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Musical World

Grzegorz Nowak

  • Composer
  • Conductor
  • Violinist


After studying conducting, composition and violin at the Music Academy in Poznan, he’s won the first ever doctorate fellowship at the renowned Eastman School of Music and honed his skills at Tanglewood with such masters as Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa before Kurt Masur invited him in 1992 as his Assistant with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since then, he conducted famous orchestras in all corners of the world, working with such prestigious ensembles as the London Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Orchestre National de France, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, L'Orchestre National de France and L’Orchestre Lamoureaux in Paris, Santa Caecilia Orchestra in Rome, RAI Orchestras in Milan and Rome, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, Belgium National Orchestra in Brussels, Luxemburg Philharmonic, National Orchestra of Spain in Madrid, Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Philharmonic and Radio Orchestras in Oslo, Philharmonic and Radio Orchestras in Stockholm, Tivoli and Radio Orchestras in Copenhagen, Radio and Philharmonic Orchestras in Helsinki, National Philharmonic in Warsaw, Baltimore Philharmonic, Cincinnati Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony, National Symphony in Ottawa, Philharmonic and Yomiuri Orchestras in Tokyo, Hong-Kong Philharmonic, Taiwan Philharmonic, Jerusalem Philharmonic.

He has worked with the most famous soloists of our time: i.e. Mstislav Rostropovich, Martha Argerich, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Henryk Szeryng, Pinchas Zukerman, Midori, Nigel Kennedy, Garrick Ohlsson, André Watts, Gil Shaham, Yefim Bronfman, Marilyn Horne, Kathleen Battle, Gwyneth Jones, Ewa Podles, Wieslaw Ochman, Ben Heppner, and many times with Mark Zeltser and Krystian Zimerman.

He was Music Director of the Slupsk Symphony and Opera Theatre in his native Poland, of the Bowling Green Philharmonia and Opera Theatre and the Carmel Symphony in the United States, of the Biel Symphony and Opera Theatre in Switzerland, of the National Opera – Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, the Edmonton Symphony in Canada and the SWR (Süd-West-Rundfunk) Radio Orchestra in Germany. Currently Grzegorz Nowak is Music Director of the Poznan Philharmonic, Canadian Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Helvetica and the Swiss Festival “Musique & Amitié”.

He conducted operatic productions in Italy, Monte Carlo, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, England, Sweden, USA and Canada, including works of Mozart (Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte), Rossini (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Semiramide), Beethoven (Fidelio), Bizet (Carmen), Borodin (Prinz Igor), Moniuszko (Halka, Haunted Manor), Giordano (Andrea Chénier), Verdi (Otello, Don Carlo and the Polish pra-premiere of Simon Boccanegra), Puccini (Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, Turandot, Tosca – incl. tournee with Welsh National Opera). His production of Debussy Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien was broadcast live from Rome by EUROVISION. In 2005, he conducted Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, a co-production of the Warsaw National Opera with Placido Domingo and his National Opera in Washington.

His recordings have won numerous awards and are highly acclaimed by critics and public alike. Paris Diapason praised his CD with Martha Argerich and Sinfonia Varsovia on KOS label as „indispensable, un must“, and the second edition of this recording has won Polish Fryderyk award. The recording with
Sinfonia Varsovia of „Polish Symphonic Music of the 19th Century“ has won the CD of the Year award, nomination to Fryderyk award and the Bronze Bell award in Singapore. The American Records Guide praised his Gallo CD of Frank Martin with the Biel Symphony as “by far the best“. Chopin’s Piano concerti with Janusz Olejniczak and Sinfonia Varsovia have won Fryderyk and CD of the Year awards and the CD with Stanislaw Drzewiecki and Sinfonia Varsovia was nominated to Fryderyk award. CBC record with music of Malcolm Forsyth recorded with the Edmonton Symphony has won the Juno award. His CD with Joanna Kozlowska and the Poznan Philharmonic for CD-Accord was praised for „superb contribution from the Symphony Orchestra of the Poznan Philharmonic under the baton of Grzegorz Nowak. The orchestra and conductor are in the outstanding form and are so sensitive to the requirements of Verdi and Puccini.“ His hänssler CLASSIC CD with Anja Silja and the music of Kurt Weill was acclaimed as „ the finest recording of The Seven Deadly Sins currently available… simply marvelous…“ “…excellent CD“ and „one of great vocal CDs of the year.“ The London Gramophone praised his ASV recording of Bartok with the London Symphony as "outstanding… in every way this matches and even outshines the superb account which Sir Georg Solti recorded with the Chicago Orchestra on Decca… the vitality of the piece is superbly caught with the LSO even crispier in articulation than the Chicago players."