Krystian Zimerman to inaugurate Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival

Krystian Zimerman, a world-renowned Polish virtuoso pianist, and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Jacek Kaspszyk will perform the opening concert of the 22nd Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival at the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall on Friday.

"I am very fortunate, not only that Krystian Zimerman has agreed to come and inaugurate our festival, but also that he has agreed to perform twice," festival director Elzbieta Penderecka told PAP, adding that "I have been waiting for Zimerman for 22 years."

He will perform at the grand-opening concert on 16 March, with a second performance set for the following day.

This year's festival will be presented under the banner "Beethoven and the Great Anniversaries," celebrating the hundredth anniversary of Poland regaining its independence, the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, the 85th anniversaries of the birth of Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Gorecki (d. 2010). The festival programme includes pieces relating to these events, as well as music associated with the coming of Easter.

Planned for Friday's inaugural concert are performances of Beethoven's Symphony no. 3 in E flat major "Eroica", and Bernstein's Symphony no.2, "The Age of Anxiety".

The programme of 13 symphonies, three chamber concerts and two recitals will be held in the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, the Royal Castle and the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera.

The annual festival is organised by the Ludwig van Beethoven Association and this year is under the honorary patronage of President Andrzej Duda.