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Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Lawrence Foster, at #EnescuOnline

The Enescu Festival Online continues between March 26 and 30 with the Polish National Radio Orchestra’s concert, conducted by Lawrence Foster, with Szymon Nehring as soloist.

Performed on the Romanian Athenaeum stage in the 2019 George Enescu International Festival, the program includes Adrian Pop – “Solstice” for orchestra; Frédéric Chopin – Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11 and Witold Lutosławski – Concerto for Orchestra.

The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra’s concert opens with Romanian composer Adrian Pop’s piece “Solstice”, and follows with Chopin and Lutosławski, both Polish composers. Maestro Foster proves once again his flair for redeeming musical treasures and bringing them out to light wherever he performs.

A truly original voice of the contemporary composing school in Cluj, Adrian Pop is considered “a master of post-modernism”, for his ability to weave tradition with innovation, in compositions that are simple and at the same time sophisticated.

This orchestral introduction is followed by Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor. A work created by Chopin when he was only twenty years old, it was first performed in Warsaw in 1830, with the composer himself as a soloist. It was the farewell concert that he gave before leaving Poland.

Following this nineteenth-century melancholic intermezzo, Polish composer Witold Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra, written during the years 1950-54, brings us back to a sonorous universe that is closer to contemporaneity. It is a work in three movements, in which the composer takes themes from Polish folklore and transposes them using new harmonies and atonal counterpoints.

Born in Los Angeles to Romanian parents, Lawrence Foster is a passionate champion of George Enescu’s music, serving as Artistic Director of the George Enescu Festival from 1998 to 2001. Among the conductor’s recordings of Enescu’s music, we mention the opera Oedipe for Warner Classics and the First and Second Symphonies for EMI, both with Orchestre Philharminque de Monte Carlo. In 2003 Lawrence Foster was decorated by the Romanian President for Services to Romanian Music.

Szymon Nehring is one of the most gifted and promising pianists of the younger generation in Poland. He is the only Polish musician to win the First Prize at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv, one of the most important piano competitions in the world.

photo credit: Andrada Pavel