30 November 2020 A citizen of the world from… Szamotuły

Among numerous music anniversaries celebrated this year there is also the 170th birthday anniversary of Franz Xaver Scharwenka, the hero of our next Internet Concert held on Friday, the 4th of December at 7 p.m.

Franz Xaver Scharwenka was born in a Polish-German family in Szamotuły, where he spent the first several years of his life. Here he had taken his first steps in music. At the age of nine the family of Scharwenka moved to Poznan, and six years later – to Berlin, where Franz Xaver graduated from gymnasium and began his musical studies. He inscribed his name in history not only as an excellent composer and pianist, but also as an organizer of musical life and pedagogue. In 1881 he founded the Conservatory in Berlin and in the years of 1891-1898 he ran the Scharwenka Music School in New York City. He was so respected in America that when he composed his only opera “Mataswintha” it was staged in the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He was also the author of “Methodik des Klavierspiels”, published in Leipzig in 1907. He was friends with Franz Liszt and was highly valued by Johannes Brahms.

In Poland he has been rediscovered for some time now and Poznan Philharmonic has a share in it by including his musical pieces in the repertoire (as well as by recording an album of his works, published in 2011 by Naxos).

Scharwenka completed his Symphony in C minor, Op. 60 in the beginning of 1882, however the premiere performance wasn’t held until almost two years later, on the 1st of December 1883 in Königlichen Akademie der Künste in Copenhagen. In “Signale für Musikalische Welt” one could read that “the work was generally appreciated. Particularly beautiful Scherzo and Adagio, while the first and the last movement movement are too lengthy and not really refined.” (Mikołaj Rykowski, The Polyphony of Life, 2018). Was the first review correct? Judge by yourselves.


Łukasz BOROWICZ – conductor
Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra


  • Franz Xaver Scharwenka, Symphony in C Minor, Op. 60

      Andante — Allegro non troppo
      Allegro molto quasi presto
      Allegro molto quasi presto — Adagio — Tempo I — Allegro molto


Co-funded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage as part of “Muzyka” programme managed by Institute of Music and Dance. Resources provided by Culture Promotion Fund from surcharges imposed on state-monopoly games under art. 80, par. 1 of the Gambling Activities Act of 19 November 2009.