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Winners of Polityka's Passports 2020

Paszporty PolitykiOn 26 January 2021, for the 28th time, outstanding artists were awarded Polityka's Passports – one of the most important cultural awards in Poland. Seven winners were selected from among 21 nominations. This year the jury also presented an additional, special award in a 'remote culture' category.

The awards are presented in seven categories: film, literature, theatre, visual arts, classical music, popular music and digital culture. Since 2002, the "creator of culture" award has also been presented for special achievements in promoting culture. During the ceremony broadcast by TVN, the winners received PLN 20,000, and the nominees – PLN 15,000. This year's passports were collected by: Piotr Domalewski (film), Justyna Sobczyk and Teatr 21 (theatre), Artur Liebhart – Millennium Dosc Against Gravity (remote culture), Mira Marcinów (literature), Małgorzata Mirga-Tas (visual arts), Duet Siksa (popular music), Studio Different Tales (digital culture), Bożena and Lech Janerka (ceator of culture).

In the 'classical music' category, Ania Karpowicz was awarded a Passport "For consistency and effectiveness in promoting forgotten 20th century music and contemporary music, including the work of young women composers. For creating the Hashtag Ensemble and the WarszeMuzik festival, which have already become part of our musical landscape". Flutist Ania Karpowicz (b. 1983), prizewinner of national and international music competitions, studied in Łódź and Detmold. In 2013 she established the Hashtag Ensemble cooprative, which performs at contemporary music festivals in Poland. She initiated a number of concerts and festivals, including WarszeMuzik – a series of musical interventions in the courtyards of the surviving tenement houses of the Warsaw Ghetto, presenting chamber music composed by Jewish composers who used to live in Warsaw. As a soloist, she places particular emphasis on the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. She is also involved in the promotion of women's creativity.

This year's nominees were also Krystian Lada and Martyna Pastuszka.

Polityka's Passport Gala 2020 is available to watch at: https://www.polityka.pl/fotoreportaze/2100723,1,cieszcie-sie-slowem-tworzcie-paszporty-inne-niz-zawsze.read?src=mt 

Kraków | 3rd International Piano Competition "Chopin at Wawel"

Chopin pod WawelemThe 3rd edition of the International Piano Competition "Chopin at Wawel" will be held in Kraków on 7-11 July 2021.

International Piano Competition „Chopin at Wawel” based upon the National Competition For Young Pianists „Chopin at Wawel” is the first international, monographic,  piano competition held in Krakow. The originator and founder of the Competition, dr hab. Gajusz Kęska, repeatedly emphasized the need to promote the city as a center of performing the Fryderyk Chopin’s music, also by stating that in the past Krakow was the cradle of the Polish piano school. The competition is organised by “Porta Musicae” Artistic Association in collaboration with the Academy of Music in Krakow and Fryderyk Chopin Secondary Music School in Krakow.

As in previous editions, participants will perform in four age groups and will be judged by distinguished teachers and pianists, experts on Fryderyk Chopin’s artistic work and university professors from Poland, Italy, Russia and China. The total prize pool is PLN 17,500. The winners concert will be held on 11 July 2021.

Applications should be send by 31 May 2021 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

The Competition rules and application form are available athttp://www.chopinpodwawelem.com/ 

Zbigniew Ciechan has died...

Ciechan ZbigniewComposer, pianist, arranger, teacher and music journalist Zbigniew Ciechan passed away on 24 January 2021 at the age of 91.

Initially he studied at the State Higher School of Music in Poznań and then at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw, from which he graduated in 1962. He was a student of Witold Rudziński.

In the years 1961-66 he was the musical director of the "Stodoła" student cabaret in Warsaw, in 1964 – the Alibabki ensemble, and from 1966 to 1970 – the "Granica" Artistic Ensemble of the Polish Army. He prepared educational and popularizing programmes for the Polish Radio – Music for Children section. He taught at the Academy of Music in Warsaw and at the Institute of Music Education at the Pedagogical University in Kielce. He was the editor of the magazine "Music Education at School", the author of the first textbook for arranging pop music in Poland and other textbooks.

Zbigniew Ciechan received many important awards and distinctions, including several Polish Radio Awards, the Award of the Polish Composers' Union (1977) and the Award of the Prime Minister of Poland (1983). In 2018 he was honored with the Special Award of the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

May he rest in peace.

Elżbieta Markowska has passed away...

MarkowskaThe tragic news about the death of Elżbieta Markowska, former director of the Polish Radio – Channel 2 and president of the Witold Lutosławski Society, was announced on 24 January 2021.

