100 / 100. Musical decades of freedom

In 2018, for the centenary of Poland regaining independence, PWM Edition undertook a spectacular project hailed in the media as the greatest musical enterprise in independent Poland. PWM Edition invited the most important cultural institutions, leading music ensembles, and the world’s most eminent performers to cooperate on the project; PWM coordinated the international concert schedule, the publishing, documentation, and educational activities. 100 for 100. Musical Decades of Freedom was the first ever musical undertaking on such an international scale, promoting Polish music in the world on an unprecedented scale. 

The project’s starting point was 100 for 100: a list of Polish music masterpieces composed between 1918 and 2018, carefully selected by a Programme Board consisting of the greatest authorities of the Polish contemporary music world and heads of the country’s main music institutions. Each musical work represented one year of the century. They were released on 36 CDs in collaboration with 1700 leading Polish musicians, providing more than 2,000 minutes of excellent Polish music. The project culminated with eleven concerts in Poland and eleven more worldwide, from Melbourne to New York, Copenhagen to Milan, performed by the greatest artist specialising in the music of the most recent century. On just one day, 11 November 2018, more than a hundred works written over the last ten decades were heard by a combined audience of 30,000 people. 

Our meeting, featuring invited artists and representatives of the composer milieu, music ensembles and partner institutions, will see the premiere of the extraordinary 100 for 100 box comprising 36 CDs with all the works from the list, Decade Books in which experienced musicologists present (in an accessible form) the most relevant information concerning the life and work of Polish composers, and the monograph One Hundred Years of Polish Music History by Danuta Gwizdalanka. The author of the latter book presents an accessible but in-depth panorama of the main trends in Polish contemporary music, and places them in the context of the world’s music, taking into account the enormous role of Polish composers and performers in promoting Polish culture worldwide.