The concert season for the 2023/24 school year began with the November concert, traditionally held at the historic Szustra Palace. Ah, November – this time of year reminds us of the coming winter and gives us a feeling of pleasant preparation. It is a beautiful musical time when we can enjoy the sounds and chords that wrap our hearts. Those who attend our special November concert in 2023 will be in for an extraordinary experience that is sure to be the highlight of the year. This unique event, organised by Unisono, will showcase the exceptional talents of our students and faculty, who will come together to give inspiring performances in a variety of musical genres. From classical masterpieces to contemporary hits, the concert was a dazzling display of musical artistry that captivated audiences.
Many of the students who successfully developed their instrumental skills at our school and delighted the audiences at the concerts with their mature performance of advanced programmatic works left for their home countries such as the United States of America or China. The concert in November 2023 took place on 12th November at 15:00 in Morskie Oko Street 2 in Warsaw.
Ella Bai’s performance – November Concert 2023
So it was time to build up a new group of students who have recently started from scratch at our school. To encourage and support them, we changed the traditional order of performances and the November concert of 2023 was opened by Zofia Zwolińska former student Ella Bai, in whose performance we heard Nicolo Paganini’s Caprice No. 9 for solo violin.
Ella Bai mesmerised the audience with her virtuoso performance, effortlessly manoeuvring through the intricate melodies and lightning-fast passages of Paganini’s Caprice No. 9. Her impeccable technique and passionate interpretation were a testament to her years of dedicated practice. As Ella gracefully concluded her performance, the audience erupted in thunderous applause in recognition of the extraordinary talent she has developed at the Zofia Zwolińska School. Standing proudly on stage, Ella thanked her mentor and fellow students for their continued support and guidance throughout her musical journey.
After this powerful opening performance, it was time to introduce a new group of aspiring musicians who are just beginning their musical education at our prestigious institution. In a symbolic gesture, they took centre stage to showcase their progress since joining the school.
November is the perfect time to start planning our activities for the coming months. It is the time to buy the essentials for our winter wardrobes so that we can enjoy comfort and warmth even on the coldest days. But it’s not just material preparations that are important in November. It is also the perfect time to develop our musical passions. We can spend more time listening to our favourite songs or discover new artists and genres. So let’s enjoy this wonderful musical time of November! May the sounds be with us all winter long.
New musicians – November Concert 2023
With trembling hands but enthusiastic hearts, they began their first public performance together as an ensemble. Playing a simplified arrangement of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, each student contributed their unique musical voice to create a unified, harmonious sound that filled every corner of the hall.
Parents’ eyes sparkled with pride and teachers beamed with joy as they watched the novices take bold steps to pursue their passion for music. The loud applause that followed not only rewarded the children’s efforts, but also highlighted how dedication and hard work can transform novices into artists capable of touching people’s souls through melodic expression. Throughout the concert, more talented graduates took to the stage, each presenting different genres, from classical masterpieces to modern compositions infused with cutting-edge electronic sounds. These performances not only showcased individual growth, but also exemplified the seamless integration of technology with contemporary music.
Performances during the November 2023 concert
Then we had the opportunity to listen to four students who have just started piano lessons this school year (Hanna Malashka’s class).
- The first to perform was Jacek Dardzinski, a student of Hanna Malashka, who played the English folk song “Merrily we roll along”.
- Staś Przydacz, who has been studying violin for two years, this time as a beginner in Julia Levyuk’s piano class, played a miniature by Ludmila Bas called Lisek.
- Klara Farafonov, who is taking her first steps on the piano in Hanna Malashka’s class, performed Krystyna Drushkevich’s miniature “Fairy Tale”.
- Alina Piryna, who started from scratch this year in Julia Levyuk’s piano class, played 2 miniatures by Agnieszka Lasko – “The Clown” and “Night Creatures”.
- Hania Kaczmarska, in whose performance we heard Kankan Jacques Offenbach and the American folk tune “Clementine”.
- Jeremi Filar, who we heard singing Johann Strauss’s waltz “On the Beautiful Blue Danube”.
Yulia Levyuk’s class also performed:
- Helenka Hakiel, who performed Variations on the 24th Caprice by Nicolo Paganini, arranged by Isaac Berkowicz,
- Roma Fiderkiewicz, who performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s Minuet,
- KanKan, who performed the “Musette” by Johann Sebastian Bach,
- Basia Sobka, who performed two pieces: Christofer Bach’s Allegretto and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Invention.