Elżbieta Markowska graduated in musicology from the University of Warsaw under the supervision of Professor Józef Chomiński. From 1970 she was associated with the Polish Radio, first as a music editor in Channel 3, then twice as the director of Channel 2, rebuilding the importance of musical culture after martial law. In 2015-2018 she was the president of the Witold Lutosławski Society.

She collaborated closely with the Polish Composers' Union, both professionally and through personal contacts. Contemporary music was at the center of her interests, which was reflected in her work for the Polish Radio and Witold Lutosławski Society, as well as her friendships with numerous composers. Polish Radio holds her numerous broadcasts and interviews. Her conservasions with conductor Jan Krenz were published as a book Jan Krenz, Fifty Years with a Baton (1996). She also published the album Lutosławski 1913-2013 (2012) and the study entitled Musicians in Occupied Warsaw 1939-1945 (2014) together with Katarzyna Naliwajek-Mazurek.

May she rest in peace.

"Woodwind Conversations" Musical Evening in Łódź

AM LodzA dialogue between classical and contemporary music, a conversation between woodwinds and the piano, a chat between students and pedagogues – music conversations will be conducted by artists associated with the Academy of Music in Łódź. During the online concert broadcast live on 25 January 2021 on the YouTube channel of the Academy of Music in Łódź we will hear music for woodwinds and piano.

The programme will include classical and romantic compositions, such as: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A major, KV 622, Jules Demersseman's Grande Fantaisie de Concert sur "Oberon" de Weber, Op. 52 and Carl Maria von Weber's Bassoon Concerto in F major, Op. 75, as well as music by 20th-century and contemporary artists: Jerzy Bauer's Dualistyl for oboe and piano, Roger Boutry's Divertimenta for alto saxophone and piano, Karl Goepfart's Woodwind Quartett, Op. 93 and Theo Loevendi's Tre Pezzi per tre clarnetti.

The concert will be performed by students of the Department of Wind Instruments: flautists Emilia Reske and Przemysław Szczygielski, clarinetists Wiktoria Jancz, Diana Śliwińska, Adrian Malicki and Mateusz Żak, oboist Julia Jurkiewicz, saxophonist Justyna Sołtysik and bassoon player Maciej Wijata. They will be accompanied on the piano by: Bogna Dulińska, Kinga Firlej-Kubica, Joanna Morycińska and Agnieszka Sucheniak-Wójcicka.

More information at: http://www.amuz.lodz.pl/pl/ 

Polish National Competition "Ignacy Jan Paderewski – virtuoso pianist, composer, politician, diplomat, statesman, patron of art and architecture"

PaderewskiThe Greater Poland Chief Education Officer Robert Gaweł together with the Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski National Thought Heritage Institute in Warsaw, represented by its Director Prof. Jan Żaryna, initiated the organisation of the National Competition "Ignacy Jan Paderewski – virtuoso pianist, composer, politician, diplomat, statesman, patron of art and architecture". The deadline for applications is 31 January 2021.

The competition is open to students of primary, secondary and artistic schools in Poland as well as Polish schools abroad. The aim of the competition is to promote and familiarize students with the figure of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, to honor his memory and arouse interest in the beauty of the composer's work, extraordinary life, exemplary attitude, aesthetic sensitivity, awareness of the importance of sacrifice and permanent determination in the pursuit of Poland's independence, as well as shaping such values ​​as freedom and patriotism.

The competition is co-organised by the Academy of Music in Poznań, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, University of Arts in Poznań and University of Economics in Poznań, whose representatives will, among others, evaluate the participants in specific categories. The competition is also supported by the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Musical Society in Bydgoszcz, Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw and Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

The Artistic Council and the Competition Jury in category I (pianist, virtuoso) are made up of such outstanding artists as Karol Radziwonowicz, Piotr Paleczny, Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń, Wojciech Świtała, Waldemar Andrzejewski, Joanna Marcinkowska.

The prize pool is PLN 25,000. The organisers will also provide awards for the best students' teachers.

More information at: http://ko.poznan.pl/kuratorium/aktualnosci_kurator/2020/12/ogolnopolski-konkurs-ignacy-jan-paderewski/ 

Application Form: http://wre.ko.poznan.pl/paderewski/ 

Stefan Jarociński Archive in the Special Collections Department of the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences

IS PANThe Special Collections Department of the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences acquired the archive of Stefan Jarociński, an outstanding musicologist, long-time head of the Institute of Music History at the Polish Academy of Sciences.

