The Beethoven Academy Orchestra is one of Poland’s leading symphony orchestras of the young generation. It is made up of the most outstanding students and graduates of European higher musical education institutions, including the Academy of Music in Krakow, Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart, Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, Royal Music Conservatoire in Brussels, Conservatoire International de Musique in Paris, and Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz. The ensemble started its activity in 2003, following the success at the 53rd Festival Junger Künstler Bayreuth.
In 2005, on the initiative of Elżbieta Penderecka, the orchestra debuted at the 9th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw, which resulted in excellent reviews and invitations to prestigious festivals at home and abroad.
The orchestra has seventeen albums to its credit, recorded for such labels as DUX Poland, Centaur Records USA, Le Foxx Music and Universal Music. It has also signed a contract with the reputable record company EMI London KPM. When reaching for entertainment and film music classics, the ensemble is as successful as with classical scores. It has recorded soundtracks for such giants as Warner Bros and Monolith, collaborated with Hans Zimmer, Elliot Goldenthal, Michał Lorenc and Jan A. P. Kaczmarek, and recorded the platinum-winning album Siedem Pieśni Marii (Universal Music), which has become extremely popular and sold in 300 thousand copies.
Since its inception, the orchestra has been under the artistic and organisational care of Marcin Klejdysz. Since November 2013, by invitation of the BAO artists, the post of the orchestra’s principal conductor has been held by maestro Jacek Kaspszyk.
The orchestra has worked with some of the greatest authorities of the art of conducting, composers and soloist, including Krzysztof Penderecki, Gabriel Chmura, Michał Dworzyński, Wolfgang Seeliger, Andreas Spering, Łukasz Borowicz, Cristiano Vasquez, Michał Klauza, Piotr Sułkowski, Paweł Przytocki, Steven Isserlis, Kaja Danczowska, Krzysztof Jabłoński, Aleksandra Kurzak, Łukasz Długosz, Gautier Capuçon, Małgorzata Walewska, Aleksander Kobrin, Kolja Blacher, Wibi Soerjadi, Thomas Quasthoff, Konstantin Scherbakov, Ingolf Wunder, Christian Lindberg, Oystein Baadsvik, Kevin Kenner, Bartosz Koziak, So-Ock Kim, Edita Gruberova, Iwona Sobotka, Rafał Bartmiński, as well as the winners and participants of the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw: Charles Richard-Hamelin, Szymon Nehring, Dmitry Shishkin, and Krzysztof Książek. These names by all means testimony to the ensemble’s top class.
The BAO has been a regular guest in prestigious concert halls in Europe and overseas such as Alte Oper Frankfurt, Musikverein in Vienna, Great Hall of People in Beijing, Xinhai Concert Hall, Sanat Concert Hall in Istanbul or Konzerthaus in Berlin. The orchestra appears regularly at the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, the Polish Music Festival in Moscow, the Last Night of the Proms in Krakow, and the Film Music Festival in Krakow, where in 2014, it had the honour to perform during the 100th anniversary international gala of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). In May 2017, the Beethoven Academy Orchestra has appeared again during the Film Music Festival in Krakow, this time featuring the jubilee gala celebrating the 10th anniversary of the event.
The BAO has regularly performed with the Darmstadt Concert Choir and since 2011, it has been a resident orchestra in Darmstadt. The ensemble puts also great emphasis on the education of the youngest music aficionados. Thanks to the support of the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Polish Institute of Film Art, and local governments, it has organised several dozen educational concerts under such cycles as: Bolek and Lolek in concert, Children’s melodies, Birds’ gossip or a story about music. At the invitation of the Krakow Festival Office, the orchestra inaugurated also the opening of Tauron Arena with the Pixar in Concert event for 16,000 young spectators.
Currently, among other undertakings, the orchestra is involved in the eighth edition of its original project promoting the neglected Polish music "Jeszcze polska muzyka" and gives concerts in Poland and abroad.
updated: 2018 (ac)