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"REnew" – concert on the occasion of Marian Hemar's 120th birthday

HemarThe Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk invites you to the concert "ODnowa" ("REnew") on the occasion of the 120th birth anniversary of Marian Hemar. The premiere performance of songs to the words of this outstanding poet and satirist will be accompanied by visualizations based on archival materials. The event will air on 11 April 2021 at 5.30 p.m. on social media of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk and on TVP Historia.

Marian Hemar was a lyrical poet, an unequaled satirist, author of plays, brilliant sketches and monologues, the greatest pre-war songwriter with over 3,000 songs to his credit written for the best interwar cabarets. He entertained and educated, he did not shy away from cultural jokes and wise, satirical commentaries, and at the same time he was an uncompromising patriot, devoted to his homeland until the end of his life. The popular music of the last century, which was Hemar's domain, is nowadays more and more often presented in new, modern arrangements. Songs to the words of Hemar, sung before the war and, unfortunately, forgotten today, has prompted the Museum to take up an educational challenge and recall this rich repertoire to the contemporary audience.

New song arrangements were prepared by recognized artists as well as students, graduates and lecturers of the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańśk under the supervision of Kamil Cieślik. In addition, the concert will premiere songs to several poems by Hemar written by Agnieszka Zimna, Dawid Ludkiewicz and Piotr Pudełko. The pieces will be presented by soloists (Maria Malinowska, Jakub Kornacki, Karol Drozd, Marta Burdynowicz), the Art'n'Voices vocal octet and the Discantus Chamber Orchestra conducted by Sabrina Stachel.

Thanks to the cooperation with the National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute and the National Digital Archives, the concert will be accompanied by specially prepared visualisations.

In April 2021, the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk will release an album with songs by Marian Hemar.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information athttps://muzeum1939.pl/ 

New album of Jerzy Maksymiuk and Sinfonia Varsovia "Perfekcjonista / Perfectionist"

SVWithout the Polish Chamber Orchestra, and thus Jerzy Maksymiuk, the Sinfonia Varsovia would not have been founded. The album "Perfectionist" was created to celebrate the outstanding conductor's 85th birthday and the history of his long lasting friendship with the orchestra. It will premiere on 9 April 2021, on the artist's birthday. During a meeting in the Maksymiuk's salon, Maestro will talk about the album and how it was created. The event will be broadcast live on Sinfonia Varsovia's Facebook and YouTube channel.

The album includes pieces for string orchestra and soloists. In their interpretation, Jerzy Maksymiuk and Sinfonia Varsovia strive for not only performance perfection. They aim to reveal emotions which, thanks to the orchestra's precision and the performers' individual skills and sensitivity, become available to the listener.

The first two pieces are Claude Debussy's preludes arranged by Jerzy Maksymiuk: in this rendition we will hear the lightness and transparency that the conductor carefully brings out from the score. The next composition is Ralph Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Thanks to its rich texture, it is a perfect piece for a conductor who loves to delve into details and polish them, which Maksymiuk surely does. Andrzej Panufnik's Violin Concerto, another piece on the album, was written in 1972. With its very characteristic sound, it allows both the soloist (Jakub Haufa, concertmaster of Sinfonia Varsovia) and the orchestra to demonstrate different technical skills and slightly different sensitivity in each movement. Leaves Falling Here and Now, number 7 on the album, is a piece composed in 2011 for piano and chamber orchestra by Jerzy Maksymiuk himself, who also performed the piano part. Finally, Wojciech Kilar's Orawa. Despite its simplicity, it is not an easy piece to conduct. Maksymiuk has conducted it over a hundred times, and on the album Perfectionist we have the opportunity to listen to his last rehearsal.

The album will be available in Empik stores (also for preorder), on the website www.sinfoniavarsovia.org and on selected streaming services.

Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Concert Online

OiFPA symphonic concert of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Paweł Kowalski under the baton of Monika Wolińska will be held online on 9 April 2021 at 7.00 on the Philharmonic's YouTube channel.

Krzysztof Penderecki's Paradise Lost: Sacra Rappresentazione based on John Milton's poem was written to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the declaration of independence of the United States. The concert will begin with the lyrical Adagietto, which functions as an orchestral intermezzo. Mieczysław Tomaszewski described it as an example of 'retroversive' art: of music “looking back, but undoubtedly his own, personal and experienced, without the quotation marks that are associated with a stylisation".

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto in D minor No. 20 KV 466 will be a dialogue with the past. The captivating dramaturgy of the score, the impeccable form and the beauty of the themes made it one of the audience favourites all over the world. Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 "Scottish" reflectes composer's impressions from his trip to Scotland in 1829. We will hear a reminiscence of a visit to the ruined chapel of the Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, echoes of lively folk melodies in a joyful scherzo and a moving "prayer of Queen Maria Stuart" in a quote from Mendelssohn's own arrangement of Ave Maria. Te composer dedicated the symphony to Princess Victoria, the future queen of the United Kingdom.

