The Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii Pomorskiej w Bydgoszczy / Symphony Orchestra of the Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz was formed less than a year after the end of World War II, however, its roots date back to the 1930s and the Miejska Orkiestra Symfoniczna / Municipal Symphony Orchestra that existed in Bydgoszcz at that time.
During its history that has spanned more than half a century, the orchestra has been a companion to the residents of the City on the Brda River (as Bydgoszcz is at times referred to) and the regions of Pomerania and Kujawy, providing them access to real artistry. This magic atmosphere's tone has been set by the great masters of the baton with whom the ensemble has worked. This group has included Robert Satanowski, Zbigniew Chwedczuk, Witold Krzemieński, Antoni Wit, Tomasz Bugaj, Mieczysław Nowakowski, Jerzy Satanowski, Michael Zilm, Roman Kofman, as well as Marek Pijarowski, the Orchestra's regular collaborator. This group of musicians has developed a very good reputation, one which is confirmed by the many concerts it performs with the participation of top conductors like Juozas Domarkas, Jerzy Katlewicz, Kazimierz Kord, Jan Krenz, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Kurt Redel, Witold Rowicki, Jerzy Semkow, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Saulius Sondeckis, Leopold Stokowski, Tadeusz Strugała, Carlo Aecchi and others, as well as conductor-composers Aram Khachaturian, Benjamin Britten, Krzysztof Penderecki and Witold Lutosławski.
The Symphony Orchestra of the Pomeranian Philharmonic has embarked on numerous concert tours. The orchestra has performed in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Russia. The group has also put in frequent appearances at domestic and foreign music festivals, including "Wratislavia Cantans" Festival, the Poznańska Wiosna Muzyczna / Poznań Music Spring, the Berliner Festwochen, the International Summer Festival Ljubljana, the "Warszawska Jesień" / "Warsaw Autumn" Festival, the Schweriner Musiktage and the Frankfurter Festtage der Musik. The ensemble also makes regular appearances at festivals organized by the Pomeranian Philharmonic: the Musica Antiqua Europae Orientalis Triennale and the annual Bydgoskie Festiwale Muzyczne / Bydgoszcz Music Festivals.
The Symphony Orchestra of the Pomeranian Philharmonic has at its disposal an exceptional concert hall that is among the best in Europe in terms of acoustics. In light of this fact, the orchestra has produced many recordings that have subsequently been released on CD (among them, the Symphony in B-Minor of Ignacy Jan Paderewski conducted by Bohdan Wodiczko). The orchestra has additionally completed recordings for the Polskie Nagrania (Polish Recordings) and Veriton labels, as well as recording companies like Thorophon, CPO Osnabrück and Classico. The orchestra has worked with exceptional soloists like Shlomo Mintz, Sarah Chang, Leila Josefowicz, Mischa Maisky, Jeffrey Swan, Eugen Indjič, Kevin Kenner. The Pomeranian Philharmonic has also played host to outstanding groups and ensembles, among them The Tallis Scholars, The King's Singers, Westminster Abbey Choir, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
The institution reserves a special place in its program for Polish music, which it seeks to promote actively. The Pomeranian Philharmonic has commissioned orchestral works by Wojciech Kilar, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Romuald Twardowski, Zbigniew Penherski i Bogusław Schaeffer.Source: Polish Music Information Center, Polish Composers' Union, January 2002.
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