International Music Festival Chopin and his Europe already gained an important position among international music festivals. Similarly to the previous editions, this year the festival gathered an impressive cast of exceptional personalities of the piano word, such as: Elisabeth Leonskaja, Dina Yoffe, Ingrid Flitter, Plamena Mangova, Janina Fiałkowska, Alexander Lonquich, Denis Matsuev, Dmitri Alexeev, Alexei Lubimov and Nelson Goerner. This year festival couldn't take place without the great individualities of the last Chopin Piano Competition: Yulianna Avdeeva, Evgenij Bozhanov, Daniil Trifonov, François Dumont, Leonora Armellini and also Paweł Wakarecy and Irene Veneziano. The winner of the competition, Yulianna Avdeeva, performed twice: a recital on a contemporary piano and a symphonic concert played with the accompaniment of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment playing both Chopin Piano Concertos on a period piano.
Apart from the recitals, symphonic and oratorian concerts, outstanding chamber concerts (one of which will be devoted entirely to Polish music) took place. Once again Martha Argerich decided to visit Warsaw and perform during the festival. Her concert was a real sensation: she played the Piano Quintet in F minor by Juliusz Zarębski – the work which she has played for the first time this year during the festival in Lugano. Apart from Martha Argerich, the audience will hear the winners of Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition – Bartłomiej Nizioł and Agata Szymczewska, Busoni Competition – Lilya Zilberstein.
The organizers invited many highly valued choirs and orchestras, such as Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Russian National Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Collegium Vocale Gent & Accademia Chigiana Siena and Camerata Silesia. Among the conductors invited to the festival there were such world-famous personalities as: Philippe Herreweghe, Vladimir Jurowski, Mikhail Pletnev, Jacek Kaspszyk, Augustin Dumay and Howard Shelley (last two artists will also perform as soloists).
Once more the audience heard Jan Lisiecki, 16 years old pianist, whose international successful career started here, in Warsaw, during the 4th edition of the festival.The album containing both Chopin's piano concertos performed by Lisiecki during the festival became famous all over the world and resulted in signing a contract with the prestigious recording company Deutsche Grammophon.
This year three very interesting festival debuts took place: debut of Khatia Buniatishvili, Michał Szymanowski.The organisers planned also a unique chamber evening – a recital of Chopin's songs performed by Dorothee Mields and Nelson Goerner and published in the series The Real Chopin.
The year 2011 has been named the Year of Franz Liszt, Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Gustav Mahler. This is also the year, in which Poland took over the Presidency of the European Union Council. Due to these circumstances the programme of the 7th Festival was concentrated around two exceptional individualities of the XIXth century: the patron of the festival, Fryderyk Chopin, and a year younger Hungarian artist, Franz Liszt.
The historical performances traditionally had an important place in the festival programme. This year four, instead of three period pianos were available for the pianists: The Fryderyk Chopin Institute has enlarged its collection of pianos by a unique Erard piano from 1838. For the first time in Poland the music of Brahms, Liszt and Noskowski were played on the historical instruments.
For the ceremonial ending of the festival the organisers prepared a concert being a gesture of solidarity with Japan after the tragic earthquake: on the 1st of September in the Church of the Holly Cross Janusz Olejniczak and Camerata Silesia – The Katowice City Singers' Ensemble presented extraordinary and very rarely played composition written by Liszt „Via Crucis”. The programme of this concert also consisted of two pieces by japanese composer Toru Takemitsu performed by Akane Sakai and Jakub Waszczeniuk.
Director of the Festival