Grzegorz Nowak (conductor)

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Grzegorz Nowak (born 15 August 1951, Poznań) is a Polish conductor. He has served as music director of the Polish National Opera, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Radio Orchestra in Kaiserslautern in Germany), and Sinfonia Helvetica and festival Musique and Amitié in Switzerland.


Grzegorz Nowak is the Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. Born in Poznań, Poland, he began his international conducting career by winning the first prize at the Ernest Ansermet Conducting Competition in Geneva. He also won the Grand Prix Patek Philippe, Rolex Prize, Swiss Prize, American Patronage Prize and the Europäische Förderpreis für Musik as the European Musician of the Year. Nowak was honoured with the Distinguished Teacher Award during his tenure as Professor at the BGSU University in Ohio, and the title of "Honorary Professor" was bestowed upon him by the University of Alberta.

After studying conducting, composition and violin at the Music Academy in Poznań, Nowak was awarded a doctorate fellowship at the Eastman School of Music. He honed his skills at Tanglewood on a Serge Koussevitzky Fellowship with such masters as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Erich Leinsdorf and Igor Markevitch, before assisting Kurt Masur with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

In Europe Nowak has worked as a conductor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Lamoureaux in Paris, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, RAI orchestras in Milan, Rome and Turin, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich, National Orchestra of Belgium, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, National Orchestra of Spain and the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon. He has also conducted many times in Scandinavia, performing with the philharmonic and radio orchestras of Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen.

In North America, Nowak has conducted the Montreal Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Carmel Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic orchestras and the Xalapa Symphony in Mexico. He has also earned critical acclaim for his performances in the Far East and elsewhere with the Philharmonic and Yomiuri Orchestras in Tokyo, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Taipei Philharmonic in Taiwan and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.

Nowak has conducted operatic productions in Italy, Monte Carlo, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States and Canada, including works by Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Il Seraglio, Così fan Tutte, The Magic Flute), Rossini (The Barber of Seville, Semiramide), Beethoven (Fidelio), Bizet (Carmen), Borodin (Prince Igor), Moniuszko (Halka, Haunted Manor), Verdi (Otello, Don Carlos and the Polish première of Simon Boccanegra) and Puccini (Madam Butterfly, La bohème, Turandot and Tosca – including a tour with Welsh National Opera). His production of Debussy's Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien was broadcast live from Rome on the Eurovision television network. He received rave reviews at the 2006 Internationale Maifestspiele Wiesbaden for conducting Giordano's Andrea Chénier, a co-production of the Polish National Opera with Plácido Domingo and the National Opera in Washington.

His recordings have been highly acclaimed by the press and public alike, winning many awards. Diapason in Paris praised his KOS CD with Martha Argerich and Sinfonia Varsovia as ‘indispensable… un must’,[1] and the second edition of this recording won the Fryderyk Award. The Polish Symphonic Music of the 19th Century recording with Sinfonia Varsovia won the CD of the Year Award, a nomination for the Fryderyk Award and the Bronze Bell Award in Singapore. The American Record Guide praised Nowak's Gallo label CD of Frank Martin Violin Concerto with Piotr Milewski and the Biel Symphony as ‘by far the best’.[2] Chopin's piano concerti with Janusz Olejniczak and Sinfonia Varsovia won the Fryderyk and CD of the Year awards, and his CD with Stanislaw Drzewiecki and Sinfonia Varsovia was also nominated for the Fryderyk Award. His Haenssler-classic disc with Anja Silja won two Classical Internet Awards, and his recording of Czerny Symphonies No. 2 and 6 (world premiere recording) received critical acclaim around the world. His CBC record with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Amanda Forsyth won the Juno Award, the CD-Accord recording with Joanna Kozlowska and the Poznań Philharmonic was hailed as ‘superb’ and Gramophone Magazine praised his ASV recording with the London Symphony Orchestra as ‘outstanding’.[3]

Nowak has performed alongside soloists, including pianists Vladimir Ashkenazy, Angela Hewitt and Anton Kuerti. He has performed many times with Krystian Zimerman, including tours in Switzerland, Italy and Spain. He has accompanied violinists Nigel Kennedy, Adam Taubitz, Joseph Silverstein and Pinchas Zukerman, among others. Nowak has worked with several cellists, including Ofra Harnoy and Mstislav Rostropovich. He has collaborated with singers, including Ben Heppner, Marilyn Horne, Gwyneth Jones, Kathleen Battle, Ewa Podles and the Swingle Singers.


