Biography

About us


The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice fulfils the role of an ambassador of Polish culture on the international artistic scene. The ensemble has performed in Brussels (Europalia), Vienna (the opening of the Polish Year in Austria), Madrid (the gala concert of the Polish year in Spain), Rome (the celebration of the 70th anniversary of H.M. Górecki’s birthday), Kiev (the inauguration of the Polish Year in Ukraine), Paris (the gala concert of the New Poland Polish Year in France), and in London (the inauguration of the Polish year in Great Britain). The Orchestra has collaborated with some of the greatest composers of the second half of the 20th century: Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki, delivering the first performances of their works.

The NOSPR was founded in 1935 in Warsaw by Grzegorz Fitelberg who led it until the outbreak of World War II. In 1945, the orchestra was revived in Katowice by Witold Rowicki. In 1947, the post of the artistic director was taken again by Fitelberg. After his death in 1953, the orchestra was headed in succession by Jan Krenz, Bohdan Wodiczko, Kazimierz Kord, Tadeusz Strugała, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Stanisław Wisłocki, Jacek Kaspszyk, Antoni Wit, Gabriel Chmura and, once again, by Jacek Kaspszyk. In September 2000, Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa became the institution’s General and Programme Director. Stanisław Skrowaczewski is the first Guest Conductor of the NOSPR, Jan Krenz is a Honorary Conductor. On the 31st of August 2012, Alexander Liebreich became the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the NOSPR.

Apart from making archival recordings for the Polish Radio, the Orchestra has recorded more than 200 CD albums for many renowned record companies (including Decca, EMI, Philips, Naxos and Chandos). The NOSPR was honoured with numerous awards for its phonographic achievements, including Diapason d’Or and Grand Prix du Disque de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque, the Cannes Classical Award, and the Midem Classical Award.

Many renowned conductors and soloists have performed with the NOSPR, including Martha Argerich, Boris Belkin, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Buchbinder, James Conlon, Placido Domingo, Pierre Fournier, Nicolai Gedda, Barbara Hendricks, Julius Katchen, Leonidas Kavakos, Wilhelm Kempff, Paweł Klecki, Kirill Kondrashin, Marguerite Long, Witold Lutosławski, Charles Mackerras, Mischa Maisky, Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Shlomo Mintz, Ivan Monighetti, Garrick Ohlsson, Kun Woo Paik, Krzysztof Penderecki, Maurizio Pollini, Hermann Prey, Ruggiero Ricci, Mstislav Rostropovich, Artur Rubinstein, Jerzy Semkow, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Leonard Slatkin, Isaac Stern, Henryk Szeryng, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Pieter Wispelwey, Krystian Zimerman, and Nicolai Znaider.

The Orchestra has performed in nearly all the European countries, in the Americas, as well as in Japan, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Taiwan and in the Persian Gulf countries. In the recent years, the NOSPR has implemented some spectacular projects which have been very well received by audiences and reviewers alike (The Marathon of Górecki’s Works, two editions of Musical Sea Voyage,The Górecki•Penderecki Festival – in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the artist's birth). Since 2005, the NOSPR has been the organiser of the biennial event called The Festival of World Premieres Polish Modern Music.

On the 1st of October 2014, the NOSPR inaugurated the artistic season in its new seat. The author of the architectonic project is Konior Studio from Katowice and the concert hall acoustics have been designed by Nagata Acoustics.

The Orchestra celebrated its 80th anniversary in the 2015/2016 season.

 

Prizes


Koryfeusz Muzyki Polskiej 2015

Otwarcie nowej siedziby Narodowej Orkiestry Symfonicznej Polskiego Radia w Katowicach oraz Festiwal Otwarcia nagrodzone nagrodą Koryfeusz Muzyki Polskiej 2015 w kategorii Wydarzenie Roku


NOVEMBER 2015

Diamond Microphone

award of the Management Board of the Polish Radio "for enormous artistic achievements, worldwide recognition and 75 years of systematic presence in the air of the Polish Radio".


OCTOBER 2010

Midem Classical Awards

in the Contemporary Music category for the record with Krzysztof Penderecki's compositions performed by Patrycja Piekutowska, Beata Bilińska and the PNRSO conducted by the composer as issued by the DUX company.

JANUARY 2008

Fryderyki 2006

in the Album of the Year – Archive Recordings category for the record from the series Polish Conductors: Henryk Czyż, as well as in the Album of the Year – Contemporary Music category for the record from the National Works series with recording of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki's 3rd Symphony with participation of the soloist Zofia Kilanowicz as conducted by the composer. Both records were issued by the Polish Radio.

JANUARY 2007

Golden Mark of Distinction for services for the Silesian Province

granted by the Regional Council of the Silesian Province.

