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Events Chopin Without Piano

Chopin Without Piano

Michal Zadara (Poland)

October 28 - October 28

Runtime TBA



EventsSpirit of the ShowFood PairingLost Pianos

“Chopin Without Piano was a revelation […] the show turned out to be a dizzying manifesto of artistic freedom. Wysocka and Zadara […] reminded us that Chopin was revolutionary, and, above all, they created a non-hermetic language to talk about the emotions generated by classical music.” Łukasz Drewniak,

“The defining aspect of Chopin’s art is alienation—from one’s country, from one’s music, from one’s family. Which is not a way that anyone, outside or inside of Poland, has spoken about Chopin until now.” Michal Zadara

08-chopin-bez fortepianu-fot-Natalia Kabanow copy

A new form of musical performance!

Director Michał Zadara and actor Barbara Wysocka of CENTRALA (Warsaw, Poland) replace the piano parts of Fryderyk Chopin’s concertos in E minor and F minor with a riveting dramatic monologue. Climbing on top of the piano, Wysocka explores cultural, political, and philosophical tensions of the composer’s time that feel strikingly contemporary. Her highly physical virtuoso performance is accompanied by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and led by Warsaw National Opera’s rising young talent, conductor Bassem Akiki.

Artfully weaving together fragments of Chopin’s letters and music criticism from some of the finest writers and thinkers of our age, CHOPIN WITHOUT PIANO captures the composer as a dynamic living presence within the full force of his music. It challenges us to think more deeply about the sustaining value of Chopin’s music, the tradition of live classical performance, and culture in the broadest sense.

For details + special events visit


Saturday October 31, 4:15pm: Chopin’s Body: Chopin as Theater

A panel discussion with  Michał Zadara, Barbara Wysocka, Bassem Akiki, Tamara Trojanowska (University of Toronto), Tom Sellar (Yale School of Drama)

Moderated by Allen Kuharski (Swarthmore College)

Friday October 30, 10:30pm

Keep your night of experimental music going with Charan Po Rantan at 10:30pm. One holds an accordion, the other holds a stuffed pig. Get ready for a candy-coated cabaret with sisters Koharu and Momo.

“We wanted to come back to an original Chopin, a Chopin who was a radical artist of his time, wild, incomprehensible, transcending the boundaries of what people thought was possible in music. ” Michal Zadara

“Chopin without a Piano is a guerilla piece, perhaps one that bears the marks of violation or sacrilege, and it is an act that aims to reinvent the possibility of a dialogue about Chopin, and a more general discourse about the event of a concert, about music, Poland, and culture in the broadest sense.” Michal Zadara

Spirit of the Show

available at the La Peg bar: Szarlotka (Polish vodka, apple cider) $8

Food Pairing

available at La Peg: Bigos (Polish Hunter’s Stew) $13 / entree $21
bacon, brawtwurst, pork shoulder, cabbage, sauerkraut, porcini mushrooms, prunes, apples

Lost Pianos:

Ten lost pianos: six in Swarthmore, four in Philadelphia.

Pianos without Chopin.

Tired precision instruments, all played out.
One more act these old pianos have

Before they go the way of history,

Off to the landfill, replaced by new inventions:
What happens when their voices disappear?