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FOCUS! 2011 Festival Presents "Polish Modern: New Directions in Polish Music Since 1945" ; 6 Free Concerts from January 22 - 28 at Juilliard

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FOCUS! 2011, Juilliard’s 27th annual mid-winter festival of ‘new’ music, presents Polish Modern: New Directions in Polish Music Since 1945 with six free concerts from Saturday, January 22 – Friday, January 28, 2011. The composers presented on the FOCUS! festival represent several generations and a broad range of styles from Krysztof Penderecki, Boguslaw Schaeffer, Kazimierz Serocki and others born before the mid-1930s; to composers including Krysztof Knittel, Aleksander Lason, Marian Sawa, and Stanislaw Moryto from the 1940s; to Pawel Szymanski, Tadeusz Wielecki, and others born ten years later; and Pawel Mykietyn, Aleksandra Gryka, Wojciech Zimowit Zych, and the 1970s generation. (A complete program listing follows at the end of this press release.)

The FOCUS! 2011 festival is presented in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute in New York.

Tickets are FREE, but required, and will be available beginning January 6, 2011 from the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard (155 West 65th Street). For additional information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu/focus.

The festival opens with the New Juilliard Ensemble, conducted by founder Joel Sachs, performing works by Grazyna Bacewicz, Wojciech Kilar, Zygmunt Krauze, Elzbieta Sikora, and Tadeusz Wielecki. The closing concert, performed by the Juilliard Orchestra and led by conductor Jeffrey Milarsky, features a musical Portrait of Witold Lutoslawski, considered by many to be one of the 20th century’s major composers. The program includes Lutoslawski’s Overture for Strings, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Partita for Violin and Orchestra, and the Symphony No. 4.

On Monday, January 24 through Thursday, January 27, the FOCUS! festival presents four concerts of chamber and solo works by contemporary Polish composers, performed by Juilliard students at the School’s Paul Hall. Other highlights of the festival include a film screening and a panel discussion about contemporary music in Poland, moderated by Joel Sachs.

Opening and closing concerts will be presented in Alice Tully Hall. Chamber music concerts take place in Juilliard’s Paul Hall (155 West 65th Street).

Polish Modern opens on Saturday, January 22 at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall with founding director and conductor Joel Sachs leading the New Juilliard Ensemble in Grazyna Bacewicz’s Contradizione (1966); Tadeusz Wielecki’s The Time of Stones (2002); Wojciech Kilar’s Choral Prelude (1988); Zygmunt Krauze’s Terra Incognita (1994); and Elzbieta Sikora’s Canzona (1995). 

The festival continues with three chamber music concerts in Juilliard’s Paul Hall. On Monday, January 24 at 8 PM, the program includes Krzysztof Penderecki’s Capriccio for Siegfried Palm for cello (1966); Tomasz Sikorski’s Euphonia for piano (1982); Kazimierz Serocki’s Swinging Music for clarinet, double bass, trombone, and piano (1970); Marian Sawa’s Ecce Lignum Crucis for organ (1986); selections from Wojciech Ziemowit Zych’s Homage a Gyorgy Kurtag for violin and bass clarinet (2005-06); Marta Ptaszynska’s Six Bagatelles for harp (1979); Wojciech Blazejczyk’s Interlunium for guitar (2007); and Marek Stachowski’s Musica Festeggiante  for string quartet (1995).

The program on Tuesday, January 25 begins at 7 PM in Paul Hall with a panel discussion about contemporary music in Poland with editor-in-chief of the Polish Music Publishing House and program director of the Polish Music Festival, Andrzej Kosowski; president of the Polish Composers’ Union, Jerzy Kornowicz; composer Elzbieta Sikora; and director of the Warsaw Autumn Festival, Tadeusz Wielecki, moderated by Joel Sachs. The concert at 8 PM in Paul Hall features Pawel Mykietyn’s Sonata for Cello (2006); Aleksander Lason’s String Quartet No. 7 (2007); Pawel Szymanski’s Through the Looking Glass III for harpsichord (1994); Marcel Chyrzynski’s ForMS for cello (2001); and Witold Szalonek’s Toccata and Chorale for organ (1988), in the 1990 version for piano.

