is one of Poland’s most important symphony orchestras, as well as a cultural institution known for its versatile activity and projects. Its history goes back to 1935 and is inextricably linked to the figure of Grzegorz Fitelberg, who was entrusted with the task of setting up Poland’s first autonomous radio symphony orchestra. The ensemble first appeared on the air on 2 October 1935 and has since been regularly present on Polish Radio channels. After World War II, it was reactivated in Katowice, and the task of reconstructing the orchestra was given to Witold Rowicki.
In the decades that followed, the orchestra’s international renown steadily grew. It has made appearances in the world’s most important concert halls and with the greatest artists of our age, notably Leonard Bernstein, Martha Argerich, Plácido Domingo, and Arthur Rubinstein. Composers such as Witold Lutosławski, Wojciech Kilar, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Krzysztof Penderecki, and others, approached NOSPR with requests to premiere their works, and its recordings have been released under prestigious labels. Eminent conductors who have headed the orchestra over the years include Jan Krenz, Bohdan Wodiczko, Kazimierz Kord, Tadeusz Strugała, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Antoni Wit, Gabriel Chmura, Jacek Kaspszyk, and Alexander Liebreich. The orchestra’s rich musical traditions are continued today under the artistic direction of Lawrence Foster, while Ewa Bogusz-Moore holds the post of its General and Programme Director.
Every stage of the orchestra’s history has been associated with the development of technology. In the late 1960s, artistic director Bohdan Wodiczko initiated NOSPR’s long-time cooperation with the television. Nowadays, the orchestra’s contacts with its audience increasingly happen online. The orchestra’s modern seat, designed by the Katowice-based Konior Studio, houses a concert hall with 1800 seats, a chamber music hall, as well as workshop and educational spaces. The concert hall’s acoustics, designed by Nagata Acoustics, are ranked among the world’s best. In 2023 the hall will receive a pipe organ, one of Europe’s largest to be built in this type of venue. NOSPR seat’s extraordinary quality and potential have gained widespread acclaim among the audience, artists, and in the music circles. is has been confirmed by the fact of NOSPR’s admission (as Poland’s only institution, and one of two from Central and Eastern Europe) to the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO), grouping Europe’s 21 most prestigious concert halls.