Wojciech Michniewski

Conductor and composer, born 4th April 1947 in Łódź.

He studied conducting with Stanisław Wisłocki (an honours degree), music theory (an honours degree) and composition with Andrzej Dobrowolski at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw.

Together with Krzysztof Knittel and Elżbieta Sikora he formed the KEW composer group. His piece Whisperetto for 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, 2 altos and a body-builder (1973) won the Premio RAI award of the Italian Radio and Television in 1975.

From 1973 to 1978, Wojciech Michniewski worked for Warsaw Philharmonic, first as assistant conductor, and from 1976 - as a conductor.

In 1974, he received an honorable mention in the National Competition for Conductors in Katowice; in 1977 - 1st prize in the International Guido Cantelli Competition for Conductors in the Milanese Teatro alla Scalla; in 1978 - the bronze medal in the International Ernest Ansermet Competition for Conductors in Geneva.

From 1979 to 1981, he was artistic director of the Grand Theatre in Łódź, and simultaneously (till 1983) - music director of the contemporary music stage in Warsaw Chamber Opera. In 1984-87, he was permanent guest conductor for Polish Chamber Orchestra, and played an important role in the transformation of this ensemble into the now famous Sinfonia Varsovia.

From 1987 to 1991 he was managing and artistic director of Poznań Philharmonic.

After 1991, despite numerous offers of permanent contracts with various orchestras, he has performed exclusively as a guest conductor.

Wojciech Michniewski is a highly versatile conductor, leading both symphonic concerts and operatic spectacles. Apart from performing the classical repertoire, he has won widespread acclaim for his interpretations of contemporary music.

In 1975 he received the "Orpheus" critics' award for the best performance of a Polish work at the "Warsaw Autumn" (Tadeusz Baird's Psychodrama), and in 1987 - critics' award at the Musikbiennale Berlin.

He still willingly performs with the leading Polish orchestras - The National Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra and the Grand Theatre in Warsaw, where he directed nusically the first performances of operas by Elżbieta Sikora (L'Arrache-coeur, 1995), Roxanny Panufnik (The Music Programme, 2000) and Paweł Mykietyn (The Ignoramus and the Madman, 2001).


He has made many recordings for record companies, the radio and television. In 1996, he was granted the "Fryderyk" Award of the Polish music record industry for his record with Witold Lutosławski's music, recorded with Krzysztof Jakowicz and Sinfonia Varsovia. In 1999, he won another "Fryderyk" Award for a record with the gala concert of Rossini's music, featuring Ewa Podleś, and in 2004 his record with works by Mieczysław Karłowicz and Wojciech Kilar was nominated for the "Fryderyk" Award.

Michniewski has given concerts in numerous countries in Europe, Asia and both Americas, as well as performing during major international festivals.

In 2005, he received the Award of the Polish Composers' Union for many years of creative support and presentation of Polish contemporary music.