Krystian Zimerman to perform in Warsaw

Jul 3, 2013

World-renowned pianist Krystian Zimerman will be arriving to Poland to perform a single concert at the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music. He will mark the centenary of Witold Lutosławski’s birth playing the composer’s Piano Concerto on 22 September 2013 at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, exactly on the 25th anniversary of the piece’s Polish premiere.

Krystian Zimerman is one of the world’s most prominent pianists, with a successful career lasting incessantly since his win at the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1975. For the last few months the artist has been touring the globe performing Lutosławski’s Piano Concerto with the world’s top orchestras, including in London, Paris or Berlin. Asked about the piece, in a January interview Zimerman said: The text is the same, the music is the same, yet I see so many new details which I didn’t see back then. Perhaps that is because I were in the midst of it all. You say that music is a reflection of the soul – and it is indeed. Now you can hear all the tensions of the 1980s: the martial law, everything that happened afterwards, the decline, practically a decomposition of our country, lasting until 1988 and finally the political transformation of 1989. The concert is a reflection of this whole period. It is extremely dramatic, extremely sad, full of incredible energy. Something I’ve never felt so acutely before. (interview for RMF Classic, January 2013)

The Warsaw concert will be Krystian Zimerman’s only performance in Poland on his international tour. It will take place on 22 September (7.30 pm) with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra under Jacek Kaspszyk. After the Concerto, Zimerman will play Lutosławski’s Symphony No. 3, recreating the programme performed by the pianist at Warsaw Autumn exactly 25 years ago under the direction of Witold Lutosławski himself, who wrote the Concerto for Zimerman specifically. Also just like 25 years ago, after the concert the artists will meet with the audience.

The concert will be part of the 56th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music and is organised by the Polish Composers’ Union, Warsaw Philharmonic and the Institute of Music and Dance in Warsaw, which have been arranging for the performance to happen for a couple of months. I’m very happy that Krystian Zimerman has kindly accepted our invitation to perform this one and only concert in Poland, says Andrzej Kosowski, representative of the Polish culture minister for the Lutosławski Year. We’ve been holding private talks with the artist since his January concert in London, on which occasion he thrilled the thousands gathered in the audience with a phenomenal rendition of Lutosławski’s Piano Concerto together with the Philharmonia Orchestra and  Esa Pekka-Salonen. The Lutosławski Year could not go without this outstanding artist playing in Poland.


Tadeusz Wielecki

Director, Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music

Wojciech Nowak

Deputy General and Artistic Director, Warsaw Philharmonic

Andrzej Kosowski

Director, Institute of Music and Dance

  • Krystian Zimerman to perform in Warsaw  | Krystian Zimerman, photo by Felix Broede/DG, from the archive of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute
  • Krystian Zimerman to perform in Warsaw  | Witold Lutosławski and Krystian Zimerman, photo by Andrzej Glanda © Warsaw Autumn
  • Krystian Zimerman to perform in Warsaw  | Tadeusz Strugała, Krystian Zimerman and Witold Lutosławski, photo by Andrzej Glanda © Warsaw Autumn