Krzysztof Penderecki | Contemporary Classics Composers' Festival

Contemporary Classics Composers' Festival

Armenia · 2019

Ministry of education, science, culture and sport of the RA






Krzysztof Penderecki

Armenian National Academic Choir

Eduard Topchjan,

Krzysztof Penderecki,

Ju-Young Baek, Violin

Claudio Bohorquez, Cello


Eduard Topchjan

In 2001 E. Topchjan appeared with the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and in 2003 at the Bolshoi Theatre, both times to great acclaim. These concerts were followed by the ANPO tours in the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, and France with remarkable appearances in Nuremberg, Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nice and many other cities.

Eduard Topchjan is especially known for his wide-ranging repertoire, where besides the symphonic works are included the operas. Among the operas he has conducted are: “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”, “Aida”, “Simon Boccanegra”, “Otello”, “Rigoletto”, “Il Tabarro”; “Madama Butterfly”, “Turandot”, “Tosca”, “La Boheme”, “Cavalleria Rusticana”, “I Pagliacci”, “Eugene Onegin”, and others. 

As a guest conductor he has performed with 50 important orchestras in Europe, the USA and Asia, among them the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonic Cologne, the Frankfurt Opera, the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, the Siena Festival Orchestra, the Kärntner Sinfonieorchester, Orchestra del Festival Brescia and other orchestras.

Eduard Topchjan made his début with the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra in 2000. That same year he was appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the ANPO and began successful appearances with the ANPO in Armenia and abroad. 

Maestro Topchjan earned much praise from the critics and the audience for his unique interpretations of the main symphonic and contemporary music repertoire. 

Topchjan's vast repertoire includes works from baroque to contemporary symphonic pieces as well as chamber orchestra repertoire and operas. A number of pieces by the composers from

Armenia and abroad have been dedicated to Maestro and the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra.

The outstanding Armenian conductor Eduard Topchjan studied violin at the Yerevan Conservatory and went on to study conducting with the prominent Armenian conductor Ohan Durian, followed by valuable consultations from Sir George Solti, Claudio Abbado and Nello Santi. In 1991 Eduard Topchjan founded the Serenade Chamber Orchestra  which soon became the most promising orchestra in Armenia and shortly afterwards it builds up a fine international reputation, winning prizes at various prestigious competitions and releasing highly acclaimed CDs with several labels. Topchjan toured Europe regularly with the Serenade, appearing in more than 700 concerts.

In 2008 the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra led by Eduard Topchjan made a very successful tour to Japan, with 15 concerts in the best concert halls of Tokyo, Osaka, Niigata, Nagoya, Hamamatsu and

other cities. The high standard performance of this orchestra and its Principal Conductor were warmly praised in Japanese media. 

Eduard Topchjan has appeared with such celebrated artists as Placido Domingo, Pinchas Zukerman, Renato Bruson, Giuseppe Giacomini, Vladimir Chernov, Vincenzo La Scola, Raina Kabaivanska, Mischa Maisky, Natalia Gutman, Steven Isserlis, David Geringas, Yuri Bashmet, Kim Kashkashian, Diemut Poppen, Emmanuel Pahud, Tibor Varga, Radovan Vlatkovic, Sergei Nakariakov, Boris Berezovsky, Sergey Khachatryan, Julia Fischer, Isabelle Faust, Daishin Kashimoto, Sergei Babayan, Konstantin Lifschitz, François-Joël Thiollier, Paul Mayer, Jana Bouskova, Narek Hakhnazaryan, Alexei Lyubimov, Bernd Glemser, Bernard Ringeissen, Massimo Mercelli, Anton Sorokow,  François-Frédéric Guy, Vag Papian, Mario Brunello, Kirill Gerstein, Kolja Blacher, Sergei Krylov, Fabio Zanon, Simon Trpceski, Alexander Chaushian and many others.

In 2013-2014 season Maestro Topchjan was engaged to appear with the Hungarian National Symphony Orchestra (at the Musikverein in Vienna), the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Gulbenkian Symphony Orchestra, the  Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Della Toscana.

