Jan 23 2009 by Alison Anderson, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
THE fruits of the unique relationship between Scotland and Poland spanning 400 years are set to flourish at Perth Theatre and Perth Concert Hall this spring.
From Scotland to Poland and back again, centuries of migration have sown the seeds for a shared cultural landscape.
Polish Spring: Scottish Tides – a celebration of the vibrant cultures of Poland and Scotland – adds a 21st Century twist to this artistic alliance by bringing together Poland’s top rock and comedy groups, Kult and Ani Mru Mru, alongside acclaimed Scots folk, digital art and outstanding classical acts in a celebration of the comings and goings of Scots and Poles through theatre, music, comedy and art.
Audiences can catch exclusive new art, international comedy and each country’s top musicians gigging in a one-off event, held in Perth as part of the Homecoming Scotland 2009 celebrations.
Full details of this three-month celebration can be found in the new Horsecross season brochure available at Perth Theatre and Perth Concert Hall, and online at www.horsecross.co.uk
Polish Spring sponsors include Homecoming Scotland 2009 and Perth and Kinross Council. Highlights of the programme include:
l Four lunchtime Chopin piano recitals, to mark the 160th anniversary of the composer’s death. All four recitals will be recorded by BBC Radio 3 for national transmission. Pianists are Alexandre Tharaud (February 23), Aleksander Madzar (March 9), Katia Skanavi (April 4) and Nikolai Demidenko (April 5).
l Scotland’s pioneering folk fusion band Peatbog Faeries and the legendary Warsaw Village Band come together in Perth Concert Hall for a combustible night of great tunes and thumping grooves on March 6. Warsaw Village Band bring Polish folk traditions into new and uncharted territory, mixing fiddles, dulcimer and hurdy-gurdy with rock, electronic, reggae and hip-hop rhythms.
l Poland’s biggest band, Kult, make an exclusive Scottish appearance at Perth Concert Hall on March 7. Over 26 years, 13 albums, countless hit singles and more than 2500 gigs. Kult are a nine-piece led by Kazik Staszewski with its roots in punk but now encompassing rock, ska, jazz, reggae, traditional balladry and poetry.
l The brilliant Polish pianist, Piotr Anderszewski joins the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for a night of Bach and Mozart on March 18.
l The Eastland Diaspora, Perth Concert Hall, April 4, with Billy Kay along with Rod Paterson, Derek Hoy and Norman Chalmers of Jock Tamson’s Bairns. Billy Kay heads up an evening of history, tales, tunes and songs reflecting on the spread of the Scots as merchants, pedlars and soldiers of fortune into the Eastland.
l The Hebrides Ensemble bring two quirky pieces which show Gorecki’s humour as well as his more spiritual side. This concert at 5pm on April 5 is in the Norie-Miller Studio of Perth Concert Hall.
l The Filharmonia Pomorska from Perth’s twin town Bydgoszcz is a full symphony orchestra in the grand Eastern European tradition – full blooded and dramatic. Hear the orchestra in authentic Polish style in Perth Concert Hall on April 5.
l On April 6 Perth Theatre’s intimate Redrooms bar becomes a home from home for visitors Sing Sing Penelope from Perth’s twin city of Bydgoszcz. Drawing on classical music, European and US jazz, avant-garde, post-rock and electronica, they have created a highly-distinctive musical language which demands to be heard.
l The Polish composer Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, who died 100 years ago, is not a familiar name to today’s concert-goers, but the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Tasmin Little will demonstrate why his warmly passionate violin concerto, written in 1903, deserves to be better-known. Tasmin Little has championed it with the BBC SSO on record, and this concerto and other works will be played on May 8.
l A Polish comedy weekend features Ani Mru Mru and Smile, compered by Mariusz Kalamaga (Lowcy. B), in Perth Concert Hall on May 9; and Dno and Lowcy B, compered by Marcin Wojcik (Ani Mru Mru), in Perth Theatre on May 10.
l Blazin’ Fiddles play Scozzese in Perth Concert Hall on May 10.
And under the banner ‘Three artists, three residencies, three weekends, three premieres’ Horsecross becomes a home away from home for three prominent Polish artists – Izabella Gustowska, Igor Krenz and Julita Wojcik.