- We also had the opportunity to hear Basia’s mother, Mrs Catherine Sobka, play an etude by Jean-Baptist Duvernoy.
From Tatiana Fedchuk’s piano class, Zoriana Polladko-Alleyen performed David Garr Glover’s Blinky the Robot and Marty Mier’s Shimmering Rainbows.
Peter Nermer’s violin class was represented by Leyao Wang, whose performance included Natalia Baklanova’s “Lullaby”.
From Zofia Zwolinska’s class performed:
- Staś Przydacz, who played the Ukrainian folk melody “We will go to the orchard for raspberries”.
- Jadzia Wichary – who performed the miniature “Crane” from the repertoire of Russian violin pedagogy,
- Tosia Rytel, who performed the miniature “Haying” from the repertoire of Russian violin pedagogy.
The violin soloists were accompanied by Tatiana Fedchuk.
The performances of the soloists were announced by Liza Maria Pietraga.
At the end of the concert, the headmistress of the school, Zofia Zwolinska, invited all the soloists on stage to congratulate them. She thanked all the teachers for their work with the students. She also thanked the parents and grandparents of the students for their persistence in encouraging their children to learn their instruments, which contributed to their success on stage, and invited everyone to the carol concert to be held at the Szustra Palace on 17 December at 15:00. At the end of the concert, to thunderous applause, students, teachers, alumni and the audience joined in the celebration. The energy in the Morskie Oko Hall was palpable; there was an electrifying atmosphere of pride in the school’s heritage and hope for future generations of aspiring musicians.
Music of Paganini
Niccolò Paganini, who lived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, was an Italian violinist, composer and virtuoso who is considered one of the greatest violinists in the history of music. His contribution to the development of violin technique and performance art cannot be overestimated. Paganini was also a composer, and one of his most famous works is a collection of 24 violin caprices, Op. 1.
“Paganini’s Caprices is a series of twenty-four short, virtuoso violin pieces, each of which is unique and requires extraordinary technical skill from the performer. Paganini wrote these pieces to demonstrate his extraordinary skills as a violinist, and the challenges they pose to other musicians have made them some of the most respected and challenging pieces in the violin repertoire.
Among the best known Caprices are pieces such as ‘Caprice No. 24’, which is particularly recognisable and often used in various arrangements and adaptations. This masterpiece is a well-known etude and has inspired many composers and performers.
Paganini was not only an outstanding violinist, but also a composer with a diverse musical style. His works include violin concertos, works for solo violin and chamber music. His influence on the development of Romantic music was enormous, and the technical challenges he posed in his works influenced the development of performance technique on the violin.
The concert in November 2023 was an event where we could hear Elle playing the ninth piece in Paganini’s Caprices series.
Benefits of frequent concerts – November Concert 2023 part of series
Frequent concerts by music students bring many benefits to both the students and the wider school community. These benefits are not only artistic, but also educational and social.
The first is the development of musical skills. Frequent stage performances allow students to hone their skills in playing an instrument or singing. Regular concerts give them the opportunity to perform a wide range of repertoire, broadening their musical horizons and giving them new experiences.
Another benefit is an increase in self-confidence. Performing in public requires students to be brave and confident. Regular performances allow them to overcome stage fright and learn to cope with the stress of public speaking. This in turn has a positive effect on their overall self-confidence, which can be transferred to other areas of life.
Frequent concerts boost musician’s development
Frequent concerts by music school students also have an educational value. Attending such events provides an opportunity to interact with a diverse musical repertoire and to learn about new musical styles and genres. In addition, seeing other talented students can be inspiring and motivating for others, encouraging them to work harder on their skills.
The social aspect of frequent concerts by music students should not be overlooked. Such events attract family, friends and the local community, creating stronger bonds between people. These concerts also provide an excellent opportunity to promote the music school and the talents of its students to a wider audience.
In conclusion, frequent concerts by music school students have many benefits for both the participants themselves and the school community. They develop musical skills, build self-confidence, broaden educational horizons and integrate the local community. It is therefore worth promoting and supporting such events as part of the music school’s activities.