On Wednesday, January 26 at 7 PM in Paul Hall, the program opens with Polish Electronic Music and Film Music: A Brief View with Krzysztof Knittel’s The Conqueror Worm (1976); Mateusz Bien’s Turdidae (1992); Marek Choloniewski’s Physical Modeling (2004); and a film, The Henge: In Search of the Nazi Bell (2010) by David Bickerstaff and Lukasz Szalankiewicz.

The concert Wednesday, January 26 at 8 PM in Paul Hall includes Andrzej Krzanowski's Relief V for cello (1986); Aleksandra Gryka’s Oxygen No. 369.1 for piano and electronic sounds (2000); Aleksander Nowak’s June-December (2005); Jakub Ciupinski’s Edo for violin and electronic sounds (2010); Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki’s String Quartet No. 1, “Already It Is Dusk” (1986); Bogulaw Schaeffer’s Sonata IV, “February” from The Four Seasons for organ (1986).

The last evening of chamber music on Thursday, January 27 at 8 PM in Paul Hall features Eugeniusz Knapik’s Filo d’Arianna for cello (2005); Joanna Bruzdowicz’s Erotiques for piano (1966); Tadeusz Baird’s Play for string quartet (1971); Stanislaw Moryto’s Five Songs on Texts by Elias Rajzman for mezzo-soprano and piano (2002); Agata Zubel’s Ludia i Fu (1999); Jerzy Kornowicz’s The Shapes of the Elements for harpsichord and tape (2006/2011); and Augustyn Bloch’s Geige und Orgel for violin and organ (1988).

The festival concludes on Friday, January 28 at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall with “A Portrait of Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)” with conductor Jeffrey Milarsky leading the Juilliard Orchestra in the composer’s Overture for Strings (1949); Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1969-70) with Juilliard cellist Jay Campbell; Partita for Violin and Orchestra (1988) with Juilliard violinist Arianna Warsaw-Fan; and Symphony No. 4 (1991-92). Cellist Jay Campbell is in the bachelor of music program at Juilliard, where he studies with Fred Sherry. Violinist Arianna Warsaw-Fan is in the master of music program and studies with Masao Kawasaki and Cho-Liang Lin.

The New Juilliard Ensemble (NJE), led by founding director Joel Sachs, celebrates the liveliness of today’s music, focusing primarily on repertory of the last decade. Now in its 18th season, NJE presents music by a variety of international composers writing in the most diverse styles. Its members are current students at Juilliard, who are admitted to the ensemble by audition. Student interest in the ensemble’s work is considerable, with more than 100 students participating each year, although the maximum size of compositions is normally 15-20 players.

The Ensemble appears regularly at MoMA’s Summergarden and has been a featured ensemble four times at the Lincoln Center Festival. New Juilliard Ensemble members joined members of the Lucerne Festival Academy Ensemble with conductor Pierre Boulez for the 2008 FOCUS! festival, which celebrated composer Elliott Carter’s 100th year. In January 2009, the New Juilliard Ensemble opened the FOCUS! festival, CALIFORNIA: A Century of New Music, which showcased West Coast composers. In Spring 2009, the New Juilliard Ensemble toured Japan; in December 2009, they performed aleatoric music at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with an exhibition of Persian and Turkish “divining” manuscripts. In January 2010, the New Juilliard Ensemble appeared in the FOCUS! festival, Music at the Center: Composing an American Mainstream.

NJE founder and director Joel Sachs performs a vast range of traditional and contemporary music as conductor and pianist and is co‑director of the internationally acclaimed new-music ensemble Continuum. Dr. Sachs has appeared in hundreds of performances in New York, nationally, and internationally. He also has conducted orchestras and ensembles in Austria, China, El Salvador, Germany, Iceland, Mexico, Switzerland, and Ukraine and has held new-music residencies in Berlin, London, Salzburg, Curitiba (Brazil), Helsinki, and the Banff Centre (Canadian Rockies).

