The Poland tour: a 4332-mile overview

As of this writing, it’s seven weeks until the BPO leaves for its tour of Poland! This is the first international tour that the BPO has embarked on in 30 years, and the first time a full American orchestra has been invited to perform at the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw.

The first Ludwig van Beethoven Festival, founded by Elzbieta Penderecka, took place in January 1997. Its organizers officially formed the Ludwig Van Beethoven Association in 2003 in Krakow with the primary purpose to organize the annual Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival and promote classical music. The Association has an array of other activities, including the promotion and management of Polish concert artists.  Warsaw is the key venue for the festival, which now runs the two weeks leading up to Easter.

The Festival presents up to 50 events, solo recitals, chamber music and orchestral concerts, in numerous venues throughout the city featuring many of the world’s most famous artists. The list of orchestras and soloists appearing over its history represent a who’s who of the classical music world: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, National Radio Symphony of Poland, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra-Zurich, NDR Symphony-Hamburg, Lathi Symphony of Finland as well as artists such as Rudolf Buchbinder, Barry Douglas, Emerson String Quartet, Max Valdes, and Krzysztof Penderecki to name a few. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is honored to soon be added to this prestigious list!

With the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein in 2018, the Festival’s theme will honor his legacy. The BPO will perform a special American program including Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1, George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F featuring the dynamic rising star Conrad Tao, and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Also on the program is a piece by Poland’s beloved dean of composition, Krzysztof Penderecki’s Adagietto from Paradise Lost. The BPO is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, following Sunday’s opening concert with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Additional tour cities featuring the full orchestra include Wroclaw, Katowice and Lublin. A woodwind ensemble will perform and present master classes in Luslawice at the Krzysztof Penderecki Centre for European Music, and in Rzeszów, Buffalo’s sister city.

Over the coming days and weeks, we’ll have a lot more to share with you about the tour, so keep following this blog for the inside story on our trip!