14th November 2021 saw the 11th ceremony of the Koryfeusze Muzyki Polskiej [Coryphées of Polish Music] awards. They are the music industry’s awards, coordinated by the National Institute of Music and Dance. This year, Danuta Gwizdalanka, a musicologist and a writer publishing on music, was awarded for her book Uwodziciel. Rzecz o Karolu Szymanowskim [The Seducer. On Karol Szymanowski] published by PWM Edition. She won the „Event of the year” award for „an intriguing and in-depth monograph on Karol Szymanowski, analysing the composer’s personality; for inspiring interest in the portrait of not only an outstanding artist, but also that of a human”. The book has already become a bestseller.
We offer our sincere congratulations to the Author!
Ewa Tracz, laureate of the 1st prize in the 1st Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition, will perform at the inauguration of the new season at NOSPR.
The 2021/2022 season at the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice will begin with one of the most important works in the whole symphonic repertoire – Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in d minor op. 125. In addition to the orchestra, the Choir of the National Forum of Music, and the Polish National Youth Choir, the audience will enjoy performances from the exquisite soloists: Ewa Tracz, Karolina Sikora, Andrzej Lampert and Szymon Komasa. All will be conducted by NOSPR’s artistic director, Lawrence Foster.
Ewa Tracz is laureate of the 1st prize in the 1st Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition in Katowice. She was also awarded the special prize for the best performance of a piece by Karol Szymanowski.
She graduated from the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the PhD programme at the K. Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice having studied solo voice with prof. AM dr hab. Ewa Biegas.
You can learn more about the event here.
This edition is going to be a special one, as its repertoire and logistics will be based on the SZYMANOWSKI Visegrad Music Platform, established at the beginning of the year, bringing together institutions of culture from the Visegrad Group countries.
The activity of the platform resulted in the Leoš Janáček Philharmonic in Ostrava Orchestra being invited to open the festival. Conducted by Robert Jindra, the Czech musicians will present Bohuslav Martinů’s Magic nights, three songs written for Chinese texts, with Kateřina Kněžíkova, as well as the Penthesilea op. 18and the Symphony No. 4 (Symphonie concertante) op. 60 by the festival’s patron, Karol Szymanowski. The solo part will be performed by the Czech pianist Tomáš Vrána.
The festival, spanning from 4th to 25th September, will include performances from the Cracow Philharmonic conducted by its artistic director Alexander Humala and ensembles from associated institutions of Central and Eastern Europe. The Ostrava Philharmonic Orchestra will be joined by the Slovak Sinfonietta from Žilina, while the epilogue of this year’s Szymanowski / Polska / Świat festival to take place in November 2021 will feature artists from Hungary.
The programme of the festival includes works which have already become permanent points of its host’s, Cracow Philharmonic’s, programme, such as Harnasie, the Symphonie concertante and the Symphony No. 2. The No. 2, however, will be presented in Alexander Humala’s interpretation based on the original 1910 version, and twice – on 17th September in Cracow and on 18th September at the W. Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio in Warsaw. Nonetheless, there will also be room for more rarely performed works by composers such as Eugen Suchoň, Ján Cikker, Ľubica Čekovska and Ilja Zeljenka, presented by the Slovak musicians.
Stabat Mater, one of Karol Szymanowski’s most stirring works, will open the13th „Music on the Heights” international festival in Zakopane.
The concert, conducted by Marzena Diakun, will take place in the Saint Cross church in Zakopane on 11th September at 7 p.m., presented by the Wrocław Philharmonic NFM ensemble and the NFM Choir. In the solo parts of the Stabat Mater, we are going to hearIzabela Matuła (soprano), Ewa Marciniec (alto) and Szymon Komasa (baritone).
Szymanowski’s work will be preceded by Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concertino for trumpet and orchestra with Jan Harasimowicz in the solo part, as well as the premiere of Paweł Szymański’s new piece Simple music for cello&orchestra, the latter with solo part performed by Magdalena Bojanowicz-Koziak.
The 13th edition of the Music on the Heights festival will finish on 18th September. The programme of the festival can be found here.
On Wednesday, 8th September, at 11 o’clock, a ceremonial session of the Katowice City Council took place at the seat of NOSPR to award Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa, a composer and long-term director of NOSPR (2000-2018), Honorary Citizenship.
It would be difficult to overestimate Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa’s contribution to the cultural development of Katowice, most completely summarised with her own words at the opening of NOSPR’s new concert hall in 2014:
– While Katowice was a most important industrial centre for 150 years, now it will be an important cultural centre on the map of Poland and – thanks to NOSPR – Europe for another 150 years. History of music shows it is every 150 years that eras and styles tend to change.
While managing NOSPR, Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa led the work which resulted in the establishment of the Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition.
We would like to convey our heartfelt congratulations on such an extraordinary honour!
The Noviki artistic duo, consisting of Katarzyna Nestorowicz and Marcina Nowicki, has delivered visual identity for the 2nd edition of the Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition.
Direct inspiration for the various geometrical forms present in all the elements of the Competition’s visual identity came from Franciszka Themerson and Stefan Themerson’s 1945 film „The Eye and the Ear”. It i san experimental work, in which the artists wanted to translate Karol Szymanowski’s music into visual arts. The point of departure were the Słopiewnie with Julian Tuwim’s words, with a different catalogue of animated shapes, waves and patterns assigned to each song.
Drawing from the Themersons’ experimental graphical concepts, Noviki saturated black and white images with a rich palette of colours and textures, along with photos and video recordings of the Competition’s first edition. Thus, their designs combine experiences of the Competition with uncompromising artistic searching characteristic for Karol Szymanowski himself, simultaneously showing his influence on those working in dfferent areas of art.
The Warsaw-based Noviki duo is known for experimenting with technologies and new media, as well as for attempts at broadening the scope of graphic design, e.g. with interactive applications and videoposters. Some of the exhibitions showing their works were ones at the Bunkier Sztuki gallery in Cracow, at the 28th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno, at the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, and at the Flumadiddle Graphic Design Festival Glasgow.
More information obout the Noviki duo’s art can be found here.
44th Karol Szymanowski Music Days are just beginning in Zakopane. Along with the Evenings with Karol Szymanowski’s Music in Katowice, it is one of only two annual festivals devoted to this composer’s work in the world.
This year, a special place in the Festival’s programme is given to the composers of the so-called Stalowa Wola Generation, also known as the ’51 Generation: Eugeniusz Knapik, Aleksander Lasoń and Andrzej Krzanowski. In many respects, their works constitute a natural continuation of those by Karol Szymanowski, the father of Polish 20th-century music.
One of the performers present at the festival is Tymoteusz Bies, laureate of the 1st edition of the Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition
Complete programme of the 44th Karol Szymanowski Music Days can be found here.