The programme of the Film Music Festival 2016 is officially announced!

Rosemary’s BabyThe Ninth GateCul-de-sac; SicarioThe Theory of EverythingDriveOblivion; How to Train Your DragonShrekThe Lion King; Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, the world premiere of The Witcher 3 soundtrack – and that’s still far from the complete list of attractions of the 9th FMF! Four concerts will take place at ICE Kraków!


The most famous themes from Roman Polański’s films, jazz deconstructions of Hollywood’s golden era hits, personal interpretations of film music in the Cinematic Piano series, ambient sounds, world premieres of soundtracks, compositions for animated box office blockbusters, and the world premiere of the music for a famous computer game. Moreover we will also host prestigious awards, competitions, Master Classes for young composers, as well as stars of the silver screen and film music will come to the City of Kings to take part in the Festival. The 9th Film Music Festival will be an adventure and sensual sensation for every fan of film music. Come and join us!


“The FMF, or The Kraków Film Music Festival, is one of the most important film music festivals in the world, which for the past nine years we have successfully co-organised with RMF Classic radio. The key to the uniqueness of our event is the exceptional combination of world-class interpretations of film music, performed by leading musicians and orchestras, with high-quality motion pictures. Every year, our loyal audiences are presented with monumental film and live music shows produced at the highest artistic level. Another distinctive feature of the FMF is that every year enjoys the presence of the most prominent artists and composers, who are even more eager to accept our invitation to Krakow as years pass by - just like fans, as over 30,000 people participated in the 8th FMF last year. This inspires and motivates us to work even harder, which is why we are continuously developing our festival. We want to reach all film music lovers, hence the programme of the 9th FMF includes something to cater for all lovers of beautiful sonic experiences, even the youngest ones. I’d like to take this early opportunity to invite you to Krakow in May 2016”, said Izabela Helbin, Director of the Krakow Festival Office.


In 2016, the festival will last for a full week, promising entertainment and new musical discoveries. This year’s FMF will open with the grand special concert Scoring4Polański, devoted to the film productions of one of the most outstanding Polish directors, Roman Polański – as well as the music composed for them. It continues the tradition of special productions, started last year by Scoring4Wajda, which took place in Krakow and Katowice during the last edition of the FMF. This year’s instalment, Scoring4Polański, opens on 24 May 2016 at the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) Concert Hall in Katowice, followed by the performance at ICE Kraków Congress Centre on 25 May. The concerts are co-produced with the Katowice – City of Gardens Cultural Institution and the NOSPR.


In this tribute for the famous Polish director, we will hear not only classics by composers working for Roman Polański, but also world premieres of new arrangements of famous musical illustrations. We will be charmed by the jazzy melancholic bits by Krzysztof Komeda from Knife in the WaterCul-de-sac, and Rosemary’s Baby, Wojciech Kilar’s memorable compositions for The Pianist and Death and the Maiden, and his beautiful vocalise to The Ninth Gate. They will be performed side-by-side with the impressive themes from Tess and The Tenant by Philippe Sarde, the unforgettable Frantic Theme by Ennio Morricone, Jerry Goldsmith’s love theme from Chinatown, and a wonderful series of music composed by Alexandre Desplat as illustrations to Venus in FurThe Ghost Writer and Carnage. This will all be conducted by the musical director of the International Flanders Film Festival in Ghent, Dirk Brossé from Belgium.


“The whole programme was brought together to portray the variety of styles and the peculiarities in the oeuvre of the youngest 80-year-old in world cinema, as Polański is often called. The pieces will all receive new arrangements, ordered specially for the performance during the FMF. The concert has been arranged to span Polish, European, and American film and music culture, and its programme was put together in consultation with the director himself in order to animate the cinematic emotions with captivating variety”, said Robert Piaskowski, Artistic Director of the FMF.


The opening concert in Katowice will include the Wojciech Kilar Award Ceremony. This will be the second time the prize instituted by the mayors of Krakow and Katowice has been awarded. Its Honorary Jury, composed of Krzysztof Penderecki, Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi and Roman Polański himself, ensure that its recipient is a composer who operates – much like its patron used to – in the interdisciplinary world of cinema and television, at the same time keeping to the ethos and tradition of the art of composition. In May 2015, the prestigious honour was bestowed on Oscar-winning American artist Elliot Goldenthal for the music to Frida, the film biography of Frida Kahlo, directed by Julie Taymor.


On Thursday, 26 May two chamber concerts will take place. The first will open the Cinematic Piano series: during which young pianists from Poland and abroad will present their personal interpretations of film music. It will be inaugurated by ‘the wizard of the piano’ – Aleksander Dębicz – performing pieces from his début, yet already bestselling album called Cinematic Piano.


On the same night, ICE Kraków will see the premieres of musical deconstructions and decompositions of the forgotten music of Hollywood’s golden age composed by Bronisław Kaper and Henryk Wars. From the 1930s to the 1960s, over the course of three decades, the two composers created soundtracks for more than 200 American productions. Although these Poles greatly contributed to the development of American cinema, their names are all but forgotten in Poland. The works of Hollywood soundtrack masters were analysed and then creatively and experimentally deconstructed by the talented Polish jazz pianist and improviser Paweł Kaczmarczyk and Audiofeeling Trio.


