The Polska Music program aims to bring Polish music and artists to greater cultural prominence around the world.
As well as initiating, supporting and organising international stage productions, concerts, events, exhibitions, conferences, books, recordings and innovative digital and multi-media projects, Polska Music commissions new work, and promotes contemporary Polish composers and performers.
Polska Music was created by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, a national cultural institution based in Warsaw whose mission is to promote Polish culture internationally and actively participate in international cultural cooperation.
A major focus of Polska Music has long been to organise performances of Polish classical music by prominent international artists worldwide. Among its recent partners are Bregenz Festival, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Chandos, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Grammophon, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonie de Paris and RomaEuropa Festival.
Major partnerships for the 2019/20 season include an on-going celebration of Mieczysław Weinberg with London’s Wigmore Hall and for the 2020/2021 season a major Polska Scotland season of performances with Royal Scottish National Orchestra with more than 16 concerts exploring links between Poland and Scotland and featuring works by Polish composers.
Recent achievements have included a performance of Krzysztof Penderecki’s St Luke’s Passion to open the Salzburger Festspiele 2018; a major collaboration with the Rambert Dance Company, Kim Brandstrup and the Quay brothers which resulted in a spectacular full-length ballet, Life is a Dream, featuring only music by Lutosławski (2018), as well as collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon on releasing a CD albums devoted to Mieczysław Weinberg’s symphonic and chamber music (2019).
Polska Music has a deep commitment to contemporary music, commissioning new works from Polish composers. Recent highlights include Fireworks by Agata Zubel and Fourteen Points: Woodrow Wilson Overture by Paweł Szymański, both premiered in 2018 in London and broadcast by BBC Radio 3; Sonosphère V, Wanda Landowska for orchestra and electric guitar by Elżbieta Sikora premiered in Paris in 2019 and Popule meus by Paweł Łukaszewski was premiered by Collegium Musicale in Estonia in 2019.
Polska Music has commissioned further new works for 2020 including Missa sine verbis in honor of John Paul II’s 100th birthday from renowned Polish jazz pianist Piotr Orzechowski and, in collaboration with Klangforum Wien, a series of new works to mark the centenary of Stanisław Lem in 2021. It will also to continue to support the work of living Polish composers in many festivals and events around Europe and nurture future talent through composer workshops and schemes such as London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young Composers Programme, where one Polish composer is supported by Polska Music, throughout the LPO’s yearlong programme.
Polska Music continues to celebrate more than 60 years of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio, a pioneering centre for the creation of original electro-acoustic music, and the first in the Eastern Bloc. Highlights include the publication of a free, comprehensive library of audio samples for the modern makers of electronic music and its second edition with the most attractive sounds of Bogusław Schaeffer works chosen by Matmos.
The scope of the programme continues to expand. Exploring new ways of promoting Polish music, the Polska Music team created the Map of Polish Composers, an innovative multi-lingual, interactive resource about Polish music and composers, which is available free of charge at mapofcomposers.pl.
It also recently launched Polish Heroines of Music, a new programme which aims to champion the rich canon of works created by female Polish composers, past and present. It will support contemporary female composers, such as Agata Zubel, Elżbieta Sikora and Hanna Kulenty, by commissioning new works and investing in international performances and recordings of their music. It will also put the spotlight on the major historical figures of Polish music, such as Grażyna Bacewicz and Maria Szymanowska, with major new recordings of their work.