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Content
5 – 29.
Calendar of Events 2012/13

33.
Daniel Muzyczuk

From Ghetto to Explosion and Back?

39.
Monika Pasiecznik
Ewa Bogusz-Moore (photo: Radek Polak)

Globalization and Identity

Contemporary music in Poland. What is it like? Where is it headed? Who is making it? When heatedly debating these questions, we tend to look for references, continuity, rationalizations or, conversely, simple statements of: “I like it / I don’t like it.” Contemporary music evokes complex emotions among its listeners, albeit frequently limited to the narrow group of those attending a given work’s (premiere) performances. One of the main difficulties of new compositions is their transience, often amounting to a single performance. Thus, the recognition of the multi-layered character of the musical scene or the attempt to examine these phenomena poses a problem not only to the people closely related to the Polish musical milieu but also to the international audience. It is with great hope and anticipation that I present you with the first issue of the Polska Music Now annual. The magazine aims to become a starting point to explore the specificity of the Polish musical scene. The events listed in the calendar and the essays on selected topics will, as I hope, help outline the directions of development and dynamics of contemporary classical music in Poland.

45.
Maria Peryt

Polish Music and Its Local and Global Market Potential

53.
Katarzyna Gardzina-Kubała

Large Stage Forms

61.
Filip Lech

Composer Collider

67.
Piotr Jan Wojciechowski

Commisioned Compositions

75.
Ewa Bogusz-Moore
manager Polska Music Programme Adam Mickiewicz Institute

Lisa Jakelski

New Music in Poland, Now and Then: Reflections on the History of the Warsaw Autumn Festival

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Calendar of Events
Overview of major events in the past eighteen months, based on information submitted in surveys taken by Polish opinion-forming circles connected with contemporary music.

January

_concert

_CD

April

Krzysztof Penderecki
performers: Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir (Poland) place: Warsaw Philharmonic (Poland)

“Debussy – Szymanowski”
performer: Rafał Blechacz (pianist) publisher: Deutsche Grammophon (Germany)

Composer Bible, a monographic concert devoted to the work of Krzysztof Penderecki, is organized as part of the Composer Portrait cycle hosted by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. Its program featured Psalms of David, Hymn to St. Adalbert, Hymn to St. Daniil, Three Chinese Songs, Cieszyn Choral, Jacob’s Awakening and Kadish.

The recording was recognized in April 2013 with the Fryderyk Award in the Album of the Year Category: Classical Music. The Fryderyk Award is the only such award given in Poland by the Society of Audio and Video Producers and the Polish Recording Academy.

krzysztofpenderecki.eu

blechacz.net zpav.pl/fryderyk

February _CD

Eugeniusz Rudnik (courtesy of Polish Music Information Center)

Andrzej Chłopecki © Beata Chłopecka

“Meadow Quartet – Unexpected”
_opera
performer: Meadow Quartet publisher: Multikulti Project (Poland)

_CD

_festival

“Re:PRESS”
performer: DJ Lenar publisher: Bôłt Records (Poland)

28th Festival Musica Polonica Nova
artistic director: Andrzej Chłopecki director: Andrzej Kosendiak place: Filharmonia Wrocławska, Wrocław (Poland)

“Oresteja”
composer: Agata Zubel director: Maja Kleczewska libretto: Aeschylus conductor: Wojciech Rodek organizer: Teatr Wielki – National Opera, Warsaw place: Teatr Wielki – National Opera, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Teatr Wielki – National Opera

Musical archeology and the art of the record player: sound miniatures inspired by works by Eugeniusz Rudnik, pioneer of Polish electroacoustic music.

An attempt to create a platform for divergent influences of contemporary chamber music, jazz, improvised music, film music, and a fundamental common denominator of traditional Jewish music. (meadowquartet.com) Reaching for the Jewish modes is like a plunge into deep waters by young ensembles. Unless you’re strong, it’s easy to drown. […] It’s a sign that such a phenomenon is worthy of further study. (jazzarium.pl)

Tomasz J. Opałka (photo: courtesy of the artist)

boltrecords.pl eugeniusz-rudnik-culture.gu.ma

_award

Witold Lutosławski scholarship
laureate: Tomasz J. Opałka (composer) founder: The Witold Lutosławski Society (Poland)

The Festival reaches beyond referencing the names of well-known Polish composers. More than half of the works are world premieres. In this edition, one thematic thread that was especially evident in commissioning works related to the opus of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki.

_magazine

musicapolonicanova.pl

Glissando no. 19 “Polska Music – Junge Komponisten aus Polen auf Deutsch”
publisher: Glissando supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Poland)

The prestigious scholarship from the Witold Lutosławski Society is given annually upon the recommendation of the jury for the purpose of pursuing further musical studies abroad. 2012 winner, Tomasz J. Opałka, is a composer of classical and film music, a laureate of a scholarship of the Berlinale Talent Campus, Berlin 2011, and also a teacher and activist in musical circles.

The “dramato-opera” project seeking to redefine stylistic boundaries in a cycle called Terytoria [Territories], presenting the most important contemporary musical works alongside the debuts of music by Polish composers. Oresteja is a controversial juxtaposition of ancient tragedy with contemporary texts designed to help in examining the “family archetype.”

meadowquartet.com

_CD

“Quaardvarktet – Debutee”
performer: Quaardvarktet publisher: Quaardvarktet (Poland)

_magazine

PRESTO no. 1
editor: Kinga Anna Wojciechowska publisher: Redwood Project (Poland) The popular-science magazine brings its readers closer to classical music. It’s the first publication of this profile in Poland.

teatrwielki.pl

A special, German issue of the magazine on new music, featuring a comprehensive presentation of Polish composers born after 1970. Supplemented with the recordings of presented works.

lutoslawski.org.pl/ tomaszjakubopalka.com listen: soundcloud.com/tomaszopalka

Enriched by the participation of a trumpeter Paweł Południak, the Aardvark Trio self-published their debut album as the Quaardvarktet. In this eclectic project of linking genres, the young instrumentalists are looking for new and hybrid versions of “contemporary jazz.”

prostoomuzyce.pl glissando.pl

quaardvarktet.bandcamp.com

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May _composition

June

July _award

String Quartet no. 5
composer: Hanna Kulenty performers: Kronos Quartet premiere: De Doelen, Rotterdam (The Netherlands) commissioned by: Kronos Quartet

Kranichstein Music Prize distinction
laureate: Jagoda Szmytka (composer) founder: 46. Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt organizer: Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt (Germany)

Jagoda Szmytka (photo: courtesy of the artist)

For the second time, Kronos Quartet commissioned Hanna Kulenty to write a work for string quartet. Her String Quartet No. 4 (A Cradle Song) has been performed by Kronos over twenty times across the world, including Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall in New York.

Krzysztof Kaczka

_award

Global Music Awards – The Excellence Award
laureate: Krzysztof Kaczka (flautist) organizer: Global Music Awards place: La Jolla (USA)

hannakulenty.com kronosquartet.org

The award is given for composing or performing a work of “exceptional quality and strength of expression.” For Travelers like Angels and Vampires performed by the Ensemble BESIDES is an apotheosis of the physicality of musical instruments and performance art as an occupation. (jagodaszmytka.com)

_award

Kranichstein Music Prize distinction
laureate: Wojtek Blecharz (composer) founder: 46. Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt organizer: Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt (Germany)

May-August

_festival

Music Installations Festival “A Friendly Match”
curator: Paweł Mykietyn organizer: New Theatre, Warsaw (Poland) place: Królikarnia, Warsaw (Poland)

The performer was awarded, together with percussionist Nicholas Reed, for the recording Nostalgy: Chopin for Flute and Marimba. The jury was especially impressed by the originality of the transcriptions.

internationales-musikinstitut.de jagodaszmytka.com

Eugeniusz Morawski (photo: courtesy of National Digital Archives )

K’an for steel drum and 130 mallets (a part of the opera, Transcryptum, premiered in May of 2013 as part of “Project P”) By the sheer force of their talent, these composers [Szmytka i Blecharz] have entered the international arena. They took two of the total of five prizes. Hundreds of composers from all over the world competed for these awards. – Monika Pasiecznik

_CD

“Eugeniusz Morawski: Symphonic Poems”
composer: Eugeniusz Morawski publisher: CD Accord (Poland)

pearlflutes.com/161 thegma.net

A symphony performed by 111 bicyclists, a piano speaking with a human voice, and music heard from the deep. (nowyteatr.org) An idea to bring contemporary music to the people. A cultural event as an antidote to a sporting event. Pleasant, picnic-like format. – Karol Nepelski

internationales-musikinstitut.de wojtek-blecharz-culture.gu.ma

A new album with three symphonic poems (to texts by Cervantes and Poe), performed by Sinfonia Varsovia led by Monika Wolińska. Eugeniusz Morawski is a notable but underrated composer, painter, lecturer and pedagogue, active during the first half of the 20th century, who only recently began to be duly recognized.

Sounding the Body Electric © Piotr Tomczyk

_CD

_exhibition

nowyteatr.org/pl/event/mecz_towarzyski

“Kilar: Classical and Film Music”
composer: Wojciech Kilar publisher: Sony Music/RMF Classic (Poland)

eugeniusz-morawski.gu.ma cdaccord.com.pl

“Sounding the Body Electric. Experiments in Art and Music in Eastern Europe 1957-1984”
curators: Daniel Muzyczuk, David Crowley place: Museum of Art, Łódź (Poland)

The two-CD album presents the best-known themes from film soundtracks such as Dracula, Death and the Maiden, The Promised Land, as well as heretofore unpublished works inspired by folk music from Southern Poland.

Experimental music and “sound art” presenting a wide spectrum of trends in Eastern Europe for the first time since 1989. Everything that was collected is admirable for its timeliness, constructivist zeal, conscious use of modern techniques in art, and utopian sweep. – Monika Pasiecznik

wojciechkilar.pl

msl.org.pl

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August _performance

August-November

September _festival

“Harnasie”
composers: Karol Szymanowski, Wojciech Kilar organizer: Mieczysław Karłowicz Association (Poland) place: International Festival of Chamber Music “Muzyka na Szczytach”, Krokwia Place, Zakopane (Poland)

Sacrum Profanum
artistic director: Filip Berkowicz organizer: Kraków Festival Office (Poland) place: Kraków (Poland)

Paweł Łukaszewski © Mariusz Makowski

A dance spectacle inspired by Wojciech Kilar’s symphonic poem, Krzesany, and Karol Szymanowski’s ballet-pantomime, intended to introduce elements of folklore into the high culture of the theatre. An example of interdisciplinary approach, with performers from across Poland invited to present various dance styles and methods. – Janusz Wawrowski

_composition

Symphony no. 3 “Song of Angels”
composer: Paweł Łukaszewski performers: Maris Sirmais (conductor), the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the National Choir of Latvia premiere: 15th International Sacred Music Festival, St. Peter’s Church, Riga (Latvia)

This edition of the interdisciplinary festival included a noteworthy series of concerts presenting young Polish composers, such as Aleksander Nowak, Marcin Stańczyk, Cezary Duchnowski, Agata Zubel, Sławomir Kupczak, and the Polish Icons project, featuring DJ reinterpretations of classical pieces.

Tadeusz Wielecki (photo: courtesy of the artist)

_festival

sacrumprofanum.com aleknowak.com marcinstanczyk.com duchnowski.pl zubel.pl kupczak.com.pl
Katarzyna Krakowiak © A. Taraska-Pietrzak/Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź

Wojtek Blecharz (photo: courtesy of the artist)

55th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music and the 2nd Youth Warsaw Autumn Festival
artistic director: Tadeusz Wielecki organizer: Polish Composers’ Union (Poland) place: Warsaw (Poland)

_composition

karlowicz.org

An oratorio in two parts based on the Ethiopian Book of Enoch in a new Latin translation, as well as the analogous studies from Catholic Church documents. Paweł Łukaszewski is a choral music composer as well as the founder and leader of the excellent Musica Sacra choir. Three CD recordings featuring his works have been released by Hyperion Records.

_award

listen: soundcloud.com/duchnowski listen: soundcloud.com/marcinstanczyk listen: soundcloud.com/s-awomirkoliber-kupczak

“Means of Protection” for female voice, cello, and prepared accordion
composer: Wojtek Blecharz performers: Anna Radziejewska (voice), Magdalena Bojanowicz (cello), Maciej Frąckiewicz (prepared accordion) premiere: 55th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, Warsaw Philharmonic (Poland) commissioned by: 55th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music (Poland)

13th International Biennale for Architecture distinction
laureate: Katarzyna Krakowiak (artist), Michał Libera (curator) founder: International Biennale for Architecture, Venice (Italy)

Voice in its diverse applications was the common denominator in this edition of the festival: voice as a performing medium in music and the analysis of the human voice – as an expressive means in contemporary music form.

_festival

warsaw-autumn.art.pl

lukaszewski.org.uk hyperion-records.co.uk

5 Film Music Festival
th

The sound sculpture Making the Walls Quake as if They Were Dilating with the Secret Knowledge of Great Powers shown at the Polish Pavilion was noted as an exceptional architectural presentation in the category of auditory experience. Here is the proof that one doesn’t need to be a composer in order to create a musical work of great merit for the listeners. It’s enough to interpret the sound creatively and place it in a particular context to have an engaging and challenging composition for the audience. – Jacek Plewicki

artistic director: Robert Piaskowski organizer: Kraków Festival Office, Kraków (Poland), RMF Classic Radio (Poland) place: Kraków (Poland)

Single-themed concerts and film music retrospectives as well as film and music spectacles done with flair and care regarding technological innovations.

Inspired by the case of Annette Messager, a musical catalogue of safety features as seen by a mind enslaved by the persecution complex. The composition is designed to “inspect” the operatic means of expression. (warszawska-jesien.art.pl) This emotion-filled contemporary composition is also a demonstration of compositional techniques that can be easily understood by an average listener. – Jacek Plewicki

_festival

HMG Festival 2012. 2nd International Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Festival of Contemporary Music
artistic director: Michał Kwiatkowski organizer: Fundacja Pro Musica Nova (Poland) place: Kraków (Poland)

Transatlantyk 2012 ©Tomasz Opasiński

fmf.fm

_festival

Transatlantyk Festival
director: Jan A.P. Kaczmarek place: Poznań (Poland)

labiennale.org/en krakowiak.hmfactory.com

wojtek-blecharz-culture.gu.ma warsaw-autumn.art.pl listen: soundcloud.com/wojtek-4/ means-of-protection

An interdisciplinary festival, linking the cinema and musical performances, seeking to inspire discussion about the social context of film and music. Accompanied by a prestigious open film scoring competition, the festival draws talent from across the world.

The list of performers includes some of Poland’s best chamber musicians – the Royal String Quartet, the avant-garde performance group Muzyka Centrum Duo (Marek Chołoniewski, Kazimierz Pyzik) and the Silesian Philharmonic Choir.

hmgfestival.pl promusicanova.pl muzykacentrum.krakow.pl

transatlantyk.org

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October

_concert

New Music Festival
performers: Varsoviae Regii Cantores Chamber Choir (Poland) organizer: Varsoviae Regii Cantores Association and Choir (Poland) place: The Holy Trinity Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession, Warsaw (Poland)

Kwartludium (press releases)

_festival

Ad Libitum Festival
Maciej Jabłoński (photo: courtesy of the artist) Agata Zubel (photo: press releases)

_composition

September-December _festival

_composition

“Księżycowy Pierrot”
composers: Maciej Jabłoński, Przemysław Fiugajski performers: Sławomir Pacek (actor), Szymon Bywalec (conductor), Orkiestra Muzyki Nowej premiere: 55th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, Warsaw Philharmonic (Poland) commissioned by: 55th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music (Poland)

“Not I” for soprano, chamber ensemble and electronics
composer: Agata Zubel performers: Agata Zubel (voice), Klangforum Wien (Austria) premiere: Festival Sacrum Profanum, Kraków (Poland) commissioned by: Kraków Festival Office (Poland)

artistic director: Krzysztof Knittel organizer: Polish Music Council Foundation (Poland) performers: Kwartludium place: Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (Poland)

“Contemporary Music Does Not Bite”. Series of educational meetings
organizers: Polish Association of Contemporary Music place: Lokal Użytkowy, Warsaw (Poland)

Besides the world premiere of Ignacy Zalewski’s work, Kamil Staszowski’s Messa dell’Uomo Moderno was also performed. This composition touches upon the role of faith in the life of modern man. It links an unusual group of instruments and freely-adapted forms with the “ossified” Latin liturgy of the Tridentine Mass. Piotr Tabakiernik’s Xopancuicatl [Spring Song] written to texts in the Nahuatl language with spoken elements and additional sound effects was performed at the end.

A festival devoted to improvised music, promoting an atmosphere of collaboration and a search for new means of expressions through marathon concerts and workshops.

kamil-staszowski.gu.ma piotr-tabakiernik.gu.ma vrc.art.pl

_festival

Unsound Festival
curators: Mat Schulz, Małgorzata Płysa organizer: Fundation Tone – Music and New Art Forms place: Kraków (Poland)

ad-libitum.pl csw.art.pl

A composition based on the motives from Samuel Beckett’s experimental monologue. Drama and exceptional vocal techniques, maturity of style and a profound interpretation of Samuel Beckett’s text outstandingly performer by the composer. – Maciej Jabłoński

The work was designed as a modern, multilayered collage, both in terms of content (lack of self-acceptance, alienation, frustration, politically incorrect thinking, and personality disorders), and form (parallel video narration, spatial, and multimedia dimensions).

A cycle of conversations with authors about the character, traits and goals of contemporary music. In this edition, among the invited composers were: Rafał Augustyn, Sławomir Czarnecki, Hanna Kulenty, Alicja Gronau and Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil.

_festival _composition

Festival NeoArte – New Music Spectrum
organizer: NeoQuartet place: Zatoka Sztuki, Sopot (Poland)

maciej-jablonski-culture.gu.ma przemyslaw-fiugajski.gu.ma warsaw-autumn.art.pl

A unique opportunity to directly meet contemporary composers of various generations. – dr Iwona Lindstedt

Poland’s most adventurous festival focused on vibrant electronic, experimental, independent and club music scenes from all around the world, with a sister event in New York. Fundation Tone has also produced Unsound in Tbilisi, Minsk, Kyiv, Prague, Bratislava.

