“Janowski achieves incandescence with his Berlin Radio orchestra”
“From the very beginning, it was obvious that we were witnessing something very significant..., Janowski’s performance of Wagner’s Fliegender Holländer could well set the standard against which contemporary performances of Wagner are measured.”
Marek Janowski has been Artistic Director of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin since 2002 and during his tenure, has built the orchestra into a world class ensemble. His Wagner opera cycle with the RSB in Berlin’s Philharmonie captivated Berlin audiences, setting a new standard of performance in concertante opera. The cycle culminated in performances of the Ring Cycle in November 2012 and March 2013. The complete cycle of the Wagner operas was recorded live on Pentatone. A highlight of the RSB’s 2014/15 season will be concert performances of two of Richard Strauss’ operas: Daphne and Elektra in May. Marek Janowski and the orchestra continue to tour widely and will also tour Taiwan, South Korea and Japan with Frank Peter Zimmermann in the coming season.
Marek Janowski’s guest conductoring takes him to orchestra in the USA including the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and in Europe with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra National de Lyon, and Orchestra Chambre de Lausanne. In February 2015, Marek Janowski will return to the Gürzenich Orchestra for three concerts for the first time since his time as Chief Conductor. In April 2015 Marek Janowski will conduct a concert performance of Die Walkürie with Tokyo Opera Nomori, the second part of his Ring Cycle with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, for the Spring Festival in Tokyo.
Born in Warsaw and educated in Germany, Marek Janowski’s artistic path led him from Assistant positions in Aachen, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Hamburg to his appointment as General Music Director in Freiburg im Breisgau (1973-75) and Dortmund (1975-79). Whilst in Dortmund, his reputation grew rapidly and he was invited to conduct in many of Europe’s leading opera houses. There is not one world-renowned opera house where he has not been a regular guest since the late 1970s, from the Metropolitan Opera New York to the Bayerischer Staatsoper Munich; from Chicago and San Francisco to Hamburg; from Vienna and Berlin to Paris.
Marek Janowski stepped back from the opera scene in the 1990s in order to concentrate on the great German symphonic repertoire. He now enjoys an outstanding reputation amongst the premier orchestras of Europe and North America and is recognised for his ability to create orchestras of international standing as well as for his interpretation of the core German repertoire.
Between 1984 and 2000, as Musical Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Marek Janowski took the orchestra to a position of pre-eminence in France, as well as abroad. From 1986 to 1990, in addition to his position in Paris, Janowski held the title of Chief Conductor of the Gürzenich-Orchester in Cologne and between 1997 and 1999, he was also First Guest Conductor of the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. From 2000 to 2005 Janowski served as Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, and from 2001 to 2003 he also held the position of Chief Conductor with the Dresdner Philharmonie.
Marek Janowski has made many recordings over the past 30 years, including many complete operas and symphonic cycles, many of which have been awarded international prizes. To this day, his recording of Richard Wagner’s complete tetralogy the Ring Cycle with the Staatskapelle Dresden (1980-83) remains one of the most distinguished and musically interesting recordings that has been made of this work. His Bruckner cycle with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, recorded for Pentatone has also been accorded high praise and of Bruckner Symphony No.3, Resmusica wrote, “After the extraordinary mixed delirium of the first movement, the inspired Marek Janowski offers a Second movement full of colour. With a grand, magnificent string section, the German conductor offers music of overwhelming emotion. What intensity, what beauty and what magnificent clarity in the continuity of the musical discourse” (Jacques Schmitt). With the final release (Götterdämmerung) in November 2013, Marek Janowski’s Wagner cycle for Pentatone is described by the Guardian as “the most ambitious recording project marking this year's bicentenary”.
Marek Janowski is represented by Jessica Ford at Intermusica, firstname.lastname@example.org
2014/15 season / 662 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.
MAREK JANOWSKI, CONDUCTOR
San Francisco Symphony / Brahms & Schumann
“[Marek Janowski] led the Brahms with clarity and poise, supporting the soloists with vigorous orchestral textures but ceding them the spotlight as necessary…
The "Rhenish" Symphony, which occupied the second half, was a marvel of economy and grace. All of Janowski's characteristic gifts as an interpreter, including crisp rhythmic control and sleek orchestral balances, were on display.”
San Francisco Chronicle, May 2013
Rundfunk-Symphonieorchester Berlin / Wagner Die Götterdämmerung
“The authoritative Janowski once again served up a full, flexible, golden tone.
He kept the dynamics perfectly structured and under control, creating wonderful moments, and allowing the strings to begin discreetly and swell to their full power. When it came to Siegfried’s Funeral March, the musical centre of the opera, he painted the power of death so darkly, in the sound of the timpani, that the audience were pinned to their seats.”
