Palladium fan Guerrero brings Polish orchestra to town

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Giancarlo Guerrero became a big fan of the Palladium on his first visit. Now, he is eager to return leading another orchestra.

“A few years ago, I visited with my own (Nashville, Tenn.) symphony on the way to Carnegie Hall and I have wonderful memories of that fabulous, fabulous concert hall,” he said.

Guerrero has been director of the Nashville Symphony for 11 years in addition to being director of Wrocław Philharmonic in Poland for three years. The overseas tour is his first with Wroclaw.

“When we were putting together the tour, this is definitely one of the halls I would have loved to visit and I’m glad that it worked out,” he said.

The NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic will perform at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Palladium in Carmel.

A staple of Poland’s music scene since 1945, the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic has been growing in international acclaim since the 2015 opening of its new concert hall, the National Forum of Music in Wroclaw, and Guerrero’s appointment.

Well-known Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski is joining the tour for three stops, including Carmel.

“We’ve known each other for 20 years, but this is the first time we are actually sharing a stage together,” Guerrero said. “I’d run into him at music festivals where he’s playing with another conductor and I’m working with another pianist. We’ve had dinners and lunches. It’s extra special I’m going to make music with this dear friend. Because of circumstances, we just never made music together.”

The concert will open with Szymanowski’s concert overture.

“The most important Poland composer of the early part of 20th century was (Karol) Szymanowski after (Frederic) Chopin in the 19th century,” Guerrero said. “This concert overture, which is from 1905, was written after he visited Berlin and got to hear Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss and got inspired by the great German romantic music. This music imitates those beautiful sounds.”

The performance includes pieces by Bela Bartok and Johannes Brahms.

“I’m bringing the orchestra to my hometown in Nashville (Jan. 21), and that’s going to be special for me to come with my Polish orchestra in my other music directorship city,” he said.

This is the first tour with Wroclaw. Guerrero said he wanted to have some time to bond with the Wroclaw orchestra before touring.

“By now, we’ve found our groove and we can almost read each other before I even say anything,” Guerrero said. “It’s a fantastic moment when that happens because it’s always about communicating music.”

Guerrero said it’s very important to export the orchestra’s musical talents beyond its borders.

“Touring for any orchestra is a huge part of the priorities to make sure that the orchestra reputation is known beyond its own borders,” Guerrero said. “It’s a great source of civic pride for any community. I’m excited to bring this repertoire and see how different audiences around the world respond to it.”

For more, visit thecenterpresents.org.

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