“Stojąc z daleka”
composer: Ignacy Zalewski performers: Varsoviae Regii Cantores Chamber Choir and The Holy Trinity Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession Children’s Choir, Warsaw (Poland) premiere: New Music Festival, The Holy Trinity Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Varsoviae Regii Cantores Association and Choir (Poland)

zubel.pl klangforum.at en.biurofestiwalowe.pl

_CD

ptmw.art.pl hannakulenty.com sczarnecki.republika.pl

unsound.pl

The festival’s remit is to promote the authors and performers of contemporary art, and places where such art is thriving. Contemporary applications of chamber music are especially favored. The festival is organized by NeoQuartet, one of the leading Polish string quartets specializing in contemporary music.

“Górecki: Miserere”
composer: Henryk Mikołaj Górecki performers: Los Angeles Master Chorale publisher: Decca Classics (UK)

The first part of the triptych by a young composer (born in 1990) dedicated to God’s expressions of faith. The composition is constructed as a dialogue between the choirs: of doubters and the innocent.

neoquartet.pl/festival goo.gl/Wy9rdm

Górecki’s Miserere is at once universal and particular, restrained yet impassioned, transcendental yet human . . . This is simplicity laid bare across a vast temporal canvas, and the challenge is to communicate and project its large-scale architectural span. Previous recordings have managed to do this . . . but rarely have they exuded such physical warmth and beauty as in this performance by the Los Angeles Master Chorale directed by Grant Gershon. – Pwyll ap Siôn, Gramophone

ignacy-zalewski.gu.ma listen: soundcloud.com/ignacyzalewski vrc.art.pl

deccaclassics.com

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November

_festival

_composition

aXes – Three Days of New Music
organizers: Academy of Music, Composition Department, Kraków (Poland), Deutscher Musikrat (Germany) place: Kraków (Poland)

“Sonatina for Orchestra”
composer: Henryk Wars performers: Dariusz Tabisz (conductor), Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii Dolnośląskiej premiere: Filharmonia Dolnośląska, Jelenia Góra (Poland)

Michał Libera (photo: courtesy of the artist)

_festival

Playback Play no. 6
curator: Michał Libera place: Warsaw (Poland)

Linking composition and performance workshops, conferences and presentations from various academic centers throughout Europe, and concerts featuring the world premieres of works by the youngest generation of composers performed by young new music ensembles (The Ukraine, Poland, Germany). – Karol Nepelski

The world premiere of a composition dedicated to Maurice Ravel, presented in celebration of Independence Day. Discovered in 2002, the manuscripts of Sonatina and other compositional sketches from the years 19471951 were given to the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California in 2005. (pwm.com.pl)

axes-new-music.gu.ma
Piotr Orzechowski aka Pianohooligan (photo: courtesy of the artist)

henryk-wars-culturepl.gu.ma

A cooperative project among musicians from various countries, inspired by American traditions of blues and spoken word. Proof of the success of creating one’s own myths and narratives (like Susanne Burner’s Vanishing Point) or finding the forgotten ones (following the work of Alan Lomax) rather than concentrating on building yet another monument to something that’s obvious and well-known. – Jacek Plewicki

Sławomir Kupczak (photo: courtesy of Warsaw Autumn)

_festival

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_award

_award

XX AudioArt Festival
organizers: Music of the Center. Artistic Association artistic director: Marek Chołoniewski place: Kraków (Poland)

_composition

“Experiment: Penderecki”
performer: Piotr Orzechowski aka Pianohooligan (pianist) publisher: DECCA Classics/Universal Music Polska (Poland)

“Kapelusz”
composer: Sławomir Kupczak performers: Karolina Głąb, Katarzyna Kubacka, Adrianna Kućmierz, Daniel Malchar, Marta Mazurek, Jan Sobolewski, Łukasz Stawowczyk, Weronika Wronka premiere: Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Teatralna, Kraków (Poland) commissioned by: Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Teatralna (Poland)

Prix France Musique – SACEM de la musique de film Award
laureate: Paweł Mykietyn (composer) organizer: Theatre Trianon, Paris (France)

ARBORETUM
laureate: Bartosz Kowalski-Banasewicz (composer) founder: Minister of Culture and National Heritage (Poland), President of Radom City (Poland) performers: Maciej Żółtowski (conductor), Radom Chamber Orchestra, Radom organizer: Radom Chamber Orchestra, Radom premiere: Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concert Hall, Complex of Music Schools, Radom (Poland)

boltrecords.pl

_festival

15th Silesian Days of Contemporary Music
organizer: Polish Composers Union, Katowice Section (Poland) performers: Jan Jakub Monowid (countertenor),  José Maria Florêncio (conductor), NOSPR (Katowice) place: Katowice (Poland)

A radio broadcast based on Oliver Sack’s book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Attractive, contemporary musical-literary radio art, done with flair for the genre. – Michał Mendyk

The festival presents projects combining sound experiments with performance and installation. The Audio Art 2012 Festival saw the premiere of the Audiomat, an educational and promotional device in the form of a vending machine containing nothing but music. The Audiomat contained recordings (CSs, SD memory cards, download codes etc.) of selected artists with links to Kraków, the Audio Art Festival and the Polish Association for Electroacoustic Music. An unusually-themed Festival, with performers from around the world, exploring the boundaries of the art. Of sound and music, and interdisciplinary arts. – Karol Nepelski

Atypical variations on Krzysztof Penderecki’s works by a jazz pianist, hailed as one of the most intriguing musical events of the year in Poland. An unusual, path-breaking re-interpretation of Penderecki’s music. – dr Iwona Lindstedt

Radio France and SACEM [French Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers] recognized Paweł Mykietyn’s score for Jerzy Skolimowski’s film, Essential Killing. Mykietyn is also working on a Radio France commission for a work for the next edition of the competition.

pianohooligan.com deccaclassics.com universalmusic.pl listen: soundcloud.com/pianohooligan

culturepl-mykietyn.gu.ma

A recurring competition for composers for an original composition for strings that leads to a concert. Bartosz Kowalski-Banasewicz won the First Prize for his Prismatic shapes. The first prize was decided by the exquisite compositional technique manifested by such a young musician. He used a minute motif to write a 10-minutes long composition, a truly rare feat. Very rare means overlap with a very intriguing form. – Krzysztof Penderecki (gazeta.pl)

kupczak.com.pl pwst.krakow.pl listen: soundcloud.com/s-awomirkoliber-kupczak

audio.art.pl

The festival’s goal is to present new music from the region juxtaposed against international repertoire of the 20th and 21st century. Besides music by foreign composers, works by Piotr Warzecha and Aleksander Lasoń—composers connected to the region of Silesia—were also performed.

bartoszkowalski.com

zkp.org.pl

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December _festival

Other 2012 Events: _CD

2013
January

X Brand New Music Festival
director: Szymon Bywalec organizers: Academy of Music in Katowice (Poland), Polish Composers’ Union. The Katowice Branch (Poland) place: Katowice (Poland)

“Witold Lutosławski Centenary Edition. Gold Collection”
composer: Witold Lutosławski publisher: Polskie Nagrania (Poland)

Karol Nepelski © Jakub Falkowski

Presentation of works by the young generation of composers, including Aleksander Nowak, Krzysztof Wołek, Karol Nepelski and Dobromiła Jaskot.

_CD

“Edena”
performer: Piotr Kurek publisher: Sangoplasmo Records (Poland)

aleknowak.com/ krzysztofwolek.com karolnepelski.com jaskot.info zkp.org.pl listen: soundcloud.com/dobromila-jaskot/

The 8-CD box is an invaluable collection of recordings of Lutosławski’s compositions, including their unique Polish premieres performed by some of the greatest Polish artists and orchestras conducted by, among others, Lutosławski himself.

polskienagrania.com.pl

Stolik (photo: press releases)

_project

_composition

“Table Around Cage”
organizer: Karbido (Poland)
Hanna Kulenty ©Zosia Zija

The recording issued by Wrocław-based Sangoplasmo is an example of how discriminating an average listener can be. This amateur-composer works without any grants or a supporting community. An interesting composer’s take on a refined sound and narrative in the form of synthesizer music. – Jacek Plewicki

“Sostenuto” for symphony orchestra
composer: Paweł Szymański performers: Antoni Wit (conductor), Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra place: Warsaw Philharmonic (Poland)

_CD

_composition

“Zarębski/Żeleński: Piano Quintet & Piano Quartet”
composers: Juliusz Zarębski, Władysław Żeleński performers: Jonathan Plowright (pianist), Szymanowski Quartet publisher: Hyperion (UK)

piotrkurek.bandcamp.com sangoplasmo.storenvy.com listen: soundcloud.com/piotr-kurek

“E-motions” for accordion, string orchestra and percussion
composer: Hanna Kulenty performers: Eneasz Kubit (accordion), Ernst Kovacic (conductor), Wrocław Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum premiere: Wrocław Philharmonic, Wrocław (Poland)

The Table is an audio performance of the Karbido experimental group, winner of the Best Fringe World Performance 2012 award, performed on a special, electroacoustic wooden table. This prototype instrument is a soundproducing object, made of several different instruments grouped under a tabletop, used as an instrument by performers. A new project, full of exceptional color and dynamic narration. Besides the arrangements of Cage’s works (including his string quartet Four, for example), other compositions inspired by Cage’s philosophy were also featured. – Izabela Duchnowska

The composition was dedicated to Witold Lutosławski to commemorate the centenary of his birth.

Two important chamber music compositions by unduly neglected composers of the 19th century, performed by a Polish-Ukrainian musical ensemble. Zarębski in particular is a gem largely hidden outside his native Poland … He composed the Piano Quintet in the last year of his life (1885) and … it rivals any other example of the genre. One of these days, it will be more widely recognised for the masterpiece that it is. – Adrian Thomas

You always think such people will live eternally. Therefore, as he passed away – in the spirit of his last piece – so very SUBITO, it was difficult to believe in it, as he was so very SOSTENUTO Paweł Szymański (polmic.pl)

goo.gl/Wy9rdm

_CD

“Polish Radio Experimental Studio”
publisher: Bôłt Records (Poland)

Bravura performance of the accordion part by Eneasz Kubit and the Wrocław Leopoldiunum Orchestra, precisely led by E. Kovacic. Rhythm, energy, dance – an excellent world premiere! – Izabela Duchnowska

karbido.com

hannakulenty.com leopoldinum.art.pl

hyperion-records.co.uk

A series of recordings—the first official digital publisher with recordings made at the legendary Warsaw studio. Documents an important period in Polish 20th century music, retrieving forgotten musical experiments and composers. – Ewa Schreiber

boltrecords.pl

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January-February

February

_festival

1st Kilar Contemporary Music Festival
curator: Monika Wolińska organizer: Gorzów Philharmonic place: Gorzów Philharmonic, Gorzów Wielkopolski (Poland)

Witold Lutosławski © George Newson/Lebrecht Music & Arts Photo Library (photo: from the booklet “Witold Lutosławski.Vocal works”, Chan 10688)

Tomasz J. Opałka (photo: courtesy of the artist)

Initiative of Poland’s youngest philharmonic, activating the local authorities and community through the promotion of major 20th century musical works.

_composition

wojciechkilar.pl

_CD

“Lutosławski: The Symphonies”
composer: Witold Lutosławski performers: Esa-Pekka Salonen (conductor), Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra publisher: Sony Music Classical

“D.N.A. Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra”
composer: Tomasz J. Opałka premiere: Festival Chain X, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: The Witold Lutosławski Society (Poland)
Ewa Trębacz © Mark Haslam

_composition

_CD

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Festival Chain X
Esa-Pekka Salonen completed his cycle of Witold Lutosławski’s symphonies last year (…) Released for the first time as a set, they make the perfect tribute for this year’s Lutosławski centenary. – Andrew Clements (theguardian.com)
organizer: The Witold Lutosławski Society (Poland) place: Warsaw (Poland)

Salonen’s unfussy direction captures its whimsy and tragedy while ensuring that Lutoslawski’s brilliant orchestrations come across with great lucidity. – Jonathan Blumhofer (artsfuse.org)

The festival is organized annually by the Witold Lutosławski Society, which extends its care over the composer’s artistic legacy. The anniversary edition of the festival focused on the rarely performed works of Lutosławski and, for the first time, featured master courses in the interpretation of the composer’s output, held by artists with close ties to Lutosławski.

The structure of this composition has been derived from the structure of the D.N.A chain. The scales permute after 10, 11 and 12 bars respectively, which – following slight averaging – shall correspond to the quantity of base pairs per each turn of the helix in two-filament B-DNA, A-DNA, and Z-DNA formations. It is also a perverse reference to Lutosławski’s “chain,” albeit restricted to the composition’s name. This is a different chain and a composition technique deviating from that of Lutosławski’s. Attractive-sounding and aesthetically different artistic endeavor. The bass clarinettist Jadwiga Czarkowska is a discovery. – Prof. Krzysztof Baculewski

“ANC’L’SUNR” spacial composition with orchestra in relief
Marcel Chyrzyński © Ewelina Chyrzyńska (photo: courtesy of the artist)

“Zikaron-Lefanai”
performer: IRCHA Clarinet Quartet initiator: Mikołaj Trzaska publisher: Kilogram Records

_composition

“Ukiyo-e” for string orchestra
composer: Marcel Chyrzyński performers: Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra AMADEUS premiere: Poznań Musical Images, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

composer: Ewa Trębacz performer: Marek Moś (conductor), Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra organizer: Polish Radio Program 2, Composers Association ZAiKS, Polish Composers’ Union premiere: Warsaw Generations XVI concert series, Studio Koncertowe Polskiego Radia im. W. Lutosławskiego, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

The recording was awarded the 2012 “Record of the Year” in Poland by readers of the jazzarium.pl website. Mikołaj Trzaska was awarded “Musician of the Year” in the same competition. An exceptional clarinet quartet presenting a modern vision of Jewish music. – Bartek Chaciński

lutoslawski.org.pl

tomaszjakubopalka.com listen: soundcloud.com/tomaszopalka/ d-n-a-concerto-for-bass

The piece was constructed to resemble the Japanese “deconstruction of a woodblock cut.” Where Europe admired marble monuments, built to outlive generations of kings, Japan delighted in transience, which was to permeate all art. The emotional sensitivity of the Japanese, combined with sorrow and melancholy, stemmed from their encounters with elusiveness of external beauty. – Marcel Chyrzyński (pwm.com.pl)

Ewa Trębacz is oriented towards experimental media, focusing on spatial aspects of the experience of a work of art, with a special focus on the two immersive techniques: ambisonics and stereoscopy. An exceptional idea for using recorded echoes from various places and melding them into the orchestral texture. – prof. Krzysztof Baculewski

jewishfestival.pl kilogram.pl

ewatrebacz.com imit.org.pl

marcel.ch.w.interia.pl imit.org.pl

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_award

March

_performance

_performance

April _festival

_festival

Grammy Award for the Best Classical Compendium
laureates: Krzysztof Penderecki (composer), Antoni Wit (conductor) founders: The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences NARAS (USA) performers: Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland) publisher: Naxos

“Pasja, czyli cała ta ch...a piosenka aktorska”
organizer: Sultan Hagavik and Friends place: A Revue of Actor’s Songs, Trend OFF, Wrocław (Poland)

The Noise Orchestra
performers: Orkiestra Hałasu organizer: Academy of Music. Electroacoustic Music Studio, Kraków (Poland) place: Contemporary Art Center Solvay, Kraków (Poland)

The recording with a number of different compositions by Krzysztof Penderecki received the Grammy Award for the Best Compendium of Classical Music, joining the few Polish albums to have won this prestigious prize.

cdaccord.com.pl grammy.com krzysztofpenderecki.eu filharmonia.pl

The oldest Polish acting festival, featuring the Actor’s Song Interpretation Competition and the “Nurt OFF” avant-garde music performance competition. The jury awarded the prize to Sultan Hagavik i Przyjaciele for “progressivism, lightness, distance, and transcending the established modes of perception among the audience. For great rhythm, courage, breaking down taboos, and performance aesthetics. For disestablishing the mechanisms of reflection on arts and music. For energy and unpretentiousness. For their ‘off’ qualities. Jacek Sotomski and Mikołaj Laskowski, two Wrocław-based composers, presenting a program of crazy improvisations with taped sound. – Izabela Duchnowska

The concert of the Noise Orchestra followed the competition for building an intonarumori according to Luigi Russolo’s projects, celebrating the centenary of the Art of Noise.

42th International Poznań Spring Contemporary Music Festival
artistic director: Artur Kroschel organizer: Polish Composers’ Union. The Poznań Branch (Poland) place: Poznań (Poland)

XXI Świętokrzyskie Days of Music
artistic director: Jacek Rogala organizer: Kielce Philharmonic (Poland) place: Kielce Philharmonic (Poland)

sme.amuz.krakow.pl

_CD

“When Snakeboy Is Dying”
performer: Robert Piotrowicz publisher: Musica Genera (Poland)

“Gestures” and “outlines” are the recurrent themes in this edition of the Festival. The Wiosna Młodych cycle is continued with a goal of bringing composers closer to young audiences. This initiative successfully promotes contemporary music also because admission to all concerts is free of charge.