APRIL 2006

Orpheus Award

for the best performance of Polish Music at the Warsaw Autumn Contemporary Music International Festival, the award granted by the critics' section of the Polish Musicians Association.

SEPTEMBER 2005

Award of the Mayor of the City of Katowice in the Field of Culture in the year 2004

granted for the world highest artistic level and the most significant achievements in music and for promoting Katowice and Poland in concert halls at home and abroad.

NOVEMBER 2004

Merit Award of the Minister of Culture

for the PNRSO's outstanding achievements in dissemination of culture.

JUNE 2004

Fryderyki 2003

in the Orchestral Music category for the record from the series Polish Conductors: Grzegorz Fitelberg (historical recordings 1948-53) issued by the Polish Radio; the record has won another Fryderyk Award in the Most Outstanding Recording of Polish Music category.

JANUARY 2004

Diapason d'Or 2002

for the record with Karol Szymanowski's Stabat Mater as recorded for EMI by the PNRSO under the leadership of Antoni Wit, with Jadwiga Gadulanka, Jadwiga Rappe and Andrzej Hiolski as soloists. The record was issued by DUX.

MARCH 2002

Prix International du Disque - Cannes Classical Awards

in the Orchestral Music of the 20th Century category for the record with Turangalîla-Symphonie by Olivier Messiaen as recorded for NAXOS by the PNRSO with Antoni Wit as the conductor.

FEBRUARY 2002

Fryderyk 2001

in the Orchestral Music category for the record from the series Polish Conductors: Jan Krenz as issued by the Polish Radio.

JANUARY 2002

The Wojciech Korfanty Merit Award

for the PNRSO's great and incontestable services for the national, European, and world culture as awarded by the Upper Silesian Union in Katowice.

APRIL 1999

Platinum Laurels of Skills and Competence

of the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Katowice for Antoni Wit and the PNRSO in recognition of their enormous artistic achievements and promotion of the Silesian and national culture in Poland, Europe and the world.

FEBRUARY 1999

Orpheus Award

for Antoni Wit and the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra for the best performance of Polish Music at the Warsaw Autumn Contemporary Music International Festival, the award granted by the critics' section of the Polish Musicians Association.

SEPTEMBER 1996

Grand Prix du Disque 1992

for the album with Sergei Prokofiev's piano concerts as recorded for NAXOS by the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antoni Wit with participation of Kun Woo Paik.

MARCH 1993

Diapason d`Or 1992

for the album with Sergei Prokofiev's piano concerts as recorded for NAXOS by the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antoni Wit with participation of Kun Woo Paik.

FEBRUARY 1993

Award for Artistic Achievements in the year 1990

granted to the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra by the Radio and TV Committee.

JANUARY 1991

Record of the Year 1985 of the Gramophone magazine

for the record with Karol Szymanowski's Stabat Mater as recorded for EMI by the Polish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antoni Wit.

DECEMBER 1985

Orpheus Award

for Antoni Wit and the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra for the best performance of Polish Music at the Warsaw Autumn Contemporary Music International Festival, the award granted by the critics' section of the Polish Musicians Association.

OCTOBER 1984

Diploma of Merit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

for outstanding services in propagating Polish culture abroad.

MAY 1981

Golden Badge of Merit for Services for the Katowice Province

granted to the Polish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra by the Provincial People's Council.

MAY 1980

Award of the German Academy of Phonography for the year 1978

for the album with Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov as recorded for EMI by the Polish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jerzy Semkow. The album was also honoured with the German Schallplattenpreis, the Grand Prix of the Italian musical reviewers and Grand Prix du Disque.

DECEMBER 1978

Golden Muse 1973

for the record with Stravinsky's suite from The Firebird ballet and Symphony of Psalms as recorded for Polskie Nagrania by the Polish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bohdan Wodiczko.

OCTOBER 1973

Golden Muse 1972

for the record with Mozart's Symphony in C major KV 452 and Symphony B major KV 319 as recorded for Polskie Nagrania by the Polish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jerzy Semkow.

SEPTEMBER 1972

1st Prize at the S. Kusewicki Musical Fund International Competition

for the record with Witold Lutosławski's Three Poems by Henri Michaux as recorded by the Polish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer and Jan Krenz.

OCTOBER 1964

First Class Order of the Banner of Labour

granted by the State Council for outstanding artistic achievements in the field of propagation of musical culture in Poland and popularization of Polish music abroad.

JULY 1964

Awards for Performance at the Polish Music Festival

the First Prize for the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Second Prize for Jan Krenz.

DECEMBER 1951

2nd Degree State Artistic Award for ensembles for the year 1950

for the high performance level and propagation of Polish music at home and abroad.

JULY 1950

Golden Medals

for the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Grzegorz Fitelberg at the competition of European orchestras and conductors as organised on the occasion of the World Exhibition in Paris.

OCTOBER 1937