Elzbieta Penderecka
(c) Bruno Fidrych

‘Beethoven and New Directions’ is the leitmotif of the 20th edition of the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw (12-25 March 2016), which will present the brightest international musicians of classical music.

The Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, is one of the largest and most important music events in Poland. Held each year during the week preceding Easter, it presents Polish audiences with the most remarkable artists from Poland and abroad performing masterpieces of classical music.

It will be no different during this year’s edition, although – as befits a jubilee – classical music aficionados are in for many surprises in the programme. “We will inaugurate the jubilee edition with a ceremonious concert at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall. Some excellent soloists and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir conducted by Maestro Jacek Kaspszyk will perform Beethoven’s Fantasy for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra as well as Symphony No. 9,” said Elżbieta Penderecka, the general director of the Festival.

Each year, the opening concerts of the Beethoven Festival attract a lot of interest from music lovers. That is why, Penderecka explains, the organizers decided to present this programme twice during the jubilee year, in a nod to the loyal audience. The inaugural concert will be repeated on the next day with exactly the same programme and artists.

Krzysztof Urbański

Krzysztof Urbański

Other heroes of the 20th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival will be the excellent orchestras: Tonhalle Zürich (for the first time in Poland) with Yefim Bronfman; NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg with the conductor Krzysztof Urbański and baritone Thomas Hampson. The recently formed Santander Orchestra will perform under Maestro Jerzy Maksymiuk with Szymon Nehring, the only Polish finalist of the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw.

Vistors of the festival will also hear some finest string quartets on the international music circuit, including the Emerson String Quartet, the Shanghai Quartet, and the Szymanowski Quartet.

In keeping with the long festival tradition of presenting little known or forgotten operas, concert versions of Riders to the Sea, a one-act tragedy by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and At the Boar’s Head, a one-act comedy by Gustav Holst, will be performed. Like in previous years, the Polish conductor Lukasz Borowicz will be responsible for this festival project.

A one-of-a-kind event is waiting for music lovers during the finale of this year’s Beethoven Festival. At the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall they will hear Krzysztof Penderecki’s St Luke Passion on the 50th anniversary of its premiere. An international line-up of soloists and ensembles will be led by the composer himself.

Penderecki Bruno FidrychHowever, the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival is not only about star-studded concerts in Warsaw. In continuing a 20-year tradition, the event will be inaugurated by the opening of an exhibition of musical manuscripts at the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow (7 March, 12:00 pm). The ceremony will be accompanied by a recital by a highly regarded pianist Konrad Skolarski, who will play works by Fryderyk Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven, Alexander Scriabin, and Ferenc Liszt.

Like in previous years, the festival concerts will also take place in the partner cities of the Festival, including Katowice, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Krakow, and Szczecin.

A detailed programme of the Festival is available at www.beethoven.org.pl.
Tickets are sold at www.eventim.pl

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