The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) is one of the most important symphony orchestras in the country, as well as a dynamic institution whose activities span various disciplines of culture.
The history of the ensemble reaches back to 1935 and is irrevocably bound to Grzegorz Fitelberg, who was tasked with creating the first self-contained radio symphony orchestra in Poland. Its first performance was aired on 2nd October 1935 and since then, it has always been present in Polish Radio broadcasts. After World War II, the orchestra was reactivated in Katowice, Witold Rowicki being entrusted with its recreation in 1945.
Over the following decades, the ensemble has been continuously reinforcing its international renown with performances in leading concert halls across the world and collaborating with the greatest artists of our time, such as Leonard Bernstein, Martha Argerich, Plácido Domingo and Artur Rubinstein. The orchestra has been entrusted with first performances of their works by such composers as Witold Lutosławski, Wojciech Kilar, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki, while NOSPR’s recordings have been released by the most prestigious labels. Over the years, the orchestra has worked with exquisite conductors including Jan Krenz, Kazimierz Kord, Tadeusz Strugała, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Antoni Wit, Gabriel Chmura, Jacek Kaspszyk and Alexander Liebreich. Currently, the ensemble’s rich tradition is being followed under Lawrence Foster as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, while Ewa Bogusz-Moore serves as General and Programme Director.
At every step in NOSPR’s history, its relationship with technology has been a constant feature of its identity. In the late 1960s, thanksto its then artistic director, Bohdan Wodiczko, the orchestra initiated its long-term collaboration with television. Currently, the Internet is becoming increasingly important in building the orchestra’s relations with its audience.
NOSPR’s seat is a modern building design by the Katowice-based architecture firm Konior Studio, housing a 1800-seat concert hall, the chamber hall, and numerous spaces for workshops and educational purposes. The Concert Hall, with acoustic design by Nagata Acoustics, is widely acclaimed as one of the best-sounding halls in the world. In 2023, it will be equipped with a pipe organ, one of the largest instruments of its kind in European concert halls. The extraordinary opportunities offered by the venue have found wide recognition among audiences, artists and other stakeholders in the musical world. This has been proven with the acceptance of NOSPR, as the only institution in Poland and one of only two in Central and Eastern Europe, as a member of ECHO, an organisation gathering 21 most prestigious European concert halls.