Monday, February 4, 2019

Magdalena Grzebalkowska In Conversation with Andrzej Maleski, February 17, 2019, at 6:30 pm

The Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club is pleased to announce its next event, an interview with eminent Polish writer, Magdalena Grzebalkowska, reporter, winner of Nike Readers 2016 and the author of bestselling books: Father Paradoks. Biography of Jan Twardowski, Beksińscy. Double portrait, 1945. War and peace, Komeda, personal life of jazz. The interview will be conducted by Andrzej Maleski; rare photos will be shown, and books available for purchase. The meeting will take place on Sunday, February 17 at 18:30 in the welcoming residence of Marysia and Edward Pilatowicz in West Hills. RSVP to the President,, until February 12, 2019.

In Komeda, the Personal Life of Jazz, Magdalena Grzebałkowska reveals the personal life of Krzysztof Komeda and his surroundings. Komeda was a mystery man, he did not write letters, he did not keep diaries. To get to know the truth about one of the greatest Polish musicians, whose lullaby from Rosemary's Baby was heard around the whole world, Magdalena Grzebałkowska visited Scandinavian countries, Russia and the United States. She reached the last living witness of the tragic accident from fifty years ago and is the first to present her version of events. She discovered the personal life of Polish jazzman, Komeda, and the environment in which he functioned from the colorful life of Piwnica pod Baranami in Krakow and the birth of the Warsaw Jazz Jamboree to Los Angeles. This is a moving portrait of a generation for whom jazz was the most beautiful - and often the only - substitute for freedom.


The meeting will take place in the welcoming residence of Maria and Edward Pilatowicz, and the conversation with the writer will be led by Andrzej Maleski - all three individuals are a very important part of the history of the Modjeska Club, so we decided to share with our readers  information about them.


Andrzej Maleski (aka Andrzej Malecki) has been a member of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club since 1985. In 2008-2010 he served as the President of the club. Together with wife Joanna, they repeatedly hosted the Club's events in their residence. Before leaving Poland, Andrzej was the editor of the television magazine "Pegaz", where he dealt with film and theater topics. He was also the author of many television programs with the participation of Polish theater stars; he created many  documentary films. 

After emigrating to California, he continued his journalistic passion, conducting interviews with outstanding Polish artists in the Modjeska Club. Among others, he interviewed many outstanding filmmakers: Agnieszka Holland, Krzysztof Zanussi, Janusz Kaminski, Janusz Zaorski, Filip Bajon, Jan Kidawa-Blonski, Ryszard Bugajski. He hosted and interviewed theater directors Michael Hackett and Grzegorz Jarzyna, as well as famous Polish actors Barbara Krafftowna, Jerzy Trel, Andrzej Seweryn, Alina Janowska, Jan Englert, Danuta Stenka, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Krzysztof Majchrzak. Finally, he was given the difficult task to interview Polish politicians: Poland's ambassador in the USA, Janusz Reiter, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage Bogdan Zdrojewski, and the First Lady of the Republic of Poland Maria Kaczyńska who later died tragically in 2010. Andrzej Maleski was also the author of countless invitations and reviews from the Club's meetings, as well as the author of texts and songs for the Modjeska Club's cabarets and anniversary ceremonies. In 2012, he was awarded the medal "Zasłużony dla Kultury Polskiej" [Medal of merit for the promotion of Polish culture] by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.


Mr and Mrs Pilatowicz will host the interview with Magdalena Grzebalkowska in their residence, in which they have a great experience because they not only hosted many meetings, but also Club's guests - famous actors, film directors, who often received a wonderful holiday in California as a reward for their appearance in the Club.

Marysia and Edward Piłatowicz actively joined the Modjeska Club board in the early 1980s. They hosted many club meetings and events, including the historic meeting of the Polish Southern California community representatives with the staff of the newly-established Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles in 1991. The Christmas and New Year theatrical performances  prepared by Marysia, featured carols and poetic performances and were among the most popular Modjeska Club events. Two of these events recorded on tape can be viewed on YouTube: Pastoralka 2002 and Pastoralka 2004 (see the links below). A satirical compilation of songs and skits with the participation of many members of the Club, entitled "Piernikalia 2000" can also be viewed on YouTube, from the link below, Piernikalia 2000.

The twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club in 1971 fell during the term of office of Edward as the President. On this occasion, the Club received the medal from the Minister of Culture and Art of the Republic of Poland "Zasłużony dla Kultury Polskiej" presented by the Consul General of the Republic of Poland at that time, Maciej Krych. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary, the Club also published a booklet "The First Twenty Five Years ..." documenting Modjeska Club events of that period. This booklet, edited by Maria Pilatowicz, was given to Polish artists, musicians, poets and writers who were guests of the Modjeska Club. For their activity, Marysia and Edward received medals "Zasłużony dla Kultury Polskiej" and "Knight's Crosses of the Order of Merit" from the Polish government.


The Modjeska Club is very grateful for the generous financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Polonia Funds, and of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland (Consul for Polonia and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Ignacy Zarski). The concert, Mickiewicz Unplugged by the Piramidy from Poland (Piotr Kajetan Matczuk, Tomasz Imienowski) was fantastic and we are looking forward to bringing the musicians back in a year or two. 

We are also very thankful to Dr. Irmina Targowski and Dr. Andrzej Targowski for arrainging the hall rental at the elegant CenterPointe Club and for inviting us to Playa Vista!  We appreciate your support and are grateful for the use of this beautiful space for our meeting.

Poster for the Piramidy performance

Centerpointe Club, Playa Vista

The audience, in the first row Elzbieta Romuzga, Malgorzata Miller, Zbyszek Orzol,
in the second row Ewa Nyczak

Tomasz Imienowski and Piotr Kajetan Matczuk

Piotr Kajetan Matczuk

Musicians with the Club Board. L to R, seated: T. Imienowski, P. Matczuk, Elzbieta Trybus. L to R, standing: Chris Justin, Maja Trochimczyk, Ewa Barsam, Elzbieta Przybyla, Witold Sokolowski.

Musicians with the Club Board. L to R, seated: T. Imienowski, P. Matczuk, Maja Trochimczyk. L to R, standing: Chris Justin, Elzbieta Przybyla, Elzbieta Trybus, Ewa Barsam, Witold Sokolowski

Monday, January 14, 2019

February 3, 2019 at 4 pm - Concert by Duet Piramidy from Poland at CenterPointe Club in Playa Vista

Modjeska Club is pleased to announce its next event, a special concert "Mickiewicz Unplugged" performed by the Polish duet Pyramidy consisting of Piotr Kajetan Matczuk - acoustic guitar, piano, and singing; Tomasz Imienowski - bass guitar. The concert will take place on Sunday, February 3 at 4 pm, at the CenterPointe Club in Playa Vista (6200 Playa Vista Drive, Playa Vista, CA 90094; it is an elegant and modern private club with free parking under the building. Reservations for the concert please send to the President,, by 25 January 2019.  More information will be provided via email to members and guests of the Modjeska Club. Send your inquiries to the President.

This concert is co-sponsored with a grant from Polonia funds of the Ministry of Foreign Affaris of the Republic of Poland. Projekt jest współfinansowany w ramach funduszy polonijnych Ministerstwa Spraw Zagranicznych Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej.

MICKIEWICZ UNPLUGGED is a concert consisting of texts by Adam Mickiewicz, which were chosen so as to sound very contemporary. PIRAMIDY show Mickiewicz not as a poet who is only a bard, a symbol, a monument and the author of "Pan Tadeusz", but as someone who could write about love, about normal life, about what meets us, surprises and about everything that remains valid after today. It is sometimes cheerful and humorous, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes includes singing together with the audience, sometimes is very touching. This concert will certainly appeal to everyone and will be remembered for a long time. Additional well known songs with poetic texts may be presented as an encore. Mickiewicz, Stepy Akermanskie Mickiewicz, Przed wichrami Norwid, Rozmowa z piramidami



