Jacek Kaspszyk

Jacek Kaspszyk (b. 1952) – conductor, artistic director of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw, performer and popularizer of Witold Lutosławski’s music.

In 1975, he completed studies in conducting, music theory, and composition in the State Postsecondary School of Music in Warsaw. From the time of his success at the prestigious Herbert von Karajan Conducting Competition (3rd Prize), he conducted many of the greatest orchestras in Europe and Asia, including the Bayerische Rundfunk, RSO Berlin, Orchestre Nationale de France, Wiener Symphoniker, and philharmonic orchestras in Oslo, Stockholm, Rotterdam, and Prague.

He held a wide range of posts in Poland, such as: general director of the Grand Theatre – National Opera in Warsaw, musical director of the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, artistic director of the Symphony Orchestra of the Witold Lutosławski Philharmonic in Wrocław. In September 1, 2013, he became artistic director of the National Philharmonic.

In one interview, Jacek Kaspszyk remembered Witold Lutosławski in the following manner: “His views were balanced, as were his composition, [which he] notated with the utmost perfection. He maintained that if he put something down and someone happened to not wholly understand it, the fault was his, and not that of the performer, for example. I once asked him, ‘Witek, why is your Fourth so short? It’s such an outstanding work, yet everyone is left with a lack of satisfaction’. He answered: ‘And that’s the wonderful thing – when the public leaves with a lack of satiety. An inverse situation would be terrifying’”. Jacek Kaspszyk and the Symphony Orchestra of the Wrocław Philharmonic recorded Lutosławski’s Symphonies nos. 2 and 4 for the CD Accord label. The compact disc received a Fryderyk Award in 2011.

On September 22, 2013, following a Warsaw Autumn festival concert at which Jacek Kaspszyk and Krystian Zimerman performed Witold Lutosławski’s Piano Concerto, the Polish conductor received the Witold Lutosławski Centennial Medal for an outstanding contribution to the dissemination of the composer’s music and knowledge about his person.

sw / trans. mk