Remark/Report a remark

ECoC 2016: a year of musical diversity

The official conclusion of the programme and year-long celebrations of the European Capital of Culture 2016 in Wrocław is a history. It was a special time filled with culture and all of its aspects, from avant-garde events to open and free concerts; from large-scale festivals and prestigious galas to small and local projects taking place as part of the microGRANTS programme; from film and theatre to performance and opera. 

Let us experience it once again
“In the upcoming days we are going to remind you about things that happened in 2016. The Let us experience it once again series will present reports, fragments of TV programmes, videos, photo galleries and broader summaries of this great year. I know that everyone has a single favourite memory of that year – let’s share them! Many people have already submitted or brought us their feedback, and we are extremely thankful for that. Thank you on behalf of myself and everyone involved in the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 project. Among the summaries we will surely also publish personal reports prepared by artists, creators, authors, residents and our guests who visited Wrocław”, said Krzysztof Maj, director of the ECoC Wrocław 2016 Office. 

We decided to kick off the series with musical projects and events, overseen by Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny.

Music that changed Wrocław...

"The 12 months of celebrating ECoC Wrocław 2016 are behind us; it was a climax of several years of work and an essence of the artists, organizers and audience’s energy. The ECoC title set a goal but also a way that allowed us to carry out many undertakings. The development of a musical programme that
would respect the provisions ofthe winning application required the work of many people. Its ultimate shape was influenced by three years of negotiations with project coordinators, artists, as well as the curatorial and production teams. It was an amazing time, truly emotional and incredibly creative. In that period, the programme based on five fundamental and bipolar assumptions was developed. The first assumption was to present both the festivals and events already existing in Wrocław, such as Wratislavia Cantans, Jazz on the Odra, WROsound, Avant Art, Thanks Jimi Festival, One Love Fest, International Ambient Festival
and Wrocław Industrial Festival, and to promote projects dedicated to ECoC: Singing Europe, Guitar Masters, Tamborrada, Passage or Mercouri / Xenakis.

The second assumption was to invite to Wrocław amazing stars who had never visited our city. The list included, among others, Vienna and Budapest philharmonic musicians, New York and Tokyo symphonists, Lang Lang, Roberto Alagna, Enio Morricone, David Gilmour or Rammstein. Simultaneously, we romoted our artists by foreign residencies, laboratories or projects created in cooperation with artists from all over the world. Another assumption, apart from the projects implemented by professionals, concerned educational actions. We raised the need to create music in people who do not deal with it on a daily basis. The following initiatives were really helpful: the Instrument Building Workshops; Mummy, Daddy, Sing to Me or the Wrocław Commenting Choir.

We workshops, courses and contests for music practitioners so that they could constantly develop. In 2016, music sounded in a variety of spaces. Wrocław has gained places dedicated to music, such as the National Forum of Music, the renovated Capitol Theatre and the Concert Hall of the Karol Lipiński Music Academy; the city also adapted less conventional places, including the Centennial
Hall, the Municipal Stadium, railway stations, the airport as well as private flats, staircases, forgotten courtyards and yards (Forgotten City, Jazztopad or Leo Festival).

We played music and we talked about it during numerous professional conferences (including EFA, Europe Jazz Network, European Forum on Music, the International Rostrum of Composers, the European Forum for Music Therapists, the conference Music and Theatre in Artistic Education). To celebrate ECoC 2016, a number of compositions dedicated to Wrocław and inspired by it was created; they have already become part of the history of music in our city. Some of the initiated events are planned to have further editions.

However, I strongly believe that something much more important will be left by ECoC – the awareness that Wrocław offers unlimited space for beauty because of the amazing and beautiful people living here. Every person who joined us this year left a piece of tehmselves and influenced the growth of “Spaces for Beauty”: including the artists, organizers, audience and commentators. For that I am thankful to all those whom I met thanks to European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016."

Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny  Curator of music


Completed projects: 65
Active participants (artists, au thors): 18 880


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