Pianist, guitarist, arranger, songwriter. Leader and founder of the PYRAMIDS team. Graduate of the Music Study in the piano class of Elżbieta Lickiewicz and Polish philology at the University of Gdańsk. PhD student at the Institute of Polish Literature at the University of Warsaw. The official patronage over his work has taken the Program 2 of Polish Television. He gave concerts in Poland and in Europe, including in The Hague in the Netherlands, the NATO military base Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum for the Polish staff commanding the mission in Afghanistan, in Vianden in Luxembourg, many times in Berlin, among others in Columbiahalle, Ernst Reuter Saal, Ufafabrik, Filmbuhne am Steinplatz - joint concert with Józef Skrzek, in Fontanehaus on the official celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the Berlin Wall, in Cologne, Munich, Frankfurt, Geneva in Switzerland in the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the UN in Brugg, Zurich or in Vilnius. Author of theater and film music.

He performs theater music at the Ateneum Theater, among others with Krzysztof Tyniec's band, author of music for the monodrama "Życiorys", dir. Wojciech Wysocki. He made music and appeared in the documentary entitled "Bard" dir. Katarzyna Kościelak (produced by TVP2), appeared in the film "Wałęsa", dir. Andrzej Wajda as one of the striking shipyard workers. For artistic work, he was awarded by the President and the City Council of Ełk - the White Lily 2009 statuette, and by the Mayor and City Council of Kościerzyna - Angelus 2010 statuette - for artistic achievements and work with youth.

Solo albums: • Conversation with the pyramids "(CD MTJ 2012). • Nasz Wysocki (CD MTJ 2013). • Bards of the People's Republic of Poland - a concert at the Polish Theater (DVD WFN 2014). • THE YEAR OF WAR (CD MTJ 2016). • A short CD about Okudżawa (CD MTJ 2017). He also recorded on many other CDs as a studio musician and soloist.


Tomasz Imienowski Bass guitarist, composer. He has been connected with music since childhood. He is fluent in all musical styles, but most often he can be found with an author's song, ambitious poetic projects. He appears on stage with Krzysztof Tyniec. He also collaborates with: Open Blues, Janusz Niekrasz Band (solo project TSA) and the band Pyramid. He plays bass guitar at the Ateneum Theater in Warsaw. He is valued above all for great "drive" and section work. He worked with the greatest stars and instrumentalists of Polish blues, rock and jazz (including musicians from TSA, Republika, Nocna Zmiana Bluesa). He was invited to a guest appearance on the recorded and released in 2012 concert DVD by Wojtek Pilichowski. Together with his friends, he has several albums that have been warmly received in Poland and abroad, and a vinyl (!) Single that Open Blues shares with American guitar star Alvon Johnson. He played over a thousand concerts throughout the country and abroad (Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Latvia, Croatia). He also gave concerts on radio and television.

Monique Lehman with her newest tapestry, January 12, 2019


Please save the date for the following events of our Club:

January 12, 2019: The Art of Seeing with Monique Lehman and Marek Dzida, Hellada Gallery, free admittance, public event

February 17, 2019 at private residence in West Hills: Magdalena Grzebalkowska talks about her biography of Krzysztof Komeda, RSVP Club members and their guests only. Interview by Andrzej Maleski.

March 17, 2019 at South Pasadena Community Room (El Centro St.): Krzysztof Dzikowski, songwriter and Wiktoria Tracz singer  present the Golden Oldies of the past 40 years, free admittance, public event.

March 28, 2019 - at Laguna Art Museum: Maja Trochimczyk's Lecture "Who was Helena Modjeska?" to accompany Helena Modjeska Exhibition, opening on March 3. Ticket $7.

May 4: Polish Engineers At NASA, organized by Artur Chmielewski and Witold Sokolowski

May 19, 2019: "Helena Modjeska" - premiere of a new play by Marta Ojrzynska, Magicopolis Theater, Santa Monica

June, TBA: Modjeska Club Fashion Show, details TBA, organized by Ewa Barsam and Syl Ves


October 2019, TBA: Lecture Recital by Prof. Slawomir Dobrzanski, celebrating Maria Szymanowska Year, with book signing.

October, TBA: Reception for guests of Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles and Winner of Helena Modjeska Prize 2019.

