Celebrating Poland: An Overview

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This year marks the centenary of composer-conductor Witold Lutosławski, revered cultural icon and generous patriarch to a generation of younger composers, and the 80th birthday of Krzysztof Penderecki whose relentless forays into musical modernism sent shockwaves across academia and pop culture.

In honor of these great composers and Poland’s massive contributions to 20th and 21st century classical music, Q2 Music, presents Celebrating Poland: Lutosławski, Penderecki and New Music Now, a festival including two live events from Symphony Space and three 24-hour marathons.



New Music from Poland

On Friday, Oct. 25, Phil Kline will host an all-day marathon examining the strength and diversity of contemporary classical music from Poland, including original electronic music miniatures by New York-based Polish composer Jakub Ciupinski. At 7:30 pm, the marathon goes live to Symphony Space with a concert of Penderecki’s music hosted by Helga Davis. The evening features the Penderecki Quartet, Ensemble Pi, violist Matthew Lipman, cellist Jay Campbell, and members of the Yale School of Music, and exclusive on-stage interviews with Penderecki himself.


On Thursday, Oct. 31, Polish composers will be featured prominently in Q2 Music’s Halloween marathon – a 24-hour scare-athon of eerie music and slasher film scores. Penderecki’s textured, psychologically pungent compositions have been used extensively in horror and suspense films, including William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, and David Lynch’s Inland Empire, among others. Wojciech Kilar’s chilling music has appeared in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, fellow Pole Roman Polanski’s Ninth Gate, and a number of Polish-language horror films.

Lutosławski @100

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, Q2 Music will honor the 100th birthday of Witold Lutosławski with a 24-hour marathon examining the full spectrum of and story behind Lutosławski's contributions to 20th century classical music. Host Nadia Sirota will guide both the newcomer and the seasoned listener through the many period of Lutoslawski’s creative evolution. The marathon will include seven one-hour episodes curated by composer and Lutosławski scholar Steven Stucky as well as an interview with noted Lutosławski proponent, conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen



Friday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 pm – “Krzysztof Penderecki” presented on Q2 Music as part of New Music from Poland 

Cadenza for solo viola
String Quartet No. 3
Capriccio per Siegfried Palm, for solo cello
Clarinet Quartet

Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 pm – “Witold Lutosławski: A Centennial Tribute”

Q2 Music will bring audiences a live concert from Symphony Space with the New York-based American Contemporary Music Ensemble performing chamber works by Lutoslawski. The evening will include composer a conversation about the legacy of Lutosławski between Steven Stucky and Symphony Space’s artistic director, Laura Kaminsky. 

Lutosławski: Sacher Variation for solo cello
Lutosławski: Bukoliki for viola and cello
Lutosławski: String Quartet
Stucky: Dialoghi for solo cello
Stucky: Nell'ombra, nella luce for string quartet


Celebrating Poland: Lutosławski, Penderecki and New Music Now is presented in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

Celebrating Poland: Lutosławski, Penderecki and New Music Now is supported, in part, by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of Polska Music programme.