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Performer: Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra

Biography

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra

Warsaw Philharmonic gave its first concert on 5th November 1901 in the Philharmonic’s newly built concert hall. The Orchestra was conducted by Emil Młynarski - co-founder, first music director and resident conductor of the Philharmonic, while the solo part was played by Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

Already before World War I and between the world wars, the Philharmonic became a key centre of musical life in Poland and one of Europe’s major musical institutions.

In the early years after World War II, the orchestra’s concerts were held in theatres and sport halls. On 21st February 1955, the Philharmonic moved to a new seat (which replaced the one destroyed by German air raids) and was granted the status of the National Philharmonic. Under its new director Witold Rowicki, it regained the reputation of Poland’s leading symphony orchestra. In 1955-58 the position of artistic director was held by Bohdan Wodiczko, then again by Rowicki, and from 1977 – by Kazimierz Kord. Between January 2002 and August 2013, Antoni Wit was both the Philharmonic’s managing and artistic director. As of 1st September 2013, Wojciech Nowak has been named Warsaw Philharmonic’s director, and Jacek Kaspszyk has taken over the artistic direction of the Philharmonic.

Today Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra enjoys worldwide popularity and acclaim. It has made nearly 140 concert tours on five continents, appearing in all of the world’s major concert halls. It also regularly performs during the International F. Chopin Piano Competitions in Warsaw and the ‘Warsaw Autumn’ Festival, records for the Polish Radio and state television (TVP) as well as Polish and foreign record labels and film companies. The Orchestra has frequently been awarded prestigious record prizes, including the Grammy in 2013 (and six Grammy nominations) for their recordings of Penderecki’s and Szymanowski’s large-scale vocal-instrumental works, Diapason d’Or, ICMA, Gramophone Award, Record Geijutsu, Classical Internet Award, Cannes Classical Award, and the Fryderyk Award of the Polish Phonographic Academy.

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WarsawSymphonic Concert

Tansman, Rathaus, Chopin
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Jacek Kaspszyk; Benjamin Grosvenor; Yaara Tal
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A musical celebration of Polish Independence

Jacek Kaspszyk © ICA Artists
Warsaw Philharmonic celebrates the 100th anniversary of Polish independence with performances of great local composers – Lutoslawski, Szymanowski and Szabelski – and Debussy’s La Mer for good measure.
****1
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Tristan triumphs but Isolde languishes in Warsaw

Jacek Kaspszyk © Juliusz Multarzyński
Given the spate of visually distracting, if not irksome productions which seem to blight the opera world these days, there is something to be said for concert performances.
****1
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Warsaw Philharmonic in Szymanowski and Beethoven

Jacek Kaspszyk © Juliusz Multarzynski
The Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra offered a program of Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Their performance at Cadogan Hall had outstanding moments but overall felt unremarkable.
***11
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Prom 55: The Warsaw Philharmonic's Proms debut celebrates Lutosławski centenary

Antoni Wit  ©  Chris Christodoulou
Surprisingly, this was the Warsaw Philharmonic’s first visit to the Proms, invited as part of this year’s focus on Polish music. About time too, one might say, and particularly so with it being both Lutosławski’s centenary year (and almost Panufnik’s too, shy by a year), and this the farewell concert of outgoing Artistic Director of twelve years, Antoni Wit.
***11
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Warsaw Philharmonic at Leeds Town Hall

Antoni Wit,  ©  J. Multarzynski
This concert by Poland’s national orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, attracted a near-capacity audience which had in it a fair sprinkling of members of the local Polish community, judging from overheard conversations and some shouts of “Jeszcze raz!” (“More!”) at the end.