The Courage and Devotion exhibition at The Atkinson in Southport, which honours the Polish air crew and ground crew who served at RAF Woodvale near Southport during World War Two. It features a Spitfire sculpture by artist Suhail Shaikh. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

A very special Chopin piano recital from classical pianist Andrew Wilde takes place at The Atkinson in Southport this weekend to crown the end of its moving Courage & Devotion exhibition. 

The display, with free admission, celebrates the Polish airmen who served, and some of those who died, at RAF Woodvale near Southport during World War Two after their country was invaded by Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. 

A special ‘Polish Day’ featuring Polish food, Polish crafts, vintage vehicles and special talks will also take place. 

Courage & Devotion: Chopin Recital by Andrew Wilde takes place in The Atkinson – Studio this Saturday (12th March 2022), 7pm-9pm, with tickets £15 (plus £1 booking fee). 

In 1943, during World War Two, The Atkinson hosted a pianoforte recital by Jerzy Sulikowski, a Polish pianist, featuring arrangements from Polish composers Paderewski, Zarembski, Szymanowski, Statkowski and Chopin.

The recital was a benefit concert to help raise awareness of the Polish war effort.

This Saturday’s Chopin recital from classical pianist Andrew Wilde promises to be a unique and fitting end to The Atkinson’s ‘Courage & Devotion’ exhibition that remembers the Polish Airmen based at RAF Woodvale during the conflict. 

The centrepiece of the attraction is a scale replica of Spitfire Vb AB273 specially created by artist Suhail Shaikh – which is one third of the size of a real Spitfire – almost entirely out of paper. 

This Saturday The Atkinson’s award-winning café, A Great Little Place, will be making and selling Polish delicacies. Whether you’re trying these for the first time or you’re a Polish food fanatic – these dishes will have you licking your lips and asking for more.

Fun Polish craft sessions will be delivered by Polonia with assistance by The Liverpool Polish School’s students.

Inspired by Suhail Shaikh’s incredible paper Spitfire sculpture, volunteers are helping to make paper aeroplanes and may even challenge you to a race or two!

In 1943, during World War Two, The Atkinson hosted a pianoforte recital by Jerzy Sulikowski, a Polish pianist, featuring arrangements from Polish composers Paderewski, Zarembski, Szymanowski, Statkowski and Chopin

In 1943, during World War Two, The Atkinson hosted a pianoforte recital by Jerzy Sulikowski, a Polish pianist, featuring arrangements from Polish composers Paderewski, Zarembski, Szymanowski, Statkowski and Chopin

The Military Vehicle Trust is bringing a selection of vintage vehicles along and will also be staging a display in The Atkinson’s Foyer space for all to enjoy.

An in-depth illustrated talk will be delivered by Dave Roberts of Liverpool’s Wartime Museum; Western Approaches.

Plus a few more surprises!

People can also buy tickets to the unique Courage & Devotion: Chopin Recital by Andrew Wilde. 

About Andrew Wilde

Andrew Wilde, described by Daniel Barenboim as “a major musical and pianistic talent” continues to enthrall a large and devoted audience with his music making.

He studied with Ryszard Bakst at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester and graduated with distinction from the Royal Northern College of Music.

He received top prizes at many international piano competitions including the Naumburg in New York (1987), Pozzoli in Seregno, Italy (1988), William Kapell in Maryland (1989), Dino Ciani in Milan (1990), and World Competition in London (1991). In 1985 he won First Prize and Special Prize (for 20th Century performance) at the Dudley International Piano Competition.

He has given recitals at major venues in Great Britain and abroad, including London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Warsaw, Milan, Vienna, Düsseldorf, Santiago (Chile), Washington DC, New York City, Dallas, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Berlin and Budapest.

His concerto repertoire exceeds thirty works and he has performed these with major orchestras worldwide such as the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, London Mozart Players, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, Hallé, National Symphony Washington DC and Dallas Symphony.

He has given cycles of the complete Beethoven and Mozart Violin Sonatas with the great Hungarian violinist Vilmos Szabadi and during the present season has given recitals to mark the 200th Anniversary of Chopin’s birth and of the Bridgewater Hall recital Robert Beale (Manchester Evening News) wrote, “Andrew Wilde’s Concert For Chopin was one of the best solo recitals I have heard him give”.

To buy tickets (£15 plus £1 booking fee) please visit The Atkinson website here

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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