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Wrocław | Opening of the Symphonic Season of NFM


The fifth artistic season at the NFM new venue begins, according to a long-standing tradition, with the music of Witold Lutosławski, as well as the youthful work of Karol Szymanowski and the genuinely Romantic Piano Concerto by Robert Schumann performed by Barry Douglas and the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic.

The Piano Concerto in A minor by Schumann was inspired by his loving wife Clara. At the NFM, the work will be performed by Barry Douglas, the winner of the renowned Tchaikovsky Competition in 1986, founder and artistic director of Camerata Ireland and artistic director of the Clandeboye Festival. Hailing from Ireland, he is also a fan of music from the Green Island and promotes it on CDs with his own arrangements of folk melodies.

The programme of the concert will also include elements of traditional music, and we will hear them in full swing in the Concerto for Orchestra by Witold Lutosławski. This is a piece commissioned by the Warsaw Philharmonic as ‘an extensive and virtuosic composition based on folk themes’. Lutosławski drew from the folklore of Mazovia and created a concerto with which he was not satisfied, but nevertheless considered one of the most perfect compositions in Polish music. Performed by the Wrocław Philharmonic, we will also hear the first symphonic work of Karol Szymanowski, the Concert Overture in E major, revealing the composer's obvious fascination with the work of Richard Strauss.

Giancarlo Guerrero will conduct the inauguration of the symphonic season, opening his third year as artistic director of the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic.

More information at: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/ 

Kraków| Inauguration of the 75th anniversary season of the Kraków Philharmonic


The Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Krakow opens the anniversary season 2019/2020 with two concerts: on 4 October 2019 at 7.30 p.m. and on 5 October 2019 at 6.00 p.m. at the Nowa Huta Cultural Center. The concerts will feature all the institution's ensemble: the Philharmonic Orchestra, Mixed Choir and Boys' Choir under the baton of the institution's artistic director Charles Olivieri-Munroe.

The Kraków Philharmonic, as the oldest of Polish philharmonics, celebrates the 75th anniversary of its activity. The first philharmonic concert took place in the building at Zwierzyniecka Street in Krakow on 3 February 1945. The main celebrations related to the jubilee will take place in February 2020. Before this happens, until the end of the calendar year, the main building of the Philharmonic will undergo renovation and modernization works. Therefore, the upcoming season opening concerts will take place at the Nowa Huta Cultural Center.

The inaugural evenings will begin with the overture to the opera Raymond by Ambroise Thomas. Then, we will listen to the Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 8 by Mieczysław Karłowicz performed by Aleksander Kuls, the winner of the International Jozsef Szigety Violin Competition in Budapest. The second part of the program will be filled with the monumental Te Deum by Hector Berlioz performed by the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra and both choirs. The tenor part will be sung by Erin Caves, an outstanding interpreter of Wagnerian roles.

More information at: http://www.filharmonia.krakow.pl/ 

Laureates of the Coryphaeus of Polish Music 2019


The winners of the Coryphaeus of Polish Music Award 2019 were announced on 1 October 2019 during the Gala in the Witold Lutoosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio.

Discovery of the Year: violinist Zuzanna Budzyńska and pianist Szymon Ogryzek – for promoting Polish music, successes in the international arena and for recording the album Polonaises;
Personality of the Year: Jakub Józef Orliński – countertenor, for extraordinary talent, artistic personality and expressiveness, perfect combination of beautiful voice color with impeccable vocal technique and sense of style, as well as for performing various musical genres, from sacred music to hip-hop;
Event of the Year: "10/40 Quartet in Museums" – in the 40th anniversary of existence, the Silesian Quartet performed during 10 concerts in 10 museums, presenting the most valuable works of Polish composers of the 20th century;
Honorary Award: Wiesław Ochman – for all artistic activities.

The winners selected by the Polish music community were awarded statuettes designed by Professor Adam Myjak. The awards in the Personality of the Year category and the Honorary Award were accompanied by financial awards founded successively by STOART Association of Performing Artists and ZAiKS Association of Authors.

The gala concert featured Joanna Freszel and Maciej Grzybowski, The Whoop Group, Marcin Wasilewski Trio and AUKSO Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy under the direction of Marek Moś. The programme of the concert included works by Mieczysław Karłowicz, Wojciech Kilar, Paweł Mykietyn, Tomasz Stańko, Mieczysław Weinberg and Marcin Wasilewski. The hosts of the evening were Katarzyna Sanocka and Maxymilian Bylicki.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information CentrePOLMIC.

