The Music Gardens Festival has been taking place in Warsaw since 2001. It was initiated and has been organized since its first edition by actor, director and culture manager Ryszard Kubiak together with composer and pianist Zygmunt Krauze.
Every year, the Festival program is comprised of rebroadcasts of the best opera and ballet productions (from, among other houses, the Metropolitan Opera and the Bolshoi Theatre, as well as the Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg and Bregenz Festivals), live concerts – both symphonic and chamber music – as well as music films and film recordings of concerts. The Music Gardens Festival has been called ‘the Warsaw Summer Music Salon’ by the press.
The Festival is held in July in the Grand Courtyard of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, decorated with flowers, in the concert pavilion with seating for an audience of 1000 people. Every year, the Festival program is comprised of over 30 events followed by 30 000 viewers, most of whom are faithful attenders who have accompanied the Music Gardens since its first edition.
Since 2008, another inspiration for successive editions of the Festival has been the culture and art of the countries taking over the leadership of the European Council on the day the festival begins, i.e. in the second half of each year. So far the Festival’s Guests of Honor have included, in turn: France, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Cyprus, Lithuania, Italy, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Estonia and Austria.
The live concert programs focus on the 20th– and 21st-century music. Among the performers who have appeared at the Festival are Isabel Karajan, Joanna MacGregor, Cristina Zavalloni, Raquel Camarinha, Arno Raunig, Lukas Geniušas, Ingolf Wunder, the Swingle Singers, Giovanni Sollima and the Orchestra Popolare La Notte della Taranta, the Nino Rota Ensemble, Cappella Mediterranea, the VENI ensemble, the Orchestra of the Americas, the Estonian Piano Orchestra, Vox Clamantis, the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, Trombone Attraction and I, CULTURE Orchestra.
Also invited to take part in the Festival are distinguished Polish artists, among them such Elżbieta Chojnacka, Olga Pasichnyk, Agata Zubel, Iwona Sobotka, Janusz Wawrowski, Mariusz Patyra, and Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra.
The 19th Music Gardens Festival will be held between 29 June and 29 July 2019. This year, no less than three countries will serve as the Guests of Honor: Finland, which begins its presidency at the European Council on 1 July 2019; Romania, which will lead the Council in the first half of 2019; and, for the second time, Austria.
Also a special educational and artistic program for children is organized as part of the festival: the Children’s Music Gardens.