Marek Janowski has been committed to his developing collaboration with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin since 2002, an artistic union achieved through enduring hard work and manifest in the life-long musical directorship offered to him by the orchestra in 2008. He has found his professional centre in Berlin. From 2005 to 2012, Janowski was musical director of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and previously, from 2000 to 2005, he was chief conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo. In addition, he held the chief function at the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra from 2001 to 2003. Marek Janowski had gained an international reputation between 1984 and 2000 as musical director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, reaching the pinnacle of the French orchestral landscape. From 1986 to 1990, parallel to his work in France, he also held the position of chief conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne; from 1997 to 1999 he was an important guest conductor at the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin.
A Modern Orchestra Leader
Now professionally at home in Berlin and privately in Paris, the conductor “with the Polish roots, the Rhineland humour and the stern expression” (MDR Figaro) is regarded as one of the most successful and acclaimed orchestra leaders of our day. He enjoys an outstanding reputation wherever he appears, whether as a guest conductor e.g. in the USA with the Boston Symphony, the San Francisco, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, or in Europe with the Orchestre de Paris or the Orchester der Tonhalle Zurich. This is based to his professional achievements, which are in turn founded on precise ideas of interpretation. Young generation ensembles also profit from his experience. Marek Janowski led the National Youth Orchestra in France, the Orchestre Français des Jeunes, from 1992 to 1997. He is a welcome guest conductor with the Deutsche Streicherphilharmonie / German Strings Philharmonic, the young orchestra mentored by the RSB, and also works together with the symphony orchestra of the Hochschule für Musik “Franz Liszt” in Weimar, where he was appointed honorary conductor in 2011.
Marek Janowski’s consistent demand for vertical orchestral precision, his precise knowledge of the score, unerring ear and succinct sign-giving go hand in hand with intelligent programme ideas, often based on a lean approach to apparently old familiar and unjustly underestimated repertoires.
Training and Career
He was born in Warsaw in 1939 and spent his childhood in Wuppertal; after violin and piano training, Marek Janowski completed studies as a choral director with teachers including Wolfgang Sawallisch at the Musikhochschule Cologne. His artistic path led him via work as a choral director and repetiteur – schooling his operatic and concert repertoire – in Aachen, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Hamburg to engagements as a general music director in Freiburg i. Br. (1973–75) and Dortmund (1975–79). The period in Dortmund was followed by a busy schedule on the international opera and concert scene. There is no opera house of international repute, from the Metropolitan Opera New York and the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, to Chicago, San Francisco and Hamburg, Vienna, Berlin and Paris where he was not a regular guest from the late 1970s onwards.
In the 1990s Marek Janowski withdrew from the opera scene. In the concert business, on which he has focused exclusively since then, he continues the great German conducting tradition, regarded all over the world as an outstanding conductor of Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Bruckner and Strauss, but also as an expert in the French repertoire. His farewell to opera has only been institutional and by no means musical. That is why, today more than ever, Marek Janowski is considered one of the world’s best-informed specialists in the music of Richard Wagner.
Wagner and More
Together with the RSB, the Rundfunkchor Berlin, and a phalanx of international Wagner singers, he has realised all ten of the great operas and musical dramas from Richard Wagner’s Bayreuth canon in separate concertante performances at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall during the years 2010 to 2013. All the concerts were recorded live by PentaTone in cooperation with Deutschlandradio and will appear successively on CD by the end of 2013.
More than 50 records, most receiving international awards – including several complete opera recordings and complete symphonic cycles – have evidenced Marek Janowski’s remarkable talents as a conductor over the last 35 years. To date, his live recording of Richard Wagner’s tetralogy “The Ring of the Nibelungs” with the Staatskapelle Dresden (1980–83) is considered one of the most musically interesting ever to be recorded. In 2008 Marek Janowski recorded all Johannes Brahms’ symphonies for the label PentaTone in Pittsburgh. In Geneva, a CD series was produced together with the same label, covering the symphonies and masses composed by Anton Bruckner. In Berlin, a recording of the German Requiem by Johannes Brahms was made in 2009, and one of the original versions of Leoš Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, also for PentaTone, in 2010. A complete recording of Hans Werner Henze’s symphonies for WERGO, already well advanced, is expected to reach completion in the near future.
Concerts with chief conductor Marek Janowski 2013|2014 - also available for download here...