The new formula for the Festival (revived since 2002) is focused on presenting Polish contemporary music with a special emphasis on works not yet performed by the Kielce Philharmonic. The 21st edition of the Festival included new works by Krzysztof Meyer, Sławomir Zamaszko and Janusz Stalmierski, as well as the world premiere of Bartosz Kowalski’s Saxophone Concerto and an audiovisual performance by Marek Chołoniewski. Festival concerts were linked to by film-themed events.

wiosnamuzyczna.pl zkp.org.pl

filharmonia.kielce.com.pl

Dariusz Przybylski © Michał Bryłka

_composition

“Passio et Mors Domini Nostri Iesu Christi Secundum Ioannem”
composer: Dariusz Przybylski performers: Vokalensemble Phønix16, Timo Kreuser (director) premiere: The Holy Trinity Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession, Warsaw (Poland)

ppa.wroclaw.pl

_composition

“Wax Music”
composer: Paweł Mykietyn premiere: Ars Musica International Contemporary Music Festival, Brussels (Belgium) commisioned by: National Audiovisual Institute (Poland)

“When Snakeboy is Dying” is the first album of Robert Piotrowicz, in which he deploys a broad spectrum of instruments. Most of his previous published compositions were committed to creating a multilayered electronic sculpture built with analogue modular synthesizer. By performing on all instruments by himself and using a variety of composing methods, Piotrowicz created an album which strikes with internal integrity and organic complexity whilst leaving the recipient with an impression of listening to an ensemble. In the sense of tonal reduction and assigned function of certain instruments, the score recalls the spirit of minimalism, however the density and dynamic of the narration remains in vivid contrast to such associations. The strength of Piotrowicz’s work reveals itself in the complexity of events as well as the plethora of colours and the mobility of architecture in the overall sound picture. (musicagenera.net) A mature work presenting Robert Piotrowicz as one of the most important contemporary electroacoustic music composers. – Michał Mendyk

_composition

“Gniew Wiatru”
composer: Bartosz Kowalski-Banasewicz performer: Janusz Przybylski (conductor), Kielce Philharmonic Orchestra premiere: XXI Świętokrzyskie Days of Music, Kielce Philharmonic (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

Qudsja Zaher © Krzysztof Bieliński

_opera

This composer and organist who is barely thirty years old, seems to be a Wunderkind of Polish contemporary music. He composes complex symphonic works where a “solid learning and gift for creating interesting, transparent and manifold formal designs” can be seen. (ruchmuzyczny.pl)

dariuszprzybylski.eu

The composer combines the analog medium with digital transmission: Paweł Mykietyn transcribed electronic sounds for piano and a record player. Every single performance of this 23-minute long piece is unique, since record players produce sound from wax cylinders that are gradually degraded in the process. This work links old and new technologies in an unusual way. It commemorates the past and the fact that sound and its carrying media vanishes. – Ewa Schreiber

Composer, performer and lecturer Bartosz Kowalski-Banasewicz is the co-founder of the Sonofrenia Ensemble. Paweł Gusnar is a versatile saxophonist who performs classical music and jazz, and is ready to collaborate with young composers on preparing their works. Unusually expressive with good compositional skills as well as an excellent performance by the soloist, saxophonist Paweł Gusnar, and orchestra. – Kinga Wojciechowska

“Qudsja Zaher”
composer: Paweł Szymański director: Eimuntas Nekrošius libretto: Maciej J. Drygas conductor: Wojciech Michniewski premiere: Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera (Poland)

bartoszkowalski.com gusnar.eu

nina.org.pl culturepl-mykietyn.gu.ma watch: ninateka-wax-music.gu.ma

robertpiotrowicz.bandcamp.com annazaradny.net musicagenera.net listen: soundcloud.com/rurokura

A multicultural opera with Polish musicians led by a Lithuanian conductor in a story of an Afghan refugee. A sign of deep changes in musical theater aesthetics that have taken place over the past two decades. The work links contemporary themes with old sagas and mythology. Ascetic in terms of music, moving and thought-provoking. – Ewa Schreiber

teatrwielki.pl goo.gl/Wy9rdm

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_composition

_CD

“Canzon de’ baci” for tenor and orchestra
composer: Andrzej Kwieciński performers: Karol Kozłowski (tenor), Marek Moś (conductor) Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy AUKSO premiere: 5th Festival of Premieres. The Most Recent Polish Music, Katowice (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

“Zarzycki & Żeleński: Piano Concertos”
composers: Aleksander Zarzycki, Witold Żeleński performers: Jonathan Plowright (pianist), Łukasz Borowicz (conductor), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (UK) publisher: Hyperion (UK)

Janusz Wawrowski (photo: courtesy of the artist)

_festival

5th Festival of Premieres. The Most Recent Polish Music.
artistic director: Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa organizer: National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra NOSPR (Poland) place: Katowice (Poland)

The Łódź Philharmonic’s Composer-inResidence, Andrzej Kwieciński, is also a Lutosławski Society and Ministry of Culture fellow. His music represents “the mannerisms of the Italian Baroque—sharp contrasts, chromaticisms and sublimity […]; on the other hand a strict, classical counterpoint, spectral techniques that broaden the possibilities of creating sonoristically treated harmonies, and a new style of sound calligraphy.” (dwutygodnik.com)

Two big, sweeping Romantic piano concertos by almost-unknown Polish composers turn out to be buried treasure. – Harriet Smith

hyperion-records.co.uk
Piotr Beczała © Johannes Ifkovits Marta Ptaszyńska © Mariusz Makowski/PWM Archive

_award

_award

composition

Fryderyk. Artist of the Year
laureate: Paweł Łukaszewski (composer) founder: The Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry (Poland)

Gwarancje Kultury
laureates: Krzysztof Penderecki (composer/ conductor), Piotr Beczała (tenor) organizer: TVP Kultura, Warsaw (Poland)

andrzejkwiecinski.com nospr.org.pl

“Holocaust Memorial Cantata”
composer: Marta Ptaszyńska performers: Piotr Gajewski (conductor), Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir (Poland) premiere: Warsaw Philharmonic (Poland)

The Festival seeks to present the latest compositions, those written after 2005, to listeners of Polish Radio Program 2. During the Festival we heard interesting world premieres.

_CD

“Cyprian Bazylik: Complete Works”
composer: Cyprian Bazylik performers: Ars Nova (ensemble) publisher: Travers Music (Poland)

festiwalprawykonan.pl nospr.org.pl

The Polish premiere, given at the concert commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Marta Ptaszyńska’s 1992 composition-prayer about remembrance was revised and augmented following a suggestion by Yehudi Menuhin. An important commemoration of Polish history through music. As director of the National Philharmonic in Washington, D.C., Gajewski plays a major role in popularizing Polish music in the US. – Krysta Close & Marek Żebrowski

With a reduced number of awards that raised the prestige of the event, the Polish Recording Academy Award was given to Paweł Łukaszewski for his achievements as “Artist of the Year – Classical Music Category.” Three of his recordings received nominations in various categories.

The annual TVP Kultura awards are given to the most important and fascinating personalities on Poland’s art scene. The Special Prize was given to Krzysztof Penderecki for his lifetime achievements in music. Piotr Beczała was honored in the Classical Music category.

zpav.pl/fryderyk lukaszewski.org.uk

krzysztofpenderecki.eu beczala.com tvp.pl/kultura/wydarzenia/gwarancjekultury

A complete performance of the composer’s works (four-part motets, psalms and hymns) is still insufficient to present this little-known 16th century composer, writer and translator. Founded in 1981, the Ars Nova group (currently led by Jacek Urbaniak and Krzysztof Owczynik) is one of the leading early instrument ensembles in Poland.

_CD

arsnovapolonia.eu travers-music.com

martaptaszynska.com fiharmonia.pl

“Krzysztof Penderecki: Complete Symphonies”
composer: Krzysztof Penderecki performers: Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus (Poland) publisher: DUX (Poland)

The first complete recording of Penderecki’s symphonic oeuvre, conducted by the composer himself.

dux.pl krzysztofpenderecki.eu sinfoniaiuventus.pl

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May

_composition

_composition

“Greetings from a Doppelgänger”
_festival
composer: Jagoda Szmytka performers: Ensemble Garage (Germany) premiere: Acht Brücken Festival, Köln (Germany) commissioned by: Ensemble Garage (Germany)

“Collisions of the Matter” for symphonic orchestra
composer: Tomasz J. Opałka performers: Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus organizer: Polish Composers’ Union. The Warsaw Branch (Poland) premiere: XXVII Warsaw Music Encounters. Early Music – New Music, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Polish Composers’ Union, Warsaw (Poland)

5th Festival of Traditional and Avant-Garde Music “CODES”
curator: Jerzy Kornowicz organizer: Centre for Intercultural Creative Initiatives “Crossroads” (Poland) place: Lublin (Poland)

Ensemble Garage is a group dedicated to exploring the ideas and conceptual procedures of the new generation authors.

The Festival seeks to find common ground among forms from seemingly distant times and styles. Meetings of contemporary music and avant-garde composers and performers with traditional and folk music practitioners, as well as with those closer to “the coarse folksiness and conceptual sultriness of the avant-garde” than to the “glibness of popular culture.” (kody-festiwal.pl)

A constant appetite for experimenting and searching for new sound possibilities. – Gośka Isphording

Zbigniew Bagiński (photo: courtesy of the Polish Music Information Center)

jagodaszmytka.com beta.ensemble-garage.de listen: soundcloud.com/jagoda-szmytka/ greetings-from-a-doppelgaenger

_composition

Tomasz J. Opałka’s music ended up in one of Maja Baczyńska’s documentary films in the Composers’ Portraits cycle. Kilka pytań o słyszenie świata was dedicated to four young composers with greatly differing styles and personalities. Besides Opałka, the documentary also featured Paweł Przezwański, Paweł Pudło, and Kamil Staszowski.

Symphony no. 4
composer: Zbigniew Bagiński performers: Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus organizer: Polish Composers’ Union. The Warsaw Branch (Poland) premiere: XXVII Warsaw Music Encounters. Early Music – New Music, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

codes-festival.com

tomaszjakubopalka.com pawel-przezwanski.gu.ma musicpudlo.com/en kamil-staszowski.gu.ma wsm.art.pl zkp.org.pl sinfoniaiuventus.pl listen: soundcloud.com/tomaszopalka listen: soundcloud.com/ pawelprzezwanski watch: youtu.be/yu8KKwEB4KM

_workshop

“The Great Learning” Cornelius’ Cardew
organizer: Jan Bernad workshops conductor: John Tilbury place: 5th Festival of Traditional and AvantGarde Music “CODES”, Lublin (Poland)

Zbigniew Bagiński is a composer with a rich and varied catalogue, a recognized lecturer in composition, theory and music history. He describes his works that attempt a dialogue with specific traditional elements as constructivism on the way to self-improvement.

_composition

Open rehearsals of The Great Learning led by John Tilbury, followed by a concert presentation. A chance for participatory, open, and sociallyconscious avant-garde musical practice. – Michał Mendyk

Jerzy Kornowicz © Małgorzata Kosińska

zbigniew-baginski.gu.ma wsm.art.pl imit.org.pl

“Perseidy” for chamber string orchestra
composer: Adrianna Furmanik performers: Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra AMADEUS organizer: Polish Composers’ Union. The Warsaw Branch (Poland) premiere: XXVII Warsaw Music Encounters. Early Music – New Music, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Polish Composers’ Union, Warsaw (Poland)

_festival

codes-festival.com

XXVII Warsaw Music Encounters. Early Music – New Music
director: Władysław Słowiński organizer: Polish Composers’ Union. The Warsaw Branch (Poland) place: Warsaw (Poland)

A new name in the pantheon of Polish contemporary music. – prof. Krzysztof Baculewski

This festival successfully convinced early music fans and traditionalists to get to know the contemporary canon. It also presents the listeners with the latest trends and various music styles.

wsm.art.pl zkp.org.pl

wsm.art.pl zkp.org.pl

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_composition

_CD

_opera

_composition

_concert

Concerto for Accordion and String Orchestra
composer: Marcin Błażewicz performers: Klaudiusz Baran (accordion), Jan Stanienda (conductor), Chamber Orchestra Wratislavia premiere: Royal Castle, XXVII Warsaw Music Encounters. Early Music – New Music, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Polish Composers’ Union, Warsaw (Poland)

“Polonaises”
performer: Marcin Masecki (pianist) publisher: Lado ABC (Poland) with National Audiovisual Institute (Poland)

“Project P: for voices and hands”
composer: Jagoda Szmytka libretto: Jagoda Szmytka, Michał Zadara conductor: Marta Kluczyńska premiere: Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera (Poland)

“Pneuma III” for baritone, saxophone, accordion and percussion
composer: Paweł Przezwański performers: Wojciech Psiuk (saxophone), Paweł Janas (accordion), Leszek Lorent (percussion), Maciej Nerkowski (baritone) organizer: ForMusic Foundation (Poland) premiere: Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

“Genius Lutos”
composer: Witold Lutosławski performers: Gamelan Percussion Orchestra, PSOUU organizer: Szczecin Philharmonic, (Poland) place: Szczecin Philharmonic (Poland)

Jazz and avant-garde pianist, Marcin Masecki, already known for his collaboration with Raphael Rogiński, Macio Moretti and the Alchemik group, represents the post-modernist aesthetics of collage and defect. He “creatively transforms the traditional national dance forms, linking various influences, including the classically-oriented compositional techniques, 19th century elegance and a provincial march orchestra.” (nina.gov.pl)
Marcin Masecki (photo: press releases)

wsm.art.pl zkp.org.pl marcin-blazewicz.gu.ma

A brave step into a contemporary music theatre that is both artistically and socially important, and breaks the aesthetically ossified and bureaucratically inept stereotype of public cultural institutions. – Michał Mendyk

An inventively treated presentation of music for winds, with a sly and humorous look at Polish musical tradition. – Bartek Chaciński

jagodaszmytka.com teatrwielki.pl listen: soundcloud.com/jagoda-szmytka

The third part of the Pneuma cycle, commissioned by ForMusic Foundation. Guitarist, composer and arranger, Paweł Przezwański, specializes in large-scale compositions for big instrumental groups and in quarter-tone harmony.

This project is part of the Lutosławski Year celebration and seeks to bring mentally handicapped persons to participate in music culture. The main organizer of the initiative is the Gamelan Percussion Orchestra of the Koło Society for the Mentally Handicapped in Szczecin.

filharmonia.szczecin.pl

pawel-przezwanski.gu.ma formusic.org.pl listen: soundcloud.com/ pawelprzezwanski

marcinmasecki.com ladoabc.com nina.gov.pl

_composition
The European Krzysztof Penderecki Center for Music (photo: press releases)

Agata Zubel ©Tomasz Kulak

“Vides ut Alta” for baritone and percussion
_opera

_award

_initiative

The European Krzysztof Penderecki Center for Music
organizer: Krzysztof Penderecki place: Lusławice (Poland)

“Project P: Transcryptum”
composer: Wojtek Blecharz libretto: Wojtek Blecharz conductor: Marta Kluczyńska premiere: Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera (Poland)

composer: Miłosz Bembinow performer: Maciej Bogumił Nerkowski (baritone), Leszek Lorent (percussion) organizer: ForMusic Foundation (Poland) premiere: Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers Award
laureate: Agata Zubel (composer) organizer: International Musical Council UNESCO, Prague (Czech Republic)

A newly opened center for developing young musical talents from Poland and Europe, especially in terms of solo, chamber and orchestral music performance, through the master-student relationship and other programs.

An opera, part of the exceptionally successful “Project P,” initiated by Mariusz Treliński and Jan Topolski. The event was “an artistic operation, a procedure containing a record of trauma, including all the characteristic steps that lead into it.” (teatrwielki.pl)

penderecki-center.pl

In spite of their diversity, works by Miłosz Bembinow focus on vocal and choral repertoire. Winner of two Fryderyk Awards, Bembinow is also a conductor, lecturer, and musical activist. The ForMusic foundation’s project “Classics Served Differently” promotes unusual arrangements of various compositions.

Agata Zubel’s composition Not I, representing the Polish Radio entry, was given the highest honor by a landslide majority of votes at the 60th International Composers’ Tribune.

zubel.pl

bembinow.com formusic.org.pl

teatrwielki.pl wojtek-blecharz-culture.gu.ma listen: soundcloud.com/wojtek-4

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_initiative

June _festival

_initiative

_CD

Unknown manuscripts of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki
publisher: PWM Edition (Poland), DUX (Poland) place: Kraków (Poland)

Instalactions. Music Festival
curators: Anna Kwiatkowska, Paweł Mykietyn, Wojtek Blecharz organizer: New Theater, Warsaw (Poland) place: Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (Poland)

New Editions of Works by Marian Sawa
coordinator: Marian Sawa Society (Poland)

“Back to the Future Shock”
performers: LXMP – Macio Moretti & Piotr Zabrodzki publisher: Lado ABC (Poland)

20 choral works by Górecki, found in the house of the composer, were given to PWM Edition and will be published posthumously. Also to be recorded by DUX.

Composer of organ music, organist, musicologist and pedagogue who left an exceptionally rich legacy.

A two-person project for bass guitar, percussion and synthesizer. The recording was commissioned by the Unsound Festival. An ambitious, world-class undertaking of adapting Herbie Hancock’s classic recording Future Shock for a duet. – Bartłomiej Chaciński

mariansawa.org

pwm.com.pl dux.pl

Musical installations in the post-industrial space of a former city garage in the Old Mokotów district of Warsaw.

Other 2013 Events:
Festival, retrospective, and a gallery of installations. We look in one direction and bend the ear elsewhere. We do museum walk. – Jan Topolski

lxmp.net ladoabc.com

Krzysztof Meyer © Bolesław Lutosławski

_CD

_opera

“The Cyberiad”
composer: Krzysztof Meyer libretto: Krzysztof Meyer conductor: Krzysztof Słowiński organizer: the Grand Theatre, Poznań premiere: the Grand Theatre, Poznań (Poland)
Marcin Stańczyk © Aleksandra Chciuk

nowyteatr.org/pl/event/instalakcje csw.art.pl

“Astrolabium Sings Bembinow”
composer: Miłosz Bembinow performers: Astrolabium (Poland) publisher: Sarton S.C. (Poland)

_festival

Klasyka w Lokalu. Lokal na Poważnie
organizer: Lokal Użytkowy, Warsaw perfor mers: Sonofrenia (ensemble) place: Lokal Użytkowy, Warsaw (Poland)

The Astrolabium Choir from Toruń performs contemporary works of Miłosz Bembinow that are inspired by religious culture and folksy devotion.

_award

Toru Takemitsu Award
composer: Marcin Stańczyk founder: Toru Takemitsu, Tokio (Japan)

The libretto for this comic opera was based on short stories by Stanisław Lem about the adventures of designers Trurl and Klapaucjusz as well as from Robots’ Tales. Dating from 1968-1970, the work was finally premiered in Poland in 2013. It’s fortunate that it was staged now to coincide with the revival of 1960s aesthetics and discussions about the successes of the so-called Polish composers’ school. Cyberiada is also a pastiche, allowing for various graceful stylistic approaches. (polityka.pl)

astrolabium.art.pl bembinow.com sarton.pl

Sonofrenia is a trio of composers (Bartosz Kowalski-Banasewicz, trumpet, flute and computer; Krzysztof Kozłowski, piano and keyboards; Wojciech Błażejczyk, electric guitar, violin and computer). They perform “improvised music from the fringe of contemporary music, minimalism, sonorism, and electronic music.” (wojciech.blazejczyk.eu)

The Toru Takemitsu Award, the most important music award in Japan, is given by a single juror to young composers for orchestral works. Marcin Stańczyk received it for his Sighs— Hommage a Fryderyk Chopin.

lokaluzytkowy.org wojciech.blazejczyk.eu

marcinstanczyk.com operacity.jp/en/concert/award/ listen: soundcloud.com/marcinstanczyk

krzysztof-meyer.gu.ma opera.poznan.pl

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Daniel Muzyczuk

From Ghetto to Explosion and Back?
tr. Michał Szostało

1

Artur Żmijewski (*1966) – visual artist; Katarzyna Kozyra (*1963) – sculptor.

