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Andrzej Kosendiak,

conductor, pedagogue, animator of cultural life; b. 5th October 1955 in Wrocław. In 1983 he graduated from the Faculty of Composition, Conducting and Music Theory of the Wrocław Academy of Music, where in 2013 he obtained the degree of doctor habilitatus.

For years he has lectured at his alma mater, and his positions there included the directorship of the Inter-Faculty Early Music Studies from 2001–2009. From 2014–2016 he taught at the Music Academy in Gdańsk, and since 2016 has resumed his teaching activities as professor at the Wrocław Academy of Music.

In 2005 Andrzej Kosendiak was appointed Director of the Wrocław Philharmonic and the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans, and ever since has effectively worked on changing the profile of both organisations and merging them into one performing arts organisation under the name of National Forum of Music. Thanks to his ideas and efforts, the prestigious concert venue of the National Forum of Music was constructed. The opening of the National Forum of Music was recognised as the ‘Event of the Year’ and honoured with the Coryphaeus of Polish Music award. The Society of Polish Philharmonics was founded due to his initiative, and now Andrzej Kosendiak is its chair for the second term.

He has founded the following resident ensembles of the National Forum of Music: the NFM Choir, the Wrocław Baroque Orchestra, and the NFM Boys’ Choir. He initiated the Leo Festival and the international meetings of young choirs called The Singing Europe. Following his efforts, in 2013 the Wrocław Philharmonic organised the 27th Congress of the International Society for the Performing Arts. He is a co-founder of Academies of Early Music, combining concerts with master classes (Bach Academy in 2014, Handel Academy in 2015, Mozart Academy 2016, and Mendelssohn Academy 2017). The educational projects advanced thanks to his initiative include: Singing Wrocław, and Mummy, Daddy Sing to Me. He invited Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny to co-found the Polish National Youth Choir and the Choral Academy. Muzyka w Mieście (Music in the City) monthly, published by the National Forum of Music, is yet another in the long line of the artist’s successful ideas.

Andrzej Kosendiak established the phonographic series 1000 Years of Music in Wrocław, recording the musical heritage of the city. It was his idea to commence the Witold Lutosławski. Opera omnia series, with six albums published so far. Another important recording project is the joint project of Paul McCreesh and the NFM Choir whose aim is to record great oratorios. Albums released in this series have won prestigious awards: BBC Music Magazine Award (twice), Diapason d’Or and the Gramophone Editor’s Choice.

Early music is of particular interest to Andrzej Kosendiak: in 1985 he founded Collegio di Musica Sacra he has led to date. He has toured many European countries, as well as the USA (collaboration with Chapel Hill University North Carolina), in addition to performances at the most prestigious festivals and in the concert venues across Poland. His recording catalogue includes hitherto unknown works from the collections of Wrocław University Library: Musica da Chiesa (DUX), from the Strasbourg Library: F.X. Richter’s Messa Pastorale, Sinfonia in D, Magnificat (CYPRES), as well as A.M. Bononcini’s Stabat Mater (DUX). In 2012 and 2014 two CDs with music by Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki under his baton were released on the CD Accord label. The first CD won the Wrocław Music Prize, and both were nominated for a Fryderyk Award. Andrzej Kosendiak’s latest release is the Salzburg Marian Mass with liturgical music by Mozart, two albums with works of Bartłomiej Pękiel, as well as a disc of works by Marcin Mielczewski (CD Accord). Another CD in the Witold Lutosławski. Opera omnia series, featuring his songs for children and recorded with the NFM Instrumentalists and NFM Boys’ Choir under the baton of Andrzej Kosendiak, will be released soon.

As a conductor he gives regular concerts with the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic and Choir as well as with the Wrocław Baroque Orchestra, alongside philharmonic orchestras across Poland. His latest engagements include: Haydn’s The Creation, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Requiem, J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Passions, Fauré’s Requiem, and Britten’s cantata Saint Nicolas.

In 2016 Andrzej Kosendiak received an Award of the Mayor of Wrocław and was rewarded Dolnośląski Klucz Sukcesu in the Greatest Personality in the Promotion of Lower Silesia category. In October 2016 he was elected Vicepresident of the Minister of Culture’s Council of Artistic Institutions, founded in 2012. In 2017 he received the award of Radio Wrocław Kultura ‘Emotions’ in the Personality of the Cultural Season category.

updated: 2018 (ac)