Friday, December 28, 2018

January 12, 2019 - Monique Lehman and Marek Dzida at Hellada Gallery in Long Beach

We cordially invite Modjeska Club members and friends to the first club meeting of 2019 with prominent artist Monique Lehman Chmielewski and the owner of the Hellada Gallery, Marek Dzida. It will take place on January 12, 2019 at 6:00 pm, at the Hellada Gallery, 117 Linden Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802. The number of places is limited, first come, first serve, so please RSVP to VP Witold Sokolowski by January 8, 2019 at

 Monique Lehman is the creator of fascinating fiber art, with original aesthetics and a great technique. Her works have been exhibited in solo shows and large exhibitions around the world, most recently in China, Uruguay and the Ukraine. They are also found in many collections of important museums and American, Polish and Chinese institutions. In the Hellada Gallery, we will hear about her creative ideals and we will see selected works. For many years, Marek Dzida has run the Hellada Gallery, where he holds lectures on the reception and creation of fine arts and presents many exhibitions. The theme of his presentation in Hellada will be "The Art of Seeing."

Save the dates for the next meetings: 3 February (Duet Piramidy from Poland at Playa Vista), 17 February (Writer Magdalena Gorzalkowska in West Hills) and 17 March (Krzysztof Dzikowski and Wiktoria Tracz at South Pasadena Library).


Lehman weaves a portrait of her father comic-book creater Mr. Chmielewski

A native of Warsaw, Poland and a graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, Monique Lehman is an accomplished and original tapestry artist whose work may be found in museum collections around the world (the Vatican, Long Beach Museum of Art, Central Museum of Textiles in Lodz, Poland and the Space Museum in Cape Canaveral, FL), as well as in many American public buildings, city halls, churches, hospitals and synagogues. Her creative output continues the centuries of development of unique fiber art tradition, previously unknown in America and created exclusively by Polish artists.  

Lehman in China with a poster based on her self-portrait tapestry

Monique Chmielewski came from Poland to USA in 1978 invited by an American artist to teach at her studio in California. When the Pope John Paul II visited Chicago, Monique greeted him by presenting his portrait she wove as a 6’ x 4’ tapestry. Since the American TV showed this event on the news, the public learned about the Polish tapestry school.

Working on a tapestry at home

Monique was invited to lecture about art and soon Polish tapestries became desirable objects for American collectors. Ms. Lehman, a member of Zwiazek Polskich Artystow Plastykow, shares her time between exhibiting, working on large commissions, and organizing art shows for artists from China in Poland and Polish artists in American and China museums. She is a real ambassador of Polish Fiber Art. Her knowledge of languages and cultures help her to promote Polish art in Asia and the Americas. This year she was invited as a special guest to World Textile Art in Uruguay and Biennale of Art in Karachi, Pakistan.

Fragment of award-winning Chopin Cape by Lehman

Monique’s accomplishment is bringing European visual criteria to America and China, as well as sharing Polish culture. Her monumental tapestries such as the parochet for Temple Beth El, La Jolla, CA, or the Portrait of St. Francis, typically take several years to complete. The large-scale works created on commission are just one side of her creative talent. She also developed an original style of abstract tapestries, that are three dimensional, may change shapes, and have a rich palette of colors and textures to express their themes.  

With large tapestry at Pasadena City College

Since 2010, she participated in 29 prominent international exhibitions on four continents (Asia, North and South America and Europe), including exhibitions held in: Ottawa and Vancouver, Canada; Oaxaca, Mexico; Beijing and other cities in China; the Lodz Triennale, and many other exhibitions in Poland (Bytom, Czestochowa, Gdynia and so forth), as well as Long Beach, Palos Verdes, Ontario, and Pasadena in California. She was recently invited to show her fiber art as a solo artist in Montevideo, Uruguay, during the WTA Conference in October 2017, and will hold a Retrospective Exhibition in the Museum of Textiles in Beijing, China, in the following year. 

Lehman with her Rain Forest tapestry

She promotes tapestry art by organizing international shows in Europe, China and the U.S. One of her internationally exhibited projects with contributions by 100 artists from 20 countries was the Memorial Tapestry commemorating the victims of 9/11. Monique’s goal was to promote polish art not only in the USA but internationally. The artist participated in many Contemporary International Fiber Art Exhibitions and served as a jury member since 2006. For her achievements in the field of fiber arts, Monique Lehman received an honorary degree of Professor from Zibo Vocational Institute, in the city of Zibo, Shandong Province, China. She included many Polish artists in the largest Fiber Art show in Asia,“From Lausanne to Beijing.” She is a judge of this show and invited eminent Polish professors to join her in selecting the work for display. 

Working on the tapestry for La Jolla Temple Beth El.

Her unique passion is Wearable Art. In February 2017, she received a prize for her artwork at the International Exhibition of Wearable Art in Palos Verdes, Monique promotes this type of art which was first invented by Polish art students, who could not buy fashionable or original clothes in the 1970s so they made their own. Her biography will be available for purchase and signing during this event.


Born and raised in Poland, Dzida emigrated to the US in 1990. His European education includes high school and university in the subjects of high mathematics, chemistry, electronics, film and visual art. In the U.S. he received a college degree at the LBCC, Long Beach, in the profession of Photography. Since 1996, the owner of Hellada Gallery, presently located on 117 Linden Ave. Since 1998, he has been the manager and organizer of the 2nd Saturday Art Walk in Long Beach, an art fair on Linden Ave. Since 2000, he has been organizing the annual photography exhibition, Exposure. From 2012 to 2016 he has served on the board of director of (CALB) Cultural Alliance Long Beach.

Dzida is active as a community leader and art activist. The growth of Downtown Long Beach is very important for Marek’s personal and professional adventures. Working with the community in shaping the future of Long Beach would be a creative concept, which will enrich everyone.

As a photographer, he has worked with many subjects in the task of illustrating all personal resources and inspirations in the artistic process: from discoveries in natural environment to explorations in human behaviors through all possible interactions between the two. Art-works consist of silver prints on paper created through traditional Black & White photography techniques.    

Monday, December 17, 2018

Jadwiga Baranska Receives 2018 Modjeska Prize from Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club

The Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club presented the Helena Modjeska Prize 2018 to the distinguished Polish actress, Jadwiga Barańska on December 15, 2018.  The presentation took place at the McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga CA (7570 McGroarty Terrace, Tujunga, CA 91042) during the annual Christmas Caroling party of the club, featuring soprano Teresa Kubiak and pianist Wojciech Kocyan in a mini-recital of Polish carols.

Jadwiga Barańska, actress and screenwriter, is a graduate of the Theater Academy in Łódź, Poland. A prominent actress with numerous leading parts in Warsaw theatres in plays from the classical and contemporary repertoires, she also played dozens of roles on Polish TV. Among the most important of her theater roles are Laura in The Glass Menagerie by T. Williams, Masha in The Three Sisters by A. Chekhov, Lavinia in Mourning Becomes Electra by O'Neil, and Joanna in Skylark by Anhouil.  Her two most important film roles are: Countess Cosel in the film of the same name (Countess Cosel) as well as the lead role of Barbara Niechcic in Nights and Days, an epic movie that was nominated for an Academy Award in 1976.

Maja Trochimczyk Presents the Award to Jadwiga Baranska

In 1977, the Polish actress starred in American film, The Widows’ Nest. In 1979, Jadwiga Barańska came to the U.S. with her family. Since 1993, she has worked as a screenwriter with the following credits: The Lady of the Camellias (1994, screenplay by Barańska, directed by Jerzy Antczak), as well as Path of Glory by Humphrey Cobb and Caesar and Pompey directed by Jerzy Antczak. In the award-winning film Chopin - Desire for Love, by Jerzy Antczak, Jadwiga Barańska shared the writer's credits, was an associate director, and starred as Justyna Chopin, Frédéric Chopin's mother.

Award presentation. L to R: Witold Sokolowski, VP, Jadwiga Baranska, Maja Trochimczyk, Ewa Barsam.

For her artistic achievements she received numerous Polish and international awards.  In 1975 Jadwiga. Barańska was the recipient of the Golden Cross of Achievement for 30 years of working in Polish cinema and Grand Prix for Barbara from Nights and Days from the Polish Feature Films Festival in Gdańsk.  In 1976 she was awarded Golden Grapes for Barbara at the Łagów Festival in Poland; Silver Bear (Grand Prix) from the 26th West Berlin Festival of Feature Films and Golden Apsara for Countess Cosel, at the first Festival of Feature Films at Phenom Phen. 

