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Warsaw | International Organ Concerts Cycle: Michał Markuszewski

Michal Markuszewski

The Evangelical-Reformed Parish in Warsaw invites you to the final concert of the year-round cycle of organ recitals on the historic organ built by the Schlag und Söhne company in 1900, which will take place on 15 December 2019 at 7.00 p.m.

The historic instrument, restored years ago, is used not only during the Sunday liturgy. You can also admire its wonderful, beautiful and warm sound during organ recitals. Prominent musicians from six European countries took part in the tenth jubilee edition: Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Greece, Italy and Poland. Their recitals include masterpieces of organ music, works by Western European composers and Polish artists, among others compositions by Mieczysław Surzyński.

The final concert will be performed by the festival's artistic director, Michał Markuszewski, PhD, Habil. The programme will be filled with improvised music inspired by a classic of silent cinema – Nosferatu (1922) directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau.

Admission to the concert is free (the church is heated).

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: www.festiwal.reformowani.pl 

Wrocław | Journey to Scotland


Travels have often been an important source of inspiration for composers, including Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Karol Szymanowski and Michał Ziółkowski. We will listen to their works during the concert on 15 December 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the National Forum of Music in the interpretation of the Karol Lipiński Academic of Music Symphony Orchestra in Wrocław under the direction of Wojciech Rodek.

Travels have often been an important source of inspiration for composers. Felix Mendelssohn first visited Great Britain in 1829. His visit to Staffa Island resulted in the creation of a concert overture of The Hebrides, while the view of The Ruins of Holyrood Chapel inspired him to start working on a symphony that went down in history as “Scottish”.

Karol Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 4 was written in just four months, from March to June 1932. The composer could not decide whether to write a piano concerto or a symphony, which is why he finally decided to create a symphony with a solo piano part. He adapted the technical difficulties to his own performance capabilities, and in one of his letters he described the composition as a “first-class trick”. The work is accessible to the audience, cheerful and attractive. This is due to the singing, charming melody and the skilful combination of the piano part with the shimmering orchestra.

This evening we will also hear the Black Swan by Michał Ziółkowski, a composer of the young generation, student of Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil.

More information at: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/component/nfmcalendar/event/7758 

Łódź | The Signs of Time


The interdisciplinary artistic project The Signs of Time – a combination of organ music, choreography, live-electronics, literary text and lighting installation, will be presented at the Łódź Philharmonic on 15 December 2019 at 5 p.m. 

The event is a joint venture of pedagogues and students of the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Music Academy in Łódź and Musikhochschule Lübeck, whose cooperation was initiated in 2018 thanks to a similar project implemented in the Church of St. Jacob in Lubeck thanks to the patronage of Stiftung zum 7. Dezember 1970. The concept of the event scheduled for 15 December was prepared by professors Elżbieta Aleksandrowicz, Franz Danksagmüller and Krzysztof Urbaniak and refers directly to the history of 4 cultures coexisting in the former Łódź. The space of the concert hall of the Łódź Philharmonic will be divided into 4 spheres defined by 4 organ instruments: symphonic organs, baroque organs, organ positive and a small organ model.

The organ works, which will be presented during the evening, refere to 4 communities that make up the historic Łódź agglomeration and – more broadly – the Łódź region. The group of Polish works will include Toccata from the Organ Symphony No. 9 by Feliks Nowowiejski, who personally inaugurated in 1934 the organs of the Zgierz parish church built by the renowned company of Wacław Biernacki. Toccata by Max Drischner, composer and organist of the famous Engler organs in then Lower-Silesian Brzeg Dolny, refers to the historic Łódź organ, built, among others, by renowned Silesian organ workshops such as Schlag und Söhne, Gebrüder Walther or Rieger from Jägerndorf in the former Opavian Silesia. Hell und Dunkel by Sofia Gubaidulin will function as a free reference to Łódź's Russian past. The dramatic fate of the Jewish community of the city of Łódź will be commented on by the organ transcription of Agnus Dei from Krzysztof Penderecki's Polish Requiem.

More information at: https://www.facebook.com/events/559825944562775/ 

Katowice | New Music Orchestra: Marcel Pérès


The New Music Orchestra together with the vocalists of Schola Cantorum Minorum Chosoviensis under the direction of Maciej Tomasiewicz will perform the latest composition by Marcel Pérès – Mysteria Apocalypsis II. The concert will take place on 15 December 2019 at 6 p.m. in the chamber hall of the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.

