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Honorary Director

Kazimierz Kord

Honorary Director of Warsaw Philharmonic since 2002. Closely involved in Polish musical life, he directed Polish musical institutions throughout his career. In 1962 he became the youngest opera director in the world, taking over the duties of managing and artistic director of Cracow’s Music Theatre (now – Cracow Opera). During his eight-year tenure he produced c. 30 opera and ballet premieres, and was the director of some spectacles. Thanks to his efforts, the Opera achieved top artistic standards. For four years, he was the head of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice (then – the Great Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio and Television).

From 1977 till Warsaw Philharmonic’s centenary year 2001, Kazimierz Kord was the Philharmonic’s managing and artistic director. It was in this period that the Philharmonic established its international position. With Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Choir, Antoni Wit made more than 30 highly successful large-scale concert tours, performing in the world’s major music centres.

In 2005-06, Kazimierz Kord held the post of music director in the Grand Theatre – National Opera in Warsaw.

Simultaneously with his activity in Poland, Kazimierz Kord conducted numerous orchestras in Europe, Japan and America. He scored great successes in the field of the opera, collaborating for many years with the Metropolitan Opera in New York (The Queen of Spades, Aida, Così fan tutte, Boris Godunov for the opening of the 1977-78 season, Macbeth) as well as San Francisco Opera (Falstaff and Othello). In Europe he conducted spectacles in the operas of Amsterdam, Munich, Düsseldorf, London (Covent Garden), and Copenhagen (The Royal Opera). In the United States, he also led symphony orchestras in e.g. Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Dallas, and Cincinnati (he was the principal guest conductor of that last orchestra). In Europe he gave concerts in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Amsterdam, Leningrad, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Moscow, Stuttgart, and other cities. For six seasons in the 1980s, he was the head of Südwestfunk Orchestra in Baden-Baden. In Japan, he guest conducted the orchestras in Osaka, Tokyo and elsewhere.

His artistic interests encompass many different periods and styles, with a preference for great forms characterised by high dramatic tension, as well as contemporary works, presented e.g. during such festiwals as the ‘Warsaw Autumn’, the ‘Lutosławski Forum’ and the ‘Donaueschingen Musiktage’.

Kazimierz Kord has recorded extensively for the radio and for well known record companies such as Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, and Philips. His more recent recordings with Warsaw Philharmonic included the complete Beethoven symphonies (PolMusic, CD Accord), compositions by Górecki (Philips), Szymanowski, Penderecki, Panufnik and Szymański (CD Accord). He has received numerous awards and distinctions at home and abroad.

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