Kulenty’s Music Blog

 News and information about past concerts, premières and events.

Posted 26 December 2012

‘Preludium, Postludium and Psalm’ included on CD

In december 2012 Preludium, Postludium and Psalm was included on the CD ‘Satin’ by Magdalena Bojanowicz (cello) and Maciej Frąckiewicz (accordion). Both musicians graduated at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. They also perform under the name of TWOgether Duo.

Preludium, Postludium and Psalm is a triptyk, in which the three seperate parts fluently go over in each other, even overlapping each other. Postludium is the upbeat for Preludium. In the end the mystic line of Psalm starts, in which the utmost possibilities of the accordeon and cello are used, untill almost inaudible pitches.

The CD can be ordered online at Sarton Records.  

Posted 8 April 2012

Kronos Quartet, world première of String Quartet No.5

Kronos Quartet with Hanna Kulenty

Shortly after the concert in Rotterdam

In 2007 Kronos Quartet ("probably the most famous 'new music' group in the world") commissioned Hanna Kulenty to write a string quartet. String Quartet No. 4 (A Cradle Song) was performed more than 20 times throughout the world, including at the Sydney Opera House (5 june 2009) and at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

In 2009 Kronos Quartet again asked her to write a composition. The WORLD PREMIÈRE of this String Quartet No. 5 was performed by them on the 19th of May 2012 at De Doelen in Rotterdam (NL).

On the picture above from left to right: Hank Dutt (viola), Kaja Majoor, Hanna Kulenty, David Harrington (violin), Piotr Majoor, Jeffrey Zeigler (cello), John Sherba (violin).

Posted 8 April 2012


Konikiewicz plays Kulenty

An unconventional concert took place on 23 March 2012. The four compositions on the CD ‘Music 4’ took a central place during a concert in which Polish jazz pianist Wojciech Konikiewicz improvised using piano and electronics. The program included:
GG Concerto (2009), for harpsichord and string orchestra
Music for Roy (2010), for mixed choir and chamber orchestra
Breathe (1987), for string orchestra
Sinequan Forte B (1994), for solo amplified cello with delay and chamber orchestra

The concert was co-organized by DUX Recording Producers
and took place at Lokal Uzytkowy in the old city of Warsaw. 

Posted 22 May 2011

New CD release Hanna Kulenty ‘Music 4’

Hanna Kulenty Music 4

On 13 May 2011 the CD ‘Hanna Kulenty – Music 4’ was presented at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. It contains 4 works that were all performed by the Wrocław Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum conducted by Ernst Kovacic. All compositions have been recorded in the studio, in presence of the composer. 

Gośka Isphording (harpsichord) and Bartosz Koziak (cello) are the soloists on this CD. Also the Wrocław Philharmonic Choir performs on one of the presented works. 

1.  GG Concerto (2009) for harpsichord and string orchestra
2.  Music for Roy (2010) for mixed choir and chamber orchestra
3.  Breathe (1987) for string orchestra
4.  Sinequan Forte B (1994) for amplified cello and chamber orchestra

There is an excellent review in Polish by Anna Iwanicka-Nijakowska. Read the review here

Released by the Wrocław Philharmonic and DUX Recording Producers (DUX 0823).
You can buy the CD online here.

Posted 15 May 2011

‘Trumpet Concerto’ at the Warsaw Philharmonic

The program booklet of the Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra

On 12 and 13 May 2011 Trumpet Concerto was succesfully performed twice at the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall. Marco Blaauw was the soloist of this award-winning composition, this time with the Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, conducted by swedish Niklas Willén. Since its world première in 2003 it was the 7th and 8th time Trumpet Concerto has been performed.

Posted 14 January 2011

Full of Grace: ‘Decimo Forte’

Emilio Pomárico (on the right) shortly after the première of ‘Decimo Forte’ 

On 12 January 2011 the WORLD PREMIÈRE of Decimo Forte, for choir and ensemble, was  performed by Asko|Schönberg Ensemble and the Nederlands Kamerkoor (Netherlands Chamber Choir), conducted by Emilio Pomárico, during the program ‘Vol van Genade’ (Full of Grace). The text in Decimo Forte is the Ave Maria. The concert took place at quite a suitable venue: the Laurens Church in Rotterdam (see picture above). A day later Decimo Forte was again performed for a full house at Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam.