YearOrchestraWorksSoloists, PrizesLabel
2007Royal Philharmonic OrchestraMendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 'Scottish'
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 'Italian'
RPO SP 011
1985London Symphony OrchestraBartók: Dance Suite
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé
2006London Symphony OrchestraRavel: Daphnis et ChloéUnion Square Music USMCD011
1993Sinfonia VarsoviaRossini: L'Italiana in Algeri
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 'Italian'
Martha ArgerichKOS CD S1-002K
2000Sinfonia VarsoviaChopin: Piano Concerto No. 1
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2
Martha Argerich
Arthur Rubinstein
Fryderyk Award
CD-Accord ACD 080
2004SWR Rundfunkorchester KaiserslauternWeill: The Seven Deadly Sins
Weill: Quodlibet
Anja Silja
Julius Pfeifer, Alexander Yudenkov, Bernhard Hartmann, Thorsten Müller
Classical Internet Award
French Classical Internet Award
2006SWR Rundfunkorchester KaiserslauternCzerny: Symphony No. 2 op. 781 ‘Grande Symphony’
Czerny: Symphony No. 6 in G minor
world premiere recordingCLASSIC CD 93.169
1995Sinfonia VarsoviaKurpinski – Two Huts (Dwie Chatki)
Dobrzyński – Monbar
Moniuszko – The Fairy Tale (Bajka)
Zelenski – In the Tatra Mountains (W Tatrach)
Noskowski – The Steppes (Step)
CD of the Year
Bronze Bell Award (Singapore)
Fryderyk Nomination
CD Accord-PolyGram ACD 019
1995Sinfonia VarsoviaChopin: Piano Concerto No. 1
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2
Janusz Olejniczak
CD of the Year
Fryderyk Award
CD-Accord-PolyGram-Rhône-Poulenc ACD 013
2005Poznań PhilharmonicPuccini:
Si, mi chiamano MimiLa bohème (Mimi)
Donde lieta usci al tuo grida d’amoreLa bohème (Mimi)
Un bel di, vedremoMadama Butterfly (Butterfly)
Tu…Piccolo OddioMadama Butterfly (Butterfly)
Signore ascoltaTurandot (Liu)
Tu che di gel sei cintaTurandot (Liu)
Vissi d’arteTosca (Tosca)
O moi babbino caroGianni Schicchi (Lauretta)
Pace moi DioLa forza del destino (Leonora)
Era piu calmo?… Emilia, te ne prego… Piangea cantando… Ave MariaOtello (Desdemona)
Joanna KozlowskaCD Accord ACD 135-2
2005Sinfonia Helvetica and
Deutsches Kammerorchester
• Cello Concerto in B-minor, Op. 104
• Polonaise A-Dur, B. 94
• Silent Woods, Op. 68, No. 5
• Rondo g-moll, Op. 94
Wen-Sinn YangARTS 47638-2
1998Edmonton Symphony OrchestraMalcolm Forsyth:
•Electra Rising
•Valley of a Thousand Hills
•Tre Vie
Amanda Forsyth, violoncello
Bill Street, saxophone
Juno Award
1990Biel Symphony OrchestraMartin – Violin Concerto
Baer – Violin Concerto
Meier – Trames I-IV
Piotr Milewski, violinGallo Records CD-582
1996Sinfonia VarsoviaWieniawski – Violin Concerto No. 1
Wieniawski – Violin Concerto No. 2
Piotr Plawner
Bartek Niziol
Fryderyk Nomination
CD Accord – PolyGram ACD 024-2 / 456 087-2
2007Orchestre de BretagneTchaikovski – Piano Concerto No. 1
Chopin – Piano Concerto No. 2
Laure Favre-KahnTRANSART LIVE TR 151
2005Poznań PhilharmonicMozart:
Don Giovanni – Champagne Aria
The Marriage of Figaro – Aria of Count ‘Hai già vinta la causa!'

Traviata – Aria of Germont ‘Di Provenza li Mar’
•Rigoletto – Aria of Rigoletto ‘Cortigiani’
Borodin: Prince Igor – Aria of Igor
Eugene Onegin – Aria of Oniegin
•Yolande – Aria of Robert
The Queen of Spades – Aria of Jeletzky
Bizet: Carmen – Aria of Torreador
Wagner: Tannhäuser – Song of Wolfram

