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Krzysztof Penderecki: Europe in tribute to the Master

MKDNiS“Krzysztof Penderecki: Europe in tribute to the Master” is a series of two concerts organised in 2021 by the Polish Composers’ Union in collaboration with foreign partners from Lithuania and Ireland as part of the "Promotion of Polish Culture Abroad" programme of the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport of the Republic of Poland.

We want to commemorate the world-famous composer, conductor and teacher, a longtime Honorary Member and the Honorary President of the Polish Composers’ Union, who passed away on 29 March 2020. The programme of each concert includes Krzysztof Penderecki’s compositions alongside corresponding works by other contemporary composers from Poland and our partner’s countries. We will hear pieces by peers and students of the Maestro, as well as winners of the composers’ competitions under his name, including Marek Stachowski, Maciej Bałenkowski, Wojciech Kostrzewa, Andrzej Ojczenasz or Paweł Siek.

Local chamber ensembles will present this repertoire to the international audience. The Vilnius City Municipality St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra conducted by Modestas Barkauskas will perform on 15 July at 7 p.m. at the St. Catherine Church in Vilnius and the Hard Rain Soloists Ensemble under the artistic direction of Greg Caffrey will play on 10th October at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin as part of The Sundays @ Noon Concert Series. Both events will be live streamed on YouTube and made available to watch later.

More detailed information will be soon available on the Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC website and Facebook page.

Cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport from the Culture Promotion Fund.

"Roman Berger in memoriam" – a meeting in memory of the Honorary Member of the Polish Composers' Union

BergerThe Polish Composers' Union invites you to a virtual meeting in memory of Roman Berger, an outstanding composer and philosopher of music, Honorary Member of the Polish Composers' Union. The meeting and promotion of the album with his music will take place on the Zoom platform on Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 4.00 p.m. Each meeting participant will receive a copy of the CD as a gift.

The event dedicated to the memory of the artist, who died on 22 December 2020 at the age of 90, will be attended by his relatives and close collaborators. One of the highlights of the meeting will be the promotion of the album with Roman Berger's monumental Missa pro nobis, published just before the composer's death by the Polish Composers' Union together with the National Centre for Culture and co-financed by the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport.

The link to the zoom platform will be made available on Wednesday, 26 May 2021.

In the album essay, the composer wrote: "The (confidential) message that the Polish Composers’ Union was going to release my Missa pro nobis on CD moved me greatly, [...] Classical (and even more pop) music, especially sacred compositions, are not written for our own pleasure (“so that it feels nice,” as stated in Sławomir Mrożek’s Émigré). I therefore took this message as an expression of the PCU management (presided over by Mieczysław Kominek) solidarity with the message of my work, intended as a response to St John Paul II’s ‘commandment’ which the Holy Father put forward in the context of the 50th anniversary of the Holocaust (let me quote from memory): 'Let people dare to sing today, as long as their song will be a lament, a protest, or a sign of hope'".

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Presentation of new websites of the Polish Composers' Union: "POLMIC Digital Archive" and "Roman Maciejewski"

pThe Polish Composers' Union launches new websites: "POLMIC Digital Archive" and the portal dedicated to "Roman Maciejewski". The presentation of both sites (open to public) will take place on the Zoom platform on Thursday, 28 January 2021 at 2 p.m.

The PCU's Music Library collection of recordings, photographs, scores and documents will be published at www.archiwumcyfrowe.polmic.pl. A significant part of the collection is related to the "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music, organised since 1956 by the Polish Composers' Union. The portal will also feature scores, many of which have not yet been published, publications related to the festivals, concerts and other events organised by the PCU, as well as articles on contemporary music. We will also make available extremely interesting archival documents concerning the functioning of the PCU in the political reality of the People's Republic of Poland. All spheres of life were permeated by politics at that time, the best example of which was the famous Conference of Composers and Music Critics in Łagów Lubulski.

