Jerzy Semkow

Doradca artystyczny Jerzy Semkow

photo by: Zbigniew Sawicz

Outstanding individuality of international conducting, today he belongs to the leading world conductors. The scope of his interests covers great symphonies, mainly classicist and romantic as well as music of opera theatre.
Jerzy Semkow was art director of Warsaw Opera and the 1st conductor of Royal Opera in Copenhagen. He held the position of director and 1st conductor of Symphonic Orchestra in St. Louis (USA), and at the end of the 70's he undertook the position of the director of Italian Radio and Television (RAI) in Rome. Then he conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra in Rochester (USA).
In 1983 he conducted Haydn's The Creation during a special concert in Vatican for the Pope John Paul II. The RAI groups performed then and the concert was transmitted within Eurovision. Five years later the artist conducted the performance of Mozart's Coronation Mass on commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Pope's Pontificate.
Jerzy Semkow performed in the most famous music centres of the world. He performed among others with London Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Symphoniker, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestra di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, with orchestras in Madrid, Monte Carlo, Oslo, Hague, Naples, Torino, St. Petersburg and others. In the United States he cooperated with New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, with orchestras in Washington, Detroit, Houston, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and San Francisco. He also conducted in Montreal, Toronto, Caracas, Săo Paulo, Sydney and Melbourne. His conducting art is known to opera theatres in Milan (La Scala), London (Covent Garden), Geneva, Rome, Firenze and other cities of the world.
The artist also dedicates himself to work with the youth. For many years he conducted concerts during music festival in Aspen (Colorado), where the composition of some orchestras was constituted by students and professors of the greatest American music conservatories. He made a number of speeches about music at the University of Colorado state and he conducted master classes at the University of Yale and in New York conservatory - Manhattan School of Music.
He recorded for many recording companies, among others Columbia, EMI-His Master's Voice, Fona, Polskie Nagrania. The recording of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov with the Great Polish Radio and Television Orchestra (presently National Polish Radio Orchestra[NOSPR]), Polish Radio Choir and international soloists for London EMI company brought for the conductor and performers five international prizes. For the same company, also with NOSPR in the series of the most outstanding Karol Szymanowski's pieces Jerzy Semkow recorded Symphonies no. 3 and 4. Popularity is also enjoyed by the recording of Borodin's Prince Igor with the team of Sophia Orchestra and Boris Christov as well as  Janáček's Jenufa with the team of La Scala Theatre.
Polskie Nagrania recorded great interpretations of conducted by the artist symphonies of Schumann, Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Skriabin. The recording of Mozart's symphonies was in Poland awarded with Golden Record, and Beethoven's works for choir and orchestra recorded with St. Louis Symphony Orchestra recorded by VOX company, they received a special mention of honour of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of the United States.
In the recent period of Jerzy Semkow's art activity dominated great forms of sacral music, he conducted among others Mozart's Requiem during the concert ceremony on the occasion of 150th Frederic Chopin's death anniversary with participation of Choir and National Orchestra of France in the Church of La Madelaine in Paris (Eurovision live broadcast), Beethoven's Mass in C Major (Paris) as well as Mozart's Great Mass in C minor within Sacral Music Festival in Paris (Notre Dame Cathedral).
Jerzy Semkow is the Commander of French Arts et Lettres Order.
In February 2005 Frederic Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw awarded the artist with the title of doctor honoris causa.