MARCH 8TH, 7:30 – 9 PM

Under the Honorary Patronage of the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Kingdom of Denmark Henryka Mościcka-Dendys

March 8th is the International Women’s Day. It was also Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen’s so-called “Roman Birthday”, which he celebrated every year.
On March 8th, 2019, Thorvaldsens Museum hosts a special talk-and-concert in celebration of the friendship between Bertel Thorvaldsen and the Polish piano virtuoso and composer Maria Szymanowska. Just like the date is significant, so is the year: The Polish Senate has officially proclaimed 2019 as Year of Maria Szymanowska in order to make her music known to a larger audience.
At the event at Thorvaldsens Museum, mezzo-soprano Elisabeth Zapolska and pianist Małgorzata Kluźniak-Celińska will perform songs and piano pieces by Maria Szymanowska, and art historian Karen Busk-Jepsen will tell about the friendship between the artists, based on Szymanowska’s letters to Thorvaldsen.
The event will take place at Thorvaldsens Museum, on March 8th, 2019, from 7.30 to 9 PM. The Embassy of the Republic of Poland, which generously supports the event, will treat the audience a glass of wine after the program.
Tickets can be bought here.

14 Letters and a Portrait Bust

Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831) was one of the first professional touring pianists in Europe. She composed songs and piano pieces in the so-called brilliant style – nocturnes and polonaises, romances and ballads – and she was a source of inspiration for her countryman, pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin.
14 surviving letters preserved at Thorvaldsens Museum, written by Maria Szymanowska to her friend Thorvaldsen during the years 1824-1831, make up a unique source of knowledge of her life. In these letters, Szymanowska tells openly about her life with its successes, privations, and compromises. The letters were kept secret for more than 100 years, and even in the 1960’s the museum took care not to unveil them. In our days, there is nothing to hide.

Elisabeth Zapolska, mezzo-soprano - opera singer and philologist, born in Warsaw and established in France - has long been involved in the promotion of Polish culture and women authors.
While studying French literature and applied linguistics at Warsaw University, she entered the F.Chopin National Music Conservatory and obtained the first prize for opera singing.
Her Parisian debut took place in 1987 at Radio France and was followed by engagements in numerous productions across Europe. Her constant search for new repertoires, her wish for the most varied vocal and scenic expression led her to create shows herself and to propose concerts which included works of less known composers.
She is president of the Maria Szymanowska Society founded in Paris on her own initiative and director of the international project Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831), a Woman of Europe.

Małgorzata Kluźniak-Celińska, pianist born in Kielce, Poland, she studied piano under Włodzimierz Kutrzeba at the State Music School in Kielce, attended master classes with Eugeniusz Mogilewski and received her Master's Degree in Performance in prof. Bronisława Kawalla’s class at the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy.
She has pursued a varied career as soloist, accompanist and chamber musician, premiered contemporary Polish and Canadian music and was recipient of the Special Award for accompaniment at the 2013 International Giulio Perotti Singing Competition in Germany. Currently, she is senior lecturer, accompanist and vocal coach at the Vocal Department of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and teaches piano performance at the Józef Elsner Group of State Music Schools in Warsaw.

Karen Benedicte Busk-Jepsen (born and based in Copenhagen) holds an MPhil degree in Art History from University of Copenhagen and has completed studies in Literature at Aarhus University and Université Denis Didérot in Paris. She is a trained choir singer from The Church Music School of Sjælland. Having held positions at J.F. Willumsens Museum, Skovgaard Museet, and Department of Arts and Cultural Science, University of Copenhagen, she is currently employed as a research fellow at Thorvaldsens Museum (since 2013). Among her research interests is the liberal mind-set in Thorvaldsen's early 19th Century Rome as compared to the censorship his works, collections, and circles were later subject to.