Raphaël Pichon - Resident Artistic Director of the Misteria Paschalia Festival 2020

Friday 26 April 2019

Emotions after the 16th Misteria Paschalia Festival haven’t subsided yet, and there is nothing to suggest that it will happen any time soon. So, since we are still riding this wave, like the best and most exquisite surfers, we have more exciting news to bolster our hopes. We now know not only next year’s destination, but also the name of the Resident Artistic Director of the 17th edition of the Misteria Paschalia Festival!

Let’s start from the beginning. We are going to journey far – we are leaving Naples, crossing the Alpine summits and heading straight to Protestant Europe. It is not difficult to guess that her heart beats loudest in Germany; and since we are going to Germany, it is also the time for the greatest composer of the German Baroque. However, we will not start with Bach, because we want this to be not only a journey through the countries and the Länder, but also through the ages. Music is a continuum in which Bernard of Chartres’ words about dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants have a special meaning.

Surprisingly, a German will not lead us on a journey through the Protestant music of northern and central Europe. However, we will be guided by someone who holds the meanings in this music very dear and who started his musical career thirteen years ago with courage and great success – with Missae breves by Johann Sebastian Bach. We would like to present the Resident Artistic Director of the Misteria Paschalia Festival 2020 – the French conductor Raphaël Pichon!

“I look forward to working with Raphaël Pichon, who will help us co-create next year’s Misteria Paschalia Festival,” says Jacek Majchrowski, Mayor of the City of Krakow. “He is an outstanding artist who is famous for presenting musical connections between Bach and Mendelssohn, Schütz and Brahms, Rameau, Gluck and Berlioz. Please join us on the musical journey from 6 to 13 April 2020.”

Raphaël Pichon began his musical education at the Maîtrise des Petits Chanteurs de Versailles and then studied singing, violin and piano at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional and Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. As a young countertenor, he performed under the baton of Jordi Savall, Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman and Geoffroy Jourdain, with whom he performed works of contemporary music. In 2006, Raphaël Pichon founded Pygmalion, a choir and orchestra playing period instruments. Together with his ensemble – currently institutionally connected with the Bordeaux Opera – Pichon is invited to important international festivals, where he attracts audiences with its interpretations of Bach’s sacred works and Rameau’s lyrical tragedies.

We got to know Pichon and his Pygmalion in Krakow in their full orchestral and choral might, performing at the Misteria Paschalia Festival in 2017, when they played Georg Philipp Telemann’s striking Brockes Passion, and at the inauguration of the Opera Rara Festival in 2018, with the Enfers programme, Pichon’s original concept combining the music of two great opera composers: Jean-Philippe Rameau and Christoph Willibald Gluck. Both performances, apart from emotions, left us insatiable; however, the upcoming Misteria Paschalia Festival will quench this thirst!

If you are like us and you would like to experience at least some of the emotions awaiting us next year, tune in to watch Mezzo TV. This renowned TV station has prepared a rebroadcast of last year’s concert at the Philharmonie de Paris, during which Raphaël Pichon led his ensemble in a moving performance of Bach’s St John Passion. Save the dates – Sunday, 28 April at 8:30 a.m. and Wednesday, 8 May at 12:30 p.m.