Krzysztof Urbański is a conductor, born on 17th of October 1982 in Pabianice, central Poland.
A conductor born on 17th of October 1982 in Pabianice.
In the Concert Halls of Europe, America and Asia
Krzysztof Urbański is the Music Director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the First Guest Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.
From 2012 to 2016, he was the First Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, from 2010 to 2017 – Chief Conductor and Artistic Leader of the Trondheim Symfoniorkester, and in 2017 he became the Honorary Guest Conductor of this orchestra. In January 2013, Tagesspiegel wrote about a performance of Lutosławski:
He looks more like a teen idol than a grizzled maestro and his interpretations are suffused with a youthful freshness and frankness – Tagesspiegel wrote in January 2013 about a performance of Lutosławski – His left hand’s gesture targeting the orchestra is obvious: ‘Ladies and Gentleman – let’s rock!’ Musicians eagerly picked up the gauntlet: rarely do they play with such a spontaneity, precision and virtuosity as they did performing the breakneck Lutosławski concert – it was a storm which left no space for signs of musical lassitude or sluggishness.
Studies and Beginnings of Career
In 2007 he graduated from the Conducting Faculty of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw under Professor Antoni Wit. He honed his skills in masterclasses with Kurt Masur.
He has only taken part in two conducting contests - he placed second and received an award for Most Outstanding Artistic Personality at the 4th Witold Lutosławski International Review of Young Conductors in Białystok, Poland, and won the International Conducting Contest in Prague in 2007 (part of Prague Spring Festival / Pražské Jaro Festival). In 2011, he received the title of Adjunct Professor of Jacobs School of Music (Indiana University). In June 2015, he was awarded the Leonard Bernstein Award at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, thus becoming the first ever conductor to receive this prestigious award.
Between 2007 and 2009, he was an assistant conductor to Antoni Wit at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall. He is an active promoter of Polish music. Works of Witold Lutosławski, Karol Szymanowski and Wojciech Kilar remain the most important parts of his repertoire. Abendblatt Hamburg daily wrote on a concert devoted to Penderecki’s music:
Krzysztof Urbański pried from the NDR Symphonic Orchestra a polyphonic lament which was thrilling and full of despair – wrote the Abendblatt Hamburg daily on a concert devoted to Penderecki’s Music – Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima by Krzysztof Penderecki, written for 52 string instruments, lasts no longer than eight and a half minutes but it is still able to transmit the feeling of hopelessness of the world in the face of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on an inhabited city. Urbański, a young star of Polish conducting, precise and full of expression, could chose the right gesture and conjure brand new sounds out of Penderecki’s piece. The music went straight to the heart.
With whom has he cooperated?
Krzysztof Urbański cooperates with orchestras from: Germany (Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt HR, Sinfonieorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunks Hamburg NRD, Radio Sinfonie-Orchester Stuttgart SWR, Bamberger Symphoniker, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Dresdner Philharmonic Orchestra, Westdeutscher Rundfunk), United Kingdom (The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonia, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Philharmonia), Sweden (Göteborgs Symfoniker, Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra), Denmark (Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR, Orchestra of the Royal Danish Opera, Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, Aarhus Symfoniorkester), Norway (Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester, Trondheim Symfoniorkester, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra), as well orchestras as from Austria (Camerata Salzburg), Portugal (Gulbenkian Orchestra), France (Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Opera et Orchestre National de Montpellier Languedoc Roussillon, Orchestre National de Lille), Netherlands (Het Residentie Orkest, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra), Belgium (Orchestre National de Belgique), Spain (Orquesta Nacionales de España), China, Singapore (Singapore Symphony Orchestra), Malaysia (Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra), Japan (Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra) and USA (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Festival Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Washington National Symphony Orchestra).
Krzysztof Urbański is also a composer. He is the author of several film scores; his Little Holiday Symphony received an honourable distinction at the Grzegorz Fitelberg Nationwide Polish Composition Contest in 2007.
Artist’s website: www.krzysztofurbanski.com
Author: Anna Iwanicka-Nijakowska, Polish Music Information Centre, Polish Composers’ Union, December 2006, updates: Małgorzata Kosińska, June 2010, MG, December 2019. Translated by W.O., 24.04.2014.