Eduard Topchjan has been the Artistic Director of several significant  festivals. Since 2007, together with cellist Alexander Chaushian, he has founded the Yerevan International Music Festival, becoming its artistic directors. This is an annual event which hosts numerous world-famous and local musicians.

In August, 2014 the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Eduard Topchjan participated in prestigious festivals in Italy, appearing with concerts in Rimini, Citta di Castello, Merano and Ravello. In October, 2014 he conducted the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra when it appeared in Austria and Germany with a noteworthy concert at the Brucknerhaus in Linz. In 2015 within the Armenian Genocide Centennial tours Eduard Topchjan conducted the ANPO in Denmark, Finland, Norway, USA, Mexico, Lebanon, Poland and Germany. In April 2015 he conducted the Russian National Orchestra and Yurlov State Russian Capella having performed a famous Requiem by Vyacheslav Artyomov. His appearance with Malaga Symphony Orchestra in November 2015 was highly acclaimed by Spanish media. 

In 2017 the orchestra under his baton toured Spain and Germany. On November 28, 2018 the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra  under the baton of Maestro Topchjan appeared at Berlin Konzerhaus in a concert dedicated to the 115th birth anniversary of Aram Khachaturian. The performance was honored by the presence of the President of Armenia Mr. Armen Sarkissian.

Eduard Topchjan's extraordinary talent and conducting style has attracted the attention of the world audiences and gained him highest critical and public acclaim. 

In 2007 he was granted the title of Meritorious Worker of Arts of Armenia and in 2011 he was awarded a Gold Medal of the Ministry of Culture of Armenia.

In 2013, Maestro Topchjan was granted knighthood with the Italian Order of Merit for Labour (OML).

In 2016 Eduard Topchjan was awarded the Medal of Services to the Motherland. 

In 2019-2020 there are planned concerts of the ANPO in China, Russia, Italy and South America. 

In 2016 E. Topchjan conducted the ANPO within the “Stars of the White Nights” festival in Saint-Petersburg with utmost success.

During his tenure the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra celebrating its 90th consecutive season received the status of the 'National' orchestra.

In 2018 the ANPO and Maestro Topchjan were represented by the British agency – Wright Music Management. In 2019 another British agency – Hazard Chase started to represent both the conductor and the orchestra.



Krzysztof Penderecki

In 1959, he composed Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, one of his best known and most often performed compositions, which received the UNESCO prize in 1961. This piece was followed by Anaklasis (Donaueschinger Musiktage), Polymorphia (commissioned by the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Hamburg), Fluorescences (Donaueschinger Musiktage), and, in 1966, St. Luke Passion, the first major work of his career. It was written for the Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne to mark the 700 years of the Münster Cathedral, where it had its premiere on 30 March 1966. This performance brought Penderecki to international fame and started a run of success.

In 1972 the composer began his career as a conductor. Since then he has led the world’s greatest orchestras. He was first guest conductor of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Orchester in Hamburg and the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester in Leipzig. From 1992 to 2000 he served as Music Director of the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1997 he became the Artistic Director of the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra. Since 1998 he has been advisor to the Beijing Music Festival, and since 2000 guest conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra.

Born on 23 November 1933 in Dębica, Poland, Krzysztof Penderecki studied composition under Franciszek Skaryszewski, and later at the Kraków Academy of Music under Artur Malawski and Stanisław Wiechowicz.

Krzysztof Penderecki has received a host of domestic and international prizes, including First, Second and Third Prize at the 2nd Competition for Young Polish Composers organized by the Polish Composers’ Union (1959), First Class State Award (1968, 1984), the Polish Composers’ Union Award (1970), Herder Award (1977), Prix Arthur Honegger (1978), Sibelius Award (1983), Premio Lorenzo Magnifico (1985), Wolf Prize (1987), Grammy Award (1987, 1998, 1998, 2000, 2016), Grawemeyer Award (1992), Prize of the UNESCO International Tribune of Composers (1961, 1993), Best Living World Composer (2000), Prince of Asturias Prize (2001), Praemium Imperiale (2004), Viadrina Prize (2012), Per Artem ad Deum (2015), and International Classical Music Award (2012, 2014, 2016). 

