WHOEVER said nothing ever happens in Canberra?
Last night at the embassy of the Republic of Poland, in Yarralumla, there was a perfect example of the “behind closed doors” culture of the nation’s capital, with an all-Chopin program by Polish pianist Piotr Tomasz, who now lives and runs a music centre in Shanghai..A packed audience, with Members of the Polish community coming from as far as Bega and Cooma for the event, marked the end of the Australian cultural exchange titled “Polish Music Days”.
Organised at the local level by The Friends of Chopin Australia, the evening of intense precise piano playing from the Juilliard graduate began tamely enough with Chopin’s Barcarolle No. 4 Op 60, Nocturne in B flat minor Op. 9 No.1 and Polonaise-Fantasy Op 61, but after an interlude in which the touring spoken-word artist, Wojciech S Wocław, outlined the influences of patriotism, war and romance on Chopin’s music, the evening really took off.
In the second half of the program Tomasz, straight backed and straightfaced and technically perfect throughout, ranged from the quietly to the passionate, seen especially in two mazurkas and in the famous Polonaise-Heroique Op. 53 that concluded the evening. Another virtuoso pianist in the audience remarked that only a Polish pianist could have played the mazurkas as he had.
President of The Friends of Chopin, Wanda Horky, introduced the audience to pianist Marian Sobula, pianist, Anna Miernik-Sobula, and clarinettist, Barbara Borowicz, Glad, who had earlier in the week, presented works by contemporary Polish composers.
The concept was the work of Artistic Association, PianoClassic, with the assistance of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. and Janusz Bielecki.