The 67th Annual Convention of the American Council for Polish Culture Chicago 2015-REPORT
On August 5-8, 2015, the 67th Conference of the American Council for Polish Culture was held in Chicago. At the 4-day conference, delegates came from organizations such as: Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford, the Friends of Polish Art of Detroit, Polish Arts League of Pittsburgh, the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia, the Polish American Arts Association of Washington DC. The full list of organizations, information about the conference, photographs and reports, could be found on the website: polishcultureacpc.org and chicagochopinsociety.com. During the conference, delegates discussed the affairs of the organization and participated in concerts and lectures.
The host of the conference was The Chicago Chopin Society. As the founder and president of this organization, I would like to thank all contributors of this success.
Even before the conference began, its main promoters were the radio hosts: Magda Marczewska, Jacek Niemczyk and Jacek Zielinski of RADIO WPNA 1490 and Ewa Staniszewska from program Polish FM - 92.7 FM & E99.9.
Editor Jacek Niemczyk conducted an interview with violinist and composer Krzysztof Ziemowski and Jaroslaw Golembiowski. Ewa Staniszewska invited Katarzyna Sądej, the winner of the Marcelina Kochańska Sembrich Vocal Competition. Wojciech Sawa, Henrietta Nowakowski and Barbara Bilszta commented about the conference on Polish FM radio program. During the conversations, the audience learned of outstanding Polish immigrant musicians. They got acquainted with the activities of the American Council for Polish Culture, which includes regional (state) Polish organizations operating in the floodplain of promoting Polish culture in America. We would like to thank the radio stations for the delightful conversations, interviews and dialogues.
The theme of the conference, selected by the Chicago Chopin Society, was Polish Immigrant Composers and Musicians. On the opening day, from the first minute of the conference, Polish music filled the room. After the presentation of flags by the Polish Army Historical Association and the singing of national anthems, the audience heard the famous Farewell to the Homeland by Michael Kleofas Oginski arranged by Fr. Przybylski for voice and piano, and The Maiden’s Wish by Fryderyk Chopin. These were sung by soprano Justine Izewski, a student of the University Music Department at Champaign-Urbana. After the introductions of the guests and the board of the ACPC, Polonia activist, Mark Dobrzycki delivered the inaugural speech. In his speech he stressed the role of the ACPC meets in promoting Polish culture against the struggle of a good name in society and shared his experiences as a Pole immigrant, who despite many adversities is loyal to his homeland and ethos of Polish culture. Then the ACPC president, Mary Ellen Tyszka, officially opened the 67th Annual Conference.
Many hours of deliberations have been enriched by the ACPC events open to the general wellpublic. The lecture delivered by Dr. Slawomir Dobrzanski on Tadeusz Zygryd Kassern Polish-Jewish composer in Exile, was the first of its kind. Currently Dr. Slawomir Dobrzanski teaches piano performance, chamber music and piano literature in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Kansas State University. Between 2009 and 2013, he served as the Chair of Keyboard Studies at K-State
Participants had the opportunity not only to listen to a difficult way of life of the composer, but also listen to the archived recordings. For ones who are interested, I recommend the following book published in 2011 by Violetta Kostki: Tadeusz Kassern individual varieties of style.
The program exploring the Unknown Chicago (Ed Paschke Art Center, Masonic Center, St.Hyacinth Basilica) was led by Daniel Pogorzelski, who told the old and new legends of Chicago. In the evening, tired but satisfied guests sat down to dinner in the New England Inn restaurant. This Czech restaurant with a cottage-style décor is run by a Polish immigrant drummer Tadeusz Kazmierczak. Kazmierczak’s biography includes playing in the Orchestra of Polish Radio and Television in Lodz, the Piotr Janczerski band- Bractwo Kurkowe (Fowler Brotherhood), the duos Ada Rusowicz and Wojtek Korda, and Framerowie -Zofia Szumer-and Zbigniew Frankiewicz. He also performed with Krzysztof Krawczyk in Las Vegas, and recently with the star of Polish songs, Irena Jarocka.
Thursday's events reached its apogee at the concert of Polish immigrant composers performed by immigrant artists: Krzysztof Zimowski-violinist and Slawomir Dobrzanski-pianist. The Chicago Chopin Society’s concerts are famous for presenting outstanding performers in an interesting repertoire, often with the premiere of a new composition. Yet again, this concert was no different. In the first part of the concert, the audience applauded enthusiastically premiere of the Melody Appassionato for violin and piano by Jaroslaw Golembiowski. For me, the premiere is always a great event, a celebration and a test of the chosen path as a composer. The premiere with the participation of excellent performers, filled to the brim with the audience, contributes to the success of the new composition. Below is the detailed program of the recital:
Felix Borowski - Adoration
Fryderyk Chopin - Ballade Op 23. for piano solo
Henryk Wieniawski - Obertas, Legenda
Jaroslaw Golembiowski - Lullaby for piano solo
Jaroslaw Golembiowski - Melody (world premiere)
Tadeusz Zygfryd Kassern - Mazurek for piano solo
Karol Szymanowski - Nocturne and Tarantelle
Karol Szymanowski - Sonata d minor
Krzysztof Zimowski currently serves as Concertmaster of the New Mexico Philharmonic and the Opera Southwest Orchestra. In 2015 Mr.Zimowski was awarded the Knight’s Cross of Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, by President of Poland,Mr.Bronislaw Komorowski.
