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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » August 2, 2014
The Polish Culture Voice
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Polish Culture Minister’s Awards: The Winners
August 2, 2014   
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Lifetime achievement award
Wojciech Młynarski
“We want to hear more of your poems and wise insights as they make Poland a better and more decent place,” culture minister Bogdan Zdrojewski said at the award ceremony.

An illness prevented Młynarski from attending the ceremony himself and his award was collected by singer, actress and journalist Magda Umer, who co-hosted the ceremony and is a long-time colleague of Młynarski’s.

Młynarski, 73, is a poet, lyricist, librettist, comedian, satirist, singer-songwriter, translator and theater director. Born in Warsaw, he graduated from the faculty of polish studies at the university of Warsaw in 1963 and that same year debuted as a lyricist at the polish song festival in Opole. In the 1960s, he worked with several comedy acts, including the highly popular Dudek, and also had a job at the entertainment department of Telewizja Polska, the polish public television broadcaster. He wrote many of his best-known songs in the 1960s, including “W Polskę idziemy,” (let’s hit the town) “W co się bawić” (games to play) and “Niedziela na Głównym” (a sunday at the main station). In the following decade, Młynarski started writing librettos to operas and musicals and also produced polish translations of lyrics to songs from popular musicals such as cabaret, Jesus Christ superstar and Chicago.

Working with the Ateneum theater in Warsaw, Młynarski directed plays about some of the finest singers-songwriters in Poland and Europe, including Jacques Brel, Vladimir Vysotsky, Marian Hemar and Hanka Ordonówna. He invented the so-called “musical editorial,” which are songs with insightful lyrics about life in communist Poland and after the fall of communism in 1989. In 2013, the first Wojciech Młynarski festival featuring his songs and other work was held in Sopot, the most popular seaside resort in Poland.

Wiesław Myśliwski
“Please, share more of your wisdom, as wisdom is what the world still lacks,” minister Zdrojewski said on presenting the award.

Accepting the award and referring to Zdrojewski’s new job, Myśliwski said, “the awards this year are very special, as they are your way of saying good-bye to us, so let me wish you success at the European parliament.”

Myśliwski, 72, is a novelist born in the village of Dwikozy in south-central poland. Myśliwski’s books have been frequently adapted for the big screen and stage as well as translated into english, german, french, spanish, hebrew, russian and many other languages. His most well-known novels include Pałac (the palace, 1970), Kamień na kamieniu (stone upon stone, 1984), Widnokrąg (horizon, 1996) and Traktat o łuskaniu fasoli (a treatise on shelling beans, 2006). The latter two earned him the Nike Award, which is Poland’s main literary prize, and traktat... Was also voted best book of the last 25 years by listeners of polish radio 2 public radio channel.

Myśliwski graduated from the catholic university of Lublin in 1956, majoring in polish studies. In 1955-1976, he worked with the people’s publishing cooperative as an assistant editor, journalist, head of the department of contemporary literature, and deputy editor-in-chief. He was also editor-in-chief of the regiony and Sycyna magazines about culture.

Marek Moś
“I Want to congratulate you on your enthusiasm as even when the ensembles you conduct perform sad compositions, they play with joy,” said culture minister Bogdan Zdrojewski.

“I would like for all musicians in Poland to be happier with each passing day,” Moś said in his acceptance speech.

Moś, 57, is a conductor, violinist and chamber musician born in Piekary Śląskie in southern Poland. He is the founder and artistic director of the Aukso chamber orchestra in Tychy. He also founded and for many years was the artistic director of the silesian quartet with which he toured the world, giving the first ever performances of around 30 music pieces written by polish and foreign composers. Moś has made recordings for Poland’s public radio and television broadcasters and he has also released albums on the cd accord and Olympia labels. In 2005, Moś received the silver gloria artis medal of merit in culture.

Moś is a teacher at the Karol Szymanowski academy of music in Katowice and since 2008 he has been among the judges for the opus public media award in the contemporary music category.

Narodowy (National) Theater

“I accept this award as the crowning achievement of our teamwork and teamwork is the essence of theater,” said Jan Englert, the artistic director of the Narodowy Theater.

Culture minister Zdrojewski said that only a few theater directors had retained their posts for the full seven years he was in office and Englert was one of the select group.

Founded by polish king Stanisław August Poniatowski in 1765, the Narodowy Theater is the oldest theater in Poland. Along with the Helena Modrzejewska Narodowy Stary Theater in Cracow and the Wielki Theater/National Opera in Warsaw, it is one of Poland’s three theaters recognized as national theaters with special significance to polish culture. Its general and artistic directors are appointed by the culture and national heritage minister. Past Narodowy theater directors include famous polish theater directors Wojciech Bogusławski (1783-1814), Kazimierz Dejmek (1962-1968) and Adam Hanuszkiewicz (1968-1980).

