Comprised of three concerts organized by the Witold Lutosławski Society and the Warsaw National Philharmonic, the Music in Wartime Warsaw [Muzyka w okupowanej Warszawie] series will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II and the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising. Held on September 12-14, these concerts are devoted to showcasing music written during the German occupation of Warsaw from 1939-1945. All concerts will be held in the Concert Hall and Chamber Hall of the Warsaw Phil, and performers include the Phil, as well as the Silesian Quartet, Lutosławski Piano Duo, and Kwadrofonik.

The first concert will present orchestral compositions that—with the exception of Panufnik’s Tragic Overture—could not have been performed during the war. They include Overture by Grażyna Bacewicz, Violin Concerto by Roman Palester, and Witold Lutosławski’s First Symphony, that was completed after the war.

The second concert will spotlight string quartets composed and performed in occupied Warsaw, including those by Karol Szymanowski, Roman Padlewski, and Grażyna Bacewicz. Chamber music was performed most often, since it could be presented in cafes or in private gatherings at various apartments and residences all across the city. This concert will be preceded by screening of a documentary film about Roman Padlewski, a violinist who was killed in the Warsaw Uprising.

The third concert features music performed by the most famous piano duo in occupied Warsaw—the Lutosławski-Panufnik Duet. Original works as well as arrangements of music by other composers that this duo presented in Warsaw during the war will be on the first half of the program. The Kwadrofonik Ensemble will fill the second half of the concert with their own arrangements of works by Ravel, Szymanowski and Lutosławski.

An exhibit entitled “Music in Occupied Poland” curated by Dr. Katarzyna Naliwajek-Mazurek will accompany the musical presentations.

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