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Penderecki & Sinfonietta

Orchestra of the Royal Capital City of Krakow Sinfonietta Cracovia, has been associated with Professor Krzysztof Penderecki since its creation. Thanks to the efforts of Elżbieta and Krzysztof Penderecki, a group of talented musicians, initially operating under the name Krakow Cameralists, transformed into a professional and versatile band specialising in interpretations of modern music. The close relationship between Sinfonietta Cracovia and the Composer made the Orchestra the municipal cultural institution and one of the leading cameral orchestras in Poland and Europe.


Initially, Sinfonietta Cracovia performed in a cameral, string set-up under the baton of Krzysztof Penderecki, playing such of his works as Sinfonietta per archi, Sinfonietta no. 2 per clarinetto ed archi, Sinfonietta no. 3 ‚Leaves of an Unwritten Diary’, Agnus Dei, Chaconne or Concerto per viola ed orchestra with the first director of the orchestra Robert Kabara as a soloist. As the demand for symphonic repertoire increased, the Orchestra systematically expanded its composition to soon meet the great vocal-instrumental and instrumental forms of Krzysztof Penderecki, such as: Te Deum, Polish Requiem, Seven Gates of Jerusalem, Symphony no. 6 ‚Chinese Poems’. Symphony no. 4 ‚Adagio’, Anaklasis, Entrata, Violin Concertos, Concerto per clarinetto, Concerto doppio per violino, viola ed orchestra, Concerto for horn and orchestra ‚Winterreise’, Concerto grosso per tre violoncelli ed orchestra. Sinfonietta conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki performed at the most important stages of Belgium, Finland, Germany, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy and even Lebanon, cooperating with outstanding artists such as Julian Rachlin, Radovan Vlatković, David Geringas, Boris Pergamenschikow, Sarah McElrava and Grigorij Zhyslin.


Strong relationship between Krzysztof Penderecki and the Orchestra makes Sinfonietta regularly invited to participate in the official celebrations of the Composer’s jubilees. On this year’s 85th birthday of the Maestro, the team solemnly presents his music on the stages of Poland, Japan, Austria, France, Switzerland and Croatia, performing together with such artists as Lawrence Power, Rainer Honeck or Rafael Payare. For years, the orchestra has been a regular visitor to the prestigious event organised by Elżbieta Penderecka — Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival.


After the appointment of Jurek Dybał, musician in the Vienna Philharmonic closely associated with the Professor, to the position of director of the Orchestra in 2014, the bond between Sinfonietta Cracovia and Krzysztof Penderecki strengthened. Dybał has on his account, among other things, the Polish premiere of Adagio, the world premiere of Quintetto per archi ‚Leaves of an Unwritten Diary’ and original initiatives related to the Professor’s music. Jurek Dybał is founder and director of Krzysztof Penderecki International Festival – Level 320 in Zabrze. As part of this event, Sinfonietta Cracovia participated in innovative multimedia mega-productions presenting the music of the
festival’s patron in the stage setting, accompanied by modern dance, in the post-industrial spaces of Zabrze.


In 2016, Jurek Dybał was a musical director of the Composer’s Ubu Rex opera at the Silesian Opera in Bytom. This performance was awarded with the Golden Mask as the best show of 2016, and the conductor received the Jan Kiepura Prize for the best opera conductor of 2017 in Poland.


During his appointment, Jurek Dybał not only expanded the orchestra’s repertoire with new compositions by Krzysztof Penderecki, such as Sinfonietta no. 3 ‚Leaves of an Unwritten Diary’, Three Pieces in Old Style, Adagio for String Orchestra or Largo for violoncello and orchestra but also, together with Musikverein Graz and Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken-Kaiserslautern, helped to order Concertino for trumpet and orchestra. Within the world premieres of this piece, Dybał led Sinfonietta Cracovia with Gábor Boldoczki as a soloist in a performance recorded by Sony Classical, awarded with prestigious record industry prizes, such as the International Classical Music Award, Echo Klassik (for Boldoczki) and Hungarian Gramophone.


The Orchestra also promotes Penderecki’s works among the youngest — through concerts and recordings dedicated for children. Sinfonietta Cracovia closely cooperates with the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music, organising concerts, recordings and conducting courses, initiated by Jurek Dybał.


Since 2014, Professor Penderecki has been the chairman of the Artistic and Program Council of the Orchestra of the Royal Capital City of Krakow Sinfonietta Cracovia.


In 2016, at the initiative of the director of the Orchestra, Jurek Dybał, Professor Penderecki assumed honorary patronage over the annually composers competition organised within the framework of the Sinfonietta Festival — Sinfonietta per Sinfonietta.