Ode To Joy Brings Christchurch Rebuild Hope

(PR.co.nz) Classical music lovers are in for a rare treat next month with a trifecta of talent appearing in the Christchurch Polish Association’s quake fundraising concert, Ode to Joy.

Polish-born flautist Adrianna Lis performs an original Anthony Ritchie composition while Polish-born pianist Dr Anna Kijanowska (pronounced key-en-OFF-ska) has travelled from the US to play. Olga Gryniewicz, a Wellington-based soprano, will accompany them in a concert programme of uplifting pieces by Chopin, Beethoven, Schubert and Saint-Saëns.

Christchurch-born Anthony Ritchie, who will be attending the concert is one of New Zealand’s most prolific composers and is the son of John Ritchie, the man who established the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

He has especially composed the piece entitled, Polish Dances, for Adrianna’s new CD recording. Ritchie says: “Adrianna is a very fine player and I wanted to write something befitting of her – it took about a month to do. I heard her playing it and am really pleased. It is lively but also has a lot of soul. It certainly shows off the flute and her playing abilities.”

Anna Kijanowska visited Christchurch to play in the sold out Chopin Bicentennial Concert in the Great Hall of the Arts Centre in 2010.

Anna Gruczynska of the Christchurch Polish Association says Dr Kijanowska jumped at the chance to come back to play in Christchurch.

“Anna had such an incredibly warm reception when she was here last year that she was excited at the prospect of being able to come back and give her support at a time it is needed so badly,” says Anna Gruczynska.

Dr Kijanowska is currently on the faculty of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg , Virginia. She is also an avid tramper and outdoors lover – in 2008 she reached Mt Everest Base Camp. She travels the world playing in concerts to share her love of music with people from places as diverse as the Amazon and India to the Ukraine and South Africa.

Olga Gryniewicz is a graduate of the NZ School of Music at Victoria University and performed alongside Anna Kijanowska in the Chopin Bicentennial concert in Christchurch last year. Adrianna Lis is a flautist in the Waitakere City Orchestra.

Anna says the Polish community really identifies with Christchurch because they understand what it means to have to rebuild a city and restore a lost heritage.

“Warsaw was almost totally destroyed during WWII. Within 8 years of the end of the war, the Old Town was restored almost exactly to its pre-war condition and is now on the UNESCO Heritage List as “an exceptional example of the comprehensive reconstruction” as well as being one of Europe’s most vibrant capital cities,” says Anna.

The concert has been made possible thanks to financial support from the Polish Charitable and Educational Trust. All proceeds raised from ticket sales will go towards the restoration of the Arts Centre.

“This is seen as a gesture of support from the Polish community for a venue which supported us in the past, and also of the commitment of the Polish community to Christchurch,” says Anna Gruczynska.

The concert will also mark Poland’s presidency of the European Union later this year and the opening of the Consulate of Poland in Christchurch. Guests will include New Zealand’s Polish Ambassador, Mrs Beata Stoczynska and Honorary Consul of Poland in Christchurch, Mrs Winsome Dormer.

Please contact Anna Gruczynska on 021-0657 306 of Kim Triegaardt on 021-128 3165 for more information or to arrange interviews.

Tickets for the Concert are $25 and available from www.eventfinder.co.nz

When: 7:00pm Saturday, 2 July 2011
Where: Performing Arts Theatre, Cashmere High School
What: A concert of uplifting music featuring the talents of pianist Anna Kijanowska, flautist Adrianna Lis and soprano Olga Gryniewicz.
Tickets: $25 (from eventfinder.co.nz)