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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 7, 2010
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Chinese Children in Chopin Spectacle
April 7, 2010   
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- In what way do you think the Year of Chopin will change foreigners' perception of Warsaw?
I think it's already changing. Globally, everyone knows Chopin, and all the celebrations throughout the world will bring a new level of style and quality of culture based on the Chopin experience.
- The grand piano concert the WAD is organizing Aug. 27 to celebrate the Year of Chopin is one of a kind. Why did you get involved?
The Chopin Lives simultaneous concert is amazing. Imagine 100 pianos playing simultaneously on Piłsudskiego Square in Warsaw. Everyone wants to be a part of it in some way. This special, grand event is the Wad's contribution to promoting Warsaw through Chop's legacy.
- Your challenge is to find sponsors for the event. What kind of sponsors are you looking for?
It's an exciting challenge. I'm looking for the right type of sponsors-they have to be compatible with this type of cultural event. There are two groups of sponsors and partners. One group constitutes big Polish companies, those that can show the international community that they are professional and doing a great job, and that they are capable of doing more. The second group are international companies doing business in Poland. We also have the Chinese embassy in Warsaw as one of our big supporters. And 100 Chinese children will come to play.
- Why have Chinese children been chosen?
The production of the Calais pianos that the children will play takes place in China and the Chinese government and businesses are helping with the whole process. So we will have pianos made in China and children made in China to play on them! There are competitions being held all over China to select 100 young pianists from seven to 17 years of age. They are all practicing 10 different Chopin works.
- What level of sponsorship are you looking for and what can the companies expect in return?
We have only just started the sponsorship drive, but the initial interest is very positive. That doesn't mean that everyone will be a sponsor, but everyone I have talked to is happy to hear about the project. It then comes down to budgets and their own plans. Everyone wants to be involved in some way and at some level.
There are several levels of sponsorship. Some of the bigger companies are paying up to zl.1 million and they are really more our partners rather than sponsors. The smallest sponsors will pay zl.50,000. Of course, this amount is also important. We are trying to create as much corporate value as possible for all of our partners and sponsors.
Just being associated with the Chopin name, the Chopin brand, helps to build a company's corporate image. Being associated with high class music is prestigious. The companies get their company logos, branding and advertising tied in with this event. All our marketing materials, television and press advertisements and press conferences will feature the sponsors' logos, and there will be quite a few events surrounding this one meager event. Sponsors will be invited to all of them, as VIP guests. They will have the opportunity to network with other companies that have similar style and goals in Poland.
- What are some of the accompanying events?
We will have a whole week of Chopin events in August. There are several VIP cocktail parties planned up until the major event. There will be several pre-events, mainly mixers and meetings to give business leaders an opportunity to meet, network and conduct some business. Also we are planning a prestigious get-together with a special Chopin recital for the end of May.
- You have been in Poland for 15 years. What are some of the things that you feel have changed the most and what do you show your foreign friends in Warsaw?
Many things have changed, most of them for the better. I would say living conditions have improved dramatically. There are new apartments, new houses, new office blocks and new shopping centers. Poland has become modern in a short time. And generally people look a lot happier than before.
There are many different cultural things to see here. It's an interesting country. I usually take my foreign guests to the Old Town, we go out to Mokotów and Wilanów, and to some of the good restaurants and bars around town. And of course, I am telling them to come back to Warsaw for this most important meager event. I feel it is Poland's premiere Chopin concert. There are a lot of Chopin concerts throughout the year, but this one tops them all. It's a once-in-a-lifetime event that cannot be missed. Be here on Piłsudskiego Square on Aug. 27.
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