Several years have passed since the Zachęta National Gallery’s survey of relations between the visual arts and music, grandiosely entitled Sound Explosion. Despite references to ‘masters of the genre’, this exhibition presented a picture of a quite young and separate discipline, whose novelty on the Polish scene is also attested by the surprising selection of Polish artists whose work is not usually associated with sound (Artur Żmijewski, Katarzyna Kozyra1). In many of the world’s galleries and museums, the year 2012 was dedicated to John Cage.

points to the acoustic properties of architecture, thereby becoming an instrument of critique. The project is accompanied by an anthology of texts about listening through and with the aid of architecture, as well as by an audio recording released by Bôłt Records. When, at the beginning of this year, the jury’s decision on the project for the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale – which appointed Konrad Smoleński, under my supervision, along with Agnieszka Pindera – was announced, many people asked whether we were not afraid of comparisons with Krakowiak’s work. This shows clearly an a priori treatment of works in which sound plays a leading role as a certain area of inquiry which can be encompassed in a few general statements and in a peculiar sort of ghetto where everything resembles everything else. It also becomes evident that sound art is treated as such a young branch that one can continue to describe its condition in general terms. It should be added that we were not afraid of comparisons with Krakowiak and Smoleński. These projects are similar, above all, in one respect: their monumentalism. Smoleński focused on transformations of a sound that he created himself with the aid of two bells. Their tone is recorded and deprived of the most semantically complete part of their sound: the attack. The sound played back in this manner seems devoid of the meanings that are commonly associated with bells. The resulting action was set by the artist in the aesthetic language associated with a rock concert, in both the visual and the acoustic spheres – the low tones made one’s stay in the pavilion a positively physical experience. The two above-cited projects are also important for other reasons. These are some of the first such monumental manifestations of sound art in Poland and, on top of that, they remain autonomous – that is, they do not serve the purpose of autotelically illustrating a thesis about the condition of sound art. Quite the contrary, thanks to their use of sound, they point to questions in the acoustic or institutional domain. Also being consistently built up is knowledge of practices from before the watershed moment in 1989. One of the goals that we have set ourselves as curators of the Sounds of the Body Electric exhibition, which was presented last year at the Museum of Art in Łódź and can currently be viewed at Calvert 22 in London, was to fill in the empty field that will be noticed by anyone looking at the lists of artists participating in the aforementioned sound art survey exhibitions. Together with David Crowley, we selected material that reveals a different story of sound art than the commonly-accepted one, wherein the primary catalyst and source of inspiration for the marriage of visual arts with music was John Cage. By searching archives and reconstructing no-longer-existing or undocumented works, we found evidence that perhaps in some centers, the impact of Scriabin or Strzemiński was much stronger than any model from Western Europe. This is an important lesson, as well, on account of the previously-cited tendency to present gallery sound art asa sub-category of visual art. The exhibition showed a variety of institutional and personal entanglements which go far beyond the bounds of the modern, wellestablished classification of sound art.

2 Sound art is an artistic movement begun in the 1960s, whose primary medium is sound (in contrast to the visual arts). Sound art is based on trends in contemporary avant-garde music, with great emphasis on expression, improvisation and experimental electronic music, which, in combination with spatial architecture, acoustics and objects utilized (e.g. specially-built installations or instruments), yields a work of art.

3

Young Polish audiovisual artists born at the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s.

His birthday jubilee was celebrated with an exceptionally large number of cross-sectional exhibitions studying or, considerably more frequently, presenting the state of research on the history of sound art2. Indeed, it could be said that sound in art has again become fashionable, as seems to be confirmed by the cross-sectional exhibition entitled Sounding at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. This tendency has also not eluded Poland, though this observation should concern the attention devoted to the subject, rather than transformations in artistic practices. Most of the examples of work with sound, an explosion of which we observe at the present moment, result from consistently pursued paths of development. Katarzyna Krakowiak, Konrad Smoleński, Anna Zaradny, Robert Piotrowicz, Piotr Bosacki, Adam Witkowski and Krzysztof Topolski3 are artists whose identities were formed long before the appearance of the current fashion. They also do not shut themselves up in the ghetto of sound art, which is extraordinarily often perceived only as a meta-discourse on the properties of sound in space, or as a certain diversification in the programs of arts institutions. The project entitled Making the walls quake as if they were dilating with the secret knowledge of great powers, curated by Michał Libera for the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Architectural Biennale, is one of the most spectacular examples. An irreverent take on the Biennale’s main theme – common ground – permitted the creation of a work which won the praise of the jurors and was awarded an honorable mention. Krakowiak’s work was an answer to the question ‘What kind of listening is made possible by architecture?’ The original idea was to turn the pavilion into a machine for listening to neighboring spaces. Selective amplification and mixing realized with the help of Ralf Meinz resulted in an extraordinary experience delicately balanced on the border between randomness and order. At the same time, the ‘sound sculpture’

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The materials represented a variety of media: from film, to graphic scores and music publications, to installations and sculptures created in such diverse centers as galleries, concert halls, music and film studios, even research institutes. Hence, a very important role in this text must be played, as well, by non-gallery channels through which sound art can reach its recipients. An extraordinarily important role is played here by the veritable explosion of music labels undertaking the archaeological exploration of sound experiments and contemporary art. The first category should be considered to include Bôłt Records, which is in some way responsible for the growing popularity of the Experimental Studio of Polish Radio4. The series presenting this institution’s archives has presently reached ten titles, and the label’s activities are not limited only to this extraordinarily important, but nevertheless episodic chapter in Polish music history. Requiem Records, on the other hand, under the auspices of its Archive Series, releases recordings of underground experimental groups operating mainly in the 1980s. Both labels fill an overwhelming gap that has existed for years in knowledge concerning experimental music in the Polish People’s Republic5. To this list must be added the exhibition, organized by the Bęc Zmiana Foundation, and its companion publication entitled The experiment cannot be continued, which, taking as its starting point the idea of experiment contained in the Warsaw studio’s name, posed questions about the condition of experimentalism in art at the present time. This question seems to be answered by other labels. Bocian Records represents primarily vinyl records with stylish, predominantly black-and-white covers. Electroacoustic improvisation and noise, but also such surprises as discs by Niwea and Wojciech Bąkowski, define Bocian’s quest. Their very consistent publishing strategy combines national productions with foreign stars. It is this label that released the most recent album of the aforementioned Anna Zaradny, the weight of whose activity has clearly shifted to sound installations and films. Bocian has also issued an entire array of publications by Robert Piotrowicz, which prove that he is one of the most interesting improvisers and composers of recent years. His collaboration with director Lukas Jiřička in projects based on texts by Helmut Kajzar and William Blake proves that this artist, as well, does not see the need for demarcation of boundaries between the theater, film and radio play genres. This list must also include Monotype Records, which regularly releases work by contemporary music stars. It is also a label that is not afraid to release sound poetry… The mission statement of Art Baazar Records, on the other hand, contains a clear declaration: ‘We record the sounds of Polish art.’ The albums, issued primarily on vinyl discs, are recordings of visual artists that, together with this year’s The Artists festival, which presented musical projects of visual artists, give an idea of the scale of the phenomenon, which at this point can even be called a scene.

4 A studio founded as part of Polish Radio in 1957 as one of four professional centers for the creation of electronic music in Europe; its activity contributed to the lightningfast development of electroacoustic music in Poland.

5

Polish People’s Republic – official name of the Polish state from 1952 to 1989.

This brief and necessarily arbitrary selection indicates that in many respects, recent years have brought a remarkable explosion, in terms of both quantity and quality, in the field of sound art in the broad sense. It is a movement clear and defined enough that both its future and its past are being constructed simultaneously. Certainly one person partly responsible for institutional interest in sound art is Leszek Knaflewski, who runs the Audiosphere studio at the University of Arts in Poznań. Its graduates include, among others, Konrad Smolenski, Wojciech Bąkowski, Piotr Bosacki and Daniel Koniusz. These artists, mainly associated with the studio, have been presented in two projects investigating the potential of sound works in exhibition halls. Give Voice was an exhibition at the Art Zone in Szczecin, which was to some extent a summary of the various tendencies present in the studio. Six-Lined Staff, on the other hand, was a project carried out by Knaflewski and Koniusz at the Chopin Museum in Warsaw. Six artists presented works examining sound reproduction in the museum, which is inevitably based on this technology. Thus, the new voices added a commentary that demonstrates awareness of the opportunities and constraints offered by new technologies in museum spaces. Two events organized by the Nowy Teatr in Warsaw were oriented much more toward musical performance. The first of these, curated by Paweł Mykietyn and entitled Friendly Game, found its place in the park surrounding the Królikarnia palace, and its participants included, among others, Peter Ablinger, Winfried Ritsch and Wojciech Blecharz. Meanwhile, Installactions took place in the theater building proper, where, under the curatorial eyes of Mykietyn and Blecharz, works by Zimoun, Jagoda Szmytka and Johannes Kreidler were executed. The events mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg. The situation has never been as good as it is now. The quantity and quality of events is supported by a variety of institutional facilities, which is only partly the result of the ‘fashion’ for sound art. If institutional interest lasts, it could turn into a permanent commitment to inquiries in the border area between these disciplines and to maintenance of the extraordinary energy which has been released in recent years.

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Monika Pasiecznik

Globalization and Identity
tr. Cara Thornton

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the Romantic concept of ‘national schools’ was deconstructed. Today, the search for a ‘national style’, some distinguishing factor which would define Polish music, is probably condemned to failure. While we do still appeal to well-known tradition, point out ethnic, cultural and aesthetic affinities, in an era of open borders and the Internet, the coherence of a regional idiom is, however, highly problematic.

Let us follow the fortunes of other Polish émigrés: Witold Szalonek had a composition studio in Berlin from 1973 onwards; and Krzysztof Meyer, in Köln from 1987 to 2008. Bettina Skrzypczak has been a professor of composition at the University of Music in Lucerne since 2002; Elżbieta Sikora held a professorship at the Conservatory in Angoulême from 1985 to 2008. Marta Ptaszyńska has been a professor at the University of Chicago since 1998. Jarosław Kapuściński, who has lived in the United States for years, is a composition professor and the director of the Intermedia Performance Lab at Stanford University; Ewa Trębacz is active artistically and academically at the University of Washington; and Krzysztof Wołek is a professor at the University of Louisville. Hanna Kulenty, who lives in Holland, has made an international career, though she never did decide to go into teaching. These artists complicate the identity of contemporary Polish music. It turns out that it is decidedly more complex, and cannot be boiled down to the category of Sonorism/the ‘Polish compositional school’. Utilizing advanced media technologies (Kapuściński, Trębacz, Wołek), developing academic concepts, combining inspirations from the Polish and European avant-garde (Haubenstock-Ramati, Szalonek, Skrzypczak), Polish émigrés are building the continuity of Modernism3, contributing to the creation of its not only Polish, but global identity. For over 20 years, Poland has been a free and democratic country, which is not without its influence on emigration. People go abroad to gain new experiences, open themselves to new inspirations, confront their own ideas with the most current ones in the art world. This releases energy, but also demands a settling of accounts with national identity, which one must first negate in order to fully open oneself to new things. Reconstruction of identity now takes place in a global context; it is built rather by specific artistic means (the identity of new music!) and universal aesthetic problems than by national affiliation. Presently, a younger generation of Polish composers has appeared on the international new music scene, among others Jagoda Szmytka, Wojtek Blecharz, Andrzej Kwieciński, Joanna Woźny and Dominik Karski. Artistically, they are maturing in a united Europe, in the era of the digital revolution. Political and civilizational factors have meant that in their œuvre, the concept of ‘national style’ has completely disintegrated. As much as such artists as Bettina Skrzypczak, Elżbieta Sikora and Hanna Kulenty still feel a strong connection to the Polish avant-garde tradition, Szmytka, Blecharz, Kwieciński, Woźny and Karski are seeking other points of reference for themselves.

1

Sonorism and Serialism are 20thcentury music trends. The idea of Serialism was to shape the musical work based on the organization of all of its elements (melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, articulation) with the aid of a series – that is, an a priori adopted system. In Sonorism, on the other hand, a work’s most important element was its sound, frequently obtained using nontraditional methods of instrumental sound production.

The most important native tradition is Sonorism, a trend in Polish music from the 1960s which opposed the pure resonance of sound masses to Serialist pitch combinatorics1. Based on this, critics put together the handy term ‘Polish composition school’, into which it classified, among others, Krzysztof Penderecki, Kazimierz Serocki, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Witold Lutosławski (though the latter did not flirt with Sonorism; his contribution to the history of the Polish avant-garde was, above all, controlled aleatorism2 and open form). Today, it is most often to this ‘school’ that people relate the inquiries of young avant-garde artists in Poland, which – as we shall show – is not always justified. Polish contemporary music is decidedly more diverse and cosmopolitan! That the identity of 20th-century Polish music is not only Sonorism, is proven by the numerous artists active abroad – those who grew up, trained or settled there. Unlike the so-called Great Emigration of the 19th century, obliged to leave Poland for political reasons, which made it a point of honor to preserve Polish culture abroad, the 20th-century emigration was rather a desire to enter the circulation of the international artistic scene. That Polish émigrés in the 20th century effectively and successfully contributed to the global music scene, is attested by such figures as Roman HaubenstockRamati, who from 1973 onwards had a composition studio in Vienna and educated such composers as, among others, Beat Furrer and Peter Ablinger. In turn, one student of Andrzej Dobrowolski, who from 1976 onwards had a composition studio in Graz, was Bernhard Lang. Many Polish composers work or have worked at prestigious artistic schools in Europe and the United States, educating a generation of artists from all over the world.

3

Modernism is a general name for all of the trends in 20th-century music which represented a break with the musical culture of Romanticism.

2 Aleatorism is a manner of constructing a musical work which introduces an element of chance – that is, not entirely determined performance parameters – whereby the performer becomes a co-creator of the work. Controlled aleatorism leaves the composer a greater influence on the final effect of the work’s performance; the element of chance is limited, for example, only to the abandonment of metrical division of the piece (ad libitum playing).

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Performance art is a set of active forms of presentation that have been developing since the 1970s, in which the artist is simultaneously the tool, material, creator and result of his/her creative activity.

4

The accessibility of recordings, scores, global Internet communication, a network of international artistic stipends, as well as open borders and a lack of political barriers, mean that everyone shapes his/her artistic identity according to his/her own interests – based on philosophy, a feeling of otherness (not necessarily in a national sense), performance art4 – at the crossroads of many cultures and languages, as well as media and musical resources. For Jagoda Szmytka and Wojtek Blecharz, an issue providing extraordinary musical inspiration is the gesture and body of sound, developed in various forms: by composing a language of musical gestures, emphasizing the significance of the physical presence of the musician onstage and the power of expression flowing out of the fact of his/her contact with the instrument; as well as critical reflection on the space of perception, the manner of listening to or even perception of sound (by other senses). In their Post-postmodernist music, the development of musical resources is accompanied by a clear concept inspired by experience of their surrounding reality, as well as by the personal dilemmas resulting from the feeling of otherness. Blecharz, who has studied and lived in San Diego since 2008, sets himself the goal of portraying through music that of the minority, that which is denied and stigmatized on account of its otherness. Resident in Karlsruhe and training in Austria and Germany since 2008, Szmytka identifies with artists who live out of suitcases, constantly moving from place to place, who in conditions of permanent change are building a new type of communication (e.g. Skype). Representing somewhat different interests is Andrzej Kwieciński, educated in The Hague and resident there since 2005, who reinterprets the Baroque music tradition: its forms (the passacaglia), vocal aesthetics (he has also trained as a countertenor) and rhetorical figures (in the spirit of Salvatore Sciarrino). He is inspired by Spectralism5, and the basis for many of his compositions is represented by a through-composed natural series. In turn, Joanna Woźny, educated in Graz, Austria and resident there since 1996, builds complicated sound complexes obtained via preparation of instruments6 and combination of sounds into structural networks of interrelationships. She acquired the skill of exact, analytical thinking by studying philosophy (especially Wittgenstein); in her artistic work, however, she shuns extramusical connotations. Her masters are Lachenmann and Nono, with whose music she became well acquainted while studying in Austria. Dominik Karski, who lived and studied in Australia from 1991–2006, then continued his training in Austria, and now lives in Poland, oversteps the criteria of ‘national style’ in yet another manner. In his works, there is no trace of the ‘Polish compositional school’, but there is a meticulously carried-out process, an analytical approach to the instruments, as well as a fascination with the sound element born in the direct relationship between the performer and his/her instrument.

Karski was shaped by contact with Chaya Czernowin, as well as collaboration with the superb Australian ensemble Elision. All of the artists mentioned are present at both international and Polish music festivals; they are contributing to the creation of the contemporary new music panorama in Poland and elsewhere in the world. Does that mean that specific local character is disappearing? Such concepts as ‘national school’ or ‘national style’ have today been replaced by questions about membership in the broadlyconceived Modernist movement; what turns out to be more important than national identity for composers is their social, aesthetic and cultural identity. And so new Polish music goes beyond the boundaries of the country and its associated set of means of expression. Here, however, it is also necessary to pose the question of the dark side of emigration, especially that of recent years: are young artists not leaving also because there is a lack of prospects for development in Poland; the system of new music is poorly developed; and the level of instruction at the Academies of Music, low? Why do so few émigrés return home, and what actually awaits them here? A professorship at an Academy of Music, or perhaps problems with recognition of their diploma from a foreign institution which make it impossible for them to work legally even at an elementary school? Art history shows that the most valuable phenomena and personalities have been formed under the influence of contact with the international artistic scene and were a response to world trends, which they developed and expanded upon in an original manner. Musical life develops according to the following principle: the more difference and richness of forms, the more interesting the artistic results. This also applies to the functioning of the system of new music, as well as to artistic education. By entering international musical circulation, Polish émigrés are taking up a challenge, confronting various influences and, in this manner, building the modern global identity of new music, not just Polish music. It is another matter whether Polish institutions are in a position to keep up with this process…

5

A movement in contemporary music, developed in the 1970s based on acoustic research, in which the compositional technique consists of building a work’s melodies and harmonies on the foundation of a sound spectrum – that is, the constituent parts of the sound.

