Genral Manager: Tomasz Będen
Art Director: Paweł Przytocki
Principal Guest Conductor: Michał Nesterowicz
The Łódź Philharmonic is the second oldest (after the Warsaw Philharmonic) permanent symphonic ensemble in Poland. It began its activity as the Łódź Symphony Orchestra, and its first director and conductor was Tadeusz Mazurkiewicz, who is today called the founder of the orchestra. The first concert of the Łódź Symphony Orchestra took place on 17 February 1915. The orchestra was made up of approximately 60 musicians, including such names as Paweł Klecki and Alexander Tansman.
For 33 years, the ensemble could not find their own place. Every few years it moved from one headquarters to another. Finally, on 4 June 1948, it received a newly restored building at Narutowicz Street. The orchestra could take up regular work, which began to result in a constantly growing group of listeners and friends of the Philharmonic. In 1984, the Philharmonic officially adopted the name of Arthur Rubinstein, an outstanding virtuoso pianist born in Łódź. Rubinstein gave several performances in this city, including one of his last concerts.
In 2004 the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic inaugurated its new hall, designed by Romuald Loegler. It was erected at the site of the previous Philharmonic Hall, which is reflected in the glass façade with the characteristic arc. The new hall was awarded second prize in the “2004 Building of the Year Competition” as well as first prize from the Association of Polish Architects for the best building financed with public funds in 2004. In 2015, the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic became the first concert hall in Europe equipped with both a Baroque organ and a Romantic organ – two instruments fully independent of each other. The concept of the organs was authored by Professor Ludger Lohmann, a distinguished authority on organ music, musician, and musicologist.
The Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic most often features its own orchestra and choir. Throughout its century-long history, the Orchestra has performed under a plethora of renowned conductors and with many world-renowned soloists. It has given the first Polish performances of many famous works and can also boast of several remarkable world premiere. Over the past several years, the Orchestra has toured extensively, visiting Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, and Italy. Concerts at the Philharmonic are also given by orchestras from other Polish cities and from abroad, such as the Deutsche Symphony Orchester Berlin, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Concerto Italiano, the European Union Youth Orchestra, etc.
The Philharmonic offers concerts catering to the expectations of concert-goers of all ages and with very different musical tastes. Along with symphony concerts, it features piano recitals, early music and chamber music concerts. A number of events are addressed to children; these include the “Philharmonic: what’s the noise about?!” concert series, “Musical Discoveries” workshops conducted according to Carl Orff’s method, and “Baby Boom Bum” workshops for under three-year-olds, inspired by E.E. Gordon’s method. It was the first institution in the country to broadcast operas from the Metropolitan Opera (“The Met: Live in HD” series). During the summer vacation time, it organise The Touring Festival of the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic “The Colors of Poland,” which combines the artistic aspect with the opportunity to see the architectural and natural attractions of the Łódź region.
In 2010, “The Chorus (Not) for Dummies” was established under the aegis of the Philharmonic. It invites everybody irrespective of their musical skills and holds rehearsals once a week under the leadership of a professional conductor. Those music lovers who wish to expand their knowledge can attend introductory sessions for concerts. In turn, the Salon of the Friends of the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic is addressed to those who would like to become more closely involved in this institution, e.g., through meetings with outstanding musicians and the Philharmonic’s management.
updated: 2020 (ac)