Grzegorz Fitelberg

He graduated in violin and composition from Warsaw’s Music Institute. Prize winner in competitions for composers in Leipzig (1898) and Warsaw (1901). His conducting debut took place in 1904 at Warsaw Philharmonic. In 1905 he co-organised the Young Polish Composers’ Publishing Company. He was the first to conduct Szymanowski’s works (and co-authored the instrumentation in the latter’s Symphony No. 2, among others). He promoted Polish music all over the world.

Fitelberg led outstanding orchestras and operatic ensembles in Europe and worldwide. In 1921 he took up the post of conductor of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. He conducted the premiere of Stravinsky’s Mavra at Paris Opera (1922). He organised and directed the Great Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio in Katowice.

Having left Warsaw in 1939, he travelled via Paris to South America (where he conducted at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires), then to the United States. On his return to Poland, he led his first concert in Krakow (featuring music by Karłowicz, Palester and Szymanowski, 1946).

In 1950–1951 he was a professor at Katowice’s State Higher School of Music (now the Academy) and teacher of, among others, Karol Stryja (who initiated the Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors).

He was honoured with Poland’s highest decorations, such as the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1947).
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