Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Polska Orkiestra Radiowa

photo. Juliusz Multarzyński

The history of the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra extends to times before World War II. After the war, in 1945, violinist and conductor Stefan Rachoń took over the Orchestra. The Orchestra’s artistic directors were Włodzimierz Kamirski, Jan Pruszak and Mieczysław Nowakowski. During Tadeusz Strugała’s tenure (1990 – 1993), the Orchestra acquired its present name and moved to its new headquarters – the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio.

In the years 1993-2006 the artistic director of the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra was Wojciech Rajski. In March 2007 the position was handed over to Łukasz Borowicz, who has headed the Orchestra since. A CD recorded together with Dominik Połoński received the Fryderyk award in 2007. The Orchestra inaugurated the 2007/2008 concert season with a concert performance of Verdi’s Falstaff, and in March 2008, during the 12th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival the ensemble performed Cherubini’s Lodoïska, prepared under the artistic direction of Christa Ludwig. Both of these operas were released by Polish Radio on CD and the recording of Lodoïska was nominated for the Midem Classical and Fryderyk awards.

It has become a tradition that the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Łukasz Borowicz has inaugurated every season with a performance of unknown or forgotten operas by Polish composers. And thus, there have been performances of Roman Statkowski’s Maria (2008/2009), Moniuszko’s Flis (to commemorate the composer’s 190th birthday in 2009), Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński’s Monbar (the opera has been brought back from oblivion in 2010, 150 years after its premiere), Feliks Nowowiejski’s Legenda Bałtyku [Legend of the Baltic] (inauguration of the 2011/2012 season) and Zygmunt Noskowski’s Zemsta za mur graniczny, with a libretto by the composer after a comedy by Aleksander Fredro (inauguration of the 2013/2014 season).

So far, Polish Radio released Statkowski’s Maria and Dobrzyński’s Monbar. To commemorate the 100th birthday anniversary and 40th anniversary of the death of Grażyna Bacewicz, a recording of 3 of her violin concertos with Joanna Kurkowicz as soloist and of Overture was released by Chandos Records. Also, the radio opera Przygoda króla Artura [King Arthur’s Adventure] was released on CD by Polish Radio. The Orchestra also presented Szomon Laks’ opera Bezdomna jaskółka [The Homeless Swallow] with an international cast of singers in its original French language version (for the first time in Poland) and Karol Rathaus’ ballet Zakochany lew [A Lion in Love] (2010). Both works have been released on CD.

Established in 2008, the cooperation with the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival has resulted with the Orchestra’s involvement in the Festival, presenting lesser-known operas, which are later released on CD. Cherubini’s Lodoïska was followed by Spohr’s Berggeist (2009), Weber’s Euryanthe (2010), Donizetti’s Maria Padilla (2011), Italo Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re (2012) and Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra (2013). Radio recordings of works by Andrzej Panufnik under the direction of Łukasz Borowicz were released on 3 CDs by the cpo label. These will be followed soon by recordings featuring renowned Polish singers. There are two CDs already available with Piotr Beczała (Orfeo), Mariusz Kwiecień (harmonia mundi) and with Artur Ruciński (Polskie Radio).

Szalone Dni Muzyki
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