I, CULTURE Orchestra during Chopin and His Europe Festival in 2016, photo: organiser’s press materials
The 7th edition of the I, CULTURE Orchestra is about to begin. One hundred and four talented young musicians from Poland and Eastern Partnership countries will work under the world-famous conductor Andrzej Boreyko. Their first concert is to take place at Warsaw’s Philharmonic Hall on 13th August 2017.
The young musicians had to pass a two-stage recruitment process in order to join this year’s edition of I, CULTURE Orchestra (ICO). This year ICO received over six hundred applications from young musicians between the ages of 18 and 28. The successful candidates will play the first concert of their international tour on 13th August 2017 at the Warsaw Philharmonic, before going on to Minsk, Kyiv, Berlin, and Toblach. Ewa Bogusz-Moore, the manager of the orchestra, says:
There are many excellent orchestras which perform complicated repertoires flawlessly. What brings people to see these young musicians perform, what makes their performances magical, are the pure emotions behind the music. These young musicians give exquisite concerts, but they also find great joy in performing, and respond to ovations with laughter and tears. This is why this year’s ICO tour is about emotions and the bond between the orchestra’s musicians and their audiences. The musicians’ emotions from the auditions, master classes and joint residencies build up to a passionate concert tour, which constantly motivates them and inspires audiences. They build a bond which lasts far longer than the tour itself.
The most talented artists, under the direction of some of the most outstanding professors from top European orchestras and maestro Andrzej Boreyko, are preparing the concert repertoire during a residency in Gdańsk. This year, the young musicians will perform pieces composed by European musicians – Franz Liszt, Ludwig van Beethoven, Hector Berlioz, and Nikolai Korndorf. In accordance with the ICO tradition, Polish music will play an important role in their repertoire – they will play pieces by Witold Lutosławski, Juliusz Zarębski, and Stanisław Moniuszko, as well as pieces written by composers from the countries of the Eastern Partnership – Valentyn Sylvestrov and Mykola Lysenko.
I, CULTURE Orchestra consists of outstanding young musicians from Poland and the Eastern Partnership countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Formed in 2011, the orchestra’s aim is to use the act of performing music to bring together people from these countries, some of which have long histories of tension and war. By rehearsing, tuning, touring, and performing together these young musicians communicate and learn to trust each other in ways that resonate beyond any concert hall.
This year’s orchestra will be conducted by Andrzej Boreyko, an outstanding artist who boasts an impressive symphonic repertoire and who also keenly performs lesser known pieces of music. Maestro Boreyko has conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic during the premieres of Symphony No. 4 by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki presented as part of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s Polska Music programme. Since 2012, Boreyko has been the musical director of Orchestre National de Belgique, and since 2014 he has performed the same role at the Naples Philharmonic in Florida. He is also the first guest conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi.
In 2017, the I, CULTURE Orchestra will be accompanied by renowned soloists. In Warsaw, the solos will be performed by Benjamin Schmid. The concerts outside of Poland will be graced by Julian Rachlin, one of the most intriguing and renowned violinists of his generation, whose style is distinguished by its rich sound and flawless technique.
The tour will begin on 13th August during the Chopin and His Europe Festival in Warsaw. The opening concert will feature Julisz Zarębski and Franz Liszt’s Galician Dances, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Cello Concerto, and Witold Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra, as well as Nikolai Korndorf’s The Smile of Maud Lewis. Solos will be performed by Benjamin Schmid, considered one of the most versatile violinists in the world. The concert will take place under the honorary auspices of the First Lady of Poland, Agata Kornhauser-Duda. Then, ICO will go on to perform at Classics at Town Hall in Minsk, Young Euro Classic in Berlin, Dobbiaco Alta Adige in Italy, and the National Opera in Kyiv.
Before the concert at the Warsaw Philharmonic, the orchestra will perform out in the open at Warsaw’s Central Railway Station at 3:00 PM.
This will be the seventh I, CULTURE Orchestra concert tour. Over the years, they have played over 90 hours of music at 36 concerts, attended by a total of 80,000 people. The orchestra has visited 15 countries and 24 cities and traversed nearly 38,000 kilometres during their tours.
A detailed programme of the I, CULTURE Orchestra 2017 concert tour:
Conductor: Andrzej Boreyko
Soloists: Julian Rachlin (Kyiv, Berlin, Toblach), Benjamin Schmid (Warsaw)
13 August 2017, Warsaw, Chopin and His Europe Festival, Warsaw Philharmonic
Source: press materials, compiled by Marta Kolbuszewska, 3 Aug 2017, translated by AP, 4 Aug 2017
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