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Warsaw | It takes two to play violin (sometimes)


Still students, but already one of the most recognizable violin duos of the young generation – Gidaszewska / Łaguniak Duo will perform on 17 February 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Mazovian Institute of Culture during the next concert of the "Chamber Music Masterpieces" series.

We will listen to an interesting selection of music for two violins – from a baroque sonata by Georg Philipp Teleman, through classical compositions by Joachim Kaczkowski, virtuoso romantic caprices by Henryk Wieniawski, to the suite written by Grażyna Bacewicz during World War II.

Gidaszewska / Łaguniak Duo was established in 2014. Its members, Marta Gidaszewska and Robert Łaguniak, are students of music academies in Poznań and Łódź. As soloists, they took part in international and national violin competitions, winning top positions (together over 150 awards from Japan, Serbia, Greece, Sweden, England, France, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany and Poland). The duo actively performes at concerts and takes part in many competitions. The ensemble won the first prize (2014) and the Grand Prix (2015) of the International Chamber Music Competition in Bydgoszcz, the first prize at the Polish Chamber Ensemble Competition in Łódź, the second prize at the Warsaw Chamber Forum and the title of runner-up at the International Masters Tournament in Bydgoszcz (all in 2015), and in 2019 they won in their category at the International Polish Music Competition in Rzeszów. In November 2019, the duo won the first prize at the Artur Rubinstein International Chamber Ensemble Competition in Düsseldorf. Their repertoire includes works from the Baroque, Classicism, Romanticism and 20th century.

More information at: http://biuro-prasowe.mik.waw.pl/84621-bo-do-skrzypiec-trzeba-dwojga-czasem 

Katowice | Valentine's Day at NOSPR


The most romantic concert of the year  – "Like a movie" – will take place on 16 February 2020 at 5:30 and 8:00 p. m. at the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall on the occasion of Valentine's Day.

Love, jealousy, joy, friendship ... everything seems more exciting in movies. And nothing increases emotions connected with movies like music! The Valentine's Day concert of NOSPR will take listeners on a journey through the most famous themes from Polish and American hits of the cinematography. Surrounded by soundtracks from such productions as Gone With the Wind, Titanic or Star Wars, in one evening we will feel as the heroes of film adventures!

The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Bassem Akiki will also perform Wojciech Kilar's music for the films Zazdrość i medycyna, Ziemia obiecana, Trędowata and Pan Tadeusz, as well as Waldemar Kazanecki's Waltz from the film Noce i dnie.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://nospr.org.pl 

Poznań | Valentine's Day with Amadeus


The Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio invites you for the Valentine's Day concert conducted by Agnieszka Duczmal on 16 February 2020 at 6 p.m. in the Adam Mickiewicz University Hall.

The Orchestra will perform together with the famous Polish accordionist Klaudiusz Baran and young harmonica virtuoso Kacper Smoliński. Klaudiusz Baran is a thoroughly versatile artist, endowed with an exceptional musical sensitivity. His artistic achievements have changed the perception of the accordion in Poland, elevating it to the status of a fully-fledged instrument capable of shaping a real musical world. Klaudiusz Baran knows how to combine artistic activity with teaching and management of a major musical institution. He is a professor and Rector of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. This unusual combination will make the evening full of musical impressions.

The programme will include Polish music: Alexander Tansman's Variations on a theme by Girolamo Frescobaldi, Krzysztof Herdzin’a Concerto for harmonica and strings and Mikołaj Majkusiak’s Concerto for accordion as well as Igor Stravinski’s Concerto in D.

More information at: https://amadeus.pl/event-16-02-2020-walentynki-z-amadeusem 

Katowice | Grażyna Bacewicz and America(ns)!


The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra invites you to a concert of the Silesian Quartet from the series "Grażyna Bacewicz and America(ns)!". On 15 February 2020 at 6.00 p.m. the Silesian chamber musicians together with the flutist János Bálint will perform in the NOSPR Chamber Hall with a repertoire that is an interesting combination of different styles and aesthetics.

