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POLIN Music Festival 2021: #online

POLINA special edition of POLIN Music Festival will be held online on 26-28 February 2021. Premieres of the concerts will take place at the POLIN Museum Facebook profile and on the Museum YouTube channel. The music journey will lead the audience from Switzerland, through Belgium, Poland and Ukraine all the way to the United States. We will be listening to the music composed by Bloch, Gershwin, Glass, Freidlin, Piazzolla and Weinberg.

The programme will include six concerts. Violinist Michael Guttman, curator of the Festival, together with cellist Jing Zhao will perform Suite Hebraïque by Ernest Bloch. Polish musicians of the younger generation: Ewa Leszczyńska, Maria Sławek, Marcin Zdunik and Mischa Kozłowski will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the passing of Mieczysław Weinberg by presenting the songs he composed to Yiddish lyrics. Alexey Botvinov and Eric Himy will perform the music by Philip Glass, Jan Freidlin and George Gershwin during their piano recitals. The final concert will commemorate Astor Piazzolla’s 100th birth anniversary. The youngest music lovers, including children with special sensory needs, will learn the secrets of string quartet thanks to the musicians of the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra.

As part of POLIN Music Festival, the organisers have also planned the premieres of podcasts devoted to the musicians who are heroes of the "Legacy" gallery, a new section of the POLIN Museum core exhibition. They will introduce the works by Bronisław Huberman, Artur Rubinstein and Henryk Wars to the Festival audience.

More information: https://polin.pl/pl/polin-music-festival-2021 

Rzeszów | Symphony Orchestra of Artur Malawski Philharmonic and Massimiliano Caldi

FPThe Artur Malawski Philharmonic in Rzeszów invites you to a symphonic concert on 26 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m.

The programme will include Michał Spisak's Toccata (1942), a work dazzling with orchestral colours, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. The piece was written in a highly emotional period in the composer's life. It is a result of his creative successes (after composing Piano Concerto No. 1 and the ballet Swan Lake) and dramatic experiences related to a failed marriage. The confidant of the composer's most secret thoughts at that time was Nadezhda von Meck, to whom Tchaikovsky dedicated his symphony. In one of the letters addressed to his patroness, the composer revealed the meaning of this work. The fanfare first heard at the opening stands for "Fate", with this being "the fatal power which prevents one from attaining the goal of happiness". This motif recurs in the Allegro con fuoco finale.

The concert will be performed by the Symphony Orchestra of Artur Malawski Philharmonic under the baton of the outstanding Italian conductor Massimiliano Caldi. Winner of the first prize at the Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors (1999), Caldi is the principal conductor of the Rzeszów Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.

More informationhttp://www.filharmonia.rzeszow.pl/ 

Kraków | 100th death anniversary of Władysław Żeleński

FKThe Krakow Philharmonic will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Władysław Żeleński with a concert on 26 February 2021 at 7.30 p.m.

As the most influential Polish composer of the fin-de-siècle, Władysław Żeleński occupies an important place in the history of Polish music. His compositional output includes 4 operas, nearly 100 solo songs, 19 orchestral works, 10 occasional cantatas for choir and orchestra, many choral and chamber compositions, 36 preludes and 12 organ fugues, numerous pieces for solo piano and for 4 hands. Unfortunately, many of his works have been lost, including both symphonies.

The programme of the upcoming concert will include Żeleński's Andante from Symphony No. 1Piano Concerto, Angels' Singing for soprano, female choir and orchestra, as well as Psalm No. 46 for male choir and orchestra to words by Jan Kochanowski. In 2020, the latter piece was published in electronic version next to three other unknown manuscripts of orchestral works by the Władysław Żeleński Foundation with a seat in the composer's birthplace – Grodkowice. The concert will be performed by pianist Piotr Sałajczyk, soprano Magdalena Drozd and the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir conducted by Sebastian Perłowski.

The detailed programme is available at: https://www.filharmonia.krakow.pl/Home/9415-KONCERT_ORATORYJNY.html 

Szczecin | "Adela" at the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic

FSzOn 26 February 2021 at 7 p.m., three weeks after the premiere of "Adela" – the latest album of the duo Aleksander Dębicz and Łukasz Kuropaczewski, the Szczecin Philharmonic invites you to a unique concert in the place where the album was recorded – the Symphony Hall of the Philharmonic. 

