Concert Dedicated to 100th Anniversary of Poland’s Independence

On November 18, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Tbilisi held a concert in the Hall of the National Library of Georgia, marking the 100th Anniversary of Poland Regaining Independence. The concert was opened by Mariusz Maszkiewicz, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Georgia.

“This concert if one of the events marking Poland’s 100th anniversary since gaining back its independence,” the Ambassador told GEORGIA TODAY. “The concert was preceded by the visit of Speaker of the Polish Parliament Marek Kuchcinski to Tbilisi on 5-6 November and the opening of the Polish Institute in Georgia aimed at developing cultural and historic relations between two countries. The Hall of Polish Art and Literature named after Henryck Hryniewski (1869-1938) has now been opened in the National Library of Georgia. The latter was a distinguished Polish painter who painted the walls of the hall at the National Library. We are proud that Poles have played a role in the cultural development of Georgia. As a part of the celebration of the National Independence Day of Poland, on November 11, 2018 a gala concert devoted to Frederic Chopin’s music was held at Tbilisi Conservatoire. The 5th Fryderyk Chopin competition featured young gifted Georgian pianists. We are pleased that Georgian youth are starting their musical career by performing pieces of this great composer, appreciated and loved not only by Polish people but also by other nations around the world. The concert held at the National Library was supported and organized mutually by Polish organizations and the Polish community in Tbilisi. The classical music evening was dedicated not only to National Independence Day, celebrated on November 11, but also to Konstanty Gorski, a Polish composer and musician who spent some years in Tbilisi. I think it is a good occasion and hints at the building of yet another bridge between Poland and Georgia,” he said.

The classical music concert, funded by the Senate of Republic of Poland, featured both Polish and Georgian renowned artists, including Lela Mchedlidze (violin), Nino Jvania (fortepiano), Yoanna Ayers (vocal), Kamil Urbanski (fortepiano), Giorgi Shaverzashvili (fortepiano), and Villi Grigoryan (vocal). Additionally, the Choir of the Polonia, Cultural and Educational Center led by Nana Kalandadze, dancing and singing ensemble of the Polish school, as well as Trio Bravo presented their shows as part of the program.

Specifically for this occasion, famous Polish composer, conductor and pianist Kamil Urbanski paid a visit to Georgia to take part in the concert. The musician is the winner of the Warsaw Jazz Pianists Competition as well as the owner of the Grand Prix of Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa contest. In addition, he also claimed the Polish phonography industry award Fryderyk in 2013. Kamil deliver concerts in many countries around the world including Poland, the USA, the UK, Czech Republic, and Slovakia, and now had his very first concert in Georgia.

The central theme of the concert was forgotten pieces by Gorski, little known to both Polish and Georgian society, yet an incredible composer and a virtuoso violinist. The program also included patriotic Polish songs and the anthems of both countries.

“With this event, we celebrated Polish Independence Day and performed pieces by Polish composer Konstanty Gorski,” Urbanski told GEORGIA TODAY. “Although he is little known in Poland, we are putting in effort to promote his name. It is my first concert in Tbilisi and I’m very excited to be here and to perform for the audience at the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia. The hall is very beautiful and the acoustics really unique. It became a kind of rediscovery of this distinguished Polish composer for me. His music is completely different to other music of that period, something ‘post-romantic.’ The piece I performed has a harmony which is close to jazz, and yet Gorski lived before the jazz era, which makes his music so unusual and special,” the pianist added.

Nino Jvania who played one of the Gorski pieces, shared her emotions about the concert with GEORGIA TODAY.

“It is always interesting to rediscover and play those composers who have been forgotten over time, especially such musicians who really deserve more recognition and are worth remembering. Gorski is one such composer. If fortune had favored him, he would have become one of the most vivid representatives of the Polish composers’ school. We thoroughly researched his pieces and we hope that in the future his music will be recorded on CD,” she said.

A competition ‘Following the evidence of Konstanty Gorski’ was organized in the framework of the project, with participants invited to search for documents, music notes, posters, articles and any other materials documenting the artistic activities of Gorski in Tbilisi (where he lived between 1883 and 1890). A number of prizes were funded by the Krakow City Council, LOT Polish Airlines and Hilton Hotel Batumi.

First prize went to Daria Szlezyngier, a young Polish researcher living and working in Tbilisi. She was awarded a two-night stay in Hotel Hilton Batumi by Hilton representative Nana Kontselidze. The competition was organized as part of a project co-financed by the Senate of the Republic of Poland as part of its support to the Polish diaspora and Poles abroad in 2018.

By Lika Chigladze

22 November 2018 17:39