Musicals, film, jazz, great symphonic composers and minimalists: programme of the 5th edition of the La Folle Journée Festival

Freedom, modernity, optimism, multiculturalism – these are traits that may be associated with America and, undoubtedly, such are the traits of American music. Enormous variety is what the organisers of the La Folle Journée Festival are giving the audience, proposing a look at American musical culture from many different angles. The multitude of the many different musical styles and genres that will be experienced by the festival audience is reflected in the names of the auditoriums: Manhattan, Hollywood, Harlem, Wild West and Matrix.

Manhattan, or, more specifically, one of its streets, namely Broadway, is the musical capital of the world. Aficionados of this genre will not be disappointed, as they will have an opportunity to hear such works as An American in Paris, My Fair Lady and the famous West Side Story. Fragments of the latter will be played at no fewer than 11 concerts, including a version for two pianos played by Duo Jatekok. The public will surely also be interested in attending concert 5 and 13, featuring music by Gershwin and Bernstein and titled “Musical America”. Fragments of famous musicals will also be played by young performers from the State Music School Complex in Bielsko-Biała during their concert on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the festival tent.

Manhattan is also the location of the famous Carnegie Hall, so this means great conductors and concerts of symphonic music, of which there will also be an abundance during the festival. The Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, Orchestra of Teatr Wielki – National Opera, the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and orchestral ensembles from music schools all over Poland will play compositions by American composers, including the popular Adagio  for Strings op. 11 by Samuel Barber. We will surely catch a glimpse of the Wild West in works by Aaron Copland, especially his ballet music: Billy the Kid and Rodeo. The programme will be enhanced by music of European composers who emigrated to the United States. These include Serge Rachmaninov. His Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor op.40 will be played at the inaugural concert by Abdel Rahman El Bacha. The Festival programme also includes Antonin Dvořák’s “musical postcard from a trip to America”, that is his Symphony No. 9 in E minor op.95 “From the New World”, as well as the composer’s American Suite op. 98b.

Hollywood is home to the world’s greatest film industry and another of America’s landmarks. Two of the Festival’s concerts – No. 7, called “The Magical Music of Disney – Around the World with Disney”, played by the Polish Radio Orchestra and No. 15, featuring songs from films, including The Wizard of Oz and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, performed by students of the Fryderyk Chopin State Music School Complex in Warsaw. There will also be an unusual concert featuring a screening of Buster Keaton’s film “Sherlock, Jr.” with music played live by pianist Paul Lay (No. 32). Apart from these special events, film music will also be featured at other concerts. We will hear John Williams’ scores from Schindler’s List and from Star Wars, and Mancini’s The Pink Panther.

Harlem has always been associated with the age of swing and with the music of Duke Ellington. These traditions will be brought to life by the Gordon Goodwin Trio, which will perform no fewer than four times, by the Big Band of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music and by pianist Paul Lay. New Orleans jazz of the 1920’s and 1930’s will be presented by DIXI COMPANY during concerts for children on Saturday, 27 September. Traditional jazz will also be played by the Vistula River Brass Band on the last evening of the Festival in the Matrix auditorium during a concert called “From Ragtime to Swing”. Maybe there will also be a jam session?

Gospel music at the festival will be performed by the Opole Gospel Choir (Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Matrix auditorium), while arrangements of well-known hits of popular music will be played by the Crossroads Quartet, which will perform three times. A counter-balance to these popular events will be provided by concerts devoted to the works of the representatives of American minimalism and experimental music performed by pianists Bruce Brubaker and David Bismuth and by the Hob-beats Percussion Group.

Such a varied, contrasting programme will surely arouse the interest of both beginner music-lovers and seasoned listeners. We are convinced that the excellent soloists and ensembles will transport each festival guest into his or her fantasy musical corner of America.


Tickets priced 7 – 12 zł are available in the box office of Teatr Wielki – National Opera, on the web: and and in e-Bilet and Empik locations. More details are available at:


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,, Empik, Silesia Music Center, Kawai, NIFC, Renault,, 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,,,

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. /

Szalone Dni Muzyki
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