Jan Krenz

The Laureate Conductor Jan Krenz

photo by: Jan Zegalski

The conductor and composer Jan Krenz, born in 1926, honorary conductor of the NOSPR, belongs to the generation of the musicians who started their artistic careers after World War II and laid foundations for the music life in our country. He made his début with the Łódź Philharmonic on 6 January 1946. In the years 1947-49, Mr Krenz held the post of the conductor of the Poznań Philharmonic and in the years 1949-51, he was a conductor of the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra's as an assistant to Grzegorz Fitelberg who saw him as his successor.

The years 1953-67 were marked with his intensive activity as the Orchestra's leader: recordings, concerts, numerous first performances of works of Polish composers, regular participation in Warsaw Autumn festivals and concert tours abroad which made the Orchestra well-known and esteemed everywhere in the world. In 1963, the Orchestra made its triumphal tour – the longest one in the history of Polish orchestras (55 concerts) – throughout the then Soviet Union, Mongolia, China, Japan and all the way to Australia and New Zealand. In the sixties, the artist held the position of the 1st conductor of the Denmark's Radio Orchestra in Copenhagen as a result of his successes achieved in Scandinavia. The years 1968-1973 should be remembered for his cooperation with the Grand Theatre in Warsaw and the first performances that went down in the history of the Polish opera: Othello, Electra, Boris Godunov and many others. At that time, the artist visited Japan where he established cooperation with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo.
Many times, he lead – as a guest conductor – such renowned orchestras as Berliner Philharmoniker, Staatskapelle Dresden, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, some leading London orchestras and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 1979, he signed a three-years' contact as Generalmusikdirektor in Bonn. He enlarged Beethovenhalle to 122 musicians and  staged the three-act version of Berg's Lulu, as well as Moniuszko's The Haunted Manor with leading Polish performers. As a composer, he made his début with a string quartet at a private conspiracy concert during the German occupation. He composed chamber, vocal and symphonic works. In the eighties, – after a 15-years' break – he resumed composing (Missa Breve, Musica Da Camera, Epitaphion, Symphony no. 2, Sinfonietta Per Fiati, Symphony no. 3). He is also an author of theatrical and film music (including that for Andrzej Wajda's Canal and Andrzej Munk's Eroica). Mr Krenz was honoured with the State Award (twice), as well as with some high distinctions and the Prize of Critics for recordings.