Throughout the spring of 2021, Polish Cultural Institute New York will curate Krzysztof Penderecki in Memoriam, honoring the life and legacy of Poland’s greatest modern composer. Leading up to and beyond March 29, 2021, marking the one-year anniversary of Penderecki’s death, Polish Cultural Institute New York – in partnership with the Ludwig van Beethoven Association, DUX Records, Naxos of America, Schott Music publishers, and Crossover Media – will celebrate Penderecki’s life and legacy across an array of worldwide media outlets. Highlights include the Penderecki in Memoriam Podcast with in-depth interviews with artists who collaborated closely with the composer, live radio broadcasts and rebroadcasts of archived performances, live streamed concerts, and a broad presentation of the composer’s prolific oeuvre. (Please scroll down for a chronological list of events.)
Polish Cultural Institute New York’s head of music programming, Anna Perzanowska, who worked with Krzysztof Penderecki for over a decade, has been the driving force behind Krzysztof Penderecki in Memoriam since the composer’s death on March 29, 2020, at his home in Kraków, Poland. “The passing of Professor Penderecki was a deeply moving loss and a shock to all who knew him personally as well as to those who admired his work. The loss was especially poignant due to the world’s Covid-19 isolation – and I was overwhelmed by the response and eagerness of all the artists who wanted to be involved and honor his memory,” comments Perzanowska.
The Penderecki in Memoriam Podcast will present a comprehensive portrait of the composer with insightful commentary and memories from musicians, conductors, colleagues, composers, writers and historians including Barry Douglas, JoAnn Falletta, Larry Foster, Elliot Goldenthal, Jonny Greenwood, Michail Jurowski, Laura Kaminsky, Louis Langrée, David Lynch, Cindy McTee, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Kent Nagano, Rafael Payare, Julian Rachlin, Norman Ryan, Leonard Slatkin, Krzysztof Urbanski and Antoni Wit, among others.
Archival concerts from the Warsaw-based Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, which was founded by Elżbieta Penderecka, will be made available for rebroadcast. The repertoire will include performances of Polymorphia performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic, and Adagietto from Paradise Lost performed by Sinfonia Varsovia, among others.
Concerts from the 2021 25th Jubilee Anniversary of the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, “Beethoven and Penderecki. The Sphere of Sacrum”, will be streamed live, including performances by the internationally renowned Silesian Quartet, a premiere performance by the Penderecki Trio, and some of Poland’s young generation of award-winning pianists, including Aleksandra Świgut, Andrzej Wierciński and Łukasz Krupiński.
From Australia to the United Kingdom, Turkey to Canada and many other territories in between, radio, online and other media outlets will be broadcasting and celebrating Penderecki’s prolific output and legacy.
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Queries regarding print and online media: Melanne Mueller, Music Company International, Ltd., firstname.lastname@example.org, 917.907.2785
Queries regarding podcasts and radio: Max Horowitz, Crossover Media, email@example.com, 212.465.2444
Queries regarding the Polish Cultural Institute New York: Klaudia Ofwona Draber, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.790.9037
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
March 21, 2021 – 7:30PM CET, 1:30PM EST
Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall
Lucas Krupiński, piano
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) Prelude & Fugue in B-flat minor, BWV 867 from Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) Piano Sonata in F minor, Op. 57
Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849) Polonaise Fantasy in A-flat Major, Op. 61
Sergei Prokofiev (1891 – 1953) Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28
March 26, 2021 – 8:00PM CET, 2:00PM EST
Szczecin Philharmonic Hall
Mateusz Makuch, violin
Claudio Bohorquez, cello
Andrzej Wierciński, piano
Krzysztof Penderecki (1933 – 2020) Chaconne
world premiere of arrangement for piano trio by Jeajoon Ryu
Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904) Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90, “Dumky”
Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 101
April 1, 2021 – 7:30PM CET, 1:30PM EST
Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall
Aleksandra Świgut, piano
The Silesian Quartet
Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856) Piano Quintet in E-flat Major Op. 44
Krzysztof Penderecki (1933 – 2020)
String Quartet No. 1
String Quartet No. 2
String Quartet No. 3
String Quartet No. 4
Performances from the 24th Ludwig van Beethoven Festival available for rebroadcast
October 16, 2020
Lucas Krupinski, piano
Jerzy Maksymiuk, conductor
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Krzysztof Penderecki (1933 – 2020) Polymorphia
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36
October 17, 2020
Andrzej Wierciński, piano
Dawid Runtz, conductor
Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Krzysztof Penderecki (1933 – 2020) Aria from Three Pieces in Old Style
Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849) Piano Concerto in E minor, Op. 11
Felix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847) Symphony No. 1in C minor, Op. 11
October 22, 2020
Andrzej Wierciński, piano
Maciej Tworek, conductor
Orchestra Sinfonia Varsovia
Krzysztof Penderecki (1933 – 2020) Adagietto from Paradise Lost
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92
25th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival
“Beethoven and Penderecki. The Sphere of Sacrum”
The 25th Jubilee Edition of the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival will be held in Warsaw, Poland from March 20, 2021 through April 2, 2021 with the motto “Beethoven and Penderecki. The Sphere of Sacrum”.
