Symphonic Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

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Symphonic Concert
Michał Nesterowicz, photo: Łukasz Rajchert

Clarity and distinctness of form are among the distinguishing features of the whole of Grażyna Bacewicz’s oeuvre. Her First Cello Concerto, from 1951, is a three-movement work that respects the canonic sonata cycle model, and at the same time is filled with a modern musical language not devoid of chromaticism. In our concert, this neoclassical work will be interpreted by one of the most outstanding Polish cellists: Marcin Zdunik.

Fourteen Points was written by Paweł Szymański for the centenary of Polish independence. The title of this overture evokes the fourteen-point peace programme prepared by American president Woodrow Wilson in 1918; following the cataclysm of the First World War, that document presupposed the existence of an independent Poland. Szymański’s overture was first performed in November 2018, at the Barbican Centre in London, by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the conductor of today’s concert, Michał Nesterowicz.

The ideas of a struggle for independence – this time Finnish – also resound in scholarly interpretations of Jean Sibelius’ Second Symphony in D major, completed in 1902. Such connotations are supposedly suggested especially by the exalted finale. In earlier studies, this work was dubbed a ‘symphony of independence’. The composer himself seems to have maintained a distance with regard to such interpretations, and his Second, with its charmingly buoyant character, remains the best known of all his seven symphonies.

Urszula Ciołkiewicz-Latek


Marcin Zdunik

A Polish cellist – soloist and chamber musician. He performs music of various eras: from the Renaissance to the present day. He also improvises, arranges and composes. He has been invited to take part in prestigious music festivals: the BBC Proms in London, Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano and Chopin and his Europe in Warsaw. In 2007, he won the Grand Prix in the 6th International Witold Lutosławski Cello Competition in Warsaw, and in 2008 participated in the International Forum of Young Performers in Bratislava, winning the title ‘New Talent 2008’.

He has performed as a soloist in many renowned concert halls, including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Konzerthaus Berlin and the Rudolfinum in Prague. He has been accompanied by many excellent ensembles, including the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Sinfonia Varsovia, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice and City of London Sinfonia, and also by outstanding conductors, such as Andrzej Boreyko, Antoni Wit and Andres Mustonen.

An important role in his artistic life is played by collaborations with inspiring instrumentalists, including Nelson Goerner, Krzysztof Jabłoński, Ewa Pobłocka, Krzysztof Jakowicz, Szymon Nehring, Jakub Jakowicz and Aleksander Dębicz.

He has recorded many albums of concert and chamber repertoire, including cello concertos by Joseph Haydn and Paweł Mykietyn, works for cello and piano by Robert Schumann, the complete chamber works of Fryderyk Chopin, compositions for choir and cello, chamber music pieces, and also his own improvisations. He has received three Fryderyk awards from the Polish record industry, and in 2009 he also won a ‘Cultural Guarantee’ awarded by TVP Kultura.

Composition plays an important part in Marcin Zdunik’s artistic activity. In recent years, he wrote Cello Concerto ‘Ghosts of the Past’ (2021), Piano Quartet (2022) and a number of solo pieces and theatre music.

Marcin Zdunik trained with outstanding musicians: Andrzej Bauer and Julius Berger. He also completed musicology studies at the University of Warsaw. He teaches cello at the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk and the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. In April 2021, he received the title Professor of Art, and in 2020 the Honorary Badge of Merit for Services to Polish Culture, awarded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.