SEPTEMBER 20-25, 2022
This latter event will include an interview with distinguished guests conducted by Maja Trochimczyk, the presentation of the Modjeska Prize and certificates of appreciation from California lawmakers, and a catered dinner buffet by Teresa Turek. The event will be held at the welcoming home of Maria and Jerzy Menclewicz, for members of both Clubs. RSVP to Beata Czajkowska, Board Secretary at Beata.J.Czajkowska@gmail.com. Limited seating, please reserve your place early.
On Sunday, September 25, 2022, at 3:00 pm, at the Auditorium of the Beverly Hills Public Library (444 North Rexford Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90210), Jan Englert and Beata Scibakówna will perform fragments from the epic poem Kwiaty Polskie (Polish Flowers) by Julian Tuwim (1894-1953). In this work, the Polish-Jewish poet reflects on the beauty, heroism, suffering, and resilience of the Polish nation, in the aftermath of tragedies of WWII. The performances will be in Polish, with English translation by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk in the program book. Interludes of Chopin music will be performed by eminent pianist Dr. Wojciech Kocyan, Professor of Loyola Marymount University. After the performance there will be a brief Q&A with the performers. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Space limited to 100 guests. Prof. Kocyan will play on Blüthner piano provided by Kasimoff-Blüthner Piano Co. Los Angeles, CA.
ABOUT THE MODJESKA PRIZE
Helena Modjeska Prize for the Most Eminent Polish Actor was created in 2010, to honor the Modjeska Club patron, Polish actress Helena Modrzejewska / Modjeska (1840-1909) who starred in theater in Poland, toured Europe and settled in California, while performing in over 4,500. The recipients of the Modjeska Prize include Jan Nowicki, Anna Dymna, Barbara Krafftówna, Jadwiga Barańska, and Andrzej Seweryn. The Modjeska Prize was awarded to Jan Englert in 2021 and presented virtually on the occasion of the Modjeska Club’s 50th anniversary in October 2021, while actress Beata Poźniak received her award in person.
Below you will find the biographical information about the performers and the poet. For more information, please visit the Modjeska Club website at Modjeska.org in English or Modrzejewska.org in Polish. Email inquiries: Prezes@modjeska.org, Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, President, Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club, tel. 818 384 8944.
Virtual Presentation of the Modjeska Prize, October 2021.
He received numerous honors and awards, including the Knight's Cross and the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1988, 2001), the Gold Cross of Merit (1997), the Gold Medal "Gloria Artis" (2005), and awards named after Aleksander Zelwerowicz (1993/1994), Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński (2008), and Cyprian Kamil Norwid (2012). He also received the Gustaw Award (2014), the Icon of Polish Cinema title (2018) and the Golden Hipolit Prize (2019). He received a Honorary Doctorate from the Film and Theater Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria. We are adding to this wonderful set by bestowing on Jan Englert the Modjeska Prize for 2021, as a lifetime achievement award for his work as an actor.
Englert performed for the Club in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2009. He shared with the Club's members and guests the wonders of Polish romantic poetry, Kwiaty Polskie by Julian Tuwim, Dziady (The Forefathers' Eve) by Adam Mickiewicz, a play about Saint Nicholas, and other theatrical performances.
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. He is a professor of piano performance at Loyola Marymount University and artistic director of the Paderewski Society that organizes American Paderewski Competitions held in Los Angeles every two years. A member of the Modjeska Club since 2018, Prof. Kocyan gives concerts for the Club or host musical evenings at his home.
In 1939, at the beginning of World War II and the German occupation of Poland, Tuwim emigrated through Romania first to France, and after France's capitulation, to Brazil, by way of Portugal, and finally to the US, where he settled in 1942 to 1946. In 1939–1941, he collaborated with the émigré weekly Wiadomości Polskie. In 1942–1946, he worked with the monthly Nowa Polska published in London, and with Polish-American newspapers. During this time he wrote Kwiaty Polskie (Polish Flowers), an epic poem in which he remembered with nostalgia his early childhood in Łódź, protested the poverty of its inhabitants, lamented the tragedies of the war, praised the resilience of the nation, and expressed hope for a better future. In April 1944, Tuwim published a manifesto, entitled My, Żydzi Polscy (We, Polish Jews). returned to Poland after the war in 1946 but did not publish much in Stalinist Poland, except for reprints of his classic children’s verse, beloved until today, for example Lokomotywa (The Locomotive; 1938), translated into many languages. He also worked as a journalist and wrote well-regarded translations of Pushkin and other Russian poets. He died in 1953 at the age of 59 in Zakopane.