Warsaw Music Encounters is an annual festival of early and new music, created in 1986. The Festival, founded and directed till 2016 by the composer Władysław Słowiński, is organised by the Warsaw Branch of the Polish Composers’ Union and co-organised by Polish Radio Programme 2. Since 2017 the Festival’s director is Jarosław Siwiński – composer, pianist, coordinator of music and educational events.
In agreement with the programmatic formula expressed in the Festival’s subheading "Early Music – New Music", the Festival presents important early and new music compositions and promotes the most recent works by contemporary composers, many of which written specially for this Festival, which also contributes to its unique character.
Since 2010, the Festival has also begun to present jazz music. Among the Festival performers we should mention, apart from leading Polish artists, such orchestras like: Lviv's Chamber Orchestra, Kiev's Chamber Orchestra, the Sinfonia Iuventus, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra (POR), the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio or Wratislavia Chamber Orchestra; ensembles such as The King’s Singers, Musica Antiqua Köln, Musica Reservata de Barcelona, More Hispano – Vicente Parrilla, Discantus, Alla Francesca, La Morra, Moscow Kremlin's Choir, Concerto Italiano with the cembalist Rinaldi Alessandrini and Musica Nova; soloists, including violinist Alena Baeva, pianist Friedrich Hoericke and cellist Ivan Monighetti as well as conductors: Agnieszka Duczmal, Krzysztof Słowiński and Jan Stanienda. Among the featured jazz artists, there have been the legendary String Connection, the outstanding German Thärichen’s Tentett, spirited jazz pianist Marcin Masecki, who created a deconstruction of Scarlatti’s Sonatas, We4 band with harmonica and vibraphone at the forefront, Atom String Quartet – the leading Polish jazz group as well as one of the most interesting string quartets of the world, Ptaszyn Wróblewski Sextet. In 2017 it was Lora Szafran and pianist Bogdan Hołownia with his group tthat performer the opening concert of the Festival.
The programme of 32nd Warsaw Music Encounters will consist of the following concerts:
May, 12, 2018
Concert of lutenist Jerzy Żak accompanied by flute, viola da gamba and violin. We will listen to the music by Silesian composer connected with the King Augustus II the Strong and by Marek Pasieczny, a contemporary composer and guitarist.
May, 13, 2018
Concert of combined choirs – the Serb Choir „Branko” and choirs of Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. We will listen to Orthodox Christian and folk music by the Serb composer, Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac, among the others.
May, 14, 2018
Concert of Hashtag Ensemble, a collective of young talented artists with works composed by young Polish composers.
May, 15, 2018
Concert of an outstanding Czech vocal ensemble – Schola Gregoriana Pragensis directed by David Eben. We will listen to music by Petrus Wilhelmi de Grudencz as well as some some anonymous compositions, recently discovered and never performed in the last 400 years.
May, 16, 2018
The conference Polish Composers and Paris (1918-1939), dedicated to the first generation of Polish composers educated in te independent Poland, in the 1920s.
Concert of New Music Orchestra conducted by Szymon Bywalec with soloist Katarzyna Duda on the violin. The programme is related to the topic of the conference – the beginnings of the Polish music avant-garde as well as very interesting later and less known examples of the Polish avant-garde: the imaginative concept of spiral music by Leoncjusz Ciuciura in the 1960s and the expressive graphic scores by Ewa Synowiec in the1980s. This music journey in time will be complemented with two works composed in 2018 for New Music Orchestra: Sinfonietta by Edward Sielicki and Afterglow. 2nd Violin Concerto by Tomasz Opałka.
May, 17, 2018
Concert of three excellent musicians: Leszek Lorent – percussion, Maciej Nerkowski – baritone and Dariusz Przybylski – organ featuring the legendary Kassandra by Xenakis and some recent Polish works based, like Kassandra, on the works of ancient Greek poets’ poets.
May, 18, 2018
Jazz concert by Kuba Stankiewicz Trio with Jacek Kotlarski – vocals and Maciej Sikała – saxophone. This concert is organised as a part of the celebration of the Centenary of Poland Regaining Independence. We will listen to improvisations based on the Polish legionary songs and to Songs by Jan Kochanowski set to music by Kuba Stankiewicz.
May, 19, 2018
Chamber opera A Journey to the Centre of the Earth – a multimedia music journey based on Jules Verne’s novel. This collective composition makes use of the most recent technologies of sound-and-image processing, including visualisation of brain waves of one of the performers. A Journey was created by composers, musicians and improvisers, members of The Mud Cavaliers ensemble. It will be performed at the seat of The National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute and will part of this year’s Warsaw Night of Museums.