Stanisława Celińska
“Thank you for all the roles you have played,” culture minister Zdrojewski said.

Celińska did not give an acceptance speech and instead, she sang a folk song in a regional dialect that she learned in the early 1970s.

Celińska, 67, is a theater and film actress hailing from Warsaw. She made her debut as a theater actress in 1968, the year before she graduated from the national academy of dramatic art (PWST) in Warsaw. She played in the legendary student satirist theater (STS) and after graduation she appeared in plays staged at the Współczesny, Nowy, Dramatyczny, Kwadrat and Studio Theaters in Warsaw. She was also an actress at the Nowy Theater in the western city of Poznań. She has recently worked with the Współczesny and Nowy Theaters in Warsaw. Polish audiences are familiar with Celińska for her numerous film roles in both dramas and comedies, and for dubbing roles in foreign animated movies.

Paweł Pawlikowski
“In art, you need to search for paradox in the human soul,” Pawlikowski said in a video message screened during the ceremony. He was unable to attend in person and the award was collected on his behalf by Agata Kulesza, who played a leading role in Ida.

“Your films matter in terms of education (...) Thank you for your wisdom and sensitivity,” culture minister Zdrojewski said on presenting the award.

Pawlikowski, 57, recently rose to prominence as the director of Ida, one of the most popular polish movies screened abroad in recent years. He left Poland in 1971 and went on to live in Germany and Italy until he settled in Britain. He studied literature and philosophy in London and at Oxford Brookes University. He made his first movie in 1987 and has since won a number of awards at film festivals in Pesaro (Italy), London, Edinburgh and Toronto. Pawlikowski did not start to direct films in Poland until several years ago. In 2011, he chaired the panel of judges at the 36th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.

Agnieszka Grochowska
For her role as Danuta Wałęsa
In Andrzej Wajda’s film Wałęsa. Man of hope
“We have met repeatedly in the last several years, which shows how busy you are,” said culture minister Zdrojewski.

Hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between me and film,” Grochowska said.

Grochowska, 34, is one of Poland’s most popular young actresses. Born in Warsaw, she studied at the faculty of acting of the national academy of dramatic art (PWST) in Warsaw, from which she graduated in 2002. The following year, she started working with Warsaw’s studio theater and her roles in the seagull by Anton Chekhov and Amadeus won her a nomination for the Feliks Award as the most interesting theater debut of the season. At the same time, Grochowska launched her film and television career with a string of roles in popular polish dramas, romantic comedies and serials. In 2007, she won the shooting stars award for the most promising actress at the international film festival in Berlin. Later, she appeared in several movies co-produced by Poland and the united states, Norway and Belgium. In 2011, Grochowska starred in Agnieszka Holland’s in darkness, which was nominated for an academy award as best foreign language film.

Krzysztof Pastor
“We have reclaimed you for Poland after 26 years,” Culture Minister Zdrojewski said on presenting the award to Pastor.

Pastor is a choreographer and director of the polish national ballet. He has performed solo classical and neoclassical ballet parts and also pursued contemporary dance. He has been responsible for ballets performed by theaters and ensembles in many countries, including the royal swedish ballet, the Bolshoi ballet in Moscow, the ballet of Scotland, the Washington ballet, the Israeli ballet, the royal Flemish ballet and the ballet of the national opera in Warsaw.

Born and raised in Gdańsk, pastor graduated from the ballet school in his hometown and then in 1975 joined the polish dance theater in Poznań. While there, he worked with Conrad Drzewiecki and earned a reputation as one of the theater’s leading young personalities. He left Poznań four years later to join the Wielki Theater in Łódź. In 1983, he became a soloist with le ballet de L’opéra de Lyon, France, and in 1985-95 danced in het nationale ballet, the national ballet of the Netherlands.

Pastor created his first choreography in 1986 for the international ballet gala in Łódź.

Pastor had not worked in Poland for years when Warsaw’s Wielki Theater/National Opera asked him to stage Tristan to music by Richard Wagner. In 2009, pastor became the director of the polish national ballet and has since staged his earlier ballets in Warsaw, including Kurt Weil (2009) and in light and shadow (2010). In 2011, he unveiled a brand-new production entitled I przejdą deszcze... (and the rain will pass, 2011).

Visual arts
Krzysztof Gierałtowski
“All of your portraits make history as a canon of photography, which is an extremely important branch of culture,” said Culture Minister Zdrojewski.

