Symphony Concert Organised as a Part of the ‘Roman Palester – Here and Now’ Cycle

26 October 2019, 7:00 p.m.
Auditorium Maximum, University of Warsaw
Krakowskie Przedmieście street 26/28

Maciej Skrzeczkowski – harpsichord
Agata Kielar-Długosz – flute
Łukasz Długosz – flute
Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
University of Warsaw Choir (supervised by Irina Bogdanovich)
Marek Wroniszewski – conductor

Roman Palester
M.K. Ogiński’s Polonaises
Concertino for Harpsichord and Ten Instruments
Serenade for Two Flutes and String Orchestra
Wedding Cake: An Epithalamium for Women’s Choir and Chamber Orchestra
(the world premiere on stage)

phot. collection of University of Warsaw Library

Roman Palester (1907-1989) was one of Poland’s most eminent twentieth-century composers, often regarded as a successor to Karol Szymanowski. He studied piano at the Krakow Institute of Music and the Lwow Conservatory, art history at the University of Warsaw, and composition and music theory at the Warsaw Conservatory. In exile from the early 1950s, he started collaboration with Radio Free Europe in Munich in 1952 and was blacklisted by communist Poland’s censorship office in result, thus disappearing nearly completely from the country’s musical life. Even after the ban was lifted in 1977, he was never to become a permanent fixture in the Polish public mind, and performances of his valuable works are rare even today. He settled in Paris in 1972 and also died there. In the year of his 30th death anniversary, the programme of a monographic concert organised as a part of the Roman Palester Here and Now cycle recalls several highly attractive classicising works from his multifaceted oeuvre (also inclining towards dodecaphony and textural and technical sophistication).

Written during World War II and never before performed in concert, his wedding cantata entitled Wedding Cake, based on an Old Polish text by Sz. Szymonowic, was a gift for Palester’s newly-wed wife, Barbara Podoska. Old Polish contexts (dances quoted from Johannes de Lublin Tablature) are also invoked in his adorable chamber piece written around the same period, Concertino for Harpsichord, and in his sublime orchestration of M.K. Ogiński’s polonaises.

The ‘small concert’ style is also felt in his subtle Serenade for Two Flutes. Palester’s legacy is stored by the University of Warsaw Library, which has been its promoter for many years. This cycle, co-organised by the Library and the University of Warsaw Foundation (with the support from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage), is a part of the same series of efforts, which has already produced a number of interesting records, book publications, and a website ( Hence also the venue of the concert – University of Warsaw’s Auditorium Maximum, known for its outstanding acoustics – and the participation of the female section of the excellent University of Warsaw Choir. Conducted by Marek Wroniszewski, the concert features renowned soloists – a famous flutist couple Łukasz Długosz and Agata Kielar-Długosz, and a brilliant young harpsichordist Maciej Skrzeczkowski. [By Piotr Maculewicz]

We encourage you to take part in other events of the cycle:

Free admission!