News & Reviews


CONTACT: Matthew Bengtson, 215-704-4600;
Publicist, Trish Doll, Publicity Works, 717-445-6377

On Thursday, February 16, at 8 PM, pianist Matthew Bengtson and violinist Blanka Bednarz will be presenting a festival of the music of Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) at the rooftop lounge of Harnwell House, University of Pennsylvania, at 39th Street and Locust Walk. Admission is free and open to the public, but non-members of the Penn community should call 215-573-3497 prior to noon on the 16th to gain admission to the House.

The program will include Etudes from op. 4 for solo piano, the violin sonata in D minor, op. 9, the triptych cycle Myths, op. 30, Mazurkas from op. 50 and op. 62, and the Second Violin Concerto, op. 61. The program highlights the Polish master's origins in the German late-Romantic tradition with subsequent influences of Stravinsky, French Impressionism, and the folk music of the highlands at Zakopane.

Mr. Bengtson&8221;s recording of the complete Mazurkas can be found at Ms. Bednarz has toured her native Poland with the Atma and Huntington Piano Trios, under the auspices of the Karol Szymanowski Association. Both Mr. Bengtson and Ms. Bednarz did their doctoral research on Szymanowski&8221;s music and are tireless promoters of the composer, who deserves to be heard much more frequently in this country. The two performers have presented all-Szymanowski concerts in Boston, at Cornell University, in Philadelphia, and on a tour of universities in Kansas.

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