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Sopot | 5. International Choir Festival of Advent & Christmas Music 2019


The International Choir Festival of Advent & Christmas Music Mundus Cantat Sopot will be held for the fifth time on 14-15 December 2019.

This unique event smelling of gingerbread, cinnamon and Christmas tree will put the Tri-City community in a joyful mood while waiting for Christmas. The festival is a competition during which the participating choirs will compete for the prize of the Mayor of Sopot, Jacek Karnowski.

It will be a unique opportunity to listen to Christmas carols from around the world performed by talented choirs. Six choirs from Szczecin, Police, Nakło, Wejherowo, Gdańsk and Sopot will take part in the Festival. The choirs will carol in many languages ​​of the world in different places in Sopot – the Sopot Centre, the Star of the Sea Church, Sopot City Hall and the Church of Christ. The participants will be judged by a professional jury composed of outstanding specialists in the field of choral music – choral conductors, professors of the Music Academy in Gdańsk: Waldemar Górski, Michał Kozorys and Beata Wróblewska.

The auditions will begin on Saturday, 14 December at 11:00 a.m. at the Star of the Sea Church. After the auditions, the festival choirs will present themselves to a wider audience in the Sopot Centre. The Final Concert, during which the results of the competiton will be announced, will be held on the same day at 3:30 p.m. at the Star of the Sea Church.

The festival's culmination will be the annual concert dedicated to the memory of Michael Ray Dawidow, which will take place in the Church of Christ on 15 December at 5.00 p.m. The concert will be performd by the SSW Festival Choir Mundus Cantat conducted by Beata Wróblewska and the Gdańsk Choir of Doctors conducted by Michał Kozorys. Toys, sweets and bandages for children from the hospital in Kiev, Ukraine will be collected during the event.

The festival is organised by the Mundus Cantat Foundation and the City of Sopot. Admission to all concerts is free!

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: http://munduscantat.pl/5-miedzynarodowy-festiwal-choralny-muzyki-adwentowej-i-swiatecznej-2019/ 

Results of the 2nd Grażyna Bacewicz International Violin Competition!


The 2nd Grażyna Bacewicz International Violin Competitio organized by the Academy of Music in Łódź ended on 14 December 2019 with a Concert of Laureates.

Auditions of the first stage lasted four days due to the very large number of participants qualified to the competition. According to the regulations, there was no age limit. The youngest participant was 13 years old, the oldest – 47, the vast majority of violinists were of student age. Sixteen artists performed during the 2-day auditions of the second stage: six from Poland, two from Russia, two from Japan and one from Armenia, Bulgaria, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Participants were judged by a jury composed of: Łukasz Błaszczyk (chairman), Adam Balas, Bartosz Bryła, Eszter Haffner, Alexey Koshvanets and Szymon Krzeszowiec.

The first prize (PLN 20,000) went to 20-year-old Bulgarian Martin Zayranov, a student of the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, a laureate of violin competitions in France, Bulgaria, Romania, Austria and Germany. He also won a special prize of the Artur Rubinstein Łódź Philharmonic in the form of a recital or concert.

The second prize (PLN 14,000) went to Aleksandra Kuls – a titled violinist from Kraków, who was also honored by the jury with a special prize for the best Polish participant (PLN 2,000) and the Krzysztof Penderecki European Center for Music prize in the form of a recital.

The third prize ex aequo (PLN 5 250 each) were awarded to: Marta Gidaszewska – a student of the Music Academy in Poznań (additionally honored with the Feliks Nowowiejski Philharmonic in Olsztyn prize in the form of a recital or concert) and Woo Hyung Kim from South Korea , currently studying in Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels. Both have also won other competition prizes. Two distinctions (PLN 2,000 each) were awarded to violinists from Russia: Olga Artyugina and Sophia Devutskaya. The jury also distinguished three pianists who were accompanying the participants during the auditions: Hanna Holeksa, Adam Manijak and Grzegorz Skrobiński.

The programme of the Laureares' Concert included Grażyna Bacewicz's Stained Glass and Polish Caprice as well as works by Piotr Czajkowski and Camille Saint-Saëns.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: http://www.amuz.lodz.pl/pl/wydarzenia/konkursy-muzyczne/2-miedzynarodowy-konkurs-skrzypcowy-im-grazyny-bacewicz 

Warsaw | Textures in Resounds


The Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra will perform works by Adam Falkiewicz, Krzysztof Penderecki, Tomasz Sikorski and Paweł Szymsńki on 14 December 2019 at 4 p.m. at the New Theatre in Warsaw.

