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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.

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) 

Two Regameys – father and son – on the album from the "Polish Music Today" series

RegamejThe last album released in 2020 by the Polish Composers' Union as part of the "Polish Music Today – Portraits of Contemporary Polish Composers" series is completely unique. Due to the special relationship and fate of both characters, the publisher made an exception and decided to devote the album to two composers instead of one. In addition to works by the "Polish-Swiss composer" Konstanty Regamey, the CD includes pieces by his father, Konstanty Kazimierz  – an almost completely unknown composer, who worked mainly in distant Ukraine, and in 1938 was sentenced to death by the Soviet regime.

The originator of the project and the author of the essay for the album is Jerzy Stankiewicz, who has devoted many years to researching the life and work of both Regamey (as well as popularizing the discovered works and contexts).

He invited two renowned artists to participate in the project – sisters Olga Pasiecznik (soprano) and Natalia Pasiecznik (piano). They performed a repertoire of songs and romances as well as piano pieces by the Regameys. The recording was made in the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio in August 2020 by Ewa Guziołek.

The booklet contains essays written by musicologist Jerzy Stankiewicz and literary scholar Anna Bednarczyk (in Polish and English), as well as song lyrics in the original languages ​​(Polish and Russian) and their translations into Polish and English prepared by Anna Bednarczyk and Marta Kaźmierczak.

Co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the "Musical Trace" programme operated by the Institute of Music and Dance. The album was released thanks to the support of the ZAiKS Authors' Association. The project partner was Repliq Media Sp. z o.o. Co-producer of the recording and CD edition is Programme 2 of the Polish Radio.

The Polish Composers' Union own releases are intended solely for promotional, educational and research purposes. They are not intended for sale. They are provided free of charge to interested institutions and individuals, but due to the very small circulation and large interest, priority is given to music libraries, where a broad audience can benefit from each set. If you are interested, please contact the Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC (contact: Izabela Zymer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

READ MORE: HERE  

"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/ 

"Woodwind Conversations" Musical Evening in Łódź

AM LodzA dialogue between classical and contemporary music, a conversation between woodwinds and the piano, a chat between students and pedagogues – music conversations will be conducted by artists associated with the Academy of Music in Łódź. During the online concert broadcast live on 25 January 2021 on the YouTube channel of the Academy of Music in Łódź we will hear music for woodwinds and piano.

The programme will include classical and romantic compositions, such as: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A major, KV 622, Jules Demersseman's Grande Fantaisie de Concert sur "Oberon" de Weber, Op. 52 and Carl Maria von Weber's Bassoon Concerto in F major, Op. 75, as well as music by 20th-century and contemporary artists: Jerzy Bauer's Dualistyl for oboe and piano, Roger Boutry's Divertimenta for alto saxophone and piano, Karl Goepfart's Woodwind Quartett, Op. 93 and Theo Loevendi's Tre Pezzi per tre clarnetti.

The concert will be performed by students of the Department of Wind Instruments: flautists Emilia Reske and Przemysław Szczygielski, clarinetists Wiktoria Jancz, Diana Śliwińska, Adrian Malicki and Mateusz Żak, oboist Julia Jurkiewicz, saxophonist Justyna Sołtysik and bassoon player Maciej Wijata. They will be accompanied on the piano by: Bogna Dulińska, Kinga Firlej-Kubica, Joanna Morycińska and Agnieszka Sucheniak-Wójcicka.

More information at: http://www.amuz.lodz.pl/pl/ 

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/ 

Application for the 2nd Competition of Polish Music is now open

IMiTThe 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. From now until 14 May 2021, the candidates will be able to submit their applications by filling in online forms available on the dedicated website: polishmusiccompetition.pl. The competition is organised by the Institute of Music and Dance. The prizes are funded by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

– For the second edition of the competition we are awaiting numerous applications from both Poland and abroad. Now everything is in the hands of the musicians, it is their own decision to make. There is no better time than now to start working on the individual competition programmes. We also hope that the professors from educational music establishments will play a crucial role of encouraging their own students to take part in the event – says Katarzyna Meissner, director of the Institute of Music and Dance.

Worth mentioning is the fact that there are no age or citizenship restrictions for the candidates. During the competition, the musicians will present works selected from amongst those written by 56 Polish composers mostly active in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The participants create a programme that they will perform in the successive stages of the competition. Alongside such famous composers as Chopin, Paderewski, Górecki or Penderecki, we will also find less well-known representatives of different styles and musical eras, such as Antoni Kątski, Eugeniusz Pankiewicz and Stefan Kisielewski. Equally important are Polish female composers represented by Maria Szymanowska and Grażyna Bacewicz. The competition will be chronicled in a series of recordings in electronic and CD formats distributed worldwide. In such a way, several works that have never been released before will finally have their world premiere recordings.

The participants of the Second Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music will contest for the total prize money in the amount of over eighty thousand euros to be won in two categories: piano and chamber ensembles. The juries of both categories will feature distinguished musicians and musical personalities from Poland and abroad. The applications can be submitted via an online system on 14 May 2021 at the latest. The performers will also be given an opportunity to win a number of special prizes: from financial rewards to a chance of appearing at leading Polish concert halls and selected festivals. Amongst the awards will be a 500 euro prize for the best performance of a piano sonata or a chamber composition written by Miłosz Magin, which has been funded by the composer’s daughter Margot Magin. Also the Société Frédéric Chopin Genève award will be given in the form of a recital performance during the Chopin Festival in Geneva in 2021. Collaborating with the competition, the Polish Institutes (Instytuty Polskie) will also award selected winners recital performances in the cities where they are located, such as Bratislava, Saint Petersburg and Vienna.

Agata Szymczak

4th Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition for Young Composers

MKdMKKrakow Branch of the Polish Composers’ Union announces 4th Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition for Young Composers. The subject of the Competition is a composition for chamber orchestra, with a duration from 9 to 12 minutes.

Composers from every country, who will not be over the age of 35 at the moment of its closing, can take part in the Competition. One participant can submit no more than two compositions. A composition cannot be earlier performed, published in any form or awarded in any competition. Score in pdf format, marked with an emblem and a title, with duration written, application form, a short bio note, a note about the piece and a photo (in jpg format), should be sent to the address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. not later than on 15 March 2021 (11:59 p.m., UTC+01:00).

The Jury of the Competition: Marcel Chyrzyński (chairman), Zbigniew Bargielski, Ivan Buffa (Slovakia), Wojciech Widłak and Szymon Bywalec, grants one Main Prize – 1.000 USD (gross). What is more, the awarded composition will be premiered in April 2021 on the concert during 33rd Krakow International Festival of Composers. The Jury may not award the Main Prize. Honorary awards may be granted. The decision of the jury is irrevocable and will be announced not later than on 21 March 2021.

Marcel Chyrzyński
President of the PCU's Krakow Branch

Competition regulations and the application form are available at: http://festiwal.zkp.krakow.pl/konkurs/