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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. 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.

Warsaw | Chamber Music Concert in Memory of Mieczysław Weinberg


Mieczysław Weinberg, whose 100th birth anniversary we celebrate this year, is one of the "great absentees" of Polish music of the last century – it has only been a dozen years since his compositions appear more and more frequently in concert programmes around the world. His works will be performed by the outstanding violinist Gidon Kremer at the National Philharmonic on 10 December 2019 at 7 p.m.

Weinberg's I Sonata for solo violin, Op. 82 was written in 1964 for the violinist Mikhail Fichtenholz. The five-part composition combines elements of Baroque, Classical and Romantic traditions. VI Sonata for violin and piano, Op. 136 bis was written in 1982, but the composer did not include it in the official catalog of his works and until 2007 it remained unknown. Dedicated to the "Memory of my mother", it was created shortly after Weinberg found out –  almost 40 years after the fact! –  about the tragic fate of his family who died during World War II in the Nazi labor camp in Trawniki in the Lublin region. This is undoubtedly one of the composer's most personal works.

The trio of outstanding musicians – Gidon Kremer, Georgijs Osokins and Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė – will also perform Ferruccio Busoni's Chaconne based on Chaconne from the Violin Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004 by J.S. Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven's Triple Concerto in C Major, Op. 56, arranged for piano trio by Carl Reinecke.

More information at: http://www.filharmonia.pl/koncerty-i-bilety/repertuar/koncert-kameralny60 

Zielona Góra | Visions – Inspirations – References

Sepia Ensemble

The "Visions – Inspirations – References" concert on the 20th anniversary of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Zielona Góra and the Year Grażyna Bacewicz will take place on 10 December 2019 at 6 p.m. in the chamber hall of the Zielona Góra Philharmonic (10 Powstańców Wielkopolskich Square).

The planned concert is the fruit of cooperation of the Institute of Music of the University of Zielona Góra with the Composition Department of the I.J. Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań. The concert is devoted to the work of contemporary composers representing Zielona Góra and Poznań.

The concert programme includes chamber works by Grażyna Bacewicz as well as compositions by contemporary composers written over the past several years, including three premieres: Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska's BallaDo-BallaRe for flute and piano (2019), Katarzyna Kwiecień-Długosz's In a snare (BACG) for four performers (2019) and Juliusz Karcz's Quartetto danzante for flute, violin, cello and piano (2019). This repertoire will be presented by Sepia Ensemble twice: on 10 December 2019 in Zielona Góra and on 15 January 2020 in Poznań.

The upcoming concert will be hosted by Elżbieta Samosiuk. Admission is free!

Full programme available at: http://www.imu.uz.zgora.pl/koncert-muzyki-kameralnej-wizje-inspiracje-nawiazania/ 

Katowice | Concert of laureates of the 4th ATMA Polish National Competition for Musical Personalities


The laureates of the 4th ATMA Polish National Competition for Musical Personalities will perform on 9 December 2019 at 7.30 p.m. in the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall in Katowice.

By the jury's decision, Paweł Wojciechowski, a 16-year-old pianist from Warsaw, became the winner of this year's, 4th edition of the ATMA Polish National Competition for Musical Personalities. He is a student of Joanna Ławrynowicz at the Zenon Brzewski Secondary Music School in Warsaw. The laureate of the Competition can not only enjoy financial prizes (PLN 5,000 and the Schimmel Pianos award – PLN 5,000), but above all he is honored with the opportunity to appear as a soloist with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra at its headquarters in Katowice. The other finalists also received the NOSPR Award of Ewa Bogusz-Moore – they will all perform at the headquarters of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice during chamber concerts.

