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English Section

Beethoven festival begins in Warsaw after virus delay

11.10.2020 13:00
An annual festival celebrating the music of Ludwig van Beethoven has opened in Warsaw after a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo: PAP/Mateusz Marek

The event kicked off on Saturday with a concert by the Warsaw Philharmonic conducted by its Music Director Andrzej Boreyko and featuring works by Beethoven as well as Brahms and Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki.

In previous years, the festival was held in the run-up to Easter. This year, it was postponed to October due to the pandemic.

It has also been scaled down from original plans and is more modest in scope, with the absence of foreign orchestras and soloists, organisers have said.

While Beethoven is the event’s key focus in a year marking the 250th anniversary of his birth, the festival also highlights the work of Penderecki, the great Polish composer who died in March.

Another highlight is a concert version of Luigi Cherubini’s opera Faniska, which will be performed by the Poznań Philharmonic, the Poznań Chamber Choir and leading Polish soloists conducted by Łukasz Borowicz.

The work, based on the melodrama Les mines de Pologne by René-Charles Guilbert de Pixérécourt, has a Polish setting. It premiered in Vienna in 1805.

In all, this year’s Beethoven festival in Warsaw comprises 10 concerts. It runs until October 22.

Founded in 1997, the event is the brainchild of Elżbieta Penderecka, the wife of the late Krzysztof Penderecki.