Krakow Music

Musically, a wide variety of tastes are catered for in Krakow, falling into four somewhat arbitrary categories. The first of these, classical and opera, is served at a number of venues, from the Filharmonia Hall – home to the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra as well as a number of smaller ensembles – to the brand new and state of the art Krakow Opera, and several of the city’s churches play host to classical recitals all year round (SS Peter & Paul, St Catherine’s, St Giles’). Jazz is a firm fixture in Cracovian life, with annual jazz festivals and several venues specializing in jazz both traditional and contemporary. Polish jazz musicians enjoy international renown and at least one such – trumpeter Tomasz Stanko – can claim a long association with Krakow. Another important facet in Krakow’s musical life is cabaret music: the legendary and eccentric Piwnica Pod Baranami on the Main Square still regularly hosts nights that recall the sounds and songs of such greats as Ewa Demarczyk and Krzystof Komeda. In a similar vein, Jewish Klezmer music has enjoyed something of a revival in recent years, with noted local band Kroke enjoying worldwide success with their collaborations with violinist Nigel Kennedy. For fans of rock and pop music there are several venues ranging from the subterranean and raucous Awaria, via the eclectic Klub Re, to the Pod Jaszczurami Club. Summer months bring on a variety of outdoor performances, with a highlight being the St John’s Night open air concert on the banks of the Vistula on Midsummer’s night.