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Postgraduate Presentations in Krakow and Vienna (March 2006)

Ms Beata Boleslawska will be participating in two conferences in the coming weeks. On 31 March 2006 she will be presenting a paper at a one-day symposium, 'Composers, Modernism and Postmodernism', hosted by the Institute of Musicology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Her paper, 'Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki's Symphonies - Avant-Garde Thought and the Tradition of the Genre', is drawn from her doctoral research at Cardiff. On 4 May 2006, in Vienna, she will be participating in a round-table discussion 'Music and Musicians Persecuted by Communism' as part of a three-day conference 'Face the Music' (3-5 May) at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

Polish Week in Trondheim (March 2006)

Professor Adrian Thomas has been invited to participate in a conference on Polish music in Trondheim as part of 'Poland 2006' (13-22 October 2006). This week of celebrations of Polish science and culture is being promoted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, SINTEF (The Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research at the Norwegian Institute of Technology), regional businesses and cultural institutions in Trondheim. Other participants in the conference on Polish music include Professor Jim Samson and Professor John Rink from Royal Holloway.

Czech Music at St David's Hall (March 2006)

The University Choir and Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dr Timothy Taylor, is celebrating Czech music at this year's Spring concert at St David's Hall in Cardiff. Their programme on Saturday 1 April includes:

Dvorak Te Deum
Smetana Vltava
Dvorak Violin Concerto (soloist: Cerys Jones)
Janacek Glagolitic Mass
Tickets for this celebration of Czech music, in which Janacek's Glagolitic Mass will be sung in Czech, may be obtained through the St David's Hall Box Office on 029 2087 8444.

Visit of Professor Zbigniew Skowron (March 2006)

The distinguished Polish musicologist, Professor Zbigniew Skowron (Warsaw University), who was appointed in November 2004 as a Visiting Fellow at Cardiff University, will be at CEMRC 13-22 March 2006. In addition to giving a public lecture on Lutoslawski's Notebook of Ideas as part of the John Bird Lecture series, he will have seminars with postgraduate and undergraduate students, be participating in the third-year undergraduate module 'Polish Music and the Search for Identity', and discussing collaborative ventures between Warsaw and Cardiff Universities. The Institute of Musicology at Warsaw and the School of Music at Cardiff have already activated a joint exchange programme as part of the ERASMUS scheme, under which both staff and students will visit the partner institution from 2006-07.

Avant-Garde Polish Music Concert (December 2005)

The School of Music's Contemporary Music Group - awarded four stars by The Guardian for its concert in December 2004 - gave another innovative concert on 7 December 2005. This time its programme, devised in collaboration with CEMRC, explored avant-garde music from Poland. Undergraduate and postgraduate students joined to perform seven pieces, four of them receiving their UK premieres (*).

Schaeffer Non Stop for piano (1960)
Krauze Polichromia for clarinet, trombone, cello and piano (1968)
Szalonek Improvisations sonoristiques for clarinet, trombone, cello and piano (1968)
Sikorski Sickness unto Death for reciter, trumpets, horns and pianos (1976)*
Mykietyn At Radek's for clarinet, trombone, cello and piano (1993)*
Kulenty Rainbow 3 for alto flute, bass clarinet and piano (2003)*
Zielinska Nobody is Perfect for ensemble and pre-recorded sound-track (2004)*
The audience was entertained by Mark Sambell silently embracing the grand piano at the opening of Non Stop and by the range of playing techniques displayed by Matthew Hall, Chris Spreadbury, Max Charles Davies and Robert Dishington in the works by Krauze, Szalonek and Mykietyn. Gareth Peredur Churchill was the suitably sombre narrator of Kierkegaard in the Sikorski, while Nicola Loten, Matthew Hall and Ben Pinnow brought huge powers of concentration and stamina to Kulenty's Rainbow 3. The climax of the concert was provided by Zielinska's imaginative combination of a 17-piece ensemble with sound-track, the rehearsals for which were occasions for much hilarity and patience with the conductor as he tried to keep pace with the demands of the click-track in his ear-piece.