The programme will include Snapshot: Circa 1909 by John Coriglian, A Night Piece for flute and string quartet by Arthur Foot, Quintet for flute and string quartet by Walter Piston, and String Quartet No. 3 by Grażyna Bacewicz. As Małgorzata Gąsiorowska points out, "This is one of G. Bacewiczs most internally balanced works, maybe the closest to the ideal 'Sérénité', characteristic of Romanesque spirituality. In this work, whose outer movements show activity as a major creative force, it never comes to extreme situations - in the sense of the word, or in the use of technical resources. The element of movement here is derived from the logic of motivic connections and development of form, the scale of tension is moderated according to internal order, a regular course. In the third Quartet there remained still a characteristic of the composers style of this period: the dominance of linear structures over vertical: the latter, not without a certain harmonic refinement, which however, seems to be the result of the interaction of independent melodic lines."

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: http://www.nospr.org.pl/ 

"Composers living out of a suitcase" – international concert series of the Poznań Philharmonic


With a concert on 14 February 2020 at the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra together with Rafał Blechacz will begin a European tour as part of the "Composers living out of a suitcases" series.

The programme of the concerts will include works by three outstanding Polish composers: Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849), Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986) and Roman Palester (1907-1989). All three left their native country for political reasons to settle in Paris, where the lived and created. Each of them has developed an original style, using the effective composing techniques and the references and stylization of Polish folklore.

The Poznań Philharmonic has chosen the most representative works: Wedding dances from the ballet The Song of the Earth by Roman Palester and Symphony No. 3 for violin, viola, cello, piano and orchestra by Alexander Tansman to present these original and still little-known output of Polish emigrant composers. 1 March 2020 marks the 210th anniversary of the birth of Fryderyk Chopin thus the programme also includes Piano Concerto in E minor, Op. 11, which will be performed by Rafał Blechacz, the winner of the 15th International Competition Fryderyk Chopin in Warsaw.

The European concert tour will start on 14 February in Berlin. On 26 February the musicians will perform in Frankfurt (Oder) and two days later in Darmstadt. The most important event of the tour will be the concert on 1 March at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, where the orchestra will celebrate the 210th anniversary of the birth of Fryderyk Chopin. The events will feature soloists of the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of conductors Marek Pijarowski and Łukasz Borowicz.

More information athttps://filharmoniapoznanska.pl/

Warsaw | Valentine’s Day Concert at the National Philharmonic


The Warsaw Philharmonic has prepared a special programme inspired by the theme of love for its concert scheduled for 14 February 2020, i.e. Valentine’s Day.

A Cheerful Mythology in Three Acts is the subtitle of Strauss’ last but one opera – Die Liebe der Danae – which has never been staged in Poland before. Will the eponymous heroine marry Jupiter out of love, or will it rather be a marriage of convenience? Strauss spins this tale with his characteristic symphonic panache.

Right before the outbreak of the Second World War, Władysław Szpilman composed his incredibly cheerful Waltz in the Olden Style in the spirit of film music. Restored to concert programmes only a dozen years ago, Szpilman’s serious works have yet to achieve the kind of fame that the music composed four years later by Aram Khachaturian to Mikhail Lermontov’s play Masquerade has enjoyed for many years now. The five-movement suite extracted from the piece has become immensely popular.

Fredrick Delius’ opera A Village Romeo and Juliet was quite clearly inspired by Shakespeare’s play; however, instead of feuding aristocratic families, the story revolves around a dispute over an undeveloped plot of land. “The Paradise Garden” is the name of the inn frequented by the two young lovers from the quarrelling clans. The moving interlude The Walk to the Paradise Garden is one of the most beautiful examples of British music from the beginning of the 20th century.

Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story is another free adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Public acclaim for the musical has surpassed that of other stage compositions by the same composer. The same is true of the serious music of Nino Rota, famous mostly for his film scores. Both pieces, despite their radically contrasting musical idioms, have one common feature: their authors are easily recognisable after just a couple of bars.

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

Łódź | Valentine's Day Concert "Chemistry of Love" at EC1


The next concert of the "Music Sphere" series – Chemistry of Love – will take place on Valentine's Day, 14 February 2020 at the Planeratrium EC1 in Łódź. Marzena Majcher (electronic instruments) and Małgorzata Kubala (soprano) will perform in front of the EC1 audience.

