Quo Vadis Musica Classica?

October 1, 2013

It seems that we are on the cross roads with regards to the future of so called serious music,  especially in the US. The CIty Opera of NYC in bankruptcy, The Minnesota Orchestra might follow the suit, the musicians are on strike for almost a year! Those are only some of the facts.

Why can’t we support a society where the professional artists can make a dissent living? And yet there are new arts center being build. People always loved the performing arts, the music.This will not disappear. We might use different formats of presentation, we might use different instruments, or is it that simple? In my view the classical music should be an important part of every child upbringing.  As my husband says: we insist on children learning to wash their teeth (often against their will..) The same way we should insist on musical education. The rewards are numerous and obvious. We are falling behind! Have a look at El Sistema in Venezuela!  It does not have to be an elite choice art. The music language IS universal, when WE LISTEN!


The Great Albert Einstein

” A human being is a part of the whole called by us “the universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. ”


I found this quote, do not know where was it taken from, one of the most profound thoughts I came across. And Yes, supposably he played violin out of tune…everything being relative..

Krzysztof Penderecki European Center for Music in Lusławice

Opening night of the KPEuropean Center for Music

Opening night of the KPEuropean Center for Music, Lusławice, May 21, 2013


June 8, 2013

What an amazing site! Super facilities, concert hall, dorms, studios for 90 students, and faculty apartments, brand new and beautiful, situated in the middle of rolling hills in South – Eastern Poland. It is the brainchild, “dream come true” of Krzysztof Penderecki. The master composer, who created an aboretum of more than 2000 trees in his estate, donated 200 hectares of his grounds to build this Center adjacent to his home. As he said in his address on Opening Night: he wants to give back to the community, to offer the possibility for children and young people to study with the best artists in the most nurturing environment, and to offer people of the surrounding villages a chance to hear life classical music with an emphasis on the contemporary.  In the last few weeks five thousand people already came to hear concerts. The hall for 600-700 people has fabulous acoustics. The Opening Night concert, by invitation only, gathered many VIPs including the First Lady of Poland, the present and past Ministers of Cultures, regional and local officials, people instrumental in accomplishing this “Miracle in Lusławice”, and lots of friends. The program chosen by Penderecki himself opened with selections of Grieg, Górecki, and Elgar performed by The Lusławice Talent Orchestra (participants from the Center’s first educational project for children aged 7-14), followed by Penderecki’s Third String Quartet “Leaves from an Unwritten Diary” played by The Apollon Musagete Quartette,  and Mendelssohn’s String Octet with Anne-Sophie Mutter and Mutter’s Virtuosi.

KP in Luslawice

A quote from Krzysztof Penderecki: ” No artistic creativity can survive without roots. Let’s look at a tree: it teaches us that a work of art must take roots in two things – the ground and the sky – and that the most sublime and fundamental values are always the key. May, therefore, this place in Lusławice become a particular “tree of knowledge” for young and talented musicians, and help them set forth in their further artistic careers.”



April 1, 2013

On my recent visit to Kraków, Yaniv and I went to see “The Exhibition of Musical manuscripts” at the Jagiellonian Library. It was one of the accompanying events on the occasion of the “17th Ludvig van Beethoven Easter Festival. I knew I was going to see something VERY special: manuscripts of Mozart, Beethoven…and  was overwhelmed by the sheer joy and humility in presence of those treasuries. Can you imagine seeing Beethoven’s sketch book in a very difficult to read hand writing? There were some motives, ideas, later found in his compositions. Next to it, almost “clean” Mozart Symphony in E flat Major KV 543. And there was more Mozart, Bethoven (Seventh Symphony) Schubert, Bach, Mendelssohn, Haydn, Brahms, Wagner, Verdi AND Lutosławski, Górecki and Penderecki.

Those and many more are available to scholars, but rarely visible to public. It was a bit surreal to see it housed in a “regular” library, full of todays life, students. What is it going to be like a hundred years from now? Todays composers “originals” will be digitally stored? available on Sibelius 2008?


March 13, 2013

A few thoughts about the impact of live music. With today’s  technology, we practically have all music at our disposal, yet nothing will give you, the listener the same emotional reaction as live performance. Here is but one example of a post-September 11th reflection, which was published in the NY Polish Daily “Nowy Dziennik”:


 “I deeply believe in the healing power of classical music.  If even for a couple of minutes, in one phrase, we gave comfort to the listeners  - it is good that we came.”