6

Preparation of instruments consists of intervention into their structure in such a manner as to obtain a sound unnatural to them, as well as a new manner of playing, e.g. by inserting metal plates in between the strings, playing with percussion sticks on the strings of a guitar etc.

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Maria Peryt

Polish Music and Its Local and Global Market Potential
tr. Michał Szostało

1

Polish People’s Republic – official name of the Communist Polish state in the years 1952–1989.

Reading the conversations and reminiscences of prominent artists who worked during the Polish People’s Republic1 period, for instance Stanisław Lem or Janusz Głowacki, and trying to relate them to present-day reality, we can conclude that the success which was the lot of representatives from previous generations is inaccessible to Poles today. Observation of the changes begun in 1989 leads to a perverse question. Did Polish culture lose all attraction for the West after the fall of Communism?

of works by, among others, Mieczysław Karłowicz, Witold Lutosławski, Karol Szymanowski and Felix Dobrzyński have appeared. Meanwhile, however, Polish music is still associated with a certain kind of exotica. Looking at the facts, we might feel a bit lost. Poland is one of the largest European countries, with a surface area of over 300 000 km2 and a population of nearly 40 million. Yet for the music industry, it represents a peculiar carte blanche. Chaotic musical education in primary schools, artistic management still in its infancy and still pervasive traditional attitudes toward promotion, as well as historical issues, mean that Poland is a country of unlimited possibilities but, at the same time, numerous challenges, which is likely one of the reasons why, in the global imagination, we have a less attractive position than such countries as England, France, Germany or Italy. From this perspective, the most urgent problem is the fate of talented artistic personalities, for whom this situation can needlessly clip the wings of a promising career. History has left a clear mark on Poland – World War II, followed by the Communist era, deprived our country of many educated people raised in the spirit of honoring universal values. The intelligentsia had to reconstitute itself, while people who might be able to boast of noble ancestry hid this fact out of fear for their lives. The difficult time of transition caused a broad emigration of valuable personalities from the world of culture and science. Paradoxically, it is all this which has made the classical music market in Poland so interesting today. For we have, on the one hand, a large group of people interested in music who nonetheless cannot rise above the level of recreational activities; and on the other, a hunger for high culture and an intense desire on the part of parents to support their children’s cultural development, visible in the context of both concert activities and recordings. All manner of artistic educational activities enjoy enormous popularity. Over the space of just a few years, there has been a resurgence of interest in opera, thanks in part to the modern promotional methods practiced by the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw. We can observe a similar pattern in the example of music festivals promoted in a modern manner, such as, for instance, those of the Krakow Festival Office (Festival of Film Music, Opera Rara, Misteria Paschalia), initiatives undertaken in Wroclaw (European Capital of Culture 2016), or Poznań’s Transatlantyk film-and-music festival. Even a cursory glance at the Polish music scene shows an revival resurgence and interest from the public exceeding the initial expectations of the organizers. The litmus test, which remains unpopular in the classical music world, is – despite everything – the purely commercial side of the endeavors undertaken. Major record companies still rarely turn to Polish repertoire or Polish performers; but in recent years, there has been a tendency toward growth in this area.

Though Poles’ artistic potential has not lessened, despite the freedom and ease of travel, the presence of Polish artists in the West seems today less pronounced, while an international career is even more difficult to attain now than it was several decades ago. What is the invisible barrier between Poland and the rest of the world? What does it result from? And above all – does it really exist? These are questions to which it is worth looking for answers from more than just a sociological point of view. The market for classical music is changing dramatically, and the economic potential of Polish culture has increasingly become the object of interesting discussions in the business sector as well. Over 20 years after the fall of Communism, Polish art has a new quality. The younger generation of composers and performers knows the Polish People’s Republic period mostly from stories. We are observing an interesting generational shift, which has been reflected in classical as well as popular music. The nineties are separated from the 21st century by an aestheticemotional chasm. While the time of non-governmental sponsorship remains ahead of us, thanks to developing governmental programs, artists are relatively free to dedicate themselves to their work. Polish classical music has benefitted in particular from recently-initiated projects, such as Commissioned Compositions, Polska Music and others. The concert market reflects this reality, as do stylistic innovations in contemporary music. The local possibilities of the Polish music market are also shown by the activity of record companies. There are several dozen record labels dedicated exclusively to classical music operating in Poland. Another crucial and noticeable tendency is the increasing involvement of major labels in the production of Polish recordings. The leading global corporations in question include Universal and, more recently, EMI (currently Warner Music Group Company) as well. The potential in Polish music has also been noticed by the British independent label Chandos, under whose auspices recordings

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2 Aleksandra Kurzak – opera singer, soprano (b. 1977); Rafał Blechacz – pianist (b. 1985, winner of the 15th Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition); Piotr Beczała – lyric operatic tenor (b. 1966); Jan Lisiecki – Canadian pianist of Polish origin (b. 1995).

A great stir has been created by the work of, among others, Universal Records, under whose colors records by such artists as Andrzej Kuba, Rafał Blechacz, Piotr Beczała, and Jan Lisiecki2 have been released. The records’ commercial success, supported by an intelligently-run promotional campaign aimed at a broad audience and going beyond the classical niche, has shown a great hunger and demand for Polish artists. Meanwhile, it has also been an interesting case of interaction with the local environment, which has progressed in an almost exemplary manner. Universal has placed its bets on artists associated with big competitions, as well as with the grand operatic stage, and so made use of mechanisms which we could call tried-and-tested. But the question arises: what happens when a company turns to Polish talent which has to be formed commercially, promotionally and in the media from the ground up? EMI (presently Warner Music Group) has some interesting discoveries to its credit. The enormous success of recordings by Piotr Anderszewski3 might represent a big surprise. Both the music on offer and the artist’s image have borrowed much from the traditional understanding of classical music. But the records have found recipients not only in Poland, but also elsewhere in the world, and Anderszewski is an important pianist in the international arena. Another production that exceeded the commercial expectations of its publishers was a release of Stanisław Moniuszko’s4 opera The Haunted Manor. The album found an audience in the international arena, and the Polish market forced the company to reissue the record, which enjoyed extraordinary success. Another very meaningful boost for the promotion of Zarębski’s5 œuvre came with the release of his piano quintet headlined by Martha Argerich (the record appeared last year as part of a series presenting recordings from the Lugano festival). EMI’s most recent offerings and, at the same time, the last records by Polish artists released with that historic logo, were these albums from 2013: Tadeusz Domanowski’s6 debut release, piano; and Janusz Wawrowski’s7 recording contract, which resulted in Aurora, recorded together with Argentinian pianist José Gallardo. If, however, the work of major labels can be seen as a peculiar experiment which might, after all, not be affordable for just anyone, the real potential can be found in the work of smaller record labels, which, though they do not have as much capital to work with as the majors, do have enough strength to publish many records a year and bring their distribution to stores in Poland and internationally. These companies’ releases are often co-financed from the state budget, which allows them to create pearls of contemporary recording art, without worrying about the commercial possibilities of the given label. In this context, we can observe two tendencies: one represented by companies that, despite the temptation of ease, also build their artistic prestige; and the other, by companies that will release anything regardless of quality, if only the artist has the funds for it.

3

Polish pianist, born in 1969, living in Portugal.

Among the most important local Polish record labels, a few deserve special attention: above all, CD Accord and DUX, as well as Polish Recordings, Acte Prealable and Musica Sacra Edition. These labels produce many unique recordings and albums by Polish artists or dedicated to Polish music. Moreover, CD Accord, Dux and Polish Recordings were all founded on the basis of their recording studios and the skills of their recording engineers. CD Accord can boast of a special accomplishment: their album presenting works by Krzysztof Penderecki, performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic under the direction of Antoni Wit8 and produced by Andrzej Sasin and Aleksandra Nagórko, received an Emmy Award in the category of Best Classical Compendium. Among the most interesting records released by CD Accord in this year and the one previous, it is worth mentioning, for instance, Olga Pasichnyk’s recital Bella mia flamma…, the Lasoń Ensemble Mikołów Chamber Players’ Polish Piano Quintets – Bacewicz, Zarębski, Lasoń; Susan Gilmour Bailey, Aldona Bartnik, Matthew Venner, Maciej Gocman, Tomáš Král, the Ancient Instrument Ensemble and Andrzej Kosendiak’s Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki: Missa Rorate, Illuxit sol, Laetatus sum, Completorium; as well as a landmark album presenting forgotten symphonic poems by Eugeniusz Morawski performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra under the direction of Monika Wolińska et al. DUX is a label with an extensive Polish catalog, which is being constantly expanded. Thanks in large part to state assistance, such recordings as, for instance, the splendid Penderecki Special Edition collection are being made. These records have won recognition from the Polish Recording Academy, receiving numerous Fryderyk prizes9 (as have Musica Sacra’s releases). In DUX’s catalog, we also find a large selection of Polish contemporary music of diverse genres. Polish Recordings, in turn, is a catalog abounding in priceless archival materials which have not infrequently turned out to be a goldmine of commercial potential. Currently , the firm no doubt awaits substantial changes and restructuring. However, whether or not the label is bought out, or manages to stand on its own, this is a label which represents a very important element in the discographic landscape, not just in Poland but also abroad. One can nota bene come to a similar conclusion in reference to most Polish record companies. Many of them have very rich catalogs of recordings not available anywhere else in the world. This is of course a peculiar sort of niche, but clearly not such a deep one, since independent labels have also been popping up in Poland, basically taking on the form of manufacturers providing intellectual and artistic sustenance to the narrowest possible audience. On the other hand, a significant problem for local Polish record companies is distribution. Valuable recordings are often difficult to obtain (especially for foreign consumers), for lack of appropriately developed sales and marketing tools. Another special group consists of companies which have evolved from staterun into independent firms.

8

Antoni Wit – one of Poland’s most distinguished conductors (b. 1944); concertizing around the world with the best symphony orchestras, he has led many première performances of works by Polish composers.

Stanisław Moniuszko (1819–1872), a composer considered to be the father of Polish national opera, whose most important operatic works are Halka and The Haunted Manor – saturated with Polish folk music, combined with elements of Italian, French and German opera. The composer also rendered considerable services to music-making in general, as the author of twelve volumes of Home Song Books, containing over 250 songs with piano accompaniment.

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The Fryderyk Music Prize, awarded in Poland since 1995, recognizes achievements in the Polish music market in various categories, e.g. artist of the year, album of the year, classical music, popular music, jazz music.

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Juliusz Zarębski (1854–1885), a Polish pianist and composer whose work was written almost exclusively for the piano. As a great musician, he developed his career mostly abroad; it was unfortunately cut short by his death. His works made clear allusions to the styles of Chopin and Liszt – hence the elements of folk music and the dance genres, but also the virtuosity, original harmonies and rich timbral language.

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Polish pianist, born 1980.

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Polish violinist, born 1982.

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The flagship example is, of course, Polish Recordings, whose catalog is often successfully used by other labels, while the company itself struggles with problems of financial and often structural nature as well. Unfortunately, the legal situation of many recordings made by Polish Recordings, or of historical radio broadcasts, is so disorganized that it is becoming impossible to make them available or do contemporary re-editions of them. Among such valuable little gems, we must mention the work of such labels as Bôłt Records, Bocian Records and Niklas Records. Bôłt seems to be the most active. The label has a relatively rich catalog, in which one can find not only little-known compositions and works of independent art, but also important names in Polish music who have been somewhat overlooked, such as in the recent Polish Radio Experimental Studio and Polish Oldschool series. Bôłt also offers its audience a series showcasing the Eastern European new music scene (New Music in Eastern Europe), an interesting series whose curator is Michał Libera (Populista) or Extras. We can treat Bocian Records and Niklas records rather as original and individual initiatives. Grzegorz Tyszkiewicz (Bocian Records) writes bluntly on his website: ‘Please do NOT contact me about publishing on Bocian. This is one-man small label I run in my after hours and I don’t have capacity to answer your emails.’ At the same time, this company provides its customers with an exceptional product in the form of vinyl records, which is surprising relative to this label’s scale of operations. The above-mentioned labels specialize first and foremost in new music – so, probably the most difficult sector of classical music from an economic point of view. Simultaneously, similarly nicheoriented initiatives are also appearing in the field of Polish music from past eras: Musicon, BeArTon, Sarton, to name just a few of them. Much important recording work is also carried out by government institutions, such as, of course, Polish Radio; and also the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute, under the watchful eye of Stanisław Leszczyński; as well as the National Audiovisual Institute. Observing both the recording market and the nongovernmental sector from the inside, along with the development of modern media, I constantly ask myself about the possibilities for development of Polish music in a commercial context, not just locally but also globally. Looking through the prism of recording, what seems very interesting are the new tendencies afoot among the younger generation of Polish composers. The Polish music scene is extremely diverse. Besides a broadly developed œuvre from under the banner of conceptualism and experimentation treated as an end in its own right,10 there is also a great deal of music being made in the traditional way, appealing to the legacy of past eras. Neither of these

trends is very attractive from a publishing standpoint. For on the one hand, we encounter compositions that are difficult in terms of reception, often not meant for listening but rather for looking at or for participation in the performance; and on the other, shallow and inoffensive works, which work superbly in the concert setting, but have a hard time crossing the border of a certain sublimation which is essential to the recording of a piece and to any attempts to distribute and popularize such a work. Classical music, including its contemporary variant, is aging. The formula of the 1960s avant-garde and experimentalism has been exhausted, as have all attempts to restore the traditions of past eras, the so-called post-Darmstadt school, and even Postmodernism, no matter how broadly we might like to define that term11. Hidden within the Polish compositional school is another trend which, in cutting itself off quite forcefully from the above-mentioned creative philosophies, not only presents a new artistic quality, but also brings a freshness to classical music, giving it a character both communicative and accessible on the one hand, and interesting from an analytical standpoint on the other. Following the example of Professor Marcin Błażewicz (a composer and lecturer at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw), I call this trend Transmodernism12. What is the value of Polish music on the international market? Can talent and originality be sufficient arguments in the battle for the global audience? Or did we lose everything when the haze of political isolation and secrecy fell away? After the fall of Communism, we found ourselves in a new reality. In the world’s eyes, we had lost the cachet of exotic visitors from behind the Iron Curtain. However, the high level of artistic development in Polish classical music has great potential which is waiting to be reclaimed. These days, the missing link seems to be really only the sphere of professional artistic management, including companies active internationally. Observing the steady development of the Polish music scene, we can suspect that the presence and recognizability of Polish artists on the global stage will grow in the next few years. The question is, who will benefit from this potential the most? Maybe those who have the courage to reach for it first…

11 Postmodern art referenced the achievements of past eras; in music, this meant drawing upon techniques and styles worked out by composers from long ago and combining them with newly-created elements of contemporary music.

12

Among the most interesting Transmodernists, we can mention such composers as Dariusz Przybylski, Tomasz Jakub Opałka, Wojciech Błażejczyk and Mikołaj Majkusiak.

Conceptual art has the task of exposing the creative process – in music, for instance, in the form of graphic scores.

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Katarzyna Gardzina-Kubała

Large Stage Forms
tr. Cara Thornton

If we take a closer look at the number of contemporary opera productions at all of Poland’s major opera houses and festivals, it turns out that there have been more presentations of such artists as Glass, Eötvös, Xenakis et al., while forgotten works by such Polish composers as Mieczysław Weinberg (The Passenger)1 have ended up on our stages via a circuitous route – after their presentation and ‘discovery’ by the West. Is this a reason for hand-wringing? Certainly not. In Poland, we have an enormous backlog in staged presentations of already-classic contemporary opera works from the worldwide repertoire, and it is a good thing that – if only in some small measure – we are catching up on them today. Greatly meritorious service in this matter is being provided by the National Opera and the Territories series, each season of which has been comprised of three or four titles, from Britten and Janaček to such young native composers as Agata Zubel and Dobromiła Jaskot.2 During my preparations for writing this essay, someone posed me the question of whether four outstanding premières of operas by Polish composers in one year is ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’. I remember perfectly the times when such repertoire was almost completely absent from operatic stages (aside from works created, for example, for the purposes of a children’s audience), and world premières of more ambitious contemporary repertoire took place exclusively in the form of one-off concerts at such festivals as Warsaw Autumn.3 So it seems that the managements of opera houses – for it is they who are the main inspiration for such events (as the commissioners of new works or decision-makers concerning presentation of already-composed works) – see a need to support contemporary Polish opera and believe that via more frequent contact with this type of presentations, the opera audience will become educated in the reception of contemporary works in general. The writing of new operatic works is, furthermore, in large measure dependent on support from theaters and festivals commissioning such works. In the commissioning of new operas from native composers, the leader has been the National Opera and, until recently, by way of contrast, the Warsaw Chamber Opera, which, under the guidance of former director Stefan Sutkowski, created its own Festival of Contemporary Polish Opera (works by Zbigniew Rudziński, Bernadetta Matuszczak, Zygmunt Krauze and Edward Pałłasz). Thanks to the Minister of Culture’s Composition Commissions program, others centers, as well, are becoming the beneficiaries of subsidies for the writing of new stage works. The Baltic Opera, which successfully opened its Opera Gedaniensis series with the Polish première of Elżbieta Sikora’s4 Madame Curie (23 November 2011), will produce, among other works, Zygmunt Krauze’s opera Olympia. Also in preparation is a show devoted to the family of Arthur Schopenhauer – the libretto is being written by Antoni Libera, and the music is being

1

Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996) was a Polish composer with Jewish roots who lived most of his life in Russia. A leading symphonic writer of the 1960s, he was a close friend of Dmitri Shostakovich. Weinberg’s compositional output includes symphonies, concerti, chamber and piano music, operas, songs and film music, including the sound track to The Cranes Are Flying (winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes festival in 1958). His opera The Passenger, finished in 1968, was premièred only in 2010 (in July, in Bregenz; in October, in Warsaw); considered to be an extraordinary work, it takes up the heavy subject of the concentration camps. In its musical layer, one can find diverse means of expression, from monumental orchestral fragments to segments maintained in a jazz stylistic language.

2

The place of opera in contemporary art continues to undergo redefinition. What continues to define these genres are the works of the early masters, the standard repertoire loved by a broad audience and, at the same time, often subject to criticism for its ossification, statuesque character and cheap flashiness. This is, however, the tradition to which today’s creators of opera must refer, or upon which they must take a position, if only by negation or rejection.