“Many years ago i discovered that individualism is a fundamental value in Poland (...) I hope young photographers will follow in my footsteps and paint a picture of a Poland that we need so much to build our identity,” Gierałtowski said when explaining why he chose to pursue portrait photography.

Gierałtowski, 75, is a versatile photographer whose work was recently celebrated in an exhibition entitled a portrait without a face. One of his most famous photographic projects is a collection of over 80,000 negatives entitled poles, contemporary portraits.

Photographs by Gierałtowski have been featured in numerous individual and collective exhibitions at famous museums and galleries in Poland and abroad. Before he became a photographer, Gierałtowski studied at medical schools in Gdańsk (1956-1958) and Warsaw (1958-1960). In 1961-1964, he studied at the Łódź film school and started taking pictures in 1961. His work was first shown at an exhibition in 1963.

Over the years, Gierałtowski has worked with magazines such as Perspektywy, Razem and Twój Styl, taking fashion photographs as well as working as a photojournalist. He has also worked with publishing houses and done photo shoots for advertising campaigns in Poland and Western Europe.

For over 30 years, Gierałtowski has been taking portraits of prominent poles, including artists, academics, politicians and intellectuals. As he takes the pictures, he says he is most interested in the personalities of the people he photographs. He puts the people in settings referring to their jobs, achievements and habits that are well known to the public. His portraits include exaggerated, surprising and amusing scenes.

Gierałtowski spent many years taking black-and-white photographs only, but he recently introduced color to his work, often using garish and energizing colors to help him create new portraits of his contemporaries.

Folk arts
Jan Karpiel-Bułecka
“I congratulate you on your patience with your students,” Culture Minister Zdrojewski said to Karpiel-Bułecka.

The latter gave his acceptance speech in the highland vernacular—a dialect hard to understand to listeners in other regions of Poland.

Karpiel-Bułecka is an instrumentalist in the band Kapela z Podhala (The Podhale Band) who play traditional highland ballads, wedding songs and other folk tunes from the mountainous region of Podhale in southern Poland.

Karpiel-Bułecka has educated many young musicians who went on to write traditional music in the highland vein. Together with Stanisław Michalczak, Karpiel-Bułecka recorded an album with the quartet headed by jazz musician Zbigniew Namysłowski that won the Fryderyk Polish music award in 1996.

The members of Kapela z Podhala first met in their school days and have since played together on a more or less regular basis. In addition to four violins and a local variety of the cello, they also play Podhale-style bagpipes, alpenhorns and pipes. The band has won a number of awards, including the Oskar Kolberg award, which is Poland’s most important prize given to folk artists.

Promotion of culture
Architektura Magazine
“A great many people with a passion for architecture have worked with us for the past 20 years and i hope this award gives a sense of satisfaction to them as well,” Porębska said on collecting the award. “

”It is our joint responsibility to make sure the space we live in looks good,” said culture minister Zdrojewski.

The Architektura (Architecture) monthly magazine, published since 1994 by the Murator SA Company, prints articles about new buildings with a focus on projects developed in Poland. The articles come with small blueprints for the buildings. Architektura also contains columns, interviews and articles on current affairs, and there is a large section for students of architecture. Every year, the magazine holds a competition called “life in architecture.”

Ewa Porębska has been the editor-in-chief of Architektura since the magazine was first published.

Promotion of Culture
Jadwiga Mackiewicz
“You have been providing education to the youngest students since 1960s. In total, around 2.5 million children have attended your classes,” said Culture Minister Zdrojewski.

“I feel a little awkward, i want to share this award with my children who have remained faithful to music, both the young ones and those who are in their 50s,” a moved Mackiewicz said.

Mackiewicz, 84, is a Warsaw-born music educator who works with child audiences under the stage name of Ciocia Jadzia (Auntie Jadzia).

She started hosting concerts for children at the national philharmonic in Warsaw in 1955 and went on to host other such concerts at the Pomeranian philharmonic in Bydgoszcz in 1960-1963 and the Cracow philharmonic in 1977-1984. She was the host of popular broadcasts for children on Poland’s public radio until 1981, when she lost her job due to martial law. In 1982-2007, Mackiewicz was a music history teacher at the J. Elsner state high school of music and the Z. Brzeski music high school in Warsaw.

In 1949, Mackiewicz graduated from the E. Orzeszkowa pedagogical high school in Warsaw, where she learned to play the piano and the violin until 1953. In 1950, she enrolled at the faculty of polish studies at the university of Warsaw. In 1953-1958, she studied eurhythmics at the no. 1 state music high school in Warsaw and continued the studies in 1959-1963 at the Frederic Chopin university of music in Warsaw. She obtained her degree in music theory at the university’s faculty of theory, composition and conducting.

