Although it has been established as an important urban center for more than 1000 years, Wrocław remains somewhat off the beaten path. There are few direct flights, not even from most places in Europe. Yet its history connects it to at least five different countries. Celtic tribes settled there in the 4th century B.C.E. although Poland is its earliest recorded claimant (a diocese having been established in the then-named town of Wrotizlava in the year 1000 C.E.). It was ceded to Bohemia (from 1336 to 1526) and then Austria (until 1741). A land grab by Frederick the Great made it part of Prussia and then Germany where under the name of Breslau it became the third largest German city. It was one of the last Nazi strongholds to surrender, but has been part of Poland again since 1945, hence its current name: think “wrought suave”… well, sort of. The President of the City (which is what they call the mayor there) claims that the correct pronunciation is “wroughts love” although that might just be an attempt at clever tourist sloganism on his part.
Given Wrocław’s history as a crossroads filled with conflict while nowadays being somewhat under the radar, it was a particular fitting host city for the 2014 World Music Days (WMD), the annual new music festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM). ISCM is an organization with an almost equally complex history, albeit one that goes back only a mere 91 years. Although WMD is the oldest continuous contemporary music festival ….
As announced in earlier posts on this blog, my composition ‘Shakespeare And Hedgeshear‘ was staged on this festival in the Puppet Theatre, Theatr Lalek.
photo Kris Cwik