110th Anniversary of the Birth of Witold Lutosławski Filharmonia Narodowa

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110th Anniversary of the Birth of Witold Lutosławski
Julia Fischer, photo: Uwe Arens

Mieczysław Karłowicz’s violin training proved helpful in his compositional work, as evidenced by his Violin Concerto in A major. Its first performance, in Berlin, in 1903, given by Stanisław Barcewicz with the Philharmonic Orchestra under the composer’s baton, was well received. This youthful work, which in many respects presages the style of Karłowicz’s later symphonic poems, became one of the most important compositions in the Polish violin literature.

Ravel described his ballet music for Daphnis et Chloé as a ‘choreographic symphony’. Written for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (1912), it became one of the more important proclamations of the great changes occurring in twentieth-century music, and its appeal meant that it also entered the concert repertoire.

Witold Lutosławski’s Fourth Symphony, composed to commission for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, marked the composer’s eightieth birthday: it was premiered on 5 February 1993 in Los Angeles. The first Polish performance, on 25 September 1993, by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra under the composer’s baton, would prove to be his final appearance in his homeland. Faithful to the idea of a two-movement form, the composer used it here too, commenting: ‘the first movement paves the way for the principal movement. It should draw the listeners in, interest them, intrigue them. But it should not give them complete satisfaction. It must arouse hunger, and ultimately even impatience. And that is the right moment to bring in the principal movement’.

Piotr Maculewicz


Bartosz Michałowski

Director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir since 2017.

Bartosz Michałowski graduated with distinction in choral conducting from the Academy of Music in Poznań. In the years 1998–2005, he was assistant to Professor Stefan Stuligrosz and conductor of the Boys’ and Men’s Choir of the Poznań Philharmonic (known as the Poznań Nightingales), with which he has performed extensively in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Russia and Japan.

He won first prize in the 9th Polish National Choral Conductors Competition in Poznań, as well as a special prize for his diligent work on voice production with choirs. In 2015, he won the Orphée d‘Or of the Académie du Disque Lyrique in Paris, and was nominated for a Fryderyk Award. In 2020, he received a Fryderyk Award for a recording of Karol Szymanowski’s opera Hagith (with the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir). He also received two nominations for the International Classical Music Awards 2022.

Bartosz Michałowski is the founder, Artistic Director and conductor of the Poznań Chamber Choir – one of the best Polish ensembles of its kind. He is likewise the founder and Director of the ‘Opus 966’ Polish Composition Competition, and devised the ‘Pisz Muzykę – to proste!’ (‘Write music – it’s easy!’) composing workshops for children and youngsters. He also co-produced the ‘Obrazogranie’ project at the National Museum in Poznań.

As the Director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir, he has conducted – both in the Warsaw Philharmonic concert hall itself and in external venues – Szymanowski’s Kurpian Songs, masses by Kodály and Gretchaninov, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Requiem, and oratorios: Paulus by Mendelssohn and Messiah by Handel. He prepared the ensemble for the first ever performance of Anton Rubinstein’s sacred opera Moses (cond. Michail Jurowski) and has also helped prepare a dozen vocal-instrumental concerts of the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, during which he has collaborated with such eminent conductors as Ton Koopman, Christoph König, Matthew Halls, Martin Haselböck, Jacek Kaspszyk and  Krzysztof Penderecki.

He has been invited to participate in renowned festivals including the SchleswigHolstein Musik Festival and Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, and has collaborated regularly with renowned institutions and orchestras. He has numerous first performances to his credit.

In addition to gaining experience as a conductor, Bartosz Michałowski has spent many years working on enhancing his skills and knowledge in the field of voice production, completing masterclasses with Poppy Holden (Great Britain), Christian Elsner (Germany) and Józef Frakstein (Poland). Bartosz Michałowski holds a PhD from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music.