At the turn of August and September 2017, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, led by the world-famous Chinese pianist Yundi, toured China performing in the country’s most prestigious concert halls. The programme of the concerts featured both of Chopin’s piano concertos: in E Minor and F Minor.
The partner joining forces with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in organising the tour was China's leading performing arts agency, Wu Promotion, with over 25 years of experience in bringing world-famous musicians to China. The concerts took place in Chongqing Grand Theatre, Guangzhou Xinghai Concert Hall, Shenzhen Concert Hall, Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts and Shanghai Oriental Arts Center.
The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra gave its first concert on 5th November 1901 in the Philharmonic’s newly built concert hall. The Orchestra was conducted by Emil Młynarski – co-founder, first music director and resident conductor of the Philharmonic, while the solo part was played by Ignacy Jan Paderewski.
Already before World War I and between the world wars, the Philharmonic became a key centre of musical life in Poland and one of Europe’s major musical institutions. In the early years after World War II, the orchestra’s concerts were held in theatres and sport halls. On 21st February 1955, the Philharmonic moved to a new seat (which replaced the one destroyed by German air raids) and was granted the status of the National Philharmonic. Under its new director Witold Rowicki, it regained the reputation of Poland’s leading symphony orchestra. In 1955-58 the position of artistic director was held by Bohdan Wodiczko, then again by Rowicki, and from 1977 by Kazimierz Kord. Between January 2002 and August 2013, Antoni Wit was both the Philharmonic’s managing and artistic director. Since 1st September 2013 the position of artistic director of Warsaw Philharmonic has been held by Jacek Kaspszyk.
Today Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra enjoys worldwide popularity and acclaim. It has made over 140 concert tours on five continents, appearing in all of the world’s major concert halls. It also regularly performs during the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competitions in Warsaw and the Warsaw Autumn Festival, records for the Polish Radio and state television (TVP) as well as Polish and foreign record labels and film companies. The Orchestra has frequently been awarded prestigious record prizes, including the Grammy in 2013 (and six Grammy nominations) for their recordings of Penderecki’s and Szymanowski’s large-scale vocalinstrumental works, Diapason d’Or, ICMA, Gramophone Award, Record Geijutsu, Classical Internet Award, Cannes Classical Award, and the Fryderyk Award of the Polish Phonographic Academy.
Yundi was propelled onto the international stage when he won first prize at the 14th Chopin International Piano Competition at the age of 18, becoming the youngest and first Chinese winner in the history of the renowned competition. Since then, he has been regarded as a leading exponent of Chopin’s music. On autumn 2014, the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, as the organizer of The International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition has invited Yundi to be one of the jury of The 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in 2015, who is also the youngest juror of the competition. The New York Times praised his performances 'the brilliant young Chinese pianist, has proved a technically astounding pianist who is by turns elegant and rambunctious, coolly expressive and white-hot.'
On his regular recital tours, Yundi has performed at many prestigious venues and festivals. In addition, orchestras and conductors with whom he has collaborated include the Berliner Philharmoniker and Seiji Ozawa, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and Riccardo Chailly, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Harding, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Philharmonia Orchestra and Andrew Davis, Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, and the Israel Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel. He has also performed with the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington), Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony and NHK Symphony.
Yundi’s new recording album of Chopin's Preludes was released in the autumn of 2015 and Ballades in the spring of 2016. Then, Yundi started his recital tour of all Chopin programme. Yundi's 2016 spring tour includes Carnegie Hall in New York City, Paris, London, Berlin, Vienna and Rome.
On 21st February 2016, Yundi started his world tour with a concert in Walt Disney Concert Hall. In the following two months, he has toured 19 cities in 11 countries of Europe, 9 cities in Japan and 6 cities in China, gaining a great professional reputation. As the Carnegie Hall concert, many concerts has been sold out long before.
Source: promotional materials of Wu Promotion and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, written by AO, 18 Aug 2017, translated by AW, 20 Aug 2017