Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Discovering Women's Music at the Maria Szymanowska Conference in Paris (Vol. 6, No. 12)
Audience at the Szymanowska Symposium, November 25, 2015.
What is it about Maria Szymanowska that attracts so much attention of scholars and musicians alike? Is it her personal charm, as depicted in the numerous portrait? Is it the sentimental or virtuosic quality of her music? Is it the association with the"stars" of Polish romanticism, Fryderyk Chopin and Adam Mickiewicz? Maybe a little bit of all... The 3rd International Symposium, Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831) and Her Times placed the celebrated pianist-composer in a different context, among her female colleagues, mentors, and peers (3e Colloque international Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831) et son temps). The Symposium took place on 25-27 November 2015 at the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Paris Center (74, rue Lauriston, Paris 16e), the site of two earlier conferences cosponsored by Maria Szymanowska Society in 2011 and 2014. This edition of the Szymanowska Symposium was dedicated to "Talents of Women: Myths and Reality" ("Talents au féminin: Mythes et réalité").
Polish Academy of Sciences, Paris Center, 74 Rue Lauriston, Paris
The event was opened by the Director of the Paris Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Dr. Marek WIĘCKOWSKI with a minute of silence as a tribute to the recent victims of terrorist attacks. The proceedings were moderated by the President of the Maria Szymanowska Society, singer Elisabeth ZAPOLSKA-CHAPELLE.
Dr. Marek Wieckowski, Director of PAN - Paris Center
The Symposium started on November 25 with a concert of music by women composers from several European countries active in the late 18th and first half of the 19th century. The highlight was a special instrumental treat: an original pianoforte by Johann Alois Graff made in 1825 and lovingly restored to its full, sonorous beauty. This concert, held on Wednesday, 25 November 2015, entitled “Fondness for music” started with a presentation of songs by Maria Szymanowska in the interpretation of Ms. ZAPOLSKA-CHAPELLE, mezzo-soprano, accompanied on the Graff pianoforte by the instrument's owner, Dutch pianist Bart VAN OORT.
Bart van Oort and Elizabeth Zapolska-Chapelle. From iFrancja.fr.
Their haunting performance of The Lament of a Blind Beggar (Complainte d’un aveugle qui demandait l’aumône au Jardin du Roi à Paris) honored Prof. Irena Poniatowska of the Chopin Institute in Warsaw, who discovered this lost work in Paris archives. Zapolska's half-recital was a tour de force of songs by women: Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1797-1848), Maria Theresia von Paradis (1759-1824), Hortense de Beauharnais (1783 – 1837), Hélène de Montgeroult (1764-1836), Isabelle de Charrière (1740-1805), Louise Reichardt (1779-1826), Sophie Gail (1775-1819), and Fanny Hensel née Mendelssohn (1809-1847).
After the concert: Francoise Tillard, Elizabeth Zapolska and Maja Trochimczyk
Marcia Hadjimarkos and Edoardo Torbianelli perform on November 25, 2015.
L to R: Edoardo Torbianelli, Director Marek Wieckowski, Elizabeth Zapolska-Chapelle,
Bart van Oort, Petra Somlai, Francois Tillard, Marcia Hadjimarkos, and Claudia Dafne Sevilla Carrion.
Letters of Maria Czartoryska-Wirtemberska. The Czartoryski Library.
The 3rd International Maria Szymanowska Symposium has been organized jointly by the Maria Szymanowska Society and the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Paris Center. The planned program is reproduced in the previous blog (in French). You can see a flash from the Symposium Women and their talents: myths and reality broadcast by the Polish Television for the world - TV POLONIA on November 27, 2015 in the news Polonia24 (after the 15th minute): http://polonia24.tvp.pl/
For more information contact the Maria Szymanowska Society: firstname.lastname@example.org. To see more photos visit: Szymanowska in Paris 2015.