Jadwiga Baranska with son Michal and Maja Trochimczyk, October 20 Concert, Beverly Hills

The role of Barbara in Night and Days was also recognized by The First Degree Award from the Polish Radio and Television; The Golden Screen (the Polish  Emmy Award), the State Award of First Degree, and The Golden Nail of Season (the greatest personality, 1977). The next year she appeared on the list of 10 Best Actresses in the 35 years of Polish films. She also won the title of the Best Actress of the Year four times and was recognized by the Polish government with the Gold Gloria Artist medal for cultural achievements (Medal Zasłużony Kulturze Gloria Artis, 2008). In 1999, she was asked to make an imprint of her palm at the Promenade of Stars in Międzyzdroje, Poland.

The awards continued in this decade: Złota  Sowa  Polonii  (Polonia’s Golden Owl) for her film roles (2015),  Diamentowe  Lwy (Diamond Lions) for the best female role as Barbara  Niechcic  in the film  Nights and Days, at the 40th  Polish Film Festival in Gdynia (2015); and the title of the Mistrzyni Mowy  Polskiej  Vox  Populi (Mistress of the Polish Language - Popular Vote) bestowed in 2016.  In 2018, the film Night and Days (Noce i Dnie) has been voted the best Polish film of the past 100 years, by audiences in Poland. Dolnośląskie Centrum Filmowe:

At the December 15 event, Ms. Baranska not only graciously accepted the Modjeska Prize, but also made a personal donation (with her husband, famous film director Jerzy Antczak) to further the cause of promotion of Polish culture in Los Angeles.

Established in 2010, the Modjeska Prize honors the most eminent Polish actors and commemorates the patron of the Modjeska Club, actress Helena Modrzejewska (Modjeska, 1840-1909). Previous Modjeska Prize recipients include Jan Nowicki, Barbara Krafftówna and Anna Dymna.

The Award Presentation took place during the Annual Christmas Carols Party of the Club that also featured world-famous soprano Teresa Kubiak accompanied by equally famous pianist Wojciech Kocyan in a mini-recital of Christmas Carols, a holiday potluck of Polish cuisine and a sing-along of Polish carols.The event also included presentation of the newest members of the Modjeska Club admitted in the  previous six months, including actresses Aleksandra Kaniak and Katarzyna Smiechowicz Leconte with Dominik, pianist Wojciech Kocyan, publicists Syl Ves, Urszula Jaskolka Beaudoin, and young Polonia representatives Jolanta Budny, Marcin and Agnieszka Depinski, Sylwia Wilk, Bart Wojtyla and Izabella Lowtrip.

L to R: New Members with the President: Syl Wes, Urszula Jaskolka Beaudoin, Jolanta Budny, Wojciech Kocyan, Aleksandra Kaniak,Maja Trochimczyk, Katarzyna Smiechowicz, Agnieszka Depinska, Marcin Depinski with Adam, Sylwia Wilk and Izabella Lowtrip. 

Wojciech Kocyan and Teresa Kubiak perform carols.

Malgorzata Schulz, Maja Trochimczyk, singers Katarzyna Sadej and Teresa Kubiak

Best wishes for a healthy  and peaceful holiday season, and have a Happy New Year! 

From the Board of Directors of the Modjeska Club

L to R: Witold Sokolowski, Elzbieta Trybus, Ela Przybyla, Wanda Presburger, 
Consul Jaroslaw Lasinski, Ewa Barsam, Maja Trochimczyk, Chris Justin

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Christmas Carols with Kubiak and Kocyan - McGroarty Arts Center, 12/15/2018 and PNF Grant Information

Caroling with Teresa Kubiak and Wojciech Kocyan - Christmas Party, December 15, 2018

Helena Modjeska Art an Culture Club will have its annual Christmas party, to share the traditional opłatek, Polish dishes, and carols at the charming mountain-style villa of the McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga (7570 McGroarty Terrace, Tujunga, CA 91042), on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 6: 00 in the evening.

