The sounds of the fourth International “Musical Spaces” [Muzyczne Przestrzenie] Chamber Music Festival resonated in several churches, castles and palaces throughout the Wielkopolska region from September 12-28, 2014. In addition to the Festival’s tribute to Sir Andrzej Panufnik on his centenary, works by Johannes Brahms and Max Bruch as well as those by Józef Nowakowski and Tomasz Opałka were also presented in the series of concert.

The Festival’s focus this year is on the town of Konin and its outreach to the local population took place under a catchphrase “Great noise in a small town.” On September 14 all of town’s residents were invited to gather at the Freedom Square in the center of town, where they were provided with musical instruments of their choice and allowed to experiment for a few hours. At the same time, a series of art workshops for children was organized under a banner of “Artistic Euphoria” and led by the local art studio, Garaż Sztuk [The Art Garage]. A puppet theatre production was also provided for the youngest participants.

Folk music was also a significant part of this year’s Festival, with presentations honoring Karol Szymanowski and his works that utilized the folk traditions of the Kurpie Region. Szymanowski’s Kurpie Songs were performed by classically-trained musicians as well as by the local folk singers. Several songs from Oskar Kolberg’s priceless anthology were also heard in performance.

A screening of Maja Baczyńska’s documentary, Kilka pytań o słyszenie świata [A few questions about hearing the world] that presents the youngest generation of Polish composers was also planned during the Festival, whose artistic director, the violin virtuoso, Janusz Wawrowski, was joined in concerts by English cellist Jacob Shaw and a number of other artists. The President of the town of Konin, Józef Nowicki, served as the honorary patron of the Festival that was co-financed by the Office of the Marshall of the Wielkopolska Region together with the Konin Town Council.