Krzysztof Penderecki received honorary doctorates from several dozen universities, including Rochester (1972), Bordeaux (1979), Leuven (1979), Washington, D.C. (1984), Belgrade (1985), Barcelona (1986), Madrid (1987), Poznań (1987), Warsaw (1993, 1994), Kraków (1994, 1998), Buenos Aires (1994), Glasgow (1995), Moscow (1999), Lucerne (2000), Leipzig (2003), New Haven (2003), Seoul (2005), Münster (2006), and Lviv (2015). He is an honorary member of the academies of arts and sciences, including the Royal Academy of Music in London, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Musikaliska Akademien in Stokholm, Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Polish Academy of Sciences, Academia National de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Académie Internationale de Philosophie et de l’Art in Bern, Académie Nationale des Sciences, Belles-lettres et Arts in Bordeaux, Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong, Die Musikverein für Steiermark in Graz.

From 1973 to 1978, Krzysztof Penderecki was professor at the Yale University, New Haven. During 1972-1987 he was Rector of the Academy of Music in Kraków, and in the years 1987-1990 the Artistic Director of the Kraków Philharmonic. He is an honorary professor of many art academies, including the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Beijing Conservatory, Academia Argentina de Musica, the Academy of Music in Riga, Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, and Die Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg. 

On 14 December 2005, Professor Krzysztof Penderecki was honoured with Poland’s highest decoration – the Order of the White Eagle. On 12 October 2006 the composer received the Three Star Order in Riga.

In April 2008 Krzysztof Penderecki was honoured with the Gold Medal of the Minister of Culture of Armenia and received the Eagle Award 2008 for Best Film Score for Andrzej Wajda’s Katyń. 

On 5 May 2008 in Bremen, he conducted the world premiere of the Concerto for Horn and Orchestra “Winterreise” withRadovan Vlatković as a soloist. On 22 November, the jubilee Krzysztof Penderecki Festival in Warsaw witnessed the premiere of the composer’s String Quartet No. 3 “Leaves of an Unwritten Diary”. In 2009 Krzysztof Penderecki received the Ordre de Mérite du Grand-Duché de Luxemburg and the Order of Honour from the President of the Republic of Armenia.

The composer was invited to join the Honorary Committee of the Chopin Year 2010 celebrations at the Embassies of the Republic of Poland in Lisbon, Tokyo and Rome. 14 January 2011 in Warsaw saw the premiere of A sea of dreams did breathe on me... Songs of reverie and nostalgia for soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, choir and orchestra, which was commissioned by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute for the final concert of the Chopin Year celebrations. On 7 March 2011, Robert Matthew Festing, the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta decorated Krzysztof Penderecki with the Grand-Croix de L’ordre “Pro Merito Melitensi”.

The year 2013 marked Krzysztof Penderecki’s jubilee. On the occasion of his 80th birthday, the composer’s works were performed at many In 2012, the compositions St Luke Passion and the Double Concerto for violin and viola, written for the 200th anniversary of the Wiener Musikverein, were premiered. 

January 2013 in Leipzig saw the premiere of Missa Brevis, commissioned by the Bach Archiv on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the St Thomas Choir of Leipzig. The premiere of a new version of the opera The Devils of Loudun was held in Copenhagen on 12 February 2013.

Concerts and festivals, including Saint Petersburg, Wrocław, Vilnius, Lviv, Kraków, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Festival Pablo Casals in Prades, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Ohrid Festival, Marlboro Music Festival. The concerts also took place in Košice, Berlin, Bonn, Hanover, Ravello and Assisi (Emilia Romagna Festival), Budapest, Minsk, Prague, Beijing (Beijing Music Festival), New York, Boston, Yale University School of Music, Seoul, Caracas and Yerevan.