The upcoming concert will feature Szymon Drabiński, Wilhelm Pilch and Milena Pioruńska, who will present a programme composed of works by Fryderyk Chopin, Karol Szymanowski and Roman Ryterband.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

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

Łódź | 2nd Grażyna Bacewicz International Violin Competition

AM Łódź

The Academy of Music in Łódź invites you to the 2nd Grażyna Bacewicz International Violin Competition, which will be inaugurated with a symphonic concert on 8 December 2019 at the Concert Hall at 2a Żubardzka Street. The two-stage auditions will be held on 9-14 December in the Academy's Chamber Hall. The results of the competition will be announced on 14 December during the laureates concert (6.00 p.m.). Admission to the auditions and the final concert is free. The auditions will be also broadcast live.

This year's edition was open to violinists of all nationalities with no age limit. 96 violinists from 27 countries will participate in the auditions. They will be judged by the international jury chaired by Łukasz Błaszczyk. The jury memebers: Adam Balas, Bartosz Bryła, Eszter Haffner, Alexey Koshvanets and Szymon Krzeszowiec.

The organizers received 152 applications, out of which 97 participants were selected from such countries as: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Germany, Norway, Poland , Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Italy. The participants has to perform two works by Grażyna Bacewicz, with Polish Caprice being a must in the second stage. In addition to the main prizes, the jury will award a special prize for the best performance of Grażyna Bacewicz's composition.

The inaugural symphony concert will feature Sławomir Wilga – the first prize winner of the first edition of the Competition. He will perform the solo part in the Bacewicz's 7th Violin Concerto. The Symphony Orchestra of the Academy of Music in Łódź will be conducted by Jerzy Salwarowski – an outstanding conductor who celebrates the 50th anniversary of artistic work this year. Under his baton, the orchestra will also present the Eternal Songs symphonic poem, Op. 10 by Mieczysław Karłowicz and the "Fairy Tale" fantastic overture by Stanisław Moniuszko.

The competition is part of the 2nd Grażyna Bacewicz International Music Festival in Łódź, organized as part of the celebration of the 110th anniversary of the birth and 50th anniversary of the death of this outstanding Polish composer and violinist.

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 

Poznań | Hey, Christmas Carol!


The Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra Amadeus invites you on 8 December 2019 at 6 p.m. to the Hall of the University of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań for a concert "Hey, Christmas Carol".

The orchestra conducted by Agnieszka Duczmal will perform pieces by Mikołaj Górecki, Karol Lipiński and Maciej Małecki. The soloists will be one of the most famous Polish violinists, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, and the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest for Young Musicians 2016, saxophonist Łukasz Dyczko. The group of performers will also include the Chamber Choir of the University of Adam Mickiewicz under the direction of Krzysztof Szydzisz.

The programme of the concert will consist of works by Polish composers: Concerto-Notturno (version for saxophone and string orchestra) by Mikołaj Górecki, Rondeau de concert, Op. 18 and Variations on themes from Gioacchin Rossini's opera "Cinderella", Op. 11 by Karol Lipiński and Silent Night – Polish Christmas Concert for choir and sting orchestra by Maciej Małecki. The concert is held under the patronage of the PWM Edition as part of the TUTTI.pl project promoting the performances of Polish music.

More information at: www.amadeus.pl 

Katowice | The premiere of "Quasi una Sonata" by Krzysztof Meyer

World-famous artists, recitals, chamber music, wide repertoire and interesting interpretations – you will find it all in the NOSPR concert series "Masterly". On 8 December 2019 at 6.00 p.m. Maciej Frąckiewicz, Łukasz Kuropaczewski and Marek Bracha will take us on a journey through various musical styles.

The star of the evening will be Maciej Frąckiewicz – an exquisite accordionist, winner of the Polityka Passport Award and multiple international awards. The instrumentalist actively cooperates with contemporary composers. He inspired the creation of nearly 100 new compositions. The recital at NOSPR will include the first performance of another work dedicated to Frąckiewicz, Quasi una Sonata for guitar and accordion, which he will perform with an acclaimed guitarist, Łukasz Kuropaczewski.

