Andrzej Markowski

FOUNDER

He was the creator and the artistic director of the festival between 1966 and 1977.  He studied composition in Trinity College of Music in London and composition and conducting at the State Higher School of Music. He was the conductor at the Poznan Philharmonic and the Silesian Philharmonic.  At the age of 35 he was offered the position of artistic director of the Cracow Philharmonic, where he introduced oratorio work never before performed in Poland, such as Monteverdi’s Il Vespro or Haendel’s Messiah.

In 1965 he accepted the directorship of the Wroclaw Philharmonic and helped move the orchestra it into its own new quarters. He initiated the Festival of Polish Contemporary Music and the Festival of Organ and Harpsichord Music in Wroclaw. The Canticum Canticorum choir was also created upon his help and encouragement.  In 1971–1977 Andrzej Markowski was the conductor and deputy artistic director of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. In 1978 he took the position of a conductor at the Philharmonic in Groningen, Holland. Since 1982 he was the artistic director of the Łódź Philharmonic. Maestro Markowski’s interests focused not only cantata and oratorio music, but comprised a whole range of work by 19th century composers. He promoted contemporary music at many stages in Poland and abroad. He performed 25 times at the Warszawska Jesień (Warsaw Autumn) festival and was also the member of its repertoire commission (1971–1981). He conducted many world and Polish premieres of works by Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Mikolaj Górecki, Kazimierz Serocki, Paweł Szymański, György Ligeti, Pierre Boulez, Jans Werner Hanze, Charles Ives, Iannis Xenakis, Luigi Nono and Bruno Maderna.  He performed with world-famous musicians: Artur Rubinstein, David Oistrakh, Isaac Stern, Maurizio Pollini, Henryk Szeryng, Krystian Zimerman, Stefan Askenazy, Julian Katchen, or Vlado Perlemuter.  He conducted in 28 countries, leading such orchestras as Berliner Filharmoniker, La Scala in Milano, Teatro Communale in Buenos Aires, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, ORTF in Paris, and also orchestras in Rome, Madrid, Stockholm, Brussels, Oslo, Baden-Baden, Hamburg, Koln, and Munich. In the 1960s he toured the United States with the Cracow Chamber Orchestra. In the 1970 he toured England with the WOSPR orchestra and visited Japan twice on a tournée with the Tokio Orchestra.

He conducted multiple times at the Biennale di Venezia and in Perugia during the Sacra Musicale Umbria. In 1979 he toured Middle and Far East with the National Philharmonic orchestra. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Award of the Polish Ministry of Culture and Art, the award of the Polish Composers Union, and the critics’ award – the Orpheus statue (twice, in 1968 and 1971). In 1974 Andrzej Markowski has received the Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros for his recording of Penderecki’s Jutrznia (Utrenya). This year marks the 25th anniversary of the artist’s death.