Simply… Philharmonic!: Poles in the Wieniawski Competition- Violin – part 3 Filharmonia Narodowa

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Concert has been moved from 25 April 2022.
Tickets for this event purchased with the April date remain valid.


An ocean of ink has been spilled in efforts to describe the universal character of the music of Fryderyk Chopin – the patron of the piano competition held within the walls of the Warsaw Philharmonic. The music of Henryk Wieniawski, the patron of the famous Violin Competition, has a similar all-embracing vision. The violinist himself was an international figure, and this was reflected in his musical output. The virtuoso visited not only European countries (some of them numerous times) such as France, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, England, Belgium and the Netherlands, but he also crossed seas and even oceans. During a hectic tour of the United States and Canada, the artist gave over two hundred concerts in just eight months. He was accompanied on this hellishly exhausting trip by the outstanding pianist Anton Rubinstein, although, according to the contract, Wieniawski was only meant to feature as an extra in the pianist’s recitals.

However, numerous enthusiastic press reviews of the Pole’s performance suggest that the violinist was treated as at least Rubinstein’s equal. Many competitors representing different countries may find the personality of Wieniawski close to their hearts not only because of his music but also due to the professional path he took. Many of them come from countries and cities that the composer himself had visited. Wieniawski’s career as a performer may be daunting not only for novice musicians but also for well-established old hands. For some Polish contestants participation in the competition means embarking on an international career. They definitely should be inspired by the places that Wieniawski visited and the rich repertoire of his recitals; however, the number of concerts given and the tempo of his tours (even taking into account today’s possibilities) perhaps should not serve as something to imitate.


Bartłomiej Gembicki