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Kazimierz Kord (Conductor)

Famous Polish conductor, born on 18 November 1930 in Podgorze. He graduated from the Music Secondary School in Katowice in the piano class. In 1949-1955 he studied piano with Vladimir Nilsen at the Leningrad Conservatory, and in 1956-1960 – conducting with Artur Malawski and Witold Krzemienski at the State Higher School of Music in Krakow. He was chorus master and conductor at the Warsaw Opera in 1960-1962. In 1962-1969 he was the director and artistic manager of the Municipal Musical Theatre in Krakow, where he prepared close to 30 premieres, including Charles Gounod‘s “Faust” which he directed, with stage design by Jozef Szajna.

The success of this production opened the way to the Gartnerplatztheater in Munich (“The Queen of Spades” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, “Duke Bluebeard‘s Castle” by Bela Bartok), and then to the Metropolitan Opera in New York (“The Queen of Spades”, “Boris Godunov” by Modest Mussorgsky, “Aida” and “Macbeth” by Giuseppe Verdi, “Cosi Fan Tutte” by Wolfgang A. Mozart). In 1969-1973 he was the director and artistic manager of the Polish Radio and Television Great Symphony Orchestra in Katowice. From 1977 to 2001, he was the director and artistic manager of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. Together with the National Philharmonic‘s ensemble, he went on a number of large tours in Europe, the United States, Australia, China and Japan as well as making numerous radio and CD recordings. During that time, he was also a conductor of the Sudwestfunk Orchestra in Baden-Baden (1980-1986). He has performed with many famous orchestras in Leningrad, Cleveland, Chicago (debut in 1973), Cincinnati,! Pittsburgh, Detroit, Tokyo, Toronto (1974 – a European tour with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra after the demise of Karel Ancerl), London, Prague, Munich, Stuttgart, Rome, Milan, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Athens. He has prepared productions at the opera theatres of New York, London (Covent Garden), Munich, Dusseldorf ("Eugene Onegin" by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, "The Rake‘s Progress" by Igor Stravinsky), Amsterdam ("Orlando" by George F. Handel, "Katerina Ismailova" by Dmitri Shostakovich directed by Aleksander Bardini, "Wozzeck" by Alban Berg), Copenhagen (Royal Opera), San Francisco ("Rigoletto", "Otello" and "Falstaff" by Giuseppe Verdi, "Boris Godunov" by Modest Mussorgsky, "Gioconda" by Amilcare Ponchielli). He has many recordings to his credit, including works by Jean Sibelius and Pyotr Tchaikovsky‘s Symphony No. 4 with the New Philharmonia (Decca), "Fidelio" by Ludwig van Beethoven, "Requiem" by Giuseppe Verdi (Polskie Nagrania). He has also made a large number o! f television recordings for Sudwestfunk (including the masses of Joseph Haydn, "Requiem" by Wolfgang A. Mozart, works by Karol Szymanowski and George Gershwin).

He is the initiator of the Lutoslawski Forum – a series of concerts combined with a presentation of visual arts as well as a discussion forum. He is the winner of many artistic awards, including the Critics‘ Award at the Music Biennial in Berlin (1971), the Golden Orpheus at the Warsaw Autumn Festival (1972), Conductor of the Year in Munich (1972). In 1976, the Minister of Foreign Affairs presented him with a diploma of appreciation for his great contribution to promoting Polish music abroad. He received the Minister of Culture and Art‘s First-Degree Award in 1977.

At the Polish National Opera, Kazimierz Kord prepared “The Queen of Spades” by Tchaikovsky, which premiered on 19 December 2004 and conducted the New Year‘s Eve Gala on December 31, 2004. Then he prepared Puccini‘s "La Boheme" (March 2006), Mozart‘s "The Magic Flute" (June 2006) and ballet evening "Szymanowski and Dance" (October 2006). In 18 July 2005 he was appointed Music Director of the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera and as per 1 February 2006 acting General Director (until June 2006).

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