Together with a number of renowned guest artists and its newly appointed Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic is at the heart of Polish musical scene.
The orchestra was founded in 1945 and until 1949 was both a symphony and an opera orchestra, next to become the State Opera in Wrocław (and therefore in the years to come symphonic concerts were held irregularly). Finally, in 1954 it became an independent symphony orchestra. In 1994 it adopted the name of Witold Lutosławski in memory of the great composer, and on the opening Wrocław’s new concert hall, the National Forum of Music in 2015, it became the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic.
As a principal resident ensemble of the National Forum of Music, the orchestra participates in a huge range of projects each season, including subscription concerts, educational programmes, open air performances, and recording sessions. The orchestra’s involvement in educational activities does not only focus on concerts for school children and youth, but also extends to collaborations with the Wrocław Academy of Music, as well as participating in the NFM own programmes: Orchestral Academy and Choral Academy.
Thanks to its collaborations with festivals presented by the National Forum of Music, such as Jazztopad and Musica Electronica Nova, the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic enjoys regular collaborations with some leading avant-garde and jazz artists. In the last seasons these included John Zorn, Wynton Marsalis with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and Terje Rypdal. A CD featuring the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic’s concert with Terje Rypdal was released on the prestigious ECM label.
The orchestra enjoyed a long collaboration with Jacek Kaspszyk, who, during his seven-year tenure as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director (2006–2013), contributed greatly to the ensemble’s development. Subsequently, between 2013–2016, the orchestra worked with Benjamin Shwartz, with whom the ensemble has begun a recording series dedicated to the works by Polish contemporary composers. The first disc with the symphonic works by Paweł Mykietyn was released in the spring of 2017. Together with Benjamin Shwartz, the orchestra also performed a season accompanying the celebrations of European Capital of Culture, which Wrocław was during the year 2016.
Well known for its commitment to presenting the 20th- and 21st-century symphonic repertoire, the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic regularly performs works commissioned by and for the National Forum of Music. Within the subscription series, in 2017 the orchestra has performed new works by Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil, Elżbieta Sikora and Jan Duszyński.
The NFM Wrocław Philharmonic is currently recording the complete works of its patron – Witold Lutosławski. Opera omnia, for the CD Accord label. A recording of Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk won a Fryderyk award in 2011; this was followed in 2013 with Symphony No. 1 and the Concerto for Orchestra, conducted by Stanisław Skrowaczewski.
The orchestra regularly performs in prominent venues in Poland as well as touring Europe and the USA.