The I,CULTURE Orchestra launched its tour with a concert on the 24th of August at the Polish Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk, conducted by Paweł Kotla. On the 4th of September, the orchestra launched the international leg of the tour, performing at the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm.
I, Culture Orchestra concert in Gdańsk, photo by Łukasz Unterschuetz
In an acclaimed inaugural performance, the I,CULTURE Orchestra premiered on the 24th of August 2011. The concert at the Polish Baltic Philharmonic conducted by Paweł Kotla was part of Solidarity of Arts Festival in Gdańsk. On the 4th of September, the orchestra launched the international leg of the tour, performing at the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm.
The I,CULTURE Ochestra project led by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute creates an orchestra that becomes one of the world's finest.
"Incredible attention to detail, full of professionalism and passion. This was the I, CULTURE Orchestra last night. What a wonderful evening. I can say officially - the I, CULTURE Orchestra is one of the best orchestras that I have had the opportunity to lead", wrote the conductor on his Twitter page.
The inauguration of the orchestra conducted by Paweł Kotla was a great success. The new ensemble made up of young musicians from Poland and countries of the Eastern Partnership delivered a wonderful energy that promises excellent concert tours in major concert halls in Europe.
The concert took place at the Polish Baltic Philharmonic as part of the Solidarity of Arts Festival. Among the guests at the packed concert hall was the Minister of Education Katarzyna Hall, Senate Speaker Bogdan Borusewicz, the President of the City of Gdańsk Paweł Adamowicz and Henryka Krzywonos.
Before I,CULTURE Orchestra played "Scythian Suite, Op. 20" by Sergei Prokofiev - the first song performed by the orchestra - the conductor presented each member of the diverse group: musicians from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Poland.
The triumphant final chords of Szymanowski's "Concert Symphony No.4, Op.60" brought a storm of applause from the audience. But the sense of triumph that pervaded the Polish Baltic Philharmonic on this summer evening was as much a triumph of Polish perseverance as it was of music. The I,CULTURE Orchestra project succeed in that of promoting the evolving artistry of Poland and Europe's eastern neighbours, while emphasising significant social and political ties.
Next on the rich programme was a piano solo performed by the accompolished pianist Peter Jablonski. After the break, Dmitri Shostakovich's "5th Symphony in D minor, Op. 47" was performed which was followed by a standing ovation. The new musical ensemble of the official orchestra of the Polish presidency of the EU was unveiled during this sold-out show.
Minister Katarzyna Hall commented after the evening:
This is a really wonderful project, and a wonderful orchestra has been created...
During the three week artist residency in Gdańsk, musicians from the I, CULTURE Orchestra participated in workshops led by accomplished lecturers from leading European orchestras, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Opera de Lyon, Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera. The young artists also had a chance to meet with the legendary founder of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Sir Neville Marriner - one of the stars of the "Solidarity of Arts" festival.
In autumn the orchestra will partake in a European tour in venues such as the Berliner Philharmonie, Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles (Bozar), the Royal Festival Hall in London and Madrid's Teatro Real.
Produced as part of the Cultural Programme of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council 2011, I, CULTURE Orchestra is composed of 107 young musicians from both Poland and partner countries from Eastern Europe, including: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia and the Ukraine.
I, CULTURE Orchestra is a project led by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, and forms part of the Cultural Programme of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council 2011.
The I, CULTURE Orchestra Inaugural Concertwas held on the 24th of August 2011 at 19:00 at the Polish Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk.
For more information about the I, CULTURE Orchestra, see: orchestra.iam.pl.
For a full schedule of tour dates, click here.
Date: 24th of August, 2011.
Venue: Polish Baltic Philharmonic, Gdańsk.
Organised by: Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Project cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
Source: Adam Mickiewicz Institute