Posted 5 October 2010

Two premières by Gośka Isphording

Gośka Isphording playing E for E. Poster of the Wrocław Philharmonic opening concert.

In 2010 harpsichordist Gośka Isphording premièred two Kulenty-compositions: G for G (for harpsichord solo) and  GG Concerto (for harpsichord and string orchestra). On 14 August 2010 G for G was played at the Procembalo 2010 Festival, the first International Contemporary Harpsichord Festival in Parma. GG Concerto was presented at the seasons opening concert of the Wroclaw Philharmonic on 3 October 2010. The excellent play of Gośka Isphording was accompanied by the Wrocław Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, conducted by Ernst Kovacic.

The two G’s in both titles refer to G-major and to Gośka, or Gośka Isphording, the talented Polish harpsichordist for whom GG Concerto and G for G were written. In its turn the title G for G refers directly to Hanna Kulenty’s first composition for harpsichord solo: E for E, written twenty years ago for the famous Polish harpsichordist Elizabeth Chojnacka, thus a work in E-major for Elizabeth. 

On 19 February 2008 Gośka Isphording also performed E for E during the ‘Musica Polonica Nova 2008’ festival in the beautiful concert hall of the Oratorium Marianum in Wrocław (picture above left). It is included on her CD ‘Per Clavicembalo Moderno’.

Posted 23 September 2010

‘Twenty-five’, a symphonic work

René Gulikers (conductor) and Hanna Kulenty on stage after the première of Twenty-five 

The legendary Warsaw Autumn Festival commissioned Hanna Kulenty to write a work for symphony orchestra. The result was the composition Twenty-five. On 21 September 2010 the WORLD PREMIÈRE took place at the Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio in Warsaw. Dutch conductor René Gulikers conducted the Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus.

Posted 17 May 2010

Opera: ‘The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams’

A succesfull POLISH PREMIÈRE of the opera The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams (libretto by Paul Goodman) took place at the Wroclaw Opera on 15 May 2010. The reviews were favourable and so far all performances have been sold out, just like 15 years before when the opera was premiered at the Munich Biennale. Below are two reviews of the first opera performances in Munich/Hamburg in 1996/1997:

After the Munich premiere, euphoric reviews appeared. Finally again a viable modern chamber opera was born. The reactions of the Hamburg audience confirmed the unique position of Kulenty’s opera.  [Hamburger Anzeigen und Nachrichten, 1997]

Sold out! And immediately four times. What the big Hamburg State Opera doesn't achieve anymore, is done at the small Opera Stabile auditorium. And then to think it is for a comtemporary opera. Hanna Kulenty’s chamber opera is on its way to become a cultpiece.  [MorgenPost Hamburg, 8-1-1997]

Now in 2010 the Polish title of the opera is Matka czarnoskrzydłych snów. It was directed by Ewelina Pietrowiak and performed by members of Opera Wrocławska, conducted by Wojciech Michniewski and Bassem Akiki.

“Hanna Kulenty's masterpiece explores the difficult subject of the multiple personality syndrome. Don't miss the chance to see one of the most acclaimed works in recent years”.  [Opera Wrocławska]

Posted 27 September 2009

Violin Concerto No. 2

Hanna Kulenty, Jacek Kaspszyk and Rafał Zambrzycki-Payne

Directly after Hanna Kulenty had finished her first opera ‘The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams’ in 1995, she started composing her Violin Concerto No. 2. She had it in mind for a long time already, but the opera had to be finished first to be in time for the performances during the Munich Biennale. Four years later, in June 2000 she was Composer-in-Residence with the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra of Gelderland Province (Het Gelders Orkest), and for this occasion Violin Concerto No. 2 had its WORLD PREMIÈRE with the Dutch violist Isabelle van Keulen on violin.

