Tadeusz Strugała is a conductor, pianist, teacher, oboist, and organiser of musical life. He was born on 10th February, 1935, in Katowice.
Conductor, pianist, teacher, oboist, and organiser of musical life.
Tadeusz Strugała graduated from Adam Kopyciński's class at the Faculty of Music Theory, Composition and Conducting of the National Academy of Music in Wrocław. He complemented his studies in Weimar with Arvid Janson and in Venice with Franco Ferrary.
In 1954-57, Strugała worked as an oboist with the Wrocław Symphony Orchestra. In 1960-64 he was conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Opole. From 1964 to 1968, he served as conductor of the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Wrocław, which he later directed in the years between 1969 and 80. In 1975-76, he was Managing and Artistic Director of the Great Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio in Katowice. Between 1977 and 1979 and in the years 1984-86 Strugała was General Music Director of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara. In 1978, he co-founded the ‘Leopoldinum’ chamber orchestra and was its first conductor. He was Deputy Artistic Director and permanent conductor of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw for eleven seasons (1979-1990). During the years 1981-86 he served as Artistic Director and conductor of the Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1989 to 1990, he worked as General Music Director of the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra. In the years 1990-93 he was Artistic Director and conductor of the Polish Radio Orchestra in Warsaw, and from 1994 to 2001 he was a permanent visiting conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra. From 1998 to 2006 Strugała was resident conductor of the Chopin Festival in Gaming, Austria.
In addition, the artist served as Director and Artistic Manager of the Festival of Contemporary Polish Music in Wrocław (1969-80), Director and Artistic Manager of the Festival of Organ and Harpsichord Music in Wrocław (1969-78), Director of the International Festival of Oratorio and Cantata Music ‘Wratislavia Cantans’ (1969-77), Managing and Artistic Director of the International Festival of Oratorio and Cantata – Music and Fine Arts’ (1978-96), and Artistic Director of the International Chopin Festival in Duszniki (1975-85). In 2008 he was Managing and Artistic Director of the Kraków Philharmonic.
The sixties marked the beginning of Tadeusz Strugała's international career. He performed in many European countries, as well as in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, South Korea, the USA, Thailand and Cuba. He directed over 120 Polish orchestras (among which all philharmonic, radio, Sinfonia Varsovia and Capella Cracoviensis orchestras) and international ones, such as Südwestfunk Baden-Baden Symphony Orchestra, Bamberger Sinfoniker, Staatskapelle Berlin, Radio Symphony Orchestra RIAS in Berlin, Rundfunksinfonie Orchester in Berlin, RIAS Jugendorchester in Berlin, Symphony Orchestra of the Bratislava Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of the Budapest Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of the Bucharest Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of the Dresden Philharmonic, Orquesta Ciudad de Barcelona, Grosses Orchestre RECREATION in Graz, Philharmonishes Orchester Südwestfalen-Hag, Symphony Orchestra of the Halle Philharmonic, Haendelfestspielorchester in Halle, Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional Havana, Helsinki Radio Symphony Orchestra, Israeli Sinfonietta, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonieorchestre der MDR Leipzig, Kammerphilharmonie des MDR Leipzig, Brucknerorchester Linz, Symphony Orchestra of the Ljubljana Philharmonic, City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, Halle Orchestra in Manchester, Florida International University Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony Orchestra Miami, Teatro San Carlo Symphony Orchestra in Neapol, Symphony Orchestra in Norfolk (Virginia), Symphony Orchestra of the Osace Philharmonic, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Czech Radio Orchestra, Virtuosi di Praga, Czech Chamber Orchestra in Prague, Staatskapelle Schwerin, Symphony Orchestra of the Seoul Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of the Sofia Philharmonic, Radio Symphony Orchestra in Sofia, Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Symphony Orchestra of the Shanghai Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, Staatskapelle Weimar, and N. Tonkuenstlerorchester in Vienna.
