On Sunday, 3 April at 6:00 p.m. in Teatr Wielki – the National Opera will take place the concert devoted to the memory of Yehudi Menuhin on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the legendary violinist-conductor’s birthday. This will be a sentimental journey into the past – the programme of the event will be replete with references to Sinfonia Varsovia’s first concert under Menuhin’s direction.
The legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin arrived in Poland as soloist and conductor in April of 1984 at the invitation of Waldemar Dąbrowski and Franciszek Wybrańczyk, director of the then extant Polish Chamber Orchestra. To match the exigencies of the planned repertoire, the orchestra increased the number of its members, inviting renowned musicians from all over Poland to perform together. The ensemble’s initial concerts under the direction of Yehudi Menuhin were enthusiastically applauded by audiences and praised by critics, while 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 symphony orchestra bearing the name of Sinfonia Varsovia.
The concert on 3 April in Teatr Wielki – the National Opera is a homage that Sinfonia Varsovia pays to Yehudi Menuhin on the Maestro’s 100th birthday anniversary. The first item of the programme will be the Overture to Gioacchino Rossini’s opera L’italiana in Algeri – in its time, one of the most frequently played works under Menuhin’s direction, often as an encore.
We will also hear Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto for two violins in D minor BWV 1043. The work was performed during Sinfonia Varsovia’s memorable first concert at the National Philharmonic Concert Hall in Warsaw. Thirty two years ago, the soloist was Yehudi Menuhin himself, accompanied by his young Taiwanese student Leland Chen.
On Sunday, 3 April 2016, the now-mature Leland Chen will perform the same work, this time playing first violin. The second soloist will be Darwin Chang – a thirteen year-old student of Menuhin’s famous School.
After completing Menuhin’s School, Leland Chen continued his study of the violin at the elite Menuhin Academy in Gstaad (Switzerland). On Sunday, he will also perform Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto op. 47 in D minor.
The soloists will be accompanied by Sinfonia Varsovia under the direction of Christopher Warren-Green, British violinist and conductor associated with, among others, the London Chamber Orchestra. It is worthy of note that the artist has often conducted during celebrations held by the British Royal Family, including the wedding of Prince William and Duchess Catherine. This will not be Warren-Green’s first encounter with Sinfonia Varsovia. A recording of their concert with soloist Maria João Pires made at the 2010 Chopin and His Europe festival was released in 2015.
The last item in the programme is Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations op.36.
more in Calendar