Official launch of the Oskar Kolberg Year - miniatura

Official launch of the Oskar Kolberg Year

18 February 2014

This Friday sees the launch of the Oskar Kolberg Year celebrations in Poland. Between 21 and 24 February a series of events is scheduled to commemorate this prominent folklorist and ethnographer on the bicentenary of his birth.

On 24 February the Warsaw Philharmonic is hosting an inaugural concert “From Kojaviak to Krzesany”.

The hall’s stage will be taken over by masters of traditional music – Jan Brodka and Trombity Ziemi Żywieckiej, Zofia Warych, Piotr Gaca together with Wielka Orkiestra Gaców, Trebunie-

Tutki, Zbigniew Namysłowski Quintet, Kapela ze Wsi Warszawa (Warsaw Village Band), along with pianist Magdalena Lisak accompanied by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk. The programme will feature traditional music of the region of Radom and Podhale, as well as Zbigniew Namysłowski’s hit “Kojaviak goes funky”, a fragment of Karol Szymanowski’s “Harnasie” and Fryderyk Chopin’s “Fantasy on Polish Airs”.

The concert will be broadcast by Polish Radio 2 on Tuesday, 25 February, at 7:30pm.

Directly after the concert, at 10pm, Warsaw’s Ethnographic Museum will launch its Dance Night. Guests will be led from the philharmonic hall to the museum in a vibrant procession dancing to the sounds of traditional music from Poland’s different regions. Among the performers will be Piotr Gaca and Wielka Orkiestra Gaców, whose young musicians will also play as part of their own, smaller bands (the Niwińskis band, Janusz Prusinowski Trio, Tomek Stachura’s band, Maciej Żurek, Ewa Grochowska, Marcin Drabik). The Trebunie - Tutki band will give participants a good sample of highland music. Those not fully skilled in traditional dance will have a chance to learn the basic steps of both highland and lowland dances during mini-workshops. A great majority of rural music recorded in Oskar Kolberg’s writings are dance melodies – let’s discover and experience them anew! Let’s move our feet and dance! Admission to the dance feast is free.

Oskar Kolberg’s birthday falls on 22 February. A day before, on 21 February, his hometown of Przysucha is hosting a gala concert, featuring Kolberg’s works performed by Iwona Kowalkowska (soprano), Wojciech Maciejowski (tenor) and Andrzej Tatarski (piano). The audience will also be treated to traditional music performed by Piotr Gaca, Tadeusz Jedynak and Maria Siwiec, along with the Niwinskis band and the Mogilianie regional ensemble. The Oskar Kolberg Museum in Przysucha will open an exhibition “Traditional music and folk instruments of the Radom region”, which may be viewed along with its permanent exhibition “Oskar Kolberg (1814 - 1890). Folklorist, ethnographer, composer”.

On 21 and 22 February, an international conference on “Oskar Kolberg – forerunner of European folkloristics” will take place at the Tyszkiewicz Palace in Warsaw. The two-day meeting of Polish and international musicologists will conclude with a concert of the Janusz Prusinowski Trio.

On 22 February the Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw will open its new temporary exhibition “Give Kolberg thanks for the laborious work of his. Oskar Kolberg: ethnographer, musicographer, chopinologist“.

22 February will also see the launch of The Oskar Kolberg Guide, a special multimedia application for smartphones using the Android system, enabling users to track and discover places connected with the ethnographer’s life and work.

For more information on the celebrations, please visit

The year 2014 was declared the Kolberg Year by Polish parliament’s lower house, the Sejm, on 6 December 2013 to mark the bicentenary of the great folklorist and ethnographer. The anniversary is celebrated under UNESCO’s auspices.

The Kolberg Year Celebrations Office is run by the Institute of Music and Dance in Warsaw.

The celebrations are held in association with the Oskar Kolberg Institute, the Forum

of Traditional Music, the Polish Ethnological Society, the Open-Air Museum of Rural

Architecture in Radom, the Polish Radio, the Folk Artists Association, the Art Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Polish Composers’ Union, the Institute of Musicology, University of Warsaw, the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, and the National Audiovisual Institute in Warsaw.