Lutoslawski Medal for Adrian Thomas (October 2005)

Professor Adrian Thomas has been awarded the medal of the Lutoslawski Society in Warsaw. The ceremony took place in the Royal Palace on 9 October 2005. The medal was awarded to Professor Thomas "for his outstanding contribution to the understanding of Lutoslawski's music".

Polish Music since Szymanowski (February 2005)

A new book, Polish Music since Szymanowski, by Adrian Thomas, was published by Cambridge University Press at the beginning of February 2005. Covering over sixty years, it is the first major study in English of this fascinating period in which extreme historical and political events dramatically shaped the lives and music of composers as varied as Lutoslawski, Bacewicz, Baird, Penderecki and Górecki.

Polish Music since Szymanowski places music in the context of the socio-political upheavals of inter-war Poland, Nazi occupation, and the rise and fall of post-war Stalinism in Poland. A discussion of the establishment of the 'Warsaw Autumn' festival in 1956 leads on to analyses of the avant-garde developments in the 1960s, including Polish sonorism, and Thomas concludes with a survey of how composers from different generations have reacted to this modernist aesthetic since the 1970s, including the talented young generation with its ironic, postmodern slant on the past. The book has over 90 musical examples.

Leverhulme Trust Award to Professor Tyrrell (November 2004)

Professor John Tyrrell has been awarded a grant of almost £130,000 by the Leverhulme Trust for his annotated database project, 'Prague Concert Life 1850-81'. Dr Karl Stapleton has been appointed as the principal research assistant on the three-year project, which will also have researchers working in archives in the Czech Republic and Austria. It is anticipated that, like Professor Tyrrell's other online database, the 'Concert Programmes Project' (being carried out jointly with the RCM, with funding by the AHRC), the first stage of 'Prague Concert Life 1850-81' will go online in 2007.

Charles Flint Kellogg Award to John Tyrrell (October 2003)

Professor John Tyrrell has been awarded the Charles Kellogg Flint Award in Arts and Letters by Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. The award is given annually in recognition of significant contributions to artistic and literary heritage and was awarded to Professor Tyrrell in recognition of his distinguished work in the field of Janacek studies.

Book Prize for Adrian Thomas (2002)

Professor Thomas has been awarded the 2002 Wilk Book Prize for his study on Gorecki (Oxford: OUP, 1997). He shares the award from the Polish Music Centre at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, with Professor John Rink's Chopin. Piano Concertos (Cambridge: CUP, 1997).

Honorary Doctorate Awarded to Professor Tyrrell (May 2002)

Congratulations to Professor Tyrrell who in May 2002 will be the first British musicologist to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the Masaryk University of Brno in the Czech Republic. This represents a special honour for him since Brno University's very first honorary doctorate was given in 1926 to the composer Leos Janacek, whose life and music have been the principal area of Professor Tyrrell's research.

Wilk Prize for Adrian Thomas (February 2002)

Adrian Thomas has been awarded the Wilk Prize at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, for his article 'File 750: Composers, Politics and the Festival of Polish Music (1951)'. It will appear in a forthcoming issue of the online Polish Music Journal.

Postgraduate Student Publishes Study of Andrzej Panufnik (September 2001)

One of CEMRC's doctoral students, Beata Boleslawska, has written the most extensive study of the life and music of Andrzej Panufnik to be published to date. Her critical biography (in Polish) has appeared under the imprint of PWM (Polish Music Publishers, Krakow), who published Panufnik's music before he left Poland in 1954 to live in England.

RPS Book Award for Stephen Walsh (May 2001)

Congratulations to Professor Stephen Walsh on being awarded the coveted annual Book Award of the Royal Philharmonic Society in London. This is in recognition of the first volume of his ground-breaking biography of Stravinsky, Stravinsky: A Creative Spring: Russia and France 1882-1934 (New York: Knopf, 1999; London: Jonathan Cape, 2000).