, Mike Cornick, Frank Bridge, and Piotr Tchaikovsky. The concert will also premiere Mołodyjka and Fiesta de nieve (for 2 and 6 hands) by Marta Mołodyńska-Wheeler, a star of the Polsat TV show "Beautiful Brain".

Free passes are available at:https://app.evenea.pl/event/oblicza3/ 

More information athttps://spmk.com.pl/ and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stowarzyszeniekameralistow 

Kielce | "Stage for Polish music"

Scena dla Muzyki polskiejThe Oskar Kolberg Świętokrzyska Philharmonic invites you on 23 February 2020 at 6.30 p.m. for a concert as part of the "Stage for Polish Music" programme operated by the Institute of Music and Dance. The Cracow Reed Trio / Cracow Wind Quintet will present works by outstanding Polish composers.

The ensembles were formed in 1998 on the initiative of the oboist Marek Mleczko of the Capella Cracoviensis Chamber Orchestra. They consist of outstanding instrumentalists, laureates of a number of music competitions. They have performed at almost all prestigious music festivals in Poland, meeting with an enthusiastic reception of the audience and critical acclaim. The ensembles have performed many chamber concerts with a varied repertoire, from baroque to contemporary music. They collaborate with Polish composers and premiere their works, which are often dedicated to the ensembles.

The programme of the upcoming concert will include Eye of the Sea from the series Elements of the Tatras for wind quintet by Artur Malawski, Pezzo grazioso for wind quintet by Marek Stachowski, Lyrical miniatures for wind quintet by Józef Świder, Suite pour trio d`anches by Aleksander Tansman, Trio by Witold Lutosławski, and Trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon by Antoni Szałowski.

More information athttp://www.filharmonia.kielce.com.pl/ 

Warsaw | "Stage for Polish Music": Polish Violin Duo

PolishViolinDuoThe Polish Violin Duo will present works by famous contemporary Polish composers on 23 February 2021 at 7:00 p.m. at the Warsaw Philharmonic as part of the "Stage for Polish Music" project.

The “Stage for Polish Music” is a project of the Institute of Music and Dance aimed at Polish music performers and organised in collaboration with the Warsaw Philharmonic and arts institutions in Poland. Programmes featuring Polish music, selected on the basis of a competition, will be presented at the Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Hall and then repeated in other cities in Poland. The goal of the project is to inspire musicians to prepare concert programmes featuring Polish music, promote the performance of Polish musical works as well as draw listeners’ attention to Polish music, especially lesser known pieces. The project is expected to showcase and popularise Polish works of music, especially those that are less commonly found in concert programmes, organise more performances of these works as well as promote Polish music performers.

Polish Violin Duo is composed of violinists Marta Gidaszewska and Robert Łaguniak. The young artists have already won over 100 awards, including at competitions in Poland, Japan, USA, Serbia, Greece, Sweden, England, France, Italy, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the upcoming concert they will present, Grażyna Bacewicz's Suite for two violins, Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz's Sonatina for two violins, Michał Spisak's Suite for two violins, as well as works by Joachim Kaczkowski (Duo Concertante for two violins, Op. 10 No. 1) and Henryk Wieniawski (Étude-Caprice, Op. 18 No. 1 and No. 3).

Information about tickets at: http://filharmonia.pl/ 

An interactive music experiment, or Sound Generation – X

KordaszczukThe upcoming school concert organised by the Szczecin Philharmonic will be a completely new music experiment. On the stage we will see a symphony orchestra and… a sensory orchestra. The premiere of the concert will be available for free on the Philharmonic's Facebook and on the new EduFilharmonia YouTube channel on 22 February 2021 at 11.00 a.m.

School concerts are events intended for grades IV-VIII of primary schools. They always take place in the Golden Hall of the Szczecin Philharmonic, where teenage music lovers can listen to the several dozen-piece Symphony Orchestra. That is the perfect time to start the adventure with an orchestral sound, which is in itself a mine of knowledge about musical instruments and works.

The next school concert will be a unique combination of two orchestras: a symphony orchestra and a sensory orchestra. What is a sensory orchestra? It will be composed of primary school students in grades IV-VIII, who will use specially constructed instruments – sensors that emit sounds through the movements of human hands. Each orchestra will have its own conductor: the symphony orchestra will be conducted by the author of the composition – Jarek Kordaczuk, and the sensory orchestra will be led by Izabela Kościesza.