The album was relased on 5 February 2021 by the Warner Classics. According to Aleksander Dębicz: "The piano and classical guitar virtually never collaborate in music. However, after our first joint performance with Łukasz Kuropaczewski we immediately realised that we could create intriguing music worlds together. In my arrangements of classical works, I strove to represent the sonic qualities of both instruments, their unique expression, and cultural associations. I reworked Domenico Scarlatti’s famous Sonata in D Minor (Toccata) K. 141 so as to bring out its Spanish roots. Titled Domingo on our album, it features distinctive flamenco qualities and an improvised layer. The Aranjuez Concerto BWV 1056 is, as its very name suggests, a fusion of the world’s most famous piece for guitar and orchestra, Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in F Minor BWV 1056."

"Three of the works on this album have been enriched by the angelic voice of Jakub Józef Orliński. In these three, Egberto Gismonti’s guitar composition Água e Vinho, my own Quarantine Song, and even the famous Adela by Joaquin Rodrigo, the voice has been treated more as an instrument than a lyrical subject. Adela constitutes the emotional culmination of our duo’s programme. What counts is not the name, but the person we love and long for. Everyone certainly has such a person, and so we hope that each listener will find on our CD something close to his or her heart."

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

Wrocław | Song of Gratitude

SzymanowskiLutosławski Quartet will perform two string quartets by Karol Szymanowski and Ludwig van Beethoven on 25 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m. at the National Forum of Music. Both works were created in difficult times for the artists who sought relief in music. Beethoven called one of the movements of his quartet a "holy song of thanksgiving of a convalescent".

Szymanowski composed the String Quartet No. 1 in C major, Op. 37 in 1917, during one of the most difficult periods of his life, when the revolutionaries and the Soviet communist party escalated their activities against landowners, forcing him and his family to leave their Tymoszówka estate. Composed in Elisavetgrad and regarded as one of Szymanowski's most inspired works, it had clearly been influenced by those dramatic events. After the premiere of the quartet in Warsaw in March 1924, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz wrote: "In no previous work of his could one feel such hot breath of the south, not the heat of the Sicilian afternoon, nor the mournful glow of Greece, when the Pan’s flute drives hearts to death, but a heat that is succulent, ripe, and fragrant with the grain of the Ukraine… the wailing, that mixes on a hot afternoon… with the high hum of the cicadas". Szymanowski’s comments about the quartet were somewhat restrained: "I do not count it among my favourite compositions, but it does represent something of value".

String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132 is one of Beethoven's late works. It is a powerful, monumental, five-movement composition. The composer wrote this piece after recovering from a serious illness which he had feared was fatal. He thus headed the movement with the words, "Holy song of thanksgiving of a convalescent to the Deity, in the Lydian mode". However, the fast section bears the annotation "feeling new strength".

More information at: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/en/component/nfmcalendar/event/8236

Poznań | Maestro Antoni Wit at the Poznań Academy of Music

BairdA unique concert at the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań will be held on 25 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m. The student Symphony Orchestra and the Academy's teachers, Barbara Kubiak (soprano) and Jarosław Bręk (baritone), will perform under the baton of Maestro Antoni Wit.

Since 1987 Barbara Kubiak, a graduate of the Academy of Music in Poznań, has been permanently associated with the Grand Theatre in Poznań. She collaborates with the best opera theaters in Poland. She went on numerous international tours with the Grand Theatre in Łódź, the Krakow Opera, the Lower Silesian Opera and the Grand Theatre in Poznań, including to the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany and Great Britain. Barbara Kubiak also performs in oratorio and concert repertoire. Jarosław Bręk graduated from the Vocal Department of the Academy of Music in Warsaw, where he studied with prof. Jerzy Artysz. He has collaborated with 150 orchestras and 200 choirs from around the world, has performed over 20 opera parts and over 140 oratorios. He was awarded the Silver Cross of Merit, the Bronze Gloria Artis Medal, the Badge of Merit for Polish Culture, the Honorary Badge for merits for the Greater Poland Voivodeship and the Honorary Badge for merits for the Lubuskie Voivodeship. Since 2000, he has been the leading soloist of the Warsaw Chamber Opera.

The programme of the concert in Aula Nova will include Tadeusz Baird's Four love sonnets to words by William Shakespeare and Ludwig van Beethoven's concert aria Ah! Perfido, Op. 65 and Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92. The evening will be hosted by Mikołaj Rykowski.

The concert will be held with the participation of the audience. Free tickets will be issued immediately before the concert.

