Monday, February 27, 2012

Maria Pilatowicz at the Ruskin, with Zhou and Katisse, 3/11/2012

You are cordially invited to a celebration of the literary talents of our own Maria Pilatowicz. She will read fragments from her novel, Walking on Ice (Tate Publishing, 2012) and will be interviewed by Andrzej Maleski. The star of our evening will also sign her books that will be available for purchase.

The program will start from a mini-concert by Sue Zhou and Katisse, presenting Bach Piazzola, and Szymanowska. The event will take place at the historical Ruskin Art Club, a 120-year old cultural landmark of Los Angeles (800 South Plymouth Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90005) on Sunday, March 11, 2011 at 7 p.m. Free for members, $10 donation from guests.

Maria J. Pilatowicz was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland. She earned her BA in English at California State University, Northridge, and her MA at the Professional Writing Program of the University of Southern California. Her essays appeared in New Horizon International Review and Northridge Review. Her fiction was published in the Southern California Anthology, in The Southern Anthology and in What(!) Magazine. It also appeared locally in various small presses. She is a finalist of Southern Prize Competition, recipient of the honorable mention in ED Moses Writing Competition, and in the category of Literary Short Story in Writer Digest Magazine Writing Competition.

From the publisher's website: "In Walking on Ice, Maria Pilatowicz paints a poignant picture of a girl breaking into adolescence while trying to balance on the system's slippery surface. Agnes, a young girl in Poland, shares her life with us as she tries to find her place in her family and her country. But the more she learns, the more out of place she becomes. When Comrade Stalin dies, Agnes's father pushes the limits and is sent to prison for crimes against them. So now Agnes and her mother are alone in the icy waters of an oppressive system run by an unpredictable government. Agnes starts to learn the difference between truth and lies, but she knows she can never escape as long as they are in charge."



1. J.S. Bach - Flute Sonata No.1 in b minor BWV 1030, - 1st movement, Andante
Sue Zhou - piano, Katisse - Flute

2. Astor Piazzolla - Tango No.2, Andante rubato, melancolico
Sue Zhou - piano

3. Maria Agata Szymanowska - Menuetto and Trio, No.1 and 2
Sue Zhou - piano
Katisse - tenor saxophone

Hailing from Shanghai, China, Sue Zhou started her formal piano training at the age of 15. She continued her education by graduating from the Los Angeles High School for the Arts, specializing in Classical Piano under the tutelage of Roza Yoder. She received her Bachelors in Classical Performance from UC Irvine under the instruction of Dr. Lorna Griffitt. In the past years, she has taken part and performed in festivals all over the world, including Los Angeles, France, Italy and China. Ms. Zhou recently completed her Masters in Classical Piano Performance at Azusa Pacific University, guided by Professor Yoder. Recent wins include the CAPMT Sonata Adult Division I competition. Sue is blessed to have a burgeoning studio in the West Los Angeles area, and is an active member of the MTAC.

graduated from the L.A. County High School for the Arts and then from the Grove School of Music where he studied with multi-Grammy winning jazz legend, Rob McConnell. He received an NEA Jazz Fellowship Grant to study with woodwind master, Bill Green, attended the National Music Camp at Interlochen Michigan, and won the L.A. Jazz Society's New Talent Award. Upon hearing Katisse as a guest soloist with the LA Guitar Quartet Allan Kozinn of The New York Times described him as , "...a flutist whose ornate improvisations transformed this vocal score into a virtuosic instrumental work". Tom Meek wrote this for the LA Weekly pick of the week- "Katisse Buckingham leads a double musical life, most often as one of the area's most sought-after woodwind players. But on the last Thursday of every month, he leads his own band in a unique mix of jazz, soul, hip-hop & rap, beatboxing his way through flutes and leaving even seasoned studio veterans often in astonishment."

