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King Roger & Penderecki Nominated for Grammys
King Roger directed by Kasper Holten, photo: Bill Cooper / The Royal Opera
King Roger directed by Kasper Holten, photo: Bill Cooper / The Royal Opera

A recording of Karol Szymanowski’s opera King Roger, directed by Kaspar Holten from the Royal Opera House, has been nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Opera Recording. It’s not the only Polish work nominated for a Grammy – the album Penderecki Conducts Penderecki is also in the running for the award for Best Choral Performance.

King Roger, the renowned opera by Karol Szymanowski, waited over 90 years for its premiere. It finally took place on 1st May 2015 in the famed Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. The orchestra was conducted by famous conductor Sir Antonio Pappano, the main role was performed by Mariusz Kwiecień, and it was directed by Kaspar Holten, artistic director of the Royal Opera House.

The opera was praised by critics from many important magazines: from The Guardian and The New York Times to The Independent and The Telegraph. It wasn't just available to London’s opera-goers – it could also be viewed online, broadcast by the Opera Platform portal, which presents the most important premieres from the world’s stages to an international audience.

At the end of 2015, the Royal Opera House published King Roger on DVD.  British TV director Ian Russell was responsible for the recording. This production featured on the yearly summaries of Polish Radio 2 and The Telegraph. In the February edition of the Opera Magazine, the biggest magazine dedicated to opera, the DVD of King Roger will be the recording of the month. It was published thanks to the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s Polska Music Programme.

The recording of King Roger has now been distinguished by the American Recording Academy in the form of a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Also nominated were recordings of operas by Coriglian, Händel, Higdon, and Mozart.

It is not the only Polish work to be nominated this year. An album entitled Penderecki Conducts Penderecki, the first studio recording by Krzysztof Penderecki with the choir and orchestra of the Warsaw Philharmonic, was nominated in the Best Choral Performance category.

The Grammys are one of the most prestigious music awards in the world and are often called the musical Academy Awards. The awards ceremony will be broadcast worldwide and the evening will be complemented by performances by world famous music stars.

In 2013, Antoni Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra won a Grammy award for their recording of Krzysztof Penderecki’s works. In 2014, Włodek Pawlik was awarded.

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