Polish Music Days 2013
The first edition of Polish Music Days has been formally ended. The time has come to think it over, to recall memories, and first of all, to express our thanks. From the very start the project seemed to be mission impossible. The decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to finance our project made us feel happy, but it also brought about several sleepless nights, many doubts, and much concern whether we would be able to make it.
Organizing almost forty concerts of classical music in four countries on two continents was a really challenging task, which required not only exceptional skills, but also some courage and a little bit of madness as well. We are aware now that success of such projects depends mainly on people – people we meet on our way.
We can say today that the project was organized among friends – friends of PianoClassic Association, friends of classical music, friends of artists, and, friends of Poland and Poles overseas. Thanks to their hard work and their commitment, our dreams materialised. We have launched a successful event. An event which will be worth recommending in future, as there is a chance for subsequent editions of Polish Music Days. This means audiences all over the world will have a chance for more encounters with Polish music and Polish artists.
This year Polish music resounded in USA (Orchard Lake), Canada (Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary), Australia (Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Wollongong, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra) and New Zealand (Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington). The repertoire of Polish Music Days included music composed over the last 250 years. Polonaise Farewell to the Homeland by Michał Kleofas Ogiński, arranged for the flute by Michał Rosiak and Duo by Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński (the first Polish composition for the clarinet) were the oldest pieces, whereas Hic et nunc by Michał Jakub Papara, Preludes by Marcel Chyrzyński, or compositions of Janusz Bielecki were the most modern ones. The programme obviously included works written by the most famous Polish composers Fryderyk Chopin, Karol Szymanowski, or Krzysztof Penderecki. The music written by lesser known Polish composers, such as Piotr Rytel, Antoni Szałowski, Marian Borkowski and Piotr Lachert was also very well received by foreign audiences. Lutosławski’s music was played to mark the centenary of the artist’s birth, and compositions of Penderecki were performed in the year when maestro celebrates his eightieth birthday. All these events were considered extraordinary by the listeners.
“Performance at the highest, world class level”- these comments could be heard after all concerts. Members of the audience frequently mentioned “real Polish passion” that was present in all artists’ performances. You can find many other similar entries in the book where visitors at concerts could record their opinions and impressions. Some of them are quoted here:
“Thank you for bringing traces of Poland down under.”
“Polish music moves our hearts and makes us miss the homeland.”
“Our thanks go to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and PianoClassic. Great promotion of Polish music.”
“A most enjoyable evening – a great pianist. Congratulation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for bringing such an outstanding artist.”
“A most memorable evening for many reasons…”
“Thank you for a very nice concert. Occasions to listen to music of Lutosławski and Paderewski are very rare here.”
“Thank you very much. It was wonderful to hear Szymanowski (who is a particular favourite
composer of mine). We are privileged to have such exceptional music played by an exceptional
“Leaving the concert hall, I am filled with varied impressions: there is joy, there is sadness, but first of all, there is respect for the pianist who is a painter of mood and beauty.”, “Thank you (beautiful girls – from Cracow naturally) very much for a wonderful concert. I am also grateful to both gentlemen (naturally from Cracow too) for a musical feast and entertaining work of the compere. Greetings. (I am from Cracow, too) A.G.”
A most enjoyable evening – a great pianist. Congratulation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for bringing such an outstanding artist.
A most memorable evening for many reasons…
Dziękujemy za przemiły koncert. Nie często mamy tutaj możliwość słuchać Lutosławskiego i Paderewskiego.
Thank you very much. It was wonderful to hear Szymanowski (who is a particular favourite composer of mine). We are privileged to have such exceptional music played by an exceptional pianist.
Polish Music Days concerts were staged in prestigious venues (Sydney Opera House), and were a part of prominent musical events, such as Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa, or Morningside Music Bridge in Calgary. Our concerts in Wellington, New Zealand formed a part of Polish Days, that marked the 40th anniversary of Poland-New Zealand diplomatic relations. Marian Sobula’s concert in Sydney Opera inaugurated the mission of a new Polish Consul General in that town. On our tour we also played concerts in places where Poles who live abroad usually gather: Polish clubs, churches, and in The Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools in USA.
The events of Polish Music Days were organized by the Artistic Association PianoClassic from Cracow. The project was financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by private sponsors (Superkrak company from Cracow). The following artists performed in Polish Music Days concerts: Barbara Borowicz (clarinet), Marta Magdalena Lelek (violin), Anna Miernik (piano), Katarzyna Pasławska (cello), Patrycja Piekutowska (violin), Michał Rosiak (flute), Marian Sobula (piano), Piotr Tomasz (piano). Apart from concerts, the artists also took part in discussion panels, workshops and masterclasses, which they conducted at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Australian National University in Canberra, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, New Zealand School of Music in Wellington. Wojciech S. Wocław, a writer and expert in etiquette in business, was the compere at all Polish Music Days concerts. His role was to introduce the artists, and brief the audiences on Polish composers and their music.
Global approach to the presentation of Polish classical music, widely varied selection of the repertoire, excellent cooperation with local Polish communities, and last but not least, a blend of music and the spoken word; thanks to these factors we succeeded in creating a unique project. For some people Polish Music Days epitomized the best qualities of our national music: its universal aspect, and its significance in the world heritage. For others they were a chance to reexamine stereotyped views of Poland and Poles. For everyone Polish Music Days were, undoubtedly, a brilliant presentation of our country and excellent promotion of Polish culture.
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