The new series of school concerts "Sound Generation" will prepare young music lovers to understand music, create it and enjoy it.

Detailed information can be found at: https://filharmonia.szczecin.pl/pl 

Chopin's Birthday Concert – live & online

ChopinFor over 20 years, the Presto Concert Agency has been introducing the work of the great Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin to foreign visitors. The Chopin's Birthday Concert will be held (without audience) on 22 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m. in the seat of the Agency – the Fryderyk Concert Hall in the Old Town – and will be broadcast on its Facebook page. Joanna Sochacka will perform the masterpieces of the Fourth Bard and the music of Grażyna Bacewicz and Alexander Scriabin.

When was Fryderyk Chopin born? Although the answer seems obvious – we are celebrating the composer's birthday on 1 March, and we count the passing years from 1810 – the issue is much more complex. In Chopin's baptism and birth certificate it is written that he was born on 22 February 22 .... That's why the organisers made a decision to celebrate both dates.

1st Chopin Birthday Concert will be performed by Joanna Sochacka, PhD. She is a graduate at the Academy of Music in Łódź in the class of Dr Hab. Hanna Holeksy. She is currently studying at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria, in the class of Prof. Milana Chernyavska. Joanna is a juror of the International Liszt Piano Youth Competitions in China and Utrecht, Elevato International Piano Competitions in Salzburg and Bern, Kreisler International Competition in Bonn, as well as a laureate of many international and national piano competitions. During the upcoming concert, she will perform selected nocturnes, polonaises and preludes by Fryderyk Chopin, as well as Toccata from Sonata No. 2 for piano by Grażyna Bacewicz and Etude "Alla Ballata" in G sharp minor, Op. 8 No. 9 by Alexander Scriabin.

JOIN: Facebook Event

"Riding a Lift to the Tatra peaks" – staged concert online

OiFPThe Stanisław Moniuszko Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic – European Art Centre in Białystok invites you on 19 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m. for the premiere of a new series of online concerts "Undiscovered Spaces" which will be held on the OiFP YouTube channel.

"Undiscovered spaces" is a series of staged concerts, during which the artists of the Polasie Opera and Philharmonic will present musical works and talk about their composers, the atmosphere of their time, and the contexts of their work. Following this new exciting idea, in the first episode we will climb to the mountain tops frequently visited by the extraordinary composer Mieczysław Karłowicz.

The artists will explore new spaces of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic just like Karłowicz explored the Tatra mountains. The concerts will have a multi-sensory impact on the viewers, they will broaden their knowledge of music and culture and invite them to a new artistic reality. The series will be opened by the episode entitled "Riding a Lift to the Tatra peaks", where the beauty of the mountains will intertwine with the ephemerality and transience characteristic of dreaming. Everything will be united by timelessly beautiful music.

More detailed information can be found at: https://www.oifp.eu/repertuar/winda-towarowa-na-szczyty-tatr/ 

Bydgoszcz | Organ as the lead instrument

FPOn 19 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m. Adam Tański will perfrom the music by Camille Saint-Saëns, Johann Sebastian Bach as well as his own composition on the 47-pipe organ of the I. J. Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz. The soloist will be accompanied by musicians from the Capella Bydgostiensis Chamber Orchestra of the Pomeranian Philharmonic.

Dedicated to the memory of Franz Liszt, Danse Macabre (The Dance of Death), Op. 40 is considered to be Saint-Saëns' most recognizable work. It is actually a waltz, showing the fantastic vision of the French symbolist poet Henri Cazalis. We will hear this piece in Adam Tański's organ transcription.

The organist's Folk Contradanses are an artistic reinterpretation of Kurpie folk dances. Their premiere took place at the "Etnosakralia Kurpiowskie" Festival in 2019, where folk musicians performed alongside professional artists, playing traditional versions of Kurpie dances in alternatim form. The work is usually performed with string quartet, but the composer made an arrangement for string orchestra with organ especially for the concert with Capella Bydgostiensis. 

According to Adam Tański's concept, the arrangement of the chorale from Bach's Heut ist, o Mensch, ein großer Trauertag cantata is an improvised dialogue between organ and string orchestra. The resulting largely improvised music will contrast with the first part of the programme.

More information at: http://www.filharmonia.bydgoszcz.pl/blog/wydarzenia/organy-roli-glownej/