The POLISH PREMIÈRE was on 25 September 2009 during the Warsaw Autumn Festival at the National Philharmonic Concert Hall in Warsaw. The young violist Rafał Zambrzycki-Payne – winner of the first prize at the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition – gave a stunning performance. He was accompanied by the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR), conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk.

Posted 31 August 2009

The 10 best compositions of 2008

Hanna Kulenty’s String Quartet No. 3 - Tell me about was nominated among the 10 best  compositions of 2008 during the Dutch composition contest Toonzetters 2009. For this occasion the work was performed on 29 August 2009 by the Dutch string quartet Rubens Kwartet during a concert at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ in Amsterdam.

The WORLD PREMIÈRE of String Quartet No. 3 - Tell me about it had taken place on 7 November 2008 in Montréal by Canadian string quartet Quatuor Bozzini.

Posted 7 June 2009

Kronos Quartet plays ‘String Quartet No.4’

Right: Hanna Kulenty with three members of Kronos Quartet after the Berlin concert.

In 2007 Kronos Quartet commissioned Hanna Kulenty to write a string quartet. The WORLD PREMIÈRE of this String Quartet No. 4 (A Cradle Song), took place on 3 September 2008 during the Ravinia Festival 2008 in Martin Theatre, Highland Park, Illinois (USA). Since its première String Quartet No. 4 has been performed more than 20 times throughout the world, including at the Sydney Opera House (5 june 2009) and at New York’s Carnegie Hall (5 December 2008, picture left).

[…] But the most powerful work was Hanna Kulenty’s gripping String Quartet No. 4 (A Cradle Song) in which a poignant melody serves as the heart of a funereal threnody in memory of Ms. Kulenty’s daughter, who died in childhood.  [Steve Smith, New York Times, 7 December 2008]

Listening, though, to String Quartet No. 4, was a stunning experience. The song itself was a few simple measures, but as it gradually increased in complexity, we had to feel drawn into the strings themselves, the emotions, the stellar joy within the universe of its notes.  [Harry Rolnick, concerto.net, 5 December 2008]

Posted 8 April 2009

Filmscore for Polish television play

On 6 April 2009 the première of the television film ‘Kwatera bożych pomyleńców’ (‘Headquarters of the believing fools’) of Polish director Jerzy Zalewski was broadcasted on Polish television  (TVP 1). The filmscore of this film has been composed by Hanna Kulenty.

“The television play, with the beautiful music of Hanna Kulenty, is like an opera about a generation whose world has vanished forever.” [TVP, Daga, 16 March 2009]

A recording of Kulenty’s composition Trumpet Concerto (for trumpet and symphony orchestra) dominates the filmscore. It had been performed by Marco Blaauw on trumpet and Sinfonia Varsovia, conducted by Renato Rivolta. Read more...

Posted 8 December 2008

CD ‘Hanna Kulenty meets milf’

On 6 December 2008 the CD Hanna Kulenty meets milf was released. It is the soundtrack of the film Nieruchomy Poruszyciel (Unmoved Mover), a feature film of Polish film director Łukasz Barczyk. The soundtrack has been compiled by Hanna Kulenty, and some tracks have been reworked by Polish nu-metal/punk-rock/hip-hop band ‘milf’. It includes a specially composed electronic tape ‘Fabryka-tapes’, as well as parts of the compositions Preludium, Postludium and Psalm, Flute Concerto No. 1, A Third Circle, Still life with a cello, Violin Concerto No. 2, and parts of the ‘Hoffmanniana tapes’. The FILM PREMIERE was on 3 November 2008 at Cinema City in Warsaw, Poland. Read more...

Posted 9 November 2008

Music for the dance-theatre production ‘Lost & Found’

Lost & Found twenty-five is composed especially for the remarkable dance-theatre production ‘Lost & Found’. The 90-minute stage work for six dancers/actors, ensemble and tape brings an ode to the imagination and the absurd. It was produced by dance and music theatre company ‘Bollwerk’, under the artistic direction of Andrea Boll. The new composition by Hanna Kulenty is played live by ensemble ‘de ereprijs’ during all 15 performances.

