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Agata Zubel – the January Composer of the Month
Agata Zubel is a unique figure – a composer who has taken the world’s music stages by storm and has remained present on them for many years now. Her successive works confirm her rare sensitivity, resourcefulness, and the confidence with which she applies her musical tools.
She receives commissions for new pieces from all over the world, and her compositions win awards in Poland and abroad.
The previous year was special in Agata Zubel’s activity as a composer in that she presented to the audiences as many as four new works:
Cleopatra’s Songs, first performed in March 2018 at the renowned festival “Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik”;
Fireworks, which had three premieres in three European capitals: on 13th August in Warsaw during the Festival “Chopin and His Europe”, on 14th August in Berlin at the “Young Euro Classic”, and on 19th August at the world-famous BBC Proms in London;
Bildbeschreibung – an operatic form first performed in early September in Bolzano as part of the “Transart” Festival, while the Polish premiere followed at the end of the same month during the “Warsaw Autumn”;
Chamber Piano Concerto – the last of this year’s premieres, first heard in October at the “Donaueschinger Musiktage”.
2018 also earned Agata Zubel a number of prestigious awards. The already mentioned Fireworks won the European Composers Award 2018 as well as the Coryphaeus of Polish Music Award as ‘event of the year’. The composer also received the Erste Bank Kompositionspreis 2018 – a prize previously presented only to Austrian composers; Zubel is the first foreigner ever to have received it!
It should be noted that, apart from her activity as a composer, Agata Zubel also leads a very active concert life, performing the vocal parts in her own works as well as those by other composers, to mention only the recent premiere of Marcin Stańczyk’s Unseen, whose vocal part was written specially for this artist.
Collaboration with Agata Zubel is a source of genuine pride and joy to PWM Edition, and it is with pride and joy, too, that we inaugurate this year’s COMPOSER OF THE MONTH cycle with this unique musical phenomenon – the figure and the music of Agata Zubel!
As usual, we start the month with a special ‘composer’s alphabet’. Here is how Agata Zubel describes her world:
A for ABSTRACTION
B for NO BORDERS
C for CURIOSITY
D for DIVERSITY
E for ENERGY
F for FASCINATION
G for GENUINE DEPTH
H for HUMOUR
I for INSPIRATION
J for JOINING IN WITH PEOPLE
K for KALEIDOSCOPES OF COLOUR
L for LIGHT
M for MIGHT
N for NOW
O for OPENNESS
P for PASSION
R for REACHING FAR AND WIDE
R for RICH EMOTIONALITY
S for SKY-REACHING
T for TENACITY
U for UNCOMMON
V for VOCALITY
W for strong WILL
Z for ZEAL
Agata Zubel’s compositions are available from the PWM bookshop throughout January at an attractive discount, while on the PWM website we have published a selection of the composer’s recent photos. On PWM’s Facebook profile this month we will present titbits concerning this artist’s life and work.
PWM Edition and Warsaw Wind Music Association invite to take part in the International Composition Contest for Wind Orchestra - Warsaw Wind Ensemble Composition Contest 2020. This is the first edition of the international competition for composers, the subject of which is to write a premiere composition for a concert wind orchestra.
The winners of the 10th International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition have been announced. The first prize goes to Maria Motolygina from Russia, while Alina Adamski won the PWM Edition Prize for the best performance of a Polish 20th/21st-century song.
On May 5th, the bicentenary of Stanisław Moniuszko’s birth will be celebrated throughout Poland. PWM Edition has already begun its celebrations earlier, and announced Stanisław Moniuszko our May COMPOSER OF THE MONTH.
More than 20 new sheet music publications, books and CD albums; nearly 90 reissues; performance materials for orchestras and opera houses; more than a hundred digital publications available worldwide; 7,000 pages of free access digitalised materials; more than a thousand unique graphics and photos; nearly 30 events for adult and young audiences – all these are part of PWM Edition’s celebrations programme prepared for the bicentenary of Stanisław Moniuszko’s birth.
We are very happy to inform that Tomasz Knittel’s film Mieczysław Karłowicz. Samotna wędrówka [Mieczysław Karłowicz. A Lone Journey], co-produced by PWM Edition and TVP (Polish state television broadcaster), won the Silver Pegasus during the gala of the 22nd Zakopane Festival of Films about Art held on 14th April.
PWM Edition is not just about sheet music and books. We are also involved in all kinds of educational activities, aiming to promote and support music education in both general and music schools. In this way we fulfil Plato’s postulate that “children ought to be taught music, physics and philosophy; but music in particular, because it contains models and all the skills that are crucial to learning”.
Since the first quarter of 2019 is already behind us, let us sum up PWM Edition’s educational enterprises in that period.
The world premiere of the most recent work by the highly regarded Polish composer Agata Zubel is to take place on 9th April 2019 at the Auditorium Marcel Landowski in Paris. The nine members of Ensemble 2e2m – one of France’s oldest and most renowned groups of this kind – will perform 3x3 for 9 instruments. The conductor is Pierre Roulllier.
The concert is part of the cycle “It Is a Woman’s World (Too)”.
“A three-day festival of new music; seven concerts, two installations, nearly fifteen hours of music – only the most recent works. Thirty composers, more than half of whom are associated with PWM Edition – all this has made me happy, and I am leaving Katowice one hundred per cent satisfied,” said Daniel Cichy PhD, Director and Editor-in-Chief of PWM Edition, summing up the 8th Festival of Premieres in Katowice, which came to its close last Sunday.
In our gallery of COMPOSERS OF THE MONTH, we present today the figure of Sławomir Kupczak, our April Composer of the Month.
On 1st April 2019 the post of editor-in-chief of “Ruch Muzyczny” will be taken over by Piotr Matwiejczuk, who replaces Tomasz Cyz, head of the editorial board since 2013.