The program of our last event this year will celebrate Polish holiday traditions: after sharing the opłatek with best wishes, we will have a dinner buffet, for which we ask all members to bring homemade dishes (according to the proposed menu), and favorite beverages. We will welcome the newest members of the club that include several celebrities!

Caroling will start with a group of children in Kraków costumes (one carol). The highlight of the evening will be the presentation of three Christmas carols by the world-famous soprano Teresa Kubiak, who for 14 years was a star at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She will be accompanied by a world-renowned pianist, Prof. Wojciech Kocyan (bios attached). Then, all club members willhave a chance of participating in a singalong of Polish carols. Our songbook has 20 texts!

This event is for Club members and their personal guests.


A soprano, Teresa Kubiak made her American debut at Carnegie Hall in 1970 and performed operatic engagements throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle and Far East.  She sang with the Metropolitan Opera for 14 years and has performed in London's Royal Opera, the Vienna Staatsoper, Paris, Munich, Rome, Bulgaria, Russia, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Venice, Warsaw, Prague, Korea, China, Kuwait, Jordan and the Philippines.

Teresa Kubiak has appeared with the world's major orchestras and conductors, including the New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Munich Symphony, Puerto Rico Casals Festival, Ravinia, Chicago Symphony, Krakow, Katowice and the Lodz, Glyndebourne Festival.  She is the winner of five national and international vocal competitions and teaches master classes throughout Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and New Zealand. She has recorded for Decca, EMI, BBC, Argo, Mondo Italy and Polish Muza.

While regretting that Kubiak did not make even more recordings to preserve her magnificent talent, music critic Erik Eriksson thus summarized her career: “she used her rounded, soft-edged (but steel-cored) instrument [i.e. voice] to complement her shrewd characterizations in the Russian, Italian, German, and English languages, as well as for exemplary performances of songs and operas in her native Polish  Kubiak won the respect of many of the world's leading conductors and enjoyed a significant career in America, as well as in Europe.”

Teresa Kubiak was involved in judging many national and international competitions and is listed in the International Who's Who of Music and Musicians, Who's Who in American Women, Annals of Metropolitan Opera and Who's Who in Opera.  In 2005, she was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the Music Academy of Łódź, Poland, her alma mater.  In 2012 Teresa Kubiak, was awarded the Medal Fides Et Ratio (Medal of Faith and Reason) by the Warsaw University Association, Warsaw, Poland. The award—in recognition of artistic achievements, the celebration of Poland, and the promotion of good and beauty in the world—was presented by the Reverend Cardinal Joseph Glemp at the Warsaw St. John the Baptist Basilica on March 11.

For the last 25 years, Teresa Kubiak was a professor of music/voice at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music and officially retired in 2018. Teresa Kubiak has been married for over 50 years to her wonderful husband Janusz Kubiak, who is also an accomplished concert cellist.  She was blessed with two daughters, Margaret Kubiak who lives in Los Angeles, and Dorota Kubiak who unfortunately passed away a few years ago.


Pianist Wojciech Kocyan was praised for his “highly distinctive performances (…) superb, intelligent artistry (…)” (.Classics and “incisive temperament, impeccable technique and sumptuous tone” (Le  Monde de la Musique.)

He is a laureate of several international piano competitions, including F.Busoni and Viotti, as well as a special prizes winner of the XI International Chopin Competition and a First Prize winner of the Paderewski Piano Competition.  He performed in Europe, America, Mexico, Australia and Japan, participating in such music festivals as Musica Antiqua Europae Orientalis, Capri Festival, Bydgoszcz International Music Festival, H.M.Gorecki Festival, Beethovenfest, Paderewski Festival, Liszt Festival in Vienna, San Francisco Liszt Festival, Cervantino International Music Festival, Morelia International Music Festival and the Chopin Festival in Paris.  He has recorded for television, radio and film and his performances were broadcast in Europe, United States and Australia.  His solo and chamber music recordings can also be found on DUX, Naxos and Spotify. His latest CD, of works of Robert Schumann, was released by DUX in 2012.

