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The Warsaw Voice » Society » February 18, 2009
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No Grammy for Polish Conductors
February 18, 2009   
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Despite hopes, Polish Grammy-nominated conductors Antoni Wit and Henryk Wojnarowski did not go on to win the award at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Feb. 8.

They were nominated in the Best Choral Performance category for a recording of the music of renowned Polish composer Karol Szymanowski-including works such as Stabat Mater, Veni Creator, Litany to the Virgin Mary, and Demeter and Penthesilea. The recording featured the Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Choir.

The recording was the British monthly BBC Music Magazine's Editor's Choice in October 2008.

Wit and Wojnarowski are the only Polish conductors who are regularly nominated for Grammy awards. They have been nominated in the past for their recordings of the work of another Polish composer, Krzysztof Penderecki: Wit in 2004, 2005 and 2007, and Wojnarowski in 1991, 2004, 2005 and 2007.

Wit is artistic director of the Warsaw Philharmonic, and Wojnarowski is the Warsaw Philharmonic's chorus master.

The Grammys, together with the Billboard Music Awards and American Music Awards, are the three most prestigious music awards presented in the U.S. every year.

Antoni Wit studied in Cracow under the tutelage of conductor Henryk Czyż and composer Krzysztof Penderecki. In 1971 in Berlin, Wit came in second in the Herbert von Karajan international competition for conductors, and his career took off. In the past he conducted the Polish Radio and Television Great Symphony Orchestra. He has been the managing and artistic director of the Warsaw Philharmonic since 2002. He also teaches at Warsaw's Music Academy. Wit has recorded almost 80 albums for classical music label Naxos, and many more for other labels.

His repertoire, besides classical music, also includes contemporary music. Wit has recorded all the orchestral pieces composed by Witold Lutosławski and has often conducted and recorded the work of other Polish composers, mainly Penderecki, Wojciech Kilar and Krzysztof Meyer.

Henryk Wojnarowski studied in Warsaw under Stanisław Wisłocki. He managed and conducted the choir of the Wielki Theater/Polish National Opera between 1960 and 1978, during which time the choir performed in some 80 different operas. In 1962-2002 Wojnarowski taught at what is now known as the Frederic Chopin Music academy in Warsaw. He holds the title of professor. He joined the Warsaw philharmonic as chorus master in 1978. The choir has given more than 1,000 performances under his baton and includes in its repertoire all of Krzysztof Penderecki's vocal and vocal-instrumental work. Wojnarowski has made recordings for music labels, radio and television and was invited in 1985, 1989 and again in 1990 to perform in operas at Milan's La Scala theater.
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