Established by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in 2011, the youth symphony orchestra is preparing itself for its fifth concert tour. Its ninety-four musicians, made up of performers from Poland and Eastern Partnership countries, are heading to Poland, Germany, Georgia, Spain and Ukraine. Their first chamber concert takes place on 14th August in Gdańsk.
The I, CULTURE Orchestra (ICO) musicians met up in the first half of August 2015 during a residence in Gdańsk where their excelled in their workshops and prepared their tour programme under the direction of fifteen eminent orchestral musicians from Great Britain, Germany, Norway, USA and South Africa. They are appearing for the fourth time in the cradle of Solidarność, a movement tied to one of the orchestra’s most important ideas that takes on a wider meaning today.
Gdańsk will host the inauguration of this year’s international concert tour on 17th August with a concert at The Polish Baltic Frédéric Chopin Philharmonic. The ICO musicians will be conducted by Kirill Karabits , their artistic director. The programme includes pieces by Alexander Mosolov, Leoš Janáček, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Avet Terterian. During the first act, the orchestra will play Mosolov’s The Iron Foundry, the only part of the Stal ballet suite which has survived the test of time, and the Third Symphony by the outstanding Armenian composer Avet Terterian. In the second, a composition by Leoš Janáček, inspired by tragic Nikolai Gogol story from 1942 about a Cossack chief and his sons, and then Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43, considered one of the hardest works for piano in all musical literatiure – doing it justice is a criterion of skill that determines whether a pianist measures up to the greats. In Gdańsk, we’ll hear it being performed by Ukranian soloist Aleksander Gawryluk.
Before the concert tour begins in full, there will be a special chamber concert on 14th August held at Centrum Św. Jana in Gdańsk. These concerts have already entered the traditions of ICO’s Gdańsk programme – it’s the one venue where they’ve played twice.
This year’s tour also finds ICO performing a unique concert under a characteristic title: The European Symphony of Ukrainian Independence. On 24th September 2015, the orchestra will appear in Kiev as part of Ukrainian Independence Day. The programme will start with a concert at the Ukrainian National Opera House where the musicians will recreate the national anthem, Shche ne vmerla Ukraina, Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, op. 19 featuring Georgian solo violinist Lisa Batiashvili, and two pieces carrying the title Taras Bulba, the first composed by Leoš Janáček, the other by Mykola Lysenko. During the second part of the evening over on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, also known as Independence Square, the programme includes Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, for which ICO will be joined by the National Choir of Ukraine "DUMKA".
During the jubilee concert tour, I, CULTURE Orchestra will visit Germany for the Young Euro Classic Festival (Koncerthaus Berlin), Georgia (Batumi Art & Music Centre) and Spain for the Santander Music Festival (Palacio de Festivales). Kirill Karabits, the distinguished conductor from Ukraine, who is working with ICO for the third time, and since last year is also the Orchestra’s artistic director. Maestro Karabits is a laureate of the highest British music prize at the Royal Philharmonic Society Award, Conductor of the Year (2013). He also fills the role of chief conductor for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and will be the artistic director and head conductor for the Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle Weimar in 2016/17.
I, CULTURE Orchestra is an ensemble of outstanding young musicians from Poland and the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. ICO’s mission is to support positive changes in the shared cultural development of Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus through the realisation of events of the highest artistic quality. The orchestra is grounded upon universal qualities such as solidarity, integration and friendship. As an educational project, ICO offers young talent a change in perspective in their surrounding artistic life as well as exceptional workshops with top instrumentalists from the best orchestras in the world. It was established as a flagship project of the Foreign Cultural Programme of the 2011 Polish Presidency of the EU Council.
I, CULTURE Orchestra is sponsored by Grupa LOTOS.
For more information about ICO and full concert listings: www.orchestra.culture.pl
Source: press materials, translated by AZ