The WORLD PREMIÈRE of Lost & Found took place on 7 November 2008 during the Cadance Festival at the Spui Theater in the Hague (NL).

Posted 2 September 2008

The 10 best compositions of 2007

Hanna Kulenty’s Preludium, Postludium and Psalm (for accordion and cello) was nominated among the 10 best  compositions of 2007 during the Dutch composition contest Toonzetters 2008. For this occasion the work was performed on 31 August 2008 by the Polish duo Eneasz Kubit and Jan Skopowski during a concert at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ in Amsterdam.
The WORLD PREMIÈRE of Preludium, Postludium and Psalm had been performed by the same Eneasz Kubit (accordeon) and Jan Skopowski (cello) on 9 October 2007 at the International Chamber Music Festival Schiermonnikoog 2007.

Posted 24 January 2008

‘Portret Hanna Kulenty’

Hanna Kulenty

In January 2008, there were two concerts in the Netherlands devoted to the music of Hanna Kulenty. It included the World Premiere of Kisses & Crosses, written in 2007 for piano and percussion. These concerts featured the Ensemble de Ereprijs, conducted by Wim Boerman, with soloists Frank Peters (piano), Marco Blaauw (trumpet) and Arnold Marinissen (percussion).  The performance dates and venues were: 18 January 2008 at the Korzo Theater, The Hague and 22 January 2008 at Musis Sacrum, Arnhem.

The concert program looked as follows:
A Sixth Circle – Marco Blaauw and Frank Peters
Piano Concerto No. 1 –  Frank Peters and Ensemble de Ereprijs
Brass No. 1 – Marco Blauw, trumpet solo
A Third Circle – Frank Peters, piano solo
Island – Marco Blaauw and Ensemble de Ereprijs
Kisses & Crosses – World Premiere - Frank Peters and Arnold Marinissen (Jan. 18 only)
Sesto – Frank Peters, piano solo (Jan. 22 only)

Posted 11 October 2007

International Chamber Music Festival Schiermonnikoog 2007

On 9 October 2007 the WORLD PREMIÈRE of Preludium, Postludium and Psalm was performed by Eneasz Kubit (accordion) and Jan Skopowski (cello) at the International Chamber Music Festival Schiermonnikoog 2007.

Update 2-11-2008: Preludium, Postludium and Psalm was nominated among the 10 best  compositions of 2007 during the Dutch composition contest Toonzetters 2008. For this occasion the work was again performed on 31 August 2008 by the Polish duo Eneasz Kubit and Jan Skopowski during a concert at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ in Amsterdam (see pictures above).

Posted 1 October 2007

Trumpet Concerto (german première), 2006

In 2006 Trumpet Concerto had its german première in Münster. It was performed three times on 17, 18 and 22 January at the Großes Haus der Städtischen Bühnen with Marco Blaauw on trumpet and the Sinfonieorchester Münster, conducted by Johannes Willig.

The pulsating rhythms and the constantly recurring motif of Trumpet Concerto, developed in an almost dangerous-pleasing way into a special kind of a ‘classic-rock’. The audience obviously had pleasure with this unexpected meeting and gave the composer – who was herself present – a big round of applause. [Westfälische Nachrichten, Harald Suerland]

A week later, on 29 January, Marco Blaauw again performed Trumpet Concerto, this time in Berlin during the closing concert of Festival UltraSchall 2006 - Polska Avantgarde 5 at the Konzertsaal der Universität der Künste Berlin. Martyn Brabbins conducted the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester.

Posted 1 October 2007

Soundstreams Canada 2005

On April 14th 2005, Soundstreams Canada presented Sonic Intuition: the music of André Ristic (Canada), and Hanna Kulenty (Poland/Netherlands). It was an extraordinary evening of music featuring,among others, the world premiere of Hanna Kulenty’s Brass No. 4, performed by Marco Blaauw on a double-belled trumpet.

