Antoni Wit

Antoni Wit (born February 7, 1944 in Kraków) is a Polish conductor, composer, lawyer and professor at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. Between 2002–2013, he served as the artistic director of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw.

Life and career

He graduated from the Kraków's Academy of Music (then called Państwowa Wyższa Szkola Muzyczna) in 1967. He studied conducting under Henryk Czyż, and composition under Krzysztof Penderecki. He went on to study in Paris under Nadia Boulanger (1967–68). In 1969, he also graduated in law from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków.

From 2002 to 2013 he had been music director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been collaborating also with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra from the 2010-2011 to the 2016-2017 season, and he played with them as the first guest conductor. In May 2013 he has been nominated Artistic Director of the Spanish Pamplona-based ensemble.

He has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and in London the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya. He has recorded over 90 albums, most of them for the Naxos label, and many of them with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, whose managing and artistic director he was from 1983 to 2000. He specializes in the works of Polish composers such as Henryk Gorecki, Wojciech Kilar, Krzysztof Meyer, Witold Lutosławski, Karol Szymanowski and Krzysztof Penderecki whose Polish Requiem he recorded in 2004. Wit received a Cannes Classical Award for his album of Olivier Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony; his recording of Bedřich Smetana's Má vlast cycle was also very well received.

He currently teaches at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw.

Selected awards and honours

  • Grand Prix du Disque de la Nouvelle Académie, (1983)
  • Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, (1985)
  • Polish Radio's Diamond Baton Award, (1998)
  • Fryderyk Award for Album of the Year - Symphonic Music, (2002)
  • Cannes Classical Award, (2002)
  • Gold Medal of the Artur Rubinstein Foundation, (2002)
  • Fryderyk Award for Album of the Year - Symphonic Music, (2005)
  • Fryderyk Award for Album of the Year - Contemporary Music'', (2005)
  • Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, (2006)
  • Gramophone Editor’s Choice, (2007)
  • Gramophone Editor’s Choice, (2008)
  • BBC Music Magazine Editor’s Choice, (2008)
  • BBC Music Magazine Editor’s Choice, (2009)
  • Karol Szymanowski Foundation Award, (2010)
  • Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta, (2011)
  • Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium, (2013)
  • Knight of Legion of Honour, (2015)