Sinfonia Iuventus inaugurates the Young Euro Classic!

19 July, 8 PM
Konzerthaus Berlin Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin

Jerzy Semkow  Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Jakub Chrenowicz – Conductor

Ivan Fischer – Young Euro Classic Festival Hymn
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 6 in F major Op. 68 “Pastoral”
Artur Malawski – Toccata For Small Orchestra (1947)
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67

Each summer, the Konzerthaus on Gendarmenmarkt, a prestigious concert hall in Berlin, welcomes on its stage young orchestras from all over the world. For more than two weeks they present their skills and talents to the seasoned audience of the capital of Germany during the Young Euro Classic Festival.  The festival was established in 2000 (one of its initiators was Daniel Barenboim with the Deutscher Freundeskreis Europäischer Jugendorchester is its patron) and its motto is: “Tomorrow’s musicians today”.

The festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, will be inaugurated by the Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra, which is going to present an interesting programme that includes (besides a Polish accent – the impressive “Toccata” composed by Malawski) two famous but very different symphonies by Beethoven: the Fifth and the Sixth (interestingly enough, they both premiered at the same concert on  22 December 1808). The “Pastoral” Symphony No. 6 in F major, which charmingly imitates the sounds of nature, is a rare example of Beethoven’s music that expresses an explicit extramusical programme. Some argued that such elements were also present in the intensely dramatic Symphony No. 5 in C minor (as they looked for Shakespearean motifs there), but the composer had not revealed his sources of inspiration in this case. It is said he confessed to someone that the first sounds of the symphony, probably the most recognisable musical motif in the world, and which had made the piece extremely popular, was not inspired, as some people might imagine, by the idea of fate knocking on the door (as related in the famous, but definitely “apocryphal” anecdote), but by the voice of an inconspicuous bird, the ortolan. Although it is by no means certain if the story is true, the composition enjoys immense popularity, not only because of the famous theme, but also thanks to its innovative form and instrumentation, and above all due to its unusual expression. Moreover, although the piece is well-known, it always arouses strong emotions in the audience.

The orchestra will be conducted by Jakub Chrenowicz, who worked as an assistant conductor at the Warsaw Philharmonic after graduating in 2010, as one of the top students, from the Academy of Music in Poznań from Jerzy Salwarowski’s symphony and opera conducting class (he continued his education at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main). He won a number of competitions and conducted many excellent orchestras from Poland (Warsaw Philharmonic, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra) and abroad. He also collaborates with some of the most important operas in Poland and Europe. [Piotr Maculewicz]

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The concert is organized by the German Circle of Friends of European Youth Orchestras.