RDSO presents the ‘Romance of Chopin’

Next up for the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra is the ‘Romance of Chopin’, set for Jan. 17th at the College Arts Centre.

Showtime is 8 p.m.

The concert features special guest Mikolaj Warszynski in one of his specialty pieces: Chopin’s beautifully romantic Second Piano Concerto.

Other concert highlights include Sibelius’ Valse Triste and Johann Christian Bach’s – Sinfonia Concertante in E Flat Major.

Warszynski has performed as piano soloist in Austria, the U.S., Holland, Italy, Poland, South Korea and Canada; in such halls as the Laurenskerk Cathedral in Rotterdam, the Leopold Mozart Saal in Salzburg, the Rolston Recital Hall in Banff, the Place des Arts & the Chapelle Historique in Montreal.

He is equally comfortable in the music of the classical repertoire as well as the baroque and contemporary, and is versatile as a soloist and chamber musician.

As part of the celebrations associated with the Chopin bicentennial, he performed the music of Chopin in recitals and lectures across Canada, as well as having premiered the F minor Chopin Concerto in the string quintet version on numerous occasions.

Besides his engagement here in Red Deer, he has also been invited to perform with Kielce Philharmonic Orchestra in Poland this year among other opportunities. And in duo together with pianist Zuzana Simurdova, Warszynski has also been invited this summer to the Janacek Hukvaldy Summer Festival in the Czech Republic, as well as the Edmonton Recital Society of Canada in the next season.

A tour of China is scheduled for the 2015 season as well.

Warszynski was born in Gdansk, Poland and immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of four.

He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Alberta with Marek Jablonski, and made his debut with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto.

Warszynski continued studies at the Conservatory of Music in Rotterdam with Aquiles Delle Vigne in the Netherlands, receiving a Neuimejer scholarship and awarded a Sauter grand piano on loan from the National Instrument Foundation in Amsterdam.

He finished both his masters and doctorate of music degrees at the University of Montreal with Marc Durand and Paul Stewart, on scholarship from the Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture du Quebec in support of his research on the piano works of Karol Szymanowski.

As of March 2013, Warszynski had accepted a post as a full-time piano professor at the Catholic University of Daegu in South Korea, and recently as visiting piano professor at the Seoul Conservatory of music. Most recently, he had been invited to teach piano mastercourses at the Flaine Academy in the French Alps last summer.

As for the program, RDSO Music Director Claude Lapalme said that Bach’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-Flat Major features two clarinets, two horns, one flute and one bassoon as ‘obbligato’ instruments.

“Like Mozart, Johann Christian Bach (son of Johann Sebastian Bach), became enamored with the clarinet, but the rather simple clarinet parts in this charming work point to the possibility that the instruments were quite new in London, and that the instrumentalists available to Bach may not have been as adept as those Mozart had in Vienna or the Stamitz Brothers had in Mannheim.

“Nevertheless, the colour of the instrument greatly enhances this tuneful symphony,

“The flute has a particularly lovely solo in the second movement and the final minuet foreshadows Mozart rather exquisitely,” he notes.

As for Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Lapalme explains that the piece shows that Chopin, who wrote it in his late teens, was already, “Writing with a sure hand as well as with originality and inspiration.”

His works had resulted in some pretty key critical praise from the likes of another legend – Schumann. “The F minor Concerto, with its irresistible style and its wealth of invention, is ample proof of Schumann’s foresight and judgment.”

Next up for the RDSO is the ‘Brandenburg Project’, to be presented April 25th on the College Arts Centre mainstage as well.

Tickets are available by calling 403-755-6626 or 1-800-661-8793 or by going online at www.bkticketcentre.ca.