The series of monographic websites devoted to Polish contemporary composers is also growing. At www.maciejewski.polmic.pl you can find a detailed biography of Roman Maciejewski (1910–1998) presented in an attractive audio-visual form with many illustrations and a comprehensive presentation of his work with sample recordings. Roman Maciejewski spread his musical wings in the interwar period, gaining the recognition of such authorities as Karol Szymanowski, and after emigration, due to the political situation in the world and his own philosophy of life, he gradually disappeared from the consciousness of music lovers. Thus, Maciejewski became part of a larger phenomenon  a "piece" of a puzzle composed of a whole generation of intellectuals and artists, often outstanding, yet forgotten. A generation that musicologist Tadeusz Kaczyński called with the term "lost generation". Fortunately, from around 1989, the work of émigré composers gradually began to be included in the general history of Polish music, which also contributed to the growing interest in Maciejewski. Currently, his works are more and more appreciated by performers, musicologists and music lovers.

The projects were co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the "Digital Culture" programme.

Both portals will be presented on the zoom platform: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/76732024573?pwd=V2ZJa1hBdmJGK0JqZVdyQWNIUzRaUT09  (Meeting ID: 767 3202 4573, Passcode: 93s1jH) 

Two Regameys – father and son – on the album from the "Polish Music Today" series

RegamejThe last album released in 2020 by the Polish Composers' Union as part of the "Polish Music Today – Portraits of Contemporary Polish Composers" series is completely unique. Due to the special relationship and fate of both characters, the publisher made an exception and decided to devote the album to two composers instead of one. In addition to works by the "Polish-Swiss composer" Konstanty Regamey, the CD includes pieces by his father, Konstanty Kazimierz  – an almost completely unknown composer, who worked mainly in distant Ukraine, and in 1938 was sentenced to death by the Soviet regime.

The originator of the project and the author of the essay for the album is Jerzy Stankiewicz, who has devoted many years to researching the life and work of both Regamey (as well as popularizing the discovered works and contexts).

He invited two renowned artists to participate in the project – sisters Olga Pasiecznik (soprano) and Natalia Pasiecznik (piano). They performed a repertoire of songs and romances as well as piano pieces by the Regameys. The recording was made in the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio in August 2020 by Ewa Guziołek.

The booklet contains essays written by musicologist Jerzy Stankiewicz and literary scholar Anna Bednarczyk (in Polish and English), as well as song lyrics in the original languages ​​(Polish and Russian) and their translations into Polish and English prepared by Anna Bednarczyk and Marta Kaźmierczak.

Co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the "Musical Trace" programme operated by the Institute of Music and Dance. The album was released thanks to the support of the ZAiKS Authors' Association. The project partner was Repliq Media Sp. z o.o. Co-producer of the recording and CD edition is Programme 2 of the Polish Radio.

The Polish Composers' Union own releases are intended solely for promotional, educational and research purposes. They are not intended for sale. They are provided free of charge to interested institutions and individuals, but due to the very small circulation and large interest, priority is given to music libraries, where a broad audience can benefit from each set. If you are interested, please contact the Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC (contact: Izabela Zymer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

READ MORE: HERE  

Materials from the "Warsaw Autumn" Festival available in the new POLMIC Digital Archive

WJMKiDN600 archival photographs and 70 fragments of recordings from the "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music have been made available on the new POLMIC Digital Archive portal as part of the "Warsaw Autumn Available!" project.

In recent years, Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC has been archiving, digitizing and sharing recordings and photographs related to the "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music – the largest international Polish festival of contemporary music and one of the most important events of this type in Europe and around the world. Unique photographs and sound recordings documenting the festival in over 60 years of its existence are a true national heritage, reflecting the history of Polish musical culture in the second half of the 20th century, immortalizing its creators and presenting their most important works. The aim of our activities is to protect archival materials from inevitable degradation and to make them available to the general public.

For the purpose of presenting our digitized collections, POLMIC Digital Archive – the first digital archive devoted to Polish contemporary music was created in 2020. As part of last year's project, we shared online almost 700 records: photographs documenting festival concerts and accompanying events as captured by Andrzej Glanda – a photographer cooperating with "Warsaw Autumn" in the 1980s, as well as fragments of audio recordings from festival concerts in 1962 and 1963. Our digital collections will continue to grow as more materials are digitized.