Alongside the many Polish musicians who have performed under Strugała’s baton, are many international ones, including Krystian Zimerman, are Maurice André, Victoria de los Angeles, Martha Argerich, Stefan Askenaze, Emanuel Ax, Gina Bachauer, Paul Badura Skoda, Yuri Bashmet, Rudolf Buchbinder, Pierre Fournier, Bruno Leonardo Gelber, Natalia Gutman, Ida Haendel, Steven Isserlis, Byron Janis, Oleg Kagan, Louis Kentner, Elisabeth Leonskaja, John Lill, Zara Nelsova, Garrick Ohlssohn, Michel Ponti, Robert Cohen and Beaux Arts Trio.
Strugała’s repertoire includes pieces from Antonio Vivaldi to Iannis Xenakis. He is renowned for outstanding works of Viennese classicism, romanticism and contemporary compositions. He particularly promotes the creations of Polish composers, such as Grażyna Bacewicz, Tadeusz Baird, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Wojciech Kilar, Witold Lutosławski, Roman Maciejewski, Krzysztof Meyer, Zygmunt Mycielski, Roman Palester, Andrzej Panufnik, Krzysztof Penderecki, Piotr Perkowski, Karol Szymanowski, Aleksander Tansman, and Romuald Twardowski.
Strugała has had numerous premieres, first performances of Polish contemporary music at home and abroad, and radio and television recordings for theatres and radio stations around the world. His recordings have been released by Polskie Nagrania, Wifon, Tonpress, CBS/Sony, Victor, Thorofon Capella, Discover, Collins Classics, Capriccio, Adda, Sonny Classical and Hyperion, among others. In 1986 he obtained the ‘Orpheus’ critics award for best performance of a Polish composition (Liturgia sacra by Zygmunt Mycielski) at the ‘Warsaw Autumn’ Festival, and for his recordings Strugała received ‘Grand Prix du Disque Ferenc Liszt’ (Budapest, 1987), as well as nominations for Disc of the Year by ‘Gramophone’ magazine (for Requiem by Roman Maciejewski), and ‘Star of the Month’ by ‘Fono Forum’ magazine (for the recordings of Xaver Scharwenka).
The Istanbul Orchestra under Tadeusz Strugała's Baton from Culture.pl on Vimeo.
In addition to his activity as a performer, Tadeusz Strugała is also involved in pedagogical work. For more than 20 years (1954-75) he was a lecturer in the Music Academy in Wrocław. Currently, he works with the Academy of Music in Kraków. Furthermore, he taught master classes in Hong Kong and Tokyo (1988). He has participated in the jury of international competitions, such as the International Conductors’ Competition ‘Praszke Jaro’, the Grzegorz Fitelberg International Conductors’ Competition (chairman of the jury in 2003 and 2007), the Van Cliburn Piano Competition in Fort Worth in the USA, and the International Conductors’ Competition ‘Prague Spring’.
Strugała also dedicates himself to social work – he has cooperated with a number of organisations, and is a member of the Management Board of the Music Society of Lower Silesia (later his Chairman), the Music Council at the Ministry of Culture and the Arts, the Minister of Culture Prize committee, the Executive Committee of the Frederic Chopin Society, the Board of the International Chopin Foundation, the Board of the International Chopin Society in Vienna, the Andrzej Hiolski Jury Prize, the Honorary Committee of the International Competition named after Stanisław Moniuszko, the Polish Music Publishers Program, the Creative Association POLART, and the Lower Silesia Lodge Business Centre Club, He has also been Chairman of the Board of SPAM, and President of the International Foundation Wratislavia Cantans, and is a founding member of the Polish Society for Contemporary Music, and the Polish Cultural Foundation
Tadeusz Strugała has been distinguished with many awards and honours, including the Gold Cross of Merit (1972), Award of the City of Wrocław (1974), the Award of the Minister of Culture and the Arts (1975), the Medal of the National Education Commission (1978), Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1979), the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1986), the Polish Composers' Union Award (1991), Kulturpreis Schlesien des Landes Niedersachsen (1996), the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1996), the Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2000), Gold Medal of the Austrian Association of Maria Thron (2004), Merit to Polish culture (2004), and Gold Medal ‘Gloria Artis’ (2007). In 1998, he received an honorary doctorate from the Academy of Music in Wroclaw.
Website of the artist: www.strugala.com
Author: Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Center, Polish Composers' Union, January 2002, updated: November 2009, December 2014, transl. Bozhana Nikolova