Homo – and heterophonies, meaning various types of musical textures written for different orchestral voices, are the main theme of the concert. Partita IV by Paweł Szymański, with his trademark interplay between lines overlapping with similar contours (heterophony), and Concertino for trumpet and orchestra by Krzysztof Penderecki, dominated by a single melody over the other voices (homophony) are two very different examples of composer's thinking. Holzwege… by Tomasz Sikorski, author of the anti-homophonic Homofonia (1968), not keen on overly defined ways of organising musical spaces, is another, different sort of musical narration: a static, obsessively repeated frail motif is topped with elegiac sounds of other instruments, while dramaturgical censorships are marked with silence. The intensity of accumulated energy is ushered by compositions by AdamFalkiewicz.

The concert in the Sinfonia Varsovia's "Resounds. New Polish Music" series will be accompanied by Jacek Poniedziałe's audiovisual installation focused on the legacy of Adam Falkiewicz.

More information athttps://nowyteatr.org/pl/kalendarz/faktury-w-oddzwiekach 

Szczecin | Różycki and Wars


Works by Polish composers which refer to the complicated political situation of Poland in the 20th century will be performed on 13 December 2019 in the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin.

The programme will feature a dramatic fragment Pietà. On Smouldering Ruins Of Warsaw and Concerto for violin and orchestra, Op. 70 by Ludomir Różycki, one of the composers of the Young Poland period, as well as Symphony No. 1 by Henryk Wars.  The Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra will be led by Noebert Twórczyński. The solois of the evening will be Janusz Wawrowski, an outstanding musician on a prestigious long-term artistic contract with the Warner Music label. One of his main goals as the originator and artistic director of international festivals is the dissemination of Polish music. The artist will play on the only Polish violin from the Stradivardi's workshop.

More information at: https://filharmonia.szczecin.pl/wydarzenia/1161-ROZYCKI__WARS 

Opole | The Odder Quintet


The Odder Quintet will perform on 13 December 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the chamber hall of the Józef Elsner Opole Philharmonic in the "Opole Philharmonic Chamber Music" series.

The Wrocław-based string quintet consists of five musicians associated with the orchestras of the National Forum of Music (Wrocław Philharmonic and Leopoldinum) and the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music: Malwina Kotz, Karol Kamiński – violin, Monika Młynarczyk – viola, Sylwia Matuszyńska – cello, Paweł Jabłczyński – double bass. The quintet will present two compositions: String Quintet in D minor, Op. 3 by Witold Maliszewski – a teacher of Witold Lutosławski, and the String Quintet in G major, Op. 77 by Antonin Dworzak.

Moe information at: https://filharmonia.opole.pl/wydarzenia/68-sezon-artystyczny-wroclaw-string-quintet/ 

Warsaw | Sinfonia Varsovia String Quintet Phonographic Debut


Sinfonia Varsovia String Quintet makes its phonographic debut in contemporary music repertoire. The album will be released on 6 December 2019! The ensemble will perform most of the recorded works on 13 December at 7 p.m. at the New Theatre during the concert entitled "Orpheus among shadows".

Exploration of sound spaces and memory – coded in individual and collective musical consciousness – are two main themes interlocking in the concert repertoire. The spectral and partly heterophonic Umbrae by Andrzej Kwieciński, written by the composer at the age of 20, create a fascinating sphere of microtonally glistening shadows, seducing simultaneously with ecstatic rhythmic obsessiveness. Quintetto per archi by Krzysztof Penderecki, a transcript of his String Quartet No. 3, is the composer's aural diary, recollections of Hutsul melodies of his childhood, played on a violin by his father who came from Rohatyn. Motifs taken from musical traditions are also the basis of the Five Folk Melodies by Witold Lutosławski and Votive by Roxanna Panufnik, with a Sephardic melody of prayer Kol nidre, written to commemorate Pamela Majaro – British pianist, sculptor and photographer. The repertoire will also include String Quintet No. 2 by Jan Duszyński.

After the concert, there will be a meeting with the artists combined with the promotion of the Sinfonia Varsovia String Quintet (Adam Siebers – violin, Kamil Staniczek – violin, Katarzyna Budnik – viola, Marcel Markowski – cello, Michał Sobuś – double bass) phonographic debut.

More information at: www.sinfoniavarsovia.org 

Warsaw | Improvisation – a way of teaching and understanding


The world premiere of a new piece by Wojciech Błażejczyk will take place during a concert 'Improvisation – a way of teaching and understanding', which will take place on 16 December 2019 at 6.30 in the Warsaw Multimedia Library for Children and Youth (40a Tyniecka St.).

Joanna Freszel together with composer Cezary Duchnowski and accordionist Rafał Łuc will sing and improvise translate new music with words, images, and sounds to bring inspiration and better understanding of contemporary classical music to the listeners. The programme will feature one world premiere of Wojciech Błażejczyk's compositions (for voice, accordion and electronics), three languages, four composers, breath, and interpretation.