On 13 December 2013 at Carnegie Hall, there was the world premiere of Penderecki’s La Follia, a piece written for Anne-Sophie Mutter.

In February 2014, the composer led a series of Polish Requiem concerts with the Israel Philharmonic and The Gary Bertini Israeli Choir. In March 2014, Krzysztof Penderecki was a composer-in-residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. The same year he was honoured by the President of the Republic of Estonia with the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, First Class.

On 25 October 2016, Krzysztof Penderecki and his wife Elżbieta Penderecka received a medal from the Association of Polish Architects in recognition of their contribution to the development of Polish architecture. The premiere of Quartetto per archi No. 4, commissioned by Wigmore Hall with the support of André Hoffmann, took place on 11 December 2016 at London’s Wigmore Hall. 

Penderecki’s latest string quartet was written for Belcea Quartet, which premiered the piece. On 8 February 2017, Elżbieta and Krzysztof Penderecki were presented the Professor Aleksander Gieysztor Award for their dedication to musical education, long-term activities to popularize the heritage of classical music in Poland and founding the Krzysztof Penderecki European Center for Music in Lusławice.

On the occasion of the composer’s 85th anniversary, the Deutsche Grammophon label released the Hommage à Penderecki double album showcasing his works dedicated to Anne-Sophie Mutter and performed by the artist.

On 5 September 2018, Krzysztof Penderecki was awarded the Stanisław Vincenz New Culture of New Europe Prize. In November 2018 the composer received the Great Cross of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany. 

On 10 October 2019, Krzysztof Penderecki received the Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 from the World Soundtrack Awards organized by the Ghent International Film Festival.

During a period spanning almost sixty years, Krzysztof Penderecki composed more than 100 instrumental works, including 20 chamber works, 17 solo works, 24 concertante pieces, 27 orchestral works, 8 symphonies, 21 songs and choral works, 25 cantata and oratorio works, and 4 operas. In addition, Krzysztof Penderecki wrote more than 120 music pieces for animated films, puppet theatre, dramatic theatre, television theatre, as well as fiction films and documentaries.

On 26 June 2015 in Manchester, the Royal Northern College of Music made Krzysztof Penderecki a Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music. In 2015, Penderecki composed the psalm Domine quid multiplicati sunt on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The work was premiered on 26 May 2015 at Carnegie Hall with the Hover State Chamber Choir conducted by Sona Hovahnnisyan.

Ju-Young Baek


Winner of numerous prizes of prestigious competitions, Ms. Baek is a laureate of Indianapolis, Paganini, Sibelius, Long-Thibaud, and Queen Elisabeth International Competitions, to name a few. Her career was launched after winning 1st prize at YCA Auditions in New York City and the Astral Artists of Philadelphia.

Lauded by Krzysztof Penderecki as one of the most prominent violinists of today, Ju-Young Baek enjoys an extensive international career. Many of world's important venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center in New York, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Suntory Hall in Tokyo, have presented her in recitals as well as a soloist, with the NHK Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, China National Orchestra, Finnish Radio Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, among others.

Also active as a chamber musician, Ms. Baek has performed at the festivals of Marlboro, Ravinia, Aspen, Great Mountains, Bridgehampton, Beethoven Festival in Poland, Casals Festival in France, Naantali Festival in Finland, and YCA CHANEL Festival in Tokyo, and is the leader of Ensemble Opus.

Violinist Ju-Young Baek released her CDs in Japan with Brahms and Bruch concerti to critical acclaim, followed by another solo violin repertoire album. Her recording of Penderecki and Szymanovski violin concerti with Royal Philharmonic, also received rave reviews in London.


Claudio Bohorquez


The German-born cellist of Peruvian-Uruguayan descent is one of the most sought-after musicians in his field. As a student of Boris Pergamenschikow, Claudio Bohórquez achieved success at an early age at international competitions such as the Tschaikowsky Youth Competition in Moscow and the Rostropovich Cello Competition in Paris.

