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Concerts for Children – this form of encounter with classical music has been designed especially for kindergarten and primary school-age children. The meetings at the Philharmonic introduce them to the world of sounds, present a great number of instruments, and also give the opportunity to young musicians to show their skills in front of large audiences.
The series of concerts for children cannot boast such a long-standing tradition as the symphonic concerts held at the Philharmonic, but the 1000th concert, coming up in January 2015, is undoubtedly a cause for pride. That joyful fact prompts us to do some reminiscing and recapitulation.
One cannot, on the occasion, fail to mention the people orchestrating the meetings through the years: “Auntie Jadzia” – Jadwiga Mackiewicz, who continues to introduce children to the world of music at the National Philharmonic, “Auntie Krysia”– Professor Krystyna Druszkiewicz, an extraordinary educationalist and founder of the sadly no longer operating Experimental School of Music (located at ul. Golebia 3) and “Uncle Bogus,” a charismatic teacher, devoted friend of the young, musician and theatre enthusiast. The two great passions of Boguslaw Scheller, mentioned above, initiated a new era at the Philharmonic, one which could be termed the era of theatrical concerts. As it has turned out, the form appeals not only to the child audiences, but also to the adults who accompany them.
It is truly difficult to count the number of children who have visited our concert hall since 1976, as a considerable portion of the audience has always been made up of subscription holders, i.e. people appearing in concerts repeatedly throughout the year. It can be estimated, though, that over the past 38 seasons, we had the pleasure to perform for more than a quarter million children, and perhaps for as many as 700 thousand of them…
A good measure of friendship that our series enjoys is the fact that thanks to the votes of the children’s parents we have received numerous awards and distinctions, and 4 concerts from the first season have expanded into 6 topics presented throughout the school year, with each of them repeated 8 times, and with extra concerts organised on special occasions, such as Christmas or Children’s Day, addressed to entire families, and also repeated several times.
The credit for the evolution of the series of “Concerts for Children” undoubtedly goes to the continuators of Uncle Bogus’s ideas, to his friends and collaborators who took over the organization of the concerts, when he departed from this world 10 years ago, based on their own, colourful scripts. They include the people who are well-known to most of our young music lovers – actors of the Slowacki Theatre, Anna Sokolowska and Slawek Rokita, or Grandma Melody and Grandpa Rhythmus, accompanied by the lovely Cousin Keyboard, pianist Renata Zelobowska-Orzechowska. And for 8 years now, moving with the ever more computerised times, the team has been made complete with the Owner of the Big Magic Screen, Mateusz Bien (musician, composer, IT specialist and acoustician in one).
This year, our friends will present “Musical Stories” to us, thanks to which we will get to know many European countries, with their diverse music, dance, singing, and clothing traditions.
We do hope that those concerts, the pre-Christmas and Santa Claus Day meetings “under the Christmas tree,” devoted to the music from children’s cartoons, as well as the fun and games crowning the season on Children’s Day (“At the Gentleman’s Manor House”), and led by our invaluable friends from the Cracovia Danza Court Ballet, will help maintain the precious musical bond between the youngest music lovers and the Krakow Philharmonic, and perhaps will even earn us some new friends and fans.
© Filharmonia Krakowska 2010