ORKIESTRA MUZYKI NOWEJ International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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Poland’s oldest contemporary music ensemble, founded in 1996. It originally performed under the baton of its founder, Aleksander Lasoń. Since 2006, under its current artistic director Szymon Bywalec, it has gradually transformed from a group of students enthusiastic about contemporary music into a professional ensemble that can perform even the most complex scores.

OMN are constantly developing their abilities, preparing concerts under the guidance of leading Polish and foreign composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Louis Andriessen, Kaija Saariaho, Per Nørgård, Bent Sørensen, and others. OMN also invites excellent soloists (Jakob Kullberg, Ashot Sarkissjan, Marco Blaauw, Michele Marelli, Rafał Zambrzycki, and Agata Zubel) as well as conductors specialising in new music (Daniel Kawka, François-Xavier Roth, Jean Deroyer, Christopher Austin, Steven Loy, Ivan Buffa, and Wojciech Michniewski). 

OMN has performed with the musicians of Court Circuit, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Melos Ethos Ensemble, Quasars Ensemble, Musikfabrik, as well as sound producers from IRCAM, the Experimentalstudio des SWR, and Tempo Reale. The Orchestra has given nearly 200 world premieres as well as numerous first Polish performances of seminal contemporary works, including Pierre Boulez’s Répons and Dérive 2, Helmut Lachenmann’s Mouvement, Fausto Romitelli’s Index of Metals, Beat Furrer’s Still, Rebecca Saunders’s Skin, Per Nørgård’s Momentum, Kaija Saariaho’s Notes on Light, Klaus Huber’s Erinnere dich an Golgatha, Louis Andriessen’s La Girò, Tristan Murail’s Winterfragments and Le Lac, Brian Ferneyhough’s La Chute d’Icare, Simon Steen-Andersen’s Black Box Music, and many others. 

The Orchestra regularly performs at major festivals such as the Warsaw Autumn, Musica Polonica Nova, International Festival of Cracow Composers, “Polish Modern Music” Festival of Premieres, Nostalgia Festival, Warsaw Music Encounters, Culture Nature in Katowice, Beijing Modern, Melos–Ethos, Klang Festival, Bridges Festival, New Music Marathon, Velvet Curtain, Anima Mundi, Hindsgavl Festival, as well as in major musical hubs such as Oslo, Paris, Mons, Freiburg im Breisgau, and Tallinn. OMN has released several dozen concert and studio albums, including under such labels as Anaklasis, Aurora, Decca, Dux, CD Accord, PWM Edition, and the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP–POLMIC). Many of them have been critically acclaimed in Italy, France, Denmark, Great Britain, and the United States, winning awards such as the P2-Prize 2012 of the Danish Radio, Pizzicato Supersonic Award in Luxembourg, as well as ICMA and Fryderyk nominations. OMN’s recordings for Polish Radio became recommended works at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris and Amsterdam. In 2018 the Orchestra featured on five out of the 36 albums of PWM Edition’s collection 100 for 100 – Musical Decades of Freedom, which won a Fryderyk Award in the following year. For many years OMN has taken part in national and international projects in the fields of art and education, cooperating with Europe’s leading new music ensembles and institutions that promote contemporary music (as part of the projects Re:New Music and New:Aud). The Orchestra also initiates and organises interdisciplinary projects presented outside the typical concert hall environment, making use of multimedia and state-of-the-art technologies. Since 2014 OMN has held its own concert cycle at the NOSPR Chamber Hall in Katowice.