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15th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival: Kraków

Wednesday, 30 March 2011
The beginning of the 15th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival is fast approaching. Traditionally, the festival opens in Kraków. An exhibition of manuscripts will be already opened on 5 April at the Jagiellonian Library. The theme of this year’s exhibition and festival is “Beethoven and Eternal Femininity”. The exhibition will present the first edition of the score of Count Antoni Radziwiłł’s “Faust” from 1835 and an edition of Schubert’s Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel in a piano transcription by Liszt, manuscripts and prints of works of music and poetry, which deal with the subject of femininity, as well as manuscripts and prints containing the works of Polish women composers of the 19th century, including Maria Szymanowska’s album. The exhibition was designed by Lech Dziewulski.
“The exhibition of music manuscripts and prints coming from the former Prussian State Library in Berlin, and currently stored at the Jagiellonian Library, as well as those coming from the Jagiellonian Library Music Collection Department is complemented by the above mentioned graphic prints from the Graphic and Cartographic Department as well as prints from the Rare Publications and Ephemera Department.”, writes Michał Lewicki in the foreword to the catalogue.
Another part of the Kraków programme are concerts. On the day the exhibition opens, the Fine Arts Quartet will perform at the National Museum at 8:00 pm. Now celebrating its 65th anniversary, it is one of the most distinguished ensembles in chamber music today.
In the Festival catalogue we read:
„The Fine Arts Quartet is one of the elite few ensembles to have recorded and toured internationally for over half a century. Three of the Quartet's current artists, violinists Ralph Evans, Efim Boico, and cellist Wolfgang Laufer, have now been performing together for over 25 years. Violist Nicolò Eugelmi joined the Quartet in 2009. Each season, the Fine Arts Quartet tours worldwide, with concerts in such musical centres as New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, Moscow, Tokyo, Beijing, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Mexico City, and Toronto.”
The Quartet has recorded over 200 works, 75 of them with Evans, Boico, and Laufer. The programme of the concert will feature works by Bruckner, Mozart and, of course, Beethoven.
On 6 April at the Kraków Philharmonic Hall, we will hear works by Mahler, Beethoven and Brahms performed by Agata Szymczewska (violin), Rafał Kwiatkowski (cello), and Hinrich Alpers (piano). The Beethoven Academy Orchestra will be conducted by Benjamin Wallfisch.
German pianist Hinrich Alpers is 1st Prize winner of the International Telekom Beethoven Competition in Bonn. Benjamin Wallfisch is not only a conductor but also a composer, currently associated with the Orchestra of St. John’s.

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