More information at: https://www.oifp.eu/repertuar/koncert-symfoniczny-8/ 

International Conference "Trombone in the 20th and 21st Century Polish Music – Inspirations and Perspectives"

Am ŁódźThe International Conference "Trombone in the 20th and 21st Century Polish Music – Inspirations and Perspectives" will take place at the Academy of Music in Łódź on 9-10 April 2021. All lectures, concerts and master classes with foreign guests will be held online; the recordings will be made available on the Academy's YouTube channel.

The conference was initiated by two teachers from the Academy of Music in Łódź: Robert Żelazko and Dariusz Sprawka. The guests of the conference will be world-class trombonists from Sweden, Germany and Poland: Hakan Björkman (Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Yamaha Artist), Tomer Maschkowski (Deutsche Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Yamaha Artist), Maciej Łakomy (I.J. Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań), Tomasz Hajda (K. Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław, NOSPR in Katowice), Dariusz Sprawka (G. and K. Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź) and Robert Żelazko (the G. and K. Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź ).

The conference programme includes workshops, lectures, concerts and online master classes, which are currently very popular among students who are not able to attend foreign courses. The event is devoted to the 20th and 21st century Polish music for trombone. The topic will be widely discussed during panel discussions and lectures and the 20th- and 21st-century trombone pieces will be performed during a conference concert. The programme will include compositions for both solo trombone and trombone ensembles. Each teacher, apart from the lecture, will give open master classes, during which one will learn more about the performance technique, ways of self-improvement, psychological aspects of playing an instrument and dealing with stress.

More information at: http://www.amuz.lodz.pl/pl/wydarzenia/puzon-w-muzyce-polskiej-xx-i-xxi-wieku 

Marcin Błażewicz has passed away...

BłażewiczProfessor Marcin Błażewicz, composer, lecturer at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, member of the Polish Composers' Union died on 5 April 2021 in Podkowa Leśna at the age of 68.

He studied philosophy at the Academy of Catholic Theology in Warsaw (now the Cardinal Wyszyński University), and later composition with Marian Borkowski at the Academy of Music in Warsaw (now Fryderyk Chopin University of Music), from which he graduated with honours. In 1999-2002 and 2005-2008, he was vice-dean of the FCUM Department of Composition, Conducting and Theory of Music, and in 2008-2012 dean of this department. In 2012-2016, he was head of the Department of Composition. He supervised doctoral dissertations of Dariusz Przybylski, Eunho Chang, Krzesimir Dębski and Ignacy Zalewski.

For many years he was engaged in the promotion of musical culture. In 1983-87 he was organiser and artistic director of the International New Music Forum in Warsaw. In 1990-92 he was president of the Jeunesses Musicales de Pologne, and in 1990-94 – vice-president of Percussive Arts Society Poland. Simultaneously, in 1986-98 he was music director of the Polish Radio Theatre and an editor in the Polish Radio "BIS" Programme. In 2000 he founded a periodical about music and related arts – "Muzyka21" – of which he was editor-in-chief until 2001. He was also chairman of the classical music section of ZAiKS Association of Authors (2006-2013) and its treasurer (since 2006).

Marcin Błażewicz received the Stanisław Wyspiański Award for lifetime achievement as a composer (1988) and – twice – the Prix Italia (1989, 1990). In 2018, he received the 100th Anniversary Award of the ZAiKS Association of Authors.

Marcin Błażewicz's works are performed in many countries around the world: from China through Europe to the United States – his music will stay with us forever.

Jury of the 2nd Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music

imitThe second edition of the Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music will be held between 11 and 18 September 2021. The juries will be headed by Jarosław Drzewiecki and Andrzej Tatarski. The musicians can submit their applications for the competition until 14 May 2021 on the dedicated website polishmusiccompetition.pl. The event is organised by the Institute of Music and Dance in collaboration with the Artur Malawski Podkarpacka Philharmonic in Rzeszów and funded by the Polish Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport.

The competition is exceptional in that it allows the participants to prepare their own individual programmes. Compiling them for performance during the auditions of the competition, they can choose from amongst a pool of works written by 56 Polish composers, who were mostly active in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Alongside the likes of Chopin and Penderecki, there are some less familiar names representing a variety of styles and musical epochs, e.g. Antoni Kątski and Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz as well as outstanding Polish women composers: Maria Szymanowska and Grażyna Bacewicz.

The jury in both categories consists of distinguished Polish and foreign musicians and musical personalities. In the category addressed to pianists, the jury will consist of: Andrzej Jasiński (Poland), a pianist and one of the most distinguished teachers of piano around the world; Koji Shimoda (Japan), a music critic, pianist and teacher; Pavel Dombrovsky (Russia), a pianist and teacher, winner of the 1st Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music; Lidia Grychtołówna (Poland), a doyenne of Polish piano music and a teacher; Aleksandros Jusakos (Greece/Chile), a pianist; Sergey Osokins (Latvia), a pianist and one of the most distinguished teachers of piano in Latvia; and, acting as secretary, Witold Kawalec (Poland), a pianist and teacher.

