In September 2017 Krzysztof Urbański enters the seventh season of his highly acclaimed tenure as Music Director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
In 2015 Urbański became Principal Guest Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. In addition to concerts in Hamburg last seasons they toured Japan and Europe. Alongside performances they released for Alpha Classics ‘wholly excellent renderings’ (Gramophone) of Lutosławski works and Dvořák Symphony No.9 and Hero Song. His discography also includes Chopin small pieces for piano and orchestra with Jan Lisiecki and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon and Martinu Cello Concerto No.1 recorded for Sony with Sol Gabetta and the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Krzysztof Urbański simultaneously maintains an international presence by appearing as guest conductor with the Münchner Philharmoniker, Staatskapelle Dresden, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Wiener Symphoniker, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington and Toronto Symphony Orchestra, among others. Next season sees him debut with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris.
Urbański served as Chief Conductor and Artistic Leader of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra since 2010 till 2017 and embarked on a concurrent four-season tenure as Principal Guest Conductor of Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in 2012. In 2017 he was appointed Honorary Guest Conductor of the Trondheim Symfoniorkester & Opera.
In June 2015 Urbański received the prestigious Leonard Bernstein Award at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. Notably, he is the first conductor to have ever received this award.
The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
was founded in 1945 as the orchestra of the NWDR (Northwest German Radio) as part of the cultural and intellectual rebuilding process after the Second World War. As its first Principal Conductor, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt shaped the orchestra’s artistic profile for more than a quarter of a century; later on, a 20-year period of close collaboration with Günter Wand was similarly significant. Wand, who served as Principal Conductor from 1982 and was awarded the role of lifetime Honorary Conductor in 1987, cemented the orchestra’s international reputation. In particular, his interpretations of the symphonies of Brahms and Bruckner set new standards and became known as the ensemble’s artistic calling card. Christoph Eschenbach was appointed as Principal Conductor in 1998, and in 2004, Christoph von Dohnanyi continued the line of renowned Principal Conductors. Since taking up the position in 2011, Thomas Hengelbrock has been in charge of continuing the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra’s story. His work is characterised by unconventional programme planning and a delight in experimenting with his interpretations. Documents of Hengelbrock’s work with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra include CDs published by Sony featuring works by Mendelssohn, Schumann, Dvořak and Schubert, as well as the first recording of the Hamburg version of Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony. Hengelbrock will work with Krzysztof Urbański, newly appointed as Principal Guest Conductor, to continue to raise the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra’s profile as one of the leading concert orchestras of the 21st century.
The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra holds its own concert series in Hamburg, Lübeck and Kiel, and plays a leading role at the large festivals in northern Germany. Its international standing is underlined by tours throughout Europe, to North and South America and to Asia. In addition, the orchestra has expanded its educational function in recent years, and showed a strong commitment to youth development through the founding of its own academy. In this area too, the orchestra’s vision reaches beyond national borders. For example, in June 2015 a long-term collaboration was agreed with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, centred on a large-scale education project in China.