More information at: www.koryfeusz.org.pl 

Message on the International Day of Music


For 44 years around the world, 1st October is the International Day of Music – a holiday that in 1975 was initiated by Yehudi Menuhin. The purpose of this special Day is to draw attention to the extraordinary value, importance, goodness and place that Music occupies in all of us. Without a great, although often imperceptible impact of music, our lives would be much poorer, and people without access to Music would not be themselves. [...]

The basic and also extremely important message of the International Music Day is to promote artists as those who create and convey beauty through Music. Help, recognition and appreciation of the work of young, highly talented musicians is and should be a satisfaction for slightly older, experienced representatives of the musical environment.

After thirty years of uninterrupted concert activity, I decided to combine stage work with pedagogical activity, transferring my experience to young pianists. I understood that the profession of artist-musician is not only individual work, concerts and travels. Despite many difficulties in combining different currents of my activity, I feel great satisfaction from promoting other artists.

All this year's and previous laureates of the Corypheus of Polish Music Award, presented on the International Music Day, I would like to congratulate with all the best wishes for further development of your talent and artistic personality. But above all, I wish you fulfillment in this difficult profession and true, natural, deep joy coming from the possibility of transmitting the beauty of Music to all those who desire, need and expect it from us, musicians!

Piotr Paleczny

Warsaw | Sinfonia Varsovia Chamber Music


During the upcoming concert from the Sinfonia Varsovia Chamber Music series on 2 October  2019 at 7 p.m. (272 Grochowska 272 St.) the audience will have the opportunity to listen to two works for six performers by Krzysztof Penderecki and Ernő Dohnányi.

The Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra continues the series of meetings with chamber music that began in January under the slogan "from duet to octet". After the spring-summer break, the orchestra musicians will perform in sextet composed of: Karol Sikora (clarinet), Stefano Rossi (French horn), Stanisław Podemski (violin), Adam Siebers (viola), Piotr Mazurek (cello) and Agnieszka Kozło (piano).

The sound possibilities of a six-member ensemble became a reserach field for 20th-century composers, for whom chamber music was an important part of work. A good example is Sextet in C major, Op. 37 for clarinet, horn, string trio and piano by Hungarian composer Ernő Dohnányi, which refers to late romantic aesthetics and then fashionable film music. Over 60 years later, Krzysztof Penderecki reached for the same set of instruments, writing one of his best chamber compositions. Despite the richness of textures, different tempos and rhythms, his Sextet remains a coherent and extremely clear work with a bit of lightness and characteristic irony.

More information at: www.sinfoniavarsovia.org 

Szczecin | Weinberg 100


Linus Roth and Weinberg – a story of discovery, resurrection, sound and deep understanding, in which Szczecin is also involved. On 2 October 2019 at 7 p.m., at the Mieczysław Karłowicz Szczecin Philharmonic will host a concert "Weinberg 100" on the 100th anniversary of the composer's birth.

I think we should let Roth speak first: "It was during a chamber music festival in Germany in 2010. We were practising a Schubert's trio, and then we had to go on to Mieczysław Weinberg's composition. I did not know much about him – I remember exactly when I asked if we really had to play it. My friend assured me that this is a good piece which I will like. And from the first bars, Weinberg's music spoke to me very strongly. While I was performing and listening to this composition, I felt that there are many difficult memories included in it. I started looking for information about Weinberg's works. I learned that there were five violin sonatas. Later, I received information from a publishing house that the sixth was found. The notes were sent to me electronically. Together with José Gallard, we decided to record them all."

As the artists themselves admit, that recording was their great achievement, because it was the first recording of these works in history. Then came the time for Weinberg's Violin Concerto. Linus Roth remembers that its first performance in Poland, the composer's country of origin, was very significant. It took place in the Szczecin Philharmonic in 2016. During the upcoming concert, Linus Roth and José Gallard will present works for violin and piano by Mieczysław Weinberg and Dymitr Szostakowicz, who was his friend and companion in composing.

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

Wrocław | Premiere of Zygmunt Krauze's Family Opera


The premiere of Zygmunt Krauze's opera Yemaya Queen of the Seas directed by Hanna Marasz will take place on 1 October 2019 at the Wrocław Opera.

