Jazz and the Avant-garde Concert Madness

La Folle Journée is a festival intended for audiences who have encountered classical music only a few times in their lives, or not at all. To show the widest possible spectrum of American music, the organisers have enhanced the festival programme to include jazz played by great performers of improvised music.

Gordon Goodwin – pianist, saxophone player, composer, arranger and founding member of the successful Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, triple Grammy award winner, Emmy award winner. Together with saxophone player Brian Scanlon and double bassist Trey Henry, Gordon formed the Gordon Goodwin Trio. The ensemble will perform at concert No. 4 and No. 14, playing famous standards and compositions by the leader of the group.

The Vistula River Brass Band, an ensemble specialising in traditional jazz, will reach back to the origins of the genre during a concert titled “From Ragtime to Swing” (Sunday at 7:30 p.m. in Matrix Hall). The musicians have been playing together since 1968, winning over listeners with their unique, lively sound for more than 40 years. The Festival will also provide an opportunity for the much less experienced, but brimming with youthful energy Big Band of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. There’s sure to be swing at this year’s Smykofonia [Toddler Philharmonic] concerts. The DIXI COMPANY will take their youngest listeners on a voyage into the world of New Orleans jazz and swing during a concert called SMYKOFONIA DIXIELAND.

Ragtime is unfailingly associated with the origins of jazz and early compositions for solo piano. French pianist Paul Lay will hark back to the tradition of “syncopated music”. The programme of his solo recital will be filled with ragtime pieces by, among others, Jelly Roll Morton, considered to be the founder of the genre and by Scott Joplin – the best-known ragtime composer, made famous by the music to the film Sting. Concert No. 32, on the other hand, will feature Paul as a taper – cinema pianist providing live accompaniment to Buster Keaton’s film “Sherlock, Jr.”.

La Folle Journée may also become unintentional competition for the Warsaw Autumn festival of contemporary music. This is because the organisers have boldly decided to present to the audience works by leading composers of the American avant-garde of the 1950’s and the 1960’s, as well as works by contemporary composers. We hope that in this way, La Folle Journée will form a smooth introduction into the truly demanding programme of Warsaw Autumn.

John Cage is a cult figure to aficionados of experimental music. His activities in the 1950’s completely changed the approach to composition, while words such as “aleatoricism” and “happening” have become household words in the vocabularies of contemporary composers. Cage’s legendary work of that period was 4’33’’ – the famous “Silence”. It will not be performed at the Festival, but we will have an opportunity to hear other important works by Cage, such as Living Room Music, Dream and TV Köln.

During the Festival we will also have an opportunity to hear works by the pioneers of American minimalism – Philip Glass, Steve Reich and John Adams (the latter being described as a post-minimalist). The youngest generation of American composers will be represented by two natives of New York: Missy Mazzoli (born in 1980) and Nico Muhly, one year her junior.

Works from the 2nd half of the 20th and from the 21st century will be performed by musicians specialising in contemporary music. Pianist Bruce Brubaker, who will play two recitals (No. 20, No. 38) is well-known for many recordings and first performances of contemporary composers, including Philip Glass and Nico Muhly. Compositions for solo piano, also by John Adams, will be played by David Bismuth, a graduate of the Paris Conservatory. The pianist specialises in chamber music, as he will prove in a duet with violinist Marina Chiche at concert No. 34. The Hob-beats Percussion Group will present compositions by John Cage and Steve Reich in a rather unusual setting for percussion quartet. The ensemble was founded by Magdalena Kordylasińska and Miłosz Pękala – a duet of percussionists which has been successful at many competitions and contemporary music festivals around the world.

The audience at this year’s La Folle Journée Festival will thus have an opportunity to experience works of classical music from beyond the mainstream. We hope that expanding the Festival to include new directions will attract an even greater audience, while top-notch performances will open listeners’ ears to new sounds, inspiring them to continue their explorations in music.

Tickets priced 7 – 12 zł are available in the box office of Teatr Wielki – National Opera, on the web: www.teatrwielki.pl and www.ebilet.pl and in e-Bilet and Empik locations. More details are available at: http://www.2014.szalonednimuzyki.pl/informacje-praktyczne/bilety/


The organisers of the Festival would like to invite everyone to join an adventure with American music!

  • The Festival is organised by: Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, CREA (Centre de Réalisations et d’Études Artistiques à Nantes), “Ogrody Muzyczne” [Musical Gardens] Foundation, with the co-operation of the Grand Theatre-National Opera and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
    • Honorary Sponsorship: Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Ms. Małgorzata Omilanowska, the Ambassador of France, Mr Pierre Buhler
  • Festival Sponsors: Auchan, Saint-Gobain, Agence Diane du Saillant
  • Festival Partners: the Capital City of Warsaw, the Centre for Artistic Education, the Muzyka jest dla wszystkich [Music is for Everyone] Foundation, The Music Teachers’ Association, the Embassy of France, the city of Nantes, Folle Journée de Nantes, the BNP Paribas Foundation, the Sinfonia Varsovia Foundation, Polservice, eBilet.pl, Empik, Silesia Music Center, Kawai, NIFC, Renault, Gigant.pl, No Limit, State Music School Complex No. 1 in Warsaw, Raddisson Blu, Zaiks, Siemens, Weil Gotshal
    • Partner for concerts in Matrix Hall: McDonald’s
  • Head Media Patron: RMF Classic
  • Media Patrons: TVP2, TVP Kultura, TVP Warszawa, Polityka, Polish Market, Gazeta Wyborcza, Gazeta.pl, Culture.pl, Meakultura.pl


La Folle Journée

„Szalone Dni Muzyki” is the Polish edition of the international La Folle Journée festival, founded by its artistic director, René Martin – organiser of festivals and numerous concerts of classical music around the world. He is also the founder of the Centre de Realisations et d’Etudes Artistiques à Nantes (C.R.E.A.). The Festival was held for the first time in Nantes in 1995. Soon, its annual editions moved to Portugal, Spain, Japan, Brazil and Poland. Previous Warsaw editions of La Folle Journee were devoted to the music of Chopin (2010), Brahms, Mahler, Liszt, Strauss and Szymanowski (2011), Russian music (2012) and music of France and Spain (2013). So far, concerts performed by thousands of artists were attended by an audience of more than 130 000, while associated educational activities were attended by a total of approximately 13 000 children from Warsaw’s primary schools.

www.szalonednimuzyki.pl / www.follejournee.pl

Szalone Dni Muzyki
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