On 2 October 2020 the European Foundation Support of Culture (EUFSC), led by Konstantin Ishkhanov, in collaboration with the Silesian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Massimiliano Caldi will open the month’s series of concerts with an imaginative and eclectic performance featuring piano soloist, Costanza Principe.
A performance of the joyfully rousing Leonore Overture no.3 will begin the evening’s proceedings, a work loved by concert audiences for its strength of thematic material and narrative structure. Originally written for Beethoven’s Leonore opera before its renaming to Fidelio the work is known for its dramatic flair and compositional dynamism.
Alexey Shor’s Travel Notebook Concerto no.1 for Piano and Orchestra will continue the programme with the Silesian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra joined onstage by Costanza Principe. Beginning with the first movement entitled Wayfarers Prayer, this poetic seven-movement work guides audiences on a scenic tour of six locations which have proved inspirational to the composer including Barcelona, Rome, Paris, Ravenna, Venice and Ascot. The Travel Notebook concerto was premiered in 2017 by Armeinan pianist Nareh Arghamanyan and the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra.
Anticipating the final work of the evening will be the overture to the 1858 opera Flis by Polish composer Stanisław Moniuszko. Referencing narrative elements set on the banks of the Vistula River near Warsaw the Overture aptly complements the programme’s dramatic opening through its spectacular depiction of the opera’s storm sequence and vivid use of orchestral colours.
The closing piece of the evening will be Robert Schumann’s Symphony No.3 in E Flat Major, also known as the Rhenish due to its inspirational roots in the composer’s trip to the Rhineland with his wife Clara in 1850. The five-movement work draws especially from the composer’s admiration for the cathedral at Cologne which although still undergoing construction at the time had already secured its reputation as an imposing and impressive edifice nonetheless. This combined with the appreciation and recognition afforded to the Schumanns upon their arrival in Düsseldorf is likely to have formed the basis for the composer’s choice of key for the work and thematic material, as well as his considerable compositional output during this period. Following the more solemn mood introduced in the third movement the symphony regains its characteristic lightness and energy as it moves into the fourth and fifth movements, ending with a joyful and heroic return to the original key of E flat major as the symphony draws triumphantly to a close.
Massimiliano Caldi is an internationally acclaimed conductor with a wide breadth of experience spanning symphonic music, opera, operetta, ballet and contemporary music. Winner of first prize at the “G.Fitelberg” International Competition (1999), Mr Caldi is Principal Conductor of the “A.Malawski” Podkarpacka Philharmonic of Rzeszów and First Guest Conductor of the Polish Baltic “F.Chopin” Philharmonic of Gdańsk (Danzig). He has served as President of the Jury for the International Piano Competition Massarosa – IX and X editions (2018 and 2019), teacher of the Florence Conducting Masterclass (2015-2017), Principal Conductor and Artistic Consultant of “St. Moniuszko” Koszalin Philharmonic (2014-2017), Artistic Director of Silesian Chamber Orchestra (Katowice, 2006-2010) and Principal Conductor of “Milano Classica” Chamber Orchestra (1998-2009).
Joining the orchestra to perform the solo piano part for Alexey Shor’s Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra will be the outstanding Italian pianist, Costanza Principe. Ms Principe has performed extensively in Europe and South America and featured in several Italian radio broadcasts. Winner of several national and international competitions such as the Lilian Davies Prize at the Royal Academy of Music, second prize at the Beethoven Society of Europe Intercollegiate Piano Competition, second prize (first not awarded) at the Premio Pecar International Competition in Gorizia, Italy, and second prize at the Concours International de Piano in Lagny sur Marne, she made her debut with orchestra in 2008 playing three Mozart Concertos with the Filarmonici Europei Orchestra conducted by Aldo Ceccato.
The Silesian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra performed its first concert on 26 May 1945. Since that event its numerous achievements and consistently high level of performance have assured it a leading position among Polish symphonic ensembles. In July 2000 and in collaboration with the Silesian Philharmonic Choir led by Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk, the Orchestra performed for Pope John Paul the 2nd during the Grand Jubilee celebrations in Rome. Since its first tours around the former Czechoslovakia in 1958, the orchestra has performed in concerts across many countries in Europe and has served to promote Polish culture further afield in countries including Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. To date the Silesian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra has given almost 550 concerts in 25 countries outside Poland.