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Maestro Penderecki 85th Birthday Celebration Concert

Maestro Penderecki 85th Birthday Celebration Concert with Sinfonia Varsovia and Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter / Yu-Chien(Benny) Tseng

  1. Concerts took place at Beijing, Zhengzhou, Shanghai, Changsha, Xiamen and Fuzhou from 17th to 28th October, 2018 with Maestro Penderecki and Maciej Tworek as conductor and Anne-Sophie Mutter as violinist.
  2. Concerts took place at Wuhan and Zhuzhou from 30th to 31st October, 2018 with Maciej Tworek as conductor and Yu-Chien(Benny) Tseng as violinist.

Sinfonia Varsovia

In 1984, at the invitation of Waldemar Dąbrowski, director of the Stanisław I. Witkiewicz Studio Center for the Arts in Warsaw, and Franciszek Wybrańczyk, director of the Polish Chamber Orchestra, the legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin arrived in Poland to perform as a soloist and conductor. In order to meet the exigencies of the repertoire, the orchestra invited renowned Polish musicians from all over Poland to take part in the performances. The ensemble’s first concerts, conducted by Yehudi Menuhin, were received enthusiastically by audiences and critics, and Menuhin accepted the invitation to become the first guest conductor of the newly established orchestra named Sinfonia Varsovia. 

Sinfonia Varsovia performs at the world’s most prestigious concert halls and festivals, working with world renowned conductors and soloists. The orchestra has recorded several albums, radio and television performances, and boasts a discography of more than 280 CDs, many of which have received prestigious prizes. In 1997, Prof. Krzysztof Penderecki became the ensemble’s musical director, and in 2003 also its artistic director. The Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra is a municipal cultural institution coordinated by the City of Warsaw.


Krzysztof Penderecki 

Born on 23 November 1933 in Dębica, Poland, Krzysztof Penderecki studied composition under Franciszek Skołyszewski, and later at the Kraków Academy of Music under Artur Malawski and Stanisław Wiechowicz. In 1959, he composed Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, one of his best known and most often performed compositions, which received the UNESCO prize in 1961. This piece was followed by Anaklasis (Donaueschinger Musiktage), Polymorphia (commissioned by the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Hamburg), Fluorescences (Donaueschinger Musiktage), and, in 1966, St. Luke Passion, the first major work of his career. It was written for the Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne to mark the 700 years of the Münster Cathedral, where it had its premiere on 30 March 1966. This performance brought Penderecki to international fame and started a run of success.

Krzysztof Penderecki has received a host of domestic and international prizes, including First, Second and Third Prize at the 2nd Competition for Young Polish Composers organized by the Polish Composers’ Union (1959), First Class State Award (1968, 1984), the Polish Composers’ Union Award (1970), Herder Award (1977), Prix Arthur Honegger (1978), Sibelius Award (1983), Premio Lorenzo Magnifico (1985), Wolf Prize (1987), Grammy Award (1987, 1998, 1998, 2000, 2016), Grawemeyer Award (1992), Prize of the UNESCO International Tribune of Composers (1961, 1993), Best Living World Composer (2000), Prince of Asturias Prize (2001), Praemium Imperiale (2004), Viadrina Prize (2012), Per Artem ad Deum (2015), and International Classical Music Award (2012, 2014, 2016).

Krzysztof Penderecki received honorary doctorates from several dozen universities. He is an honorary member of the academies of arts and sciences, including the Royal Academy of Music in London, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Musikaliska Akademien in Stokholm, Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Polish Academy of Sciences, Academia National de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Académie Internationale de Philosophie et de l’Art in Bern, Académie Nationale des Sciences, Belles-lettres et Arts in Bordeaux, Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong, Die Musikverein für Steiermark in Graz.

In 1972 the composer began his career as a conductor. Since then he has led the world’s greatest orchestras. He was principal guest conductor of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Orchester in Hamburg and the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester in Leipzig. From 1992 to 2000 he served as Music Director of the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1997 he became the Artistic Director of the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra. Since 1998 he has been advisor to the Beijing Music Festival, and since 2000 guest conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra.

During a period spanning almost sixty years, Krzysztof Penderecki composed more than 100 instrumental works, including 20 chamber works, 17 solo works, 24 concertante pieces, 27 orchestral works, 7 symphonies, 21 songs and choral works, 25 cantata and oratorio works, and 4 operas. In addition, Krzysztof Penderecki wrote more than 120 music pieces for animated films, puppet theatre, dramatic theatre, television theatre, as well as fiction films and documentaries.


Anne-Sophie Mutter

Anne-Sophie Mutter was born in Rheinfelden in Baden. She embarked on her international career as a soloist in 1976 at the Lucerne Festival and a year later made her Salzburg debut at the Whitsun Concerts under Herbert von Karajan.

Ever since then she has been one of the greatest violin virtuosos of our time and is performing concerts worldwide in all the major music centers. In addition to traditional works she has continually treated her audiences to new and innovative repertoires: chamber music and orchestral works presented on equal terms. She also uses her popularity for charity projects and supports the development of young, exceptionally talented musicians.

