Sinfonia Varsovia

Sinfonia Varsovia

photo Andrzej Świetlik

In April of 1984, Waldemar Dąbrowski, director of the St. I. Witkiewicz STUDIO Centre for the Arts inWarsawand Franciszek Wybrańczyk, director of the then extant Polish Chamber Orchestra invited the legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin to perform inPolandas soloist and conductor. To match the exigencies of the planned repertoire, the orchestra increased the number of its members, inviting renowned musicians from all overPolandto perform together. The ensemble’s initial concerts conducted by Yehudi Menuhin were enthusiastically applauded by audiences and praised by critics, while Lord Menuhin himself did not hesitate to accept Waldemar Dąbrowski’s and Franciszek Wybrańczyk’s proposal to become the first guest conductor of the newly established orchestra. The concept of establishing a permanent orchestra consisting of strings and double winds bearing the name of SINFONIA VARSOVIA had become reality.

The ensemble was soon invited to play concerts in the United Statesand Canada, with more invitations to follow – from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Finland, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Switzerlandand Greece, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Koreaand Taiwan. SINFONIA VARSOVIA has performed in the world’s most celebrated concert halls, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Théatre des Champs Elysées in Paris, the Barbican Centre in London, Vienna’s Musikverein, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Suntory Hall in Tokyoand Herkulessaal in Munich. The orchestra played at renowned festivals in Salzburg, Gstaad (the Yehudi Menuhin Festival), Aix-en-Provence, Montreux, La Roque d’Antheron, Schleswig-Holstein, the Pablo Casals Festival, Würzburg, Alte Oper (Frankfurt am Mein), the Sea Music Festival, the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, and many more. The celebrated “La Folle Journée” music festival organised by the French C.R.E.A. association and its director René Martin holds a special slot in the orchestra’s performing calendar each season. The festival is held in Nantes, Bilbao, Tokyoand Rio de Janeiro. In June 2010, together with the C.R.E.A., the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra organised the La Folle Journée/ Szalone Dni Muzyki Festival in Warsaw. 119 concerts were performed in the space of three days by 450 musicians from 15 countries around the world, all attended by an audience of more than 26 000. The second edition of the festival – “Les Titans” – was held from 29 September to 2 October 2011. 85 concerts performed by 860 artists from 13 countries around the world were attended by more than 26 000 listeners. The third Warsawedition of the La Folle Journée Festival took place on 28-30 September 2012 and was devoted to the music ofRussia. 60 concerts were performed by 950 artists and attended by more than 32 000 listeners, while educational events preceding the festival were attended by 3 050 students and teachers from elementary schools inWarsaw.

The orchestra’s vast repertoire ranges from 18th century works to contemporary compositions. The orchestra has played Polish and world premieres of works by, among others, John Adams, Krzesimir Dębski, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Witold Lutosławski, Paweł Mykietyn, Onute Narbutaite, Krzysztof Penderecki, Marta Ptaszyńska and Paweł Szymański.

Sinfonia Varsovia performs in the world’s most celebrated concert halls and at the most important festivals, working with world-class artists, including Claudio Abbado, Gerd Albrecht, Charles Dutoit, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Velery Gergev, Hans Graf, Leopold Hager, Jacek Kaspszyk, Kazimierz Kord, Jan Krenz, Emmanuel Krivine, Witold Lutosławski, Paul McCreesh, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Yehudi Menuhin, Marc Minkowski, Grzegorz Nowak, Krzysztof Penderecki, Michel Plasson, Mstislav Rostropovich, Volker Schmidt-Gertenbach, Jerzy Semkow, George Tchitchinadze, Christopher Warren-Green, Antoni Wit and Bruno Weil, soloists, including Salvatore Accardo, Piotr Anderszewski, Maurice André, Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Boris Berezovsky, Teresa Berganza, Rafał Blechacz, Alfred Brendel, José Carreras, Sarah Chang, Kyung-Wha Chung, José Cura, Placido Domingo, Augustin Dumay, Nelson Freire, James Galway, Sophie Graf, Fou Ts’ong, Sharon Kam, Kiri Te Kanawa, Nigel Kennedy, Gidon Kremer, Alicia de Larrocha, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Christa Ludwig, Radu Lupu, Albrecht Mayer, Mischa Maisky, Yehudi Menuhin, Shlomo Mintz, Olli Mustonen, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Olga Pasiecznik, Murray Perahia, Maria João Pires, Ivo Pogorelić, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Vadim Repin, Katia Ricciarelli, Mstislav Rostropovich, Heinrich Schiff, Howard Shelley, Henryk Szeryng, Maxim Vengerov, Andreas Vollenweider, Christian Zacharias, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Tabea Zimmermann and Grigori Zhyslin.

The Orchestra has made numerous recordings on compact disc and for radio and television. Its discography numbers more than 200 albums, many of which received prestigious awards.

Krzysztof Penderecki became the orchestra’s musical director in 1997 and its artistic director in July 2003.

In 2012 Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, President of the City of Warsaw, director Krzysztof Penderecki and Janusz Marynowski, director of the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra signed a letter of intent to build a concert hall.

The Orchestra’s coordinator is the Capital City of Warsaw.

Szalone Dni Muzyki
Copyright © 2013 La Folle Journée. All rights reserved.