The Karol Szymanowski Music Days Festival

The Karol Szymanowski Music Days Festival is held in Zakopane and is, apart from the Evenings with Karol Szymanowski’s music festival held in Katowice, the only annual festival in the world devoted to the composer’s works.

The Festival was co-founded by Maciej Pinkwart, the long time curator of the Karol Szymanowski Museum in the Villa Atma (a historic chalet in Zakopane, a one time residence of the composer which now houses his museum). Mr. Pinkwart is strongly involved in the public and professional musical activities in Zakopane. It is through his initiative that the Karol Szymanowski Music Society was launched; he was also a member of its first Executive Committee, and, since 2005, has been its honorary member.

The first Festival took place March 4-6, 1977, and was organized by Atma in collaboration with the Zakopane Chapter of the Association of Polish Musicians (SPAM). Since 1980, the Karol Szymanowski Music Society has been responsible for the organization of the Festival. Initially, a three-day festival was held every March, and in 1983, it became an autumnal event. Since 1988, it has taken place every summer, and has grown to be an international event that hosts 7 to 10 concerts. It is now held in the second part of July.

Most of the Festival events (performances of small chamber music ensembles and solo recitals) are hosted in the Villa Atma, while concerts featuring larger ensembles are held in other Zakopane locations such as:

  • Count Władysław Zamoyski City Art Gallery
  • Ryszard Orski Gallery
  • Jasny Pałac Guest House

Symphonic concerts are presented in the hall of Cinema Sokół, in the Church of the Holy Cross, and the Church of the Holy Family

In the tradition of bringing together audiences and people from the world of the arts, the Festival program always includes so-called posiady góralskie, informal gatherings which are held in Biała Izba Związku Podhalan, the headquarters of the Tatra Highlanders Association. The posiady include musical interludes performed by the Tatra Highlanders folk music ensemble, which adds unique charm to these events.

Past participants of posiady include:

  • Composers: Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Wojciech Kilar, Eugeniusz Knapik, Sławomir Czarnecki, among others
  • Musicologists, including Teresa Chylinska, Ewa Jensen (Denmark), Mieczysław Tomaszewski, and Leon Markiewicz;
  • Performers- Andrzej Bachleda, Blanka Bednarz (USA), Maciej Łukaszczyk (Germany), and others
  • Writers and music activists: Piotr Szalsza, Andrzej Kosowski, Adam Rozlach, among others



38th Karol Szymanowski Music DaysPlakat XXXVIII
under the honorary patronage of
Starost of the Tatra County – Piotr Bąk
Mayor of the City Zakopane – Leszek Dorula


The annual Karol Szymanowski Music Days Festival was held from July 25-August 2 in the resort town of Zakopane, Poland. The theme of this year’s edition was based on the composer’s wistful words from a 1933 interview: “I often miss Ukraine, its sun, its far horizon, I loved the climate’s beneficial effect, its luxuriance and sweetness. I floated above beautiful Ukraine to settle down in the Tatra Mountains.” Apart from the Evenings with the Music of Karol Szymanowski festival held in Katowice, which is also organized by the Szymanowski Music Society in Zakopane, it is the only annual festival in the world devoted to the works of Karol Szymanowski (1885-1937), who is considered to be the father of Polish modern music.

The program of this year’s 38th edition of the Festival included chamber and orchestral concerts as well as performances by Polish and Ukrainian folk bands. Featured musicians came from Poland, Canada, the Czech Republic and Italy.

Sat 25 July 2015, 6 pm Hotel Stamary
„Karol Szymanowski's ceremonial entry into Zakopane” - open carriage ride
with highland music / presentation of some fragments of films about Karol Szymanowski

Sun 26 July 2015, 7 pm Teatr im. Witkacego
Inaugural Concert
Karol Szymanowski – Harnasie op.55 (version for two pianos)
Trebunie-Tutki Family – folk music group
Joanna Domańska – piano
Andrzej Tatarski – piano

Mon 27 July 2015, 7 pm Willa Atma
The 100th Anniversary of Myths by Karol Szymanowski
Violin Quartet Navis
Adam Manijak – piano

Tue 28 July 2015, 4 pm TCKiS Jutrzenka
Concert of the highlander and classical music
Kuba Szpilka: About creation and the power of Zakopane inspirations
Children’s Highlander folk group "Zornica"
Weronika Pucka – violin
Anna Muzyk – violin

Tue 28 July 2015, 7 pm Związek Podhalan
meeting with Aleksander Polaczok
Director of the Szymanowski Museum in Kirowograd (Ukraine)

Wed 29 July 2015, 7 pm Willa Koliba
Chamber concert
Piotr Mazik: Beautiful Karol. The way of living as the work of art
Łukasz Długosz – flute
Agnieszka Kaczmarek – harp

Thu 30 July 201, 7 pm Teatr im. Witkacego
Choir concert
Kuba Szpilka: Szymanowski in the shadow. About sickness, sex, poverty.
“ Młyneczek” Folk music group (Ukraine)

Fri 31 July 2015, 7 pm Orski Gallery
Piano recital
Mikołaj Warszyński (Canada)

Sat 1 Aug 2015, 7 pm Willa Oksza
Chamber concert
Sedlaček String Quartet (Czech)

Sun 2 Aug 2015, 8 pm Kościół Św. Krzyża
Final Concert
Sinfonietta Cracovia
Massimiliano Caldi (Italy) – conductor
Roman Widaszek – clarinet / Tadeusz Tomaszewski – horn / Joanna Domańska – piano


Hotel Stamary, 19 Kościuszki Street
Teatr Witkacego, 15 Chramcówki Street
Willa Atma, 19 Kasprusie Street
TCKiS Jutrzenka, 3 Grunwaldzka Street
Związek Podhalan, 4 Kościuszki Street
Willa Koliba, 4 Kościeliska Street
Galeria Orskiego, 4 Broniewskiego Street
Willa Oksza, 25 Zamoyskiego Street
Kościół Św. Krzyża, 30 Chałubińskiego Street