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Chełmno | 15th National Christmas Carols and Pastorals Competition


The Choir Collegium Cantorum Friends' Association in Chełmno invites lovers of beautiful carols and pastorals on 18 January 2020 to the Hall of School Complex No. 1 in Chełmno (35 Dominikańska St.) for the 15th National Christmas Carols and Pastorals Competition.

The aim of the competition is to present the artistic achievements of choirs and vocal ensembles, stimulate interest in choral music, popularize artistically valuable Christmas carols and pastorals, confront the achievements, exchange experiences and establish cooperation between choirs and conductors. During the competition auditions choirs will be judged by a Jury composed of: Prof. Bernard Mendlik – Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz (chairman), Prof. Andrzej Ryłko – Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, DSc Michał Kozorys – Academy of Music in Gdańsk, Michał Rajewski – Artistic Director of the Competition. 24 choirs have signed up to the Competition! The compulsory programme includes works by Polish composers. The best choir will receive a Grand Prix of PLN 2,000. The jury will also grant a special award for the Best Conductor. Winners of individual choir will receive cups or material prizes.

As part of the Competition, choirs will march to the Grudziądz Gate and sing carols at the crib. The competition will end with a solemn mass, followed by the results announcement, award presentation and winners concert.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://www.facebook.com/Og%C3%B3lnopolski-Konkurs-Kol%C4%99d-i-Pastora%C5%82ek-w-Che%C5%82mnie-1790576574517934/ 

Katowice | Możdżer's "Missa Gratiatoria" at the Silesian Philharmonic


Missa Gratiatoria by Leszek Możdżer will be presented at the Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Silesian Philharmonic for the second time at the request of the audience delighted with the first performance in October 2019. The concert will take place on 26 January 2020 at 5 p.m.

This modern combination of jazz and religious music shows Możdżer's smooth movement between genres, which he also constantly proves as a pianist. The concert will start with a piece for a cappella choir written by the Silesian Philharmonic Patron, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. Euntes ibant et flebant is based on a text taken from the Book of Psalms, illustrated by a melody with an almost extraterrestrial dimension.

The concert will commemorate the victims of the 1945 Upper Silesian Tragedy, which 75th anniversary falls in January this year. Excellent performers: Michał Schoppa, Paweł Tomaszewski, Bartek Pieszka, Krzysztof Nowakowski, Tomasz Kałwak, Jarosław Wolanin and his Silesian Philharmonic Choir will give a unique concert of sacred music.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://filharmonia-slaska.eu/production/pro-memoria/ 

Kraków | Stars with Sinfonietta: Sergei Babayan and Rafael Payare


Sinfonietta Cracovia will inaugurate the Beethoven Year on 23 January 2020 at 7.00 p.m. in the St. Katherine of Alexandria Church in Kraków. The orchesta will perform with the outstanding pianist Sergei Babayana, under the baton of Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare. The programme will include Ludwig van Beethoven's Great Fugue.

Sergei Babayan is an Armenian-American pianist, the winner of numerous international competitions who continues to appear as soloist with leading orchestras. He is famous for his extremely diverse repertoire, which he will be present to the Krakow audience during the concert as part of the extremely popular series "Stars with Sinfonietta".

The virtuoso will perform with the charismatic Rafael Payar – Honorary Guest Conductor of Sinfonietta Cracovia. They will present two piano concertos: Concerto for piano and string orchestra by Alfred Schnittke and Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-major KV 271 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The evening will be inaugurated by another work by Alfred Schnittke Moz-Art à la Haydn – a good-natured Mozartian parody that ends with an evocation of Haydn's Farewell Symphony. The concert will end with Ludwig van Beethoven's Great Fugue (in arrangement for string orchestra), which is still considered to be controversial.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Information on tickets at: www.sinfonietta.pl 

Warsaw | Paderewski, Borodin i Dukas performed by Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra


A concert of the Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra conducted by Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk with the laureate of the Stanisław Moniuszko International Polish Music Competition in Rzeszów, pianist Pavel Dombrovsky will take place on 25 January 2020 at 7.00 p.m. at the Concert Hall of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. The artists will present works by Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Alexander Borodin and Paul Dukas.

Alexander Borodin, the oldest of a group of composers which went down in the history of music as the Mighty Handful, was a chemist by education and profession who only occasionally wrote music. Although a ‘dilettante’, as he would introduce himself on many occasions, his technique was excellent, and his works entered the canon of Russian music as its centrepieces. Ecstatic, exotic and energetic, the Polovtsian Dances (the Polovtsians being a mystery people from the steppes of the present-day Kazakhstan and fringe of Siberia whom the eponymous character invades) were among the fragments which the author wrote first, and nowadays – performed as a separate piece – they are regarded as symphonic ‘hits’.

Paul Dukas, a contemporary and friend of the famous Claude Debussy, is an author somewhat forgotten in the present day. While only few of his works reappear on stage at concert halls and theatres, his name has been immortalized by a symphonic scherzo The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, based on J.W. Goethe’s playful ballad.

