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Grzegorz Nowak




"[San Diego] Symphony Comes Alive Under Nowak … Nowak elicited a brilliance and depth from the orchestra … restored the magic and innocent ebullience." - Los Angeles Times

Grzegorz Nowak is Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Grand-Prize Winner of the Ernest Ansermet Competition for Conductors and a recipient of the Patek Philippe Award. Maestro Nowak has worked with such prestigious ensembles as the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Lamoureaux in Paris, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the National Orchestra of Spain and the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon. Mr. Nowak has also performed alongside many of the most widely respected soloists of our time, including Henryk Szeryng, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Pinchas Zukerman, Midori, Nigel Kennedy, and Kathleen Battle.

"Outstanding… in every way this matches and even outshines the superb account which Sir Georg Solti recorded with the Chicago Orchestra on Decca… the vitality of the piece is superbly caught."-Gramophone Magazine, London
"Nowak … had a firm grip on the score's potential for liquid line and colorful sonority … the performance virtually oozed with excitement." -The Buffalo News



‘Nowak directed a very fine account of Tchaikovsky’s last symphony…

If the Royal Philharmonic hadn’t secured the services of Charles Dutoit I would be demanding that Grzegorz Nowak be immediately appointed chief conductor for he has a rapport with the musicians and they obviously enjoy playing for him. His concerts are always worth attending and with the RPO on top form we have as exciting a combination of musicians as one could hope for in London. I can hardly wait for the next show when they all get together again.’

Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International, London, 2010-10-05

‘There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind, after hearing this show, that together Grzegorz Nowak and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra make a truly winning combination. I have heard quite a few performances by these musicians and Nowak always commands playing of the very highest standard from the orchestra. We, the audience, are lucky that the RPO has his services. Tonight’s performance of the 4th Symphony showed all that is best in musical performance. Starting with the richest and most sumptuous declamation of the fate motif from the horns – a real dream team here – Nowak led us through Tchaikovsky’s tortured mind in the first movement, seldom allowing for respite – with only a slight slackening of tension for the second subject – this was highly powered and agonising in its intensity… beautiful… marvellous… delightfully mellifluous… joyous… Nowak… made the final appearance of the fate motif a real event, blowing the roof off our expectations of a mere repeat of earlier music, and bringing a kind of Armageddon to the work. A towering interpretation and as fine a piece of orchestral playing as I have heard all year… splendid concert’

Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International, London, 2010-06-08

‘Grzegorz Nowak Excels in Tchaikovsky with the RPO…he is a conductor of great ability… His performance of Romeo and Juliet was outstanding: he secured immaculate playing, with particularly sharp, brilliant attack; he generated high tension in the Montague and Capulets episode and he inspired beautiful, atmospheric warmth of phrase in the love musicĺ… Nowak directed a cheerful, highly rhythmic performance of the Polonaise from Eugene Onegin, and a deliciously pointed, characterful account of seven numbers from The Nutcracker – the familiar suite, that is to say, less the opening Miniature Overture. What a wonderful ballet conductor he must be (or maybe would be) with his acute sense of rhythm and pulse. Finally, we heard a finely shaped, urgent performance of 1812 that made it seem like a dramatic masterpiece: maybe it is when it is allowed to flower as it did here…And so the hero of the evening was undoubtedly Grzegorz Nowak, who thoroughly deserved the standing ovation that was given to him at the conclusion of the programme.’

Alan Sanders, Seen and Hear International, Royal Albert Hall, London, 2017-06-22

‘The RPO always plays well for Nowak… brilliant… Nowak succeeded magnificently… With the RPO on top form, utterly responsive to their conductor’s demands, this was a great performance of a great Symphony, an evening which will remain long in the memory.’