The pieces composed by Marzena Majcher, juxtaposed with the texts by Aneta Badziąg and Ewelina Lasota, look for an analogy between music and chemistry: the music is inspired by the patterns of chemical substances responsible for the state of falling in love, colloquially called "the chemistry of love". The works were released on the album "Chemistry of Love" by Requiem Records - Opus Series in March 2019.

The concert will also present compositions of the "Radiation" series, which are inspired by science – cosmology and physics. The composer will use an interactive device called Exformer, which was created especially for her by Michał Silski. By using Exformer, the artist can shape sound with hand movements, thus enriching the music she plays with additional dimensions. The concert will be accompanied by amazing visualisation on the dome of the planetarium!

Age restriction 14+. Tickets are available at the EC1 Łódź ticket office and online at: https://bilety.ec1lodz.pl/

Media patronage over the "Chemistry of Love" album has been taken by the Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information about the project at: http://marzenamajcher.manifo.com/ 


Wrocław | The Secret Signs


Contemporary music hides countless secrets. It intrigues with a multitude of experiments and crossing borders. Instead of being afraid of the unknown, it is worth taking a close look at the secret musical signs and following them. The ideal opportunity to do so will be a concert on 13 February 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the National Forum of Music with well-known artists from the Polish electroacoustic scene.

Contemporary music in our country is doing really well. This is evidenced by the successes of such artists as Łuc and Duchnowski, who are actually very capable both in Poland and abroad. Cezary Duchnowski is a great composer, pianist, performer and co-founder of the Studio of Computer Composition at the Academy of Music in Wrocław. For several years he has been focusing on creating electroacoustic music in a special way. Rafał Łuc, in turn, is one of the most outstanding Polish accordionists. He cooperates with the best musicians on a daily basis and is ideally suited for live concerts. If we add to this duo Joanna Freszel, an award-winning soprano and winner of Polityka's Passport, we will get an unrivalled trio that will draw us into the new and unobvious musical world, which is sometimes difficult to define.

The artists will present Polish premieres of compositions by the best contemporary European artists working in the field of electronic and experimental music. Among them will be Milica Djordjević, a Serbian artist, author of an intriguing story about longing - I ti hoćeš da se volimo. The programme will also include the Hemliga tecken (Secret Signs) of the Norwegian singer and composer Mai Ratkje and Chistopher Trapani's Longue durée. We will also hear compositions by Polish musicians, for instance, Cezary Duchnowski and Agata Zubel. We cannot pass by these experimental pieces indifferently. The way the artists combine instruments, vocals and electronics certainly deserves attention and recognition.

Information on tickets at: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/en/ 

Russian composer Sergei Slonimsky has died at 87


Sergei Słonimsky, one of the greatest contemporary Russian composers, pianist, music theorist, professor at the Saint Petersburg conservatory, died on 9 February 2020 in Saint Petersburg. Funeral ceremonies will take place on 13 February 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at the Komarovsky Cemetery.

Sergei Slonimsky was born in 1932 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). He was the son of the Soviet writer Mikhail Słonimsky and a distant relative of the Polish poet Antoni Slonimsky. He graduated from piano and composition studies at the Leningrad Conservatory (now St. Petersburg Conservatory). In his work he combined many styles of contemporary music, used modern composing techniques and also referred to folk music, which he was researching. His oeuvre includes 34 symphonies, 8 operas (including Master and Margarita criticized by the socialist realist authorities), 3 ballets, chamber and vocal-instrumental works. He was also the author of music for theater plays and films.

Słonimski's compositions were performed at the "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music. The composer was a guest of the festival in 1969 when his Concerto Buffo was performed under the direction of Jan Krenz. Three years earlier, Antoni Słonimski sat among the audience, witnessing the first Polish performance of Four Polish Strophes to his own words. The festival also featured Uparty wiatr (1975), Antiphons (1977) and The Novogrod Dance (1980).

In 2003, the composer was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for popularizing Polish music, while in 2011 he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture Gloria Artis. From 2001, he was the honorary chairman of the Frederic Chopin Saint Petersburg Music and Educational Society. In 2018, the artist received the Man of Dialogue medal awarded on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Polish Institute in Moscow. One of his last compositions was a symphonic poem dedicated to the century of independence of the Republic of Poland Rebirth and triumph.