The Katowice Chapter of the Karol Szymanowski Music Society was founded at the Music Academy in Katowice on October 16, 1997. The founding members of the Board were: Arkadiusz Kubica, president, Joanna Domanska, vice-president, Maria Serafin, secretary, and Barbara Karaskiewicz, treasurer.The Society set as its objective the promotion of the music of the Society’s patron, Karol Szymanowski.
In the words of President Arkadiusz Kubica:
There immediately arises the question of the validity of this goal. The answer can be found in the latest book of T. A. Zielinski titled Szymanowski: lyricism and ecstasy. The author writes: “Without a doubt, Karol Szymanowski is one of the underrated composers who in fact is not very well known even in his own country. A composer of great talent and breadth, he was an unmatched master of harmonic language and lyrical expression in his day. One of the most singular personalities in 20th century music, he is not – or at least was not – known on the world music scene to a degree befitting such a great artist. Needless to say, our organization does not aspire to restore Szymanowski to the world. Rather, our objective is that his music be ever-present and not merely on occasions of more or less significant anniversaries. We also wish to present his works in the context of those of other European composers, so that we can fully recognize, discern, and appreciate his style.
Thus was born the Evenings with the music of Karol Szymanowski and... – Festival whose guiding principle is to juxtapose works of Szymanowski with those of other prominent composers of the 20th century, and to reveal in the process the broad spectrum of trends and mutual inspirations at work in the previous century. This format of programming creates the opportunity for comparing compositional techniques in the treatment of similar genres; it also allows us to familiarize the audiences with works rarely performed in public.
Each edition of the Festival presents Szymanowski’s works side by side with those of one other composer.
The following composers have been presented so far:
Today, The Evenings count among the most important musical events held at the Music Academy in Katowice. Notable artists who have appeared at the Festival and who contributed to its prestige are, among others:
Pianists: Andrzej Jasiński, Józef Stompel, Andrzej Tatarski, Joanna Domańska, Magdalena Lisak, Beata Bilinska, Wojciech Switala, Zbigniew Raubo;
Singers: Urszula Kryger, Ewa Biegas;
Violinists: Piotr Pławner, Szymon Krzeszowiec;
and premier chamber music ensembles: Silesian Quartet, Camerata Quartet, Prima Vista Quartet, Camerata Silesia