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Chopin and his Europe Festival opens in Warsaw

13.08.2022 12:00
A violin recital by Italian virtuoso Fabio Biondi dedicated to the victims of the Russian aggression against Ukraine is to open the Chopin and his Europe Festival in Warsaw on Saturday.
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabaypixabay.com

The programme of the concert, held in the Holy Cross Basilica, next to Chopin’s heart, consists of music by Johann Sebastian Bach and his Swedish contemporary Johan Helmich Roman.

The organisers of the festival write on its website that Biondi’s recital is “in homage to those who have made the greatest sacrifice, and in a gesture of solidarity with those who fight and face the most dire challenges with every new day, and […] yet they stand tall in hope for the victory of good over evil.”

On Sunday, Fabio Biondi, who in recent years has done a great deal to promote the music of Stanisław Moniuszko, the father of Polish national opera, will conduct his Europa Galante period-instruments ensemble, Polish soloists and the Podlasie Opera Choir from Białystok, in Moniuszko’s cantatas Phantoms, according to Part II of Adam Mickiewicz’s Forefathers’ Eve, and Nijola.

Other festival highlights include a concert performance of Verdi’s opera Un giorno di regno, ossia Il finto Stanislao (A One-Day Reign, or The Pretend Stanislaus).Its main protagonist, Belfiore, a  French officer, impersonates Polish monarch King Stanisław Leszczyński.

The work is to be performed by Europa Galante under Biondi, with Italian soloists and the Podlasie Opera Choir.

Featured artists at the event include such famous pianists as Warsaw Chopin Competition winners Bruce Liu and Yulianna Avdeeva,  as well as Maria Joao Pires, Leonora Armellini, Cyprien Katsaris, Barry Douglas, Kate Liu, Szymon Nehring, Jakub Kusznik, Janusz Olejniczak and Ewa Poblocka.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from London, the European Union Youth Orchestra  and the Warsaw Philharmonic are among the featured orchestras.

The programme of the Chopin and His Europe Festival also reflects its continued commitment to promote Polish composers who remain little known internationally and whose music deserves a wider exposure, notably Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński, Zygmunt Noskowski, August Fryderyk Duranowski, Józef Krogulski, Karol Kurpiński, and Witold Maliszewski.

Launched in 2005, the Chopin and his Europe Festival is held for the 18th time.

The Festival runs until 31 August.