Is Poland a country musically close to your heart?

Of course, Poland is close to my heart! I always try to give back to Poland what Poland gave to me!

I say always that love for polish music and culture began in that far december 1999, when I conducted and studied polish music (Szabelski, Górecki and Lutoslawski) for the final round of G. Fitelberg competition, where I won First Absolute Prize and Gold Medal. From that moment, I have always tried to promote polish music abroad and in italian music Poland. That’s the reason why a selected jury choose me for the yesterday prizegiving in Warsaw, together with Jan Ostrowski, Grazyna Torbicka and Krzysztof Zanussi. The prize had been awarded to people who built all life long a “bridge” between polish culture and italian culture.

Why did you choose BPO?

I didn’t choose Baltic Philharmonic! Usually, the Artistic Council of an orchestra suggests its favourite names to the General Director whose duty is to choose the best one, for him. It’s a big, big honour to be still Principal Guest Conductor after more than six years and to be Guest Conductor from more than 10 years! The musicians know me very well and I know them very well: we get the maximum result with the minimum effort but with big concentration of the marvellous musicians during rehearsals and great passion during the concerts.

You speak fluently in Polish: for passion or for work?

I took my first polish lessons in Milan in 2004 and 2005, at the beginning of my job in Katowice, with Silesian Chamber Orchestra: I promised to the musicians that I would do it and I did it!

According to you, did the Polish music inspire the Italian one?

I am not so well prepared to say that in the italian music are present polish influences… Maybe, on the contrary, the italian “bel canto” (Donizetti and Bellini, especially) in the first half of XIX century influenced Chopin and, for example, Stanislaw Moniuszko and Jozef Poniatowski, in the opera field.

Could you tell us what Poland means for you?

Poland is a very compact and unified nation. The people is really very…”united”! The nationalism is very strong, from the most positive point of view, of course. That’s a good thing for Poland. In Italy, we have a lot of nice variety (languages, kitchen, tradition, history, past governements) but, unfortunately, it had never helped our politicians. It’s very difficult to keep together so many different people. With its story, that changed the history of the world twice, in 1939 and at the beginning of the “Eighties”, with Lech Walesa and the Revolution.

What are your favorite places?

One of my favourite places in Poland, that produce a special feeling in me, are the beaches of Koszalin and of Sopot: the light in the summertime is so clear, almost white! Because of the latitude different from Italy. Very often, I take a train and I go to watch the sunset on the “molo” in Sopot.

Gdansk is my favourite polish town, without discussion. 

The colours and the noises of the Motlawa Canal are definitely unique, at each time of the day and of the night. 

Which are your next commitments?

After my 1000th concert (at Sala Olowianka on 23rd June), I will take a rest in Italy, finally at home, in july, with only one concert at an italian festival at the end of july (and the real holidays will be in august). Then, from end of august, Mozartiana Festival in Oliwa, concerts in Sicilia, concert in Katowice (Dabrowa Górnicza, Festiwal M. Spisak), inauguration of the season in Rzeszow at the end of september…..and so on… 

In october I will discuss my Doctorate in Warsaw (“Pietro Mascagni’s ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’: text fidelity or performing tradition?”) and I will start my job as “visiting professor” in Conducting at the Warsaw Music University “F. Chopin”.

Source · Date Jun 15, 2018