Happy Birthday, Maestro Penderecki!
no-image, Happy Birthday, Maestro Penderecki!
“Krzysztof Penderecki is regarded as one of the most important composers and conductors of the 20th century and his relationship with Beethovenfest has been long and intimate”, write the organisers in a description of the festival they created to celebrate the birthday of the famous composer. The concert is being held through the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Krzysztof Penderecki, photo: Studio Panato
For his 80th birthday, Krzysztof Penderecki will arrive in Bonn to perform one of his most important pieces, the Piano Concerto Zmartwychwstanie / Resurrection. Written between 2001-2002 and taking inspiration from the events of the 11th of September, the organisers believe it to be some of his finest works. Rudolf Buchbinder, the Austrian pianist and friend of the composer, will perform as soloist on a programme that includes Symphony No. 7 in D minor op.70 by Dvořák. The festival dedicated to Beethoven has titled this concert Happy Birthday!
The Sinfonia Varsovia will perform, led by Maestro Penderecki. The composer wrote about his Piano Concerto:
I began the work in June  and after a few months when I was nearly halfway done, it resembled something like a caprissio. But after September 11th the concept totally changed. I decided to write a darker and more serious piece. So I withdrew some of the material and went back into the structure to include a chorale. It appears for the first time in the piece about one third of the way in, after this point it returns twice more, the final one occurring at the end of the Concerto. It is played slowly at an allegro moderato and then speeds up for a few bars until coming to the conclusion of the Concerto.
Sinfonia Varsovia was founded in 1984 and has grown from the renowned Polish Chamber Orchestra. A visit from legendary U.S. conductor and violinist Yehudi Menuhin instigated its creation. In order to perform repertoire planned for Maestro Menuhin's appearances, the Polish Chamber Orchestra expanded to 24 string instruments and doubled its wind sections. Franciszek Wybrańczyk founded the new orchestra and invited Maestro Menuhin to be his first guest and the honorary conductor. Today, Krzysztof Penderecki is Sinfonia Varsovia's artistic director.
The roots of Beethovenfest in Bonn date back to the 19th century and it is always hosted in the birthplace of the composer. The first festival took place in 1845 for the 75th birthday anniversary of Beethoven. Lasting for three days, it has held performances by Franz Liszt and Louis Spohr; audiences have included such figures as Queen Victoria, Alexander von Humboldt and Hector Berlioz. It took on its present form in 1995 and the program includes both contemporary compositions as well as pieces from Beethoven’s era.
The Happy Birthday! concert will take place on the 18th of September in Beethovenhalle.
Author: Filip Lech, September 2013
Translation: SMG 17/09/2013