André Ristic was not only featured as composer, he is also a great pianist. He performed Hanna Kulenty’s Drive Blues and together with Marco Blaauw he played A Sixth Circle. The concert took place at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto (see picture above).

Posted 1 October 2007

Other Minds Festival 10, 2004

Hanna Kulenty, Charles Amirkhanian and Nicole Paiement during the rehearsal.

In 2004, Hanna Kulenty was invited for a week to be a part of the 10th Other Minds International Music Festival in San Francisco. This Composer-to-Composer Festival was divided into two parts: first the major participants (prominent 20th century composers and scholars chosen from diverse stylistic and cultural backgrounds) met privately for four days at the Djerassi Resident, outside of the city. Then they returned to San Francisco for public performances and concerts.

On March 4, 2004 Flute Concerto No. 1 (for Microtonal Flute, Winds and Percussion) had its American debut on March 4, 2004 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. It was performed by Anne LaBerge on quarter-tone flute, and Parallèle Ensemble, conducted by Nicole Paiement.

“Kulenty's Flute Concerto No. 1 presented a fascinating new model of Euro-minimalism, full of elastic pulses and spiraling energies rather than the steadier grooves of American Minimalists. Kulenty wrote the piece for quarter-tone flute specialist Anne La Berge, who, fronting the Parallele Ensemble, conducted nimbly by Nicole Paiement, expertly traversed a beguiling structure that works its way from driving density to eerie sparseness”.  [Josef Woodard, Los Angeles Times]

Posted 1 October 2007

UNESCO’s 50th International Rostrum of Composers, 2003

Trumpet Concerto (2002) by Hanna Kulenty was awarded the first prize by radio music producers participating in the prestigous UNESCO 50th International Rostrum of Composers,
held at the ORF in Vienna, June 2 - 6 2003. For this achievement Hanna Kulenty received the UNESCO Mozart Medal from the International Music Council.

“One of Poland's most interesting composers of the middle generation”.
[Graham Dixon, BBC Radio]

Trumpet Concerto had been produced by Polish Radio at 3.3.2003 in Katowice, during a live concert (see poster above). It was performed by Marco Blaauw on trumpet, and by The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ronald Zollman.

On 22 September 2003 Trumpet Concerto was again performed, this time at the Warsaw Autumn Festival with Sinfonia Varsovia conducted by Renato Rivolta, and again Marco Blaauw on his red quarter-tone trumpet (see picture above).

Posted 1 October 2007

Potrait concert  + Arcs & Circles (2000)

On November 2000 a portrait concert was organized by DeutschlandRadio in Cologne. The concert was recorded for the CD ‘Arcs & Circles’. The below review was written by Maika Trochimczyk in 2001.

Kulenty’s chamber music

Hanna Kulenty's chamber and solo compositions based on the themes of “arches and circles” may be found on a new CD issued in Cologne, Germany by the Frau Musica Nova Foundation (Frau Musica 003).

The CD which brings together performances heard during Kulenty’s compositional concert held in Cologne in 2000 and broadcast by the German Radio (DeutschlandRadio), includes a set of works based on the idea of the “circle” – A Third Circle for solo piano (1996), A Fourth Circle for violin and piano (1994), A Fifth Circle for alto flute and electronics (1995), A Sixth Circle for trumpet and piano (1995). The movements flow smoothly from one into another – perhaps because all these works were composed roughly in the same period and feature similar compositional techniques applied to different instrumental textures.

In addition, the CD includes a solo percussion piece, Arci (1986), and ends with a chamber composition, Stretto (1998). Kulenty's music of great emotional intensity and virtuosity is played with mastery and ease by an international array of performers. It is one of the best CDs of Polish new music currently available and a fascinating portrait of an original composer. The program notes by the composer and German musicologist, Cordula Jaspers (in German and English), are presented in an elegant booklet. You can order the CD online here: http://www.jazzhausmusik.de