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English Section

Polish music at BBC Proms

19.07.2019 01:13
Works by several Polish composers are to be played at the BBC Proms Festival, which begins on Friday in London.
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Mieczysław Weinberg – described in the event’s programme as “one of the 20th century’s great unsung heroes” – leads the field, with several of his compositions scheduled to celebrate the centenary of the composer’s birth. 

His Cello Concerto will be performed on August 6, in a concert by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Dalia Stasevska, with Sol Gabetta as the soloist.

Weinberg’s Third Symphony will be performed by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on August 22, while the Silesian String Quartet from the city of Katowice will perform his String Quartet No. 7 on September 2.

Weinberg was a Polish Jew who fled Warsaw to escape the Nazis and spent most of his life in Moscow. In 1953, he was arrested as part of Stalin’s anti-Semitic purges, but was released after Stalin’s death thanks to support from his close friend Dmitri Shostakovich. He died in 1999.

Other Polish composers featured at the BBC Proms include Witold Lutosławski, Grażyna Bacewicz, Krzysztof Penderecki and Karol Szymanowski.

Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra will be performed on August 12 by Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which consists of young musicians from the Middle East.

The Silesian String Quartet will be joined by pianist Wojciech Świtała in Bacewicz’s First Piano Quintet on September 2.

Krzysztof Penderecki’s five-minute Sinfonietta for strings is to be featured in a Late Night Prom on September 10 curated by guitarist and composer Jonny Greenwood.

The Love Songs of Hafiz by Karol Szymanowski are to be included in a concert on September 1, sung by soprano Georgia Jarman.