Pavel Dombrovsky, an outstanding Russian pianist and winner of many prestigious competitions, performs the Piano Concerto in A minor by Ignacy Jan Paderewski, a pianist, composer and statesman. Full of spectacular virtuosity, this piece was written by Paderewski at 28, on the brink of his fame, which came relatively late. The success of the world premiere (with the participation of Anette Essipoff, performing under the baton of the great Hans Richter) confirmed that his work was a masterpiece, marking the beginning of his long career on the world’s stages. Of course, through its beautiful stylisations of national motifs, it is close to the Polish audience’s heart in particular.

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://sinfoniaiuventus.pl/ 

Warsaw | Beethoven, Dvořák and Elgar performed by Sinfonia Iuventus


A concert of the Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra conducted by Marek Wroniszewski with the talented young cellist Marcel Markowski will take place on 18 January 2020 at 7.00 p.m. at the Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio. The repertoire will include neo-romantic works by Antonin Dvořák and Edward Elgar as well as Ludwig van Beethoven's Coriolan overture.

General Gaius Marcius Coriolanus was a symbolic character of particular importance for ancient Romans, going back to the mythical origins of the City. A conqueror of the Volsci, he eventually defected to the enemy after a conflict with the tribunes and invaded Rome. In 1804, another tragedy based on Gaius Marcius’ story was written by a now-forgotten Austrian playwright, Heinrich Joseph von Collin. It is for his version that an overture was composed in 1807 by Ludwig van Beethoven. The structure of a two-theme allegro enabled rendering the dramatic tension between the rebellious attitude of Coriolanus and pleadings of the two women.

Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No 7 in D minor, op. 70, was written for the Royal Philharmonic Society in London (1885), which highly appreciated the Czech composer’s skills. In some commentators’ views, the Seventh is even regarded as Dvořák’s finest work of this kind, his orchestral mastery and individual style characteristics at their fullest. While eventually the Ninth (‘From the New World’) was the one to achieve the greatest popularity, the Seventh has belonged to the canon of neo-romantic symphonic music ever since its premiere.

The Cello Concerto in E minor is one of the core pieces of the present-day repertoire and one of the author’s most popular works nowadays. This elegiac work was influenced by traumatic experience of the great war. Challenging on the technical level, it does not, however, dazzle the audience with its virtuosity, but rather amazes one with the richness of its thematic invention, its unique harmonic colour, and above all, with the depth of its emotional message.

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://sinfoniaiuventus.pl/ 

„One Hundred Years of Musical Emigration” – second edition available for sale!

Sto Lat

Untold stories of eminent personalities – "One hundred years of musical emigration. Polish composers abroad (1918-2018)” is a book that makes you think innovatively about history, culture and artists today.

The book based on the concept by Marlena Wieczorek, PhD (MEAKULTURA Foundation) under the substantive supervision of Beata Bolesławska-Lewandowska, PhD (Polish Academy of Sciences) is the first publication in Polish literature that comprehensively explores the emigration of 20th-century composers. The compendium contains profiles of artists from the circle of classical, jazz, film, and even popular music. Its formula combines 15 extensive cross-sectional texts and biographies in the form of 63 expert interviews. In these various forms specialists present composers' personalities in an interesting way and reveal compelling anecdotes.

The publication of "One Hundred Years of Musical Emigration ..." is also an element of celebrating the Centenary of Independence – the century of musical emigration culture, modernized thanks to 50 authors who analyze life, works and motivations of over 200 composers. The whole is complemented by a unique visual layer – almost 100 illustrations by Max Skorwider, PhD, a valued graphic artist. Krzysztof Moraczewski, Prof. AMU, PhD Habil., in an editorial review indicates that – (...) It is often about outstanding work, but not well known in Poland. This ignorance is also one of the problems of artistic emigration. Like any good book about art, this one will also force you to revise your own knowledge and beliefs, re-evaluate and look for new ways of understanding the artistic situation we are in.

The patron of the publication is the ZAiKS Association of Authors. The media patron of the book is the Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC .

The first edition of the book was exhausted in a few days, the second edition is now available for sale.

More information at: http://fundacjameakultura.pl/projekty#wydawnictwa-sto-lat-muzycznej-emigracji-kompozytorzy-polscy-za-granica-1918-2018 

Katowice | Film Music performed by the Silesian Philharmonic Choir and Symphony Orchestra


On 10 January 2020 at 7:00 p.m. the Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Silesian Philharmonic will hold a concert of film music. The Symphony Orchestra and the Silesian Philharmonic Choir under the direction of Maciej Sztor will perform pieces from the most recent and classical productions.

Rich orchestrations, expressive sound motifs, moving themes and energetic sequences will certainly bring to mind vivid images from the world cinema. The programme will include works by Ennio Morricone, James Horner, Nino Rota, David Arnold and Wojciech Kilar. We will listen to the music from such movies as The Hateful Eight, Magnificent Seven, The Godfather, Avatar and Independence Day, as well as Salt of the Black Earth directed by Kazimierz Kutz.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://filharmonia-slaska.eu/ 

Warsaw | Sinfonia Varsovia „Resounds. New Polish Music”


The next edition of the Sinfonia Varsovia series „Resounds. New Polish Music” will open with a concert on 11 January 2010 at 7.00 p.m. in the Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio in Warsaw. The programme will include compositions by Agata Zubel, Emil Młynarski and Luciano Berio. Adam Siebers will perform as a soloist, the orchestra will be conducted by Wilson Hermanto.

