Organ Concert to Mark the 120th Anniversary of the Warsaw Philharmonic Filharmonia Narodowa

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Organ Concert to Mark the 120th Anniversary of the Warsaw Philharmonic
Chrmistian Schmitt, fot. Uwe Arens

The first of a series of organ concerts with which the Warsaw Philharmonic will be celebrating its 120th anniversary features several appealing works by three great German neo-Romantics and Wojciech Kilar, who was always very closely associated with our institution (in 2001 he honoured its centenary with his Missa pro pace). His hypnotic Exodus (1981) is a vocal-symphonic poem, a great “crescendo” for choir and orchestra, similar in this regard to Ravel’s Bolero.

Following the Overture to Wagner’s Tannhäuser we will hear Bacchanal – a scene added specially to the Parisian staging of the piece to allow room for a display of dance and in this way meet the demands of the French capital. Unfortunately, it diverged so greatly from the audience’s expectations that it caused a scandal, which long cast a shadow over the reception of Wagner’s music in France.

Born in the Principality of Liechtenstein, Joseph Rheinberger proved himself to be a child prodigy; he later pursued (mainly in Munich) a career as an organ player, conductor, chorus master, and respected teacher. His works are characterised by perfect technique and subtle harmony, with a particular penchant for euphony – these features are evident in his extensive and spectacular Organ Concerto, the first of two such works he composed, and one of only a few ever written for organ and orchestra.

The programme of the 1913 inaugural concert of the Wiener Konzerthaus, attended by Emperor Franz Joseph, included Beethoven’s Ninth and a new piece written especially for this occasion by Richard Strauss – the solemn Festliches Präludium, which opens with the sound of the organ. The Philharmonic’s jubilee is a perfect occasion to reacquaint our audiences with this relatively rarely performed work.


Maciej Tomasiewicz

Maciej Tomasiewicz is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Katowice where he studied composition and theory of music as well as symphony and opera conducting (later completing a PhD) in the class of Szymon Bywalec. He went on to attend the conducting master class of Michael Dittrich in Budapest, where he received Second Prize in a competition, as well as master classes taught by Gabriel Chmura, Jacek Kaspszyk, and Larry J. Livingston among others. He is associated with the Archetti Chamber Orchestra of the city of Jaworzno, originally as a violinist, and since 2014 as a conductor. In the years 2015–2019, he was head of the Polish Youth Symphony Orchestra in Bytom and the Karol Szymanowski Youth Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, which enjoyed considerable success under his guidance. He is the only conductor in the history of the Music and Dance Institute (IMiT) to be twice awarded a Conductor Resident scholarship.

The artist has worked under such esteemed conductors as Gabriel Chmura, Matthew Halls, Michail Jurowski, Jacek Kaspszyk, Michał Klauza, Christoph König, Alexander Liebreich, Ludovic Morlot, Tadeusz Kozłowski, and Antoni Wit. He has acted as assistant conductor with Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra and the Grand Theatre of Łódź. He has conducted the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, the Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra, the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra of Białystok, the Kalisz, Silesian, Świętokrzyskie, Zielona Góra Philharmonics as well as the Silesian Chamber Orchestra and the New Music Orchestra, among others. He collaborates with the Silesian Opera, where he has conducted, inter alia, the premiere of the ballet Scheherezade/Medea to the music by Rimsky-Korsakov and Barber, as well as new productions of ToscaThe NutcrackerDer Zigeunerbaron and The Haunted Manor. In Białystok he conducted such performances as Carmen and Turandot. In September 2019 he won a competition to serve as assistant conductor to Andrzej Boreyko, Music & Artistic Director of the Warsaw Philharmonic. In 2020, he was appointed artistic director of the Silesian Chamber Orchestra.