In the category of chamber ensembles, the participants will be judged by: Gary Guthman (USA/Poland), a trumpeter, composer, arranger, conductor and music producer; Krzysztof Meyer (Poland), a composer, pianist and teacher; Pedro Pablo Cámara (Spain), a saxophone soloist and recitalist, a teacher and an author of publications dedicated to music; Igor Pylatyuk (Ukraine), a violinist, conductor, teacher and musicologist; Zdzisław Supierz (Poland/Netherlands), a music impresario and opera producer; Tadeusz Wojciechowski (Poland), a cello recitalist and conductor; and, acting as secretary, Janusz Ostrowski (Poland), a cultural activist, educator and pianist.

The rulebook, framework schedule of the competition, application forms, information on the repertoire, composers and sheet music, as well as all the updates, can be found on the dedicated website: www.polishmusiccompetition.pl.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

3rd Young Pedagogues Piano Forum

Pianistyczne ForumThe Piano Department of the Academy of Music in Łódź invites you on 30-31 March 2021 to the 3rd Young Pedagogues Piano Forum. The event consists of lecture sessions, open lessons and concerts. Piano teachers, pupils and students can participate free of charge in all online activities on the YouTube channel of the Academy of Music in Łódź.

Pianists from Łódź, Poznań, Warsaw, Bydgoszcz, Kraków, Wrocław, Gdańsk, and Katowice prepared a series of lectures on piano performance practice. The 3rd Forum will also include online master classes and two concerts.

The lecture sessions will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10.00 a.m. The list of speakers will include: Michał Mossakowski, Jaime Peñate Conde, Szczepan Kończal, Julia Kociuban-Maximov, Adam Goździewski, Michał Michalski, Paweł Wakarecy, and Mateusz Kurcab. Among the discussed topics will be piano works by Grażyna Bacewicz, Isaac Albeniz, and Gabriel Fauré, music performance issues or the theory of affects in practice. The pedagogues will also conduct online master classes on both days, and then perform during the afternoon concerts. The repertoire will correspond with the topics of the morning lectures.

A detailed schedule of online lectures and master classes as well as two concert programmes can be found at: http://www.amuz.lodz.pl/ 

25th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival

The 25th edition of the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival will take place Festiwal Beethovenowskifrom 20 March to 2 April 2021. The concerts will be live streamed online to the public. The festival events will be broadcast by Polish Radio 2.

The festival’s theme – "Beethoven and Penderecki. The Sphere of Sacrum" – defines the programme of the concerts, which will feature both religious works and those that reflect the human spiritual dimension in its broadest sense. The festival will highlight foremost Polish symphonic and choral ensembles as well as an array of renowned vocalists, including Natalia Rubiś, Iwona Hossa, Karolina Sikora, Anna Lubańska, Aleksandra Kubas-Kruk, Krystian Krzeszowiak, Mariusz Godlewski, Łukasz Konieczny, Tomasz Konieczny.

In the inaugural concert, Maestro Andrzej Boreyko and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Mass in C major and two works by Krzysztof Penderecki: Adagietto from Paradise Lost and Agnus Dei from Polish Requiem; in the closing concert, he will conduct works by Penderecki, Pärt, Ravel and Kanczeli (European premiere of Libera me).

Maestro Jerzy Maksymiuk and Sinfonia Varsovia will present an all-Beethoven repertoire. Symphony concerts will be performed by Polish ensembles such as the Polish Radio Orchestra in Warsaw conducted by Michał Klauza (works by Penderecki and Olivier Messiaen), Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra under Dawid Runtz (works by Beethoven and Sibelius, Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E flat major with cadenzas by K. Penderecki performed by Gábor Boldoczki), as well as Sinfonietta Cracovia led by Jurek Dybał (works by Penderecki, Takemitsu and Barber). The Silesian String Quartet’s chamber concert featuring the complete string quartets by Krzysztof Penderecki promises to be intriguing.

The programme of the event: http://beethoven.org.pl/ 

Ryszard Zimak has passed away...

ZimakProfessor Ryszard Zimak, conductor and teacher, rector of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in 1999-2005 and 2012-2016, long-time conductor of the National Philharmonic Choir, then conductor and director of the Warsaw Chamber Opera Choir, died on 28 March 2021 at the age of 74.

In 1971, he graduated with honours from the Department of Music Education at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and started working at his alma mater. He was vice-dean and dean of the Faculty of Music Education, vice-rector for science and didactics, rector of the Fryderyk Choppin Academy of Music. He participated in the works of the European Conferences of Rectors of the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC) and the Association of Baltic Academies of Music (ABAM). In the years 2002-2005 he was the chairman of the Conference of Rectors of Art Academies (KRUA) and a member of the Presidium of the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (KRASP).

He was an assistant conductor (1973-1974) and then a conductor (1977-1983) of the National Philharmonic Choir. From 1983 to 2005, he was the conductor of the Warsaw Chamber Opera and the director of the Chamber Choir. He has performed in many European countries, as well as in South Korea, Taiwan and the USA. From July 2005 to January 2007 he was the Director of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute.

He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Order of Merit for Polish Culture, an individual award of the Minister of Culture and Art and the Silver Medal for Merit to Culture "Gloria Artis".