One of the most important violin events in the world, International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition is, besides the Chopin Competition, the most prestigious performing event to take place in Poland. Together with the competition organiser, Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne (Polish Music Publishers / PWM Edition) has prepared an attractive offer for the lovers of Wieniawski and of violin music: a concert to introduce the event, workshops for children, and a meeting where young people can meet author of books about the most famous Polish violinist.
Called “Prince of Violinists” or “Wizard of the Violin”, until today Henryk Wieniawski remains the icon of the 19th-century virtuosity. A celebrity in the best sense of this word, he won the hearts of concerts audiences the world over. Since 1935, young violinists who dream about world fame have been sending applications to take part in the competition bearing Wieniawski’s name in the hope that a win will open for them the door to international careers.
Towarzystwo Muzyczne im. Henryka Wieniawskiego (Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society) and Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne will familiarise one with the music and person of Henryk Wieniawski in a series of special events organised to accompany the Competition. The first is LEGENDA NA NOWO (THE LEGEND ANEW), a concert promoting the competition and a record of the ANAKLASIS series: the album LEGEND is a look at Wieniawski’s works through the eyes of contemporary instrumentalists. Its originator, the illustrious violinist Adam Bałdych, took on a task of reinterpreting the most famous pieces by the “last Romantic virtuoso”. Drawing on history, he treated Wieniawski’s works in a very individualistic way by introducing new contexts and modern timbres. Besides Bałdych, the recording features Marek Konarski (tenor saxophone), Łukasz Ojdana (piano), Michał Barański (double bass), Dawid Fortuna (percussion), and the ambassador of the Wieniawski Competition, Agata Szymczewska (violin). The musicians shall perform the material live at the Bazar Hotel in Poznań, at 6 p.m. on 7 September. Admission to the event is against free-of-charge passes available as at 30 August at H. Wieniawski Musical Society’s office, at 7, Świętosławska st. in Poznań, Monday-Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The concert will be broadcast live on the webpages of H. Wieniawski Musical Society in Poznań (Wieniawski Society), of Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne, and on ANAKLASIS’ Facebook page.
During the competition, attractions for children and young people will not come in short supply, either. On 17 October, the youngest music lovers will be able to take part in workshops centered on the book Henio i cztery struny (Little Harry and the Four Strings). Hosted by the author of the rhymed book, Kasia Huzar-Czub, the meeting will feature a quiz on the composer. Participants’ task will be to decide which of the sentences about the composer are true, and which are not. There will also be space for talk on passions and choices everybody – not only Little Harry, but all of us, participants of the meeting – makes in life. The workshops will also feature the composer’s music, though this time delivered rather unconventionally, i.e. played on the ukulele.
On the same day, a meeting will be held with Mateusz Borkowski, musicologist, feature writer on music, educator, and author of the newest book in the Małe Monografie (Small Monographies) series. The book is devoted to Henryk Wieniawski, and the meeting will be quite a journey! As it turns out, no other virtuoso of the time travelled the world as extensively, as Henryk Wieniawski. As befits a virtuoso, he composed solely with his own needs in mind, and composing accounted for only a part of his immense activity. He was, above all, an artist, and a performing artist at that. He craved concerts and appearing in front of people like air. He performed on three continents, was warmly received in England, the United States, the Netherlands, Turkey, or in the farthest quarters of Russia. Naturally, these were also his compatriots, who yearningly awaited each of his concerts, also in Poznań, where he performed several times. Mateusz Borkowski is going to talk about the musical globetrotter, who drew energy from live appearances almost to the end of his days. Constantly on the go, on a never-ending journey, on a permanent concert tramp. It will be the first meeting with the author devoted to this premiere publication!
Workshops for primary school pupils with Kasia Huzar-Czub and the meeting for the somewhat older young people with Mateusz Borkowski shall be held at the conference room of the Mercure Hotel at 20, Roosevelta st. in Poznań. Admission to the events is free, but the number of places is limited. You are welcome to follow Towarzystwo Muzyczne im. H. Wieniawskiego w Poznaniu (Wieniawski Society) and Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne on social media, where further details, incl. place booking, will be published soon.
For those people who would like not only to follow the competition, but also to expand their knowledge of the earlier editions, as well as of violin music in general, we recommend the competition daily. Throughout the event, one can follow participants’ performances, as well as get to know behind-the-scene details of the contest in the pages of the daily paper published by the competition organiser in collaboration with the editor of “Ruch Muzyczny” magazine. The newspaper will be available in competition venues and online.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that fruitful collaboration between Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society and Polish Music Publishers has uninterruptedly continued since 2006, when joint publication of “Dzieła Wszystkie Henryka Wieniawskiego” (“Collected Works of Henryk Wieniawski") was initiated. The objective of this prestigious source-critical musical series is to publish the entire preserved composing legacy of the great violinist. To date, twenty-one volumes have been released in the series. The latest, published in 2022, has been Fantaisie Orientale for Violin and Piano, Op. 24.