Monday 17 May 2021

Polska Scotland: Celebrating a rich cultural history

Polska Scotland: Celebrating a rich cultural history
Scotland's links to Poland date back to trade routes in the 15th century and by the end of the 17th century 30,000 Scots had migrated to Poland, whilst musical links include the fact that Chopin visited in 1848. More recently, the influx of Polish soldiers during the Second World War led to many choosing to settle and the number of Polish residents in Scotland today numbers around 90,000, making it the largest migrant population in Scotland.

All these links are celebrated in the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's continuing digital series Polska Scotland. Concerts broadcast in May and June in the series include Marta Gardolińska conducting Lutosławski’s Mala suita, the RSNO Chamber Ensemble, Adrian Wilson and Lena Zeliszewska in Szymanowski, Lutosławski and Bacewicz, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor  in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 plus music by Kilar and Lutosławski, and Szymanowski’s second Violin Concerto with Nicola Benedetti, conducted by Elim Chan. Already available are Nicola Benedetti’s performance of Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1 alongside Weinberg’s Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes and Andrzej Panufnik’s Sinfonia Sacra, conducted by Thomas Søndergård.

The Polish series also reflects the RSNO’s long association with Polish music and musicians, dating from Emil Młynarski (Polish Principal Conductor of the then Scottish Orchestra from 1910 to 1916 and early champion of Szymanowski’s music) to composers who conducted their own works – Andrzej Panufnik in 1956, Krzysztof Penderecki on three occasions in the 1970s, and Witold Lutosławski in 1979 and 1981.

Full details from the RSNO website.

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