On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra will perform on Sunday, 11 May at the Grand Theatre – National Opera. The Orchestra will be conducted by excellent violinist and conductor Andres Mustonen and by the ensemble’s long-term Artistic Director – Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki.
The concert program is made up of three parts and has been arranged to reflect the transformations that the orchestra has undergone since its formation. Sinfonia Varsovia was built upon the foundation of the Polish Chamber Orchestra – hence the strings in the first part of the concert, during which we will hear Andrzej Panufnik’s Old Polish Suite for string orchestra, two Sinfonias by Vivaldi (No. 1 in C major RV 719 and No. 2 in G major RV 146) and Bach’s 1st Violin Concerto in A minor BWV 1041. The soloist and conductor will be Andres Mustonen.
In 1984, Waldemar Dąbrowski, director of the St. I. Witkiewicz Studio Centre for the Arts in Warsaw and Franciszek Wybrańczyk, director of the then extant Polish Chamber Orchestra, operating within STUDIO’s structure, invited the legendary violinist Sir Yehudi Menuhin to perform in Poland as soloist and conductor. 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 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 symphony orchestra bearing the name of Sinfonia Varsovia.
This period in the history of Sinfonia Varsovia is reflected in the classical program of the second part of the anniversary gala: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat with soloists Arkadiusz Krupa (oboe), Aleksander Romański (clarinet), Zbigniew Płużek (bassoon) in Sinfonia Varsovia and Tomasz Bińkowski (French horn).
Sinfonia Varsovia’s gala concert would not be complete without its Artistic Director – Krzysztof Penderecki, who has held this position since 2003 (previously, from 1997 to 2003, the Maestro was the Orchestra’s Music Director). The musicians perform together in Poland and around the world and the ensemble’s repertoire includes many of the composer’s works. Krzysztof Penderecki has recorded a number of albums with the orchestra, including those of his own compositions. In January 2011 the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra played the world premiere performance of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Powiało na mnie morze snów… [A Sea of Dreams Did Breathe on Me...] and in November 2013 it performed at concerts which were part of the Krzysztof Penderecki Festival on the occasion of the composer’s 80th birthday. On Sunday, the Moniuszko Auditorium at the Grand Theatre – National Opera will resound with the monumental, post-romantic 2nd Symphony Christmas. This work will comprise the third and last part of the Anniversary Gala.