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Results of the 14th Polish Christmas Carols Competition in Chełmno

Chelmno

The 14th Polish Christmas Carols Competition – the largest choir festival of carols in the country – took place on January 19, 2019 in Chełmno.

After the auditions and discussion, the committee composed of: Joanna Łukaszewska, Michalina Spychalska, Izabela Łuckiewicz and prof. dr hab. Andrzej Ryłko, the chairman of the jury, decided to award the following prizes and distinctions.

The Grand Prix and the cash prize of PLN 2,000 went to the Cantus Vocal Ensemble from Leszno directed by Tomasz Sowiński!

The Golden Bands were awarded to: Chamber Choir Piu Mosso from Wrocław (conducted by Dominik Jarocki), Choir of the Jan III Sobieski LXXV High School  in Warsaw (conducted by Liliana Bach), Chamber Choir Endorfina from Warsaw (conducted by Michał Rajewski), Vocal Ensemble Omnis Mea from Warsaw (conducted by Michał Rajewski, Edyta Sędzik), Vocal Ensemble Modo Maiorum from Warsaw (conducted by Michał Straszewski) and the Echo Choir from Łódź (conducted by Ewelina Bień). 

The choirs Harmonia Sphaerarum from Gniew, Laudate Dominum from Wejherowo and Canto Alegre from Łódź received the Silver Bands and bonuses. Bronze Bands and valuable prizes were given to the the choirs: Sonore from Kleszczów, Lutnia from Więcbork, Cantate Domino from Malbork, Lutnia from Czersk, Lutnia from Luzina and Chawera from Swarzędz.

The jury also awarded several special prizes: for the Best Conductor to Dominik Jarocki  – a cup funded by the Artistic Director of the Michał Rajewski Competition; for the best performance of the Lulajże Jezuniu carol to Modo Maiorum Vocal Ensemble from Warsaw; for cultivating the Kashubian language to Choir Lutnia from Luzina; and for the sound qualities to the Piu Mosso Chamber Choir from Wrocław.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Gdańsk | Paweł Szymański's Music

Am Gdańsk

The Baltic Sea Cultural Centre in Gdańsk and the Gdańsk Academy of Music invite you to a meeting and a concert entitled "Paweł Szymański's music", which will take place at the Gdańsk Old Town Hall on January 22, 2019 at 6.00 p.m.

Many contemporary composers write truly beautiful music, which deserves not only to be performed and recorded, but also to be included in musicological works. One of them is Paweł Szymański, whose music, according to critics, evokes a "fell-at-home" impression and acts simultaneously on the "intellect and senses".

The meeting will include the promotion of Violetta Kostka's book entitled Paweł Szymański's music in the light of post-modern poetry of intertextuality, published by the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk and Musica Iagellonica in Krakow in 2018. The conversation with the author will be led by dr hab. Anna Chęćka, prof. UG.

In addition, a chamber concert of Szymański's works will take place. The excellent Gdańsk musicians will play his well-known compositions, including Compartment 2, Car 7 for vibraphone, violin, viola and cello (Paweł Nowicki and members of Neoquartet), A Kaleidoscope for M.C.E. for cello, Gigue for cello (Maciej Kułakowski), Singletrack for piano and Sonat(in)a for piano (Igor Torbicki).

Admission to the event is free!

"La Bayadere" live from Bolszoi Theatre on 20th January

BolszojDazzling La Bayadere with music by Leon Minkus and libretto after Marius Petipa in HD LIVE broadcast from the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre on Sunday, January 20th, 2019. At the Warsaw Cinema "Praha", you can watch at 4.00 p.m.

La Bayadere is one of the greatest works in classical ballet history – a story of love, death and vengeful judgement set in India. Dazzling sets, costumes, and one of the most iconic scenes in ballet, the “Kingdom of the Shades,” illuminate the tragic tale of the temple dancer Nikiya’s doomed love for the warrior Solor, and their ulimate redemption.

List of places in Poland, where you can watch broadcasts from the Bolshoi Theater, is available here.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: http://www.kinopraha.pl

Warsaw | Polish symphonic music of the 20th century

SI

Jerzy Semkow Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus under the direction of Marek Wroniszewski will perform the works of Bacewicz, Szymanowski, Różycki and Karłowicz on January 19, 2019 at 7.00 p.m. at the Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio in Warsaw. Piotr Pławner will perform as a soloist.

