About the Festival

The 12th edition of the Festival is the next in a series of confrontations between the music of Chopin and that of the composers closest to his heart – Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Bellini, Jírovec; it also traces the various influences on Chopin’s music, as well as that of Chopin’s music on the works of other composers; it features Chopin’s favorite musical genres – opera, art song, concerto, chamber music; finally, it showcases a phenomenon popular in the 19th century, consisting of arrangements, paraphrases and variations on the themes of the best-known works from that era. It also undertakes daring – though risky, and thereby provocative as well – transformations of Chopin’s masterpieces into another type sound. All of this in masterful renditions on both contemporary and historical instruments. A great wealth of various performances styles – especially of music by the festival’s patron – will be heard in the interpretations of laureates of the most recent Chopin Competition, both on Steinways and Yamahas, and on Erards, Pleyels and Broadwoods.

The 2016 edition of Chopin and His Europe will feature the festival’s traditional great performances…:

  • The worldwide piano elite – stars from the most important concert halls, among them Katia and Marielle Labèque, Nelson Goerner, Till Fellner, Jan Lisiecki, Jonathan Plowright and Yulianna Avdeeva.
  • Laureates of the most recent Chopin Competition – including the three top prizewinners: Seong-Jin Cho, Charles Richard-Hamelin, Kate Liu – in recitals, chamber concerts and concerts with orchestra.
  • Extraordinary chamber concerts – performances by the most distinguished quartet ensembles: the Belcea Quartet (Corina Belcea, Axel Schaher, Krzysztof Chorzelski, Antoine Lederlin), Apollon Musagète (Paweł Zalejski, Bartosz Zachłod, Piotr Szumieł, Piotr Skweres), the Szymanowski Quartet (Agata Szymczewska, Grzegorz Kotow, Volodia Mykytka, Marcin Sieniawski) and Quatuor Mosaïques; as well as a chamber ensemble comprised of: Marcin Zdunik (’cello), Kuba Jakowicz (violin), Janusz Wawrowski (violin), Katarzyna Budnik-Galazka (viola), Łukasz Długosz (flute) and Paweł Wakarecy (piano).
  • Symphonic concerts: the European Union Youth Orchestra under the baton of Vasily Petrenko, Sinfonia Varsovia under the baton of Grzegorz Nowak, and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Jacek Kaspszyk.
  • Historically-informed performance – Fabio Biondi’s legendary Europa Galante ensemble, Václav Luks’ Collegium 1704, the Amphion Wind Octet, pianists Andreas Staier and Tobias Koch; as well as Quatuor Mosaïques (Erich Hobarth, Andrea Bischof, Anita Mitterer, Christophe Coin), an ensemble specializing in historical performance practice, formed by members of Nicolaus Harnoncourt’s legendary Concentus Musicus Wien.

 …. and its traditional rich and extraordinary program:

  • Vincenzo Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi for the first time in Poland, a complete performance on historical instruments – the Europa Galante returns after its sensational performance of Bellini’s Norma in 2010;
  • Gioachino Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia the first performance in Poland of this opera hit in a version by Vincenzo Gambaro for wind octet, considered by Rossini himself to be better than the original;
  • Gaetano Donizetti’s Requiem a work written for Bellini’s funeral, for the first time on historical instruments at the Holy Cross Basilica in the presence of Chopin’s heart;
  • Song Recitals – the extraordinary Ian Bostridge (tenor) and recitals by Mariusz Godlewski (baritone) and Iwona Sobotka (soprano) – a presentation of the most beautiful European art song repertoire of the 19th century;
  • Chopin’s Preludes in a version for symphony orchestra – in an arrangement by Jean Françaix from 1967;
  • Chopin’s contemporary Otto Nicolai (1810–1849) – fantasy on Bellini’s Norma for piano and orchestra;
  • About Paganini’s ‘Italian’ caprice: Boris Blacher – Variations for Orchestra, Witold Lutosławski – Variations for Piano and Orchestra;
  • Vojtěch Matyáš Jírovec, Piano Concerto, a work from the repertoire of Fryderyk Chopin;
  • Well-known and lesser-known Polish music – aside from Chopin: Feliks Dobrzyński, Stanisław Moniuszko, Ludomir Różycki, Karol Rathaus, Witold Lutosławski…;
  • Chopin recitals in the presence of the composer’s heart: 10 recitals by young pianists on a 19th-century instrument – at the Holy Cross Basilica at 10:00 PM;
  • Concerts at Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio and, for the first time during the Festival, in Żelazowa Wola.

Artistic Director of the festival: Stanisław Leszczyński