Nigel Kennedy brings Poland to Southbank

Nigel Kennedy visited Classic FM yesterday, addressing journalists at a press conference for Polish press in advance of his Polish Weekend at Southbank Centre.

Kennedy, who lives in Krakow with his Polish wife, said there are ‘great players in Poland’ who make ‘beautiful music at top level’. He enjoys living in Krakow, where he perceives music to be an important part of home life, with parents regularly singing to their children.

Over the next Bank Holiday Weekend, Nigel Kennedy will bring a slice of Poland to Southbank Centre. The extravaganza will feature the great violinist himself and many Polish musicians in music of a wide variety of styles, from classical to jazz and klezmer.

Opening the Festival will be the Orchestra of Life, Nigel Kennedy’s new orchestra of young, mainly Polish, musicians who, like Kennedy, are equally at home performing classical and jazz repertoire and improvising. They will make their UK debut with a programme of music by J.S. Bach and Duke Ellington.

Undoubtedly the most unusual performance at the festival will be a screening of the legendary 1973 FA World Cup qualifying match between England and Poland, which England lost, accompanied by a soundtrack by Nigel Kennedy.

On Sunday 30 May, Nigel Kennedy will join forces with the Polish klezmer band Kroke, whose style blends elements of jazz and world music with the klezmer (Yiddish folk music) tradition.

The final day of the festival sees Nigel Kennedy’s Super Chopin Group celebrate the Polish composer’s 200th anniversary. The concert will juxtapose classical and contemporary interpretations of his music.