A Folly of Chords and Records

THE NUMBER OF THE WEEKEND: 36 660 – this many listeners attended the Festival

A Folly of Chords and Records

Szalone akordy i rekordyThe 2012 edition of the La Folle Journée Festival RUSSIA has come to an end. The ingenious works of the greatest Russian composers, such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Shostakovich have attracted a record number of listeners. The overall average attendance in the halls and rooms of the Grand Theatre – National Opera was 94%. Over three days, 22 960 listeners found their way into the Theatre and 10 650 more into the Festival tent. The Labyrinth Event which preceded the Festival was attended by 3050 students and teachers from Warsaw elementary schools – all amounting to 36 660 participants and listeners. The Festival website was visited by more than 188 000 persons and the Facebook profile has more than 1000 fans.

The interest in the Festival was so great that despite the rearrangement of seating in Tolstoy Hall by putting in 180 more chairs late Saturday night and starting sales again, all tickets were sold out again by early Sunday afternoon. There were long lines to buy tickets forming in front of the Grand Theatre – National Opera just like before a real rock concert! It is worth noting who attends these concerts – the audience is unlike any other – from the youngest, sitting in prams and carried in slings, to teens, students and seniors. Thanks to the main premise of the Festival: “Classical Music is for Everyone” and its unique atmosphere, the majority of the audience was made up of young people. They felt no need to wear ties, bow ties and formal evening dress, although some did.

“We are extremely happy that the Festival was such a success. We wish to thank all those who came to visit. These days were truly mad, with record-breaking attendance and interest in the Theatre. The atmosphere created by artists from all over the world, by the most talented young students from Poland and by the inestimable audience is unique” saidJanusz Marynowski, General Director of the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra. Something ends, something begins, so without wasting a moment, we are already thinking about our next folly one year from now – La Folle Journée 2012 – France and Spain. Make note of  the date: 27-29 September 2013.” – adds Janusz Marynowski.

Various stages of the Grand Theatre – National Opera saw performances by artists from 7 countries: France, Georgia, Lebanon, Russia, Uzbekistan, Italy and Poland. These included famous soloists, such as Boris Berezovsky, Nikolai Lugansky, Abdel Rahman El Bacha, Nikita Boriso-Glebsky, Alexander Kniazev and Andrei Korobeinikov, conductors: Dmitri Liss, Alexander Vedernikov, Antoni Wit, George Tchitchinadze, Aziz Shokhakimov and chamber music ensembles: Trio Wanderer and the Borodin Quartet.

Young performers put on a great show. They were representatives of the ten best school ensembles, selected from a few dozen music schools all over Poland . The eliminations were organised in cooperation with the Centre for Artistic Education and with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. It was a great honour for the school ensembles to perform under the roof of the Grand Theatre – National Opera. Furthermore, the musicians from the ensembles could attend concerts free of charge. This gave them an opportunity to see professional musicians from the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Grand Theatre – National Opera at work. They could also watch performances by soloists and conductors renowned all over the world. And last but not least, they could carefully watch the playing of their colleagues from other schools in Poland.

As always, the Smykofonia [Toddler Philharmonic] concerts enjoyed great popularity. The Russian Horns Orchestra also found numerous fans. A more-than capacity audience attended a special concert by the Motion Trio, with the first rows occupied by winners of the “Musical Chairs” contest, sitting in their favourite sitting appliances. The contest was organised by the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra and by JWT Warszawa.

The Festival also proved very popular on the Facebook community portal, attracting more than 1000 fans in the space of a month. Information on the portal reached an average of 20 000 persons each week. Some comments: “Let THESE days last forever, “Those were the days :o) too bad only once a year :o(”, “Great idea. Next year I’ll bring my grand-daughter.” And finally: “I even got to like Facebook a liiittttle in this madness…”. More comments on the Szalone Dni Muzyki fan page.

The organisers of the Festival wish to express their thanks for the mutual experience this year and extend an invitation to participate in a wonderful adventure with French and Spanish classical music next year!


27-29 September 2013




Ultimately the winners’ circle consisted of eight orchestras, a choir and an accordion quintet from: Bielsko-Biała (from the Stanisław Moniuszko State General Primary and Secondary Music School), Bydgoszcz (from the Artur Rubinstein State Music School Complex), Gdańsk (from the Feliks Nowowiejski General Secondary Music School), Cracow (from the Mieczysław Karłowicz State Music School Complex), Lublin (from the Karol Lipiński General Primary and Secondary Music School), Łódź (from the Stanisław Moniuszko Music School Complex), Rzeszów (from the Fryderyk Chopin Music School Complex no. 1), Warsaw (from the Fryderyk Chopin State Music School Complex and from the Karol Szymanowski State Music School Complex no. 4) and Wrocław (from the Karol Szymanowski General Primary and Secondary Music School).

Szalone Dni Muzyki
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