We established the Mieczysław Weinberg Institute Foundation in February 2020.
We all got to know each other through the persona of Mieczysław Weinberg. Ania met Alek in Tel-Aviv on the occasion of the local premiere of “The Passenger,” Marysia and Alek met in Moscow at a conference devoted to the composer, and Ania and Marysia began their cooperation at the WarszeMuzik Festival. –It soon turned out that we share a fascination with Weinberg’s music and the conviction that we need an organisation that will dedicate its actions to the composer’s heritage. In 2023, Aleksander Laskowski resigned from the board of the Institute but remained a close associate of the foundation.
Violinist, lecturer, researcher, professor doctor habilitated of Fine Arts. She teaches violin at the Academy of Music in Cracow and the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and a course in Jewish Music as part of the post-graduate Polish-Jewish Studies of the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Science.
She became fascinated with Mieczysław Weinberg and his music as early as 2011 when she began working on his sonatas for violin and piano. Her fascination resulted in a CD recorded with Piotr Różański for the CD Accord label and a doctoral thesis defended under the guidance of professor Wiesław Kwaśny in 2015. In 2019, she organised the International Conference “Mieczysław Weinberg – artist in the face of history. Contexts, attitudes, interpretations” on the centenary of the composer’s birth at the Academy of Music in Cracow.
She has published, among others, in the “Ruch Muzyczny” magazine, the Jewish Historical Institute publishing series, the “The Holocaust of Jews” year’s issue, and the Nicolaus Copernicus University publishing house.
Maria Sławek performs as a soloist and chamber musician, and in the concert season 2017/2018, she was a resident artist at the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Cracow. In 2018, she was granted a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (i.a., the “Young Poland” scholarship), and in 2019, her next album “Rejoice” was released, recorded with cellist Marcin Zdunik (re-issued on vinyl LP in 2020).
In 2021, she was awarded the Artistic Scholarship of the Capital City of Warsaw.
Ania Karpowicz is a flautist, activist, and curator. Founder of the Hashtag Ensemble, with which she has been performing at the most important festivals of contemporary music since 2013. She is involved in promoting women’s art, as well as various projects carried out in cooperation with local communities. She is the initiator of the Warsaw Music Festival, discovering and popularising the forgotten compositional works of Polish Jews. Winner of the 2020 “Paszport Polityki” Award in the category of Classical Music.
“I got to know Mieczysław Weinberg through his flute literature, so it happened naturally. First, I included his excellent flute concertos in my repertoire, and then he was increasingly represented in the programme of the WarszeMuzik festival. Later it was time to issue an album and perform at concerts as part of the celebrations of the composer’s centenary in 2019, including the perfectly programmed Wajnberg@100 jubilee at the POLIN Museum. The result of this journey was the initiation of the Mieczysław Weinberg Institute. Mieczysław Weinberg’s music fascinates with a thicket of figures, motifs, and references, which – for musicians – are an excellent field of interpretative research. It combines Slavic lyrical expression and darkness, sometimes seemingly impenetrable. I am not at all surprised by the great and sincere enthusiasm of the artists performing Weinberg’s music.
We began our work by bringing Mietek back to his beloved city, Warsaw.
Already in November 2020, even before the official establishment of the Institute, we managed to get a commemorative plaque installed on Weinberg’s family home at 66 Żelazna Street. Thanks to our efforts, a new street was also created, Mieczysław Weinberg Street, in close vicinity of Żelazna, between Krochmalna and Chłodna Streets.
Friends of the IMW
Driven by his strikingly uncompromising artistic philosophy, Gidon Kremer has established a
worldwide reputation as one of his generation’s most original and compelling artists.
His repertoire encompasses standard classical scores and music by leading twentieth and twenty-first century composers. He has championed the works of Russian and Eastern European composers and performed many important new compositions, several of which have been dedicated to him. His name is closely associated with such composers as Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt, Giya Kancheli, Sofia Gubaidulina, Valentin Silvestrov, Luigi Nono, Edison Denisov, Aribert Reimann, Pēteris Vasks, John Adams, Victor Kissine, Michael Nyman, Philip Glass, Leonid Desyatnikov and Astor Piazzolla, whose works he performs in ways that respect tradition while being fully alive to their freshness and originality. It is fair to say that no other soloist of comparable international stature has done more to promote the cause of contemporary composers and new music for violin.
Gidon Kremer has recorded over 120 albums, many of which have received prestigious international awards in recognition of their exceptional interpretative insights. His long list of honours and awards include the Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis, the Bundesverdienstkreuz, Moscow’s Triumph Prize, the Unesco Prize and the Una Vita Nella Musica – Artur Rubinstein Prize. In 2016 Gidon Kremer has received a Praemium Imperiale prize that is widely considered to be the Nobel Prize of music.
In 1997 Gidon Kremer founded the chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica to foster outstanding young musicians from the Baltic States. The ensemble tours extensively and has recorded almost 30 albums for the Nonesuch, Deutsche Grammophon, ECM labels. In 2016/17 Kremerata Baltica was on landmark tours through Middle East, North America, Europe, and Asia to celebrate the orchestra’s 20th anniversary.
His commitment to the “discovery” of the composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg, for which Kremer has rendered particularly outstanding services in recent years, should also be emphasized. In 2019 and 2021, Deutsche Grammophon and Accentus Music released albums recorded by and with Gidon Kremer with orchestral and chamber music works by Weinberg.
Since February 2022 Gidon Kremer is officially named a Friend of The Mieczysław Weinberg Institute.