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Blog » “Warsaw Autumn” International Contemporary Music Festival (20–28th September)

27 Aug  

This year’s "Warsaw Autumn” International Contemporary Music Festival has the subtitle ‘Pneuma—expanded reality: contemporary music versus transcendence and the experience of mystery and the extraordinary.’  Pneuma, we are told, ‘is related to air and its movements, leading to further symbols and metaphors such as breathing, motion, the wind of history.’

 

Air itself will be one of the threads running through the festival, from the opening concerts, which will feature Thurídur Jónsdóttir’s air-drenched Flutter, to the final concert with the windy end of Jonathan Harvey’s …towards a pure land. Air is also taken as a kind of metaphor, meaning the ‘“centre of spirit”—the sphere of life that aims at grasping the world as a coherent, sensible whole, fed by a nostalgia for a harmonious fullness, which is experienced as “numinosum”: the extraordinary, touching the transcendence.’

 

This touch comes in the form of endless space (Iannis Xenakis’s Jonchaies at this year’s final concert), time with its processuality (in the works of Richard Barrett, Niels Rønsholdt, Cathy van Eck, Sofia Gubaidulina, Cassandra Miller, and Tadeusz Wielecki), the shape of matter and shapes of nature (Thurídur Jónsdóttir, Alvin Lucier, Tristan Murail, and Jonathan Harvey), vitality (as heard in Bruno Mantovani, Raphaël Cendo, and again Iannis Xenakis), the mystique of the body and the animated world (Rebecca Saunders and Agnieszka Stulgińska), or paradox and strangeness (Cathy van Eck, Simon Løffler).

 

Music will also be combined with performative art in Aperghis’s Thinking Things presented by IRCAM; and Rønsholdt’s Gaze for Gaze celebrated by the Danish ensemble SCENATET and the VRC choirand in works by Jacek Sotomski and Agnieszka Stulgińska.

 

Another of the Festival’s threads will be the music of Swiss female composers: Cécile Marti and Katharina Rosenberger, featured in a concert of the Basel Sinfonietta, as well as Icelandic female composers: Thurídur Jónsdóttir and Bára Gísladóttir, whose works are included in the opening and final concert.

 

Premieres include works by Monika Dalach, Magdalena Długosz, Paweł Hendrich, Zygmunt Krauze, Cécile Marti, Adrian Mocanu, Piotr Roemer, Agnieszka Stulgińska, Piotr Tabakiernik, Tadeusz Wielecki, and Sławomir Wojciechowski. Further first performances will be featured at Warsaw Autumn Hits the Club and Little Warsaw Autumn. 

 

Warsaw Autumn takes place in ten venues: the Warsaw Philharmonic, Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio, Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, ATM Studio, IMKA Theatre, Nowy Teatr, Theatre Institute, Austrian Cultural Forum, Sculpture Park in Królikarnia, and the Museum of Warsaw.

 



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