He charmed all, not only with his great playing on the violin, but also with the personal comments, announcing each of the performed compositions.
Slawomir Dobrzanski delivered not only a magnificent accompaniment but also filled the room with his beautiful performance of the Ballade in G minor by Fr. Chopin, Lullaby by J. Golembiowski, and Mazurka by Z. Kassern.
On Friday August 7th Dr. J. Gołembiowski presented a lecture, The History of Symphony by Polish Emigrant Composers. The author presented the history of Polish symphonies from 1918 to the present. The lecture was illustrated with slides, scores and book publications. Of particular interest to the audience was the book of congratulatory letters sent to Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Artist Patriot Humanist of 1928, on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of Polish Independence. The lecture culminated with the presentation of a recorded excerpt from Golembiowski’s III Symphony.
Another concert, open to the public, was the performance of the First Prize Winner of the Marcelina Kochańska - Sembrich Vocal Competition, mezzo- soprano Katarzyna Sądej. The audience particularly loved the interpretations of the songs by Karol Szymanowski, the repertoire, and stage charm of the young singer.
The program of the concert included songs and arias by Polish composers: Fryderyk Chopin, Stanisław Moniuszko, Mieczyslaw Karłowicz, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Karol Szymanowski, Jerzy Petrsburski. Pianist Slawomir Dobrzanski was charming at this concert with a superb accompaniment.
The Convention ended with the traditional Awards Banquet. Music was provided by Jarosław Gołembiowski, the superb Marcus Band, and singer Ewa Staniszewska whose songs took us back to Poland in the 1930s. Honored with the ACPC Founders Award were Raymond and Cecilia Glembocki, and Camille Kopielski. The Cultural Award was presented to Dr. Pawel Checinski, a pianist and teacher of piano, for a lifetime dedicated to music, especially that of Fryderyk Chopin and Karol Szymanowski. The Distinguished Service Award recipient was Dr. Zbigniew Sobol for his long service as a physician and surgeon who supported many charitable programs that helped the people of Poland through aid to hospitals and institutions. We were also very pleased to associate with a very large contingent of members from our South Bend affiliate under the leadership of Drs. Waldemar, and Barbara and Niklinski.
On behalf of the Chicago Chopin Society I would like to thank delegates and guests for their participation in the conference, and artists for their art. I offer special words of thanks to all the sponsors and those who contributed their work to the success of the 67th Conference ACPC.
Dr. Jaroslaw Golembiowski
List of Sponsors
American Council for Polish Culture, Executive Board
Chicago Chopin Society, IL
Chopin Fine Arts Club, South Bend, IN
Chicago Society of the Polish National Alliance, Chicago, IL
Chicago Sweet Connection Bakary, IL
Friends of Polish Art, Detroit, MI,
Friends of John Paul II Foundation, Washington, DC Chapter
Fryderyk Chopin Society of Texas, TX
Kosciuszko Foundation, The American Center of Polish Culture
MB Financial Bank, Len Mayerski, Vice President
Medalion Wealth Management
Montrose Deli, Chicago, IL
National Council for the Social Studies Project
National Katyn Memorial Foundatio, Baltimore, MD
New England Inn, Chicago, IL
Orchard Lake Schools, MI
Physicians Care Center, Inc. Dr. John Zaborowski, Mrs. Ewa Zaborowski
PNA Council 91
Polish American Arts Association of Wshington DC
Polisz American Medical Society, Chicago, IL
Polish Arts Club of Chicago, IL
Polish Arts Club of Elmira, NY
Polish Arts Club of Youngstown, OH
Polish Arts League of Pittsburgh, PA
Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford, CT
Polish Falcons of America, Pittsburgh, PA
Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia, PA
Polish Heritage Society, of Rochester, NY
Pulaski Animal Hospital, Chicago, IL
Pulaski Scholarships, Marion V. Winters, Chairman
Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, Chicago, IL
Polish National Alliance, Chicago, IL
Stanley Stawski Distributing Company, Inc.
Drs. James and Wanda Trefil Science Scholarship
RR Natural Health, Inc. Dr. Richard Izewski and Renata Izewski, MS, CCH
Individual Sponsors and Volunteers
Robert & Mrs. Mary Flanagan
Dr. Jaroslaw Golembiowski
Rose & Anthony Kruszewski
Alice Lech Laning
Carolyn L. & Matthew Meleski
Mary Ann Mlynarski
Dr. Waldemar Niklinski
Dr. Wanda O’Brien-Trefil
Frances T. Pudlo
Virginia M. Pudlo
Dr. Zbigniew Sobol
Drs. James and Wanda Trefil
Halina Stepkowicz Ujda
Irena & Yuriy Sonevytsky
Andrzej Marek Urbaniak
Jo Louise & Marion V. Winters
Dziennik Zwiazkowy (Jola Plesiewicz, Dariusz Piłka)
WPNA 1490 (Jacek Niemczyk)
Polski FM – 92.7 & E99.9 FM. (Ewa Staniszewska)