Waiting for the Ode to Joy… – ABOUT 2020/2021 SEASON

Our now is not our forever… Not only do we find this (paraphrased) thought of the American writer John Green absolutely true, but also believe you share this conviction. The sooner the current reality goes with the wind, the better. For the moment, however, in almost all spheres of life we must accommodate to the circumstances and follow the ensuing constraints.

Just like the previous season of the Poznań Philharmonic unexpectedly ended with online concerts, the current, 74th season is going to take a different shape to this originally contemplated (after all, we schedule our concerts over two years in advance). What is most important, however, is that we open the season with audience. The past months made us realise just how precious are live artistic events, ones held in the presence of viewers and spectators. Nothing, neither most outstanding recordings, nor most spectacular artistic presentations in front of cameras and microphones, are likely to take the place of the emotional experience that is evoked in the presence of artists and audiences. This is why we are so glad – both as artists, and as promoters of cultural life – that despite all restrictions and inconvenience, we are going to open yet another chapter in our institution’s history in the presence of the most wonderful audience under the sun. In your presence.

Incurable optimists, we believe there are positive aspects to any situation. As the largest orchestra allowed on our stage features thirty-odd musicians, we are going to stage a series of works rather infrequently presented in philharmonic venues: the complete “Paris” symphonies by Joseph Haydn. As it is Beethoven Year, the same line-up can perform further concertos and symphonies by the Master of Bonn in our series Beethoven Our Contemporary. Besides The Ninth, that is, which will be presented as soon as it proves possible. A number of interesting compositions by 20th-century masters intended for smaller ensembles will also be featured, while instrumentalists of our orchestra shall perform in the capacity of soloists and chamber musicians.

We also believe that in spite of restrictions and complications in place, the eagerly-awaited stars of world stages and opera houses will manage to arrive in Poznań.

Before the official opening of the season, the schedule of the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra features concerts outside Poznań, as well as recordings of albums with music composed by this year’s celebrators: Luigi Cherubini and Michał Bergson, both of which will be world phonographic premieres.

The programme, which we publish on 1 September, goes only as far as the beginning of 2021. The repertoire, as well as the list of musicians to be featured in the remaining part of the season will be announced when organisation of the contemplated concerts proves possible.

The current reality requires that concerts be shorter, carry no intermission, while all restrictions that stem from sanitary authorities’ fiats, incl. limited numbers of performers and listeners, be observed.

We wish to extend words of particular gratitude to numerous Poznań Philharmonic’s season ticket holders who showed their generosity and goodwill, and refrained from seeking compensation for the concerts cancelled between March and June in the wake of the pandemic. We also thank them for their reliance on us and for renewing their season tickets for the upcoming artistic year even before they were able to get familiar with full 2020/2021 season programme. We are proud and happy to have such a wonderful audience.

Looking forward to our meetings with you, on behalf of the artists of the Poznan Philharmonic, our guests, members of the staff of our institution, and in our own names, we wish to extend words of gratitude to all those who have made these events possible.

And waiting for an opportunity to present Beethoven’s famous Ninth Symphony, let us evoke Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy (in the form of H. van Dyke’s Hymn to Joy), which closes the piece:

Ever singing, march we onward
victors in the midst of strife
joyful music lifts us sunward

in the triumph song of life.


Wojciech Nentwig, Marek Pijarowski, Łukasz Borowicz