About the Festival

Gdańsk Festival of Mozart's music always brings a great portion of classical music, as well as jazz and folk. 7 festival days, about 200 artists and 13 concerts traditionally take place in a beautiful scenery of Oliwski Park, Oliwa Cathedral and the Uphagen House. XIII International MOZARTAIANA Festival lasts from 19th to 25th of August. Among the stars of this year’s edition are Julia Leżniewa, Venice Baroque Orchestra, NOSPR, Kaja Danczowska, and Otar Magradze Jazz Band from Georgia. For opera lovers we have prepared Bastien and Bastienne directed and designed by Leszek Mądzik; and for children – a puppet play Don Giovani by The National Puppet Theater from Prague.

It is organised by the Polish Chamber Choir, which this year celebrates its fortieth anniversary, and it was initiated by the choir’s director and conductor, Jan Łukaszewski. The festival is supported financially by the City of Gdańsk, in collaboration with the National Museum in Gdańsk and Gdańsk Museum. The overriding aim of the festival is to promote classical music through the presentation of works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in a variety of styles, performed by outstanding artists. The festival’s main stage is located in front of the Abbots’ Palace, set in the historical Oliwa Park. Chamber concerts are held at Uphagen House in the old town centre, whilst the final concert is traditionally organised in Oliwa Cathedral. The estimated average attendance at the concerts is nearly 12,000.

Chamber concerts at Uphagen House (ul. Długa 12)
The festival will begin with a performance by Kaja Danczowska, a doyenne of chamber music performance, who will be accompanied by the young violinist Maria Sławek and the positive organ virtuoso Andrzej Białko. On the second day, we invite you to a recital by Yuko Kawai, a finalist in the 13th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, who displays delightful, remarkably lyrical and songful playing. On Tuesday, the old interiors will be filled with the sound of the finest Polish string quartet, the Meccore String Quartet, which has been capturing the hearts of audiences in Europe and America for the last decade. The quartet is known for its brilliant renditions of the Classical repertoire, boldly shattering conventions and stereotypes.

Concerts in Oliwa Park (ul. Cystersów 18)
On Wednesday, the Festival moves to the historical district of Gdańsk Oliwa. In the inaugural concert, the main stage will host the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and the sixteen-year-old oboist Pijus Pascevicius. The artists will present a light divertimento, a Classical symphony, a Romantic serenade and a concerto for oboe and orchestra.

On the next day of the Festival (Thursday 23 August), listeners will be treated to an open-air version of the one-act opera Bastien and Bastienne, composed by the twelve-year-old Mozart. The director and stage designer will be Leszek Mądzik, an artist with a distinctive, inimitable style. This versatile Polish composer, director, stage designer, painter and photographer, founder and director of the Scena Plastyczna KUL, is also preparing the other scenographic elements of this year’s Mozartiana. On stage, we will see soprano Hanna Okońska in the role of Bastienne, tenor Aleksander Kunach as Bastien and bass Piotr Lempa in the role of Colas. The soloists will be accompanied by the Polish Baltic Philharmonic under the baton of Massimiliano Caldi.

On Friday, in the courtyard of the Abbots’ Palace, we will hear the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR), directed by Boon Hua Lien. This most famous Polish orchestra, founded in 1935, has performed in nearly all the countries of the world, made more than 190 CDs for many international labels, and worked with outstanding conductors and soloists. The NOSPR will be playing works by Maciej Radziwiłł and Pyotr Tchaikovsky, as well as Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony.

On Thursday and Friday afternoon, we invite children to the park for a special hands-on programme of music and movement and the puppet show Don Giovanni, performed by the National Puppet Theatre of Prague. This is the third European puppet theatre to visit Mozartiana, presenting this forgotten form of spectacle that was so typical of the times of the Festival’s patron.

Mozart jazzed up
Our Festival features not just classical renditions of Mozart. On Wednesday evening, we invite all lovers of musical experimentation to Oliwa Park for a performance by artists from Georgia, the Otar Magradze Ensemble, who interpret Mozart by combining jazz with Caucasian folk music. On Thursday, we will hear The ThreeX. Two violins and a piano, sophisticated humour and instrumental virtuosity – those few words best describe these young musicians from Vienna. Friday brings a performance by the Krzesimir Dębski, Anna Jurksztowicz and Adam Czerwiński Trio, who will be presenting a jazz-folk take on Mozart’s music.

Final concert at Oliwa Cathedral
In the final concert, we will hear Julia Lezhneva, a Russian soprano hailed as a modern-day Maria Callas, familiar to guests of Mozartiana from last year, and some of the finest Polish singers: Ewa Marciniec, one of our leading altos, a versatile artist and pedagogue, Krystian Krzeszowiak, a tenor who has appeared on major international stages, and Wojtek Gierlach, an outstanding Polish bass and teacher. The soloists will be accompanied by the Polish Chamber Choir – the Festival organiser – and the Venice Baroque Orchestra, playing on early instruments. At Oliwa Cathedral, the most important church in Gdańsk, we will hear two works from the rich sacred output of our Festival’s patron: Vesperae solennes de confesssore and Litaniae de venerabili altaris Sacramento. The concert will be led by Maestro Jan Łukaszewski.