Tuesday 3 May at 7.00pm at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

The Violin Consort 
Zbigniew Pilch, violin I
Radoslaw Kamieniarz, violin II
Piotor Chrupek, viola
Bartosz Kokosza, cello


This special concert for Polish Constitution Day marks the beginning of a programme of events in 2022 celebrating the Polish-Lithuanian violinist and composer Felix Yaniewicz for his role in founding the first Edinburgh music festival in 1815.  The events will culminate in an exhibition on his life and musical legacy opening at the Georgian House in June, and three concerts by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in December.

The programme includes rarely-performed works – excerpts from Yaniewicz’s Violin Concertos Nos 3 and 5 transcribed for string quartet, two Divertimenti, and his string Trio in e minor, performed by The Violin Consort, an ensemble founded by four friends who are also the best Polish musicians specializing in historical music. The name of the ensemble refers to the 16th-century practice of creating families of homogeneous instruments called consortas.

Zbigniew Pilch, first violinist with The Violin Consort, is the foremost living interpreter of Yaniewicz’s music, and has recorded two of his violin concertos with the Warsaw Baroque Orchestra.  In this concert he brings his string quartet to Edinburgh, to perform a selection of Yaniewicz’s string trios, divertimenti, and chamber arrangements of movements from two of the violin concertos, for which Yaniewicz was most famous in his day.  Yaniewicz’s sparkling compositions are evocative of his cosmopolitan career, combining a recognizably Mozartian style from his Viennese period with the joyful exuberance of Polish folk dances from his homeland.

This concert is generously supported by the Polish Consulate, and will be used to raise funds for Ukraine.  Poland stands with Ukraine at this time of crisis in Europe.  We come together in solidarity, in an evening of music which bears witness to the lasting historical impact of migration on European culture.

The Yaniewicz project celebrates the vital role of migration in Scottish cultural heritage, through the story of a migrant musician who arrived on these shores as a refugee from the French Revolution, against a background of political upheaval in his native land in the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth.

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