Warsaw: the big day

March 20, 2018. Notable to some as the first day of spring, just an ordinary Tuesday to many others. But to us, it’s a significant moment in our history. It’s a day that people will talk about for years. It’s the day we made genuine history as the first full American orchestra to perform at the prestigious Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw. It’s the day when JoAnn Falletta became the first American woman to conduct at the Festival.

These are no small milestones. This Festival is a big deal in Europe. Anne-Sophie Mutter, the Shanghai Quartet, Anne Akiko Meyers, and the Emerson String Quartet are among the high-profile artists who have performed there. Dignitaries are often spotted in attendance at the concerts, including Poland’s past president, who attended this year’s opening night. The festival is organized by Elzbieta Penderecka, one of the most respected women in Poland’s classical music scene. We’re proud to say that she’s also a friend of ours. It was an honor to be invited to perform, a privilege to be able to accept, and a true joy to share our music with the people of Poland on one of Europe’s most prestigious stages.

We also had a wonderful time exploring the city. The musicians had most of Monday and Tuesday to walk around and see the sights, enjoy some good food and drinks, and experience Warsaw. Today, the group on the VIP Patron Tour was also in Warsaw. The tour included concert tickets, and it was lovely to know that some of our biggest supporters were in the audience as we took the stage. We’re so appreciative of everyone’s support!

Load-in at Filharmonia Narodowa w Warszawie.

This gorgeous venue is a replica of one that was destroyed during WWII.

Treasure of Poland: Principal Horn Jacek Muzyk interprets at a VIP Patron Tour dinner last night.

Ambassador Paul Jones and JoAnn Falletta.

Violinists on the town: enjoying a Warsaw sunset.

Historic Warsaw.

In Warsaw, even the alleys have charm.

All week long, our musicians have been finding great street art like this!

The official Beethoven Easter Festival artwork.

JoAnn Falletta’s dressing room.

Violinist Diana Sachs post-concert with JoAnn Falletta and Conrad Tao.

Two of the most important women in classical music, if we do say so ourselves. Elzbieta Penderecka and JoAnn Falletta.