The concert is the last event organised by Joanna Freszel in the frame of the Scholarship of the Capital City of Warsaw. The vocalist graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw in the class of Jadwiga Rappé. She is a laureate of numerous vocal competitions, winner of special awards in international competitions. In 2016 her album Real Life Song was nominated for the 'Fryderyk' awards of the Polish phonographic industry in the categories 'Album of the Year Contemporary Music' and 'The Most Outstanding Recording of Polish Music'. In 2017, she became a laureate of Polityka's Passport in the "Classical Music" category.

The project 'Improvisation  a way of teaching and understanding' is financed by the Capital City of Warsaw. Admission to the concert is free!

More information at: http://www.mbddim.pl/kalendarz-wydarzen/1575-koncert-improwizacja-spos%C3%B3b-nauczenia,-zrozumienia.html?date=2019-12-16-18-30 

Warsaw | Improvisation workshops for children "Tell me a story"


The next workshops for children oragnised by the Polish Society for Contemporary Music, during which the youngest participants will learn, play and improvise in the company of great musicians and unusual books, will be held on 13 and 14 December 2019 in the MAL Miejsce Akywności Lokalnej (14 Kłobucka St.).

The main idea of ​​the project is to trigger graphic-inspired improvisations. Children will create their own stories based on picture books. The improvised fairy tales will be then "translated" into musical language under the guidance of the class leaders. Improvisation is the most basic, primary and joyful form of music performance, which is why the workshops combine children's creativity and imagination with books and contemporary music.In addition to playing with improvisations and books, children will learn various techniques of sound extraction, which expose its color and dynamic values, and will also be able to play drums on their own. The musical guests of the upcoming workshops will be: Bartosz Kołsut (accordion), Karina Kusior (piano) and Jarosław Siwiński (composer). Adventure through improvisation with artists will be led by double-bassist Małgorzata Kołcz.

Participation in the workshops is free, although it requires previous reservation by phone (+48) 790 395 228 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Warsaw | 29th Portraits of Composers

Portrety kompozytorów

The best ensembles specializing in contemporary music performance –Hashtag Ensemble and Spółdzielnia Muzyczna contemporary ensemble – will take part in the 29th edition of the "Portraits of composers" festival, which will take place on 10-11 December 2019 at 6 p.m. at the Masovian Institute of Culture (12 Elektoralna St., Warsaw).

The "Portraits of composers" festival have been organized by the Polish Composers' Union since 1988. Every year it presents chamber works by several contemporary composers. The programme is designed so that listeners can get acquainted with compositions characteristic for a given artist. During the upcoming concerts we will listen to the works by Marcel Chyrzyński and Eunha Chang.

Marcel Chyrzyński performs the function of the President of the Polish Composers' Union in Kraków. He is the director of the Institute of Composition, Conducting and Theory of Music at the Academy of Music in Kraków and the director of the International Festival of Kraków Composers. In 1994-98 he wrote a series of compositions Quasi Kwazi I, II and III for solo clarinet, which had its performances in Poland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, South Korea, Australia and the USA. and was broadcast in the Andrew Ford's The ABC Music Show programme by Australian Radio. The premiere of the composition Death in Venice, inspired by the Luchino Visconti's film of the same title, took place during the monographic concert of Chyrzyński in Los Angeles (2017). The next series of works by Chyrzyński entitled Reflection is an expression of thoughts related to the transience and fragility of existence. Reflection No. 1 was commissioned by the Amar Corde quartet and entered the ensemble's repertoire permanently. Reflection No. 4 was premiered during the 27th Takefu International Music Festival in Japan – the composition was commissioned by the organizers of the project. Reflection No. 7 was commissioned by Chang-min Park – the artistic director of Ensemble SoriYuhi and premiered at Daegu Concert House. The Polish premiere will take place at the concert on 10 December.

On 11 December we will listen to the music by a composer from South Korea, Eunho Chang. He is a graduate of Keimyung University and the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, where he also obtained a doctorate in musical arts under the supervision of Prof. Marcin Błażewicz. In the Sanjo cycle for solo instruments or voice, the composer presents his own view of traditional Korean music using contemporary compositional means and Western instruments, which are to imitate Korean instruments through the use of appropriate performance techniques. Eunho Chang himself will play on one of these instruments, called saenghwang. We will also listen to the Lyric Nocturne for a traditional Chinese bamboo flute called dizi. The final of the concert will be the premiere of Eunho Chang's Prism, which is based on the reflection of different colors of sounds coming from the "prism".

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.