The Symphony Orchestra
The Symphony Orchestra of the Lower Silesia Philharmonic in Jelenia Góra is one of the most recognised symbols of the region’s active cultural life and is the concert calling card of Jelenia Góra. It was founded in 1964 by Stefan Strahl, who was also its long-standing director. The symphony’s musicians enjoyed their first significant performance successes under his baton. Zuzanna Dziedzic has headed the Lower Silesia Philharmonic since 1990, whereas successive musical directors of this important cultural institution were: Jan Jazownik, Tadeusz Wicherek, Tomasz Bugaj, Andrzej Chorosi┼äski, and Jerzy Swoboda. Miros┼éaw Jacek B┼éaszczyk assumed this role in 2009.
An essential part of philharmonic member activity is appearances before the local audience and musical events organised at its own concert hall. Since the start of its existence, the orchestra has also extensively played outside of Jelenia Góra – nationally and abroad. A permanent element of its concert calendars has been appearances in Germany and the Czech Republic. Its legacy also includes concert tours to Italy, Finland, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, France, Hungary, China and Austria. Symphony musicians have played at numerous concert halls and at prestigious music festivals, including the “Warsaw Autumn” International Festival of Contemporary Music, the “Wratislavia Cantans” International Festival, the “Accord” International Silesian Festival, the “Silesia Sonans” International Organ Music Festival, summer music festivals in France, as well as the Millennium Pace Festival in Spain at which a performance was given in the renowned Palau de la Musica in Valencia.
The orchestra’s concerts also sanctify official celebration and commemoration of Polish national holidays abroad. The orchestra of the Lower Silesia Philharmonic has performed works of great Polish composers, among others, at the Urania National Theatre in Budapest during a May 3 Constitution holiday commemoration led by the Polish ambassador to Hungary with attendance of the diplomatic corps from throughout the world.
The orchestra always participates in subsequent editions of cultural events organised and co-organised by the Lower Silesia Philharmonic: the national “Stars Rise” Festival, the Vienna Music Festival, the Theatre Music Festival as well as the International Chopin Competition for Children. In recent years it has been highly involved in regional and cross-border cooperation within the Nysa Euro-Region. It performs extensively in numerous localities throughout Lower Silesia as well as in neighbouring border areas of the Czech Republic and Germany.
The Symphony Orchestra of the Lower Silesia Philharmonic gives concerts with leading Polish directors and solo artists, as well as with stars from world music stages. Such artists include: Kazimierz Kord, Agnieszka Duczmal, Krzysztof Jakowicz, Krzysztof Penderecki, Kaja Danczowska, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, Krzysztof Jab┼éo┼äski, Piotr Paleczny, Wanda Wi┼ékomirska, Waldemar Malicki, Miros┼éaw Jacek B┼éaszczyk, Tomasz Bugaj, Krzesimir D─Öbski, Tadeusz Struga┼éa, Jerzy Swoboda, Ma┼égorzata Walewska, Stanis┼éaw Fia┼ékowski, Jerzy Salwarowski, Wies┼éaw Ochman, Wadim Brodski, José Cura, Marek Pijarowski, Roman Lasocki, Piotr Rubik and many others.
Work with other orchestras, mainly German, constitutes a considerable part of its activity. The orchestra also works with Polish and foreign choirs. It has performed wonderful oratorio works with choirs such as the Silesia Philharmonic and the Hungarian National Philharmonic. It also enjoys playing with talented young musicians who are only beginning their artistic careers.
The orchestra also performs at outdoor concerts, temples, historic monuments at spectacular stage events. Its repertoire includes the most renowned works of world music from all ages, together with works of leading classical and contemporary composers. However, it does not limit its activity to classical music, but also performs other musical genres such as entertainment, film, and theatre. Moreover, it has also worked with jazz musicians. Together with its foreign partners the orchestra is involved with important international cultural projects promoting musical creativity, national culture as well as integrative values of artistic activity. It is also vigorously engaged in musical education projects, among others, through the performance of special orchestral concert programs for children and young people.
The orchestra has recorded seven CDs, including Beethoven’s IX Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elias Oratorio, Bach’s St. John Passion as well as recording crowning an exceptional project entitled “At the Crossroads of Four Cultures” that promotes the musical richness of four nations neighbouring each other in our region: Polish, Czech, German and Sorbian. There is a chamber orchestra and brass band as well at the Philharmonic while musicians from the Lower Silesia Philharmonic also play with many other chamber groups.