More information at: https://amuz.edu.pl/ 

Jan Węcowski has passed away...

Wecowski JanComposer and musicologist Jan Węcowski died in Warsaw on 11 February 2021, at the age of 89. Since 1964 he was a member of the Polish Composers 'Union and in 1973-1975 he was president of the PCU's Warsaw Branch. He was a long-term lecturer at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy Music in Warsaw and the editor-in-chief of the Academy's publishing house.

He graduated in musicology from the University of Warsaw, where he studied with Hieronim Feicht. He also completed supplementary studies in history and classical philology as well as a library course at the University of Warsaw. Already from 1957 he was engaged in teaching. He was a member of many organizations and associations.

In the years 1960-1981 he collaborated with the Polish Radio and created over 500 music programmes and wrote over 200 album reviews. From 1990 to 1992 he was the artistic director of the Polish Radio and advisor to the vice president of the Radio and Television Committee. In 1967-88 he was editor, director and artistic director of the Veriton record label, and in 1988-90 he was artistic director and deputy representative at the Arston record label. From 1970 he collaborated with Polish Television. In 1998–2006 he was the editor-in-chief of the Publishing House of the Academy of Music in Warsaw.

As a musicologist, he participated in many scientific conferences in Poland and abroad. He discovered the oldest known preserved music manuscript in Poland – Exsultet (ca. 1060) from the Tyniec Sacramentarium and several dozen early music pieces (including by Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki). On his initiative about 500 early and contemporary music pieces have been published.

Jan Węcowski's compositions were performed in Poland and abroad, incl. in France, Italy and Germany, and have been released on many CDs. He was also the author of Polish and Latin poetry texts and translations from French, Italian and Latin, which were used in numerous works by Polish composers.

Warsaw | National preliminary round of the 2nd Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music 2021

IMiTThe national preliminary round of the 2nd Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music will be held in Warsaw on 4 and 5 May 2021. It is addressed to candidates holding Polish citizenship or the Karta Polaka (Polish Ethnicity Card), regardless of their place of residence. The deadline for the submission of applications is 15 April 2021.

The Qualification Committee of the preliminary round will select up to ten qualifiers in each of two categories – pianists and chamber ensembles. The participants who qualify in such a way are exempted from the entry fee and are further awarded a scholarship sufficient to cover the costs of travel and accommodation during their stay in Rzeszów (11–18 September 2021).

During the preliminary round held in Warsaw, the candidates from the piano category are required to perform the entire programme of Stage I of the Competition, pursuant to Annex A (attached to the Rulebook), not exceeding 20 minutes of musical presentation. The candidates from the chamber ensemble category are required to perform the programme from Stage I, pursuant to Annex B (attached to the Rulebook), not exceeding 20 minutes of musical presentation; performance of individual movements will be accepted. The candidates wishing to take part in the preliminary round should submit their applications by filling in e-forms available on the website of the Competition: pianists and chamber ensembles.

The 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. The Prize Winners Concert will be repeated at the National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw on 20 September 2021. The participants will contest in two categories: for pianists and for chamber ensembles, with the total prize money exceeding 80,000 euros.

The Rules and Regulations of the Competition are available at: https://www.konkursmuzykipolskiej.pl/article/contest-rules 

Kraków | Faces of Piano – a special concert for 1, 2, 4 and 6 hands

SPMKThe Polish Chamber Musicians' Association and the Pro Musica Bona Foundation invite you to a special online concert streamed live from the Władysław Żeleński State Secondary Music School in Kraków on 23 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m.

The "Faces of Piano" project is a series of concerts presenting various faces of piano music – from solo pieces to chamber works for various ensembles. The upcoming event will feature 9 pianists (Anna Duda, Łukasz Dębski, Dominika Grzybacz, Monika Gardoń-Preinl, Marta Mołodyńska-Wheeler, Agnieszka Plata, Ireneusz Boczek, Grzegorz Mania and Piotr Różański) who will perform pieces for 1, 2, 4 and 6 hands!

The programme will include works by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Moritz Moszkowski, Antonín Dvořák, Mike Cornick, Frank Bridge, and Piotr Tchaikovsky. The concert will also premiere Mołodyjka and Fiesta de nieve (for 2 and 6 hands) by Marta Mołodyńska-Wheeler, a star of the Polsat TV show "Beautiful Brain".

Free passes are available at:https://app.evenea.pl/event/oblicza3/ 

More information athttps://spmk.com.pl/ and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stowarzyszeniekameralistow