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Festival Katowice Culture Nature - NOSPR

Festival Katowice Culture Nature

Journey — such is the title of the sixth edition of the Katowice Culture Nature Festival. The ten-concert programme is to present the desire for a journey as one of the greatest driving forces in the history of humanity.

Some of the festival’s stars are outstanding pianists such as Nelson Freire and Javier Perianes and exquisite ensembles, such as Quatuor Modigliani or Concerto Köln. Moreover, the NOSPR stage will host a performance of Ahat ilī – siostra bogów [Ahat ilī – sister of the gods], Aleksander Nowak’s opera with a libretto by Olga Tokarczuk, as well as a performance from the Whirling Dervishes of Damascus.

A need to discover the unknown, to escape from the everyday, to admire the diversity of the worldthese needs have always been with humankind. Journeys have also been a most powerful catalyst for emotions, evoking longing, love, admiration, fear and curiosity. This year’s edition of the Katowice Culture Nature Festival is an invitation to embark on a journey that will take you to the most amazing corners of the musical world. — this is how the leading subject is described by Ewa Bogusz-Moore, the festival’s artistic director.

Katowice’s flagship classical music festival is about to fill the seat of NOSPR with performers, chamber ensembles and orchestras of highest international esteem. This year, the orchestra in residence will be the Belgian National Orchestra led by its artistic director, Hugh Wolff. Their two concerts will focus on American composers —  Aaron Copeland and, from a younger generation, Julia Adolphe and Michael Torke. It is also the Belgian National Orchestra who will accompany a giant among the world’s pianists, Nelson Freire from Brazil, in a performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 op. 58(16.05).

The host of the festival, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, will give two concerts. On the evening of the festival’s inauguration, Lawrence Foster will conduct performances of such pieces as Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 "From the New World" and Gustav Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen in Jonathan McGovern’s baritone interpretation (14.05). NOSPR’s second concert will open with Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s overtureThe Hebrides” op. 26, inspired by the eponymous Scottish islands, and Hector Berlioz’s Les nuits d'été, songs for a soprano and orchestra, to conclude with Georges Bizet’s Symphony No. 1 (21.05).

Star-studded chamber music concerts are a tradition of the festival. This year will be no different — Quatuor Modigliani will perform with a renowned clarinet player, Paul Meyer, and a laureate of the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Competition, the cellist Victor Julien-Laferrière (20.05). They will perform two romantic quintets which could be called the most important ones of their kind — Johannes BrahmsClarinet quintet in B minor, op. 115 and Franz Schubert’s String Quintet in C major, op. 163. A solo recital will be given by the Spanish piano virtuoso Javier Perianes (19.05).

A special spot in the festival’s programme is a performance given by a famous Quranic singer, Noureddine Khourshid, who is going to accompany the Whirling Dervishes of Damascus (22.05). The dancers from the Mawlawi brotherhood, the history of which can be traced back to the Middle Ages, believe that their whirling movement reflects the journeys of celestial bodies, thus bringing them closer to God. Their performances are mystical, trance-inducing shows bringing dance, music, poetry and prayer together to form a unique cultural phenomenon, which has fascinated humankind for nearly eight hundred years.

Another extraordinary event is going to be a concert performance of Aleksander Nowak’sAhat ilī – siostra bogów [Ahat ilī – sister of the gods]. The libretto, based on her bookAnna In w grobowcach świata, was written by Olga Tokarczuk, for whom travelling between cultures is one of main sources of inspirations (23.05). The festival will close with a performance from Concerto Köln, a leading period music ensemble  (24.05). They will present pieces by Czech baroque composers, Jan Dismas Zelenka and Frantisek Ignac Tůma, as well as Johann Sebastian Bach’s works.

From the music of American cities, through the legends of Scottish islands, to the songs of Syrian desertsfrom 15th to 24th May, NOSPR will be resonating with musical impressions from everywhere around the world. Travelling across continents, eras and cultures, we will be able to admire a variety of styles, sounds and musical genres as well as let ourselves be amazed by the universality of emotions felt by musicians, listeners and travellers from all countries.

The festival is organised by the Katowice Kultura Natura Association and the City of Katowice in cooperation with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice and Miasto Ogrodów

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