NOSPR concert hall
Gustav Mahler

Symphony No. 3 in D minor

  • Kräftig. Entschieden
  • Tempo di Minuetto
  • Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast
  • Sehr Langsam. Misterioso. Durchaus Leise
  • Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck
  • Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden
Alexander Liebreich
Conductor
NOSPR
NFM Chorus
Lidia Matynian
art direction
Boys Choir of Cracow Philharmonic
Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny
art direction
Bernarda Fink
alto
Alexander Liebreich

Alexander Liebreich2018 Grammy nominee and International Classical Music Award winner Alexander Liebreich is the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR). He studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich and the Mozarteum University Salzburg. His artistic personality and conducting technique were influenced by such maestros as Michael Gielen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and especially his mentor, Claudio Abbado. Liebreich has worked with many prestigious orchestras and performed with distinguished soloists from all over the world. From 2006 to 2016, he was Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Munich Chamber Orchestra, with which he recorded numerous acclaimed albums. In October 2016, the Bavarian State Ministry for Education, Culture, Science and the Arts presented Liebreich with the Bavarian Culture Prize Special Award. Another recording under Liebreich’s baton – a disc of Szymanowski and Lutosławski with the NOSPR and Gautier Capuçon as soloist, won the International Classical Music Award in January 2017. Liebreich is Artistic Director of the Katowice Kultura Natura Festival and newly appointed Artistic Director of the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. He is also head of the Richard Strauss Society, succeeding Wolfgang Sawallisch and Brigitte Fassbaender in the role.
In September 2018, he will take up the post of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra.


NOSPR

NOSPRfulfils the role of an ambassador of Polish culture on the international artistic scene. The ensemble has performed in Brussels (Europalia), Vienna (the opening of the Polish Year in Austria), Madrid (the gala concert of the Polish year in Spain), Rome (the celebration of the 70th anniversary of H.M. Górecki’s birthday), Kiev (the inauguration of the Polish Year in Ukraine), Paris (the gala concert of the New Poland Polish Year in France), and in London (the inauguration of the Polish year in Great Britain). The Orchestra has collaborated with some of the greatest composers of the second half of the 20th century: Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki, delivering the first performances of their works.

The NOSPR was founded in 1935 in Warsaw by Grzegorz Fitelberg who led it until the outbreak of World War II. In 1945, the orchestra was revived in Katowice by Witold Rowicki. In 1947, the post of the artistic director was taken again by Fitelberg. After his death in 1953, the orchestra was headed in succession by Jan Krenz, Bohdan Wodiczko, Kazimierz Kord, Tadeusz Strugała, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Stanisław Wisłocki, Jacek Kaspszyk, Antoni Wit, Gabriel Chmura and, once again, by Jacek Kaspszyk. In September 2000, Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa became the institution’s General and Programme Director. Since 2009, the post of the Associate Conductor has been entrusted to Michał Klauza. Stanisław Skrowaczewski is the first Guest Conductor of the NOSPR, Jan Krenz is a Honorary Conductor. On the 31st of August 2012, Alexander Liebreich became the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the NOSPR.

Apart from making archival recordings for the Polish Radio, the Orchestra has recorded more than 200 CD albums for many renowned record companies (including Decca, EMI, Philips, Chandos, and Naxos). The PNRSO was honoured with numerous awards for its phonographic achievements, including Diapason d’Orand Grand Prix du Disque de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque, the Cannes Classical Award, and the Midem Classical Award.

Many renowned conductors and soloists have performed with the NOSPR, including Martha Argerich, Boris Belkin, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Buchbinder, James Conlon, Placido Domingo, Pierre Fournier, Nicolai Gedda, Barbara Hendricks, Julius Katchen, Leonidas Kavakos, Wilhelm Kempff, Paweł Klecki, Kirill Kondrashin, Marguerite Long, Witold Lutosławski, Charles Mackerras, Mischa Maisky, Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Shlomo Mintz, Ivan Monighetti, Garrick Ohlsson, Kun Woo Paik, Krzysztof Penderecki, Maurizio Pollini, Hermann Prey, Ruggiero Ricci, Mstislav Rostropovich, Artur Rubinstein, Jerzy Semkow, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Leonard Slatkin, Isaac Stern, Henryk Szeryng, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Pieter Wispelwey, Krystian Zimerman, and Nicolai Znaider.

The Orchestra has performed in nearly all the European countries, in the Americas, as well as in Japan, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Taiwan and in the Persian Gulf countries. In the recent years, the PNRSO has implemented some spectacular projects which have been very well received by audiences and reviewers alike (The Marathon of Górecki’s Works, The Liking to Kilar’s Music, Musical Voyage(two editions), The Górecki•Penderecki Festival – in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the artist’s birth). Since 2005, the NOSPR has been the organiser of the biennial event called The Festival of World PremieresPolish Modern Music.

On the 1st of October 2014, the NOSPR inaugurated the artistic season in its new seat. The author of the architectonic project is Konior Studio from Katowice and the concert hall acoustics have been designed by Nagata Acoustics.

 


NFM Chorus

NFM Choruswas founded in 2006 by Andrzej Kosendiak and, since its inception, has been functioning under the directorship of Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny. It has soon established itself as one of Poland’s leading choral ensembles, thanks to its rich and varied repertoire, which includes works from the Renaissance to the Contemporary and from a capella to vocal-instrumental in the form of oratorio, opera, and symphony. It has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Paul McCreesh, Giovanni Antonini, Jacek Kaspszyk, Krzysztof Penderecki, James MacMillan, Bob Chilcott, and Jan Łukaszewski.

In a few years the Choir has performed over 200 times, collaborating among others with the Gabrieli Consort, Il Giardino Armonico and NDR Orchestra, giving concerts at the Salle Pleyel (Paris), the Barbican Centre (London), the Royal Albert Hall (London), Gewandhaus (Leipzig). It was a guest of the music festivals: Schleswig-Holstein, Gent van Vlaanderen, Wratislavia Cantans, Warsaw Autumn. In addition to regular performances with the other NFM ensembles, the group is touring Poland performing with leading Polish philharmonic orchestras, including the Polish Radio Orchestras in Katowice and Warsaw. It is often being broadcast on the Polish Radio and abroad. In 2009 and 2011, it was the first Polish choir to be invited to the legendary BBC Proms. In 2011, at the Varaždin Baroque Evenings festival in Croatia, it received one of the three main awards – the Kantor Award for exceptional performance of works by J.S. Bach. Whilst continually expanding its work across Europe, the Choir made its first tour of the United States of America in June 2013, and in October it performed with the world-wide known group The Swingle Singers.


Boys Choir of Cracow Philharmonic

Boys Choir of Cracow Philharmonicwas founded in 1951 as an initiative of Józef Suwara – a pedagogue, musician and music aficionado. At the beginning the choir gathered about 70 boys of various age. The repertoire included a cappella pieces and oratorios, mostly by Polish composers. After Suwara’s death in 1967, the choir was lead for next 28 years by his assistant, Bronisława Wietrzny. During this period the ensemble specialized in performing new masterpieces of Krzysztof Penderecki (Lucas Passion, Matins, Magnificat), performing concerts in many European countries, as well as in Lebanon and Syria. The recording of Lucas Passion was awarded with Grand Prix du Disque. In 1991-1993 the Boys’ Choir was conducted by Stanisław Krawczyński, and since 1993 – by Lidia Matynian, the deputy rector of the Academy of Music in Cracow.
Besides Penderecki’s masterpieces, the choir’s repertoire includes pieces like Credo (1st European performance in 1998), Benedictus for boys choir a  cappella (1st performance in 2003) and great vocal and instrumental masterpieces: J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, G.F. Haendel’s Judas Maccabeus, G. Mahler’s Symphony no. 3, C. Orff’s Carmina Burana, B. Britten’s Spring SymphonyA ceremony of carols, G. Holst’s Planets, A. Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher. The choir performed for the first time works of composers bound with Cracow: Henryk Jan Botor, Wojciech Widłak and Paweł Moszumański. The choir co-operates with Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir on a permanent basis, performing also with the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Warsaw, Sinfonia Varsovia, Capella Cracoviensis, Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, Tarnów Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra and Choir of the Academy of Music in Cracow.
In 2002-2008 the choir participated in operas: La Boheme and Tosca by G. Puccini, Macbeth by G. Verdi and Hansel and Gretel by E. Humperdinck. The choir took part in several Polish festivals: Polish Music Festival, Organ Music Days, Vratislavia Cantans, Warsaw Autumn, Music in Old Cracow; and abroad, in England, Austria, Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands, Iran, Lebanon, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Italy. In the framework of one of the Kraków 2000 Festival projects, the choir performed the famous medieval masterpiece found in Spain: Codex Calixtinus.
For many years, the Cracow Philharmonic Boys’ Choir has collaborated with artists of Piwnica pod Baranami cabaret: Jacek Wójcicki, Grzegorz Turnau, Beata Rybotycka and Zbigniew Preisner. The choir recorded a soundtrack composed by Zbigniew Preisner to Agnieszka Holland’s movie Secret Garden, participated in the 1st performance of Requiem for my friend by Z. Preisner at the Grand Theatre in Warsaw and recorded Preisner’s carols.
The choir took part in an open-air Farewell Concert for John Paul II in Cracow, and on the occasion of the first anniversary of his death, the choir participated
in the first performance of Joachim Mencel’s jazz cantata to Karol Wojtyła’s poetry Love explained it all (Miłość mi wszystko wyjaśniła).
The choir has supported the great Polish charity event, Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy, by participating in jazz concerts.

