Polski Narodowy Chór Młodzieżowy / fot. Michał Mazurkiewicz
Koncerty Akademii Chóralnej
Polish National Youth Choir in the United Kingdom
7:30 PM
Wielka Brytania, Croydon, Fairfield Halls

E. Elgar The Dream of Gerontius

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Paul McCreesh – conductor
Nicky Spence – tenor
Anna Stéphany – mezzo-soprano
Andrew Foster-Williams – bass
Gabrieli Roar
Gabrieli Roar Senior Choir
Gabrieli Semichorus
Polish National Youth Choir
Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny – artistic direction of the Polish National Youth Choir
Gabrieli Consort & Players

Wielka Brytania, Croydon, Fairfield Halls
Park Lane, CR9 1DG

The Polish National Youth Choir (PNYC) is an artistic and educational project aimed at singing youth, which has been successfully implemented for ten years by the National Forum of Music in Wrocław. It was established by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for singers and conductors, and in 2015 it became part of the Choral Academy promoting singing by creating a coherent programme for the development of choirs – from kindergarten to professional choir. The activity of PNYC focuses on work with pupils and students of vocal faculties of music schools and conservatories, as well as with the best singers of Polish choirs between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six. Young people selected through nationwide auditions work in the session system by participating in tutorials, lectures, psychological, acting and dance workshops as well as music rehearsals, preparing a concert which is the end result of each session. The Artistic Director and author of the project is Prof Agnieszka Frankow-Żelazny.

In previous editions, young people have worked under the baton of such conductors as Paul McCreesh, Jacek Kaspszyk, Andrzej Kosendiak, Benjamin Bayl, Werner Pfaff, Benjamin Shwartz, Christoph Poppen, Roger Treece, Bartosz Michałowski, and Bob Chilcott. In its activities, the PNYC has performed, among others, such vocal-instrumental works as: Saint Nicolas and War Requiem by Benjamin Britten, The Dream of Gerontius by Edward Elgar, Bogurodzica and Te Deum by Wojciech Kilar, Symphony No. 8 “Symphony of a Thousand” and Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” by Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 2 in B flat major op. 52 “Lobgesang” by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Faithful Journey. Mass for Poland (premiere) by Roxanna Panufnik, Requiem op. 9 by Maurice Duruflé, Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, The Creation Hob. XXI:2 by Joseph Haydn. The choir has also performed dozens of a cappella works, many of which were commissioned by the PNYC, and some of them were released on the album Let’s Sing! The Young for the Young.

A special place in the history of PNYC is occupied by Paul McCreesh, who was the first guest conductor of the project in 2013. This collaboration resulted in another meeting, and already in 2017 the choir, together with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra under his baton, worked on Edward Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius – English music rarely appearing in the programmes of Polish philharmonics. Ever since that memorable performance, Paul McCreesh has dreamed of recording this piece. This dream will come true in this anniversary year of PNYC. The project will celebrate its tenth anniversary in the United Kingdom, as it has been the only Polish choir invited to perform and record in London. Together with the Gabrieli Consort and Players, Gabrieli Roar and Gabrieli Roar Senior Choir, conducted by Paul McCreesh, the musicians will perform and record the piece. The soloists will be Nicky Spence, Anna Stéphany and Andrew Foster-Williams. The preparatory session will take place in July 2023 in Wrocław. The further schedule is as follows:

  • July 26, 2023 – concert at Ely Cathedral,
  • July 29, 2023 – concert at Fairfield Halls (Croydon, London),
  • July 30–31, 2023 – recording session at Fairfield Halls (Croydon, London).

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