POLIN Music Festival goes online on Friday

Six online music shows will take place during the fourth edition of POLIN Music Festival in the online format, due to the pandemic conditions.

Violinist Michael Guttman, cellist Jing Zhao, pianist Mischa Kozłowski are among this year’s stars. The show will also feature a string quartet Sinfonia Varsovia and the SONICO band performing tango Argentina.

This year’s festival commemorates the 25th anniversary of Mieczysław Wajnberg’s death and the centenary of Astro Piazzolli’s birthday. The spectacle will also relate to the new “Heritage” art gallery of the POLIN Museum and will acquaint the audience with Bronisław Huberman, Artur Rubinstein and Henryk Wars’ creative works.

The festival will be opened by a chamber concert of its curator — Michael Guttman, who will be performing from his house in Switzerland. Then, together with cellist Jing Zhao, the duo will perform “the Hebrew Suite” by Ernest Bloch.

February 26 will also see the 25th anniversary of Polish-Jewish-Russian composer Mieczysław Wajnberg commemorated. During the second of Friday’s concert, organised together with the Wjnberg Institute, the following Polish musicians will perform: soprano Ewa Leszczyńska, violinist Maria Sławek, cellist Marcin Zdunki and pianist Mischa Kozłowski. During intermissions, Yiddish researcher Karolina Szymaniak will explain the lyrics of the songs.

Two piano recitals will be performed during the second day of the festival with Alexey Botvinov performing the music of Odessa-related currently Israel-based Jan Freidlin. The Polish premiere of the “Seven landscapes” will be preceded by Philip Glass’ suite written for the movie “Hours”. Eric Himy, an interpreter of George Gershwin’s music, will perform an evening recital of the composer’s music.

The Sinfornia Varsovia instrumentalists will perform on Sunday morning. The concert will be provided with contextual explanation by POLIN Museum’s educators Elżbieta Grab and Joanna Dubrawska.

The Sunday finale of the festival will traditionally resound with a tango melody. From his studio in Brussels, double-bassist Ariel Eberstein will introduce the audience to the SONICO ensemble. The artists will present new musical material from their latest "Piazzolla - Rovira: The Edge of Tango" album recorded on the occasion of the centenary of Astora Piazzolli’s birthday. The pieces of the Piazzolli - Octeto Buenos Aires band will also be performed.

The curators of the festival are Michael Guttman and Kajetan Prochyra. The festival’s music shows will be available free of charge on Facebook and YouTube.