Drums Carnival is a fantastic week of music at the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin. From January 13 to 18, all our stages will feature drums in many guises, as well as artists from all musical genres. The culmination, pretext, and occasion for their performance is the fifty-year jubilee of artistic work celebrated by Jorge Luis Valcarcel Gregorio – the most famous Cuban in Szczecin, a true musical icon of our city. For several decades, he has been standing in the last row of our Symphony Orchestra as a timpani player. However, he has been teaching his pupils and all of us for many years: drums always play solo!
I was supposed to receive a government scholarship to study in Bulgaria. However, when it turned out that there were no more places in the language course in Cuba, the director said: Sir, quickly choose another country that is open to us! I had no idea what the level of percussion in Poland was. However, I thought like this: Penderecki, Lutosławski, Górecki... If there are such composers in Poland, who are the leading composers of this avant-garde, where percussion has a lot to say, percussion music is definitely developed there. And I was right! *
When a few years after this decision, he came to Szczecin, he devoted his time not only to the Philharmonic in Szczecin. He also began teaching and started... infecting with positive energy a considerable number of pupils and the public at concerts all over Poland. Over ten years ago, Jorge Valcarcel was among the people most involved in efforts to establish the Academy of Art in Szczecin.
Soon after its inception, he first appeared on stage with the new group PercussionistAS, which he had founded. Young musicians – students, graduates and employees of the Academy of Arts – focused around their mentor, are present in our city and region wherever new energy and a strong impact are needed. Hence, nineteen players will perform in the first Drums Carnival concert! "The drums always play solo," says Jorge Valcarcel.
We cordially invite you to meet our exceptional soloist at the Philharmonic in Szczecin!
* Excerpts of Jorge Valcarcel's statements come from the archives of Polish Radio and the author's conversations, Jakub Stefek.
Chamber hallFilharmonia im. Mieczysława Karłowicza w Szczecinie
ul. Małopolska 48