By Marysia Ostafin
Center for Russian and East European Studies
The Lira Singers, America’s foremost professional performing arts company specializing in Polish music, will present a free, public lecture/concert—The Legacy of the Folk Melody in Poland’s Musical Expression—at 8 p.m. Friday (Feb. 12) in Rackham Lecture Hall.
The performance is the 13th program in the Copernicus Lecture Series, an annual endowed lecture that highlights the arts and culture of Poland.
The Lira Singers will present the spirited, rhythmical melodies of Poland—among them the mazurka, polonaise, oberek, krakowiak and kujawiak—under the direction of conductor Lucy J. Ding. Artistic director Lucyna Migala will introduce the songs in their historical context, explaining the origins of the particular musical forms and offering insights into Polish traditions, customs and history.
The group’s female ensemble will perform Polish folk melodies that have inspired generations of Polish composers, from Frederick Chopin to Witold Lutoslawski. The performance will feature regional music from the Tatra Mountains, Silesia and the Kaszubian lake region.
Founded in 1965, the 12-member group has won critical praise and acclaim for its performances throughout the Midwest and Poland. Its repertoire includes folk music, opera, ancient music, sacred music, music of various historical periods, and the new music of Poland.
The program is sponsored by the Copernicus Endowment, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Center for Russian and East European Studies, and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.