Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra

Biography by

The Wroclaw Philharmonic has had many name changes since its 1954 founding, but it always presents Polish music along with the classics.
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

The Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra was called the Philharmonic Witold Lutoslawski for some years, and it has championed contemporary music not only by that famed composer, but by other contemporary composers in Poland and beyond. The orchestra was founded in 1945 and met various needs in the city's hardscrabble postwar environment. In 1949, it officially became the State Orchestra of Wroclaw, giving instrumental concerts only periodically. In 1954, at the instigation of the Ukrainian artist Wojciech Dzieduszycki, scion of an old Ruthenian family who had moved to Wroclaw, the group reemerged as the independent Wroclaw Symphony Orchestra and gave its first performance in the assembly hall of the Polytechnic University. The orchestra was nationalized in 1958 and was renamed State Philharmonic of Wroclaw, with Adam Kopyciński as conductor and artistic director. In 1968, the Philharmonic took up residence at a new hall on Marshal Josef Pilsudski St. in Wroclaw. In 1994, the orchestra took the name Witold Lutoslawski Philharmonic, honoring Poland's greatest postwar composer, and in 2015, it received yet another new name, the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic. The "NFM," often dropped in casual conversation, designated the orchestra's new home: the National Forum of Music, an imposing structure with architecture by Kurylowicz & Associates and acoustic design by Artec. The orchestra has experienced success in the new building, performing for nearly 100,000 attendees in its first two seasons; it is widely considered to be the premier venue of its type in Poland. The orchestra organization, since 2005 under the direction of Andrzej Kosendiak, also encompasses the chamber orchestra NFM Leopoldinium, the Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra, the NFM Choir, and the NFM Boys Choir. The Wroclaw Philharmonic has recorded for the Albany, Dux, Signum, and Accord labels. In 2018 the orchestra released a recording of the four symphonies of Arvo Pärt on the prestige German label ECM.