Katisse plays Tenor, Alto & Soprano Saxophones, Flute, Alto Flute & Ethnic Flutes as well as spoken word. He has performed and/or recorded with Yellowjackets, Prince, Dr. Dre, Airto & Flora Purim, Billy Childs, Vanessa Paradis, Herbie Hancock, Poncho Sanchez, Dave Douglas, Andy Summers, Pete Yorn, Colin Hay, Brian Auger, John Patitucci, Ricky Lawson, Terri Lyne Carrington, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Strunz and Farah, Bill Summers, Jimmy Haslip, Russ Ferrente, Bob Hurst, Tom Brechtline, Munyungo Jackson, Gary Novak, Gary Thomas, Alphonso Johnson, B-Sharp Jazz Quartet, Don Grusin, Dean Parks, Greg Phillinganes, Harvey Mason, Abe Laboriel (Sr. and Jr.), Sandro Albert, Otmaro Ruiz, Wah, Amma, Gerry Gibbs, Monday Michiru, Jaz Klash, Raya Yarbrough, Down to the Bone, Sara Gazarek, Jimmy Johnson, Will Kennedy, Russ Kunkel, Robben Ford, Mike Elizando, Deepsky, The Angel, Patrice Rushen, DJ Quik, Non Amiss, Xzibit and Kurupt. He has played on numerous films (including the "jazz flute" scene in the Will Ferrell film, Anchorman).


  • March 4, 7 p.m.: "Monsieur Chopin" with Hershey Felder at the Pasadena Playhouse

  • March 16, 8 p.m.: Concert of Joanna Bruzdowicz at CSUN School of Music

  • March 23, 8 p.m.: Concert of Polish-Lithuanian Music at USC (Newman Recital Hall at USC)

  • March 24, 2 p.m.: Guided Tour of the Alina Szapocznikow Exhibition, Hammer Museum at UCLA, with Joanna Szupińska and Allegra Pesenti

  • April 22, 2 p.m.: Book Reading and Signing of a new Modjeska biography by Prof. Beth Holmgren, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana.

    In addition, there will be a concert of Czerwone Gitary on March 3, a retrospective of films by Andrzej Zulawski with the director in attendance at the opening gala at the end of the month, and another concert at USC, on March 24 at 4 p.m. with a program including Wieniawski and Meyer.
  • Monday, February 13, 2012

    February 14, 2012 - Difficult Questions on Polish-Jewish Relations





    Konstanty Gebert is an international reporter and columnist at “Gazeta Wyborcza”, Poland’s biggest daily. He was a democratic opposition activist in the Seventies, when he was also an organizer of the Jewish Flying University, and an underground journalist in the Eighties under martial law.

    He is the founder of the Polish Jewish intellectual monthly Midrasz, and a board member of the Taube Centre for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland and of Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany. He has taught in Poland, Israel and the US. He wrote ten books, e.g. on the Polish democratic transformation and on French policy toward Poland, the Yugoslav wars and the wars of Israel, Torah commentary and post-war Polish Jewry. His essays have appeared in two dozen collective works in Poland and abroad, and his articles in newspapers around the world.

    Joanna Podolska is a journalist and broadcaster, a graduate and a professor of the University of Łódź, and the current director of the Marek Edelman Center for Dialogue (Centrum Dialogu im. Marka Edelmana). She initiated the "Colorful Tolerance" project in 2000 and also serves as President of the Institute of Tolerance (since 2003). She is widely published and authored eight books on the history of Jewish community in Poland, especially in Łódź. For her work promoting tolerance, Ms. Podolska received numerous awards.