In June 2010, Dr. Sachs was guest pianist and conductor at the festival Oferenda Musical (Musical Offering) in Sao Paulo, Brazil only two days after returning from a Continuum concert at the festival Beijing Modern. In October, he conducted concerts in Calgary, Canada and returned to Brazil. Dr. Sachs’ recordings appear on the Advance, CRI, Naxos, New Albion, Nonesuch, and TNC labels. A CD of music of the Americas with La Camerata de las Americas (Mexico City) was released by Dorian.

Dr. Sachs also directs concerts by Juilliard students at MoMA’s Summergarden. One of the most active presenters of new music in New York, Dr. Sachs founded the New Juilliard Ensemble in 1993. He produces and directs Juilliard’s annual FOCUS! festival and has been artistic director of Juilliard’s concerts at MoMA since 1993.

A member of Juilliard’s music history faculty, Dr. Sachs has written a biography of the American composer Henry Cowell, to be published by Oxford University Press, and appears on radio as a commentator on recent music. He has been a regular delegate to Netherlands Music Days and other international music conferences.

Jeffrey Milarsky is a leading conductor of contemporary music in New York City and a member of Juilliard’s conducting department. He has been the music director for AXIOM since its founding in 2005. Known for his innovative programming and wide-ranging repertoire from Bach to Xenakis, Mr. Milarsky has premiered and recorded works worldwide by contemporary composers, and led such accomplished groups as the American Composers Orchestra, MET Chamber Ensemble, the Milwaukee Symphony, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York New Music Ensemble, Manhattan Sinfonietta, Speculum Musicae, Cygnus Ensemble, Fromm Players at Harvard University, and the New York Philharmonic chamber music series. In the United States and abroad, Mr. Milarsky has premiered and recorded works by groundbreaking contemporary composers, including Charles Wuorinen, Fred Lerdahl, Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter,Gerard Grisey, Jonathan Dawe, Tristan Murail, Ralph Shapey, Luigi Nono, Mario Davidovsky and Wolfgang Rihm. Mr. Milarsky made his debut at the New York City Opera during the 2008-2009 season.

Known for its versatility and the freshness of its performances, the Juilliard Orchestra performs frequently in its own New York City series each season, and is a strong partner to Juilliard’s operatic and dance performances. In 2009-2010, the Juilliard Orchestra partnered with Carnegie Hall on Ancient Paths, Modern Voices, a festival celebrating Chinese culture. The Juilliard Orchestra also performed the world premieres of Chen Qigang’s Er Huang and Augusta Read Thomas’ Jubilee and opened the FOCUS! 2010 festival, Music at the Center: Composing an American Mainstream, featuring works by America composers from the end of World War II to 1970.

In 2008, the Juilliard Orchestra toured China with concerts led by conductor Xian Zhang with stops in Beijing, Suzhou, and Shanghai on the eve of the Beijing Olympics. During Juilliard’s 2005-2006 centennial season, the Juilliard Orchestra traveled to six European cities—Aldeburgh, Berlin, Helsinki, Leicester, London, and Lucerne—and six major symphony halls in the United States—Chicago’s Symphony Center, Dallas’s Meyerson, Irvine’s Barclay, Los Angeles’s Walt Disney, San Diego’s Copley, and Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center.

Principally led by the School’s Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies James DePreist, the Orchestra also appears with prominent guest conductors, recently including John Adams, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Tan Dun, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Anne Manson, Nicholas McGegan, David Robertson, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Xian Zhang.

COMPLETE PROGRAM LISTING

Saturday, January 22 through Friday, January 28, 2011

FOCUS! FESTIVAL 2011

POLISH MODERN: NEW DIRECTIONS IN POLISH MUSIC SINCE 1945

The FOCUS! 2011 festival is presented in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute in New York.

