Friday 2021-03-05, TIME 19:00

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For the first time in March, our Philharmonic will host Anastasia Kobekina, a Russian cellist hailed by the European press as the audience's undisputed favourite. She studied in Moscow, Kronberg, Berlin, Paris and Frankfurt, exploring solo, chamber and early music repertoire. In 2015, she became the winner of the International TONALi Competition in Hamburg. Since then, she has recorded three albums, including works by Mieczysław Weinberg and Dmitri Shostakovich. During the last artistic season, she made her debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and went on a concert tour with the orchestra of the Berlin Konzerthaus.

We will hear two pieces performed by Anastasi Kobekina and the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, both written by composers for their friends. The first of them - Serenade in G major - was dedicated by Mieczysław Karłowicz to his friend Zygmunt Butkiewicz whom he met during his family's three-year stay in Heidelberg (Butkiewicz later became the juror of the first edition of the Chopin Competition and the director of the Conservatory in Poznań).

If you wonder how such friendly compositional commissions are created, the answers will be provided by Mścisław Rostropowicz, revealing the secret in his memoirs. One day he asked Shostakovich's wife, Nina, what he should do to have him write a cello concerto for him. The answer surprised him: "Fame, if you want Dimitri to write something for you, I can only give you one piece of advice: never ask him about it or even mention it!" The advice turned out to be correct, and a few years later, Shostakovich composed Concerto in E flat major.

We decided to complement the virtuoso cello pieces with a charming piece, Symphony No. 5 by Franz Schubert. He composed it at the age of 19 (yes, the previous four are also works by a high school student - we admit that it's impressive. When we were his age, we only sat with our noses on the phones). Generally, Schubert is a compelling character. We hope that soon we will find some space to talk about him more broadly. His peers described him as a boy closed in on himself, lost in his own thoughts and affectionately called him "Mushroom" (probably due to his hairstyle). A few years later, the young composer completely changed, but we'll talk about that next time.


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