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Łódź | Premiere of Ignacy Zalewski's "Double Concerto"

FLViolinist Maciej Łabecki and double bass player Sebastian Wypych will premiere Ignacy Zalewski's Double Concerto on 6 March 2021 at 7.00 p.m. at the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic in Łódź.

The piece was commissioned by the Łódź Philharmonic and dedicated to both soloists. Its premiere was scheduled last year, but it had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. "Concerto in the form of a dance", as the composer himself describes his work, consists of four movements: tango, waltz, czardas and the finale in the form of a polonaise-fantasia.

Ignacy Zalewski (b. 1990) is a composer, conductor, teacher and promoter of classical music. He has won over 20 awards at composition competitions in the field of classical and incidental music. His works have been performed in the most important Polish concert halls, in most European countries, in the United States, China, Singapore and Vietnam. Zalewski is the author of music for several dozen theatre, television and radio plays. In March 2019, his Symphony. In memory of Dominik Połoński was premiered at the Łódź Philharmonic.

The concert programme will also include the Overture to the opera The Barber of Seville by G. Rossini and Gran duo concertante for violin and double bass by G. Bottesini. The Łódź Philharmonic Orchestra will perform under the baton of Grzegorz Wierus. The concert will be hosted by Piotr Matwiejczuk ("Ruch Muzyczny").

Information about tickets: https://filharmonia.lodz.pl/pl/wydarzenia/koncert-symfoniczny-183 

Wrocław | Bach and Contrasts

ZagajewskiThe Polish Cello Quartet has completed many intriguing artistic projects. The next one will be a meeting with the work of the Leipzig Cantor, juxtaposed with works by contemporary composers. The concert will take place on 4 March 2021 at 7.00 p.m. at the National Forum of Music in Wrocław.

Die Kunst der Fuge, or The Art of Fugue, is the last composition by Johann Sebastian Bach. He did not have time to finish it. It consists of fourteen fugues (known as Contrapunctus) and four canons of increasing complexity. The composer did not specify the lineup for which this work was intended, therefore some researchers assumed that it was a purely theoretical, abstract and speculative work, a kind of treatise showing the possibilities of the art of polyphony. For this reason, Die Kunst der Fuge fell into oblivion for years. Even Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel found it a good substitute for the expensive counterpoint lessons. However, later performers appreciated this composition. It was performed by various line-ups: it was played on the harpsichord, organ, piano; several arrangements for orchestra have also been written.

During the concert, we will hear Contrapunctus I, III, V and X. These fugues have been juxtaposed with the works of three contemporary artists. Thierry Escaich is a French organist and composer, known to music lovers visiting the National Forum of Music for his improvised accompaniment to the silent film The Phantom of the Opera. Ground III is his piece from 2008, one of the six to bear this title. The work Flüsterfuge und Zirkelkanon, intended for four cellos or four bassoons, was written by the Swiss composer Heinz Holliger in 2000. The Cello Quartet, on the other hand, is the work of Artur Zagajewski, born in 1978, a music theorist and composer.

Information about tickets: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/component/nfmcalendar/event/8183 

Poznań | Rhythm Games

AmadeusThe Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio under the direction of Anna Duczmal-Mróz will celebrate Women's Day with a concert on 7 March 2021 at 6.00 p.m. at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. We will hear works by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Mikołaj Majkusiak, Piotr Perkowski and Piotr Moss.

The concert entitled Rhytm Games is an unusual combination of cello and accordion. The orchestra will perform with outstanding soloists: accordionist Klaudiusz Baran and cellist Karolina Jaroszewska. Klaudiusz Baran is a versatile artist and teacher, Rector of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. Through his artistic achievements, he changed the perception of the accordion in Poland. He is the first accordionist to have received the "Fryderyk" Award for his album Astor Piazzolla – Tango, recorded for SonyClassical. Karolina Jaroszewska, a graduate of the Julliard School in New York and the Academy of Music in Poznań, works at the Warsaw Philharmonic as a principal cellist and soloist. The artist is represented by Ludwig van Beethoven Association. Her artistric work has been also appreciated by non-musical institutions. In 2010 she received a "Young Positivist" medal from the Hipolit Cegielski Society in Poznań as well as scholarships from the City of Poznań and the Ewa Czeszejko-Sochacka Foundation.

The programme of the concert will include Rhythm Games by Mikołaj Majkusiak, To Karol Szymanowski by Piotr Perkowski and Piotr Moss and Octet in E flat major, Op. 20 by Felix Mendelssohn arranged by Agnieszka Duczmal.

