Penderecki to Conduct Symphony Première & Receive RNCM Fellowship

Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki will conduct the RNCM Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Chamber Choir in the UK première of his Seventh Symphony ‘Seven Gates of Jerusalem’ at The Bridgewater Hall on Friday 26 June.

Commissioned for the third millennium celebration of the city of Jerusalem, this formidable work is rarely performed due to the sheer forces required, and remains one of Penderecki’s most powerful and dramatic pieces to date.

Dr Michelle Castelletti, RNCM Artistic Director, said: ‘I have been gripped by Krzysztof Penderecki ever since I heard his Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima and St Luke Passion. The intensity of these creations and sheer emotive power they invoke are staggering. But, beyond this, Penderecki’s work is also remarkable for its change of style, and its evolution towards a majestic lyricism, as can be seen in his magnificent ‘Seven Gates of Jerusalem’. I am thrilled, not only because the RNCM will be giving the UK première, but because he will be conducting the performance himself.’

This special end-of-year concert features 250 RNCM students, and marks the culmination of a unique festival entitled Seven Gates: The Music of Poland Explored, kindly supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polska Music programme.

Over the course of four days, Tuesday 23 – Friday 26 June, the Festival will celebrate the music of Poland through composers such as Lutosławski, Górecki, Szymanowski, Agata Zubel and, of course, Penderecki, recognised by many as Poland’s greatest living composer. The Festival also includes film screenings and new compositions by RNCM students, all inspired by Polish compositional thought and research.

Michelle added: ‘Seven Gates: The Music of Poland Explored is an exciting exploration of Polish music, and the RNCM is proud to commemorate the work of such great composers both in the College’s multiple venues and at the wonderful Bridgewater Hall, where we are pulling out all the stops to present Penderecki’s monumental Seventh Symphony.’

Following the concert, Michelle Castelletti will present Krzysztof Penderecki, who was born in Debica in 1933 and whose catalogue of work includes orchestral, opera and film music (Penderecki has written for films including The Shining and The Exorcist), with Fellowship of the RNCM.

26 May 2015