ICE Kraków as the home of classical music
Nearly 250 000 visitors came to the ICE Kraków Congress Centre in 2016. 2016, which is slowly coming to an end, was a year of hard work, resulting in 177 great events. It was also a time for outstanding classical music concerts that will remain at the venue.
“In 2016, the ICE Kraków Congress Centre hosted 177 events, visited by over 245000 people in total. Over a half of those events, namely 103 of them were cultural events”, said Izabela Helbin, director of the Krakow Festival Office, operator of the venue. “Every single one of those events required a lot of work. It was thanks to it that we could see some of the most outstanding artists of our times – from Mike Patton to Ludovico Einaudi – at the ICE Kraków within a timespan of a single year. The residents of Krakow had to wait really long for a true concert hall, such as the ICE Auditorium Hall.”
Director Helbin can be sure of her words, because the Krakow Festival Office – operator of the venue – was responsible for organising over a dozen concerts at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre in 2016, including the most noteworthy of them all: the outstanding WAJDA 90’ and two editions of ICE Classic series featuring Max Richter and Edita Gruberova. We also cannot forget about the festivals that are often organised at the modern venue, including the flagship festival projects in Krakow: Opera Rara, Misteria Paschalia and the Krakow Film Music Festival , which attracted their international audiences not only with their exceptional programme or impressive performances, but also the attractive and valuable location. The stars of these concerts – Jordi Savall, Dirk Brossé and Fabio Biondi – also felt comfortable while playing for the audience gathered at the ICE Kraków. Even the famous director decided to come to Krakow and listen to Scoring4Polański personally.
Not only did the Krakow Festival Office appreciate the potential of the venue. Dozens of various private and public entities decided to use the venue for organisation of 177 events in total, with 58% of them being cultural events, including multiple classical music concerts. Among the notable projects was the Beethoven Extreme concert by Capella Cracoviensis, and Canadian Brass, La Scala Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Gidon Kremer, Leszek Możdżer and others joined the ranks of artists who performed on the stages of ICE Kraków as well. Some of them will return to the venue – we are sure of it. Some of them already decided to return, such as the Sukhishvili – the Georgian National Ballet, who will once again come to the capital of Małopolska Region and perform at the ICE Kraków.
In 2016, all the doubts regarding the acoustics of the flagship Auditorium Hall were quickly put to rest. The concert hall was appreciated and praised by famous conductors, such as Marc Minkowski, Vincent Dumestre and Jan Tomasz Adamus. Even the press wrote about the improvement of acoustic conditions in the Hall. Every single one of the ICE Kraków halls is like an instrument, which has to be properly tuned and prepared. Time is a crucial factor here, since it is exactly what the wooden finish of the Auditorium Hall needed to reach the optimal level of humidity. In collaboration with the scientists of the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, the team of experts working at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre adjusted the settings of sound panels and developed ideal tuning of the hall, depending on the number of musicians, their position on the stage or its height. Thus, the improvement of acoustics in the Hall did not cost us anything.
Perfect acoustics combined with outstanding technical possibilities guarantee a perfect event, which is why the interest in the venue remains high, and the schedule for 2017 is almost completely filled with more than just congresses and conferences.
In 2017, ICE Kraków Congress Centre will once again be the venue for many outstanding cultural events, including our festivals. In January, the Opera Rara Festival will start in Krakow, featuring stars of early music and famous names, including Cezary Tomaszewski, Natalia Kawałek, Jakub Pawlik and Aldona Grochal. In the spring, the ICE Kraków Congress Centre will host some of the events of the Misteria Paschalia Festival, featuring exceptional artists and ensembles: the Ensemble Pygmalion, Robin Trischler, Marie-Claude Chappuis, Le Poème Harmonique and Anthea Pichanick. Other projects – including the Film Music Festival in Krakow and the Sacrum Profanum Festival – also include the venue on Marii Konopnickiej Street in their programmes. In May, the admired soprano – Diana Damrau – will come to the ICE Kraków for a concert taking place as part of the ICE Classic series. Later on, we are going to see Patricia Kaas and Bryan Ferry live.
All of the events confirm that ICE Kraków successfully develops its position on the very competitive concert venue market in Poland. After all, the best concerts in Poland are organised here, in Krakow, and the classical music at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre is here to stay.
fot. B. Krężel
fot. M. Ramus
fot. M. Ramus