Bob Briggs, Musical Pointers, London, 2010-04-09

Grzegorz Nowak impresses… a very accomplished conductor. The Mozart overture was played in a very lively, vivacious fashion and then there was a complete change of mood for Delius’s intermezzo. The performance of this exquisite piece left nothing to be desired, for Nowak kept the music flowing forward in just the right fashion, and his judgment of its natural ebb and flow and turns of phrase was immaculately sympathetic… The Tchaikovsky ballet numbers were played with imagination and in a rhythmic style that reflected their dance origins rather than their use as concert fare. And in the Bizet suites there was much to admire in the character and zest of the RPO’s playing and the composer’s wonderful orchestration, which came across more vividly in this live performance than in even the finest recordings.’ 

Alan Sanders, MusicWeb International, London, 2015-02-14

'Nowak did a good job in bringing out the richness of the romantic textures while at the same time ensuring they remained clear… excellent… played with vigour and gusto bringing the piece to its triumphant conclusion… Nowak and the RPO did an excellent job… wonderfully atmospheric.  The RPO brought a wide range of colour… and succeeded in bringing out the sense of wonderment and emotional engagement… pointed phrasing… expressive… restrained sensuality… delightful playing… nicely shaped and crafted… Nowak and the RPO performed it with lightness and grace, while there was some deft orchestral colouring… Nowak brought immense clarity to the contrapuntal elements… extremely well articulated and voiced… delivered with an emotional charge and punch.

Robert Beatle, MusicWeb International, London, 2012-03-14

‘neat and graceful… the tone quality was penetrating yet sparkled with finesse, cutting and beautiful at the same time. There was always a tremendous buoyant enthusiasm in the dance rhythms… The interpretation was faultlessly enthusiastic… the orchestra came to life, boiling over with enthusiasm and excitement… perfectly poised and yet heartfelt, a truly touching rendition… handled with dignity and emotion… the music was freshly and emotionally presented, an immense pleasure to listen to… clearly enjoyed by audience and players alike… enjoyably bewildering, the cheekiness of phrase after phrase bickering with each other… exuberant’ 

Madelaine Jones,, 2012-11-07

‘Symphony No 5 earned lengthy applause and rightly so. The impressive dynamic shaping and clarity of phrasing were particularly powerful… the unity of this huge orchestra, the playing from all sections… ensured a gripping mix and balance of emotion and mood throughout: pain, restlessness, conflict, demented obsession, sneering cynicism, humour and defiant exuberance were all there, though under control… spell-binding… keeping listeners suspended in a magical, emotional flow.’

Eileen Caiger Grey, DigYorkshire, Leeds, 2010-04-21

‘Nowak's energetic conducting and attention, especially to dynamic detail, was abundantly evident… admirably captured in tonight's performance… Nowak and the orchestra were superb… Nowak moulded an intense musical line, a kind of great arc of symphonic drama which also projected the difference, diversity of each movement - indeed the diversity within each movement… It was in the 'Largo' in particular that Nowak found an almost unbearable dramatic/brooding quality. I have seldom heard the development of unbroken cadences, after the first impassioned D minor climax, mutating into regions of ill - defined tonality captured with such conviction… inspired event’

Geoff Digginess, MusicWeb International, London, 2010-04-09

‘one of the greats… exciting… heavenly… under the spell… dazzling… livid colours… I appreciated that I have had the privilege of being there, it is one of the music world’s great shows… The evening was enhanced by being in such capable hands. Grzegorz Nowak took the fractions of a stripped down orchestra and edited versions of the pieces and made them add up to a larger number than the sum of their parts.’

Melanie Gow, Beat, London, 2010-09-25

‘high standards… a refined handling of the romantic tragedy with some truly ecstatic moments. Here the interpretive skills of Nowak were well shown, to produce a deep and satisfying performance… splendid… vivid rendering’

Stan Mears, Bucks Free Press, High Wycombe, 2010-02-21

‘compelling account… outstanding… achingly intense in climaxes… a thought-provoking performance’

