For half a century the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans has been the most important festival of classical music in this part of Europe. This year, Wroclaw has been named the 2016 European Capital of Culture, which will be celebrated by this year’s 51st edition of the Festival. Entitled “Europa Cantans,” the program will be richer and more varied than ever, featuring foreign and Polish soloists and ensembles of the highest caliber.
The inaugural concert of Wratislavia Cantans on September 3 will comprise of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony ‘Babi Yar’ and compositions of Mikołaj Górecki, rendered by the NFM Orchestra conducted by Andrey Boreyko. The monumental tribute to the victims of the massacre carried out by the Nazis in Kyiv in the autumn of 1941 will also feature the Men’s Choir of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra and bass soloist Mikhail Petrenko in the first movement of the symphony.
A new segment of the Festival will focus on improvisation, which has been an important part of European musical tradition in the past. Forms of improvisation will be showcased in both concerts and master classes addressed to young musicians by Paolo Pandolfo, Robert Levin, Andrea Inghisciano, Giovanni Sollima. While Levin aims to reflect the elements of classical improvisation in a performance of Mozart’s works, Pandolfo will appear in the program with jazz improvisations that can be compared upon 16th- and 17th-century musical forms, such as madrigal, passacaglia, chaconne, passamezzo and folia.
Both Passions by J.S. Bach are in the program of this year’s Festival, wherein the Saint John Passion will be staged and directed by Pierre Audi and feature B’Rock, NFM Choir and soloists conducted by Andreas Spering. The Festival comes to a close on 18 September at the NFM with another great form, namely the Saint Matthew Passion by J.S. Bach to be conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and featuring his two ensembles English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir.
September 3-18, 2016
51st International Festival Wratislavia Cantans
Various venues in Wrocław, Poland
Admission: 15-300 PLN
Tickets & Info: bilety.nfm.wroclaw.pl