    March 4, 2012 at 7 p.m. - Monsieur Chopin at the Pasadena Playhouse (30% discount on tickets for Modjeska Club members)

    March 11, 2012 at 7 p.m. - Maria Pilatowicz's New Novel, with Sue Zhou, pianist, Ruskin Art Club, Los Angeles

    March 23, TBA - Alina Szapocznikow Exhibition at the Hammer Museum

    April 22, TBA - Beth Holmgren's biography of Modjeska (Indiana University Press), reading and book signing at the Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, cosponsored with Helena Modjeska Foundation of Orange County

    May 13, 2012, TBA - Maciej Grzybowski, piano - An Adventurous Recital

    June 23, TBA - Annual General Meeting of the Modjeska Club

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    February 14, 2012 - An Evening with Konstanty Gebert

    Helena Modjeska Club has the pleasure to invite you to a limited-seating event in an exclusive gated community in Beverly Hills featuring Konstanty Gebert, a Polish journalist, historian, and author, who specializes in Polish-Jewish relations and the history of Jews in Poland. The Valentine's Day Evening will be held in English only. RSVP required.

    KONSTANTY GEBERT was born 1953 in Warsaw and is scholar in residence at the Taube Centre for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland, a private US foundation in Warsaw. He is also the Head of the Warsaw office of the European Council for Foreign Relations, a think-tank. Simultaneously he works as a columnist at Gazeta Wyborcza, the leading Polish daily. Fluent in English and French, he also speaks Italian and Russian and has a working knowledge of BCS. A graduate of Warsaw University's Psychology Department (1976) he worked in a community psychology program in Warsaw (1975-1979), and then taught psychology at the Medical Academy, Warsaw, 1979 - 1983.

    During the Solidarity era he was a co-founder of the (unofficial) Jewish Flying University, 1979 and, in September 1980 in Warsaw, of an independent white-collar trade union that soon merged with the free trade union Solidarność. After avoiding interment in the 1981 coup, Gebert became, under the pen name of Dawid Warszawski he still uses, well known as editor and columnist of KOS fortnightly and of other underground publications.

    In 1989 he covered the round table Solidarność-government talks on transition to democracy, and joined the new independent daily Gazeta Wyborcza, where he is columnist and international reporter, writing about the Middle East, the Balkans, human rights and international humanitarian law, and Jewish issues. In 1992-95 he covered the Bosnian war for Gazeta. He is a frequent contributor to other Polish and international media, including the BBC.

    In 1989, he became a co-founder of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews. In 1997 he founded the Jewish intellectual monthly Midrasz, of which he was the first editor. From 1995 till 2000 he was vice-chair, and since 2000 media consultant, of MDLF, an international credit fund for independent media he was co-founder of. Since 2005, he is on the Advisory Board of the Einstein Forum, Potsdam. Since 2006 he is on the Advisory Board of the Jewish Humanitarian Fund, Amsterdam. In 2005-2007, he represented Jews on the Polish Council of Government and National Minorities.

    Mr. Gebert has worked with independent media in Russia, Ukraine, the Balkans, Africa and Latin America. He has done advocacy work in Poland for i.a. Burmese exiles, Russian independent journalists, and Rwandan academics. He has taught courses on the wars of the Yugoslav succession, contemporary Poland, media and ethnic conflict, and Polish-Jewish relations i.a. at UC Berkeley and Santa Cruz, Grinnell College, Hebrew University, and the Centre for Social Studies in Warsaw.

    Konstanty Gebert is the author of ten books in Polish and English i.a. on the Polish round table negotiations, the European 20th century, post-war Polish Jewry and the wars of Israel. Most recently he co-authored with Helena Datner “Jewish Life in Poland: Achievements, challenges and priorities since the fall of communism” JPR Institute, London 2011.

    His essays have also appeared in two dozen collective works in Poland, Japan, US, UK, Italy, France and Belgium, most recently in Sabrina Ramet (Ed.), Central and Southeastern European Politics, Sabrina Ramet (Ed.), Cambridge University Press, 2010. He has published almost two thousand articles in the Polish press, and his work has been widely reprinted abroad, i.a. in The Guardian (London), Le Monde Diplomatique (Paris), MicroMega (Rome), Respekt (Prague), Magyar Naranc (Budapest), Svijet (Sarajevo), Maariv (Tel Aviv), New Republic (New York), The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles), The Walrus (Toronto), Die Welt (Berlin), and The Moscow Times (Moscow).