Henryk Wojnarowski

Professor Wojnarowski’s professional career has involved simultaneous achievements as a teacher and an artist. In the years 1962–2000, he was an academic at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw (today the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music), where he led a class in choral conducting. He worked at the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw for eighteen years, from 1960 as choir conductor and master. At that time, he prepared around 80 first performances and several world premieres of operas. In 1978 he became conductor and Director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir. Under his management, the ensemble performed over 1250 times, travelling abroad on more than 80 occasions with almost 300 concerts.

Wojnarowski prepared the whole canon of vocal and instrumental works from all musical periods, with particular focus put on Polish contemporary music (including Krzysztof Penderecki’s complete works with choir). He was nominated six times for the most prestigious phonographic award – the Grammy. Five of these were for his recordings of Penderecki’s works, namely St Luke Passion (two nominations: in 1991, directed by the composer, and in 2004, directed by Antoni Wit), Polish Requiem (2005), Symphony No. 7 “Seven Gates of Jerusalem” (2007) and Utrenja (2009), under Antoni Wit. In 2008, Karol Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater conducted by Antoni Wit also received a nomination for a Grammy, and that same year Wojnarowski was invited to sit on the jury of the award. His recording of Polish Requiem also won the 2005 Japanese Record Academy Award, presented by Record Geijutsu magazine.

In October 2005, the conductor received the Jerzy Kurczewski Award – the only award in Poland honouring choral music propagators, presented in Poznań since 1999.

The Gloria Artis Gold Medal was bestowed on Henryk Wojnarowski in June 2011.