Agata Zubel (born in 1978) is a Polish composer and singer. Her œuvre is based on the newest performance techniques, strong expression and a rich timbral language, often utilizing an electronic layer. As a vocalist, she specializes in interpretation of the newest music. Dobromiła Jaskot (born in 1981) is a Polish composer whose artistic activity is focused mainly on multimedia art and interactive actions – without, however, abandoning emotional values or use of traditional instrumentation.

This tradition means that, above all, in the opera world, the so-called broad audience, which is the only one able to fill the halls of the great opera theaters, does not desire novelty; it does not wish for new works marked by a contemporary aesthetic language. Unlike in previous centuries, what is expected today are mainly new productions of popular titles; in lesser degree, audiences await the rescue from oblivion of (unjustly or otherwise) forgotten works (as a matter of curiosity); and in last order of priority, premières of new compositions. Added to the fear of producing contemporary Polish composers’ works is the mentality problem – I am not sure whether peculiarly Polish – that we ourselves do not esteem our native artists until they have received confirmation of their value on the world’s stages, at international competitions and reviews; we also turn our attention more willingly to works by foreign artists.

3 The Warsaw Autumn International Contemporary Music Festival, started by the Polish Composers’ Union in 1956, has taken place annually in the second half of September since 1958; attracting the greatest composers and performers of contemporary music to Poland’s capital, it presents the artistic achievements of musicians from all over the world.

4 Elżbieta Sikora, a Polish composer born in 1943, lives in France. The première of her opera Madame Curie took place in Paris in 2011, and was received enthusiastically both by the audience and the critics – it was assessed as a ‘contemporarily traditional’ opera, richly orchestrated, with discreet use of electronics, wonderful vocal parts and expression-laden music.

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Polish composer and conductor Przemysław Zych, born in 1980, is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Warsaw. He was the founder and conductor of the Radom Chamber Orchestra, as well as the director of the My Splendid Isolation – Days of Karol Szymanowski in Radom festival. He has to his credit both purely instrumental and vocalinstrumental compositions.

composed by Piotr Moss. To be presented after this is Krzysztof Pieczyński’s opera Romeo and Juliet, for which American composer Richard Einhorn has agreed to prepare music. The Wrocław Opera also has its own Festival of Contemporary Opera. During its, to date, three editions, it has presented, among other works, Hanna Kulenty’s The Mother of Black-winged Dreams (world première 9 December 1996, Munich; Polish première 15 May 2010). The same year, the light of the Wroclaw stage was seen by Eugeniusz Knapik’s La libertà chiama la libertà; in combination with Karol Szymanowski’s Hagith, Tomasz ‘Prasqual’ Praszczałek’s Esther was presented; and in 2012, Zygmunt Krauze’s The Trap and Cezary Duchnowski’s Martha’s Garden. Thanks to Ministry programs realized by the Institute of Music and Dance, as well as support from, among other institutions, the National Audiovisual Institute, more and more premières of operas by Polish composers are appearing, commissioned not only by large opera houses. Przemysław Zych’s5 work Poiesis was written on commission from the Operalnia Foundation, and shown during the 20th Bydgoszcz Opera Festival. The libretto was based on Zbigniew Herbert’s drama The Reconstruction of a Poet. More and more frequently, smaller operatic works are being turned to by festivals, including Poznań’s Malta theater festival, as well as festivals of contemporary music and summer music festivals (normally concert performances, such as those under the auspices of the Music Gardens in Warsaw). A separate interesting trend is the restoration to musical circulation, if only for a moment, of forgotten works, only long ago or even never (!) produced in Poland. The often one-off performance in staged or, more frequently, concert form is an opportunity to record the work on disc. And so Roman Statkowski’s6 Maria, from the beginning of the 20th century, was resurrected, recorded and popularized by Polish Radio Orchestra conductor and director Łukasz Borowicz. Józef Koffler’s7 Matrimonio con variazioni (a work for years considered to be lost) was restored and presented by the Warsaw Chamber Opera, like several other Polish operas. It is a pity that many of these actions do not go even outside the walls of a single theater, much less beyond the borders of the country (a commendable exception is Maria, shown in 2011 at the Wexford Festival Opera). Apart from two or three festivals, there is almost no functioning exchange or co-production between Polish opera stages, so that interesting and important events are accessible only to audiences from one city or region. Last artistic season, four premières created a considerable stir; in the case of the evening entitled Project P, it was comprised of two works – Jagoda Szmytka’s for voices and hands and Wojtek Blecharz’s8 Transcript (Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, Warsaw, 23 May 2013). At the same theater, the world

première of Paweł Szymański’s Qudsja Zaher, constantly postponed for several years, finally came to fruition (20 April 2013); and at the Grand Theater in Poznań, the Polish première of Krzysztof Meyer’s Cyberiad took place (25 May 2013). Only the last work was not written on commission, and it was finished in… 1970. Comparing these four works, the dualism of the contemporary œuvre is visible – which is not, furthermore, peculiar only to Poland. Works continue to be written which already just in their dimensions, as well as their vocal and musical ensemble, allude to the 19th-century grand opera9 tradition. Panache here is supposed to be, if not an intended effect, then at least a characteristic trait of the operatic genre (in questions of stage design as well), which, furthermore, does not have to collide with a certain asceticism of musical aesthetics (as in Szymański’s Qudsja Zaher). Another type of compositions are works more modest in both duration and scoring (for voices and hands, Transcript). This type of compositions are characteristic of the younger generation of artists, who are perfectly well aware that a chamber work is easier to perform in the various types of spaces into which contemporary music happens to wander, that festivals will be more willing to present such a work and, finally, that it will be easier (though this is not a hard-and-fast rule) to produce. It also seems that such ‘chamber’type thinking about artistic expression, even in the operatic genre, is simply closer to the younger generation’s heart, which is visible analogously in the dance œuvre as well (for instance, at dance theaters – though there, as well, chamber-type presentations are influenced by the financial and personnel capacities of fringe ensembles and independent artists). On the other hand, it appears that young opera writers do not think about the survival or reproducibility of their works on other stages, a few years hence, in a different reality. One reviewer compared Szmytka’s and Blecharz’s operas to ephemerids – insects living for only one day. These operas, by virtue of both their libretto (Szmytka recounts how an opera is produced at the National Theater and with what type of adversities one must fight), and their production (Blecharz places his work in the gloomy, kilometer-long corridors and workshops of the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Theater in Warsaw), are basically impossible to show anywhere else. One can appreciate the values of the score, but as a whole, these operas in staged version are revived for a moment, for three or four showings. Perhaps it is that transience, that impermanence which is a sign of our times – like devices breaking down after the warranty has expired and texts not preserved on paper, getting lost in the depths of the Internet? We shall see this season, when, as part of the continuation of Project P, Marcin Stańczyk and Sławomir Wojciechowski will present their operas.

Roman Statkowski (1859–1925) was a Polish composer and teacher whose œuvre belongs to the late Romantic movement. His compositional output, abounding mainly in chamber and piano works, is characterized by lyricism and a rich timbral language, as well as transparent form and allusion to Polish national music (e.g. via Polish folk dance rhythms). His opera Maria was honored with the 1st prize at the compositional competition organized by the Warsaw Philharmonic in 1904, by virtue of the beauty of its melodies and its interesting instrumentation.
7 Józef Koffler (1896–1943) was a Polish composer, teacher and essayist. He was one of Poland’s first representatives of Neoclassicism, whose œuvre expanded upon the world’s newest musical techniques and trends. 8

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Grand opera – a.k.a. heroic opera – is a variety of opera which came into being in 19th-century France. Marked by the stamp of Romanticism, rooted in folk, national or historical themes, it is understood as an integral art, characterized by enhancement of orchestral, harmonic and expressive resources. Its major representatives were G. Spontini, G. Meyerbeer, D. Auber and J. F. Halévy.

Jagoda Szmytka, a composer born in 1982, aims to integrate the arts in her œuvre, linking sound, visual, spatial and stage elements into one whole, utilizing both traditional instrumentation and non-musical materials (e.g. paper). Wojtek Blecharz, a composer and oboist born in 1981, is involved in performance of medieval and Renaissance music. He is the winner of many competitions in the areas of performance, music theory and composition. His œuvre includes both stand-alone and theatrical music.

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Paweł Szymański is a composer born in 1954. His music – stylistically uniform – is always subjected to strict technical discipline; despite this, it is highly colorful from an emotional standpoint. Szymański’s works are performed all over the world; their essential characteristics are their timbral language and sound qualities.

11 Olga Pasichnyk, born in 1968, is a Ukrainian singer. She studied vocal arts in Kyiv and Warsaw; an international vocal competition winner, she has been associated with the Warsaw Chamber Opera since 1992. In 1998, she scored a great success in Paris with the role of Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She has sung on the world’s greatest opera stages, and has also taken part in many premières of contemporary operatic works.

12 Krzysztof Meyer, born in 1943, is a Polish composer and the author of many papers in the area of music theory and history, as well as a student and friend of Witold Lutosławski. His rich artistic output includes over 100 compositions of orchestral, chamber, solo, stage, theater and film music. In his works, one can find echoes of various styles and compositional techniques of contemporary music, but also allusions to composers from the past.

In this sense, there is no way to find any points of contact between Project P and the other two premières: Qudsja Zaher and Cyberiad. What connects Szmytka and Blecharz with Szymański’s work is careful listening to the sound, to its duration. Paweł Szymański10 has, however, created something completely different: an opera suspended in time and not situated in any place – a philosophical, unfinished opera that speaks of remaining, of waiting. In terms of both the music and the stage design, it is a free statement about the workings of our collective memory and about how individuals are recorded in it. Despite previous announcements, what was written was not a musical memorial for Afghan refugee Qudsja Zaher, who inspired the theme of the libretto, but a thing difficult to define, immersed in the noise of the waves of an underwater world of spirits waiting to pass to the other side of non-existence. The staging, though it appeared ascetic in expression, was prepared with great panache (an enormous construction of metal waves filling the entire stage, upon which the soloists, choir and children’s choir move); also enormous was the performance ensemble. People waited in suspense for years for this première – both on account of the composer’s standing, and on account of the fact that the title role was to be performed by superb soprano Olga Pasichnyk11. So it is no wonder that, after the première, there were heated discussions about the value of the work, the consistency or inconsistency of the composer and the librettist (Maciej J. Drygas), as well as the vision of the stage director (Eimuntas Nekrošius). It also appears that, despite diverse views on the work’s value, Qudsja Zaher has found itself a quite large group of sworn devotees, so that it is a good thing it will appear on stage in the coming season as well. Against this background, Krzysztof Meyer’s12 Cyberiad, produced by the Moniuszko Grand Theater in Poznań, appears as a stranger from another, though perhaps not too distant era. Already astounding, different, but not yet weird, still timely, but visibly not on our time… Its allusions to Shostakovich and Prokofiev, its jazzy interjections are a tasty morsel for music lovers and musicologists; they also mean that the opera is accessible in its musical layer even to a broader audience. The libretto, based on the œuvre of Stanisław Lem, is also not particularly shocking – it consists of three parables with a universal message which take place in the world of Robot Fairytales, but could equally well have played out in some other fairytale land. It is in this direction, as well, that stage director Ran Arthur Braun went, alluding in his aesthetic language, stage design and stage movement to the times of ‘naïve science fiction’ – colorful and plastic. There exists a high probability that, thanks to this, Cyberiad will enter the repertoire of the Poznań opera house and not share the fate of the ephemerids which end their run after three showings.

It is worth reflecting on how to take the one-off success with audiences and critics quite often enjoyed by the Polish contemporary opera œuvre to a worldwide level. One example could be Krzysztof Penderecki’s œuvre, thoroughly cosmopolitan and for decades esteemed all over the world. Few people, nonetheless, are aware that, for instance, Zygmunt Krauze’s13 opera Polyeucte, based on motifs from Pierre Corneille’s tragedy, received an award from the French Critics’ Union for best creation of the 2011/2012 season. The award was granted by the French critics’ association Syndicat de la Critique de Theatre, de Musique et de Danse. Thanks to the participation of French stage director Jorge Lavelli, the work commissioned by the Warsaw Chamber Opera was presented first in Toulouse, then in Warsaw. Would viewers from other cities in Poland not like the opportunity for contact with this and other works by native composers? Could various forms of co-production, exchanges of shows and residencies, not be the cure for the small numbers of showings of contemporary operas and for empty auditoriums? This question must be answered by both artists and the directors and managers of opera houses and festivals.

13 Zygmunt Krauze, a Polish pianist and composer born in 1938, is known mainly as a composer of Unistic music – that is, music devoid of contrasts and tensions, with a homogeneous structure and form. In his artistic activity, he is also involved in spatial, theatrical and operatic music; as a teacher, he gives master classes for composers in many countries.

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Filip Lech

Composer Collider
tr. Cara Thornton

In 1971, Austrian philosopher Ivan Illich (1926–2002) published a book entitled Deschooling Society, in which he opposed the practices of the education system of his time. Illich’s argument touches upon the entire educational path – from preschool to universities and employee skills training programs at large firms. In the world described by Illich, bureaucratization and hierarchization of the teaching system means that we lose what we should be getting from school: the ability to think independently, to acquire the skills essential for further existence and to develop one’s true passions, which sometimes cannot be exchanged for other, material values.

The international Composer Collider workshops took place for the first time in 2012; they were a project aimed at Polish composers born after 1 January 1981. Partnering in the project was the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. Seventeen composers applied for the 2012 workshops, among which, on the basis of the scores submitted, the musikFabrik program council selected the best seven. During the three-day workshops the musikFabrik ensemble, conducted by Johannes Schöllhorn, performed the seven Polish composers’ competition compositions. Each composer had two 1.5-hour rehearsals with the musikFabrik ensemble, during which his/her work with the previouslysubmitted piece was evaluated. The musikFabrik program Council selected one composer who received a commission from musikFabrik and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute to write a new piece in 2013. This piece was performed by the musikFabrik ensemble during the WDR Radio Concert Series, as well as released on disc. This composer was Jarosław Płonka,3 who wrote the piece lightly touched / heavily pressed. One of the composers with whose œuvre the Köln music factory is involved is Harry Partch (1901–1974); their performance of his famous opera Delusion of the Fury opened the Ruhrtriennale 2013. It seems to me that this composer’s biography could be one of the keys to the ideas and manners of work which guide the Köln ensemble’s members. His parents were teachers and missionaries in China, from whence they brought back a huge number of instruments and (for an American) exotic objects. It was these instruments and objects which molded the young Harry, for whom it was an artistic obsession to expand the sonic capabilities of his music: he created his own 43-note scale. Instead of wasting his time at university lectures, he preferred to spend time sitting in libraries, where he independently paged through tons of books from the most varied fields of knowledge. Most important, however, was his contact with instruments – from his youth, he was able to acquaint himself with the articulational capabilities of even the strangest and most atypical of them. Finally, he began to construct his own instrumentarium – in Delusion of the Fury by itself, 34 instruments invented by Partch appear. At this point, it is difficult not to mention musikFabrik’s impressive storehouse, in which they collect percussion instruments: even just the collections of various types of containers – pots, bowls, tubs ready to be utilized for musical purposes – is awe-inspiring. Ivan Illich reminds us that in the Middle Ages, learned persons were not wealthy – quite the contrary: most often, they lived in poverty. Guided by their own calling, they learned Latin and delved into the knowledge hidden in books. They were held in contempt but, at the same time, the peasant, the prince and the cleric looked upon them with admiration. During the crisis which overran the United States in the 1930s, Harry Partch was a so-called hobo – a tramp who, without a penny in his pocket, traveled the length and breadth of America looking for work, most often physical. It seems to me it would be easy to see an analogy between the medieval sage and Partch – a certain symbol of the most recent music, a music which continues to aim at expanding its capacities for musical expression.

3 Jarosław Płonka, born in 1984, graduated from the composition faculty at the Academy of Music in Kraków; in 2006, he won 1st prize at the composers’ competition organized by PWM Edition, for the piece Construction in Metal. He has to his credit over 30 compositions, both works for traditional instruments (including for orchestra) and electronic music.

1

Illich I., Deschooling Society, http://ournature.org/~novembre/ illich/1970_deschooling.html, accessed 31 August 2013

Instead of this, from childhood we are squeezed into a way of thinking which obligates us to acquire successive certificates, diplomas and titles which often are not associated with any concrete skills. The result of this is an ‘ethos of dissatisfaction’: a constant search for confirmation of one’s value in the eyes of both oneself and others – one’s family, one’s teacher, one’s employer. Successes achieved generate a need for further ones; the ideal model would be an educational perpetuum mobile, but unfortunately people are not yet able to break the laws of thermodynamics. ‘The public is indoctrinated to believe that skills are valuable and reliable only if they are the result of formal schooling,’1 writes Illich. I have the impression that in their activities – both as performers appearing at festivals with repertoire containing the 20th century’s great artists, and as educators – musikFabrik wishes to ‘deschool’ music. To bring the composer and performers – and, as follows from this, the audience as well – to the point where they discover music independently, without the mediation of great institutions or top-down narratives. By taking matters into our own hands, we can recover the experience that music – its writing, performance and, perhaps above all, listening – ought to be.
Contrary to what its name suggests, Ensemble musikFabrik does not have a boss. With its democratic base, the musicians themselves take the responsibility for making all-important decisions. (…)Ensemble musikFabrik is as open as its mission: to create music that is not there yet.2

4 Illich I., Deschooling Society, http:// ournature.org/~novembre/illich/1970_deschooling.html accessed 31 August 2013

5

2

http://musikfabrik.eu/en/about/forbeginners.html, accessed 04 September 2013

Cage J., ‘45’ for a Speaker’, in: Silence: Lectures and Writings, http:// archive.org/stream/silencelecturesw1961cage/silencelecturesw1961cage_ djvu.txt accessed 31 August 2013

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The composers taking part in the Composer Collider workshops had contact info for each member of the ensemble; they had at their disposal each instrumentalist, with whom they could converse privately about each note and gesture contained in their scores. They were partners to each other: the members of musikFabrik more experienced, making suggestions, but no one was assumed a priori to be right. Everything was subject to discussion; after all, ‘[l]earners should not be forced to submit to an obligatory curriculum’4 (Ivan Illich again). A valuable thought is brought to us by a certain famous composer; John Cage wrote, ‘[…] error is a fiction, has no reality in fact. Errorless music is written by not giving a thought to cause and effect,’5 Blunders are a natural part of the creative process; without certain dissonances and mistakes, music would become bogged down in a humanly impossible perfection. The aim of musikFabrik’s workshops was not to write a splendid piece – though Płonka did manage to write a piece to which one listens with great satisfaction – they just wanted to work; the value was the creative process itself. musikFabrik rated Jarosław Płonka’s composition – lightly touched / heavily pressed – most highly. It is the effect of many years’ inquiries, carried out from both a composer’s and a performer’s perspective. Płonka says,
The actual work on the piece consisted mainly in first spending many hours exploring the length and breadth of the ’cello fingerboard. It is music about music, a multi-layered composition which gives the listener the choice to focus on listening to the piece as a whole or to one selected layer.6

And here the question arises: ‘Płonka has received an award from musikFabrik. What now?’ Should the performance of the piece be the end of the workshops? What is a composer to do when s/he has encountered an ensemble which understands his/her needs? After all, s/he cannot count on regular collaboration with performers who will have the time and means to realize his/ her ideas. And yet, at the same time, an artist has to look after the good of art. In today’s world, more and more structures which enable artistic activity to continue are being founded thanks to the involvement of artists themselves. Perhaps the young composers who have collaborated with musikFabrik should help each other and create solutions thanks to which the ‘schooling’ of society will not affect them. Acting on one’s own stops being a utopia when it turns out that one can collaborate with other people – a group of friends, or dozens of people who share the same experiences. Perhaps today this will sound a bit anachronistic and grandiloquent; after all, Ivan Illich8 wrote it 40 years ago. But we should not fool ourselves – changing the way art is created will also change art itself, and art supposedly changes together with reality. At the end of his book, he mentions four points which ought to serve the ‘educational revolution’, the last of which reads as follows:
To liberate the individual from the obligation to shape his expectations to the services offered by any established profession — by providing him with the opportunity to draw on the experience of his peers and to entrust himself to the teacher, guide, adviser, or healer of his choice. Inevitably the deschooling of society will blur the distinctions between economics, education, and politics on which the stability of the present world order and the stability of nations now rest.

