Homage to Mieczysław Weinberg

Kremerata Baltica is performing at Wiener Festwochen 2015 on June 13-14 with a series of concerts “Homage to Mieczysław Weinberg.” 

Besides conductor Mirga Gražžinytė-Tyla, soloists joining our orchestra in these special events include Gidon Kremer (violin), Martha Argerich, Yulianna Avdeeva, Andrius Žlabys (piano), Olessia Petrova (soprano), Alexei Mochalov (bass), Mate Bekavac (clarinet), Gábor Boldoczki (trumpet), Andrei Pushkarev, Pavel Bialiayeu, Igor Avdeev (percussion), Madara Pētersone, Agata Daraškaitė (violin), Santa Vižine (viola), Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė, Pēteris Sokolovskis (violoncello), Iurii Gavryliuk (double bass).

Why has this composer been ignored for so long? Hugely talented Mieczysław Weinberg – born in 1919 in Warsaw into a Jewish family of musicians – begins to compose his first songs and pieces for piano as a self-taught adolescent. At the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, 19-year-old Mieczysław escapes eastward on foot, in the company of his sister. Exhausted, Ester, two years younger than her brother, returns to her parents after just a few kilometres. Mieczysław will never see her or their parents again. First, Weinberg studies composition in Minsk; when the German troops begin to enter the Soviet Union, he is evacuated from here to Tashkent, 4,000 kilometres away. In 1943, Shostakovich brings him to Moscow, where Weinberg spends the rest of his life as a freelance composer. Accused of being a partisan of a potential Jewish republic in the Crimea, he is arrested in 1953. His lifelong friend and mentor Dmitri Shostakovich pleads his cause in a very courageous letter. Weinberg is only released after Stalin’s death.
In the 1960s, he finally learns with absolute certainty that his entire family was murdered by the Nazis. ≫I regard it as my moral duty to write about the war, about the horrors that have befallen humanity in our century.≪
Mieczysław Weinberg leaves an impressive musical oeuvre: more than 20 symphonies, concerts and chamber music, song cycles and operas. He also composes scores for films seen by millions of spectators. “Sad and free”, in the words of fellow composer Sofia Gubaidulina, ≫is how this music strikes the listener.≪
On an invitation by Wiener Festwochen, Gidon Kremer together with his Kremerata Baltica and soloists will present a portrait of Mieczysław Weinberg and his spiritual kinship with Dmitri Shostakovich. This series of concerts is complemented by a discussion round and a screening of the film The Cranes Are Flying.

More about the festival here.


XII Kremerata Baltica Festival “Homage to Mieczyslaw Weinberg”



5.06 – 8.06. 2015, Cēsis, Sigulda, Rīga


Already for the 12th time Kremerata Baltica Festival approaches along with the summer. In 2015 the festival is dedicated to works of Polish-Jewish composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg, who seemingly gained too little recognition among the world’s musicians and interpreters until now.

His contribution to the world of music can be measured with 22 symphonies, 17 string quartets, 8 sonatas for violin and many other pieces, among which we can find music for 40 movies of 20th century. However, the quantity doesn’t matter as much as does the specific spirit and colors of his works. Sometimes the seemingly dark character of his music is in the background of purposeful desire to find peace and harmony, even catharsis. This desire for harmony is embodied throughout his musical style, often characterized with “neo-classical, rationalist clarity and proportion” (L. Nikitina).

Although Kremerata Baltica and Gidon Kremer have included pieces by Mieczyslaw Weinberg in their repertoire already before, more attention to the composer was created by the album “Mieczyslaw Weinberg” (2014) and its several subsequent concert tours around the world by Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica. Nevertheless, to praise the composer and introduce a wider part of the society to his works, this year’s Kremerata Baltica Festival is dedicated exactly to him.

Artists taking part in the festival:
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (conductor), Andrius Žlabys (piano), Yulianna Avdeeva (piano), Mate Bekavac (clarinet), Tine Thing Helseth (trumpet), Olesya Petrova (mezzo-soprano), Alexei Mochalov (bass), Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė (cello), Madara Pētersone (violin), Agata Daraškaitė (violin), Santa Vižine (viola), Pēteris Sokolovskis (cello),  Iurii Gavryliuk (double bass), Andrei Pushkarev (vibraphone).

Program: Mieczysław Weinberg, Dmitri Schostakovich, Modest Mussorgsky, Valentin Silvestrov, Igor Loboda.

More detailed information about particular concerts of the festival can be found under the events section.

Tickets on sale at www.bilesuparadize.lv