The performance, full of magic of a fairy-tale world, at the same time hides important existential threads. The opera was created as part of the 'Composing Commissions' programme, implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance. The latest Krauze opera targets a family audience. Therefore, the work not only fulfills culture-making and popularizing functions among children and families, but also builds relationships based on shared sensivity to beauty. Yemaya – Queen of the Seas was written especially for the Wrocław Opera, promoting through its activities works of Polish composers.

The work will be presented by the Choir, Children's Choir, Ballet and Orchestra of the Wrocław Opera conducted by Adam Banaszak. The main roles will be performed by Bożena Bujnicka (Yemaya), Jacek Jaskuła (Father) and Helena Czech (Omar).

More information at: https://www.opera.wroclaw.pl 

Warsaw | The laureates of the Coryphaeus of Polish Music Award 2019 will be announced on 1st October

Koryfeusz 2019

The laureates of the 9th edition of the Coryphaeus Polish Music Award will be announced during a gala ceremony at the Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio in Warsaw on 1 October 2019 – the International Music Day. The winners selected by the Polish music community will receive statuettes in the categories: 'Personality of the Year', 'Event of the Year', 'Honorary Award' and 'Discovery of the Year'.

The award gala will be broadcast on the IMITpolska channel on YouTube www.youtube.com/user/IMITpolska and on Polish Radio Programme 2. The transmission will start at 7.30 p.m. The concert will feature soprano Joanna Freszel and pianist Maciej Grzybowski, the saxophone quartet The Whoop Group, Marcin Wasilewski Trio and the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy under the direction of Marek Moś.

Nominees in the category 'Personality of the year': Łukasz Długosz – flautist; Jakub Józef Orliński – counter-tenor; Martyna Pastuszka – violinist; Maciej Prochaska – musicologist; Aga Zaryan – jazz vocalist. Nominees in the category 'Event of the Tear': Prince Władysław Lubomirski Festival; Kromer Biecz Festival; 10/40 Kwartet w Muzeach; Moniuszko for the World; Moniuszko. Halka. Nominees in the category 'Discovery of the Year': Zuzanna Budzyńska i Szymon Ogryzek – chamber musicians; Janusz Olejniczak – radio music promoter; Jakub Józef Orliński – counter-tenor; Tomasz Ritter – pianist; Sasha Strunin – jazz vocalist. Due to the nature of the Honorary Award, the winner's name will be announced at the awards gala

The winners will receive the Coryphaeus statuette designed by Prof. Adam Myjak. The financial awards are funded by the ZAiKS Association of Authors and the STOART Association of Performing Artists. The event is organized by the Institute of Music and Dance and Polish Radio Programme 2.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information about the nominees and award gala atwww.koryfeusz.org.pl.

Warsaw | Mozart, Panufnik and Schubert performed by Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus


On 28 September 2019 at 7 p.m. at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Jerzy Semkow Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus conducted by Daniel Stabraw, who will also appear as a soloist that evening, will perform symphonic works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert and Andrzej Panufnik.

Andrzej Panufnik, an outstanding Polish composer who resided in Great Britain since the 1950s, has developed his own individual style, a rich and genuine harmonic language in particular; at the same time, he had always been fond of clear forms and showed a visible preference for beautiful melodies and a euphonia of sound, which linked him to the Neoclassical current. All these features can be found in the Violin Concerto composed at the commission of the great violin player Yehudi Menuhin. Shortly before the commission, the composer, who was the son of the splendid luthier Tomasz Panufnik, was given his father’s precious violin previously owned by Dawid Ojstrach. Deeply touched by this gift, he was even more eager to accept the commission. “I believe that when I composed a piece for violin, I was deeply affected by my childhood memories, such as the smell of wood my father made his instruments of, or my mother’s play. Thus, for me, the piece was a form of a journey back, inevitably saturated with the spirit of Poland […] I therefore decided to focus on the violin as an instrument with a warm, expressive sound” – he wrote about his piece. The Concerto’s values and an excellent interpretation of Menuhin contributed to its immense popularity. The piece was played by numerous violinists, eagerly recorded and still remains one of Andrzej Panufnik’s most famous works.

The excellent soloist and conductor, Daniel Stabrawa – the first concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic and, since 1995, the director and conductor of Capella Bydgostiensis, will complement the concert’s programme with a youthful, charming and melodic Violin Concerto No. 1 by Mozart and Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 (similarly composed by a teenage genius).

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://sinfoniaiuventus.pl/28wrzesnia/