The first Polish Orchestra, post-World War II, was established in Wrocław by emigrant musicians from various parts of Poland after the downfall of the Festung Breslau, ended by the siege or Battle of Breslau, in 1945. These musicians established an orchestral ensemble under the direction of Stefan Syryłło and they began rehearsing in the Spring of 1945. Their first concert took place on June 29, 1945, opening solemnly with Chopin’s Polonaise in A major. The Orchestra inaugurated their first regular concert season on August 7th of the same year. Syryłło designated the orchestra on concert bills and in formal correspondence as ‘the Philharmonic’ although, the ensemble also served as the Opera orchestra and had never agreed on an official name. Nonetheless, the orchestra was referred to in later histories of Wrocław's cultural life as ‘the first Philharmonic’. Following its formulation, many accomplished Polish artists were invited to perform as guests with the Wrocław Philharmonic, among them, Ewa Bandrowska-Turska, Zbigniew Drzewiecki, Henryk Sztompka, Irena Dubiska and Eugenia Umińska. Stanisław Skrowaczewski was appointed associate conductor of the ensemble in 1946. The following season Kazimierz Wiłkomirski took over as its director. With Wiłkomirski at the helm, the Philharmonic continued to invite prominent Polish soloists to perform with the ensemble and began collaborations with international artists like Rafael Kubelík and Václav Smetáček, cellist Daniel Shafran, pianist Pavel Serebryakov, and bassist Paul Robeson. In 1949 the Wrocław Opera became a state institution and the orchestra was obliged to perform only opera repertoire, thus from 1949-1953, the 'Philharmonic' orchestra was absent from Wrocław’s cultural life.