Stanisław Skrowaczewski commands a rare position in the international musical scene, being both a renowned conducting figure and a highly-regarded composer. During his long and distinguished career, he has conducted all the top orchestras, and—in his 90th year—he retains a busy schedule with guest engagements taking him across North America, Europe and Japan. Skrowaczewski is currently Conductor Laureate of the Minnesota Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, and Honorary Conductor Laureate of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.
Born in 1923 in Lwów, 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 Third 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 Wrocław (Breslau) Philharmonic, and he later served as Music Director of the Katowice Philharmonic (1949-54), Kraków Philharmonic (1954-6) and permanent conductor of the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra (1956-9).
Skrowaczewski spent the immediate post-war years in Paris, studying with Nadia Boulanger and co-founding the avant-garde organization, Groupe Zodiaque. In 1948 he conducted the Paris premiere of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony with L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. 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 Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony orchestras and, in 1960, to his appointment as Music Director of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (now the Minnesota Orchestra), a position that he held for 19 years. During the 1960s he made his debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmoniker orchestras, as well as with the Vienna State Opera and Metropolitan Opera (New York). In particular, he became a regular guest-conductor of the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras and the Berliner Philharmoniker.… Full Bio
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski Reviews:
“The eminent Polish conductor and composer…is one of the great hidden secrets of the music world…Like Bartok and Shostakovich, Skrowaczewski approaches music as a sensual pleasure for the ear.” —Benjamin Ivry, The Audiophile Voice
“…powerful, sweeping and noble performance…” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune