Saturday, 18 January 2014

Sir Andrzej Panufnik Centenary

Panufnik stands beneath the watchful gaze of his beloved Chopin in Lazienki Park, Warsaw, during his final and triumphant return to Poland, 1990. Photo by Jem Panufnik Panufnik stands beneath the watchful gaze of his beloved Chopin in Lazienki Park, Warsaw, during his final and triumphant return to Poland, 1990. Photo by Jem Panufnik
Panufnik stands beneath
his beloved Chopin in
Lazienki Park, Warsaw,
during his final and triumphant
return to Poland, 1990.
Photo by Jem Panufnik
2014 is the centenary of the birth of Sir Andrzey Panufnik (1914 - 1991), the Polish composer who lived through the Nazi occupation of Poland and the Warsaw Uprising, before making a dramatic escape to the West in 1954. Half his life was spend working in England and he was knighted for services to music. 

For the centenary there are a number of major celebrations planned for the UK and for Poland. The London Symphony Orchestra will be giving two Panufnik concerts in London as well as one in Poland. In London they perform the Sinfonia Sacra and Lullaby (5/2), and Symphony No. 10 (19/10) and this latter concert is repeated in Katowice, Poland to inaugurate a new concert hall.

Birmingham will be celebrating the fact that Panufnik was the Chief Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 1957 to 1959. And the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under Vasily Petrenko will perform the Violin Concerto with Vadim Repin (27/2)

In the summer a major festival is planned. Then in November, there will be Panufnik 100: A Family Celebration at Kings Place a day of celebrations with the Brodsky Quartet and friends, which will include concerts, films, a 1930's cabaret evening.

Panufnik's autobiography, Composing Myself, is being re-published with a new postscript by his wife covering the last years of his life. A number of recordings are planned including the completion of CPO's symphony and concerto survey and the complete piano works on BIS.

Things kick off this month with the Tippett Quartet performing Panufnik's Third String Quartet at King's Palce (26/1) and the Melos Sinfonia conducted by Oliver Zeffman performing the Cello Concerto with Bartholemew Lafollette at LSO St Lukes (31/1)

There is full information on the composer and his centenary at the dedicated website.

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