Polish music to mark independence centenary, culture minister announces

Deputy PM and Culture Minister Piotr Gliński PAP/Jakub Kamiński

One hundred Polish musical pieces will resound on 22 stages, 11 of them abroad, on Poland's Independence Day (Nov. 11), to mark this year's Polish independence centenary, Deputy PM and Culture Minister Piotr Gliński announced on Tuesday.

The undertaking, headlined "One hundred for the hundredth. Musical Decades of Freedom" is Poland's showcase musical event for the independence centenary.

Gliński said the project's highlight will be November 11, when a hundred Polish 20th and 21st-century musical compositions will be played on eleven stages in Poland and as many abroad. He added that the project's original conception made it a unique undertaking, to which invitations to perform have been accepted by leading orchestras and choirs.

"This is a unique undertaking, probably even on an international scale. No one before us has had such an insane idea, no one has had the courage to do it," Gliński said, adding that the planned musical programme represented "what was best and most valuable in Polish contemporary music."

Performed works will range from 1918 (the year Poland regained independence after 123 years under partitioning) to the present day, by among others Karol Szymanowski, Witold Lutosławski, Mikołaj Górecki, Krzysztof Penderecki, Grażyna Bacewicz, Agata Zubel and Paweł Mykietyn.

Jan Kowalski, head of the "Niepodległa" (Independent) programme coordinating the nationwide centenary observances, said "One hundred for the hundredth" was among the programme's major projects.

"This project inscribes itself excellently into the programme's aims, which are to strengthen the sense of community among Poles," Kowalski observed.

Daniel Cichy, head of the project-organising Polish Music Publishing House (PWM), said the aim of the undertaking was to offer Poles "a spectacular and lasting way of celebrating the independence centenary."

The November 11 concerts will take place among others in Kraków, Katowice, Wrocław, Szczecin, Białystok, Poznań, Warsaw, New York, Vienna, Paris, London and Tokyo. Also planned is the publication of the scores of the presented works.