Protection of National Heritage
Zofia Gołubiew
“You head of one of Poland’s most important cultural institutions (...) Working together wasn’t always easy, but the results are outstanding,” Culture Minister Zdrojewski told Gołubiew on presenting the award.

“As I am collecting this award, the museum is turning 135 (...) This is about teamwork and I hope the award gives a sense of satisfaction to all who work at the museum,” Gołubiew said in her acceptance speech.

Gołubiew, director of the national museum in Cracow, has spent her entire career working with the museum. In 1974, she became a journalist with the museum’s publishing house and then in 1980 she became head of the department of modern polish painting and sculpture. In 1996, she became the museum’s deputy science and education director.

Gołubiew was appointed the National Museum’s director in 2000 and that same year she became a member of the Culture and National Heritage Minister’s Museum Council.

Gołubiew is a graduate of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, where she majored in art history.

Protection of National Heritage
Paweł Jaskanis
“I’m sure King Jan III would have been proud of you,” Culture Minister Zdrojewski said on presenting the award.

“This award encapsulates the expertise of museologists and restorers. I want to dedicate it to my parents, but also to all museum workers (...) I encourage everybody to come to Wilanów,” said Jaskanis.

Jaskanis, 56, is director of Warsaw’s Wilanów Palace Museum, which is named after King Jan III Sobieski, who resided in the palace in the 17th century.

An art historian and archeologist, Jaskanis is a graduate of the University of Warsaw. He worked at the restoration studio of the Culture Ministry and then in the ministry’s Department of the Arts. He was the Deputy Chief Restorer of Heritage Sites in 1996 and remained in this capacity until he was appointed Director-General of the office of the chief restorer of heritage sites in 1999. After the office was closed down in 2002, Jaskanis applied to become the director of the Wilanów Palace Museum. He took over the post in July 2002.

Jaskanis has been a member of the Heritage Site Protection Council since 2008 and since 2009 has been the chairman of the museum council. He is also deputy chairman of the Polish National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

Culture online
Izabela Sadowska
“A lot has been achieved over a short period of time and the number of online readers has doubled in just several months,” Culture Minister Zdrojewski said, highlighting the fact that, unlike many other winners this year, lubimyczytac.pl has been operating for a very short time.

“Our website users have posted over 700,000 opinions and reviews and given millions of ratings. They form a fantastic knowledge base and I want to thank them for that,” Sadowska said in her acceptance speech.

Sadowska is CEO of lubimyczytac.pl (We Like Reading), a social networking website for book lovers, visited by 2 million users a month.
The website says it aims to be “a welcoming and interesting place for all literature lovers, no matter if they are traditionalists who like paper versions, or if they are tech aficionados with a weak spot for e-book readers.”

The website also says it seeks to inspire readers “to reach for new books and never quit searching for something fascinating to read.”

Special Award
Julia Kijowska
“She is an exceptional actress, also because she often gets difficult roles,” Culture Minister Zdrojewski said.

Kijowska is a young actress who has worked at the Ateneum Theater in Warsaw since the 2013/2014 season. Her latest role is that of blanche in a Polish-language production of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. In 2007, Kijowska won the Tadeusz Łomnicki Sscholarship for “undisputed achievements as an actress within five years after graduation.”

Kijowska graduated from the National Academy of Dramatic Art (PWST) in Warsaw in 2005 and between 2006 and 2012 she was an actress at Warsaw’s Dramatyczny Theater.

The Ateneum Theater production of a streetcar named desire has been directed by Bogusław Linda, one of the most popular polish actors of the past several decades. Linda collected the award on kijowska’s behalf.

Patron of the Arts
Royal Łazienki Museum Patrons club
“We spend around zl.12.5 billion on culture a year and over zl.1 billion of that comes from sponsors. Your group has worked with the Łazienki Museum for years—we hope to see more,” said Culture Minister Zdrojewski.

“Supporting culture is not only our obligation, but also a privilege because culture is the hallmark of every country and every nation,” said PZU president Andrzej Klesyk, who collected the award on behalf of the Royal Łazienki Museum Patrons Club. “Supporting culture is not only our obligation, but also a privilege because culture is the hallmark of every country and every nation,” said PZU president Andrzej Klesyk, who collected the award on behalf of the Royal Łazienki Museum Patrons Club.

The members of the Royal Łazienki Museum Patrons Club are four large corporations: PZU, ENEA, KGHM POLSKA MIEDŹ SA, and the China Minmetals Corporation. Thanks to their support, the Royal Łazienki Museum in Warsaw has been able to obtain state-of-the-art security equipment, replace an outdated power network and install illumination on buildings in the Royal Łazienki Park. The Club will also help the museum open a Nature Garden with Chinese architecture.
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