The project was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund.

POLMIC Digital Archive is available at: http://www.archiwumcyfrowe.polmic.pl/

Roman Maciejewski – for two pianos

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As part of the "Polish Music Today – Portraits of Contemporary Polish Composers" series, initiated in 2013, the Polish Composers' Union released three more albums last year. The first of them, containing Roman Berger's monumental Missa pro nobis, was very important to the composer who wrote a text summarizing his work and philosophy especially for the booklet and fortunately received the album before his death in December 2020. The next two albums are devoted to two great figures whose work started already in the interwar period: Roman Maciejewski and Konstanty Regamey.

The album with Maciejewski's music (catalog number: polmic 161) contains a set of "minor" pieces for two pianos by this composer: Oberek (1943), four Negro Spirituals (1943), Mazurka (1948), Lullaby (1938), Tarantella (1938) and Swedish dances (six miniatures from 1940-1942). All of them were performed by Chopin Piano Duo composed of Anna Boczar and Bartłomiej Kominek; the recording was made by DUX Recording Producers at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice between 29 September and 1 October and on 24-25 November 2020. The essay for the album was written by Marlena Wieczorek – the author of the composer's monograph, published in Poznań (PTPN Publishing House) in 2008.

Co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the "Musical Trace" programme operated by the Institute of Music and Dance. The album was released thanks to the support of the ZAiKS Authors' Association. The project partner was Repliq Media Sp. z o.o.

The Polish Composers' Union own releases are intended solely for promotional, educational and research purposes. They are not intended for sale. They are provided free of charge to interested institutions and individuals, but due to the very small circulation and large interest, priority is given to music libraries, where a broad audience can benefit from each set. If you are interested, please contact the Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC (contact: Izabela Zymer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

LISTEN TO THE MUSIC: HERE

POLMIC Digital Archive website has been launched

ArchiwumThe new POLMIC Digital Archive website was launched in January for the purpose of making archive materials and documents of the Polish Composers’ Union (PCU) / Polish Music Information Centre available to all users. The materials include selected photographs, scores, and recordings as well as books and articles.

POLMIC Digital Archive is the first archive of this kind dedicated to Polish contemporary music. Our collection includes photographs documenting the early years of PCU’s activity and the ‘Warsaw Autumn’ International Festival of Contemporary Music, as well as portrait photos of artists associated with the music world, especially after WWII. We also share scans of manuscripts and computer versions of scores by Polish composers, including works never printed by professional publishers.

On our new website you can listen to audio recordings (selected fragments or complete) of ‘Warsaw Autumn’ events as well as other festivals and concerts held by the PCU, most of which have never been commercially released, though some have come out in limited issues under PCU’s own label. We also share PCU’s / POLMIC’s own publications related to the festivals, concerts and other events we organise, including texts from ‘Warsaw Autumn’ programme books and other papers on contemporary music.

POLMIC Digital Archive has been co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the ‘Digital Culture’ programme. 

The new portal is available at: http://www.archiwumcyfrowe.polmic.pl/

Roman Maciejewski – pieces for two pianos

MaciejewskiThe project "Roman Maciejewski – pieces for two pianos" was created thanks to the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the "Culture on the Web" programme.

It is dedicated to the promotion of Polish music and compositions for piano duo, emphasizing the important role of Roman Maciejewski in Polish musical life.

The project includes audio-video recordings of such Roman Maciejewski's works as Mazurka, Lullaby, Tarantella, the Negro spirituals series, Deep River, Listen to the Lambs, Sometimes I feel like Motherless Child and I want to be ready. The pieces were performed by the Chopin Piano Duo composed of Anna Boczar and Bartłomiej Kominek.

The recordings were made in September 2020 in the Concert Hall of the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice. Sound director – Małgorzata Polańska (DUX), video director – Grzegorz Kućmierz ("Presto" Artistic Agency).

