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Art Academy Musicians Captivate at Kenya Museum Recital

The grounds of the National Museum of Kenya resonated with the sounds of classical and contemporary compositions as instructors from Academy of Art in Szczecin performed a recital in the museum’s outdoor amphitheater on Feb. 20.

Soporano Sylwia Burnicka-Kalischewska, violinist Alicja Pilarczyk and pianist Dominik Wizjan played selections from by Johann Sebastian Bach, Frederic Chopin, Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, George Benjamin, Stanislaw Moniuszko, Henryk Wieniawski and Grazyna Bacewicz. Many drawing on the melodies, sounds and rhythms of Polish folk music.

The trio are in the Kenyan capital as part of an education and research secondment under the auspices of TPAAE. Each are teaching masterclasses, giving open lectures, and conducting workshops in the Department of Dance and Music at project partner Kenyatta University.

Students both from KU and from elementary schools in Nairobi’s Kibera slum were among the listeners, as was Poland’s Ambassador to Kenya, Jacek Bazański – a patron of the Art Academy’s research cooperation with Kenyan partners. They, along with members of the Nairobian Polonia social club, heard noted pieces such as Chopin’s Grand Polonaise and operatic works by Moniuszko, as well as contemporary violin solos by Bacewicz and Benjamin.

The musicians structured their performance in two segments. The first offered a taste of classical music in 19th century, whilst the second incorporated more recent works. Each offered a look at the way composers from different countries and eras have drawn on Polish traditional music as inspirations for their compositions.

The musicians will remain in Kenya until the end of February, 2023

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