8

Illich I., op. cit.

6

Lech F., ‘Jarosław Płonka, lightly touched / heavily pressed’, http://www. culture.pl/baza-muzyka-pelnatresc/-/eo_event_asset_publisher/ eAN5/content/jaroslaw-plonka-lightly-touched-heavily-pressed, accessed 4 September 2013

As is shown by the example of lightly touched…, the freedom and openness in which a piece is written can influence its reception. The final effect is that not only the people who contributed to the writing of the piece have participated in a process which breaks up outdated patterns – listeners, as well, who can approach the interpretation of the piece with a large dose of freedom, will also benefit. It is also worth noticing the significance of such a gesture; after all, for centuries, composers have accustomed us to monumental works requiring superhuman concentration and effort. The ‘deschooling’ of music could have serious consequences; when the audience feels the call of freedom offered by certain artists, it will not necessarily be glad to return to concert halls and Philharmonic walls. Jarosław Płonka recounts,
I do not treat composition as a learned trade; for me, it is not a source of income, although I admit that the royalties from the performance of a composition do facilitate my existence. Writing music is my passion, I create it because I want to and when I feel like it, for my own satisfaction and the realization of artistic visions, not because I have to. I am impressed by uncompromising composers who expand the borders of musical areas with their work, who explore and discover. I would like to see myself in such a role. The most important thing is to remain in harmony with oneself. I think, however, that every artist should be in some way responsible for the common good of art and the content transmitted by it.7

The renewal of the teacher-student relationship is changing our expectations relative to culture and art. ‘What is common to all true master-pupil relationships is the awareness both share that their relationship is literally priceless and in very different ways a privilege for both,’9 writes Illich. ‘If friendship has the character of a moral obligation, then no conditions are clearly formulated, but that which is offered in it as a gift or as whatever else, is offered to the other person as to a friend’10 – this, in turn, is a quote from Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, frequently cited by the Austrian thinker. In other words, they already knew that in ancient Greece.

9

Ibid.

10 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics tr. W. D. Ross, http://classics.mit.edu/ Aristotle/nicomachaen.mb.txt, accessed 31 August 2013

7 Lech F., ‘Jarosław Płonka’, http:// www.culture.pl/baza-muzyka-pelnatresc/-/eo_event_asset_publisher/ eAN5/content/jaroslaw-plonka, accessed 4 September 2013

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Piotr Jan Wojciechowski

Commissioned Compositions
tr. Cara Thornton

​ istinguished Lviv musicologist Stefania Łobaczewska D once wrote the following apt words:

1

See: Magdalena Dziadek, ‘Poznańska Wiosna Muzyczna w zwierciadle przemian politycznych i gospodarczych Polski (1961–2002)’ [The Poznań Spring Music Festival in the Mirror of Political and Economic Transformations in Poland (1961–2002)’, in: W muzycznym Poznaniu. Tradycje i współczesność [In Musical Poznań: Traditions and Contemporary Times], ed. T. Brodniewicz, H. Kostrzewska, J. Tatarska, Poznań 2004, p. 47.

[T]he obligation of social decency is to be interested in what is being created among us, what people – not infrequently our nearest and dearest – are producing as the current good of contemporary culture. Who knows, furthermore, perhaps there are great talents among them; whose obligation is it – if not ours – to bring them out into the light of day? And can they, furthermore, find their way into the wider world, not having previously become known in their closest surroundings?1

Today, thus, compositional commissions are not the only distribution channel for one’s own œuvre or development-stimulating factor; nevertheless, they are probably still the one most desired by artists. The pieces or fragments thereof to be found on their personal pages or blogs not infrequently do not offer studio quality; and copied tirelessly by anonymous users of such channels as YouTube or Vimeo, they often hinder the identification among their tangled masses of that proper, model, most representative performance. In conjunction with the shifting of greater responsibility for the formation of the native cultural output onto non-government organizations, as well as the introduction of the ‘grant’ system for the promotion of culture, popularization of contemporary music is unfortunately ceasing to be served by publishing houses or record labels, which, if they want to function effectively according to worldwide standards, require thorough restructuring; and, most often, it is relatively difficult for them to earn their keep exclusively from promoting contemporary music, compared to the enviable success of publishing houses in other European countries (e.g. the prestigious Kairos Musikproduktion). ​ here is also the fact that the differences between successive generations T of artists are apparently slowly being erased. Though in Andrzej Kwieciński’s umbrae (2004), the sharp ear will catch allusions to the musical language of Hanna Kulenty, under whose auspices the young composer developed his technique, his artistic awareness nonetheless confidently rivals the author of E-motions (2011) not only in terms of maturity, but, for instance, in terms of the standing of the commissions2 that the two artists have received in connection with the aforementioned works. It is Andrzej Kwieciński who is one of the first laureates of the new Composer-in-Residence program funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and organizationally supervised by the Institute of Music and Dance in Warsaw.
The aim of the program is to increase the newest Polish music’s share in concert institutions’ permanent repertoire by reinforcing close relationships between young artists on the one hand, and performers and institutions on the other, as well as to limit the costs of presenting contemporary music works.3

2 Andrzej Kwieciński’s work was ordered by Transemble. After its première at the Turning Sounds festival, the was performed several more times that same year just in Warsaw alone. The author speaks about it in the following manner:

Though cited today, in a now completely different historical context from that of even 50 years ago, they do not lose even a bit of their currency, if we take into account the universality of their message. The picture of Polish contemporary music that has been emerging during the past few years shows that these hidden talents do not come from nowhere. One can observe greater and greater growth in stylistic diversity, a high degree of interest on the part of native artists in participating in numerous master classes, taking an active part in various types of endeavors, such as competitions, residential programs or, finally, scholarship programs to study in foreign centers. Especially the young generation of composers, not yet properly appreciated in Poland, presents an open attitude toward new ideas and solutions, drawing inspiration from outside, not relying exclusively on patterns learned in the academic centers whose walls it is leaving. This generation, in attempting to reveal new areas of individual inquiry to listeners, displays the greatest awareness of the trends and ideas currently in vogue in the contemporary music world. This tendency increases their chances of receiving interesting orders, compositional commissions; contributes to constructive building of the composers’ brand and image; and forms a positive picture of the reception of the music created by them. And this is truly ambitious music – more and more individual, intriguing, proudly marching with the spirit of the times. On the one hand, the economic and political conditions of postmodern globalized civilization – dictated by the technological revolution (the invention of the Internet, the proliferation of social portals enabling the free flow of almost any type of information, the production of digital tools for the creation, notation and storage of music files etc.) – as well as the abolition of borders between countries and people; and on the other, the historical circumstances associated with the post-1989 transformation, determine completely new ways of functioning and dissemination of Polish musical culture in the country and abroad, but also place before composers, and the institutions that support them, more and more new challenges.

I would call umbrae my op. 1, because there is nothing in this work that I would change; there is nothing that I want to correct. […] While writing umbrae, I found out what a spectrum is, and tried it out. But it is simple – material only out to the sixteenth tone in the harmonic series. The top sounds very pretty – kind of out-of-tune, at the same time almost diatonic, as it were tonal, but something grates, something is not quite right. I liked that and it was from there that I started.

in: Jan Topolski, ‘Muzyka 2.1: Andrzej Kwieciński’ [‘Music 2.1: Andrzej Kwieciński’], http://www. dwutygodnik.com/artykul/3341muzyka-21-andrzej-kwiecinski.html, 1 August 2013, accessed 5 September 2013. (Hanna Kulenty’s work, in turn, was commissioned by a renowned Dutch institution, the Performing Arts Fund).

3

Kwieciński, born in 1984, graduated from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague; having received multiple stipends and been a finalist in competitions both in Poland and abroad (Tokyo), he was hosted in the 2011/12 season by the Łódź Philharmonic. It was in this place that his quintet umbrae was heard yet again, along with several of his most recent works, among others mural (2010) for string quartet and Sinfonia: Luci nella notte (2012) for orchestra. While we are on the subject of the Composer-in-Residence program, we need to note the activity of the other artists nominated for residencies (first edition of the program)4: Maciej Zieliński (at the invitation of the Polish Radio Orchestra) and Przemysław Zych (at the invitation of the Radom Chamber Orchestra). The target group to whom the whole initiative is addressed consists of young Polish composers under 40 years of age.

http://filharmonia.lodz.pl/ PL/FilharmoniaAktualnosci/ ObjectId/623/Default.aspx, accessed 5 September 2013

4 ‘In the first edition of the program, a total of 10 concerts took place, at which 11 works by the composers invited for residencies were performed,’ in: http://imit.org.pl/ uploads/Wprowadzenie Kompozytorrezydent III edycja.pdf, accessed 5 September 2013

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The following composers-in-residence qualified for the second edition: Bartosz Kowalski (Kolberg Philharmonic in Kielce), with a composition for saxophone with chamber orchestra accompaniment; Barbara Kaszuba (Amadeus Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra); Jędrzej Rochecki (Toruń Symphony), faced with the ambitious task of composing a symphony for enormous instrumental ensemble, choirs and solo voices; and Zuzanna Fabijańczyk (Witold Lutosławski Symphony in Płock). From among 11 applications submitted, the jury of the third edition of the program organized by the Institute of Music and Dance selected three composers who qualified for residencies. They are: Tomasz Jakub Opałka (Gorzów Philharmonic), who received a commission for a piano concerto; Wojciech Błażejczyk (Prof. Szyrocki Academic Choir Singing Association, West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin), who is writing a work entitled Bethlehem; and Ignacy Zalewski (Sinfonia Iuventus Polish Orchestra), who is working on a piece in the form of symphonic variations. Pertinently, the program was conceived on the principle of a competition; thus, at the initial stage of the selection, it does not involve the direct commissioning of a work from a specific artist. Those who qualify for the award are given the opportunity for a public, worldwide presentation of the young composer’s creative work. The works of the above-mentioned artists are normally woven into the program in such a manner that the remaining portion of the given subscription concert is filled with ‘traditional’, Classical/Romantic repertoire items. The program created by the Institute of Music and Dance gives composers enormous opportunities for exposure. The initiative also provides an opportunity for a second ‘post-première’ presentation of interesting and successful works. One example could be Bartosz Kowalski’s Symphony no. 2 ‘Dies irae’, a work composed already in 2006 and honored that same year with the grand prize at the Grzegorz Fitelberg Composers’ Competition. Thanks to the Ministry priority, the work was heard again on 26 October 2012 under the baton of Piotr Wijatkowski. It is difficult to sum up the program’s activity and functioning in terms of its realization of the plans which guided its founding, on account of its only threeyear history; and for this reason, it does not yet have the scope of other Ministry programs, such as the Collections – Commissioned Compositions priority. As the Institute of Music and Dance states,
[t]he Commissioned Compositions priority is the first systematic endeavor to stimulate musical creativity and ensure the presence in public space of the works written as a result of the project’s realization. The works written as part of the priority, by being made available on a broad scale in public space, will serve as valuable tools for cultural and artistic education, contributing to increased presence of music in society and the building of its relationships with various communities of listeners, including children and youth.5

Kotoński, Zygmunt Krauze, Paweł Szymański, Zbigniew Penherski, Krzysztof Knittel, Aleksander Lasoń, Stanisław Krupowicz, Jerzy Maksymiuk and Leszek Wisłocki. One great event was the première of Paweł Szymański’s most recent work entitled Sostenuto (2012), written on commission from the Warsaw Philharmonic especially for celebrations of the Year of Lutosławski. A monumental work, full of unexpected sound eruptions, decidedly set in the composer’s later, more conservative musical language, it was heard under the baton of Antoni Wit. There is no way to pass over the role and panache of probably the most interesting event, the one creating the greatest stir around the world, at which works by native artists of our times are commissioned and presented: the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music. This example is emblematic for the depiction and discussion of peculiarities in the promotion of the current century’s Polish musical œuvre by virtue of the fact that, in terms of quantity and quality of commissions, the festival is unparalleled in stature on a nationwide scale, despite the fact that quite regular, cyclical festivals of contemporary music whose budget permits them to commission world premières can be boasted, as well, by such cities as Poznań (Poznań Spring Music Festival), Wrocław (Musica Polonica Nova, Musica Electronica Nova), Katowice (World Première Festival, Silesian Contemporary Music Days) and Kraków (Sacrum Profanum, Festival of Polish Music). In analyzing the repertoire selection, one notices a preponderance of commissions from the festival itself – which is quite obvious – but also the involvement of supporting institutions. Relatively regular project partners for the festival are foreign institutions (mainly French and German) which place specific orders, such as Deutschlandfunk Köln, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Warsaw, and the Institut Français in Warsaw. In that area, also tangible is the support of native cultural institutions (the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw Philharmonic et al.). One opportunity for public presentation of works by the youngest artists, not infrequently still students, are concerts of the Young People’s Circle of the Polish Composers’ Union organized as accompanying events. For most of the works presented here, it is their only chance for a world première. In recent years, such eminent and talented artists as Jagoda Szmytka, Barbara Kaszuba, Wojciech Błażejczyk, Prasqual6, Mateusz Ryczek, Wojciech Blecharz and Dariusz Przybylski have debuted here. Apart from spectacular world premières of such masterpieces as Paweł Mykietyn’s Symphony no. 2 (2007), Paweł Szymański’s Eals (Oomsu) (2009), Aleksander Nowak’s DarkHaired Girl in a Black Sports Car (2009) for instrumental ensemble or, for instance, Szmytka’s work from last year entitled happy deaf people, the Warsaw Autumn Festival also creates a field for serious investments for exceptional circumstances. Among those taking place regularly in Warsaw, which are a superb occasion for the presentation of new works by distinguished, tried-and-true composers, is the annual Warsaw Music Encounters: Early Music – New Music festival, organized by the Central Board of the Polish Composers’ Union, led by Jerzy

6

Artistic pseudonym of Tomasz Praszczałek.

5

http://imit.org.pl/bip/news/30/15/ Zamowienia-kompozytorskie.html/h, accessed 5 September 2013

Above all, the scope of the program’s recipients is significantly broader relative to the Composer-in-Residence program because of the lack of age limits. Thus, under the auspices of this program, works are commissioned from such world-renowned composers of the older generation as Włodzimierz

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Kornowicz. Its aim is to search for associations between the musical past and contemporary times. Though, in observing the festival’s repertoire policy for the past several years, one notices a tendency to present the œuvre of constantly the same figures, such a festival does give them a superb field for the presentation of newly-written musical works. Relative to Warsaw Autumn, it is not oriented towards presentation of avant-garde attitudes, or such ‘fringe’ arts as performance or sound installation. Here, what is preferred is rather music for traditional performance ensemble.
As a compositional commissions market, Poland is not an attractive or appealing country, on account of its very low degree of societal awareness of the creation and popularization of contemporary high culture. This need is met only by a handful of annual festivals, which themselves struggle with accumulating economic and organizational problems (an extreme example is the Poznań Spring Music Festival, which in its time has even been suspended for such reasons). Hope, on the other hand, lies in support for the promotion of Polish musical culture on the part of the recording market, as well as citizens’ projects. As much as the former is presently experiencing a revival (DUX, Bôłt Records), the latter are frequently blocked by a coarse and bloated bureaucracy in their attempts to get subsidies and grants (in this sense, a spectacular example is the activity of the Kraków Festival Office, which signs off on almost every local cultural initiative). In greater and greater measure, a function supporting the reception of contemporary music, as well as the formation of compositional commissions, is being taken over by the publishing market. The 4.99 Foundation has been founded; its activity boils down to the publication of numerous books about musical subject matter and translations of texts from foreign languages to Polish, as well as publication of the Glissando contemporary music magazine. Another periodical published on the Polish market, which takes on the task of promoting the Polish musical art of the younger generation, is Quarta, published under the auspices of PWM Edition in Kraków. I suspect that if these initiatives functioned more coherently, one would also be able to expect a greater influence on the market and on the character of the compositional commissions themselves in Poland. Another essential issue associated with the functioning mechanisms of compositional commissions in Poland is copyright. In Polish law, there is a rule in force that personal copyright is inalienable and permanent, while property rights last 70 years from the date of a musical work’s publication in the form of a world première or release in print. From that moment onward, it also becomes the object of full legal protection. No additional formal procedures are necessary to this end. In the case of collective authorship of a work of art, property issues become a bit more complicated. The time of legal protection is counted from the moment that the last of the work’s co-creators passes away. Art. 17 of the 1994 law specifies and regulates property rights in the case of an artist living and working in contemporary times. The creator of the work, according to the

letter of the law currently in force, supervises his or her work, benefits from it, manages and popularizes it, makes it available and receives suitable remuneration from it. Unfortunately, in practice the matter often does not present itself so optimistically. In a case where his/her property rights are violated, s/he may pursue and claim the right for the entity which permitted itself to engage in any type of violation to bear criminal responsibility or provide other forms of compensation. The institution, founded in 1918, which currently holds the position of chief copyright administrator is the ZAiKS Authors’ Association. Though the subject of compositional commissions requires extensive study in the form of publications, the cursory discussion thereof in the above reflections gives an outline of Polish contemporary music. Who comes out best in this? It is no shock that composers already recognized worldwide have a greater chance to enter circulation than debutants. It is necessary to reflect on the extent to which responsibility for this state of affairs is borne by festival and competition organizers; and in what measure, personal networks of connections within the community. This is difficult question to resolve. A new program of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, which founded a separate entity – the Institute of Music and Dance – for the purposes of implementing it, has a mobilizing effect on young artists; it contributes to an improvement in the living circumstances of Polish composers and, let us hope, will cause a greater democratization of Polish musical culture than previously. Unfortunately, the picture of reality still does not satisfy the artists themselves, whose music, suffering because of economic difficulties, is condemned to a deficit of professional recordings of commissioned and awarded works, on account of the still-present lack of interest on the part of the recording industry, which is oriented exclusively towards its own particular interests and financial gratification.

