During the fourth edition of the WarszeMuzik Festival, held from 1-29 August 2020, chamber music will return to Warsaw Ghetto’s remaining buildings—a tenement house at 20 Chłodna Street (the Clock House), the house of Mieczysław Weinberg at 66 Żelazna Street, and an old tenement house at 41 Chłodna Street.
In 2020, the Festival’s repertoire will expand to include forgotten works of the great composers of pre-war Warsaw and add some new contexts. For the first time, the program will feature music by Józef Koffler—probably the first enthusiast of the dodecaphonic technique in Poland and an active member of the Board of the Polish Composers’ Union—whose life was brutally interrupted by the Second World War. During the inaugural concert, Hashtag Strings will perform their String Trio.
The work of the composer-in-residence at this year’s festival—Yair Klartag, who combines musical “archeology” with modernity—will perform his Half Tiger, Half Poet for solo violin from the upper window. This symbolically refers to the figure of the greatest poet of the Warsaw Ghetto—Władysław Szlengel.
During the final concert of the festival, at the POLIN Museum, musicians from the Hashtag Ensemble will premiere Yair Klartag’s Voglio e non vorrei, in which the composer raises the subject of “the work of memory”, referring to the story of his grandfather, the pre-war chorister of the Great Synagogue in Tłomackie. The work was co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the “Composing Commissions” program operated by the Institute of Music and Dance.
For the second time, the backyard concerts of WarszeMuzik will feature music by Franz Schubert, the first composer in the history of classical music who worked closely with the synagogue and wrote liturgical music to Hebrew texts. Mieczysław Weinberg, the patron of the WarszeMuzik festival, was also a great admirer of Schubert’s music.
Since the very first WarszeMuzik concert in 2017, the festival is also inspired by the figure of Władysław Szpilman. His unpretentious, simple and nostalgic Mazurka convinces us of the deep bond with Poland of so many Warsaw Jews from the North District—the forever lost, outstanding figures of culture and art.
Despite the imposed distance due to the COVID19 pandemic, you will be able to listen to music from the balconies, windows and staircases.
The full program of the Festival is available at: warszemuzik.org/pl/program