 


© Julia Wesely
© Julia Wesely

Bernarda Finkdaughter of Slovenian parents, was born in Buenos Aires and received her vocal and musical education at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón where she performed frequently.

Bernarda Fink is one of the most sought-after singers in concerts and recitals. She has been acclaimed for her musical versatility and invited by the leading orchestras and conductors in Europe and America. Her repertoire ranges from ancient music up to music of the 20th century. She frequently appears with such well-known orchestras as the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin and Dresden, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the best-known Baroque orchestras under such famous conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, René Jacobs, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Sir Roger Norrington, Trevor Pinnock, Georges Prêtre, Sir Simon Rattle and Franz Welser-Möst. She had a close artistic cooperation with Nikolaus Harnoncourt which is testified by numerous TV and CD recordings.

Bernarda Fink has appeared to widespread critical acclaim in Argentina and at the most important opera houses in Europe. Recent highlights were the roles of Cecilio/LUCIO SILLA led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Theater an der Wien, Idamante/IDOMENEO in a production of Luc Bondy and Jesus Lopez Cobos at the Teatro Real in Madrid, and Irene/THEODORA under Ivor Bolton at the Salzburg Festival. She also sang Sesto/LA CLEMENZA DI TITO and Idamante in concert versions under the baton of René Jacobs, both of which were recorded and highly praised. In June 2017, Bernarda Fink made her debut in Debussy´s PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE at the Vienna State Opera.

Bernarda Fink regularly appears in recital at the Wiener Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Berlin Philharmonie, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, Edinburgh Festival, Carnegie and Alice Tully Hall in New York. Furthermore Bernarda Fink performed Dvořák and Janacek songs together with the Pavel Haas Quartett at London´s Wigmore Hall, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, in Den Haag and in Madrid. In the 2015/2016 season, she gave recitals in Buenos Aires, Ljubljana and Zeist.

Highlights of the past seasons were, alongside numerous recitals, a semi-staged production of Debussy´s PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE with Sir Simon Rattle, Peter Sellars and the Berlin Philharmonic, Mahler´s SYMPHONY No. 3 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Daniel Harding, Dvořák´s BIBLICAL SONGS with the Ensemble Prisma at the festival Attergauer Kultursommer, at the Carinthian Summer Music Festival and in London´s Wigmore Hall as well as Mahler´s LIED VON DER ERDE with Jiří Bělohlávek in Prague and Brahms´ ALTO RHAPSODY with the Mozarteum Orchestra and Ivor Bolton in Salzburg.

Amongst other concerts, season 2017/2018 includes Pergolesi´s STABAT MATER in Rome, Mahler´s SYMPHONY No. 2 with Mariss Jansons in Copenhagen and with Jakub Hrůša in Bamberg, a tour across South America with Camerata Salzburg, concerts at the Internationale Barocktage Stift Melk, Szymanowski´s STABAT MATER with Dennis Russell Davies in Grafenegg and Mahlers SYMPHONY No. 2 with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Andris Nelsons at the Salzburg Festival.

Bernarda Fink regularly holds master classes at the Wiener Meisterkurse, the Young Singers Project (YSP) in Salzburg, the Academy of the Festival in Aix-en-Provence, the Schubert-Institute in Baden (near Vienna) and in Aldeburgh. She was also on the jury of the International Song Competition of London Wigmore Hall, DAS LIED Song Competition in Berlin and the Bach Wettbewerb Leipzig and as expert at the BBC Cardiff Singers of the World.

Bernarda Fink has made numerous highly acclaimed recordings. Her discography comprises more than 50 releases, ranging from Monteverdi and Rameau to Schubert and Bruckner and Schumann. Many of them have been awarded coveted prizes such as the Diapason d’Or or the Grammy. Bernarda Fink has a close collaboration with Harmonia Mundi. Recent recordings include Bach Cantatas with the Freiburger Barockorchester, and Lieder by Schumann with accompanist Anthony Spiri, Pergolesi’s STABAT MATER with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and programs with Lieder by Slovenian as well as Argentinian composers together with her brother, the baritone Marcos Fink (Grammy nomination). In  2012, albums of Dvořák Lieder (together with Genia Kühmeier), and with Spanish Songs (de Falla, Granados, Rodrigo and others) again with Anthony Spiri at the piano, were released. Her latest album included Mahler Lieder accompanied by the Niederösterreichische Tonkünstlerorchestra and Andrés Orozco-Estrada and by the pianist Anthony Spiri.

In February 2006, Bernarda Fink was awarded the Austrian Honorary Medal for Art and Science by the Austrian Chancellor and in February 2013, together with her brother Marcos Fink, the most prestigious cultural award of Slovenia sponsored by the Prešeren-foundation for their recording Slovenija! and the related concerts. In September 2014 she received the title of Österreichische Kammersängerin.