There is no more mysterious, even strange book in the New Testament than the Apocalypse of Saint John. The images of the end of the world have been feeding our imaginations for centuries. Marcel Pérès referred to this text in his two-part Mysteria Apocalypsis. As a singer and scientist, Pérès revolutionized the performance of ancient music. He restored influences of Corsican, Byzantine, Arab, Hebrew and even Egyptian traditions, all forgotten over the centuries, in the practice of Gregorian chant. He proved wrong the common belief that medieval music is sterile and emotionless.

Experience in various types of singing – although present in culture for over a thousand years, sounding even exotic to us – is used by Pérès in his work as a composer. In the Mysteria Apocalypsis II, which received its world premiere this year, the composer combined not only different vocal traditions, but also contemporary instrumental texture. The text for his composition was taken from chapters 21 and 22 of the book, describing the new earth and new heaven, the world of happiness and peace.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

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

Katowice | Up and reach the places out of sight: a special project


The International Day of People with Disabilities is celebrated every year in December. On this occasion, from 10 to 14 December 2019, the Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Silesian Philharmonic in Katowice will present a special project: the fairy tale Salija based on the opera of the same title by Krzysztof Dobosiewicz and Małgorzata Szwajlik.

"Up and reach the places out of sight" is the interdisciplinary educational project of the Silesian Philharmonic addressed to the blind and visually impaired, increasing their comfort of life. The project includes concerts with the possibility of interactive participation using instruments created during the workshops. As part of the project, the audience will have a chance to experience the world as it is experienced by people with visual impairments. The programme is also adapted to the dysfunctions of recipients so that they can take an active part in the events.

The musical work composed by Krzysztof Dobosiewicz based on the libretto of the opera Salija by Małgorzata Szwajlik will take the audience to magical places and move their imagination. It will tell the story of Salia, a girl who learns to appreciate what she has – home, family, everyday life and little joys. The classic tale with a moral will gain a new, musical dimension enriched by the participation of machines appearing here as a choir. The work will be performed at the chamber concerts, during which the participants of the workshops will form a kind of rhythmic section, playing not only on traditional musical instruments, but also on instruments made by themselves. In this way, people with disabilities will actively contribute to the project, learning the elements of a musical work in practice.

More information at: https://filharmonia-slaska.eu/production/tam-siegaj-gdzie-wzrok-nie-siega-projekt-specjalny/ 

Warsaw | Roman Statkowski Days of Music. From Warsaw to Hollywood


"Roman Statkowski Days of Music. From Warsaw to Hollywood ”are four concerts presenting both music of the event's patron and his outstanding students. The festival will last from 10 to 20 December 2019. The concerts will take place at the Agnieszka Osiecka and Władysław Szpilman Polish Radio Concert Studios.

Roman Statkowski, whose 160th anniversary of birth will be celebrated on 24 December 2019, is one of the great forgotten Polish composers and music teacherers. Among his students were Henryk Wars and Victor Young (one of the greatest composers of American film music, 22 times nominated for an Oscar award, which he finally received posthumously; creator of many jazz standards played by Duke Ellington and Miles Davis). These composers owed a lot to Statkowski's music, in particular the opera Maria, and achieved great success in the film industry. After the death of Roman Statkowski in 1925, his valuable work quickly fell into oblivion (the exception was the overture to Maria).

The goal of the "Roman Statkowski Days of Music" is to remind the audience and listeners of the work and influence of this outstanding composer. We will listen to the jazz arrangements of works by Henryk Wars (10 December, Bogdan Hołownia and Wojciech Pulcyn duo) and Victor Young (11 December, Kuba Stankiewicz ensemble), as well as Roman Statkowski's compositions (12 December, Magdalena Lisak recital; 20 December, Lutosławski Quartet).

All concerts will be broadcast on Polish Radio Chopin and will be conducted by Grzegorz Dąbrowski. In addition, on 22 and 29 December, Klaudia Baranowska will discuss Roman Statkowski's work in the "Composer of the Month" series.

Full programme of the Festival is available athttps://www.polskieradio.pl/326/6378/Artykul/2414180,DNI-MUZYKI-ROMANA-STATKOWSKIEGO 

Sopot | 5. International Choir Festival of Advent & Christmas Music 2019


The International Choir Festival of Advent & Christmas Music Mundus Cantat Sopot will be held for the fifth time on 14-15 December 2019.

This unique event smelling of gingerbread, cinnamon and Christmas tree will put the Tri-City community in a joyful mood while waiting for Christmas. The festival is a competition during which the participating choirs will compete for the prize of the Mayor of Sopot, Jacek Karnowski.

