Polish Sailing Ship Fryderyk Chopin Drops Anchor By Tower Bridge

Chopin Ship

Tomorrow, the sailing ship Fryderyk Chopin, the world’s second largest brig, will cruise up the River Thames and at 11am will moor at St. Katherine’s Pier for ten days, each packed with events devoted to her namesake, the great 19th century Polish pianist and composer. Live concerts, performances and presentations taking place aboard and around the sailing ship will be based on the themes that embody the true Polish spirit: passion, youth, music, love, romanticism, freedom and creativity.

Chopin Ship

This message will be expressed through the universal medium of music and dance and conveyed by a group of enthusiastic young Polish students who will arrive aboard the ship as Ambassadors of modern Poland.  President of the Polish Tourist Organisation, Mr Szmytke will be in London to offically launch the Chopin celebrations in the UK. The event will start at 2pm aboard the Fryderyk Chopin, in the presence of representatives of London boroughs, the Director of the Mayor’s Thames Festival and VIP’s from Poland and the UK.

Every day, there will be visits aboard the ship for the public, with the young crew acting as guides.  Other Chopin events staged in London between 3 and 12 September will include: breathtaking shows by dancer, interactive sessions for the public, including painting mock pianos and erecting a statue of Chopin using umbrellas and bowler hats and classes in Poland’s national dance, the Polonaise.

The events will be part of the Mayor’s Thames Festival, starting on 11 September. Poland’s presentation will take place in five marquees situated in the New European Village 2010 in front of the Royal Festival Hall. The Polish National Tourist Office will also be joined by partners from several regions of Poland.

The ship’s voyage is part of a Europe-wide project, launched in June 2010 by the Polish Tourist Organisation, to commemorate the 200th birthday of Frederic Chopin. It has addressed wide audiences across Europe, highlighting Poland’s cultural and artistic achievements and showcasing Poland as a modern country with strong roots in the common cultural heritage of Europe.

The ship will dock on 3rd September 2010 at 11am

Information about the Chopin project can be found at www.chopinthecourse.com/en-gb

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PNTO at London’s Thames Festival

Polish National Tourist Office at Thames Festival 2009
POLSKA at Thames Festival 2009

The Polish National Tourist Office has announced that it will once again be taking part in this year’s Thames Festival in London. The famous annual event held between Westminister Bridge and Tower Bridge takes place on 11 and 12 September this year. Polish stands will be located opposite The Royal Festival Hall. The PNTO will be joined by partners from the Wielkopolska region (the home of Poznań) and the Pomorskie region (the home of Gdańsk among others).

This year, during Thames Festival there will be celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Chopin’s birthday. To mark the anniversary the tall ship “Fryderyk Chopin”, which has been sailing around Europe promoting Poland since mid June, will sail into London. From 3 September Chopin will be in London, where it will stay until 12 September.

Many attraction and activities are planned including: the construction of a bust of Chopin using country-specific components like umbrellas, Polonaise dance classes with an attempt to beat the Guinness world record, classes and lectures devoted to Poland and Poles.  However, all these wonderful events are open to everyone, whether of Polish decent or not!

For more information on Poland visit www.poland.travel/en-gb

For more information about the festival visit www.thamesfestival.org

For more information about the Fryderyk Chopin ship visit www.chopinthecourse.com/en-gb

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STS Fryderk Chopin Sets Sail from Szczecin

Chopin's Grave, Paris
Chopin’s Grave, Paris

Last week STS Fryderyk Chopin set sail from the Szczecin Seaport to promote Poland in several European ports over the next few months.  The project is organised by the Polish Tourism Organisation and commemorates the 200th anniversary of Frederic Chopin’s birthday. The artist may be considered one of the ambassadors of the Polish culture in Europe and one of the most recognised Poles abroad. Chopin’s works and life are related not only to Poland, but the whole Europe. Under the project the sailing ship “Chopin” will visit seaports in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. A number of events are planned in the ports all aimed at promotion of Poland, including its tourist and historical values, cultural and artistic events, encouraging foreigners to visit Poland and presentation of Poland as a EU member state and a country which is active in many fields, including artistic, educational, scientific fields and with great cultural heritage. The cruise is attended by students of tourist universities, selected during recruitment and obliged to actively participate in the events and communicate project ideas. Examples of activities at ports include construction of a bust of Chopin using country-specific components (e.g. in London – umbrellas, France – wine bottles), Polonaise dance classes with an attempt to beat the Guinness record, ballet, classes and lectures devoted to Poland and Poles, open for all event participants.

