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Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra


The first performance of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra took place on 5 November 1901 in the then newly opened Philharmonic Hall under the artistic director and principal conductor, Emil Młynarski, with the world-renowned pianist, composer and future statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski as soloist in a programme that included Paderewski’s Piano Concerto in A minor and works of other Polish composers, Chopin, Moniuszko, Noskowski, Stojowski and Żeleński. The orchestra achieved considerable success until the outbreak of war in 1939, with the destruction of the Philharmonic Hall and the loss of 39 of its 71 players. Resuming activity after the war, the orchestra was conducted by Straszyński and Panufnik, and in January 1950 Witold Rowicki was appointed director and principal conductor, organising a new ensemble under difficult conditions. In 1955 the rebuilt Philharmonic Hall was re-opened, with a large hall of over a thousand seats and a hall for chamber music, recognised as the National Philharmonic of Poland. Subsequent conductors included Bohdan Wodiczko, Arnold Rezler and Stanisław Skrowaczewski, and in 1958 Witold Rowicki was again appointed artistic director and principal conductor, a post he held until 1977, when he was succeeded by Kazimierz Kord, serving until the end of the centenary celebrations in 2001. From 2002 to 2013 Antoni Wit was the managing and artistic director of the Warsaw Philharmonic – The National Orchestra and Choir of Poland. In 2013 Jacek Kaspszyk became the orchestra’s artistic

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