This culminated in 2000 with three awards at the first International Pablo Casals Competition held under the auspices of the Kronberg Academy: Marta Casals Istomin presented Claudio Bohórquez with first prize, a special award for the best chamber music, and also the use of Casals’ Gofriller cello for a period of two years. He also won first prize at the International Music Competition in Geneva, an achievement that marked the start of his career as a soloist. Meanwhile he has become a teacher himself: from 2011 to 2016 he was professor at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart, in September 2016 he was appointed to the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" Berlin, where he has been a guest professor since 2003.

Among others, Claudio Bohórquez has performed with almost all German radio orchestras, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Collegium Musicum Basel, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. In Japan, he performs with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. In the US, Claudio Bohórquez recently gave concerts with the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Renowned conductors Claudio Bohórquez has worked with include Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Manfred Honeck, Sir Neville Marriner, Eiji Oue, Krzysztof Penderecki, Leonard Slatkin, Tugan Sokhiev, Lothar Zagrosek and David Zinman.

Claudio Bohórquez is a guest at numerous festivals. Among them are the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, the City of London Festival, the Penderecki Festival in Warsaw and the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. Appearances in the United States have included performances at the Tanglewood, Ravinia and Aspen Festival as well as the Hollywood Bowl. He participated in the chamber music festival Lockenhaus in Austria and at Gidon Kremer's festival "Les Musiques" in Basel. As a passionate chamber musician, he has performed together with Jörg Widmann in Bilbao/Madrid, and with Viviane Hagner and Jonathan Gilad at the Beethoven Marathon at Konzerthaus Berlin.

The past seasons have led the artist to many festivals, including: a. to the Rheingau Music Festival with the Columbian Youth Philharmonic under Andrés Orozco-Estrada, to the Dresden Music Festival with a Chamber Music Project together with the violinist Philippe Quint and the pianist Boris Giltburg, to the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and the Rheingau Music Festival. The upcoming season includes, among others, the Elbphilharmonie debut on November 8, 2018 and an Elgar cello concert with the Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg on February 15, 2019.

In addition to numerous CD recordings, radio recordings and television appearances Claudio Bohórquez worked as an interpreter for the soundtrack of Paul English by to the film "Ten Minutes Older - The Cello", which was shown in theaters worldwide. Together with the painter Klaus-Peter Kirchner, Claudio Bohórquez developed the installation project "Raum für Pablo Casals" in homage to this great cellist. He was part of the ECHO-winning album "Four Seasons" (2017) of Daniel Hope, released by Deutsche Grammophon. In July 2018 Berlin Classics will release a new CD with the sonatas of Johannes Brahms and some bonus tracks together with Claudio Bohórquez's duo partner Péter Nagy.
Since the season 2017/18 Claudio Bohórquez is Artistic Director of the Festival Winnenden.

Claudio Bohórquez plays a G. B. Rogeri violoncello presented to him by the Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg.


Armenian National Academic Choir

The Armenian National Academic Choir was founded in 1936. Since 1961 to present, Maestro Hovhannes Tchekidjian is the artistic director and principal conductor of the choir. The group has represented musical culture of Armenia to the highest critical acclaim throughout the world. During the years of Tchekijian's conductorship, the Choir was awarded titles of “Academic” (1969) and the “Honored Performers” (1975). The Choir has become one of the most distinguished interpreters of the well-known works of European, Armenian and Russian composers. Repertoire of the Armenian National Academic Choir includes about 800 large and small-scale works, written in 27 languages of the world.

During its history, the Choir has toured to the US, England, France, Spain, Switzerland, Lebanon, Syria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and many other countries. 

Series of CD recordings have been released with the Choir's performances, one of them winning the “Grand Prix” in Paris. 
Mastery of the Academic Choir and its conductor has been highly praised in the press.

Artistic Director and Chief Conductor: Ohannes Tchekidjian.


Krzysztof Penderecki

Adagio from Symphony No.3

Double Concerto
for Violin, Cello
and Orchestra

Krzysztof Penderecki

Symphony No.5

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Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall