Orchestras & Opera Houses
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice
The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice is one of the most important Polish symphony orchestras, as well as a versatile cultural institution. The orchestra’s history dates back to 1935 and is inextricably linked with Grzegorz Fitelberg who was entrusted with the task of creating Poland’s first independent radio symphony orchestra. The ensemble made its debut on 2nd Oct
The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice is one of the most important Polish symphony orchestras, as well as a versatile cultural institution. The orchestra’s history dates back to 1935 and is inextricably linked with Grzegorz Fitelberg who was entrusted with the task of creating Poland’s first independent radio symphony orchestra. The ensemble made its debut on 2nd October 1935 and has been a constant presence on Polish Radio ever since. After World War II the orchestra was reactivated in Katowice and its reconstruction was entrusted to Witold Rowicki in 1945.
In the following decades the orchestra gradually strengthened its international reputation, performing in the most important concert halls of the world and collaborating with the greatest artists of our time, including Leonard Bernstein, Martha Argerich, Plácido Domingo and Arthur Rubinstein. The orchestra has premiered works by Witold Lutosławski, Wojciech Kilar, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki, among others, and NOSPR albums were released by prestigious labels. Over the years, the orchestra has been led by distinguished conductors including Jan Krenz, Kazimierz Kord, Tadeusz Strugała, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Antoni Wit, Gabriel Chmura, Jacek Kaspszyk and Alexander Liebreich. Today, the orchestra’s rich musical traditions are cultivated under the artistic direction of Lawrence Foster, with Ewa Bogusz-Moore serving as its General and Programme Director.
The permanent element of NOSPR’s identity, at each stage of its history, remained the relationship with technology. At the end of the 1960s, thanks to its artistic director at the time, Bohdan Wodiczko, the orchestra began a long-lasting cooperation with television, and nowadays the Internet plays an increasingly important role in building relations with the audience.
The residence of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra is a modern building designed by the Konior Studio from Katowice, comprising a concert hall with 1800 seats, a chamber music hall and numerous workshop and educational spaces. The concert hall, with acoustics designed by Nagata Acoustics, has a reputation as one of the best concert halls in the world in terms of acoustics. In 2023 it will be enriched with a pipe organ, which will be one of the largest in European concert halls. The venue’s outstanding capabilities are widely recognized by audiences, artists and the music community.
Proof of this is the fact that the NOSPR, as the only Polish and one of only two institutions in Central and Eastern Europe, has been admitted to the international ECHO organization, which brings together 21 of the most prestigious concert halls in Europe.