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Michał Merczyński
Director of Nostalgia Festival Poznań

I remember to this day when Arvo Pärt presented his compositions in the Dominican Church in 1998. Back then the Poznań audience had the opportunity to take part in Poland’s biggest and most comprehensive review of the composer’s works, and young Poznań musicians conducted by Marcin Sompoliński had the unique chance to have personal contact with one of the greatest creators of music of our times. I will never forget the moment when Arvo Pärt came to the rehearsal straight from the train station. He stood under the choir, engrossed in the music, and when the last notes of Fratres faded – he approached the musicians and started to prepare the piano with the piano tuner. A great master, a humble, wonderful man. An extraordinary composer. This three-day encounter with Arvo Pärt will stay with me forever. In the years that followed we presented his music in Poznań many times. This made me realise that at some point Nostalgia festival should come back to the idea of a musical monograph devoted to him. On 11 September this year the composer celebrated his 80th birthday. To honour this occasion we will devote the 8th edition of Nostalgia festival to him. We shall trace the paths of Arvo Pärt’s musical evolution from 1970s to the present times.

Nostalgia will be opened by the premiere “Arvo Pärt. Alina” program. The curator of the evening, the pianist Bartek Wąsik, invited Andrzej Bauer, Jakub Jakowicz and Royal String Quartet to present the diversity of possible interpretations of “tintinnabuli”. On the second night, we will hear “Arvo Pärt. Lamentate” - orchestral compositions which were created by the Maestro at the beginning of the 21st century. We will hear Lamentate, a piece of unprecedented scale in the composer’s oeuvre, interpreted by Bartek Wąsik accompanied by Adam Banaszak’s l’Autunno Chamber Orchestra. As the festival finale, “Arvo Pärt. Adam’s Lament”, shall comprise of pieces united by deep religiosity, performed a cappella  as well as by a choir and an orchestra. These creative interpretations will be performed by the Estonian Collegium Musicale Chamber Choir conducted by Endrik Üksvärava, as well as Poznań’s l’Autunno orchestra. As every year, the concerts will be accompanied by films and conversations with musicians. I will particularly enjoy the screenings of concert recordings and “Arvo Pärt. Game of numbers”, a documentary by Mariusz Grzegorzek, which were registered when the composer came to Poznań in 1998 . A longing for something long lost: for the perfect order of the world and the ideal harmony of the works of grand masters from epochs passed, for childlike simplicity and divine harmony. Nostalgia. It is what Arvo Pärt’s works are weaved from – an attempt to bring the past back with the medium of sound and to find what was lost. A composer’s memento.

               We dedicate this year’s Nostalgia Festival Poznań to dr Jan Kulczyk. His passing has deeply saddened us, first and foremost because we lost a great man, which Jan Kulczyk was. Not only a great patron of art, an artist of business, a visionary and a dreamer, but most of all - a man. I am sure that after the Fara Church concert he would sit down with friends and artists to raise his first traditional toast, which was always: “For love!”. And this is how we will remember him: For love, Jan!