Originally founded in Warsaw and led by Grzegorz Fitelberg, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert on the air on 2nd October 1935. Its performances were regularly broadcast on Polish Radio till the outbreak of World War II. Reactivated in 1945 in Katowice by Witold Rowicki, it was again directed by Fitelberg from 1947 onwards, assuming the name of the Great Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio (since 1999 – the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra). Over the years, NOSPR has been headed by Jan Krenz, Bohdan Wodiczko, Kazimierz Kord, Tadeusz Strugała, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Stanisław Wisłocki, Antoni Wit, Gabriel Chmura, Jacek Kaspszyk, Alexander Liebreich, and (currently) Lawrence Foster.

NOSPR has appeared worldwide with many excellent conductors and soloists, including Paul Kletzki, Leonard Bernstein, Jerzy Semkow, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Kurt Masur, Neville Marriner, Charles Mackerras, Arthur Rubinstein, Martha Argerich, Marguerite Long, Maurizio Pollini, Krystian Zimerman, Kun Woo Paik, Garrick Ohlsson, Henryk Szeryng, Isaac Stern, Nicolai Gedda, Mstislav Rostropovichi.

The orchestra has premiered numerous compositions, among others by Lutosławski, Penderecki, Górecki, and Kilar, frequently under the baton of the composer himself. Its releases recorded for the radio and record labels have won such prestigious accolades as the Diapason d’Or, Grand Prix du Disque de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque, Cannes Classical Award, Midem Classical Award, Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the International Classical Music Award, as well as Fryderyk Awards.
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