Christmas greetings from the President (EN) (13.12.2023)

Dear Members of the International Heinrich Schütz Society,

During the 50th International Schütz Festival held in Karlsruhe in 2019 Heidi and Wilhelm Holzapfel, who had both lived for many years in Poland and come to love the country and its people, suggested we might consider holding a Schütz Festival in Krakau. This we clearly wanted to happen, and after considerable time and effort we actually succeeded in putting on the 52nd International Heinrich Schütz Festival from 21st September till Sunday 24th 2023 in the historic city of Krakau, formerly the place of a royal residence and a coronation venue. The theme of the festival was “German-Polish Cultural Relations”.
In keeping with tradition the festival was opened on the Thursday afternoon in the Krzystof Penderecki Academy of Music, with words of welcome, musical contributions from students at the Academy and a talk by Dr Aleksandra Patalas, who gave the audience insight into the life and works of the Royal Director of Music Marco Scacchi and his ties with German friends, colleagues and opponents. In the evening we were privileged in St Martin’s to hear the wonderful Casa Consort, directed by Marcin Szelest, in a brilliant complete performance of the ‘Concerti e Canzoni’ of Adam Jarzębski (c1590–1649).

The Symposium on the Friday morning comprised scholarly papers by Prof. Walter Werbeck on Polish vocal music at the time of Schütz, by Prof. Marcin Szelest on Jarzębski’s “Concerti e Canzoni” and by Prof. Michael Meyer on “Organ Music and Organ Culture between Poland and Germany”. The organ recital by Krzysztof Urbaniek originally scheduled to take place in the Church of the Holy Cross in Krakau had to be cancelled at short notice because the new priest would not allow concerts in his church. However we were more than compensated by the alternative: a recital by Krzysztof Urbaniek on the outstanding Hummel-Nitrowski organ in Olkusz between Katowice and Krakau. This particular organ came from a joint Polish-German project by the Bavarian organ builder Hans Hummel (c1590–1630) and the Polish workshop of Jerzy Nitrowski (c1600–1675).

The Saturday began with a visit to the Biblioteka Jagiellońska where Dr Michal Lewicki showed us music and manuscripts held the library. This was followed in the afternoon by a guided tour of the city, and the day ended with a concert given by the Johann Rosenmüller Ensemble focussed on the works of the German composer Philipp Friedrich Buchner (1614–1669). Around 1640 he was active at the court in Krakau in the service of the powerful Prince Stanisław Lubomirski (1583–1649).

The traditional final event of our Schütz Festival, a festal church service, was held in St Martin’s with music again being provided by students of the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music.

This Schütz Festival could not have happened without the support of the Mathias Tantau Foundation, the Foundation for German-Polish Collaboration, the Landgrave Moritz Foundation, the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music and the Protestant Augsburg Church in Poland. Here we must also make special mention of the invaluable input by Prof. Marcin Szelest as our liaison in situ, and the work put in by our General Secretary Christoph Schluckwerder who rose tirelessly to the many challenges to make the 52nd International Heinrich Schütz Festival ultimately possible.

Our delight at the success of the Schütz Festival and the possibility for the first time for many years to be able to meet members from other Sections of our international Society, was sadly dampened by news of the deaths of various members of the Society.

On May 10th our long-standing member Hans-Peter Glimpf died at the age of 75. For many years he was director of music at St Saviour’s in Bad Godesberg and a loyal supporter of our Schütz Festivals.

On May 25th Helmut Wulz, Honorary Citizen of the town of Villach, died at the age of 85. He had been a member of the Austrian Section since 1965.

On September 5th Prof. Lothar Schmidt died at the age of 62. He was instrumental in the planning and organizing of the 48th Heinrich Schütz Festival in Marburg in 2017.

We will remember these late members of our Society with respect and affection and we extend our sincerest condolences to their friends and families.

The 53rd International Heinrich Schütz Festival will take place from the 26th to 29th September 2024 in the historic Hanseatic city of Lemgo, in cooperation with the MixTour Festival. I look forward to welcoming you all there. I wish all our members a smooth run-up to a very Happy Christmas, and all the very best for 2024.

Arno Paduch