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Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conductor

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Stanislaw Skrowaczewski commands a unique position in the international musical scene being both a major conducting figure and a highly regarded composer.

Leyla Gunes Manager

Susannah York Skinner

Born in Lwow, Poland, Skrowaczewski began piano and violin studies at the age of four, composed his first symphonic work at seven, gave his first public piano recital at 11 and two years later played and conducted Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto. A hand injury during the war terminated his keyboard career, after which he concentrated on composing and conducting. In 1946 he became conductor of the Wroclaw (Breslau) Philharmonic, and he later served as Music Director of the Katowice Philharmonic (1949-54), Krakow Philharmonic (1954-56) and Warsaw National Orchestra (1956-59).

Skrowaczewski spent the immediate post-war years in Paris, studying with Nadia Boulanger and co-founding the avant-garde group "Zodiaque". After winning the 1956 International Competition for Conductors in Rome he was invited by George Szell to make his American debut conducting the Cleveland Orchestra in 1958. This led to engagements with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Symphonies and, in 1960, to his appointment as Music Director of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (now the Minnesota Orchestra). Skrowaczewski has regularly conducted the major orchestras of the world as well as the Vienna State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. He has made international tours with the Concertgebouw, French National, Warsaw and Hamburg orchestras, and twice toured the Philadelphia Orchestra to South America and the Cleveland Orchestra to Australia.

Newsletter/Spring 2001:
Triumphant return to Tonhalle and Hailed back at the Hallé

Newsletter/Spring 1999:
Autograph hunters put Stanislaw Skrowaczewski to the test in Tokyo

Newsletter/Autumn 1998:
Skrowaczewski closes Boston Symphony Season "in a blaze of glory"

Newsletter/Autumn 1998:
Intermusica in Japan

Newsletter/Spring 1998:
Benchmark Bruckner

From 1984-91, following 19 years as Music Director of the Minneapolis Symphony, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra. With the Hallé he gave concerts throughout England, led tours to the United States, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Spain and Poland and recorded for RCA, Chandos and Pickwick/Carlton.

Guest engagements now take Skrowaczewski regularly to the continents of North and South America, Australasia, Scandinavia and in Europe to Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, London, Madrid, Paris and Vienna. In Japan he works regularly with both the NHK Symphony and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

Beginning with his "Overture 1947", which won the Szymanowski Competition in Poland, many of Skrowaczewski's works have received major international awards. Among his most recent compositions are the Concerto for Orchestra commissioned and premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra and shortlisted for a Pulitzer Prize in 1999, and his Violin Concerto, commissioned and premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Earlier works performed by major European and American orchestras are the Concerto for Clarinet, Concerto for English Horn and "Ricercari Notturni", recipient of a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award in 1976.

Skrowaczewski's interpretations of the Bruckner symphonies have earned him the Gold Medal of the Mahler-Bruckner Society, whilst his programming of contemporary music at the Minnesota Orchestra has been acknowledged by five ASCAP awards. An extensive discography includes recordings for RCA, Philips, CBS, Denon (Japan), EMI/Angel, Mercury, Vox, Erato, Muza and Arte Nova. Many celebrated earlier recordings have been re-released on CD and his digital recordings of Shostakovich, Brahms and particularly Bruckner have received highest praise. Skrowaczewski’s recordings of the 11 Bruckner symphonies with the Saarlaendischer Rundfunk Orchestra were recently released on the Arte Nova label to enormous critical acclaim and received the Cannes 2002 Award for Best Orchestral Recording of 18th/19th Century Orchestral Work.

Skrowaczewski is currently the Conductor Laureate of the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Principal Guest Artist of the Saarlændischer Rundfunk Orchestra.

September 200

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selected repertoire
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Repertoire includes most of the major works of

BRUCKNER (all Symphonies),

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BERG Wozzeck, Lulu
BRITTEN Peter Grimes
STRAVINSKY The Rake's Progress
WAGNER Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Tristan, Parsifal

click here to view a list of Stanislaw Skrowazcewski's own compositions

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Skrowaczewski's latest releases form part of his complete Bruckner cycle recorded with Arte Nova:

Bruckner: Symphony No. 0 "Nullte"
74321 75510 2
Bruckner: Symphony No. 2
74321 77065 2
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 "Romantic"
74321 72101 2

view discography here (Microsoft Word)

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Hallé Orchestra (Shostakovich Symphony No.5)
Luminous in texture with well-drawn lines and precisely articulated rhythms, it was a thoroughly idiomatic interpretation distinguished above all by its highly effective observance of the tempo markings.
The Times

Gürzenich-Orchester, Köln (Bruckner Symphony No.4)
Skrowaczewski is one of the few Maestri who are still able to create the big romantic orchestral sound without neglecting the structures, without losing the magic of light and colour.
Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

Minnesota Orchestra (Beethoven Symphony No.3, Eroica)
The work is a rousing celebration of the heroic spirit, and Skrowaczewski exploits all its inherent tension and drama. From the overwhelming grief of the funeral march in the second movement to the thundering finale, his conducting allows the work to attain its full epic stature.
Minneapolis Tribune

Hallé Orchestra (Mozart Symphony No.41)
From a finely poised and carefully balanced first movement, through a gorgeously lilting minuet to a finale energetically worked at, in all its contrapuntal glory, he was the master stylist.
Manchester Evening News

Boston Symphony Orchestra (Shostakovich Symphony No.1)
Skrowaczewski led a performance remarkable for formal clarity, polish of detail and focused energies.
...the performances were serious, lucid, exacting and exciting.
The Boston Globe

Minnesota Orchestra (Bruckner Symphony No.9 / Reference Recordings)
This is a clear-eyed view of the work, unencumbered by gratuitous layers of monumentalism or anything else that might hinder its steady flow, its irresistible inner momentum. This version…clearly belongs among the elite handful at the top of the any list.
WETA-FM, Washington DC

Vienna Radio Symphony (Bruckner "Nullte" Symphony)
Skrowaczewski has Bruckner in his blood and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra in the palm of his hand.
Wiener Zeitung

BBC Symphony Orchestra (Szymanowski Violin Concerto / Penderecki Sinfonietta for Strings)
Skrowaczewski pointed up the blend of vitality and hedonistic languor in the orchestral part, just as he had found both the grit and the passion in Penderecki’s Sinfonietta for Strings.
Daily Telegraph

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Major awards and honours:

1963 Hamline University, Saint Paul – Honorary Doctorate
1973 Macalester College, Saint Paul – Honorary Doctorate
1979 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis – Honorary Doctorate
1973 Columbia University, New York – Conductor’s Award 1973

Other awards include:

1962 KUXL Radio – Award for Excellence
1970 Minnesota Maestro Award
1975 College of Saint Benedict – President’s Medal
1977 City of Minneapolis, Distinguished Service Award
1978 Minnesota Heritage Award
1979 Minnesota Medal of Appreciation
1982 City of Philadelphia Medal of Appreciation
1982 City of Detroit Medal of Appreciation
1982 Karol Szymanowski Medal (Poland)
1999 Poland’s Commander of "Polanda Restituta" with "White Star"

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