Best wishes for the Master – Andrzej Wajda

Best wishes for the Master – Andrzej Wajda

“Since my earliest childhood, I have dreamed of Krakow”, said Andrzej Wajda during yesterday’s event at ICE Kraków.

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One of the most prominent creators of contemporary cinema, the leading director of the Polish film school, an exceptional stage director and laureate of an Academy Award for lifetime achievement, Wajda celebrated his 90th birthday yesterday. The ICE Krakow Congress Centre hosted a special concert, organised for the Master, who participated in the gala as the guest of honour.

The concert was fully devoted to film and theatrical soundtracks composed for the works of Andrzej Wajda. The gala started with “Polonez” by Wojciech Kilar, composed for the famous Pan Tadeusz, even before filming had started. When the host, Marek Kondrat, invited the Master to the stage, the audience gave him a standing ovation. Andrzej Wajda was visibly moved, but with his usual modesty he told the audience about his experiences connected with Krakow. He said that his first contact with the city was when he was 7 or 8, when his father brought him a model of the Barbakan and St Florian’s Gate. “We had not even seen Krakow yet, and I already knew what it looked like”, he said. In 1940, Wajda came to Krakow as a teenager and saw the stained-glass windows made by Stanisław Wyspiański at the Franciscan church. “They made quite an impression on me, like nothing before. Normally, boys my age wrote some love letters... Well, I wrote my first and only love letter... to Wyspiański”, the director revealed. “I was taught to be a locksmith, by the way, if anyone needs one. [...] I just don’t have one of the most important skills – I can’t open strongboxes”, he joked. The director also expressed his gratitude to the municipal authorities for organising the concert and the audience for coming to celebrate with him.

During this exceptional evening the audience could hear masterpieces by Wojciech Kilar, Krzysztof Komeda, Andrzej Korzyński, Paweł Mykietyn, Krzysztof Penderecki and Andrzej Markowski. We could also hear the biggest hits from movies and plays directed by the Oscar-winning director, such as The Promised Land, The Revenge, The Shadow Line, Innocent Sorcerers, Man of Iron, Sweet Rush and Katyń. In the finale, the director himself requested The Manuscript Found in Saragossa by Krzysztof Penderecki, and the performances were met with thunderous ovations. For the encore, the audience once again heard the unrivalled “Polonez” by Wojciech Kilar. The music was performed by Sinfonietta Cracovia, conducted by Jurek Dybał and the Paweł Kaczmarczyk Audiofeeling Trio.

The “WAJDA 90 – film music concert for the 90th birthday of the Master” event under the patronage of Jacek Majchrowski, the Mayor of Krakow was organised by the City of Krakow and the Krakow Festival Office, with co-organiser: Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology and partners – Filmoteka Narodowa, Polish Film Institute and the Sinfonietta Cracovia ensemble.

Source: Kraków Festival Office

Photo by Wojciech Wandzel