Friday, 27th May will be marked by the alterFMF Gala: Drone Sounds performed by the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra conducted by an exceptional arranger of contemporary music, Anthony Weeden. During the concert, we will hear a palette of world premieres of arrangements of motifs created by composers considered to be the new wave of Hollywood - pieces by Joseph Trapanese (Allegiant and Insurgent from the Divergent series, Oblivion, and Tron: Legacy), known for his collaboration with electronic music veterans Daft Punk, which resulted in the soundtrack to Tron: Legacy, and with the electronic rock formation M83, which led to the music to Oblivion. Cliff Martinez also accepted the invitation to the Festival — the legend of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, a great composer of electronic music, producer, and arranger, whose hypnotic and trance music perfectly defines the space and the noir- and anxiety-dominated aesthetics of the films by the directors who regularly work with Martinez. The programme includes minimalist, electronic symphonic arrangements for Nicolas Winding Refn’s classic works: DriveOnly God Forgives, and The Neon Demon. The guests will also hear the music of one of the greatest contemporary composers, Jóhann Jóhannsson, with drone sounds, masses of sounds, and countless contrasts, so characteristic of his style. The world premiere of the Oscar-nominated soundtrack to The Theory of Everything will be complemented by the suites to Sicario and Prisoners. The constellation of the alterFMF Gala stars will be augmented by the presentation of the soundtrack to HBO Poland’s latest series – Pakt / The Pact, by the Polish composer Łukasz Targosz.


“We make sure that the weekend concerts on 28th and 29th of May are addressed to the broadest audience. Of all our festivals, the FMF is the most focused on family, which is why we sought projects that we could address to audiences of all ages. We decided to dedicate our annual Film Music Gala to all-time favourite animations. That’s why next year we will be captivated and moved by the themes from our favourite children’s stories, including The Lion KingHow to Train Your Dragon, Shrek, and Ice Age 2: The Meltdown”, Helbin adds.


The concert, which will take place in the monumental interiors of the TAURON Arena will be performed by the Beethoven Academy Orchestra and the Polish Radio Choir, conducted by one of the most recognised film music conductors – Maestro Frank Strobel. It will be accompanied by numerous clips from the animations. The invitation to the monumental space of Tauron Kraków Arena has been accepted by giants of music illustrating animated pictures: John Powell (How to Train Your DragonIce Age 2: The Meltdown) and Harry Gregson-Williams (ShrekThe Chronicles of NarniaArthur Christmas). The two composers, who used to be members of Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions, frequently collaborate with each other, resulting in the soundtracks to ShrekChicken Run, and Antz. The concert will also be the day of the premiere of a music suite composed by the FMF’s long-term friend Diego Navarro for Capture the Flag. The film will see its Polish premiere on 29 January 2016.


After its opening, the kingdom of animated film will last well into the following day, when at high noon we will play a concert from the Animations series performed by the FMF Youth Orchestra. The ensemble formed by the Kraków Film Music Festival is composed of the most talented students of Krakow music schools; conducted by Monika Bachowska, they will perform for the third time in a full symphonic line-up. This time, young musicians will perform original compositions to the most famous animated productions of the of the Warner Bros studio: BatmanScooby-Doo, and Justice League. Beside these, they will also play the world premiere of the Superman suite, commissioned from Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion, and Kristopher Carter especially for the concert. All three Emmy-winning composers, members of the Dynamic Music Partners group, part of the Warner Brothers studio, have already confirmed their arrival.


Sunday night will belong to Steven Spielberg’s winner of four Academy Awards: Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. The concert performed in Krakow will mark the 35th anniversary of the first film devoted to the adventures of Indiana Jones. The composer John Williams needs no introduction, yet it is worth emphasising that he has garnered nearly 50 Academy Award nominations and claimed five Oscars. The Raiders March opening the soundtrack is second only to that of Star Wars among the most recognisable film tunes of all time. As is customary at the FMF, the music to the super-production, which earned John Williams another Oscar nomination, will be performed live by Sinfonietta Cracovia orchestra conducted by a Swiss director very well known to FMF patrons: Ludwig Wicki.


The cherry topping the 9th FMF cake on 30 May 2016 and a present for the fans of video game music is the Video Game Show: The Witcher 3: a joint project of the Krakow Festival Office and CD Projekt RED, who released another instalment of a game based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s saga. Geralt the Witcher is one of the most recognisable characters in the contemporary video game scene, and the game is one of the highest grossing productions of the Polish video games industry. The third instalment in the series alone boasted more than 1.5 million pre-orders, and the mark of 6 million copies sold was reached within six weeks of the game’s launch.


“This concert is a special treat especially for gamers and fans of Sapkowski’s saga, as well as for all connoisseurs of music, especially that with folk roots. We will have an opportunity to listen to music that was written especially for the third part of the game that has captivated the hearts of players all over the world. Continuing the video games series at the FMF, we emphasise the fact that video games are an important strand in contemporary culture. It is games that put many young people in touch with the classic symphonic sound for the first time. This is a phenomenon worth serious consideration”, Robert Piaskowski emphasised, explaining the selection for this original closing of the FMF.


The soundtrack to the third part of the game is by Marcin Przybyłowicz, a composer who, being the company’s music director, regularly works with CD Projekt RED. His numerous references to ethnic, Slavic music and Viking culture will transport the audience into the murky world of Sapkowski’s fantasy. The concert will be performed by Pro Musica Mundi, AUKSO orchestra conducted by Marek Moś, and the band known for The Witcher soundtrack, Percival, whose unique style will further reinforce the ethnic character of the concert

NOTE: Tickets and passes for the festival concerts will be available for purchase starting Monday, 21 December at 2 AM, through www.eventim.pl and at four InfoKraków city information points: at Św. Jana 2, at the Wyspiański Pavilion (Wszystkich Świętych 2), at the Cloth Hall (Market Square 1/3) and at the Tourist Service Centre (Powiśle 11). Tickets for individual events cost 10 to 90 PLN, and passes from 120 to 380 PLN.


Media contact

All journalists interested in the events organized in the ICE Kraków, please contact

Michał Zalewski
Media contact

Tel.: 0048 513 099 671 / 0048 12 354 23 20