Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra



Considered the leading Polish orchestra, the NATIONAL POLISH RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IN KATOWICE fulfils the role of a cultural ambassador representing Poland on the international art scene. In recent years the opportunity to present Polish works of art were among others concerts in Brussels (Europalia 2001 - Poland), Vienna (opening of the Polish Year), Dusseldorf (Days of Polish Voivodeship in Nordrein Westfalen), Madrid (gala concert of Polish Year in Spain), Rome (commemoration of the 70th birthday of H. M. Górecki), Kiev (opening of Polish Year in Ukraine), Paris (gala concert of Polish Year in France 'New Poland') and London (opening of Polish Year in Great Britain - POLSKA! YEAR). The orchestra were honoured to cooperate with some of the greatest composers of the 2nd half of the 20th century presenting first performances of their works.


The NATIONAL POLISH RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (NPRSO) in Katowice was founded in 1935 in Warsaw. The orchestra was created and led by Grzegorz Fitelberg until the outbreak of World War II. In March 1945 Witold Rowicki revived the orchestra in Katowice. In 1947 the orchestra was taken over by Grzegorz Fitelberg who had come back to Poland. After his death in 1953, the orchestra was headed by Jan Krenz, Bohdan Wodiczko, Kazimierz Kord, Tadeusz Strugała, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Stanisław Wisłocki, Jacek Kaspszyk, Antoni Wit. In September 2000 Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa became the General and Programme Director. Between 2001 and 2007 the Artistic Director of NPRSO was Gabriel Chmura. In January 2009 Jacek Kaspszyk became the Music Director and Michał Klauza the Associate Conductor. The title of the first Guest Conductor of NOSPR was accepted by Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Honorary Conductor by Jan Krenz and Artistic Advisor by Jerzy Semkow.


The orchestra has recorded more than 190 compact discs for many Polish and foreign labels (Decca, EMI, Phillips, etc.) and made numerous archival recordings for the needs of Polish Radio. For the Naxos label they recorded among others complete works of Witold Lutosławski (9 CDs), all symphonies of Tchaikowsky, most of Penderecki's (I-V), Mahler's (except for VIII), as well as works of Kilar, Wieniawski, Moszkowski and Górecki and for Chandos Records they made a three record album with music of Mieczysław Weinberg. Recorded by NOSPR K. Penderecki's Credo, H.M. Górecki's Symphony No. 3 and W. Kilar's Missa pro pace were released on DVD and SACD by Polish Radio as The Sacred Triptych.
For phonographic achievements the orchestra was honoured with numerous prizes among others Five Piano Concertos by Prokofiev under direction of Antoni Wit with the soloist Kun Woo Paik were awarded the Diapason d'Or and the Grand Prix du Disque de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque 1992 and the recording of Turangalila Symphony by Olivier Messiaen under Antoni Wit was awarded the 2002 Cannes Classical Award. Recently a record for DUX with works of Krzysztof Penderecki (Capriccio for violin and orchestra, De natura sonoris no. 2 for the piano and orchestra Resurrection) with participation of NOSPR as well as soloists Beata Bilińska and Patrycja Piekutowska conducted by the composer received prestigious Midem Classical Award 2008 in the category of Contemporary Music.


Many renowned conductors and soloists have performed with the NPRSO in Poland and abroad. Among them were: Martha Argerich, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Buchbinder, James Conlon, Placido Domingo, Pierre Fournier, Nicolai Gedda, Barbara Hendricks, Julius Katchen, Leonidas Kavakos, Wilhelm Kempff, Kevin Kenner, Paweł Klecki, Kiryłł Kondraszyn, Marguerite Long, Witold Lutosławski, Charles Mackerras, Misha Maisky, Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Shlomo Mintz, Ivan Monighetti, Garrick Ohlsson, Kun Woo Paik, Krzysztof Penderecki, Maurizio Pollini, Hermann Prey, Ruggiero Ricci, Mścisław Rostropowicz, Artur Rubinstein, Jerzy Semkow, En Shao, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Isaac Stern, Henryk Szeryng, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Pieter Wispelwey, Krystian Zimerman and Nicolai Znaider.


The orchestra has toured almost all European countries (regular tours in Great Britain and Germany), Americas as well as Japan, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Taiwan enjoying recognition of reviewers and audience. In its post-war history NOSPR has toured abroad 172 times, almost always including Polish music in its program.

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Composers' compositions