The Warsaw Voice » Culture » Monthly - July 13, 2016
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Celebrating Chopin
The best pianists of last year’s International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, including first prize winner Seong-Jin Cho from South Korea, are coming to the Polish capital again for the 12th Chopin and His Europe festival Aug. 15-31.

This year’s Chopin and His Europe piano festival will put Chopin’s music in the context of work by other composers, including Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Bellini and Gyrowetz. The organizers also want to explore Chopin’s inspirations and highlight the impact his music had on other composers.

Along with Seong-Jin Cho, Warsaw audiences will get to hear Charles Richard-Hamelin, who won second prize at last year’s International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition, and Kate Liu, who came in third. These up-and-coming performers will be joined in Warsaw by celebrated pianists such as Martha Argerich, Katia and Marielle Labeque, Nelson Goerner, Till Fellner, Jan Lisiecki, Jonathan Plowright and Yulianna Avdeeva.

The August concerts will feature some of Chopin’s favorite music genres, including operas, lieder, concertos and chamber music, in addition to 19th-century variations and paraphrases of some of the most famous pieces from the period. The music will be performed on both contemporary and period instruments.

Warsaw audiences will also hear symphony concerts by the European Union Youth Orchestra, the Sinfonia Varsovia ensemble conducted by Grzegorz Nowak, and the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra directed by Jacek Kaspszyk.

This year’s festival also has a treat for fans of historically informed performances, featuring concerts by the legendary Europa Galante group led by Fabio Biondi, the Collegium 1704 ensemble conducted by Vaclav Luks, and the Amphion Wind Octet. Using period musical instruments, Europa Galante will perform the I Capuletti e i Montecchi opera, making history with its first-ever Polish rendition of the opera in its entirety.

The festival events will also include 12 piano recitals in front of the urn containing Chopin’s heart at the Holy Cross Basilica in Warsaw. The recitals will begin at 10 p.m. and the performers will be playing a 19th-century piano.

The main festival venues are the National Philharmonic, the W. Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio, and, for the first time in the festival’s history, the manor house at which Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola west of Warsaw.

For further information go to
Tickets available at