The Institute received invaluable materials for research into the history of 20th-century musicology and music courtesy of the wife of the scholar who died in 1980. An important part of the archive pertains to Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994), a friend of Jarociński from his junior high school days. It includes not only letters addressed to the musicologist, but also autographs of works by the eminent composer. The Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences has now manuscripts of "children's songs" to the words of Julian Tuwim – this is a rarity, as most of Lutosławski's legacy is kept at the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel.

The archive of Stefan Jarociński is the subject of research by Małgorzata Sieradz, PhD from the Department of Musicology at the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences. One can read more about the history of Jarociński's friendship with Lutosławski and the entire collection of "Lutosławskians" at the Institute of Polish Academy of Sciences in the latest issue of the quarterly "Muzyka" (2020, No. 4).

More information at: https://czasopisma.ispan.pl/index.php/m/announcement/view/16 

Karol Szymanowski's "Kurpie Songs" Op. 58 arranged for soprano and symphony orchestra

Piesni kurpiowskieOn 23 January 2020 at 7.00 p.m. soprano Milena Lange and the Warsaw Impressione Orchestra under the direction Piotr Wijatkowski will perform Karol Szymanowski's 12 Kurpie Songs, Op. 58. The concert was recorded in the Church of the Savior of the World in Ostrołęka, the capital of Kurpie.

Kurpie Songs, Op. 58 were originally written for voice and piano. Numerous transcriptions are a solid testimony of the popularity and artistic rank of the work. During the upcoming concert Milena Lange will perform the entire series in a rarely presented arrangement for soprano and symphony orchestra.

Karol Szymanowski composed Kurpie Songs in the years 1930-1932. In his last vocal cycle, the composer reached out for Rev. Władysław Skierkowski's collection Puszcza kurpiowska w pieśni. The well-known musicologist Tadeusz A. Zieliński aptly summed up the great artistic value of the composition: "One of the most valuable and original of all Szymanowski's works, the Kurpie Songs are a worthy culmination of his rich and evolving song production. A masterful combination of genuine folk with profundity and expressiveness of 'high' art, they are an unsurpassed phenomenon; a similar work is not easy to find in the 20th century music".

The concert will be broadcast on the website: https://www.mspromotion.net/karolszymanowskipiesnikurpiowskie and on the YouTube channelhttps://www.youtube.com/user/mspromotion7 

"House Party with Dwójka" – Rappé, Kryger, Rutkowski in tribute to Żeleński

DomowkaThe 100th anniversary of the death of Władysław Żeleński falls on 23 January 2021. On this day songs by the outstanding composer, called the successor of Stanisław Moniuszko, will be performed by Jadwiga Rappé (alto) and Urszula Kryger (mezzo-soprano) with the accompaniment of pianist Mariusz Rutkowski. The next episode of "House Party with Dwójka" will be broadcast on Saturday at 7.00 p.m. on the Polish Radio Channel 2 (Dwójka), its websiteFacebook and YouTube.

"Władysław Żeleński is the author of numerous songs, which he began to compose when he was nearly twenty, fascinated at the time by the poetry of Adam Mickiewicz, Zygmunt Krasiński, as well as Antoni Odyniec and Bohdan Zaleski," emphasizes Jadwiga Rappé, who celebrated the 40th anniversary of her artistic work last year. The artist has over half a hundred records with various repertoire and has collaborated with many renowned composers, soloists and conductors.

In the "House Party with Dwójka" Jadwiga Rappé will sing Władysław Żeleński's songs together with Urszula Kryger. "We decided to record our performance in the concert hall of the Fryderyk Chopin State Music School in Skierniewice. This is where our paths crossed; a place that is always favorable to us, artists" – says the singer and pianist, winner of prestigious vocal competitions in Poland and Germany. In 2006, Urszula Kryger received the Karol Szymanowski Foundation Award for thoughtful and highly artistic interpretations of Władysław Żeleński's songs, and in 2012 the Fryderyk Award for the album Żeleński – Songs. The singers will be accompanied by Mariusz Rutkowski – winner of the Polish Radio Award for the best pianist-chamber musician at the 1st and 3rd Ignacy Jan Paderewski Vocal Competitions in Bydgoszcz and the award for the best pianist at the 4th International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition in Warsaw. He has recorded, among others, two albums with songs by Władysław Żeleński.

More information athttps://www.polskieradio.pl/8/8741/Artykul/2661793,Rapp%C3%A9-Kryger-Rutkowski-w-holdzie-Zelenskiemu