Wojtek DrabowiczDUX 0494
1995Warsaw National PhilharmonicJ.S. Bach
•Piano Concerto BWV 1052 in D Minor
•Piano Concerto BWV 1054 in D Major
•Piano Concerto BWV 1056 in F Minor
Piotr FolkertArti PD 3001
2007SWR Rundfunkorchester KaiserslauternWeill – Quodlibethänssler CLASSIC
2001Sinfonia VarsoviaMoniuszko – Mazurka from opera Haunted ManorPlatinum CDDUX 0334A05100 92
1992Gävle SymphonyMalmlöf-Forssling – Shanti, shantiAnita SoldhBluebell ABCD 069
2001Sinfonia VarsoviaMoniuszko – Bajka
Chopin – Piano Concerto No. 2
Noskowski – The Steppes
Janusz OlejniczakCD Accord ACD 019-2 SE
2001London Symphony OrchestraRavel – Daphnis et ChloéASV Quicksilva ASQ 6126
1991London Symphony OrchestraWieniawski – Violin Concerto No. 1
Saint-Saëns – Violin Concerto No. 3
Takashi ShimizuPlatz-Nippon Columbia PLCC-550
1995Sinfonia HelveticaMussorgsky/Gorchakov – Pictures at an Exhibition
Prokofiev – Romeo & Juliet (selections G. Nowak)
Sonoris SCD 5158
2000Sinfonia VarsoviaChopin – Piano Concerto No. 1Stanislaw Drzewiecki
Fryderyk Nomination
Golden CD
CD Accord ACD 019-2 SE
1992Sinfonia HelveticaPoulenc – Sinfonietta
Ravel – Le Tombeau de Couperin,
Prokofiev – Classical Symphony
Sonoris SCD 5152
1993Sinfonia HelveticaStravinsky – Firebird (1919)
Liszt – Les Préludes
Borodin – In the Steppes of Central Asia
Rossini – Wilhelm Tell Overture
Sonoris SCD 5153
2000Edmonton Symphony OrchestraSmetana – Ma Vlast (My Homeland, original 1874-75 version)
Janáček – Moravian Dances
MCE 5001
1999Sinfonia HelveticaSchumann
•Piano Concerto
•Cello Concerto
Nelson Goerner, piano
Wen-Sinn Yang, violoncello
SCD 5162
2003SWR Rundfunkorchester KaiserslauternLeoncavallo – Der Bajazzo: Glockenchor
WeberDer Freischütz:
•Chor der Jäger
•Chor der Brautjungfern
NicolaiDie lustigen Weiber von Windsor:
Smetana – Die verkaufte Braut:
•Tanz der Komödianten
MascagniCavalleria rusticana: Vorspiel und Chor der Landleute
WagnerDer fliegende Holländer:
•Chor der Spinnerinnen
VerdiNabucco: Gefangenchor ‘Va pensiero’
•Chor der Zigarettenarbeiterinnen
Gounod – Margarethe: Chor der Soldaten
DonizettiDon Pasquale: Dienerchor
Verdi – Der Troubadour: Zigeunerchor
Staatschor der Republik Lettland ‘Latvija’Bodensee-Festival BSF 03/1-2
2003SWR Rundfunkorchester KaiserslauternKodály – Tänze aus Galántahänssler CLASSIC
2003SWR Rundfunkorchester KaiserslauternHindemith – TuttifäntchenBBC MUSIC VOL. 12 NO. 4
1998SWR Rundfunkorchester KaiserslauternChopin – Andante Spianato und Grande Polonaise Es-Dur op. 22
Karol Szymanowski – Lied der Roxana aus der Oper ‘König Roger’
Karol Szymanowski – Ballett ‘Harnasie’ – Tanz der Bergbauern
Lutosławski – Kleine Suite für Orchester: Fujarka, Tanz
Ewa KupiecBodensee-Festival BSF 98/1-2
2004Sinfonia VarsoviaWieniawski – Violin Concerto No. 2Bartek NiziolTMHW 1001
1992Sinfonia HelveticaRossini – Overture La scala di Seta
Tchaikovsky – Rococo Variations
Mozart – Die Entführung: ‘Wer ein Liebchen hat gefunden’
Mozart – Le Nozze di Figaro: ‘Se vuol ballare’
Mozart – Die Zauberflöte: ‘In diesen heil'gen Hallen’
Debussy – Danse sacrée et profane
J.S. Bach – Concerto for 2 Violins
Mozart – ‘Exsultate, Jubilate’
Juliana Gondek, soprano
Marie-Pierre Langlamet, harp
Yuzuko Horigome & Barbara Gorzynska, violins
Marek Gasztecki, bass
Leonid Gorokhov, violoncello
Sonoris SCD 101
1993Sinfonia HelveticaRossini – Overture L'Italiana in Algeri
Mozart – Die Entführung us dem Serail ‘Solche hergelauf'ne Laffen’ (Osmin)
MozartDon Giovanni ‘Catalogue Aria’ (Leporello)
Vivaldi – Concerto for 4 violins in B-minor
Bellini – Aria ‘Oh! quante volte’ from ‘I Capuleti e I Montecchi’
Mozart – Symphonia Concertante
Hideko Kobayashi, viola
Naoko Okada, soprano
Natalia Morozova, Jacek Klimkiewicz, Marek Kowalski, Krzysztof Wegrzyn, Robert Zimansky – violins
