This year’s 61st Season of Chopin Concerts at the Royal Łazienki was moved to the Internet. The recitals of the finest Polish pianists will be played online.

Due to the coronavirus epidemic, this year, for the first time in history, the famous Chopin Concerts will not take place by the Monument to Chopin. The most distinguished Polish pianists will perform for the listeners online. The recitals, which will be available on the Museum website, will be recorded at the Old Orangery in the Royal Łazienki. A carefully selected repertoire, beautiful Stanislavian-era interiors and their unique acoustics will add value to these exceptional events.

31 May - Bronisława Kawalla

24 May – Aleksandra Świgut

17 May – Karol Radziwonowicz

The inaugural recital was given by Karol Radziwonowicz, an outstanding pianist, who for many years have performed in most renowned music halls. The artist, who is known for his extensive concert and teaching activities, has been connected with the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music since its beginning. He has performed with many known symphony orchestras and collaborated with prominent conductors. He took part in international music festivals as a pianist and juror. He is the only pianist in the world whose recordings of the pieces of Frederick Chopin found their way to the orbital station in space and were played during the "Endeavor" space mission in February 2010, on the 200th anniversary of birth of our genius Polish composer.

Programme of the 61st Season of Chopin Concerts

This year’s Chopin concerts will also feature the performances of Warsaw pianists, such as Aleksander Świgut, Bronislawa Kawalla, Piotr Pawlak, Maria Gabryz-Heyke, Joanna Ławrynowicz and Jacek Kortus.

17 May – Karol Radziwonowicz

24 May – Aleksandra Świgut

31 May – Bronisława Kawalla

7 June – Piotr Pawlak

14 June – Joanna Ławrynowicz

21 June – Jacek Kortus

28 June – Julia Kociuban

5 July – Maria Gabryś-Heyke

History of Chopin Concerts at the Royal Łazienki

The Chopin Concerts, which in collaboration with the Royal Łazienki have been organised by the Stołeczna Estrada cultural institution and the Fryderyk Chopin Society, are one of the oldest music events in the capital city and its cultural landmark.

For the first time the recitals by the Monument to Chopin were organized in 1959, shortly after the reconstruction of the monument devoted to the eminent Polish composer. The monument itself saw a turbulent history. The idea of its erection arose in 1889, on the 40th anniversary of death of Frederic Chopin. Nevertheless, at the time Poland was under the partitions and the Russian authorities effectively blocked the initiative. Only ten years later, Warsaw artistic circles managed to organise a competition for the design of the statue. The international jury considered as the most interesting the innovative work of Wacław Szymanowski, a prominent Polish sculptor. This verdict raised numerous objections and discussions. Despite that, it was possible to execute the awarded design and the monument was officially unveiled on 14 November 1926; it was a monumental vision of inspired Chopin sitting under a broken willow tree.

In 1939, when Warsaw came under Nazi occupation, the performance of Chopin music was banned and in the following year (1940) the monument was blown up. Only after the end of the war, in the ruins of the Wrocław rail car factory, the head of Chopin from the Łazienki sculpture was found and the work of Szymanowski was recreated on the basis a gypsum model. The monument to Frederic Chopin stood in its former place in 1958, and a year later visitors could enjoy the music of the Polish composer.

Over the years, the Łazienki concerts underwent various modifications. Eventually, the Museum adopted a formula of classical recitals taking place every Sunday from mid-May to the end of September. This choice was dictated by a huge popularity of the concerts at the Royal Łazienki. That popularity was also due to the selection of artists who treated a performance by the Monument to Chopin as an honour and ignored some inconveniences related to weather conditions for example. One of the performances which went down in history was that of Halina Czerny-Stefańska who completed her recital despite the fact that she was stung by a wasp.

This year, for the first time in history, the pianists will not play by the Monument to Chopin, but will perform for the audience online.