persons' index (W)


Bohdan Wodiczko,

conductor and teacher; b. 2nd July 1911 in Warsaw; d. 12 May 1985 in Warsaw. He first studied violin at the Fryderyk Chopin Music School in Warsaw and then piano, French horn and music theory at the Warsaw Conservatory. In 1932 he went to Prague to study composition under Jaroslav Křička and conducting under Metod Doležil. He also attended Václav Talich's special conducting course. Upon his return to Poland three years later, he continued composition studies under Piotr Rytel and conducting studies under Walerian Bierdiajew at the Warsaw Conservatory, from which he graduated with honours in 1939.

During World War II Wodiczko earned money by playing in the orchestra of the Warsaw Adria night club. After the war he organized a symphony orchestra of the Citizens' Militia in Otwock near Warsaw and was its conductor for a while; he also taught conducting at the Karol Kurpiński Music School in Warsaw. He then moved to Gdańsk where he became the first conductor of the Baltic Philharmonic (1946-50). Starting from 1947 he lectured at the State Higher Music School in Sopot. From 1947 to 1949 he was also the music director of the Polish Radio in Gdańsk. In 1950 he was appointed artistic director and first conductor of the State Philharmonic in Łódź and joined the faculty of the State Higher Music School in Łódź. From 1951 he worked as artistic dirctor and first conductor of the State Philharmonic in Kraków, and from 1953 as a lecturer at the State Higher Music School in Kraków. As the artistic director and first conductor of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw in 1955-58 he took its orchestra on its first grand tour in UK, Belgium and West Germany. At the same time he lectured conducting at the State Higher Music Schools in Warsaw and Poznań and, from 1959, also in Łódź, where he was also the acting conductor of the State Operetta.

During his appointment as conductor of the Reykjavik Philharmonic in 1960 Wodiczko conducted works by Stanisław Moniuszko, Fryderyk Chopin and Mieczysław Karłowicz, and he contributed to the production of a complete radio broadcast of Stanisław Moniuszko's opera Halka. In the years 1961-65 he produced a number of performances as artistic director and first conductor of the Warsaw Opera. The premiere of Igor Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex (staged by Konrad Swinarski) in January 1962 was followed by Stravinsky's Persephone, Orpheus and The Rite of Spring, Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlos, Stanislaw Moniuszko's The Haunted Manor, Richard Strauss's The Knight of the Rose, Bela Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle, Luigi Dallapiccoli's Il prigionero and Luigi Nono's Il mantello rosso.

In 1965-68 Wodiczko was again appointed as conductor of the Reykjavik Philharmonic. In 1968 he took the position of conductor of the Great Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio (WOSPR). In 1972-78 he workes at the State Higher Music School in Warsaw. In August 1977 he was appointed director and artistic director of the Grand Theatre in Łódź. From April to June 1979 he was the artistic director of this intitution. In the last years of his life he made the Helsinki recording of Claude Debussy's Iberia and Karol Szymanowski's Harnasie with the Great Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio.

Bohdan Wodiczko received the Order of the Falcon from the President of Iceland in 1968 and the award of the Polish Composers' Union in 1975.

updated: 2020 (ac)