After only a single entry, I have already managed to fall behind in weekly updates! Regardless, allow me to speak to what I’ve been up to the past few weeks.
The school term has officially begun, and thus far I have had composition lessons with Marcel Chyrzyński, whose own work is absolutely stunning, Music analysis of 20th and 21st century, contemporary counterpoint, composition techniques of the 20th century, and Music history and literature of late 19th and early 20th centuries. Next week I will meet with a faculty member in charge of organizing chamber groups, so it looks like I will have some performance opportunities coming up in the future.
I have met several other international students here for the Erasmus+ programme, and recently we attended a concert in a local performance salon. An entire program consisting of Brazilian music (composers Piazzolla, Villani-Côrtes, and Villa-Lobos) set to cello ensembles comprised of Academy students and guess Lars Hoefs - what a wonderful concert!
In my time here, I have already completed a new trio work and made progress on my upcoming orchestra piece (which will serve as my thesis with Butler University), and I could not be happier with the amount of work I’m getting done. Kraków is an inspiring city, and I plan to get as much done here as I can.
I’m in Poland! After nearly 16 hours of planes and airports, a train ride, and a taxi with a driver with a language barrier, I have arrived. My colleague, Steven Hecking, and I are officially in Kraków preparing a for a semester of study at The Academy of Music in Kraków. We’ll be studying with composer Marcel Chyrzyński during our stay, and we couldn’t be more excited.
As the term has yet to officially begin, most of the time here has been spent exploring the city (meaning a TON of walking) and getting to know the ins and outs of daily life. I am in the early stages of learning Polish, but fortunately the people here are largely bilingual and can communicate with me via English. I do, however, intend to get some working knowledge of their language under my belt during my time here! With the help of the internet and some very friendly strangers, we’ve been able to locate places such as grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. with little difficulty.
Thus far, I have been able to sample a few different eateries - Polish cuisine, a burger joint, and the loveliest smelling bakery I have ever encountered. The food here is incredible, and cheap! I’ll supply a couple of pictures at the bottom of the post to demonstrate my good fortune in food, and next time I'll have some examples of the beautiful buildings in the area.
I will try and post on my website weekly in an effort to keep everyone informed of my European experiences including composition, performance and general shenanigans, so stay tuned!