Fireworks (2018) by Agata Zubel is the composer's musical view on the hundred years of the Polish nation – its tradition and contexts of broadly understood culture. The eight-minute work for extended symphony orchestra is filled with fireworks of musical thoughts, impressions and sound reminiscences, freely combined with each other. The composition reached international audiences, arousing widespread admiration. It was performed, among others at London's Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms festival and Konzerthaus in Berlin. In August 2018, Fireworks brought Agata Zubel the European Composer Award.

The pretext for a musical retrospective to the interwar period is the 100th anniversary of the premiere of the Second Violin Concerto in D major by an outstanding violinist, conductor, composer and organizer of Warsaw's musical life – Emil Młynarski. The work will allow to observe the changes in the composer's language of expression over the century and understand the context of the new Polish music. Set in the tradition of European music, with a virtuoso solo party compared to Wieniawski's concerts, it will be performed by the outstanding violinist of the young generation, the second concert master of Sinfonia Varsovia, Adam Siebers.

The programme will also include Rendering (1989) by Italian composer Luciano Berio. Its genesis is associated with the discovery of sketches of the unfinished 10th Symphony in D major by Franz Schubert, which form the foundation of the composition. The premiere performance of the work took place exactly 30 years ago at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

The concert will be preceded by a meeting with Agata Zubel led by Jacek Hawryluk (6.00 p.m.).

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: www.sinfoniavarsovia.org 

Katowice | Vivat Academia! 90th Anniversary of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music


As part of the jubilee series "Vivat Academia!" The Institution for the Promotion and Dissemination of Music "Silesia" invites you to an extraordinary meeting with Katarzyna Pleśniak, the chancellor of the oldest music university in Silesia since 2008. The concert will take place on 9 January 2020 at 6.00 p.m. in the Archdiocese Museum in Katowice (ul. Wita Stwosza 16) as part of the "Vivat Academia" anniversary cycle.

Katarzyna Pleśniak received, among others, the Distinguished Cultural Activist badge awarded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, the Golden Laurel of Skills and Competence, "Narcissus" – an award granted to women distinguished by their professional achievements and outstanding social activists and the Pearl of Gentle Women in the field of "Culture, art, passion". The meeting will be led by Violetta Rotter-Kozera and will be accompanied by music. Selected works will be performed by Ms. Chancellor herself, who is a graduate of the Katowice Academy of Music: in 1999 she graduated from the solo singing class of prof. Stanisława Marciniak-Gowarzewska.

The concert will also feature pianists working the Katowice Academy of Music: Paweł Tomaszewski, the dean of the Faculty of Jazz and Popular Music, and Grzegorz Biegas, professor at the Department of Chamber Music, whose main interests revolve around vocal literature.

Free entrance cards are available at the IPiUM Silesia office (2/20 Sejmu Śląskiego Square) or by phone (32) 219 33 44 ext. 21.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information athttps://www.silesia.art.pl/strona-glowna/koncerty/546_vivat-academia-koncert-inbspspotkanie-z-kanclerz-am-katarzyna-plesniak 

Katowice | New Year's Eve in American style


The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra invites you on 31 December 2019 at 6:00 p.m. for the New Year's concert. On this special evening, the NOSPR will be conducted by Maestro Lawrence Foster!

The concert programme will consist primarily of well-known works by outstanding American composers: Agnegram by Michael Tilson Thomas, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 for soprano and orchestra by Samuel Barber, Episodes from the ballet Rodeo by Aaron Copland, Three dance episodes from the musical On the Town by Leonard Bernstein, An American in Paris by George Gershwin. There will be also a Polish accent – Oscar-awarded music from the film Lili by Bronisław Kaper, Polish composer of film and theater music, who made a career In Hollywood.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

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

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 | Premiere of Witold Friemann's "Concerto for flute and orchestra"


The first performance of the reconstructed Concerto for flute and orchestra by Witold Friemann will take place on 20 December 2019 at 7 p.m. at the Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Silesian Philharmonic in Katowice.

The evening will begin with the overture to the opera Kalmora by Karol Kurpiński. Then Łukasz Długosz, who constantly promotes Polish culture around the world and actively participates in discovering new and forgotten works by Polish composers, will perform Witold Fiemann's Concerto for flute and orchestra. The manuscript of the work was found by the composer's family who asked Łukasz Długosz to prepare the premiere of the piece. After this extraordinary experience, Silesian philharmonics will perform fragments of the ballet The Nutcracker, Op. 71 by Piotr Tchaikovsky. 

The concert will be conducted by Hobart Earle, an American conductor born in Venezuela, appreciated for promoting works by Slavic composers in excellent interpretations. Currently, the maestro is the music director and first conductor of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

Full programme available at: https://filharmonia-slaska.eu 

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 | 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