Since Oskar Kolberg figures in the official name of the Kielce Philharmonic—aka Filharmonia Świętokrzyska im. Oskara Kolberga w Kielcach—the Philharmonic Auditorium as well as the Hall of the provincial Cultural Centre hosted several programs devoted to the bicentenary of Kolberg’s birth on May 30-June 3. The opening night, May 30, featured a recital of songs by Kolberg, Noskowski and Chopin, presented by Iwona Kowalkowska (soprano), Wojciech Maciejowski (tenor), and Andrzej Tatarski (piano). The official unveiling of an exhibit dedicated to Oskar Kolberg was also held that evening alongside promotion of a newly-recorded CD with Kolberg’s songs.

The May 31 concert featured several folk ensembles and finalists of a composers’ competition for a short electroacoustic work based on music of the Kielce region. The June 1 matinee program featured old folk tales and children’s games, collected by Kolberg. They were presented by the Janusz Prusinowski Ensemble with children participating in the performance. Later that evening, the Regional Cultural Centre hosted a showcase entitled “The Mosaic of Polish Folklore” and performed by the finalists of national folklore competitions.

On Monday, June 2, various spaces in Kielce’s Philharmonic Hall were converted to children’s playgrounds with educational seminars, games, as well as classes in art and music, all based on local folklore as collected by Oskar Kolberg. This was the third such event organized by the office of the Marshall of Kielce Province for children in grades 1-3.

The Kolberg Festival in Kielce concluded on June 3 with a concert featuring works by Józef Elsner (“Overture” to the opera Leszek Biały), Frederic Chopin (Fantasy on Polish Airs, Op. 13), Edward Pałłasz (Three Kaszubian Folk Tales), and Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński (Symphony No. 1, Op. 11). Radosław Sobczak was the piano soloist and the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic was led by maestro Jacek Rogala.