The Nostalgia Festival Poznań is a musical project which had its first edition in 2007, and has to date, attracted a wide group of followers. The festival’s main goal is to present to the Polish audience a contemporary circle of sensitive artists, most of whom are associated with ECM Records. Their music reaches to their national roots, for instance in Armenia, Estonia or Ukraine, and smoothly merges these with contemporary motifs to create a new world-class quality.
What distinguishes the Nostalgia Festival Poznań from many other events based on similar programmes is a distinct axis around which the Nostalgia programme is built. This specific axis is made up of the invited artists’ ability to turn to their national roots. During the subsequent Nostalgia Festivals, works by composers from Armenia, Estonia, Ukraine and Italy, performed by some of the brightest stars of contemporary chamber music from across Europe, have been smoothly merged with the sounds of classical pieces by composers of the past, and with modern interpretations. To date, the artists we have invited to create our programme axis have included Tigran Mansurian, Kim Kashkashian, and Eleni Karaindrou in 2007; Valentin Silvestrov, The Hilliard Ensemble, Holger Lampson, Alan Newcombe and Bogdan Pivnenko in 2009; The Hilliard Ensemble in 2010; Helena Tulve, Erkki-Sven Tuur, Urmas Sisask, and Marcin Masecki in 2011; Marcin Masecki, Piotr Orzechowski, and The Gurdijeff Folk Instruments Ensamble in 2012; Anja Lechner, Dino Saluzzi, the Tarkovsky Quartet, François Couturier, and the l’Autunno Chamber Orchestra in 2013; and Elliott Carter, Tigran Mansurian, Maciej Grzybowski, the NeoQuartet, and the l’Autunno Chamber Orchestra in 2014.
The high standard of the festival is guaranteed by one of the world’s major art music labels, ECM Records. Working with this label makes it possible to host some of the worlds most exceptional musicians in Poznań, and what is more, it ensures the festival’s renown. ECM Records has described the Nostalgia Festival as an unprecedented event, and this has been confirmed by Manfred Eicher with the recording of two pieces which had their Polish premiere at the festival in 2007 on one of ECM’s latest releases.
The Nostalgia Festival Poznań is a creative evoking of memory, legacy and art. It is also the creation of art, legacy and that which is worth remembering.
The programme of Nostalgia Festival Poznań 2014 is based on an intercultural dialogue between the compositions of two masters: Tigran Mansurian – an Armenian celebrating his 75th birthday this year and Elliot Carter – an American who died in 2012 at the age of 103. The festival, which is planned this year from 23-25 October, has presented music whose roots lie in different nations, cultures and traditions for seven years. This year’s edition will be accompanied by the Atelier for Young Festival Managers which is organized for the first time in Poland and which has been held for eight years in different places in the world on the initiative of the European Festival Association – one of the oldest European networks gathering over 100 festivals from 42 countries.
We will explore during Nostalgia how the two cultures – Armenian and American, antagonized during the Cold War, relate to each other today when their relationship ceased to be an extension of the hostility between the two empires. The festival’s special guest will be Tigran Mansurian who will not only meet with the audience, but also display his interpretative skills in his piano compositions. The second part of the concert will be devoted to Elliot Carter’s piano compositions performed by Maciej Grzybowski who will be a Polish element in the dialogue between the two great masters.
One of the most outstanding cellists in the world, Anja Lechner, who is well known to the audience of Nostalgia, will perform in Poznań. Accompanied by young Polish instrumentalists, she will perform works from the newest album with Mansurian’s compositions “Quasi parlando” released by ECM Records.
The third concert evening, devoted to mourning works of the two artists, will be a unique event also due to the broad spectrum of performers: soloists, choir, solo instruments and an orchestra conducted by Adam Banaszak. The concerts will be accompanied by film screenings and discussions with composers, performers and theoreticians with instruments and images in the background.
Around forty five young culture managers from all over the world will take part in the Atelier for Young Festival Managers held from 20-26 October, parallel to Nostalgia Festival Poznań. Mentors – directors of the most prestigious festivals – will guide the participants through an intensive programme of lectures, consultations, discussions, workshops and meetings with the representatives of local cultural institutions. The host of the prestigious Atelier, which previously took place during such events as the Edinburgh International Festival, International Izmir Festival and Ljubljana Festival, is Malta Foundation.