The material is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ocngeRpR2w

Roman Berger's jubilee album

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For the 90th birthday of its Honorary Member Roman Berger, the Polish Composers' Union – in co-operation with the National Centre for Culture Poland and thanks to support from the Society of Authors ZAiKS – released a CD with a monumental work of this great composer and philosopher entitled Missa pro nobis.

Roman Berger was born in 1930 in Cieszyn, Poland, in the family of Józef Berger, a doctor of theology and evangelical minister in Český Těšín (in the disputed region of Zaolzie) and a wartime prisoner of concentration camps in Auschwitz and Dachau. After graduating from the Polish secondary school in Český Těšín, in 1949 Roman Berger entered the State High School of Music in Katowice, studying piano with Marta Furmanik and music theory with Jan Gawlas. In 1952, his family was forced to move to Bratislava, where he resumed his studies at the Academy of Music and Drama, first as a pianist and later as a composer in the class of Dezider Kardoš (1961–1966). He has never come back to live in Poland, and Slovakia became his new homeland.

In an essay prepared for the CD booklet, Roman Berger wrote:

The (confidential) message that the Polish Composers’ Union was going to release my Missa pro nobis on CD moved me greatly, [...] Classical (and even more pop) music, especially sacred compositions, are not written for our own pleasure (“so that it feels nice,” as stated in Sławomir Mrożek’s Émigré). I therefore took this message as an expression of the PCU management (presided over by Mieczysław Kominek) solidarity with the message of my work, intended as a response to St John Paul II’s ‘commandment’ which the Holy Father put forward in the context of the 50th anniversary of the Holocaust (let me quote from memory): “Let people dare to sing today, as long as their song will be a lament, a protest, or a sign of hope”.

The project is carried out in cooperation with the National Centre for Culture and co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Records issued by POLMIC are intended for promotion, education and scientific research only. They are not for sale. They are provided free of charge to interested institutions and individuals, but due to the very small circulation and large interest, music libraries have priority, where a larger group of people can benefit from each set. If you are interested, please contact the Polish Music Information Center POLMIC (Izabela Zymer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

www.droba.polmic.pl - a new website devoted to Polish music theorist and critic

Kultura_w_sieci_2020_300On the initiative of the programme board of the ‘Warsaw Autumn’ International Festival of Contemporary Music, whose members were Krzysztof Droba’s colleagues and friends a new website – www.droba.polmic.pl was created, devoted to Krzysztof Droba. It is the Polish Composers’ Union’s first website dedicated to a music theorist and critic.

The first public presentation of the new website took place during the 49th Polish Composers' Union Musicological Conference, on October 26th, on the internet platform of the Academy of Music in Cracow - the conference co-organiser - and was broadcast to Vimeo. 

The Polish Composers’ Union gives its sincere thanks to all the persons and institutions whose assistance and commitment have made this project possible, and in particular:

• the Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, for making photographs of state decoration ceremonies available;
• our colleagues from the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, especially to Ruta Stanevičiūtė, Onutė Narbutaitė, Vytautas Landsbergis, and Feliksas Bajoras, for their inestimable support in documenting Krzysztof Droba’s work in the field of Lithuanian music and sharing memories;
• experts: Professors Teresa Malecka and Eugeniusz Knapik, for their support;•
Eva Maria Jensen, Maria Wiktoria Hübner, and Kazimierz Płoskoń, for sharing photos;•
composers, performers and the publisher: PWM Edition, for their kind permission to make recordings of works dedicated to Krzysztof Droba available on our website;
• all those who have agreed to share their memories of Krzysztof.

We are particularly grateful to Mr Bogusław Droba, Krzysztof’s brother, for kindly sharing with us his memories and materials from the family collection.

Partners:
Academy of Music in Cracow
Academy of Music in Lodz
Lithuanian Composers Union
PWM Edition

Subsidised by the National Centre for Culture under the programme Kultura w sieci.

More: "About the project"