Three pianists, Lucas Krupinski, Aleksandra Świgut and Andrzej Wiercinski, represented by the Ludwig van Beethoven Association and Elżbieta Penderecka, will perform offering a special dedication for Krzysztof Penderecki. Concerts on March 21 and April 1, as well as a performance by the Penderecki Trio on March 26, comprise part of the Penderecki in Memoriam project presented by the Polish Cultural Institute New York. The program of the 25th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival can be found here.
The Penderecki in Memoriam Podcast
Dates for the Penderecki in Memoriam Podcast will be made available shortly.
All information correct at time of going to press; performers, programs, dates, and times are subject to change.
About Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki’s (born November 23, 1933 in Debica, Poland—died March 29, 2020 in Kraków, Poland) novel and masterful treatment of orchestration earned worldwide acclaim. Penderecki first drew attention in 1959 at the third Warsaw Festival of Contemporary Music, where his Strophes for soprano, speaker, and 10 instruments was performed. The following year was marked by the performances of both Anaklasis and the Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima for 52 strings. Threnody illustrates Penderecki’s skilled and refined treatment of instruments, making use of quarter-tone clusters (close groupings of notes a quarter step apart), glissandi (slides), whistling harmonics (faint, eerie tones produced by partial string vibrations), and other extraordinary effects. The techniques used in Threnody were extended to his vocal work Dimensions in Time (1961) and his operas The Devils of Loudun (1968) and Paradise Lost (1978).
Penderecki’s Psalms of David (1958) and Stabat Mater (1962) reflect a simple, linear trend (letting interwoven melodic lines predominate and determine harmonies) in his composition. The Stabat Mater combines traditional and experimental elements and led to his other well-known masterpiece, the St. Luke Passion (1963–66). In form, the latter work resembles a Baroque passion, such as those by Johann Sebastian Bach, and Penderecki makes use of traditional forms such as the passacaglia (a variation form), a chant-like freedom of meter, and a 12-tone row (ordering of the 12 notes of the chromatic scale) based on the motif B♭-A-C-B (in German notation, B-A-C-H) in homage to Bach.
Penderecki’s Canon for 52 strings (1962) made use of polyphonic techniques (based on interwoven melodies) known to Renaissance composers. Yet he also made some use of the techniques of aleatory (chance) music, percussive vocal articulation, nontraditional musical notation, and other devices that stamped him as a leader of the European avant-garde. His later works include the two-part Utrenja (“Morning Prayer”) (1969–71), Magnificat (1973–74), Polish Requiem (1980–2005), Cello Concerto No. 2 (1982) which won a Grammy Award in 1998, the opera Ubu Rex (1990–91), and the choral work Phaedra (2002).
In addition to composing steadily, Penderecki taught composition and conducting. His collected essays, an interview, and other writings were published in Labyrinth of Time: Five Addresses for the End of the Millennium (1998). In 2004 he received the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for music.
About Polish Cultural Institute New York
The Polish Cultural Institute New York (PCINY) was founded in 2000. It is a diplomatic mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, operating in the area of public diplomacy. PCINY is one of 24 such institutes around the world. It is also an active member of the network of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) in its New York cluster.
The Institute’s mission is to share Polish heritage and contemporary art with American audiences, and to promote Poland’s contributions to the success of world culture. The Institute does so through initiating, supporting and promoting collaboration between Poland and the United States in the areas of visual art, design, film, theater, dance, literature, music, and in many other aspects of intellectual and social life. The Institute’s main task to ensure Polish participation in the programming of America’s most important cultural institutions as well as in large international initiatives.
The Institute works with renowned cultural and academic centers and opinion leaders operating in America. Its main partners include such prestigious organizations as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Museum of Modern Art, PEN American Center, the Poetry Society of America, the National Gallery of Art, Yale University, Columbia University, Princeton University, the Harvard Film Archive, the CUNY Graduate Center, the Julliard School of Music, the New Museum, the Jewish Museum, La MaMa E.T.C. and many others. For more than 15 years, it has presented to Americans the achievements of outstanding Polish artists, including the filmmakers Andrzej Wajda and Jerzy Skolimowski; the writers Czeslaw Milosz, Adam Zagajewski and Wislawa Szymborska; the composers Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutoslawski and Mikolaj Gorecki; theater artists Krystian Lupa, Jerzy Grotowski and Tadeusz Kantor; the visual artists Krzysztof Wodiczko, Katarzyna Kozyra, Alina Szapocznikow and many other important figures in the arts. The Institute initiates and actively participates in debates around the humanities in the broad sense, including those concerning history and today’s most important social and political occurrences.