The favourite theme of Polish music criticism at the turn of the 19th and 20th century was the search for “influences of Wagner and Strauss” in Polish music – which was both praise and reprimand, depending on the preferences of the critic; these comparisons were often completely misguided, but in the case of Ludomir Różycki and Mieczysław Karłowicz, they were justified. Both great Polish Neo-Romantics owed much especially to the colourful style of Richard Strauss and his concept of “programme music” realised in brilliant symphonic poems. Różycki’s symphonic scherzo Stańczyk from 1900 refers to Matejko’s famous painting and the history of the royal jester (with the motif of a krakowiak introducing the Krakow milieu), and the contrasting, vividly instrumented poem allegorically outlines the idyllic and dramatic episodes of national history, seen through the prism of the philosophical jokes of this legendary character. Mieczysław Karłowicz’s Eternal Songs are one of the most personal compositional statements of the prematurely deceased Polish Neo-Romantic, a testimony to the enormous scale and originality of his talent.

Karol Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1 (dedicated to Paweł Kochański) was written in Zarudzie in the Eastern Borderlands during World War I. The brilliant work stands as the creative apogee of this period and still inspires admiration with its original form and texture, subtlety of sound, and an unusual oneiric aura. All these advantages will be revealed by the performance of the excellent violinist Piotr Pławner, winner of the 10th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition, today one of the leading Polish violinists. Motoric, full of energy, sparking with spectacular sounds, Grażyna Bacewicz’s Overture for Symphonic Orchestra was created during the difficult time of German occupation, and its premiere took place during one of the first major post-war music events – the Festival of Polish Contemporary Music in Krakow – under the baton of Mieczysław Mierzejewski.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: www.sinfoniaiuventus.pl 

Gdańsk | 9th Days of New Music

Dni Muzyki Nowej

On January 16-20, 2019, the 9th Days of New Music festival will take place at the Żak Club in Gdańsk.

Days of New Music, organized by the Żak Club, aims to present unconventional music. The festival's objective is to show the broad spectrum of the experimental scene, contemporary and avant-garde music. It defines new music as music which seeks new solutions in terms of form and content, through the specificity of compositions, instruments used, but also ideas on how to combine different, often incompatible styles. The 9th Days of New Music programme is a selection of the most interesting, according to the organizers, phenomena that fit in with these criteria. 

During this year's edition, Neoquartet will present pieces for string quartet, grand piano, piano and electronics by Sebastian Zawadzki, written in minimalist, tonal style. A concert on January 18 will feature Ensemble Kompopolex – a group founded by Wrocław composer Jacek Sotomski, experimenting with form, concepts and multimedia. Cellist, composer and arranger Resina (Karolina Rec), a graduate of the Gdańsk Academy of Music, will present her chamber works on January 19. Japanese vocalist Hatis Noit, German pianist Martin Kohlstedt and Italian duo Luton will perform for the first time in Poland at the Gdańsk festival .

Full programme available at: https://klubzak.com.pl/koncerty.html 

Gdańsk | Musical Epitaph in Memory of Paweł Adamowicz

Carillony Gdańska

Polish premiere of Epitaph for Paweł Adamowicz composed by Katarzyna Kwiecień-Długosz will take place on January 18, 2019 at 2:45 p.m.. Monika Kaźmierczak will perform the piece on the carillon of the St. Catherine's Church in Gdańsk.

Gdańsk is the only Polish city where there are three active concert carillons: two are located in the towers of St. Catherine's Church (50 bells) and the Main Town Hall (37 bells), the third – Carillon Mobile Gdańsk – has 48 bells. These exceptional instruments are under the supervision and care of the Gdańsk Museum. Katarzyna Kwiecień-Długosz wrote her latest work for this exceptional instrument, which sound is associated with Gdańsk.

The composer dedicated the Epitaph to the tragically deceased Gdańsk President. The work contains references to Gdańsk and Paweł Adamowicz (the themes are based on the a-d-a and g-d-a notes). Monika Kaźmierczak, acting as a city carillonist, encouraged prformances of this unusual piece by carillonists from around the world to solidify with the citizens of Gdańsk. They will pay homage to the President by performing the Epitaph on their instruments. The work in memory of President Paweł Adamowicz has already been played on the Belgian Carillon of Peace. On January 19 at 11.00 a.m., as part of the concert from the Dom Tower in Utrecht, the composition will be played by Gdańsk instrumentalist Małgorzata Fiebig.

In Gdańsk, the piece will be played during a weekly concert in the tower of the St. Catherine's Church at approx. 2.45 p.m. The carillonist will be joined by trumpeters from the band Tubicinatores Gedanenses. Musicians will also perform historical chorales.

