The Polish Music Center at USC’s Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles is pleased to present “Sounds from Behind the Iron Curtain: Polish Music after World War II”—a day-long event held on April 6, 2013 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. It will include a Musicology and Digital Humanities Conference, a Concert by pianist Leszek Możdżer, and an Exhibit of Manuscripts by Lutosławski and other contemporary Polish composers. The conference will be streamed live online for viewers around the world.


Conference: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (Ahmanson Center, Room 236, USC)

The conference “Sounds from Behind the Iron Curtain: Polish Music after World War II” will bring together musicologists and cultural historians in a vivid conversation exploring the development of Polish music since 1945. Conference presenters were chosen by a distinguished committee of scholars: Ewelina Boczkowska (Dana School of Music, Youngstown State University), Lisa Jakelski (Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester), and Renata Suchowiejko (Instytut Muzykologii, Jagiellonian University). Presentations will focus on the relation of music to politics, identity, and the reception of Western composers in Poland under Socialist Realism and during the Solidarity era – see next page for the list of all presenters and their topics. The conference program will also include film screenings.


Concert by Leszek Możdżer: 4 p.m. (Alfred Newman Recital Hall, USC)

Following the conference, a piano recital celebrating the centenary of Witold Lutosławski’s birth will feature internationally renowned jazz pianist, Leszek Możdżer. Możdżer’s unique position as a jazz pianist is in part due to his enduring interest in music by a wide spectrum of contemporary Polish composers. They include jazz greats, like Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969), film music composers like Zbigniew Preisner (b. 1955) or Jan A.P. Kaczmarek (b. 1953), and such towering figures in the history of Polish classical music as Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994). Leszek Możdżer explores and reinterprets the music of his illustrious predecessors and colleagues using his own unique, pioneering style that fuses classics and jazz, and breathes new life into well-known repertoire. Możdżer’s musical genius lies in his uncanny ability to focus on the salient features of a chosen style and invest them with a unique sound identity that melds the jazz and classical avant-garde traditions. Możdżer’s artistry is an interesting reflection of how Polish musicians have reinterpreted a genre that is native to America.


Manuscript Exhibit: 3-6 p.m. (Newman Recital Hall Vestibule, USC)

Selected manuscripts from the Polish Music Center’s Manuscript Collection will be presented to the public after the conference. The PMC Manuscript Collection was established with an initial donation of five major orchestral works by Witold Lutosławski, personally deposited by the composer in 1985 at the founding of the PMC. The exhibit will include Lutosławski’s manuscripts as well as Krzysztof Meyer’s opera Cyberiada and Krzysztof Penderecki’s String Quartet, and other highlights of contemporary Polish music.


To Register: email by Wednesday, April 3

For updated information and details, visit: The Polish Music Center at USC


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