Tagesspiegel, March 2013
Rundfunk-Symphonieorchester Berlin / Wagner Das Rheingold
“Wagner is exciting. And even more so when an objective mind like Janowski’s handles the score with passion. What the audience heard at Saturday’s performance of Die Walküre at the Philharmonie was simply breath-taking.”
Frankfurter Rundschau, November 2012
Rundfunk-Symphonieorchester Berlin / Wagner Die Walküre
“The audience responded to this musical storm with an absolute hurricane of applause. This was a rare musical moment.”
Epoch Times, November 2012
Rundfunk-Symphonieorchester Berlin / Wagner Tannhäuser
“When Janowski holds the baton you can expect a feast of musical expression.”
Berliner Morgenpost, May 2012
Cleveland Orchestra with Arabella Steinbacher / Weber, Mendelssohn & Schubert
“Here was a conductor 100-percent engaged, a leader actively involved in the process of making music. Few passages in the lengthy score lacked his direct imprint as Janowski, performing from memory, demanded continual variety of tempo and volume.”
Cleveland.com, February 2012
Rundfunk-Symphonieorchester Berlin / Wagner Lohengrin
“Saturday’s performance consisted of four and a half hours of high energy, followed by a standing ovation. You could not imagine a more magnificent or powerful interpretation of Lohengrin.”
Der Tageszeitung, November 2011
“The performance reaped a much sought after standing ovation. This was a Lohengrin that you just couldn’t get enough of. Janowski provided the cast with a secure musical base. He refrained from special effects, staying true to the essence of the piece with earnestness and devotion, safeguarding it in his experienced hands.”
Morgenpost, November 2011
Rundfunk-Symphonieorchester Berlin / Wagner Die Meistersinger
“Where should I begin with my praise? With the captivatingly fluent, brightly shining Morgentraumdeutweisen quintet? With the almost dodecaphonic fight-scene fugue? These radiantly cast Wagner operas in concert which Janowski is performing in Berlin are setting new standards. I can’t thank Janowski enough!“
Frankfurter Allgemeine, June 2011
Rundfunk-Symphonieorchester Berlin / Wagner Parsifal
“Under Janowski, Wagner’s music was in the best and most careful of hands. It was a unique pleasure to listen to Janowski and his orchestra. Rarely does one experience such perfection.”
Berliner Morgenpost, April 2011
Rundfunk-Symphonieorchester Berlin / Wagner Der fliegender Holländer
“From the very beginning, it was obvious that we were witnessing something very significant... Freed from all the trappings of a stage production, Janowski’s performance of Wagner’s Fliegender Holländer, which the RSB played with exquisite sophistication, could well set the standard against which contemporary performances of Wagner are measured.”
Berliner Zeitung, November 2010
Henze Symphony Nos 2 & 10 with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
“This is highly expressive music which find its ideal advocate in Marek Janowski. He explores the expressiveness in the score, with precise detail and a finely tuned sound.”
BR Klassik, June 2014
Marek Janowski mastered [the Second Symphony] with the RSO Berlin. He also highlights the more complex structures of the Tenth Symphony… the sound opens in a beautiful tableaux."
Die Presse, April 2014
Wagner with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (Pentatone)
“When Wagner picked up Siegfried again with Act III, his musical dramaturgy, his orchestrations and his working out of leitmotifs had changed. Conductor Marek Janowski, offering here the ninth in his ten-opera recorded traversal of the Wagner canon, is attuned to this stylistic evolution like no other maestro.”
Opera News, March 2014
“[Wagner] displays remarkable feats of counterpoint and colouring which Janowski brings off to thrilling effect: listen to the short but dense Prelude and you’ll hear many things that you won’t have heard on any other recording, combined with terrific drive.”
BBC Music Magazine, February 2014
Wagner Die Walküre
“[Janowski] has a natural feeling for the ebb and flow of Wagner’s symphonic conception of music drama. This is Wagner conducting of the utmost distinction.”
International Record Review, January 2014
"This Parsifal, whether in its intimate scenes, backstage music or choruses from unseen heights, is blessed with a highly charged atmosphere and sensational, incredibly detailed sound."
BBC Music Magazine Jury Award 2013, BBC Music Magazine, April 2013
Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
“Janowski's urgency and attention to detail, along with the superlative singing, orchestral playing, choral work and recorded sound, make this a competitive set among modern recordings.”
Chicago Tribune, December 2012
Wagner Das Rheingold
“Superstars – as ever – with its conductor Janowski the radio orchestra’s second recording of Rheingold sounds much more brutal and aggressive than their last recording over thirty years ago. I’m fired up for Die Walküre tomorrow.”
Kultura Extra, November 2012
Wagner Das Rheingold
“Janowski achieves incandescence with his Berlin Radio orchestra.”
Sunday Times, November 2012
“This recording needs no prep work—it is, hands down, one of the most exciting readings of this piece I have ever heard…”
Audiophile Audition, July 2013