Moreover, the programme will include a range of accordion sonatas, from 19th-century ones, originally written for the concertina (a prototype of the bandoneon), to sophisticated contemporary works, exploring new technical possibilities offered by the accordion, including Dariusz Przybylski's Sonata da chiesa for solo accordion, Op. 72.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

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

Warsaw | 100th anniversary of Wajnberg’s birthday at POLIN Museum


Mieczysław Weinberg was born on 8 December 1919 in Warsaw. He is the author of the opera titled The Passenger, the Kaddish Symphony and over 150 other pieces which are now being re-discovered by musicians all across the world. On the occasion of the composer’s 100th birthday, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews invites its audience to the three concerts on three consecutive evenings, on 7-9 December 2019.

On Saturday, 7 December, flutist Ania Karpowicz, pianist Marek Bracha and the Hashtag Strings will perform a programme composed of Weinberg’s early pieces. For the evening’s finale, we will listen to the Double Concerto for flute, grand piano and strings, a new piece by young Warsaw-based composer Mikołaj Majkusiak, inspired by Weinberg’s 21th Symphony Kaddish.

On Sunday, 8 December, a meeting with Dr Daniel Elphick, a British musicologist whose book titled Music behind the Iron Curtain: Weinberg and his Polish Contemporaries has just been published by Cambridge University Press, will take place at POLIN Museum. University of London lecturer will talk about Polish and Jewish threads in Weinberg’s life opus. Following the meeting, a duet of Mark Glanville (bass-baritone) and Marc Verter (grand piano) will present the material from their new record titled Citizen of Nowhere. POLIN Museum’s main hall will resound with, i.a., songs composed by Weinberg to the lyrics of Tuwim and Peretz.

On Monday evening, 9 December, Gidon Kremer, the leading ambassador of the Polish-Jewish composer’s oeuvre will perform for the finale of the Wajnberg@100 series. This eminent Latvian violinist and conductor will perform the Polish premiere of Chronicle of Current Events. Weinberg’s music will be accompanied by a video screening. Kremer will be accompanied by the Kremerata Baltica orchestra and the soloists: Eszter Zemlenyi (soprano) and Georgijs Osokins (grand piano).

More information at: https://www.polin.pl/pl/aktualnosci/2019/11/06/100-rocznica-urodzin-mieczyslawa-wajnberga 

Warsaw | Krzysztof Herdzin: One Man – Orchestra


Although terms such as “an icon of Polish jazz” are sometimes overused, in the case of Krzysztof Herdzin, they are absolutely justified and well deserved. The Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra will perform under his baton in the Witolda Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio on 7 December 2019 at 7 p.m.

This outstanding artist – a pianist, chamber musician, conductor, composer, arranger, band leader, producer and academic lecturer – is one of the greatest musicians of his generation and, although generally associated with the jazz scene, he is also active in the sphere of classical music (as a well-educated graduate of the Music Academy in Bydgoszcz, including a class taught by the incredible K. Popowej-Zydroń) and pop. He is the first Polish composer to record for DECCA Records in London, the monographic album Suite on Polish Themes, with one of the most famous orchestras worldwide – the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

Selected compositions from this incredibly fascinating album will be included in the programme of the concert in December, conducted by the composer himself and featuring talented soloist performers Katarzyna Budnik (viola) and Paweł Gusnar (saxophone). The programme will highlight Herdzin’s activity as a composer, whose works, varied in form and genre (including those ordered by the Polish Composers’ Union and the Institute of Music and Dance), have resounded at prestigious festivals, as well as in the best Polish and foreign concert halls. “I would describe the compositions on the album Suite on Polish Themes as impressionist-neoclassical and strongly associated with Polish folklore,” said the artist of his London recording. “This is contemporary music with expanded tonality, inspired both by my Polish masters – Karol Szymanowski, Grażyna Bacewicz, Tadeusz Baird, Wojciech Kilar – as well as Shostakovich, Prokofiev and the French group Les Six.”

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: www.sinfoniaiuventus.pl