2021/2022 Jubilee Concert Season Opening Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

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2021/2022 Jubilee Concert Season Opening Concert
Krzysztof Jabłoński, fot. artist's archive

It is hard to believe, but Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, one of the most famous and popular works ever written for this instrument and whose opening chords have become emblematic of the composer’s music, enjoyed only a lukewarm reception during its premiere performance at the Moscow Conservatoire, and one of the harshest critics of the piece was the great pianist Nikolai Rubinstein. His adverse opinion hurt Tchaikovsky to the quick – he erased the dedication to Rubinstein, bestowing this honour instead on the first ever performer of the work, Hans von Bülow. Despite an enthusiastic reception in the United States, in Europe the Concerto continued to divide opinion. It was a work to which no-one could remain indifferent, and eventually even Rubinstein took to Concerto in B-flat Minor and became an excellent interpreter of the piece, which became a permanent fixture in the concerto repertoire.

The early 19th-century collection of German folk songs and poems compiled by Joachim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano – Des Knaben Wunderhorn – had an enormous impact on Gustav Mahler, which is very much reflected in his work. He arranged selected pieces as songs and each of his first four symphonies (even the instrumental First) includes allusions and quotes from The Boy’s Magic Horn. The Fourth, completed in 1900, closes this chapter – a peculiar symphonic “tetralogy”, full of intertextuality and hidden agendas – by recalling in its finale the song Das himmlische Leben (The Heavenly Life), so delightful in its simplicity. This Symphony stands in stark contrast to the later Fifth (we highly recommend hearing this work for yourself on 29 and 30 April), the musical architecture of which is more traditional, the mood joyful and exuberant, and reliant on a smaller, chamber-like orchestral line-up.

Krzysztof Penderecki worked on his monumental Polish Requiem for over a quarter of a century, and each of its movements (starting from the evocative Lacrimosa, commissioned by Lech Wałęsa to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of December 1970) has become a musical epitaph for different figures and events, and at the same time a powerful synthesis of the author’s creative exploration of oratorio music, which was always very important to him.


The Warsaw Philharmonic Strategic Patron of the Year – PKO Bank Polski – warmly welcomes you to join us in this concert

Andrzej Boreyko

Andrzej Boreyko is an outstanding conductor and artist widely recognised by audiences and musical critics around the world.

After graduating with the highest distinction, i.e. summa cum laude, from two departments – choral conducting and symphonic and operatic conducting – at the Rimsky‑Korsakov Conservatoire in Saint Petersburg, he obtained his first posts as conductor in Russia (Ulyanovsk and Yekaterinburg). Then, after several years as Artistic Director of the Poznań Philharmonic (the city of his childhood) he was appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Jenaer Philharmonie. It was here that his staggering international career truly took off. He spent five years (1998–2003) at the helm of the philharmonic, and currently holds the title of Honorary Conductor. As a token of recognition for his services, he was awarded the Deutscher Musikverleger-Verband Prize in three consecutive seasons (the first time this happened in the history of this institution) for his innovative contributions and the outstanding quality of his concert programmes.

He then went on to become Music Director of the following orchestras: the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (2001–2006), the Symphoniker Hamburg (2004–2008), the Berner Symphonieorchester (2004–2010), and the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker (2009–2014).

During this period, he was also the principal guest conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (2000–2003), the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR (today known as the SWR Symphonieorchester) and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi in San Sebastian (2009–2017).

From September 2012 until June 2017, Andrzej Boreyko served as Music Director of the Orchestre National de Belgique. Under his directorship, the ensemble expanded its horizons at both home and abroad, harmoniously combining a traditional and innovative repertoire in diverse programmes that featured newly commissioned works from composers from all over the world (including Giya Kancheli from Georgia, Fazıl Say from Turkey, and Frederik Neyrinck from Belgium, among others).

In September 2014, he took up the post of Music Director of the Naples Philharmonic in Florida. Under his guidance, the orchestra achieved incredible success, performing specially commissioned pieces from various composers and inviting outstanding musicians of the highest renown to perform with it. At the same time, the ensemble focused on raising its artistic standards. Andrzej Boreyko was able to find the right balance by merging a traditional repertoire with innovative works of a very high standard.

Andrzej Boreyko is currently also the director of a festival at BOZAR in Brussels, each edition of which is devoted to a different composer.

The conductor is also regularly invited to collaborate with many world-class orchestras. In North America, he has led the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as the symphony orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, Montreal, Detroit, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Toronto. He has also appeared at festivals in Ravinia and Aspen with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Thanks to his artistic achievements and unique approach to concert programmes he has been invited to collaborate with the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the San Francisco Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestras of Cincinnati and Houston, with which he performs regularly as a guest conductor.

In Europe, he has worked with such renowned ensembles as the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Deutsches Symphonie‑Orchester in Berlin, the Münchner Philharmoniker, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Filarmonica della Scala, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Orchestre de Paris, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest. The list also includes the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Göteborg Symphony Orchestra, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and the Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest.

In Asia, Andrzej Boreyko has graced the podiums of the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. In Australia, he has collaborated with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony, and the orchestras of Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane, and Perth.

While Andrzej Boreyko is an ardent admirer of the great works in the symphonic canon he is equally at home tackling lesser known pieces. To great acclaim he conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic in one of the most eagerly awaited musical events of the 2014/2015 season in the United States – the first ever American performance of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Symphony No. 4. He was also at the podium when the London Philharmonic Orchestra (April 2014) performed the world premiere of the same piece and also took part in its first ever recording (Nonesuch Records). Also under his baton was the Cincinnati Orchestra when it performed Igor Stravinsky’s recently discovered Funeral Song, the premiere of Victoria Borisova‑Ollas’ Symphony No. 2 and Requiem for Larissa by Valentin Silvestrov. At the most recent Prague Spring Festival he presented Jan Novák’s cantata Dido.

The artist boasts an extensive discography, including precious recordings with the then Radio‑Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, of which he was principal guest conductor. His recordings with this orchestra include Arvo Pärt’s Lamentate, Valentin Silvestrov’s Symphony No. 6 (ECM Records), and the world’s first ever phonographic release of the original version of Dmitri Shostakovich’s suite from the opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (Hänssler Classic). With the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker the conductor has recorded Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic – Chain 2 by Witold Lutosławski (Yarlung Records). In addition, he has been working on a major project with the Orchestre National de Belgique, which will involve recording the complete symphonies of Shostakovich. He has already captured on CD the latter’s symphonies Nos. 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 15 with the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR.