Warsaw Autumn


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Warsaw Autumn
The 'Warsaw Autumn' (Warszawska Jesien) is a festival with a long history, an enormous tradition, and can be called a witness to history. It is the only festival in Poland on an international scale and with an international status, dedicated to contemporary music. For many years, it was the only event of this kind in Central and Eastern Europe. It is still, however, a living organism: it develops and thrives to the extent that the Polish cultural budget and the general state of music allow it to.

The Festival is organized by the Polish Composers' Union . The Repertoire Committee, which is in turn appointed by the Board of the Union, determines the program of each particular festival.

The Festival was created in 1956, during the thaw that followed years of Stalinist dictatorship. Even though the government quickly left the democratization course, the Festival continued without interruption (with two exceptions) during the entire communist era - its finances were secured by the state (up to this day, its main source of funding comes from public funds). Only recently has the new economic and social situation of a country working its way to prosperity threatened the financial stability of the 'Warsaw Autumn'. Nevertheless, the Festival still plays an essential role in shaping contemporary culture in Poland.

Today, one of the organizers' main goals - to familiarize the Polish listener with the classic works of the 20th century (i.e. with works that were seen as such already at the beginning of the festival) - has been fulfilled, of course. At the same time, new gaping holes in terms of the classic works from the second half of the XX century have appeared. For example, Stockhausen's Gruppen was performed for the first time in Poland only at 'Warsaw Autumn' 2000. The two other goals, however, remain timeless: to present new music from Poland and abroad. Director of the Festival is Tadeusz Wielecki.

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