Composer, conductor, lecturer at Academy of Music in Kraków. From 2000 to 2018 she was the chief executive director, as well as artistic director of Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.
Born 28 May 1949 in Gdańsk, she studied conducing and composition under Krzysztof Penderecki at Academy of Music in Kraków. Later she extended her knowledge on conducting courses with Hans Swarowski in Austria. After finishing her education, she was an intern is Silesian opera in Bytom. Starting in 1973, for a year she was a musical supervisor in Teatr Ludowy in Nowa Huta. She held the same office from 1977 to 1978 in Teatr Stary in Kraków.
In 1974 she started giving lectures in Academy of Music in Kraków the analysis and Interpretation of Music Department. She’s taken part in numerous seminars and symposiums. She’s also published extensively, among others on life and output of Zygmunt Konieczny. She’s also conducted on some of the most important international festivals, such as Warsaw Autumn or Oregon Bach Festival. She also often returns to be a part of jury of Cantate Deo, a Festival of Religious Pieces in Gliwice.
From 1991 to 1997 she was a head manager of the Kraków Philharmonic. Under her management, special emphasis was put on placing Polish music in concert programmes, as well as education. She was a consultant for the Board of Kraków Festival 2000, as well as a member of Villa Decious association.
In years 1997-1999 she was a head of Ministry of Culture and Arts on Freedom Union recommendation. During her time in the office, she was an active part in many defining international cultural events, such as UNESCO board meeting concerning cultural matters (Multiculturalism of societies, Stockholm 1998), a congress of world’s ministers of culture in Canada (Our Creative Diversity, Ottawa 1998), as well as a congress of European ministers of culture in Linz in 1998. In December 1998 she was in charge of a Polish delegacy to Washington which dealt with Holocaust survivors’ claims to their lost fortunes.
From 2000 to 2018 she was the chief executive director of Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice. She initiated numerous projects and undertakings of the Orchestra, such as Górecki’s creations marathon, Kilar’s Train to Music, Musical Sea Journeys, Kilar’s Day, Kilar’s Night, Górecki-Penderecki festival to commemorate 75th birthday of the composers, as well as biennale Pre-Performance Festival – Polish Contemporary Music. One of her greatest successes as the director of Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra was her contribution to the construction of a new home of the orchestra. The opening ceremony took place in 2014 and was considered the Event of the Year by the Committee of the Coryphaeus of Polish Music Awards.
However, Wnuk-Nazarowa is known not only for her managerial and organizational skills, but also for her strictly artistic work. She writes mostly theatre music, for example to Ionesco’s Exit the King, Molier’s The Misanthrope, or Richard III by William Shakespeare. She’s also created for TV Theatre, for example music to The Silver Dream of Salomea by Juliusz Słowacki. She also composed music for many television spectacles, such as Kolacja Na Cztery Ręce [trans. Handel’s Ghost], Antygona W Nowym Jorku [trans. Antigone in New York], Emigranci [trans. Emigrants], Wujaszek Wania [trans. Uncle Vania], Ziarno Zroszone Krwią [trans. Grain Washed in Blood] (all directed by Krzysztof Kutz), Mizantrop [trans. Misanthrope], The Silver Dream of Salomea, Urodziny [trans. Birthday] (directed by Krzysztof Nazar).
Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa received numerous awards for her cultural and artistic impact. She was awarded Knight’s Cross of Polonia Restituta, Golden Cross of Merit, Silver and Golden Gloria Artis medal, Golden Medal of Merit for National Defence, Golden Guardian Medal of the Places of National Remembrance, Badge for Distinguished Cultural Activists, Award of Ministry of Culture and Arts, III degree, for pedagogical work, as well as Honorary Award of Polish Composers Association, and Honorary Award Coryphaeus of Polish Music 2018.
She is currently the director of Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition. The event seeks to promote Polish music around the world and raise awareness of the role of Karol Szymanowski and his works. The first edition of the competition took place in Katowice between 10th and 23th September 2018. During the closing gala, Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta for her outstanding activity for the development of Polish culture.
- Głos miłego mego song for 3-voice female choir (1968)
- Wszech-kanon non-stop for 3 or more wind instruments (1970)
- D.Z.W.M. for 13 performers (1973)
- Oh, Dr Jekyll, oh, Mr Hyde for oboe, organ and electric organ (1973)
- Lady Macbeth song for female voice and flute, clarinet, oboe, fagot and percussion (1974)
- Solution for 4 actors and percussion (1974)
- Requiem II for soprano or mezzosoprano and grand symphonic orchestra (1974)
- Kwadryptyk podwójnostroikowy for oboe, cor anglais, fagot and contrafagot (1975)
- Precz? Quadrophonic piece (1980)
- Zycie I miłość poety 10 romantic songs for alto, baritone and piano (1981-82)
- Lamento for oboe and archi (1983-84)
- Morze Śródziemne, żegnaj. Próba rekonstrukcji for two guitars and orchestra (1986)
- Liedchen ohne Worte for harp, harpsichord and piano (1994)
- Miniatury for string quartet (1995)
- Music for Birthday directed by Krzysztof Nazar (1995)
- Music for Wesele [trans. The Wedding] directed by Krzysztof Nazar (1995)
- Music for Richard III directed by Krzysztof Nazar (2000)
- Psalmy przyszłości? For choir, lyrics by Zygmunt Krasiński (2009)
- Planctus – pamięci 96-ciu for choir and chamber band (2011)
- Se je chant – chace for soprano, flute and oboe (2012)
- Psalm dobrej woli? For choir, lyrics by Zygmunt Krasiński (2015)
Originally written in Polish by Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Centre, Polish Composers' Association, March 2006; translated by AS, February 2017; updated by MG, March 2019.