Information about tickets: https://amadeus.pl/pl/event-07-03-2021-rhytm-games-koncert 

Warsaw | "Stage for Polish Music": Książek Piano Duo at Warsaw Philharmonic

KsiazekWorks by Polish composers – Józef Elsner, Fryderyk Chopin, Aleksander Tansman, Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, and Władysława Markiewiczówna – will be performed by Książek Piano Duo at the Warsaw Philharmonic on 9 March 2021 at 7.00 p.m. The concert as part of the "Stage for Polish Music" programme is co-organised by the Warsaw Philharmonic and the Institute of Music and Dance.

Książek Piano Duo was founded in 2012 by Agnieszka Zahaczewska-Książek and Krzysztof Książek. The duo, represented by the Ludwig van Beethoven Association, has performed many concerts in Poland and abroad, incl. in Switzerland, France, Great Britain, Thailand and South Africa. In 2019, the musicians won 2nd prize and a special prize at the 21st International Franz Schubert Piano Duo Competition in Jesenik and the title of finalist and a special prize at the 3rd International Suzana Szӧrenyi Competition of Piano Duets in Bucharest. The following year, they received the "Young Poland" scholarship. Their talents and artistic achievements have brought them recognition of the audience and international music critics.

The programme of their concert at the Warsaw Philharmonic will include: Józef Elsner's Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 16, Fryderyk Chopin's Variations on the theme by Thomas Moore, Maurycy Moszkowski's Kaleidoscope, Op. 74, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki's Toccata for 2 Pianos, Op. 2, Władysława Markiewiczówna's Suite for 2 Pianos, Alexander Tansman's La Grande Ville for two pianos, Witold Lutosławski's Miniature for two pianos and Variations on a Theme by Paganini for two pianos.

More information at: http://filharmonia.pl/repertuar/-scena-dla-muzyki-polskiej-ksiazek-piano 

Szczecin | Karłowicz, Shostakovich and Schubert

FSzOn 5 March 2021 the Szczecin Philharmonic will host for the first time Anastasia Kobekina, a Russian cellist hailed by the European press as the audience's favourite.

She studied in Moscow, Kronberg, Berlin, Paris and Frankfurt, exploring solo, chamber and early music repertoire. In 2015, she won the International TONALi Competition in Hamburg. Since then, she has recorded three albums, featuring among others works by Mieczysław Weinberg and Dmitri Shostakovich. During the last artistic season, she made her debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and went on a concert tour with the orchestra of the Berlin Konzerthaus.

During the upcoming concert, we will hear two pieces performed by Anastasi Kobekina and the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Rune Bergmann, both written by composers for their friends. Mieczysław Karłowicz's Serenade in G major  (1897) was dedicated to Zygmunt Butkiewicz, whom the composer met during his three-year stay in Heidelberg (Butkiewicz later became the juror of the first edition of the Chopin Competition and the director of the Music Conservatory in Poznań). Dmitri Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major (1959), was composed for Mstislav Rostropovich, who premiered the work with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Yevgeny Mravinsky. The programme will be complemented by Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 5, composed at the age of 19.

Information about tickets at: https://filharmonia.szczecin.pl/pl 

Kraków | 2nd Szymanowski / Poland / World Festival: Prologue

FKA concert on 5 March 2021 at 7.30 p.m. at the Krakow Philharmonic will be a prologue to the 2nd Szymanowski / Poland / World Festival.

We will hear Wolfganag Amadeus Mozart's Symphony in G minor KV 550 and Karol Szymanowski's Stabat Mater, Op. 53. These works will be presented by the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir under the baton of Antoni Wit, together with the soloists: Iwona Hossa (soprano), Ewa Marciniec (alto) and Jarosław Bręk (baritone).

According to Małgorzata Janicka-Słysz, the author of Karol Szymanowski's monograph [Poetyka muzyczna Karola Szymanowskiego. Studia i interpretacja], Stabat Mater, Op. 53 for soprano, alto, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra (completed in March 1926) occupies a special place in the composer's oeuvre. Szymanowski, a composer with a "Dionysian" vision of the world, composed a masterpiece of religious music. Assuming that the Latin language had lost its emotional qualities, he used the Polish translation of the medieval sequence by Józef Jankowski. He combined universal values ​​with national values, fusing phrases of Gregorian chant with quotations of Polish religious songs (Gorzkie żale, Stała Matka boleściwa). Stabat Mater was considered to be the fruit of the noblest inspiration, a work endearing with restraint and balance of words and sounds. The work was interpreted in terms of the ideal of national music, and at the same time it was considered a manifesto of the composer's personal religious feelings.

