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Szymanowski’s Homeland – Europe’s Forgotten Orient at the Edinburgh International Festival


16 Aug at 5:00 pm
The Hub, Castlehill (EH1 2NE)
Tickets: £6/£3
Box office: 0131 473 2000

Duration: 1 hour

Karol Szymanowski's portrait by Witkacy

The London Symphony Orchestra concerts of Karol Szymanowski’s music are preceeded by a study event entitled Szymanowski’s Homeland – Europe’s Forgotten Orient. The Study Event is a panel organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, in which contributors rediscover the orient in Szymanowski’s music and, by exploring his work from a post-colonial perspective, add a new dimension to our understanding of this cultural icon

On the panel are Roman Berchenko, Russian composer, musicologist and musical journalist and deputy director of Radio Orphey in Moscow and Piotr Deptuch, a Polish conductor and a musicologist. Both have an in-depth knowledge of Szymanowski's music and life. The panel is moderated by Aleksander Laskowski from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

Karol Szymanowski spent his formative years in a region of Europe with a coloful political history – where different nations, languages, and religions lived relatively peacefully, in co-existence. It seemed to be an ideal cultural setting that present-day Europeans dare only dream about. But was it really such a paradise? Maybe it was just a dream, or a past they would like to have? One thing is certain – it was Europe’s internal Orient than has now, been almost completely forgotten. To understand the exotic element in Szymanowski’s music, this Orient needs to be rediscovered. Our intent is to take a closer look at its history, from a post-colonial perspective, and to add a new dimension to Szymanowski's legacy as a cultural icon – the most eminent Orientalist, from the most eastern point of Europe.

Following the panel discussion, the Edinburgh International Festival features concerts of the composer's music played by the London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Valery Gergiev.

For more information about the composer, see:

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