Jerzy Maksymiuk

Jerzy Maksymiuk was born in Grodno, Poland, and studied violin, piano, conducting and composition at the Warsaw Conservatory. In 1964 he won first prize in the Paderewski Piano Composition. Conducting, however, soon became his principal career and while working at the Warsaw Grand Theatre he formed the highly successful Polish Chamber Orchestra, which toured all over the world following its British debut in 1977. Between 1975 and 1977 Jerzy Maksymiuk also held the post of Principal Conductor of the Polish National Radio Orchestra.

From 1983 to 1993 Jerzy Maksymiuk was Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, with which he appeared at the famous Promenade Concerts in London and made a number of overseas tours. In April 1990 he was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by Strathclyde University. In recognition of his outstanding commitment to the orchestra the BBC conferred upon him the honorary title of Conductor Laureate in 1993. In 1999 he was presented with the prestigious Gold Medal from the Elgar Society for contributions to furthering Elgar's music worldwide.

In Britain Mr Maksymiuk also conducted the BBC Welsh and Philharmonic Orchestras, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony and London Philharmonic Orchestras and The Philharmonia. In addition he conducted many orchestras in Europe, the USA and Japan, Australia and Israel. He made a number of critically acclaimed recordings on the EMI, Hyperion and Naxos labels and won a Gramophone award for the recording of James MacMillan's The Confession of Isobel Gowdie.

Mr Maksymiuk has also composed several orchestral pieces. His most recent works include "Arbor vitae" – oratorio for choir, soloist and symphonic orchestra (2002), "Quatre couleurs" for 2 violins and chamber orchestra (2005), "Preludes for piano (2006).