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Warsaw hosts Chopin and his Europe Festival

15.08.2020 06:05
A recital by Nelson Goerner at Warsaw’s National Philharmonic Hall on Saturday opens the Chopin and his Europe Festival, the first major international cultural event to be held in Poland since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Image by Breathless Design from Pixabay
Image by Breathless Design from Pixabay Pixabay licence

A total of 26 recitals, chamber concerts and an opera production are included in the festival programme.

Amid limits on the size of the audience, the majority of the concerts will be available free of charge on the YouTube channel of the National Chopin Institute and on social media.

The pianists billed during the festival include Warsaw International Chopin Competition prize-winners Yulianna Avdeyeva, Lukas Geniušas, Ingolf Wunder, Evgeny Bozhanov, Gabriela Montero, as well as Ivo Pogorelic, Szymon Nehring and Nikolai Lugansky.

Due to the pandemic in North America, US and Canadian pianists such as Garrick Ohlsson, Kate Liu, Eric Lu and Charles Richard-Hamelin had to cancel their participation.

Four concerts will feature Beethoven’s string quartets to mark this year’s 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

They are to be performed by The Belcea Quartet, which takes its name from the Romanian violinist Corina Belcea, who together with the Polish violist Krzysztof Chorzelski founded the group at the Royal College of Music in London in 1994. The other members of the quartet are French musicians Axel Schacher (violin) and Antoine Lederlin (cello).

Highlights of the festival include a concert performance of Stanisław Moniuszko’s opera The Countess by the Italian ensemble Europa Galante conducted by Fabio Biondi.

This is a continuation of Europa Galante’s exploration of the output of the father of Polish national opera. In previous editions of the Chopin and his Europe Festival, Europa Galante performed Moniuszko’s Halka and The Raftsman.

The festival runs until August 31. Launched in 2005, the event is being held for the 16th time.