conductor; b. 7th May 1946 in Wrocław. He began his musical education with Adam Kopyciński, a former director of the Wrocław Opera. In 1957 he emigrated with his family to Israel, where he continued his education. In 1964 he started studies in composition, conducting and piano at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. In 1968-69 he studied conducting with Pierre Dervaux at École Normale de Musique in Paris, and then with Hans Swarovsky at the Vienna Academy of Music and with Franco Ferrara in Siena, Italy.
In 1971 he won the first prize in the Herbert von Karajan Competition in Berlin, as well as the Gold Medal at the Cantelli Competition of Milano’s “La Scala”. These victories led to extensive international engagements.
He made his Munich debut in 1974 with Giuseppe Verdi’s Othello and was immediately re-engaged for Georges Bizet’s Carmen. Further he conducted a highly successful Camille Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila in Barcelona, a critically acclaimed Jules Massenet’s Werther at the Paris Opera and Coq d’Or at the Chatelet Theatre, Paris. With the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada he completed Mozart’s Da Ponte Cycle (Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte), and Charles Gounod’s Faust staged by Robert Wilson at the Grand Theatre – Polish National Opera in Warsaw. He conducted two Mieczysław Weinberg's operas staged by David Pountney: The Passenger at the Grand Theatre – Polish National Opera in Warsaw, and The Portrait at the Opéra national de Lorraine in Nancy. In 2018, he took over the musical direction of Wagner’s opera The Master-Singers of Nuremberg, which was presented in Poland for the first time in over a hundred years in the Stanisław Moniuszko Grand Theatre in Poznań.
In 1974, Chmura was appointed Music Director of the opera house in Aachen, Germany, and retained this position until his appointment as Music Director of the Bochumer Philharmonic in 1983. In 1987, he was appointed Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada. With this orchestra he made extensive tours in North America, including Carnegie Hall in New York. In 2001, he was appointed Music Director of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, and in 2015 he became the First Guest Conductor of the Kraków Philharmonic. Since 2012, he is the artistic director of the Stanisław Moniuszko Grand Theatre in Poznań.
He has conducted the world's leading orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchester National de France, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Filharmonica di Roma, Nürnberger Philharmoniker. He has also collaborated with many philharmonics and theatres in Poland.
Gabriel Chmura has recorded with the London Symphony for DGG, and with the Munich and the Berlin Radio Orchestras for CBS. He conducted the recording of Franz Schubert’s Lazarus with the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Hermann Prey and Edith Mathis released by the Orfeo label, which received the Grand Prix de Disque Mondial de Montreux. His recording of Joseph Haydn’s Symphonies No. 6, 7 and 8 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra for CBC was recommended as the “Best Choice” by the American Record Guide and was nominated for the Canadian JUNO Award. With Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, he recorded Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and three albums with Mieczysław Weinberg’s music (including Symphonies No. 4, 5, 14 and 16) for the Chandos label. He also recorded albums with Symphony No. 5 by Sergei Prokofiev and Symphony No. 5 by Mieczysław Weinberg for the Warner Classics.
In 2012 he won the Jan Kiepura Prize for the “Best Operatic Conducting” with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District . In 2013 he was awarded the title of Doctor honoris causa from the Academy of Music in Wrocław. In 2017 he received the highest Polish award, Gloria Artis Gold Medal for Merit to Culture.
updated: 2020 (ac)
Artist's website: www.chmura.cc
Tak jak berlińscy i nowojorscy filharmonicy [As the Berlin and New York Philharmonics]. Karol Rafał Bula talks with Gabriel Chmura – artistic director of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, „Twoja Muza", 2006 nr 1, s. 58–60.
Weinberg to wspaniały kompozytor – mówi dyrygent Gabriel Chmura [Weinberg is a great composer – says conductor Gabriel Chmura], „Muzyka21", 2004 nr 6, s. 20–21.
Dorota Babilas, Jacek Marczyński, Mike Urbaniak, Faust - Gounod, Chmura, Sofulak, Teatr Wielki im. Stanisława Moniuszki, Poznań 2019
Magdalena Dziadek, Katowickie sezony Gabriela Chmury [Gabriel Chmura's seasons in Katowice], "Śląsk: miesięcznik społeczno-kulturalny", 2007 nr 9, s. 71.