The four-time Grammy® Award winner is equally committed to the performance of traditional composers as to the future of music: so far she has given world premieres of 24 works – Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold Lutoslawski, Norbert Moret, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir André Previn and Wolfgang Rihm have all composed for Anne-Sophie Mutter.

In December 2016, the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports awarded her the “Medalla de oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes” (Gold Medal for Merits in the Fine Arts). In January 2015 Anne-Sophie Mutter was named an Honorary Fellow of Keble College at the University of Oxford. In October 2013 she became a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, after winning the medal of the Lutoslawski Society (Warsaw) in January. In 2012 the Atlantic Council bestowed the Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award upon her. In 2011 she received the Brahms Prize as well as the Erich Fromm Prize and the Gustav Adolf Prize for her social activism. In 2010 the Technical-Scientific University of Norway in Trondheim bestowed an honorary doctorate upon her; in 2009 she won the European St. Ulrich Award as well as the Cristobal Gabarron Award. In 2008 Anne-Sophie Mutter was the recipient of the International Ernst von Siemens Music Prize as well as the Leipzig Mendelssohn Prize.

The violinist is has been awarded the German Grand Order of Merit, the French Medal of the Legion of Honour, the Bavarian Order of Merit, the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria, and numerous other honours.


Conductor  Maciej Tworek

Born in Tarnobrzeg, Poland, Maciej Tworek studied piano under prof. Jan Hoffman, choral studies within the Musical Education Faculty and conducting within the Institute of Composition, Conducting and Music Theory under prof. Józef Radwan at the Academy of Music in Cracow. He attended master classes given by conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, Roger Norrington and Kurt Masur. He was assistant conductor to Valery Gergiev and Lorin Maazel.

In 1998, he was awarded an honorable mention at the 2nd Witold Lutoslawski National Competition for Young Conductors in Białystok, Poland and in 2002, he made it to the semi-final stage at the The Maazel/Vilar Conductors’ Competition. In 2003, he made an appearance at the Festival Junger Kunstler in Bayreuth performing with the Chamber Orchestra of the Academy of Music in Cracow. From 2005 to 2012, Maciej Tworek conducted Capella Cracoviensis and was appointed deputy director of this orchestra. Currently, he holds a lecturer’s position at the Academy of Music in Cracow.

Maciej Tworek has worked with numerous ensembles including: The Hilliard Ensemble, The Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, New Russia State Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica Simon Bolívar de Venezuela, Coro Sinfonico Nacional Juvenil de Venezuela, Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus in South Korea, NDR Chor, NDR Radiofilharmonie, MDR Rundfunk Chor, MDR Sinfonie Orchester,  Brno Philharmonic, Philharmonic Orchestras of Kraków, Rzeszów, Łódź, Wrocław, Białystok, Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Sinfonia Iuventus, Polish Radio Choir, Pro Arte Chamber Choir.

Since 2002, as conductor, he has continuously cooperated with Krzysztof Penderecki. Under his baton, the ensembles of the National Opera in Poland prepared the European premiere of the 8th Symphony by Penderecki. Since 2010, Maciej Tworek has been represented by the Ludwig van Beethoven Association Artist Management.


Yu-Chien (Benny) Tseng, Violin

Yu-Chien (Benny) Tseng is rapidly building an international reputation as an emerging young soloist of enormous promise praised for his “grace, poise, and blistering virtuosity.”

At the XV International Tchaikovsky Violin Competition, his winning performances in the final round featured two of the most iconic concertos in the violin repertoire, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius, attracting the attention of Maestro Valery Gergiev, who invited him to perform at the maestro’s festival in Mikkeli, Finland, as well as the White Night Festival in St. Petersburg and the Far East Festival in Vladivostok. He also performed both the Tchaikovsky and Brahms concertos with Gergiev and the Munich Philharmonic on their tour to Taiwan in November 2015. Tseng has frequently performed in recital in Europe, America and Asia.

Following his win at the Tchaikovsky Competition, he has made a series of major debuts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Signed to Deutsche Grammophone in 2016, his first project, a recital disc, was being recorded in Berlin in October 2016 and was released in January 2017. His second album has been recorded with Maestro Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra, featuring Tchaikovsky violin concerto and other celebrated works by the composer, and will be released in 2018.

A student of eminent pedagogues Aaron Rosand and Ida Kavafian at the Curtis Institute of Music, Tseng previously won first prizes at the Singapore International Violin Competition, Sarasate Violin Competition in Pamplona, Spain and the Isang Yun Violin Competition in Korea.

After his German debut with the Saarbrucken Radio Orchestra, the critic praised his performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto: “Classically balanced without showing off; Sensitive, discreet nuances; Highly cultured sound; graceful and playful, relaxed elegance without attitude – Exemplary!”

Yu-Chien has appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky theatre Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Belgium, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan Philharmonic, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and many others. He has worked with Maestros such as Valery Gergiev, Jiří Bělohlávek, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Osmo Vänskä, Jacek Kaspszyk, and most recently Mikhail Pletnev who has invited him to Tokyo for his debut there in 2019.