Andrzej Kosendiak is a conductor, educator and organiser of cultural life. He was born on the 5th of October, 1955.
He graduated from the faculty of Composition, Conducting and Theory at the Music Academy in Wrocław. For the beginning of his career, he focused on education. Between 1982 and 1996, he worked as a teacher at music high schools in Lower Silesia, founding a department specialising in early music in the school in Wrocław.
In 1998, with Zbigniew Czwojda, he founded the Wrocław School of Jazz and Popular Music, which he co-owned until 2000. As director of the Programming and Artistic Education Supervision Department of the Ministry of Culture, he co-authored many programmes and events promoting young art creators and honing teachers’ skills. He was also a co-author of statutory provisions which left the financing and responsibility for artistic education to the government.
For many years, he has lectured at the Wrocław Academy of Music. Between 2003 and 2009 he was a director of the Interfaculty Laboratory of Early Music. He started and conducted the Students’ Baroque Orchestra.
Andrzej Kosendiak is the author of many educational programmes, such as a programme for the development of school choirs, Singing Wrocław, which continued as the nationwide Singing Poland, in cooperation with the National Centre for Culture (NCK), as well as a programme to teach young mothers and fathers to sing lullabies to their children (Sing me a lullaby, mommy, daddy!).
Besides being an active educator, Andrzej Kosendiak works as a conductor, particularly focusing on early music and historically accurate performances. He was one of the pioneers of performing early music with historical instruments in Poland. In 1985 he founded the Collegio di Musica Sacra ensemble, of which he has remained director to date. It was initially a chamber choir but was turned into a early music chamber ensemble in the early 1990s. Kosendiak, together with Collegio di Musica Sacra, has toured all over Europe and North America, performing at the most prestigious festivals and stages as well as winning the Adam Jarzębski Award for the best Polish early music ensemble in 2003. He is also the author of numerous transcriptions of scores from the 17th century, for which he has been awarded many times and which he recorded with his ensemble for the DUX recording company.
Philharmonic Hall and Festival Director
In 2005 he began work as a director of Wrocław Philharmonic Hall and the Wratislavia Cantans festival. He immediately hired Jacek Kaspszyk, one of the most outstanding conductors specializing in symphonic music, to work at the Philharmonic hall and employed Paul McCreesh (leader of Gabrieli Consort & Players, and a significant figure in the world of early music) as the artistic director of Wratislawia Cantans.
In 2006 he founded new ensembles within Wrocław Philharmonic Hall: a choir (conducted by Agnieszka Franków Żelazny) and the Wrocław Baroque Orchestra (conducted by Jarosław Thiel). Both of them soon became well-known and achieved international success. In 2009 he initiated the Boys' Choir and made Małgorzata Podzielny its conductor. He decided to recast the Wrocław Philharmonic, hiring many young, highly educated instrumentalists, thanks to whom the orchestra, conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk, achieved an extremely high level of performance.
Andrzej Kosendiak is the founder and artistic director of the initiative to record all of Witold Lutosławski's compositions, which resulted in the publishing of Witold Lutoslawski. Opera Omnia I – chamber music, January 2010; Witold Lutosławski. Opera Omnia II, including Symphonies No. 2 & 4 (both recorded by Wrocław Philharmonic Hall under the baton of Jacek Kaspszyk ); in January 2011 - Witold Lutosławski. Opera Omnia 3 with Concerto for Oboe and Harp and Preludes and Fuga (this time performed by Leopoldinum Orchestra). Moreover, he has been designing and coordinating a series of releases entitled 1000 Years of Music in Wrocław which aims to reveal the musical heritage of Wrocław.
Together with Paul McCreesh, he launched the Wrocław Ortorio Recordings project, the goal of which is to create a series of albums covering the most significant works by Gabrieli Consort & Players and Paul McCreesh as well as the Wrocław Philharmonic Choir. The first album of this series was Grande Messe des Morts by Hector Berlioz.
Between 2002 and 2005 Nadrzej Kosendiak was the Mayor of Wrocław’s cultural advisor. During his work, he initiated the founding of two music schools and coordinated the project to build the National Forum of Music – a new concert hall in Wrocław with perfectly-designed architecture and acoustic properties.
Author: Anna Iwanicka-Nijakowska, November 2011. Translated by W.O., April 10th 2014.