Opening of the 2023/2024 Concert Season Filharmonia Narodowa

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Opening of the 2023/2024 Concert Season
Eva Vogel, photo: Uwe Hauth

The intriguing programme of the concert inaugurating the 2023/2024 concert season at the Warsaw Philharmonic takes the form of an encounter between three classics. Although it might seem that the music of Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki continues to define contemporary Polish music, it is increasingly being assigned to the canon of the past. The programme of the opening concert of the new artistic season reminds us of important events related to those three innovative composers: the 110th anniversary of the birth of Lutosławski and the 90th anniversary of the birth of Penderecki and Górecki. Ludwig van Beethoven, who in his own times was regarded as a revolutionary (but also an eccentric), also came to embody for subsequent generations what was classical (and for many, what was finest). The turbulent history of the reception of his monumental Ninth Symphony in D minor shows that the significance of a given work is never established once and for all. It fascinated not just musicians and listeners with different tastes, but also representatives of different political factions and followers of extreme ideologies. It met along the way both nationalism and also universalism, which gave humanity hope. Today, one of the themes of the Symphony’s finale, which some critics of Beethoven’s time regarded as arrant extravagance, is one of the most recognisable melodies in Western musical culture, familiar as the anthem of the European Union.

Bartłomiej Gembicki 

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

Iwona Sobotka

Winner of the Grand Prix Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, of the Edmund Kossowski Polish Art Song Competition in Warsaw and the East and West International Artists Auditions in New York.

In the current season, she is an artist-in-residence at the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic in Łódź, where she will perform Richard Strauss’s Vier letzte Lider, Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and will debut as Isolde in a concert performance of Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. She will take part in the opening concert of the artistic season of the Polish Radio Orchestra in Warsaw. She will appear for the first time as Manon Lescaut in Giacomo Puccini’s opera and as Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello in the Grand Theatre in Poznań, as Leonora in Verdi’s Troubadour at the Estonian National Opera, and will also sing the part of Violetta in Verdi’s Traviata at the Grand Theatre in Łódź and the title role of Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka for the first time at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava.

The artist has collaborated with the Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra and Staatskapelle Berlin under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle. She performs Polish vocal repertoire. In 2004, she released her first solo album with the songs of Karol Szymanowski, which was honoured with the Fryderyk Award. She has also recorded Szymanowski’s works with, among others, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (EMI Classics) and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice (Polish Radio recording label).

Iwona Sobotka’s extensive operatic repertoire includes over 20 roles which she has presented on the world’s stages including the Opéra national de Paris, Teatro Real in Madrid, Chicago Opera Theater, Komische Oper Berlin, Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw, as well as at the Osterfestspiele in Baden-Baden and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.

She is a graduate of the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and of the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid, where she studied under Tom Krause.