The Wawel at Dusk summer festival brings together music with a landmark historical site, which lends it a distinctive character and unforgettable setting. The concert venues – Wawel Castle’s illuminated Arcaded and Báthory Courtyards – also play an key role in the artistic spectacle. The changing lights and colors render the sound not only audible, but also seemingly visible. (Since 2008, the Báthory Courtyard has been open for musical events.)
16th Summer Music Festival
Culture in Nature
Wawel at Dusk is the largest open-air classical music festival in Krakow. As the music resounds in the open, historically and symbolically significant spaces, the hues of twilight inimitably enliven the architecture of Wawel Royal Castle, which takes on new culture-forming meanings.
Leading Ideas: Poland – The Generation of 1933 – Ukraine The leading themes of the 16th festival are: various musical styles (classical music, the works of composers of the second half of the 20th century, folk music, film music, various performers), the meeting of Culture and Nature, and the music of members of the generation of 1933, Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, to mark the 90th anniversary of the birth of the late composers. The emphasis is on Polish music, presented in a broad cultural context, and the promotion of Polish performers (CORda Cracovia, Elżbieta Stefańska, Piotr Lato, Chopin Piano Duo, Rafał Jacek Delekta). Also spotlighted are Ukrainian musicians, led by world-renowned pianist and friend of the Wawel at Dusk Festival Alexander Gavrylyuk and Polish-Ukrainian conductor Yaroslav Shemet.
The Cosmos of Sound and Spirituality As 2023 is the Year of Nicolaus Copernicus, the spoken word (in Polish and English), which has been an integral part of the festival concerts (since the first edition in 2008), will include, among others, the golden thoughts of the man who “stopped the sun, moved the earth,” for example: “What indeed is more beautiful than heaven, which of course contains all things of beauty.” They will help to compose and direct the listeners’ perception towards a deeper sphere of spirituality, so much needed by in modern times.
For Audiences from Krakow, Poland, and the Whole World The concerts of the 16th Wawel at Dusk Festival are addressed to audiences of many generations: from young people, through adults, to seniors. Wawel Royal Castle attracts audiences of all ages from Krakow, Poland, and all over the world, especially in the summer. The historical and cultural attractiveness of the architecturally unique places, such as the Arcaded and Báthory Courtyards, favors musical and aesthetic appreciation. Listeners not only hear the music, but they also take the surrounding views and the beauty of the castle architecture, amid changing colors in the specially lit courtyards.
Shaping Aesthetic Tastes The Wawel at Dusk festival program, this year as every year, is designed to break down barriers to the reception of high musical culture and its various styles and repertoires. Six festival concerts (three chamber concerts in the Báthory Courtyard and three symphonic concerts in the Arcaded Courtyard) and a young pianists’ “marathon” (in the Arcaded Courtyard; admission to the marathon is free) will present the broadly defined the “classical” art of sound, bringing together the values of tradition (e.g. Frédéric Chopin) and modernity (Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki), folk and film music (performed by the Representative Band of the Border Guard of Poland from Nowy Sącz). This type of programming strategy, which has proved itself in the fifteen editions of the Wawel at Dusk festival that have been held since 2008, is conducive to achieving a certain musical “unity” (the same – open-air concert venues in the courtyards of Royal Castle on Wawel Hill) in “diversity” (different sound worlds) serves to stimulate the appetite for “classical” music and shape aesthetic tastes.
In summer, Wawel Royal Castle is filled with sound. At dusk... You are cordially invited!
Organizers of the festival
Wawel Royal Castle:
Hubert Piątkowski – Organizational Director
Cooperation – Martyna Tyksińska
Grupa Twórcza Castello:
Małgorzata Janicka-Słysz – Artistic Director
Artistic and organizational coordination – Krzysztof Sadłowski
A few words about the music: Małgorzata Janicka-Słysz
Doors open 45 minutes before concert begins.
Entrances for Arcaded Courtyard Concerts – Berrecci Gate and gate next to the Senators’ Tower.
In case of inclement weather, Báthory Courtyard concerts will be held in the Senators’ Hall.
August 4, 2023 (Friday) Chamber Concert
8:00 p.m. – Báthory Courtyard
Zuzanna Hwang-Cempla – soprano
Jakub Pawlik – tenor
Paweł Kubica – piano
Program: Fédéric Chopin, Maurice Ravel, and Romantic composers