NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra

Chamber Orchestra

During the forty years of its activity, the orchestra has achieved a prestigious reputation in Polish music, performing in diverse formations and developed its own approach to music interpretation, combining the emotionality of sound with the clarity of texture. Critics highlight these features of the orchestra’s sound, also lauding the stunning expression of Leopoldinum’s performances.

From the beginning, the orchestra was led by eminent violinists-leaders – Karol Teutsch, Jan Stanienda and its long time concertmaster, Zbigniew Szufłat. Initially, it focused largely on Classical and Baroque repertoire, then expanded to include the music of the 20th century. Under the direction of another outstanding musician, Ernst Kovacic, the orchestra began exploring niches of 20th-century music. The fruits of this mission were recordings made in recent years, among which there are albums with works by Ernst Křenek (Capriccio and Toccata Classics), Leoš Janaček (DUX), with string transcriptions of Alban Berg’s works (Berg by Arrangement, Toccata Classics; recognized by The Sunday Times as one of the best albums of the year) and Kunst der Fuge by Bach (CD Accord). The two latest albums with Christian Danowicz as the leader – Made in Poland (DUX) and Supernova (CD Accord), recorded with the Atom String Quartet and honored with the Fryderyk 2018 and 2019 awards – have also received very good reviews. 2020 saw the release of the ensemble’s first album recorded under the direction of Joseph Swensen featuring works by Debussy and Tchaikovsky. This CD was nominated for the Fryderyk 2021 award.

In the years 2014-2017, Hartmut Rohde – violist and lecturer at the Universität der Kunst Berlin – served as the artistic director of the orchestra; together with the orchestra, he focused on the interpretation of the Romantic works. Joseph Swensen, who took the position of artistic director on 1 September, 2017, expanded the repertoire of the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra, reaching for both classical and new works.

The NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra has performed in the most important venues of Europe, such as the Barbican Centre in London, Philharmonie, Konzerthaus and Schauspielhaus in Berlin, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Tivolis Koncertsal in Copenhagen, Teatro Victoria Eugenia in San Sebastian, as well as at major European festivals, including Muziekfestival West-Brabant in the Netherlands, Bodenseefestival and Weilburger Schlosskonzerte in Germany, Echternach in Luxembourg, Festival Pablo Casals de Prades, Festival du Perigord Noir in France, Estoril in Portugal, Flanders Festival and Europalia in Belgium, Warsaw Autumn, Wratislavia Cantans and Musica Polonica Nova in Wrocław.