Sonoris SCD 103
1994Sinfonia HelveticaRossini – Overture Wilhelm Tell
J.S.Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 4
Vivaldi – Concerto for 4 Violins
Mozart – La Clemenza di Tito: ‘Parto, Parto’
Dvořák – Polonaise
Mozart – Die Zauberflütte ‘O Isis und Osiris’
VerdiSimon Boccanegra: ‘Il Lacerato Spirito’
WieniawskiFaust Fantasy
Helene Schneiderman, mezzosoprano
Marek Gasztecki, bass
Wen-Sinn Yang, violoncello
Krzysztof Baranowski, Piotr Milewski, Bartlomiej Niziol, Krzysztof Plawner, Jan Stanienda – violins
Sonoris SCD 105
1995Sinfonia HelveticaBizetCarmen: Habanera
BizetCarmen: Seguidilla
Glazunov – Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 82
TchaikowskyEugene Onegin: Aria of Prinz Gremin
VerdiDon Carlos: Aria of Philip
WagnerTristan und Isolde: Prelude & Lovedeath
Helene Schneiderman, mezzosoprano
Marek Gasztecki, bass
Piotr Milewski, violin
Sonoris SCD 107
1996Sinfonia HelveticaRossiniIl Barbiere di Siviglia Overture
Vivaldi – 4 Seasons: Winter
Mozart – "Ch'io mi scordi di te?"
Fauré – Flute Fantasy
J.S. Bach – Andante from Suite for solo violin
Saint-Saëns – Havanaise
Richard Strauss – Serenade op. 11
Rossini – Cenerentola Overture
Pierre Amoyal, Bartlomiej Niziol, Jan Stanienda – violins
Jane Irwin, mezzosoprano
Stphane Réty, flute
Sonoris SCD 108
1998Sinfonia HelveticaVivaldi – Concerto pour 2 violons en la mineur
Janáček – Sonate pour violon et piano
Saint-Saëns – Morceau de Concert
Sarasate – Navarra
Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No. 2, op. 18
piano: Pascal Rogé, François Killian
violins: Akiko Tanaka, Marek Kowalski, Jan Stanienda, Radosław Szulc
Hervé Joulain, cor
Sonoris SCD 109
1999Sinfonia HelveticaMozart – ‘Impressario’ Overture, K. 486
J.S. Bach – Concerto for oboe and violin, BWV 1060
Vivaldi – Concerto for two violoncellos in G Minor
Mozart – Horn Concerto No. 3 in E flat Major, K. 447
Bottesini – Grand Duo Concertante
Bartek Niziol & Radosław Szulc, violin
Birgit Welpmann, oboe
Lidia Grzanka-Urbaniak & Stefan Rieckhoff, violoncellos
Piotr Stefaniak, contrabass
Hervé Joulain, co
Sonoris SCD 110
1996Sinfonia VarsoviaWieniawski – Violin Concerto No. 1 in F sharp Minor
Wieniawski – Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor
Piotr Plawner & Bartek NiziolHenryk Wieniawski Society
1994Sinfonia Helvetica
Deutsches Kammerorchester
•Cello Concerto in B-minor, Op. 104
• Polonaise A-Dur, B. 94
•Silent Woods, Op. 68, No. 5
•Rondo g-moll, Op. 94
Wen-Sinn YangSonoris SCD 5154
1996POZNAN PHILHARMONICLalo – Spanish Symphony
Wieniawski – Violin Concerto No. 1
Akiko Tanaka
Reiko Otan
TMHW 1996-2
1984Biel Symphony OrchestraHaydn – Symphony No. 92 ‘Oxford’Suisa MH CD 75.2
1986Biel Symphony OrchestraShostakovich – Cello Concerto No. 1Wen-Sinn YangSuisa MH CD 77.2
1987Biel Symphony OrchestraMartin – Ballade for Viola & Orchestra
Haug – Trumpet Concerto
Ole Edvard Antonsen, trumpet
Hong-Mei Xiao, viola
Suisa MH CD 70.2
2001Hammerhead ConsortOrff – Carmina BuranaAleksandra Kurzak
Marek Gasztecki
Calgary Girls Choir
Suisa MH CD 70.2
1984Biel Symphony OrchestraMartin – Athalie Overture
Haydn – Symphonie No. 92 ‘Oxford’
Suisa MH SE-8
1983Bowling Green PhilharmoniaFrancesconi – Viaggiatore InsonneAccess S-10
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Uri Mayer
Music Directors, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
William Eddins


  1. ^ Diapason Magazine, Paris, November 1999
  2. ^
  3. ^ Gramophone magazine, London, 1985, "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 crisper in articulation than the Chicago players."

Baker, D.T. "Edmonton Symphony History". Edmonton Symphony Orchestra website. 

External links[edit]