Learn More About Festival

46th International Festival of Organ,
Choral and Chamber Music Gdańsk 2023

The International Festival of Organ, Choral and Chamber music is a cyclical event which has been a crucial element of the musical culture of Gdańsk for nearly fifty years. Being one of the oldest festivals in the Pomerania, it has made history and become a unique pillar of the musical tradition in the region. Year after year, it attracts thousands of people from around the world coming here to experience music performed on a true work of art: the historic, monumental 46-voice organ.

This year brings the 46th edition of the festival. Once again, we have the pleasure to invite you to discover the charms of the organ music together and listen to outstanding artists under the starry vault of St. Mary’s Basilica in Gdańsk. The festival concerts will be held each Friday of July and August at 8.15 p.m. In addition, following suit of the previous years, a festive concert will be held on 15th August (Tuesday) at 8.30 p.m. to mark the Feast of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

All nine festival concerts will immerse us in the exceptional sound of the organ, each time presented slightly differently. As early as on the first recital on 7 July, and then on each Friday up to 25 August, you will have a unique occasion to listen to a broad selection of organ compositions, from early music, to Romanticism, to contemporary works, with two concerts devoted to the difficult skill of organ improvisation brought to the mastery level. The remarkable interior of St. Mary’s Basilica will make each festival concert a very special and multidimensional event opening your soul to an entirely new kind of sensitivity.

This year’s edition of the festival will open with a concert by Andrzej Szadejko, an organ player, composer and conductor from Gdańsk. At the subsequent concerts you will hear solo recitals by Anna Przybysz and Jakub Garbacz, and by artists from abroad: Olivier Eisenmann (Switzerland) and Johannes Unger (Germany). Apart from the concerts devoted fully to the organ music there will be one event which will fill the interior of St. Mary’s Basilica with the gracious sound of the saxophone played in a duo with the organ which will blend together in uniquely designed improvisations performed by Bogusław Grabowski, the festival director, and Maciej Sikała, a jazz saxophonist. Apart from instrumental works, the festival repertoire will also include vocal music compositions.

The second festival concert will be given by soprano Anna Mikołajczyk-Niewiedział and Chór Kameralny Collegium Musicum [the Collegium Musicum Chamber Choir] structured in a way copying 17th music associations, conducted by Janusz Wiliński. The repertoire of the concert will include organ works, too, performed by Patryk Dopke, the second organist of St Mary’s Basilica.

An event which has become a regular element in the tradition of the International Festival of the Organ, Choral and Chamber Music is the concert to commemorate the most important Feast at St Mary’s Basilica in Gdańsk, the Feast of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To mark the occasion, an additional concert will be given by the world-renown Polski Chór Kameralny Schola Cantorum Gedanensis [the Schola Cantorum Gedanensis Polish Chamber Choir] conducted by outstanding Maestro Jan Łukaszewski. The event will take place on 15th August at 8.30 p.m. The 46th edition of the festival will be crowned with the presentation of the proprietary project by four musicians from Toruń in the form of improvisations entitled ‘Ex Tempore’. The participants in the project are: Paweł Głowiński – the organ, Fr. Mariusz Klimek – the cantor, Maciej Afanasjew – the electric violin, and Tomasz Klepczyński – the clarinet. ‘Ex Tempore’ is a concept where the sacrum meets the profanum, and the medieval chant is blended with the innovative sound of the organ, electric violin and clarinet. The project is multidimensional and unique in nature. As you can see, the festival’s closing concert will be an event which you simply cannot miss.

You are most welcome to our concerts!

Tickets (PLN 45/30) available online at https://festiwalorganowy.interticket.pl or at the Basilica one hour before the concert.

Detailed information on the festival are available from the website: https://www.en.festiwalorganowy.pl and the official fanpage at: https://www.facebook.com/bazylikamariacka.

Organisers: Gdańsk Organ Centre, NOVA ARTE Foundation, St. Mary’s Basilica in Gdańsk, Pro Basilica Gedanensis Foundation, Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk

Co-financed from the funds of the City of Gdańsk

Honorary patronage: His Excellency Metropolitan Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda, Pomeranian Voivod Dariusz Drelich

Media patronage: TVP Kultura, TVP3 Gdańsk, Radio Gdańsk, Dziennik Bałtycki, Gość Niedzielny, trojmiasto.pl