Bywalec, Szymon International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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graduated with honours in orchestra and opera conducting from the class of Jan Wincenty Hawel at the Academy of Music in Katowice. In 2006–13, he was artistic director of the Karol Szymanowski Academic Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, where he worked with renowned conductors such as Gabriel Chmura, Takuo Yuasa, Arturo Tamayo, Jacek Kaspszyk, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Paul McCreesh. He is also a graduate of the Academy of Music in Cracow, where he studied the oboe with Jerzy Kotyczka. 

He perfected his technique in the masterclasses of Gianluigi Gelmetti (2001) and Lothar Zagrosek (2002) on a scholarship to Siena’s Accademia Musicale Chigiana. He also participated in conducting masterclasses taught notably by Gabriel Chmura, Kurt Masur, Zoltán Peskó, and Pierre Boulez. He won the 1st Prize at the 2nd National Review of Young Conductors in Białystok (1998) and two special prizes in the Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Katowice (1999). He has held several scholarships from the Polish Ministry of Culture. In 2014 he received the Honorary Award of the Polish Composers’ Union for his contributions to the promotion of Polish contemporary music. 

Bywalec is the artistic director and permanent conductor of the OMN New Music Orchestra, which he has directed at various contemporary music festivals including Warsaw Autumn, Wrocław’s Musica Polonica Nova and Musica Electronica Nova, Bratislava’s Melos–Ethos, Lviv’s Velvet Curtain 2, Paweł Szymański Festival in Warsaw, Beijing Modern, Vienna’s Bridges, Hindsgavl Festival in Denmark, and Klang Copenhagen Avant-Garde Music Festival. He also regularly conducts the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) in Katowice. He has led more than a hundred world and Polish premieres, recorded extensively for Polish Radio (with OMN), and conducted OMN on its first album, nominated for the 2003 Fryderyk Award of the Polish Phonographic Academy. For his CD dedicated to the music of Weronika Ratusińska (with OMN, under the DUX label), he received the Pizzicato Supersonic Award in 2009. His recording of Paweł Szymański’s Three Songs to Words by Trakl received a commendation at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris (2007), while Magdalena Długosz’s Gemisatos (with Sinfonia Varsovia) and Ewa Trębacz’s things lost things invisible performed under his baton received the same accolades in 2009. In 2013 his CD of cello concertos by Scandinavian composers (Nørgård, Nordheim, and Saariaho, with cellist Jakob Kullberg) won the Danish Radio’s Lyt til Nyt Pris for 2012. The year 2016 saw the release of Decca’s CD recorded with OMN and clarinettist Michelle Marelli. 

In 2013–16 Szymon Bywalec was the artistic director of the Musica Polonica Nova festival. He has conducted many philharmonic, radio, and chamber orchestras in Poland and internationally.