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Lisa Jakelski

New Music in Poland, Now and Then: Reflections on the History of the Warsaw Autumn Festival

What is Polish music now? One way to answer this question is to focus on current events, highlighting the composers, performers, institutions, artistic ventures, and cities that are part of Poland’s lively and diverse new music scene in 2013. Another approach would be to look at the phenomena of today through the lens of history. Doing so, however, leads to somewhat different questions from the one I initially posed — not what Polish music is now, but what it has been, and how the past has contributed to shaping the present. Exploring these latter questions is my aim in this essay, which will offer some brief reflections on the history of new music in Poland from the perspective of one of its most important institutions, the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music.

The Warsaw Autumn was one of the most prominent manifestations of these changing priorities. It was not the first festival of new music in postwar Poland, but it represented a very different conception of what this kind of event might be. Whereas the 1951 and 1955 festivals promoted Polish composers exclusively, the Warsaw Autumn was to feature Polish music alongside pieces from throughout the world — including exemplars of avant-garde trends that socialist cultural policy had previously condemned. Tadeusz Baird and Kazimierz Serocki1 have often been credited as the festival’s initiators. But the idea for the Warsaw Autumn came from ZKP2 as a whole. The timing of the union’s proposal reflected the expanded possibilities of the mid-1950s, the period of limited cultural and political reforms that were enacted during the post-Stalin Thaw. After years of maneuvering in response to socialist realist policies, many composers in Poland were hungering to restore contact with the West, especially Western Europe. They hoped that exposure to music from elsewhere would counteract years of isolation and bring Polish composition into the modern age. An additional hope was that exposure to high-level foreign ensembles would stimulate Polish musicians to raise their level of performance. These concerns were not unique to Poland, though they did play out here in particular ways. Cultural reconstruction and musical education were live issues throughout postwar Europe: the Darmstadt Summer Courses, for instance, had similarly been launched as an effort to make up for lost time. Crucial early support for the Warsaw Autumn came from higher-ups in the Polish government. Kazimierz Sikorski3, head of ZKP from 1954 to 1959, has alleged that a chance encounter with Bolesław Bierut, head of the Polish United Workers’ Party from 1948 to 1956, was the deciding factor in getting the go-ahead. According to Sikorski, Bierut approved the festival because he was intrigued by its potential to serve as an arena of Cold War cultural exchange (or, less diplomatically, as an arena of Cold War cultural competition). And the Warsaw Autumn delivered. The first institution of its kind in Eastern Europe, the festival featured an eclectic lineup of compositions and performers from both East and West. The first Warsaw Autumn took place from 10-21 October 1956. In comparison with later installments, the 1956 festival was unusual, not least because of the dramatic political circumstances during which it occurred. Poland had been rocked by waves of protest in the months leading up to the festival. As the concerts were taking place, Polish party leaders were embroiled in talks with the Soviet Union to negotiate the reform-minded Władysław Gomułka’s ascent to power, an event that marked the end of Polish Stalinism and the start of a brief period of liberalization.
1

Tadeusz Baird (1928–1981) was a Polish composer and teacher. In 1979, he became a member of the Akademie der Künste der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik in Berlin. Kazimierz Serocki (1922–1981) was a Polish composer and pianist. He was also a student of Nadia Boulanger (composition) and Lazare Lévy (piano). As a composer, he received an array of awards.

2 Polish Composers’ Union (Związek Kompozytorów Polskich).

​ n many ways, the current dynamism of music in Poland stems from I an unlikely source: the early 1950s. This period is often described as one of the gloomiest in Polish music history, and with good reason. There had been devastating losses of musical personnel and infrastructure during World War II. Wartime occupation severed important contacts with Western Europe. Poland’s absorption into the Socialist Bloc resulted in further isolation. Instead of keeping up with the latest trends from Paris or Darmstadt, Polish musicians negotiated a newly Stalinized cultural environment. Composers were encouraged to write in a socialist realist style, one that was accessible, tuneful, identifiably national, and, most importantly according to the ideology of the day, one that would produce music which conveyed the revolutionary reality of the present and the imminent utopia of socialism’s future. ​ hat was the theory. Promoting it required infrastructure. And Poland’s T Ministry of Culture and Art was willing to invest. One sign of this investment were the festivals of Polish music that took place in 1951 and 1955. Composers wrote scores of new works for these events; those who helped to organize the festivals also gained valuable administrative experience. Most importantly, the festivals of the early 1950s solidified a precedent of state support in Poland for new music composition and performance. Once the political (and cultural) winds began to shift after Stalin’s death in 1953, the patterns of institutional support that had been established during the Stalinist years could then be turned towards very different aims.

3

Kazimierz Sikorski (1895–1986) was a Polish composer, as well as a student of philosophy. For many years, he also taught composition and music theory.

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Political revolutions aside, there were other ways the first Warsaw Autumn was distinctive. With the exception of two concerts featuring music for string quartet, the repertoire was entirely geared toward symphonic ensembles. The large number of symphony orchestras — from Poland, France, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and the Soviet Union — remains unmatched. For a self-described festival of contemporary music, the repertoire had some curiosities, such as the USSR State Symphony Orchestra’s performance, under Konstantin Ivanov, of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 5, as well as the Vienna Philharmonic’s performance, under Michael Gielen, of Johannes Brahms’ Symphony no. 4. The Tchaikovsky and Brahms may be extreme examples, but at the same time, they are indicative: of all the installments of the Warsaw Autumn, the 1956 festival has had perhaps the most retrospective conception of what contemporary music might be. Nadia Boulanger, doyenne of new music in the interwar years, was the guest of honor. Pre-1945 notions of modernism dominated the compositions on display. The repertoire was one factor that contributed to the first Warsaw Autumn’s mixed reception: some Polish critics howled that the festival organizers had not done enough to present a truly contemporary picture of new music. It is important to remember, though, that composers such as Bartók, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg had, in fact, received little previous exposure in Poland. One of the reasons why the Warsaw Autumn has been such a significant transfer point in the circulation of modernist aesthetics is because the festival gave its first audiences a crash course in the music of the early twentieth century. Festival organizers made sure to allot space to the ‘contemporary classics’ — not just the composers I named above, but also figures like Prokofiev, Hindemith, and Janáček. Szymanowski4 was part of this category, and the little-known Józef Koffler5 — acknowledged as the first Polish dodecaphonist — was too. These choices suggest that Warsaw Autumn organizers were actively molding a notion of the ‘classic’ that would highlight some of the big names of twentieth-century composition while also emphasizing Polish contributions to the evolving history of European modernism. Later, in the 1970s, the modernist canon performed at the Warsaw Autumn would continue to expand, to include composers such as Satie and, especially, Ives. Festival audiences, of course, received more than an education in the music of the past when they attended Warsaw Autumn concerts. Even more important were the festival’s glimpses of the latest musical trends. The Western European avant-garde and American experimentalists started to be a force in 1958. David Tudor, fresh from Darmstadt, came to the festival that year with a program of works by Cage, Wolff, Nilsson, and Stockhausen that had never been heard in Poland before. Stockhausen also participated in the 1958 festival: his presentation of electronic music, including his Gesang der Jünglinge and Ligeti’s Artikulation, was an audience smash. Pierre Schaeffer came one year later to present Parisian musique concrète to a standing-room only crowd. Xenakis, Berio, Nono, Boulez — all became staples of Warsaw Autumn programming.

Modern virtuosi — among them Cathy Berberian, Severino Gazzelloni, and John Tilbury — contributed their artistry to festival performances. The music of more moderate composers — including Britten and Shostakovich — only added to the creative ferment of the Warsaw Autumn in its first decade. Composers in Poland were listening closely. Soon after the Warsaw Autumn began, the festival started to feature homegrown experiments in sound production and musical timbre. Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Wojciech Kilar, and Witold Szalonek6 all had prominent debuts during the early years. Their explorations of tone color and sonic texture have come to be known as Sonorism7, and for many observers outside Poland, works in this vein are still the most recognizable musical manifestation of 1960s Polish avant-gardism. But Sonorism was only part of the story. Like today, new Polish music was diverse in the 1950s and 1960s, and this was reflected in Warsaw Autumn programming. Performances of Witold Lutosławski’s music at the festival revealed a composer who was developing a unique approach to fully chromatic harmony, as well as a flexible — yet controlled — approach to rhythm. Baird, meanwhile, was expanding the lyric possibilities of a dodecaphonic compositional orientation; Serocki was exploring the possibilities of sound, an endeavor he would continue until the end of his career. In Warsaw Autumn concerts, Włodzimierz Kotoński and Bogusław Schaeffer presented their own approaches to avant-gardism. So did Bolesław Szabelski,8 already an established composer when the festival began, who surprised many with his late-life forays into atonality. By 1960, Józef Patkowski was sharing the first fruits of the Polish Radio’s Experimental Studio, the center for electronic music established in 1957. New ensembles, such as composer-pianist Zygmunt Krauze’s9 Musical Workshop (Warsztat Muzyczny) were taking part in the Warsaw Autumn by the end of the 1960s. And this is just a taste of new music in Poland as it was being presented at festival performances. The chance to hear a variegated spectrum of new music clearly stimulated the Polish composers and performers who were active during the 1950s and 1960s. We should keep in mind, however, that the Warsaw Autumn transmitted information in multiple directions. Western composers, critics, and arts administrators attended the festival and were impressed by what they heard. After the 1958 concerts, for example, Everett Helm, an American composer, critic, and early enabler of the Darmstadt courses, returned home and gushed that ‘abstract painting and “radical” music’ were being produced in Poland ‘almost as freely as if Warsaw were a suburb of Paris.’ Some of these observers turned their admiration into action, commissioning new works from Polish composers and facilitating performances in Western Europe and the United States. This relationship was particularly important with West Germany, where figures such as Otto Tomek, Hermann Moeck, and Heinrich Strobel advocated powerfully in support of new Polish composition.

6

Witold Szalonek (1927–2001) was a Polish composer and teacher. In 1960, he received a grant from the Kranichsteiner Musikinstitut in Darmstadt. He was also a student of Nadia Boulanger (composition).

7 Sonorism is a 20th-century music trend in which a work’s most important element was its sound, frequently obtained using nontraditional methods of instrumental sound production.

8

4 Karol Szymanowski (1882–1937) was a Polish composer and famous pianist. He received an array of Polish and international awards, as well as other distinctions.

Włodzimierz Kotoński (b. 1925) is a Polish composer and teacher. He conducted research on Polish folk music and presented the results in his book Góralski i zbójnicki [Of Highlanders and Highland Robbers] (PWM Edition, Kraków 1956). Bogusław Schaeffer (b. 1929) is a Polish composer, musicologist, graphic artist and professor. He is known for his experimental approach to both music and musical notation. Bolesław Szabelski (1896–1979) was a Polish composer of contemporary classical music who wrote numerous atonal works. He was also a teacher of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, on whom he had a formative influence.

5

Józef Koffler (1896–1943) was a Polish composer, teacher and essayist. He was one of Poland’s first representatives of Neoclassicism, whose œuvre expanded upon the world’s newest musical techniques and trends.

9

Zygmunt Krauze is a Polish pianist and composer born in 1938, known mainly as a composer of Unistic music – that is, music devoid of contrasts and tensions, with a homogeneous structure and form. In his artistic activity, he is also involved in spatial, theatrical and operatic music; as a teacher, he gives master classes for composers in many countries.

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10

Andrzej Panufnik (1914–1991) was a Polish composer and conductor. As a response to his emigration in 1954, the government of the Polish People’s Republic issued an order banning the performance and publication of Panufnik’s works, along with any mentions of his name in any publications, as well as radio or television shows. He settled in England and spent most of his life there.

For many Polish composers, then, the Warsaw Autumn was both a platform for exposure at home as well as an important gateway to further professional opportunity abroad. Responses to the Warsaw Autumn were — unsurprisingly — more complicated in the formerly socialist nations of East Central Europe. Observing the festival in its first decade, critics from both East and West noticed that the programming skewed avant-garde, a predilection that, during the Cold War, was politically loaded. Predictably, Western commentators hailed the avantgarde sympathies of many Polish musicians as signs of a not-so-latent desire for political freedom. Just as predictably, authors in the Soviet, East German, and Czechoslovak official press decried these same tendencies as a lamentable defection from a truly progressive musical politics. Despite these criticisms, ensembles representing the official musical cultures of the Socialist Bloc were fixtures at the Warsaw Autumn each year. Their appearances typically were arranged on the basis of cultural exchange agreements that had been negotiated between government ministries. What this meant in practice is that festival organizers in Poland tended to have little direct input as to what the ensembles representing the socialist sphere would perform. But again, the flow of information was not unidirectional. For many musicians from East Central Europe and the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Autumn offered a taste of the avant-garde fruit that was still officially forbidden in many of their home countries. By the mid-1960s, festival concerts regularly featured works — by Denisov, Schnitte, Pärt, and many others — that confounded Western stereotypes of what new music from the Socialist Bloc might be. Performances by visiting ensembles — such as the Czech Musica Viva Pragensis — further enriched the picture of new music activity in East Central Europe. This trend continued well into the 1980s, when, for instance, the festival featured works by Lithuanian composers such as Bronius Kutavičius. As the previous paragraphs suggest, politics could impact the Warsaw Autumn in palpable ways. This influence has been more or less acute depending on the particular year. The 1968 festival, for example, nearly collapsed when most of the Western performers boycotted the concerts to protest Poland’s involvement in the invasion of Czechoslovakia. In 1982, ZKP resisted government pressure to stage the Warsaw Autumn during Martial Law. 1990 was still another instance in which the festival concerts could suggest a larger symbolic point: that year, in a transforming Poland, Andrzej Panufnik10 reappeared for the first time in the country he had left in 1954. Just as politics could constrain, however, they could also be enabling. The Cold ​ War had provided the Warsaw Autumn with a clear rationale: providing access to information in a geopolitically divided world. The festival’s connotations of artistic freedom also had tremendous propaganda value for a regime that

wanted to project an image of liberality. Once these factors ceased to exist, the Warsaw Autumn’s financial security was called into question, and the festival nearly fell victim to post-socialist belt-tightening. ​ In the late 1990s, the festival again found its footing. Krzysztof Knittel11 proved adept at locating new sources of support in a changing economic climate; his leadership culminated in 1998, with a series of Warsaw Autumn concerts titled North (Północ). The excitement these concerts generated marked a turning point in the festival’s post-1989 history. Since 1999, director Tadeusz Wielecki, along with the members of the Warsaw Autumn Program Commission, has worked to ensure the festival’s continued relevance as a center for new ideas and debate. The Warsaw Autumn’s venues have expanded beyond traditional concert halls to encompass a variety of performance spaces located throughout the city. Promotional materials and audience outreach programs speak to a culturally sophisticated younger crowd whose members are not necessarily music professionals. An even newer venture is the Little Warsaw Autumn, a new music concert series for children. When looking at Warsaw Autumn programs since 1956, it quickly becomes clear that, over the years, the festival has presented a capsule history of new Polish music. But the role of the festival goes far beyond reflection: the Warsaw Autumn has also helped to bring this history into being through providing new Polish music a secure institutional home in which it could develop. The festival now commissions more new works than it ever has before; its outreach programs are ensuring that there are audiences who want to hear them. Thus the Warsaw Autumn is not only enabling new music to flourish in Poland now, as it did then: the festival is also laying the groundwork for the new Polish music of tomorrow.

11

Krzysztof Knittel (b. 1947) is a Polish composer of symphonic, chamber, stage and electroacoustic works.

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ADAM MICKIEWICZ INSTITUTE
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is a national culture institution. Its activity is part of the strategy for promoting Poland abroad and for building the Polska brand. Over the last decade, the Institute has carried out over 3000 projects in 26 countries, with a total audience of 20 million people. The Institute promotes Polish culture around the world by supporting and fostering international culture exchange. It presents Poland’s cultural heritage and contemporary cultural achievements, while also organising presentations of projects by foreign partners in Poland. The Institute also initiates and takes an active role in the ongoing debate concerning the economic potential of culture. www.iam.pl www.culture.pl

POLSKA MUSIC
The aim of the programme created by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute is to intensify the presentation and increase the popularity of Polish classical music in the world with special focus placed on contemporary Polish composers. The programme supports Polish music performances by outstanding foreign and Polish artists abroad and promotes music from Poland by recordings and phonographic publications. www.polskamusic.pl

Credits
Project coordinator: Ewa Bogusz-Moore Editorial cooperation: Jagoda Dolińska, Joanna Peryt, Kinga A. Wojciechowska, Katarzyna Świętochowska Footnotes: Maria Więckowska-Bielatowicz Translation and proofreading: Krysta Close, Józef Jaskulski, Cara Thornton, Michał Szostało, Marek Żebrowski Design: Marcin Łagocki Photography/collage: Bartek Warzecha Production: Adam Kulcenty, Agata Wolska © Adam Mickiewicz Institute 2013 ISBN 978-83-60263-63-9 Publisher Adam Mickiewicz Institute 25, Mokotowska Str. 00-560 Warsaw www.iam.pl www.culture.pl

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