Colin Anderson, ClassicalSource, London, 2010-04-09

‘The musicians of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra were at their best… The orchestra was led by… Grzegorz Nowak who is Principal Associate Conductor of the RPO. Nowak is an energetic conductor with an exquisite presence… his enthusiasm for the music is intense and contagious; at times he almost appears to grow, towering above the orchestra, like a Nordic god commanding a storm; his hair swirling around his head as if taken by a sudden, furious wind! He led the RPO in a vibrant but romantic rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture… his and the orchestra’s greatest moment came with the final piece: the composer’s magnificent Symphony No. 5… the music was delivered with great technical precision and well judged passion… leading the orchestra in an exceptionally fine, exciting interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s music. Nowak’s and the RPO’s performance was excellent throughout and one of the best that I have so far seen and heard’ 

Margarida Mota-Bull, MusicWeb International, London, 2010-02-18

‘An evening of music-making I shall never forget.‘

Jeffrey Taylor, Express, London, 2010-10-05

‘Grzegorz Nowak, a supremely musicianly conductor… drew a magnificent Shostakovich Fifth Symphony from his marvellously pliant orchestra’

Bernard Lee, Sheffield Telegraph, 2010-04-22

’Grzegorz Nowak, the RPO's Principal Associate Conductor, brought masterly expression to the performance, a shining example of his highly acclaimed and award-winning interpretations… the RPO and Grzegorz Nowak rendered one of the most memorable performances of Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No 9 in E minor.’

Simon Ames, Croydon Today, 2011-01-28

‘this was as sprightly a performance as you could have wished for… I loved every second of it… The Royal Philharmonic played expertly and obviously appear to enjoy working with Nowak. Long may this collaboration continue!’

Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International, London, 2009-11-25

‘quite exquisite… a delight… Nowak directed a very dramatic performance, full of fire and spirit, relishing every twist and turn of the music… Here was a New World full of drama, tension, passion and tragedy… the music held together better than I have ever heard it. With playing of the utmost excitement and refinement, this was a performance to savour.’

Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International, London, 2009-10-13

‘Nowak demonstrated exactly how to play Mozart without relegating all responsibility to the original instruments brigade… Nowak directed both Concertos in a spritely manner, full of bounce and spirit… But, to be honest, it was the Dvořák I wanted to hear… The music moved forwards at a very nice pace… This was a superb performance… and made this glorious Symphony into a real Symphonic experience rather than just a pleasant walk in the country… handled with aplomb, the tension never dropped, the drama, rather than tragedy, was well handled and we were kept on the edges of our seats as the music progressed from one highpoint to the next… superb’

Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International, London, 2009-10-06

'A robust reading… Judiciously played… tenderly phrased… beautifully played… every delicate nuance detectable… an excitingly-paced accelerando bring it all to a thrilling conclusion… the music is nicely paced as it builds seamlessly to the Allegro. Nowak keeps the development from wandering too far from the main path… The scherzo is the nearest Schumann gets to Mendelssohnian lightness of touch… brilliant.… ensemble is immaculate and the final chords are crisply punctuated to thrill. The slow movement is expressively warm, in which the woodwinds shine. Passion builds in the strings… a broad reading… excellent… very fine… Nowak coaxes some impressively quiet playing at pianissimo moments'

Christopher Fifield, MusicWeb International, 2010-03-10 

“Explosive.” This concert certainly lived up to its title… thanks to the conducting of Grzegorz Nowak and the magnificent orchestra… displayed the full force and talents of the orchestra’

Bella Bartock, Croydon Today, 2011-04-08

‘the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Grzegorz Nowak… were on fine form at the Cadogan Hall… fantastically colourful… Brahms’s Symphony no. 1 in C minor… rich string section… exciting… The beautiful pastoral theme was also a breath of fresh air in the midst of the building tension… a rousing ending’

Emily Owen,, 2013-10-11

‘Grzegorz Nowak… a commanding figure on the podium… stimulating introduction… Fantastic sound… Gorgeous… It was all very enthralling and enjoyable… the audience responded most warmly and with great respect.’ 

Classical, The Real Chirsparkle, Northampton, 2011-05-09

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