The ‘Ogrody Muzyczne’ [Musical Gardens] Festival has been organized annually since year 2001 during the month of July. Each edition’s program consists of over 30 artistic events: concerts, film and opera screenings, and ballet performances. Since the beginning, a large tent located at the Courtyard of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, suitable for gathering 1000 listeners, has served as the festival’s venue. Each year the festival’s events are visited by approximately 40-50,000 people.
Each year the festival focuses on a different theme: for the past couple of years the audiences’ attention was drawn to art and culture of countries holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. For that reason the last editions accentuated art of Belgium, France, Cyprus, Lithuania, Italy and, this year, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
The primary intention of the festival’s creators was presenting original, unknown ideas and artistic phenomena. The festival presents the most interesting artistic events, which are divided into subcategories: Concerts; Opera, ballet and musical performances presented on screen; Films; “Children’s Music Gardens;” and (new this year) a Symposium.
CONCERTS: This year, festival musical director Zygmunt Krauze surprises festival audiences once again. During the inauguration of the festival, musicians from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music will perform, among others, the Ebony Concerto by Igor Stravinsky. That evening, Polish contemporary jazz will also be represented by excellent Polish saxophonist Zbigniew Namysłowski. A special event on July 9 will celebrate Luxembourg taking up the EU Council presidency. For this concert, Luxembourg-based contemporary music ensemble Lucilin (est. 1999) will join forces with the Polish contemporary arts cooperative #Ensemble (est. 2013), with Wojciech Błażejczyk at the helm. Also performing this year are: Motion Trio, Sinfonia Viva Orchestra and vocalists Anna Mikołajczyk, Raquel Camarinha, Iwona Sobotka and Cristina Zavalloni.
OPERAS ON SCREEN: The recent involvement of Polish musicians and creators—including Mariusz Kwiecień, Piotr Beczała and Mariusz Treliński—with the Metropolitan Opera in New York inspired festival director Barbara Pietkiewicz-Kraśko to broadcast Met Operas on the Festival’s big screen. This year, Mariusz Treliński will also be on hand for discussion.
FILM: The cinematic portion of this year’s Festival will focus on dance, and present some of the greatest dancers to ever grace the silver screen.
CHILDREN’S MUSICAL GARDENS: Thanks to the upcoming XVII International Chopin Competition, this year’s events for kids will focus on the life and work of Fryderyk Chopin, including his relationship to hip-hop music.
SCIENTIFIC SYMPOSIUM: Because of the jubilee 15th anniversary of the festival, the creators have planned a unique event, wherein guests will be invited to discuss the outcome of a survey conducted during the previous 14th edition of the Festival by Matthew Migut, a psychologist and sociologist of music. This symposium, entitled “The Role of Music and High Culture in the Modern World,” will help shape the future of the festival, and maybe the classical music world in general.