• Szmytka and Zubel (+) at Huddersfield

The programme of this year’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (20-29 November) has just been announced and the opening day’s concerts feature music by two of Poland’s most distinctive composers, Agata Zubel (b. 1978) and Jagoda Szmytka (b. 1982), all UK premieres (*).

682.01.ma,13362_zubel_coverAt 18.00 on Friday 20 November, Zubel will sing her Not I (2011)* with Klangforum Wien, under the baton of Clement Power.  The recording of their performance of this Samuel Beckett text won the top award at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in 2013 and is the title track of Zubel’s Kairos CD (2014).

MI0003837363At 21.30 the same evening, three of Szmytka’s pieces are included in the programme of The Riot Ensemble’s HCMF debut: GAMEBOY (2014)*, skype-me, type-me (2011)* and empty music (2014)*.  Seven of Szmytka’s works were issued on her ‘bloody cherries’ Wergo CD (2014), including skype-me, type-me.  

For the full impact, all of these works need to be seen, so hie thee to Huddersfield in eight weeks’ time!

Update (9 October)

Now that the full programme is available, I can add the following events involving Polish composers:

• Saturday, 21 November – Tomasz Sikorski (1939-88): AutographZerstreutes HinausschauenEchoes 1-4
Sunday, 22 November – Robert Piotrowicz (b. 1973): Grund*, Apendic*
• Monday, 23 November – Jagoda SzmytkaPores Open Wide Shut*
• Monday, 23 November – Księżyc
• Monday, 23 November – Zbigniew Karkowski (1958-2013): Fluster*
• 
Tuesday, 24 November – Zbigniew KarkowskiForm & Disposition*, Studio Varèse*
• Friday, 27 November – Zbigniew KarkowskiField*
• Saturday, 28 November – [Tomek] MirtSolitaire*
• Saturday, 28 November – Maja S K Ratkje: In Dialogue with Eugeniusz Rudnik*

• New CD Note (Zubel/Kairos)

682.01.ma,13362_zubel_coverIt’s been an absolute pleasure to be involved in this new CD of very recent music by Agata Zubel.  All four works date from 2010-11.  She also sings in three of them.  The title track, Not I, has garnered praise and prizes, including the top award at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in 2013 and the inaugural prize of the Musica Polonica Nova Festival in Wrocław last month.  Zubel’s music has a freshness and expressivity that I find totally winning, and she has an ear for the best texts – all three vocal pieces have words written by Nobel laureates.

Footnote: this CD was one of Alex Ross’s top ten recordings of 2014 in his New Yorker survey of 12 December 2014.

Here’s the link to my note for this new Zubel CDor you can scroll the CD NOTES tab above.

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