X International Music Competition of Michał Spisak
110 musicians from 12 countries are invited to participate in the 10th Michal Spisak International Music Competition, which will be starting in Dąbrowa Górnicza on Wednesday – the hometown of the famous composer.
According to the idea of the competition, young artists playing on other instruments compete each year, this year there are cellists, flutists and trumpeters who are under the age of 30. Applications came from the Czech Republic, Croatia, Japan, Hungary, Georgia, South Korea, Germany, Slovenia, Taiwan, China, Italy and Poland.
“Spisak’s creative output – one of the most important Polish composers of the twentieth century, an outstanding neoclassicist – is still too weak in the repertoire of Polish orchestras, bands and soloists. That is why the creation of the competition is an important achievement for all those who decided to build a musical monument in their hometown, “said the Rector of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice prof. Wladyslaw Szymanski.
“Dąbrowski’s competition helps to understand that the Polish musical culture is not only Fryderyk Chopin, Stanisław Moniuszko or Karol Szymanowski. There are also many other great creators, including Michal Spisak, of course, without which we would be much poorer. I would like to say, travesting a familiar proverb: “We know each other, but we also praise ours” – added the chairman of the jury prof. Jerzy Mrozik from Wroclaw Academy of Music.
The competition will commence on 14 September at a ceremony in the theater hall of the Zaglebie Palace. National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra will be led by Krzysztof Penderecki. Feliks Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Penderecki himself will perform works by the patron of the competition, accompanied by cellists Lukasz Frant, Adam Krzeszowiec and Natalia Kurzac-Kotuli.
The competition auditions will take place from 15th to 22th September at the Palace of Culture in Zagłębie. In the third stage of the competition and in the concert of the laureates, the participants will be accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of the Zabrze Philharmonic conducted by Sławomir Chrzanowski. Winners of each category will receive 12,000 zł and commemorative statues.
Patron of the contest Michał Spisak (1914-1965) was born and raised in Dąbrowa Górnicza. He was educated in the violin classes and composition of the Silesian Conservatory in Katowice, obtaining a diploma with a distinction in 1937. The Silesian Musical Society sponsored him as the most gifted graduate of the Conservatory, a scholarship for further composition studies in Paris. There, he was welcomed to class of the famous Nadia Boulanger. She quickly recognized him as his favorite student, appreciating Spisak’s great talent.
The composer did not suppose that the outbreak of war in 1939 would stop him in France, which would become his second homeland. In Paris, almost all of his dozens of works – symphonic, chamber and solo were made .
Even in the first years after the war, Spisak’s compositions during his time began to appear on European stages, and performed in the country aroused the sensation – the more that the author was so far unknown here – connecting him with the opinion of one of the most interesting Polish composers of the younger generation.
Spisak was a laureate of many prestigious awards. In 1955 he won the Grand Prix in the competition for the new official anthem of the Olympic Games. His composition was chosen from the 392 compositions submitted for the competition. The ceremonial execution of the “Olympic Anthem for mixed choir and orchestra” to the words of Pindara ode was celebrated with great publicity several times, including: in 1955 at the 50th session of the MKOL in Paris, at the Mediterranean Games in Barcelona, at the VII Olympics in Cortina D’Ampezzo and in 1956. During the 16th Olympics in Melbourne and in Stockholm. (PAP)