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Jerzy Katlewicz,

conductor and pedagogue; b. 2nd April 1927 in Bochnia; d. 16th November 2015 in Kraków. In the years 1945-46 he studied the piano in the class of Jan Hoffman, and in the years 1947-52 composition and conducting under Artur Malawski at the State High School of Music in Kraków (diploma with honors). In 1957-58 he completed complementary studies in Italy and Austria. From 1972 he was teaching at the State High School of Music in Kraków. In 1983 he received the title of associate professor and in 1990 – full professor.

Between 1948 and 1953 he was the music director at the Groteska Puppet and Actor Theater, in the years 1952-58 he was the conductor of the Kraków Philharmonic, and from 1954 to 1958 the conductor of the Kraków Opera. In 1958-61 he was the general and artistic director of the Poznań Philharmonic, in 1961-68 the artistic director and first conductor of the Gdańsk Opera and Philharmonic. Then he returned to Kraków, where in 1968-81 he was the artistic director and first conductor, and from 1971 also the general director of the Kraków Philharmonic. In 1979-82 he was the artistic director of the Noordhollands Philharmonisch Orkest in Haarlem in the Netherlands, and from 1984 to 1985 the director and artistic director of the Symphony Orchestra and Choir of the Polish Radio and Television in Kraków.

Jerzy Katlewicz began his international conducting career in 1955 after winning the first prize at the Young Conductors Competition in Besançon in France. Hes performed in all major European centres, as well as in Japan, China, Mongolia, Cuba, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon. He conducted outstanding symphony orchestras around the world, including: RAI Roma, RAI Milano, RAI Torino, National Orchestra of Mexico, Conservatoire Paris, RTB Bruxelle, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Gulbenkian Lisbon, Radio and Television Orchestra in Moscow, National Orchestra TV Paris, FOK Praha, Radio Hilversum Orchestra, Teatro dell Opera Roma, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Roma, as well as philharmonic orchestras in Athens, Barcelona, Bratislava, Budapest, Bucharest, Ljubljana, Rotterdam. He collaborated with many outstanding soloists, including Marta Argerich, Fou Ts’ong, Gidon Kremer, Witold Małcużyński, Maurizio Pollini, Artur Rubinstein, Krystian Zimerman, Ewa Bandrowska-Turska, Światosław Richter, Jakub Zak. He participated in many festivals, including Warsaw Autumn, Wratislavia Cantans, Edinburgh Festival, Holland Festival, Gulbenkian Festival, Flanders Festival, as well as festivals in Bonn, Florence, Peruggi, Rimini, Vienna, Bergen. He was a leading performed of Krzysztof Penderecki’s vocal and instrumental works – he led the premieres of his Cosmogony, Utrenja and Magnificat. He premiered many works by Polish composers, including Zbigniew Bujarski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Stefan Kisielewski, Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar, Kazimierz Serocki, Marek Stachowski, Tadeusz Szeligowski, and Adam Walaciński. He made many radio and album recordings, including with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra, the Great Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio and Television.

Jerzy Katlewicz was honored with many awards and decorations, including First Degree Award of the Minister of Culture and Art (1967), Award of the City of Gdańsk (1967, 2000), Award of the City of Kraków (1971), diploma of the Minister of Foreign Affairs "for outstanding services in promoting Polish culture abroad" (1974, 1989), Award of the Polish Composers’ Union "for outstanding services in promoting Polish contemporary music" (1986), the Commander's Cross with the Star "Polonia Restituta" (1993), the Medal "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" awarded by the Holy See "for popularizing masterpieces of sacred music" (1993), First degree Award of the Minister of Culture and Art "for outstanding artistic and pedagogical achievements" (1995), Award of the Kraków Foundation of Polish Culture (1995), Order of the Saint Gregory the Great on the 50th anniversary of artistic activity (1999), Mestwin II Medal (2000). In November 2000 he became an Honorary Citizen of the City of Bochnia.

In the years 1979-99 he was a member of the jury of the Grzegorz Fitelberg International Conducting Competition in Katowice. From 1948 he was a member of the SPAM Association of Polish Artists Musicians and the ZAiKS Association of Authors.

updated: 2020 (ac)