Concert under the honorary patronage of the Hungarian Ambassador in Warsaw, Orsolya Zsuzsanna Kovács; the Marshal of the Małopolska Region, Witold Kozłowski; the Director of the Polish Institute in Prague, Maciej Ruczaj; and the Director of the Polish Institute in Bratislava, Jacek Gajewski.

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

Jelenia Góra | "Stage for Polish Music": Książek Piano Duo

KsiazekOn 4 March 2021 at 7.00 p.m. the Lower Silesian Philharmonic in Jelenia Góra will become the stage for Polish music: Książek Piano Duo will present works by Józef Elsner, Fryderyk Chopin, Aleksander Tansman, Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, and Władysława Markiewiczówna.

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.

The next concert as part of the project will feature Książek Piano Duo, founded in 2012 by Agnieszka Zahaczewska-Książek and Krzysztof Książek. The duo represented by the Ludwig van Beethoven Association has performed many concerts in Poland and abroad, incl. in Switzerland, France, Great Britain, Thailand and South Africa. In 2019, the musicians won 2nd prize and a special prize at the 21st International Franz Schubert Piano Duo Competition in Jesenik and the title of finalist and a special prize at the 3rd International Suzana Szӧrenyi Competition of Piano Duets in Bucharest. The following year, they received the "Young Poland" scholarship. Their talents and artistic achievements have brought them recognition of the audience and international music critics.

Full programme is available at: https://filharmonia.jgora.pl/ 

Results of the first stage of the 62nd Tadeusz Baird Young Composers Competition

BairdThe results of the first stage of the 62nd Tadeusz Baird Young Composers Competition were announced on 27 February 2021.

The Jury composed of: Olga Hans (chairwoman), Aldona Nawrocka (secretary), Marcin Bortnowski, Justyna Kowalska-Lasoń, and Artur Kroschel, selected the following works for the second stage of the Competition:

Isomorphic Reflection – emblem Coal2

…Breathe – emblem D.502

Grand Père – emblem Lavage de cerveaux

Kanczendzonga – emblem Perseus

Secco – emblem TotoXro

Co w lesie piszczy – emblem XXX12321

The works qualified for the second stage will be performed during a concert followed by the announcement of the results and the awards ceremony, which will be held in June 2021.

The concert date and the list of performers will be announced in a separate release.

Music is a woman! Opera Concert – online

POSIA concert on 5 March 2021 at 8.00 p.m. by three outstanding, young yet impressively merited soloists – Iwona Socha (soprano), Łukasz Gaj (tenor), and Adam Szerszeń (baritone) – accompanied by Jerzy Semkow’s Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra, will recall the most beautiful pieces of Italian opera from the Romantic and Neo-Romantic eras. The event is dedicated to all ladies on the eve of their beautiful holiday.

Opera was born under the skies of Italy, and although in the Baroque era it became popular in many countries in its local varieties, for a long time Italy remained the operatic centre, a point of reference and a model for new fashions and trends. Even though not all the composers of works presented this evening were Italian, each in some way referred to what came from Italy – Mozart wrote his most famous operas to Italian lyrics by the excellent librettist Lorenzo da Ponte. We will hear well-known and much-loved examples of this inspired collaboration. The new, Romantic trends in Italian opera manifested themselves in a style whose name says it all: belcanto, which particularly emphasises the beauty, expression and virtuosity of the voice. Gaetano Donizetti was among its masters, and his arias will also be performed. Giuseppe Verdi, whose 120th death anniversary was celebrated this year, also imbued his brilliant works with this spirit. The outstanding artists will present a representative selection of the finest compositions by this great Italian musician.

Verdi’s successors both benefited from his achievements and polemicised with them. They created new trends, including verismo parallel to literary naturalism, which revolves around simple, often sad stories of ordinary people instead of focusing on stilted and pompous figures from distant history or mythology – here Pietro Mascagni, Ruggero Leoncavallo and the great Giacomo Puccini acquired great merits. Even the digressions – pieces composed by the Seine by Gounod and Massenet included in the programme – have an Italian context: both musicians were winners of the so-called Rome Prize, founded for the laureates of a prestigious competition in Paris to enable art students to study in Italy.

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Broadcast on YouTube channel and www.sinfoniaiuventus.pl