61ST IFCM "Warsaw Autumn"


55 events: 21 concerts, 10 meetings and workshops, 4 installations, 4 vernissages and 1 finissage, 3 film projections, 13 fringe events including an internet radio, 19 venues, 82 composers, 48 world premieres including 17 Polish premieres and 18 compositional commissions. Four event threads: the main Festival, Little Warsaw Autumn for listeners aged 4–12, Warsaw Autumn Hits the Club, and numerous fringe events. This is the programme of the 61st Warsaw Autumn Festival, a festival that enters its seventh decade.

The main topic of this year’s edition, Res publica, is linked to the centenary of Polish’s regained independence. The 61st Warsaw Autumn Festival explores the relations of contemporary music with the reality it addresses, as well as creative musical approaches to the public sphere. It looks at music as a community and civic medium, an expression of personal and social identity. The Warsaw Autumn Festival will be a place of artistic debate, presenting various musical statements about ourselves and the surrounding world.

The programme of this year’s Warsaw Autumn Festival will open with the words of Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Józef Piłsudski in the verbal–sound composition by Rafał Augustyn and Cezary Duchnowski, played at the inaugural concert. At the final concert, we shall hear Louis Andriessen’s De Staat, a legendary treatise about the state and authority, with texts drawn from Plato’s The Republic. The civic art of prematurely deceased Polish composer Andrzej Bieżan will also have a special place in this year’s programme. An important character of alternative music and political contestation in the 1970s and 1980s, he will be featured with the installation Piano For All and music–theatrical happening Barricade. The Museum of Warsaw will host the audiovisual space Forging the Scythes, an installation with electroacoustic compositions, inspired by the eponymous painting by Wojciech Fangor of 1954. The Warsaw Autumn Festival will also prominently feature four other composers: Bernhard Lang, Stefan Prins, Trond Reindholdtsen, and Agata Zubel.

It is worth noting that no fewer than 55 female artists will contribute to this edition of Warsaw Autumn as composers, soloists, performers, directors, and conductors. The Festival’s future to a large extent depends on women, similarly to other social and civic activities increasingly influenced by women on our part of Europe.

For over half a century, Warsaw Autumn has been one of the largest and most important contemporary music festivals in Europe. Around 1,200 artists from various areas of art, not only music, will participate in this edition. Contemporary music makes ample use of multimedia and routinely combines with other areas of art. Consequently, Warsaw Autumn dedicates much space to opera and stage works. This year’s edition will feature four works in this category: the Polish premiere of Agata Zubel’s Bildbeschreibung, Paweł Mykietyn’s multimedia show for electronics and symphony orchestra Herr Thaddäus, Piotr Peszat’s multimedia composition The Artist’s Way, and Andrzej Krzanowski’s legendary Programme V. Other interesting events from the borderline of performing arts and music will include Trond Reinholdtsen’s music theatre Ø – Episode 6 and the world premiere of Wojtek Blecharz’s REICHNITZ.OPERA (The Exterminating Angel).

Performers of the 61st Warsaw Autumn Festival will include notably the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra directed by Jacek Kaspszyk, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice directed by Etienne Siebens, Orchestra of the Beethoven Philharmonic directed by Wiktor Kociuban, Klangforum Wien directed by Titus Engel, EWCM Orchestra and Rüdiger Bohn, Black Page Orchestra, New Music Orchestra (OMN) and Szymon Bywalec, Ensemble Recherche, Spółdzielnia Muzyczna Contemporary Ensemble, Kwartludium, proMODERN, as well as soloists Gareth Davis (bass clarinet), Kakushin Nishihara (biwa), Stéphane Ginsburg (piano and multimedia), Frederike Möller (piano), Joanna Freszel and Agata Zubel (sopranos), Frank Wörner (baritone), and Katarzyna Duda (violin).

One of our latest initiatives is a meeting with the Festival’s director Jerzy Kornowicz and members of the Programme Committee, scheduled for the last day of Warsaw Autumn. Members of the audience can participate and voice their opinion on the Festival, its repertoire, and future programmes.

Warsaw Autumn integrates: it is the fruit of cooperation of many milieus and institutions from Poland and other countries. Amongst the 19 venues in Warsaw that will host this year’s Festival, special mention goes to those less associated with music: the TR Warszawa theatre, the Nowy Theatre hosting the Komuna Warszawa group, and three new venues for this year: the Museum of Warsaw, Museum of Modern Art, and Theatre Institute.