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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 29, 2009
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Inspired by Chopin
April 29, 2009   
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Agnieszka Kłopocka, editor of the www.chopin2010.pl website, talks to Jolanta Wolska.

The Chopin2010.pl website is part of a bigger picture to promote the Year of Chopin in 2010.
In January last year Waldemar D±browski was appointed Chairman of the Year of Chopin Celebrations and the Culture Minister’s pointman for the Year of Chopin. He is responsible for the Chopin 2010 Office, which coordinates all events for the Year of Chopin. The www.chopin2010.pl website has been designed as a source of information about various types of projects organized in Poland and abroad as part of the celebrations, including a diary of events.

Currently the website is in Polish and English, but it is still evolving and we plan to have about seven language versions by the middle of this year.

What is the overall plan for celebrating the Year of Chopin?
The Chopin 2010 Office is the coordinating body for all celebrations both in Poland and abroad, with two separate branches, one for projects in Poland and the other for events held abroad.

It is only natural that the greatest number of events will take place in Poland. They will not just focus on Warsaw and on Chopin’s birthplace, Żelazowa Wola, but will take place in all Polish cultural centers. And that involves a lot of links with centers around the world, and not only those centers directly associated with Chopin and his music. There are a lot of ideas on how to coordinate and join up our efforts worldwide, to make the whole event a huge international celebration project. Some projects might include a television “bridge” across the world, or a synchronized concert in several places.

We want to inspire everyone to take part in the celebrations. We will be equally delighted with modest projects from small centers if they are worthwhile, and with spectacular shows in the greatest concert halls of Europe.

How will Warsaw be promoted during the Year of Chopin?
Promotion of Warsaw goes hand in hand with Chopin events. We have started closer cooperation with the City Hall’s department of culture and the department of promotion, with the City’s tourist office and of course with the Warsaw Destination Alliance.

We envisage that all these institutions will work together to promote Warsaw through Chopin. It may include such tourist attractions as a Chopin Route, creating special tourist packages, organizing events of interest to general tourists or visitors, not only those who are music buffs. Another attraction will be the Chopin Museum which is currently being renovated; it will be one of the most modern and innovative biographical museums in the world.

The website will have links to our partners, including to various tourist bodies, organizations and institutions. We also want to promote specific, selected tourist packages through the website. For example, a Chopin Route leading through Mazovia province, or through specific parts of Warsaw or routes with a special emphasis.

Is there a side to Chopin that many people don’t know?
General knowledge about Chopin the person is that he was an unhappy composer, sickly, melancholic and dying from tuberculosis, and had a relationship with George Sand. But in fact, Chopin was a brilliant and dazzling man, he had a great sense of humor, he was the life of the party. As a very young man he won the hearts of people in the upper echelons in Europe without even trying. He spoke several languages and of course he had his musical talent as his major trump card. He was very intelligent, very eloquent, and he drew exceptionally well, something few people are aware of. The fact that he couldn’t return to Poland was a huge tragedy for him for the rest of his life, hence his patriotic activities in exile. But he was also a very colorful personality, who brought a lot to European cultural life. And it would be good to bring all those features out in the open.

Chopin inspires every sphere of cultural life.
The Year of Chopin is a great inspiration for people to create various projects. There are already plans to produce a Chopin ballet and several films. All kinds of genres of music draw inspiration from his work.

I invite everyone to visit our website regularly, as it is designed to be a source of comprehensive information and will be constantly evolving. We want people to be drawn to it for inspiration. The website will contain information for children, including games and educational material, and an After Hours section discussing less known aspects of Chopin, such as his drawings, or featuring interviews about him, competitions, and heaps of music. And of course the diary of events is the basis of the website, and organizers can enter events into it. We hope the links will open a world of opportunities to promote other cultural and tourist packages to inspire people to come to Warsaw.
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