His international career started when he won the Ernest Ansermet International Conducting Competition in Geneva. At this competition, he won all the special prizes, including the Grand Prix Patek Philippe, the Rolex Prize, the Swiss Prize and the American Patronage Prize. His career was also boosted when he received the European Developmental Award (Europäische Förderpreis für Musik) for European Musician of the Year in Basel. These distinctions gave the artist access to the conductor’s stands of some of the best European, Asian and North American orchestras from such places as London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Quebec, Toronto, Chicago, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Buffalo, San Diego, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He is the director of the Sinfonia Helvetica orchestra and the Musique & Amitié festival in Switzerland. Since 2008, he has been a conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, and in 2014 he became the first Permanent Associate Conductor of this orchestra.
Education and First Successes
In 1970-76 he studied violin under Jadwiga Kaliszewska at the State Higher Music School in Poznań, composition under Florian Dąbrowski and conducting under Witold Krzemieński and Stefan Stuligrosz. In 1980-82, he held a scholarship at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, where he pursued a doctoral study in composition. In 1981 and 1982 he also furthered his skills at summer courses in Tanglewood, where he learned from such masters of the baton as Leonard Bernstein, Igor Markevitch, Seiji Ozawa and Erich Leinsdorf. From 1976 to 180 he ran the Słupsk Symphonic Orchestra. From 1977 he was also the musical director of the Słupsk Musical Theatre, with which he realized, amongst others, the premieres of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor, Bastien und Bastienne, and Cosi fan tutte.
He has performed concerts with such renowned artists as Krystian Zimerman, Mścisław Rostropowicz, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Henryk Szeryng, Martha Argerich, Pinchas Zukerman, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Midori, Nigel Kennedy, André Watts, Wanda Wiłkomirska, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, Piotr Paleczny, Krzysztof Jabłoński, Paweł Kowalski, Ewa Pobłocka, Lilya Zilberstein, Jorge Boletem, Shlomo Mintz, Igor Ojstrach, Vadim Repin, Gil Shaham, Yefim Bronfman, Rudolf Buchbinder, Michel Dalberto, Leon Fleischer, Stephen Hough, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Garrick Ohlsson, Maria João Pires, Pascal Rogé, Dang Thai Son, Augustin Dumay, Maurice André, Kathleen Battle, Ben Heppner, Wiesław Ochman, Janet Baker, Wilhelmenia Fernandez, Marilyn Horne, Kristjàn Johannsson, Gwyneth Jones, Ewa Podleś, Jadwiga Rappé, Anja Silja, Małgorzata Walewska, Adam Zdunikowski and many others.
Grzegorz Nowak has conducted operatic productions in Monte Carlo, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, England, Sweden, Italy, the USA and Canada, including works by Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, The Abduction from the Seraglio, Così fan tutte, The Magic Flute), Gioachino Rossini (The Barber of Seville, Semiramide), Ludwig van Beethoven (Fidelio), Georges Bizet (Carmen), Alexander Borodin (Prince Igor), Stanisław Moniuszko (Halka, Haunted Manor), Giuseppe Verdi (Otello, Don Carlos and the Polish premiere of Simon Boccanegra) Umberto Giordano (Andrea Chénier) and Giacomo Puccini (Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Turandot and Tosca – including a tour with the Welsh National Opera).
He has recorded for many labels including KOS, CD Accord, Gallo Records, DUX, Hänssler Classic and Sonoris. Many of the records he made received critical acclaim and won awards, including the Bronze Bell – Singapore, 1995; the Juno Award – Canada, 1998; two Fryderyk awards – Poland, 1995 and 2000).
- Polish Symphonic Music of the 19th Century (CD Accord, 1994)
- Chopin: Works for Piano & Orchestra, Vol. 1 (CD Accord, 1995) |
- Henryk Wieniawski: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 (CD Accord, 1996)
- Smetana: Má Vlast; Moravské Tance (Music of Central Europe, 2001)
- Dvorák: Complete Works for Cello and Orchestra (Arts Music, 2003)
- Weill: The 7 Deadly Sins (Haenssler, 2004)
- Czerny: Symphonies No. 2 & 6 (Haenssler, 2006)
- Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5 (RPO, 2010)
- Schumann: The Four Symphonies (RPO, 2010)
- Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 (RPO, 2011)
- Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Festive Overture (RPO, 2012)
- Brahms: Symphonies No. 1-4 (RPO, 2013)
- Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3; "Moonlight" Sonata (RPO, 2014)
Author: Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Centre, Association of Polish Composers, November 2002, updates: November 2009, 17.11.2014 Filip Lech.