Kocyan performs at Modjeska Club event in 2011 at Bowers Museum

In 2007 the Gramophone magazine, published in London and considered the world’s most prestigious classical music journal, called him “a genius…  stands ground alongside Pollini, Ashkenazy and Richter" and chose Mr. Kocyan’s recording of Prokofiev, Scriabin and Rachmaninoff as one of 50 best classical recordings ever made, alongside recordings of such luminaries as Leonard Bernstein, Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau, Nicolaus Harnoncourt and Arthur Rubinstein.

Dr. Kocyan is a Full Clinical Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence at Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is also active as an adjudicator, lecturer, scholar and arts administrator. He is regularly invited to judge music competitions at the local, state-wide and international levels. He has given masterclasses and lectures in France, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Japan, Mexico and United States, . He twice presented lectures and masterclasses at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference.  In 2015 he presented masterclasses at the World Piano Conference in Serbia and was appointed the judge of the World Piano Competition.

Maja Trochimczyk, Jane Kaczmarek and Wojciech Kocyan, 2011

In October 2017 he was one of five eminent international speakers invited to lecture at the international musicological conference “Competition or music put to the test”, organized by the Chopin Institute in Warsaw in conjunction with the 17thInternational Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition. His paper on the evolution of the performance style in the history of the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw was included in the inaugural issue of the “Chopin Review”, a leading publication in Chopin scholarship, published by the National Chopin Institute in Warsaw, Poland. He also presented at the Music Teachers Association National Conference in Orlando, Florida.

He serves as the Artistic Director and President of the Paderewski Music Society in Los Angeles and the Director of the American International Paderewski Piano Competition in Los Angeles. He is also the President of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers, Santa Monica/South Bay Chapter and serves on boards of several artistic organizations."


Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Modjeska Club Board, I would like to wish you all a peaceful, healthy and happy Thanksgiving. This is not a holiday that you could have found in the Polish calendar - the nearest to this idea is probably the Harvest Festival (dożynki) or the celebration of Our Lady of the Fields (Matka Boska Zielna) when we share  gratitude for the gifts of the earth: for food, flowers, and beauty that are a daily gift for us.

In America, children perform plays with pilgrims and Indians that share food and celebrate together. This is not true, because the original inhabitants of this land remember  the genocide, death and plunder that newcomers from Europe brought to them as an unwanted gift. Thirty million of Native Americans were killed, almost everything was taken away from them, leaving a substitute of sovereignty on the reservations (their vengeance is the casinos, they finally found a way to benefit from the greed of their invaders!).

Because Poland has been occupied by strangers for so many years, we are sensitive to their tragedies, but we celebrate Thanksgiving the American way. Gratitude is virtue in every religion; we are grateful for our roots in Poland, for Polish culture and history, for traditions cultivated in our homes. We are also grateful for our new country, for the freedom of choice, for work, houses, gardens, careers, customs, friends and even the climate – as we enjoy our new life that we've built for ourselves in California.

Within the Helena Modjeska Art an Culture Club, we are happy for the presence of friends and the opportunity to build new friendships in our Polish family in California. We are grateful for the talents and achievements of our outstanding guests - lecturers, musicians, actors, artists. We thank all club members and guests for their presence with us, for their work, talents, achievements, help and good humor. May this celebration of Thanksgiving truly be the holiday of Polish gratitude.

With heartfelt wishes,

 Maja Trochimczyk, President


On November 5, 2018, The Polish Consulate in Los Angeles held its Gala Concert in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Polan's Regained Independence, at the Colburn School of Music, organized with funds from the Polish National Foundation an the Polska Misja Handlowa, with organizational support from the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club.

Pianist Kate Liu played works by Paderewski, Chopin and Beethoven. Senator Anna Maria Anders Costa made a speech about Polish independence especially about her father Gen. Anders, and General Maczek - an all the soldiers fighting for independence in both World Wars. 

Consul Jaroslaw Lasinski profusedly thanked the Club for the organizational support without which this event could not have taken place. A short clip from the event was broacast by TV Polonia, however without attribution to Modjeska Club. 

Maja Trochimczyk concert review of both events, Katarzyna Sadej an Kate Liu was posted on the Chopin with Cherries blog:

and published by Post Eagle Newspaper on the east coast: (subscription needed).