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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » October 31, 2013
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National Forum of Music
October 31, 2013   
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Andrzej Kosendiak, general director of the Wrocław Philharmonic, general director of the international Wratislavia Cantans festival, and president of the Society of Polish Philharmonics, talks to Barbara Deręgowska about the emerging National Forum of Music in Wrocław.

Now that the National Forum of Music is going to be established in Wrocław, will the name “Wrocław Philharmonic” be changed?
Not exactly. That will still be the name of the symphony orchestra. But the Wrocław Philharmonic will be gone as an institution. The same will happen to Wratislavia Cantans, which will only remain as the name of the festival. But the two institutions, which so far have worked separately, will be soon merged into one, the National Forum of Music.

Starting next year, Wrocław will have one of the most prestigious concert halls in this part of Europe. How are you going to take advantage of it?
The building is being built on Wolno¶ci Square in the heart of Wrocław and right next to the Wrocław Opera. It ideally fits the local cityscape and the cultural life of Wrocław. Its architecture is cutting-edge. The design was commissioned from the Kuryłowicz & Associates Architecture Studio. The venue will feature the highest acoustic standards, guaranteed by New York-based company Artec Consultants Inc. The National Forum of Music will comprise a concert hall for around 1,800 people, a recording studio, room for exhibitions, and an underground parking garage. It will have six floors plus three underground levels. The floor area will total over 48,000 square meters.

We are planning to open the National Forum of Music in the first half of 2015 and are working on a schedule of events to be held there. In the 2015/2016 season, we will need time to get things started, to get used to the new building and acoustic environment.

The National Forum of Music aims to be a meeting place for many different initiatives, ideas and artistic projects in Wrocław. It will become the new home of the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, the Leopoldinum Wrocław Chamber Opera and the Wrocław Baroque Opera. The largest local music festivals will be held there, including Wratislavia Cantans, Musica Polonica Nova, Forum Musicum and Jazztopad.

In order to provide audiences with access to high culture, a suitable venue is needed to showcase the arts. The National Forum of Music will become the ideal setting for excellent renditions of music as well as masterpieces from other domains of art. This will not be a classical music venue only, as jazz and new underground music will be just as welcome. We are planning to hold series of different music events featuring a very wide range of music genres. We want the National Forum of Music to be a forum where different genres come into contact with one another and which draws audiences from different walks of life.

We want to encourage everyone who loves music to join us and help fill the National Forum of Music with content. We would like this new institution to become an exclusive and globally recognized brand. We want it to be a special place whose importance extends far beyond Wrocław.

How will the world at large know that the National Forum of Music has opened in Wrocław?
The world already knows about our project. The Wrocław Philharmonic and the Wratislavia Cantans festival are members of many international organizations and it is through these organizations that we try to connect with music agencies, promoters and organizers. We are a member of the Association of Polish Philharmonics, which last year was admitted to the Performing Arts Employers Organizations League Europe, or PEARLE. This prestigious, international organization with a head office in Brussels brings together over 4,500 performing arts organizations and has a major impact on the cultural policy of the EU. As a member of the European Festivals Association, in turn, we have been visited by the directors of the largest music festivals in Europe, Asia and Africa. They will visit us at the National Forum of Music again in 2016. We have also been invited to take part in meetings of the European Concert Hall Organization, or ECHO, where over a dozen prestigious European concert halls are represented. We hope that once the National Forum of Music opens, we will be able to join this select international organization as well.

Earlier this year, we held a convention of the International Society for the Performing Arts, attended by around 300 delegates from the most important cultural institutions in over 40 countries around the world. They included managers and leading figures in the arts, directors of concert halls and officials from institutions which deal with theater, dance and music.
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