Grzegorz Nowak began his international conducting career by winning the First Prize at the Ernest Ansermet Conducting Competition in Geneva. He also won the Grand Prix Patek Philippe, Rolex Prize, Swiss Prize, American Patronage Prize and the Europäische Förderpreis für Musik as the European Musician of the Year. He was honoured with the Distinguished Teacher Award during his tenure as Professor at the BGSU University in Ohio, and the University of Alberta bestowed the title of Honorary Professor upon him.
After studying conducting, composition and violin at the Music Academy in Poznan, Grzegorz Nowak was awarded a doctorate fellowship at the renowned Eastman School of Music, where he studied with David Effron and David Zinman. He honed his skills at Tanglewood on a Serge Koussevitzky Fellowship with such masters as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Erich Leinsdorf and Igor Markevitch, before assisting Kurt Masur with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since then, he has conducted the world’s finest orchestras. In Europe, Grzegorz Nowak has worked with such prestigious ensembles as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Lamoureaux in Paris, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, RAI orchestras in Milan, Rome and Turin, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich, Berliner Symphoniker, Belgian National Orchestra, Luxemburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, National Orchestra of Spain and the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon. He has also conducted many times in Scandinavia, performing with the Philharmonic and Radio orchestras of Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen.
Grzegorz Nowak has conducted many of the leading orchestras in North America, including the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Montréal, Vancouver, Baltimore, Cincinnati and San Diego Symphony orchestras. He has also earned critical acclaim for his performances in the Far East and elsewhere with the Philharmonic and Yomiuri orchestras in Tokyo, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra in Taiwan and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
Grzegorz Nowak has held the position of Music Director for orchestras and opera companies in the USA, Switzerland, Canada, Poland and Germany, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Polish National Opera, SWR Radio Orchestra in Germany, Sinfonia Helvetica and the Musique and Amitié Festival in Switzerland.
He has conducted operatic productions in Italy, Monte-Carlo, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, the UK, Sweden, the USA and Canada, including works by Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan Tutte, The Magic Flute), Rossini (The Barber of Seville, Semiramide), Beethoven (Fidelio), Bizet (Carmen), Borodin (Prince Igor), Moniuszko (Halka, Haunted Manor), Verdi (Otello, Don Carlos and the Polish première of Simon Boccanegra) and Puccini (Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Turandot and Tosca - including a tour with Welsh National Opera). His production of Debussy’s Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien was broadcast live from Rome on the Eurovision television network. He received rave reviews at the 2006 Maifestspiele Festival in Wiesbaden for conducting Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, a co-production of the Warsaw National Opera with Plácido Domingo and the National Opera in Washington.
Grzegorz Nowak has performed alongside many of the most widely respected soloists of our time, including Krystian Zimerman, Mstislav Rostropovich, Martha Argerich, Henryk Szeryng, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Pinchas Zukerman, Midori, Nigel Kennedy, Garrick Ohlsson, André Watts, Gil Shaham, Yefim Bronfman, Shlomo Mintz, and has worked with such singers as Marilyn Horne, Kathleen Battle, Gwyneth Jones, Anja Silja, Janet Baker, Wilhelmenia Fernandez, Ewa Podles, Wieslaw Ochman and Ben Heppner.
His recordings have been highly-acclaimed by the press and public alike, winning many awards. Diapason in Paris praised his KOS CD with Martha Argerich and Sinfonia Varsovia as ‘indispensable … a must-have’, and the second edition of this recording won the Fryderyk Award. The Polish Symphonic Music of the XIX Century recording with Sinfonia Varsovia won the CD of the Year Award, a nomination for the Fryderyk Award and the Bronze Bell Award in Singapore. The American Record Guide praised Grzegorz Nowak’s Gallo label CD of Frank Martin with the Biel Symphony Orchestra as ‘by far the best’.
Grzegorz Nowak’s recording of Chopin’s piano concerti with Janusz Olejniczak and Sinfonia Varsovia won the Fryderyk and CD of the Year awards, and his CD with Stanislaw Drzewiecki and Sinfonia Varsovia was also nominated for the Fryderyk Award. His Hänssler Classic disc with Anja Silja won two Classical Internet awards, and his recording of Czerny’s Symphonies Nos.2 and 6 (world première recording) received worldwide critical acclaim. His CBC record with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Amanda Forsyth won the Juno Award, while the CD-Accord disc with Joanna Kozlowska and the Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra was hailed as ‘superb’. Gramophone Magazine praised his ASV recording with the London Symphony Orchestra as ‘outstanding’.