Saturday, January 22, 2011, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall

New Juilliard Ensemble

Joel Sachs, Founding Director and Conductor

Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)           Contradizione (1966)

Tadeusz Wielecki (b. 1954)                 The Time of Stones (2002)*

Wojciech Kilar (b. 1932)                      Choral Prelude (1988)*

Zygmunt Krauze (b. 1938)                  Terra Incognita (1994)*

Elzbieta Sikora (b. 1943)                      Canzona (1995)*

*Western Hemisphere premiere

Monday, January 24, 8 PM, Paul Hall

Krzysztof Penderecki (b. 1933)           Capriccio for Siegfried Palm for cello (1966)

Tomasz Sikorski (1939-1988)              Euphonia for piano (1982)*

Kazimierz Serocki (1922-1981)            Swinging Music for clarinet, double bass, trombone, and piano (1970)*

Marian Sawa (1937-2005)                    Ecce Lignum Crucis for organ (1986) *

Wojciech Ziemowit Zych (b. 1976)   Selections from Homage a Gyorgy Kurtag for violin and bass clarinet (2005-06)*

Marta Ptaszynska (b. 1943)                Six Bagatelles for harp (1979)**

Wojciech Blazejczyk (b. 1981)            Interlunium for guitar (2007)*

Marek Stachowski (1936-2004)          Musica Festeggiante for string quartet (1995)

* Western Hemisphere premiere

**New York premiere

Tuesday, January 25, 7 PM, Paul Hall

Panel Discussion: Contemporary Music in Poland

Joel Sachs, moderator

Tuesday, January 25, 8 PM, Paul Hall

Pawel Mykietyn (b. 1971)                   Sonata for Cello (2006)

Aleksander Lason (b. 1951)                String Quartet No. 7 (2007)

Pawel Szymanski (b. 1954)  Through the Looking Glass III, for harpsichord (1994)

Marcel Chyrzynski (b. 1971)               ForMS for cello (2001)

Witold Szalonek (1927-2001)              Toccata and Chorale for organ (1988), version for piano (1990)*

*Western Hemisphere premiere

Wednesday, January 26, 7 PM, Paul Hall

Electronic Music and Film: A Brief View

Krzysztof Knittel (b. 1947)  The Conqueror Worm (1976)*

Mateusz Bien (b. 1968)                        Turdidae (1992)*

Marek Choloniewski (b. 1953)            Physical Modeling (2004)*

David Bickerstaff (b. 1959) and Lukasz Szalankiewicz (b. 1978)

Film: The Henge: In Search of the Nazi Bell (2010)

Concert at 8 PM, Paul Hall

Andrzej Krzanowski (1951-1990)       Relief V for cello (1986)*

Aleksandra Gryka (b. 1977)                Oxygen, No. 369.1 for piano and electronic sounds (2000)*

Aleksander Nowak (b. 1979)              June-December (2005)*

Jakub Ciupinski (b. 1981)                    Edo for violin and electronic sounds (2010)

Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki (1933-2010) String Quartet No. 1, “Already It Is Dusk” (1986)

Boguslaw Schaeffer (b. 1929)             “February” from The Four Seasons, for organ (1986)*

* Western Hemisphere premiere

Thursday, January 27, 7 PM, Paul Hall

Concert, 8 PM, Paul Hall

Eugeniusz Knapik (b. 1951)                Filo d’Arianna for cello (2005)

Joanna Bruzdowicz (b. 1943)              Erotiques for piano (1966)*

Tadeusz Baird (1928-1981)  Play for string quartet (1971)

Stanislaw Moryto                                Five Songs by Elias Rajzman*

for mezzo-soprano and piano (2002)

Agata Zubel (b. 1978)                          Ludia i Fu (1999)

Jerzy Kornowicz (b. 1959)                   The Shapes of the Elements, for harpsichord and tape (2006/2011)+

Augustyn Bloch (1929-2006)             Geige und Orgel for violin and organ (1988)

*Western Hemisphere premiere

+world premiere of revised version

Friday, January 28, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall

Juilliard Orchestra

Jeffrey Milarsky, Conductor

Jay Campbell, Cello

Arianna Warsaw-Fan, Violin

A Portrait of Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)

Overture for Strings (1949)

Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1969-70)

Partita for Violin and Orchestra (1988)

Symphony No. 4 (1991-92)

FREE FOCUS! 2011 tickets are available beginning January 6, 2011 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard beginning January 9, 2011. The Box Office, 155 West 65th Street, is open Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or visit Juilliard’s Web site at www.juilliard.edu/focus.