It will be a unique opportunity to listen to Christmas carols from around the world performed by talented choirs. Six choirs from Szczecin, Police, Nakło, Wejherowo, Gdańsk and Sopot will take part in the Festival. The choirs will carol in many languages ​​of the world in different places in Sopot – the Sopot Centre, the Star of the Sea Church, Sopot City Hall and the Church of Christ. The participants will be judged by a professional jury composed of outstanding specialists in the field of choral music – choral conductors, professors of the Music Academy in Gdańsk: Waldemar Górski, Michał Kozorys and Beata Wróblewska.

The auditions will begin on Saturday, 14 December at 11:00 a.m. at the Star of the Sea Church. After the auditions, the festival choirs will present themselves to a wider audience in the Sopot Centre. The Final Concert, during which the results of the competiton will be announced, will be held on the same day at 3:30 p.m. at the Star of the Sea Church.

The festival's culmination will be the annual concert dedicated to the memory of Michael Ray Dawidow, which will take place in the Church of Christ on 15 December at 5.00 p.m. The concert will be performd by the SSW Festival Choir Mundus Cantat conducted by Beata Wróblewska and the Gdańsk Choir of Doctors conducted by Michał Kozorys. Toys, sweets and bandages for children from the hospital in Kiev, Ukraine will be collected during the event.

The festival is organised by the Mundus Cantat Foundation and the City of Sopot. Admission to all concerts is free!

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: http://munduscantat.pl/5-miedzynarodowy-festiwal-choralny-muzyki-adwentowej-i-swiatecznej-2019/ 

Results of the 2nd Grażyna Bacewicz International Violin Competition!


The 2nd Grażyna Bacewicz International Violin Competitio organized by the Academy of Music in Łódź ended on 14 December 2019 with a Concert of Laureates.

Auditions of the first stage lasted four days due to the very large number of participants qualified to the competition. According to the regulations, there was no age limit. The youngest participant was 13 years old, the oldest – 47, the vast majority of violinists were of student age. Sixteen artists performed during the 2-day auditions of the second stage: six from Poland, two from Russia, two from Japan and one from Armenia, Bulgaria, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Participants were judged by a jury composed of: Łukasz Błaszczyk (chairman), Adam Balas, Bartosz Bryła, Eszter Haffner, Alexey Koshvanets and Szymon Krzeszowiec.

The first prize (PLN 20,000) went to 20-year-old Bulgarian Martin Zayranov, a student of the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, a laureate of violin competitions in France, Bulgaria, Romania, Austria and Germany. He also won a special prize of the Artur Rubinstein Łódź Philharmonic in the form of a recital or concert.

The second prize (PLN 14,000) went to Aleksandra Kuls – a titled violinist from Kraków, who was also honored by the jury with a special prize for the best Polish participant (PLN 2,000) and the Krzysztof Penderecki European Center for Music prize in the form of a recital.

The third prize ex aequo (PLN 5 250 each) were awarded to: Marta Gidaszewska – a student of the Music Academy in Poznań (additionally honored with the Feliks Nowowiejski Philharmonic in Olsztyn prize in the form of a recital or concert) and Woo Hyung Kim from South Korea , currently studying in Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels. Both have also won other competition prizes. Two distinctions (PLN 2,000 each) were awarded to violinists from Russia: Olga Artyugina and Sophia Devutskaya. The jury also distinguished three pianists who were accompanying the participants during the auditions: Hanna Holeksa, Adam Manijak and Grzegorz Skrobiński.

The programme of the Laureares' Concert included Grażyna Bacewicz's Stained Glass and Polish Caprice as well as works by Piotr Czajkowski and Camille Saint-Saëns.

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 

Warsaw | Textures in Resounds


The Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra will perform works by Adam Falkiewicz, Krzysztof Penderecki, Tomasz Sikorski and Paweł Szymsńki on 14 December 2019 at 4 p.m. at the New Theatre in Warsaw.

Homo – and heterophonies, meaning various types of musical textures written for different orchestral voices, are the main theme of the concert. Partita IV by Paweł Szymański, with his trademark interplay between lines overlapping with similar contours (heterophony), and Concertino for trumpet and orchestra by Krzysztof Penderecki, dominated by a single melody over the other voices (homophony) are two very different examples of composer's thinking. Holzwege… by Tomasz Sikorski, author of the anti-homophonic Homofonia (1968), not keen on overly defined ways of organising musical spaces, is another, different sort of musical narration: a static, obsessively repeated frail motif is topped with elegiac sounds of other instruments, while dramaturgical censorships are marked with silence. The intensity of accumulated energy is ushered by compositions by AdamFalkiewicz.

The concert in the Sinfonia Varsovia's "Resounds. New Polish Music" series will be accompanied by Jacek Poniedziałe's audiovisual installation focused on the legacy of Adam Falkiewicz.

More information athttps://nowyteatr.org/pl/kalendarz/faktury-w-oddzwiekach