Antoni Wit In-depth Biography
Antoni Wit} is an important conductor on the international scene and one of Poland's best-known musical names. He is particularly well known for his performances of twenetieth-century music on numerous record labels}.
He attended the Cracow Academy of Music where he studied conducting with Henry Czyz} and composition in Krzysztof Penderecki}'s class. He graduated in conducting in 1967. He received a scholarship to study in 1967 and 1968 in Paris with Nadia Boulanger}, then returned to Cracow to graduate in composition in 1969. Simultaneously with his music studies, he studied law, graduating from Jagiellonian University of Cracow. During his student years, he also served as an assistant to conductor Witold Rowicki} at the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra}.
Upon graduation in 1969, he received opera} guest conducting assignments in the Grand Theater of Warsaw and the Malmö (Sweden) Music Theater and in 1971 took second prize in the Herbert von Karajan} conducting competition in Berlin. After that, he had a position as an assistant conductor at the Poznan Philharmonic} then, from 1974 to 1977, was artistic director of the Pomeranian Philharmonic} in Bydgoszcz. He returned to Cracow in 1977 to take the position of artistic director and principal conductor of the Orchestra and Chorus of Polish Radio and Television in Cracow}.
By now, Wit} began to receive international attention. The British label EMI} asked him to conduct recordings of works by the Polish twentieth-century composer Karol Szymanowski}, and he brought Szymanowski}'s opera King Roger} to the West in a memorable concert performance n West Berlin, and conducted a performance that was similarly revelatory of Moniusko}'s opera Halka} at the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste. During this period, he conducted his Cracow orchestra on international tours.
In 1983, he was appointed artistic director and principal conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra} (PNRSO, now renamed National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra} or NPRSO) in Katowice. This is Poland's most prestigious and most often heard orchestra, as Katowice is the headquarters of Poland's national radio station. As such, he conducts numerous broadcast recordings, most of them recorded, and makes many recordings for compact disc release. With the orchestra, he has toured to numerous European countries, the U.S., Turkey, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and Brazil, and recorded on the labels Polskie Nagranie}, EMI-HMV}, CBS}, Camerata Tokyo}, NVC Arts}, Pony Canyon}, and Naxos}. His recordings include the complete symphonies of Tchaikovsky}, Lutoslawski}, Schumann}, and Mahler}, and the complete piano concertos of Prokofiev} with Kun-Woo Paik}. The latter, on two Naxos} CDs, won the Grand Prix du Disque de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque and the Diapason d'Or Award.
He has appeared at many major festivals, including the Festival of Flanders, the Warsaw Autumn, the Brighton Festival, the Berlin Festival Week, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Taormina Arts, and the Music Festival of the Canary Islands. From 1987 to 1994, he was artistic director, and later principal guest conductor, of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Grand Canary}.
Even a very incomplete list of world-famous orchestras he has led includes the Philharmonia of London}, the Berlin Philharmonic}, the Dresden Staatskapelle}, the Tokyo Symphony}, the BBC Symphony} and Royal Philharmonic of London}, the Dresden Philharmonic}, the Tokyo Symphony}, the Berlin Radio Symphony}, WDR Orchestra of Cologne}, and the Orchestra of the Academy of St. Cecilia} in Rome.
Antoni Wit} is a professor of conducting at the F. Chopin Academy of Music of Warsaw. ~ Joseph Stevenson, All Music Guide