The arrival dates are as followed:

Ystad June 14th

Malmo June 17th

Copenhagen June 18th

Stockholm June 23rd

Karlskrona June 28th

Hamburg July 2nd

Aarhus July 7th

Lubeck July 9th

Rostock July 13th

Kiel July 16th

Amsterdam July 22nd

Brugge July 26th

Antwerp July 31st

Ostenda August 5th

Brest August 14th

Nantes August 19th

St Malo August 26th

London September 3rd

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A Bicentenary Trip to Chopin’s Grave in Paris

This year Poland and classical music fans are celebrating the bicentenary of Chopin’s birth. So there is no better time to visit his grave, which is regularly adorned with flowers left by among other, hordes of Polish scouts.

Chopin's Grave, Paris

Located in Pere-Lachaise cemetery, in eastern Paris, Chopin’s grave can be found in the 11th division and is relatively easy to spot.  A little like its very own small village, boasting cobbled streets and dainty signposts, one can spend hour after hour spotting the resting places of famous names from the past.

Read more…

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Chopin Museum Renovation in Warsaw, Poland


Chopin Year 2010 will signal a number of important cultural events in Poland. One of the key events will be the opening of a new museum dedicated to the life and works of Frederic Chopin in Warsaw.  Work on renovating the old building which houses the museum began in 2005. The institution dedicated to collecting Chopin memorabilia, has been located in the historic Ostrogski Palace at 1, Okólnik Street in Warsaw (originally a castle founded at the end of the 17th century by Duke Janusz Ostrogski) for many years, but its redevelopment has completely changed the nature of the former museum. While particular care has been taken to preserve the long tradition of the institution, the museum has gained a new identity which will enable it to meet the different needs of its visitors.

The collection that was first started in 1899 by the Warsaw Music Society is the world’s largest collection Frederic Chopin related items includes musical manuscripts, printed scores, Chopin’s correspondence, personal items (such as cufflinks and diaries), iconography, as well as biographical works about him and critical commentaries on his compositions and his reception as a composer.

About Ostrogski Palace

In the 1680s, the deputy chancellor of the Crown Treasury, Jan Gniński commissioned the leading Dutch architect Tylman van Gameren to design a magnificent palatial residence.  The present palace, built on the site of an earlier fortification, is located in the part of van Gameren’s design where the kitchen buildings were originally planned. Throughout the centuries the palace has served many different functions and was rebuilt several times in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Read more…

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Chopin Concerts in London


The Chopin Society in London was founded in 1971 by Lucie Swiatek to celebrate the genius of Fryderyk Chopin and increase the knowledge and appreciation of his music.  This last weekend was the bicentenary anniversary of Chopin’s birth and to celebrate the society has organised a number of concerts and talks under the title Footsteps of Chopin.

In 1848, following a revolution in France, Chopin was persuaded to visit London, and spent a total of 4½ months there, giving private and semi-public concerts as well as teaching.  The concerts and talks will be held in or near the venues used by Chopin, mostly in the St James’s area where Chopin stayed during his visit to Britain in 1848.

The venues for concerts include St Paul’s Church Covent Garden, the Royal Over-Seas League, The Wigmore Hall, The Arts Club, Lancaster House, The Athenaeum, The Naval & Military Club, Brown’s Hotel and Guildhall.

A few of these events will be by invitation or for Chopin Society Members only, but the majority will be open to the general public. It is necessary to book for many of these events and booking forms will be available online.

For more information visit the Chopin Society website

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Celebrating Chopin in 2010

Delacroix Chopin

Today the Polish city of Częstochowa is getting ready for the opening concert of Chopin 2010, marking the bi-centenary of Chopin’s birth.  The next 12 months will be a celebration of the composer Frederic Chopin, as Poland honours his genius with concerts, events, educational programmes, exhibitions and workshops.

The inaugural concert of Chopin 2010 in Częstochowa, famous for its Black Madonna, gets underway at 7pm tonight with a performance of Chopin’s music by the Częstochowa Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.  Just half an hour later the Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra will strike up a chord as the capital pays its own homage to one of Poland’s favourite sons.

Many more events are planned throughout the year, both in Poland and further afield, and you can find out more by logging on to www.chopin2010.pl

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