PCINY and its head of music programming Anna Perzanowska had the honor to support and partner over the years on numerous presentations of works by Krzysztof Penderecki in the United States, including the US premiere of his String Quartet No.3: Leaves of an unwritten diary by the Shanghai Quartet in 2009 in celebration of the composer’s 75th birthday; performances of his works during the FOCUS! 2011 Festival: Polish Modern: New Directions in Polish Music. Since 1945, and Krzysztof Penderecki’s 80th birthday celebration with the composer gracing the stage of Symphony Space in New York for a live broadcast event co-presented by WQXR-Q2, and featuring performances of Capriccio for Siegfried Palm, Cadenza for solo viola, Sextet, Quartet No.3, and Clarinet Quartet.
With Krzysztof Penderecki in Memoriam, PCINY encourages music lovers everywhere to revisit Krzysztof Penderecki’s compositional output and to continue performing his works in concert halls all over the world. instytutpolski.pl/newyork
About the Ludwig van Beethoven Association
The Ludwig van Beethoven Association was founded on 24 September 2003 in Kraków, Poland. The founder and President of the institution is Elżbieta Penderecka. The primary activity of the Association is to organize the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival and to promote classical music. The Association cooperates with Polish, foreign and international organizations and institutions of the same or similar type and can be a member of these organizations based on the principle of full autonomy. beethoven.org.pl/en/
About Naxos of America
Founded in 1991 in Pennsauken, New Jersey, Naxos of America, Inc. has become the leading independent digital and physical distributor of classical music in North America. Naxos of America (NoA) offers digital and physical distribution, marketing, publicity, e-commerce services, licensing management, sales support, and customer service for all active catalog titles for Naxos and distributed labels. It is a subsidiary of the Naxos Group, founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann.
Naxos of America moved from New Jersey to Franklin, Tennessee in 1998. As of July 2020, NoA physically distributes the Naxos labels and over 1,000 CD and DVD labels that bridge the many genres of music and performing arts. These include Sony Classics, Naïve Classique, New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, ASO Media, Accentus, Chandos, Opus Arte, ARC Music, BelAir Classiques, BIS Classics, Brilliant Classics, C Major Entertainment, Carus, Collegium, Cantaloupe Music, CSO Resound, Delos, Delphian, Dynamic, DSO Live!, Fanfare Cincinnati, Glyndebourne, Innova, Linn Records, Orfeo, Pentatone, Signum, Sono Luminus, and many others.
Naxos of America is also the largest digital distributor of classical, jazz and world music. The catalogs and new releases of over 1,000 labels are delivered worldwide each month to hundreds of download and streaming DSPs such as Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Pandora, and many more. A complete list of recordings of Krzysztof Penderecki’s works that are available from NAXOS can be found here. naxos.com
About DUX Recording Producers
DUX was founded in 1992 by sound engineers Małgorzata Polańska and Lech Tołwiński. The label’s main activity is the production of recordings of classical music. CDs on the DUX label represent the highest artistic standard and are produced using the most up-to-date technologies. DUX has to its credit over 1,000 recordings documenting the achievements of prominent Polish and foreign musicians. In addition to producing CDs on its own label, DUX offers a wide range of recording services for other labels and for various institutions such as music societies, festivals and radio stations. DUX’s Krzysztof Penderecki Special Edition can be viewed here. en.dux.pl
About the Schott Music Group
The Schott Music Group is one of the world's leading music publishers with headquarters in Mainz, Germany, and subsidiaries in six countries. Family-owned since 1770, the company, which operates the largest music distribution center in Europe, covers all aspects of music. The products and services offered by Schott Music include performance and teaching materials, urtext editions, concert and operatic works, study scores, complete editions, books on music, specialist magazines, audio recordings, E-Books and Apps, reaching all areas of musical life. One of the focal points of the publishing program of Schott Music is the publication of works by contemporary composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, among them Péter Eötvös, Paul Hindemith, Eric Korngold, György Ligeti, Carl Orff, Andrew Norman, Igor Stravinsky, Michael Tippett, Kurt Weill, and Jörg Widmann. en.schott-music.com
About Crossover Media
Crossover Media Inc. is one of today's premier Music Promotion & Marketing companies and one of the very few that works to a variety of music genres that includes classical, jazz, roots music, world, and standards & soundtracks. Working with the best names in music as well as developing artists, Crossover Media’s clients include Sony, Universal, Warner Music, Concord, Disney & One. Crossover Media’s Krzysztof Penderecki in Memoriam page can be viewed here. crossovermedia.net
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