Conductor, populariser of Mieczysław Weinberg's music. Winner of the 1st Prize in the Herbert von Karajan Competition in 1971. He worked as a music director at the Grand Theatre in Poznań, Theatre Aachen, Bochumer Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and in the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice. Born on 7 May 1946 in Wrocław, he died on 19 November 2020.
He began his musical education with Adam Kopyciński, former director of the Wrocław Opera. In 1957, he immigrated to Israel with his family, where he continued learning. In 1964, he began studying composition, conducting and piano at the Music Academy in Tel Aviv. From 1968 to 1969, he studied conducting at the École Normale de Musique in Paris under Pierre Dervaux, and then at the Academy of Music in Vienna under the direction of Hans Swarovsky and Franco Ferrara in Siena.
He won many prestigious awards in leading international conducting competitions. For example, in 1970, he was awarded the first prize at the Conducting Competition in Besançon. In 1971, he received the Gold Medal at the Concorso Cantelli in Milan and the first prize at the Herbert von Karajan Competition in Berlin. In 2012, he was honoured with the Jan Kiepura’s Theatre Music Award in the ‘Best Conductor’ category. A year later, the Karol Lipiński’s Music Academy in Wrocław awarded him the title of Doctor Honoris Causa. In June 2017, he received the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis.
Mendelssohn: The Hebrides, Op.26 (Fingal's Cave) - Allegro moderato
He made his debut in 1974 with Giuseppe Verdi's Othello at the Munich Opera, where he was then hired to prepare Georges Bizet's Carmen. Later he conducted the following operas: Samson and Delilah by Camille Saint-Saëns in Barcelona, Werther by Jules Massenet at the Paris Opera and Le coq d'or at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. He also recorded Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Da Ponte Cycle (The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte) with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Amongst his most important productions were the works of Mieczysław Weinberg: The Passenger (Warsaw) and Portrait (Nancy), both directed by David Poutney, and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk County by Dmitri Szostakowicz and Parsifal by Ryszard Wagner at the Grand Theatre in Poznan. In March 2018, a new version of Wagner's The Nuremberg Singers, directed by Chmura, premiered at the Poznań Opera House.
David Pountney - Pasażerka - reportaż TVP Kultura cz.1
Gabriel Chmura was the artistic director of the Aachen Opera (1974 to 1983), Bochumer Symphonie (1983 to 1987), National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice (2001 to 2007); he was the principal guest conductor of the OFUNAM Orchestra in Mexico City, Deutsches Symphonische Orchester Berlin and the Krakow Philharmonic. In addition, he has conducted international leading orchestras, such as Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Filharmonica di Roma and Nürnberger Philharmoniker. In Poland, he was the conductor of the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra, the Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra in Gdańsk and the Orchestra of the Grand Theatre – National Opera in Warsaw. From the 2012/2013 season onwards, Gabriel Chmura was the artistic director of the Grand Theatre in Poznań, and from 2015 he was the principal guest conductor of the Kraków Philharmonic.
Mieczyslaw Weinberg * Rapsodia su temi moldavi op. 47 n. 1
Gabriel Chmura recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra for the Deutsche Grammophon label, as well as with the Münchener Rundfunk Orchester and Rundfunk Symphonischer Berlin for CBS. Franz Schubert's Lazarus, registered under Chmura’s direction, was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque Mondial de Montreux. Recordings of Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 6, Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 8, created with the National Arts Centre Orchestra for CBS, were voted ‘Best Choice’ by the American Record Guide and were nominated for the Canadian Juno Award. After the success of the first two albums with Mieczysław Weinberg’s music, released by the Chandos label (Symphony No. 5, Sinfonietta No. 1, Symphony No. 4, Symphony No. 2 and Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes), Gabriel Chmura began recording Symphonies No. 14 and No. 16 of the composer.
The artist's website: www.chmura.cc
Author: Małgorzata Kosińska, Polskie Centrum Informacji Muzycznej, Związek Kompozytorów Polskich, September 2002, updated: December 2009, November 2020 FL.