Olsztyn | Tommaso Maria Mazzoletti's Organ Recital

Warmińsko-Mazurska

The outstanding Italian organist Tommaso Maria Mazzoletti will perform at the first  2019 Organ Master's Recital at the Warmian-Masurian Philharmonic on January 18, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

The artist was born in 1991 in Novara. He graduated from the Music Conservatories in Novara and Cuneo, where he was Massimo Nosetti's student in the organ and composition class. He also studied French organ music with Pierre Me, Italian organ repertoire with Emanuele Vianelli, and the art of improvisation with Fausto Caporali. In 2017, with the title "Master de Concert", he graduated from Haute École de Musique de Genève in the class of Alessia Corti. Since 2018, he is a deputy of the main organist of the cathedral in Lausanne. In addition, he is the president of the Orgue en Jeux-la Côte association (Mauvernay, Vaud) and the artistic director of the Orgue en Jeux festival.

The artist will start the recital with the Prelude and fugue in E Minor BWV 548 by Johann Sebastian Bach – one of Bach's longest, most ingenious and virtuoso organ pieces. A tribute to the Polish organ music will be the performance of Felix Nowowiejski's Prelude in E minor. The programme will also include works by French composers César Franck and Charles Maria Widor. The evening will end with the works of Italian artists: Marc Enric Bossi, Ottorino Respighi and Pietro Alessandro Yon.

Full programme available at:  https://filharmonia.olsztyn.pl/koncert/mistrzowskie-recitale-organowe-3/ 

Kielce | Musical Voyages

FSw

A premiere of the Concerto for flute, piano and symphony orchestra by Mikołaj Majkusiak will take place on January 18, 2019 at 7.00 p.m. at the Oskar Kolberg Świętokrzyska Philharmonic.

Musical journey will begin in nineteenth-century Russia, with a work of Alexander Borodin – an outstanding chemist, professor at the St. Petersburg Medical Academy and composer. The Symphonic Orchestra of the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic under the direction of Jacek Rogala will perform Borodin's symphonic poem In the Steppes of Central Asia, full of ilustrative elements, oriental melodies and motives from Russian songs.

Polish virtuosos – flutist Ania Karpowicz and pianist Marek Bracha – will premiere the Concerto for flute, piano and symphony orchestra by Mikołaj Majkusiak, commisssioned by the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic as part of the MKiDN programme "Composing Commissions", implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance. It is a rhythmically varied five-part composition. As the author notes, in addition to the virtuosity of soloists, "a very important aspect is a specific orchestration of the piece using soloist chamber groups that are part of the symphonic orchestra."

The last piece of the evening will be another programme work: Symphony No. 9 "From the New World" by Antonin Dvořák.

More information at: http://www.filharmonia.kielce.com.pl/press/press_18.01.19.html 

Warsaw | Resounds. New Polish Music

Oddźwięki

On January 17, 2019 at 7.00 p.m., the Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio will host a second concert from the cycle "Resounds. New Polish music". The Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra will perform works of Mieczysław Weinberg and Grażyna Bacewicz. The organizers also invite you to a meeting with the composers' friends and relatives at 6.00 p.m.

The second concert of the cycle "Resounds. New Polish music" is a programmatic counterpoint to other events filled with world premieres of works commissioned by the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra. This time, the musicians will present composition from the 40s of the last century to show the wider historical context of new Polish music, with special emphasis on the period of World War II, and to illustrate the changes that have occurred since then. The pretext for this musical retrospection are two unique anniversaries.

This year, Mieczysław Weinberg would celebrate his 100th birthday. His Cello Concerto, Op. 43 will be interpreted by Marcel Markowski, a respected soloist, chamber musician, and also a leader of the Sinfonia Varsovia cello group. This work comes from the period when Weinberg, after escaping from Warsaw, was arranging his new life in exile in the USSR. The death of loved ones, the persecution of the Jews and the horrors of war were clearly reflected in music written by Weinberg at that time. Dmitri Shostakovich, who had great appreciation for Weinberg's work, helped him in many difficult moments. The programme will also feature the classicist and light Symphony No. 9 in E flat major by the Russian artist of Polish origin.

In addition, the day of the concert martk the 50th death anniversary of the most outstanding Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz. During the concert, the musicians under the baton of Fuada Ibrahimova will perform her Overture for symphonic orchestra. This vivid miniature was written in 1944, and its first performance took place a year later, at the first post-war Festival of Polish Contemporary Music in Krakow.

To get to know the fate of these three composers, the organizers invite you one hour before the concert to the meeting with special guests. Andrei Ustinov, an outstanding musicologist and promoter of Weinberg's work in Russia, and Joanna Sendłak, writer and granddaughter of Grażyna Bacewicz, will talk about their memories related to the composers. The meeting will be led by Aleksander Laskowski.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: www.sinfoniavarsovia.org