The Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio - History
The Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio (first known as S1 Studio) was opened in 1991. It boasts one of the most excellent acoustics in Poland and is the best recording studio in this part of Europe. The general designer of the project was Professor Stanisław Bieńkuński. Assistant Professor Witold Straszewicz designed the acoustics.
On 27 September 1996 the S1 Studio was named after Witold Lutosławski, one of the greatest 20th-century composers, who died in 1994. He was a frequent guest in the hall but never took the place on the conductor’s podium. In May 1993 the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Antoni Wit gave the Polish premiere of Lutosławski’s Fourth Symphony in the S1 Studio, in the composer’s presence.
In addition to regular concerts of symphonic and chamber music, the Lutosławski Studio served as the venue for monthly (from 1995 to 2004) and weekly (March 2008 – March 2009) educational concerts for children. Their repertoire included early and contemporary music, folk music, musical fables and opera.
The Lutosławski Studio hosts such prestigious festivals as Chopin and his Europe, Warsaw Musical Meetings, the ‘Chain’ Lutosławski Festival, the OPPA International Festival of Bards, the Warsaw Guitar Festival, the Summer Academy of Early Music and Mazovia Goes Baroque. It is also one of the venues of the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, which Polish Radio has co-organized since 1995.
In 1997 Polish Radio 2 launched an annual music festival. Its eleven editions were held in the Lutosławski Studio: Szymanowski and the Europe of his Time, Mieczysław Karłowicz – Chosen Affinities, Bach of the Millennium, Chopin 1999 – Sources and Contexts, Witold Lutosławski, Romantic Homelands of Stanisław Moniuszko, Parisians, 80 Years on the Air, Henryk Wieniawski – Prologue to the Great Competition, The Distant and Close Worlds of Szymanowski and Emigres. Since 1998, the annual ‘New Tradition’ Festival of Folk Music has been held in the studio (an initiative of the Radio Centre for Folk Culture). In 1999 Polish Radio BIS launched a music competition for the youngest generation of performers. Several such competitions have been held in the studio since, under the mottos Chopin Junior, Bach Junior, Haydn Junior (for pianists), Wieniawski Junior, Paganini Junior (for violinists), and Segovia Junior (for guitarists).
The Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio - Artists and Recordings
The Witold Lutosławski Radio Concert Studio has hosted many world-famous soloists and ensembles, including Martha Argerich, Svyatoslav Richter, Stanislav Bunin, Midori, Misha Maisky, Lucy Van Dael, Shlomo Mintz, Yundi, Andreas Staier, Christoph Prégardien, Robert McDonald, Dang Thai Son, La Petite Bande with Sigiswald Kuijken, Beaux Arts Trio, The Tallis Scholars, the Kronos Quartet, Paul McCreesh - Gabrieli Consort & Players, the Kuijken Quartet, Philippe Herreweghe & Collegium Vocale Gent.
The long list of Polish soloists, conductors and orchestras who have performed in the Lutosławski Studio includes Jadwiga Rappé, Ewa Podleś, Olga Pasiecznik, Urszula Kryger, Andrzej Hiolski, Jerzy Artysz, Piotr Paleczny, Janusz Olejniczak, Ewa Pobłocka, Piotr Anderszewski, Krzysztof Jakowicz, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, Kaja Danczowska, Wanda Wiłkomirska, Elżbieta Chojnacka, Andrzej Bauer, Ewa Kupiec, the Silesian Quartet, the Wilanów Quartet, Sinfonia Varsovia, Krzysztof Penderecki, Jan Krenz, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Jerzy Semkow, Grzegorz Nowak, Jacek Kaspszyk, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra (under Łukasz Borowicz and Wojciech Rajski), the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio (cond. Agnieszka Duczmal), the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra (cond. Antoni Wit and Gabriel Chmura) and the Polish Radio Choir (cond. Włodzimierz Siedlik).
Many world-renowned musicians have made recordings in the Lutosławski Studio, if only to mention the Kuijken Quartet (Mozart and Haydn quartets), La Petite Bande under Sigiswald Kuijken (Mozart symphonies and violin concertos), Yehudi Menuhin (all of Schubert’s symphonies and Rossini’s opera overtures, with Sinfonia Varsovia).
All of the albums in the series ‘The Real Chopin. The Complete Works on Historical Instruments’ (released by the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute) have been recorded in the Lutosławski Studio. They featured such artists as Fou T’song, Marek Drewnowski, Wojciech Świtała, Tatiana Shebanova, Dina Yoffe, Kevin Kenner, Aleksandra Kurzak, Mariusz Kwiecień, Nelson Goerner, Dang Thai Son, Ewa Pobłocka, Janusz Olejniczak, Nikolai Demidenko, Ka Ling Colleen Lee, Andrzej Bauer, Krzysztof Broja and Jakub Jakowicz.
Many of the recordings made in the Studio have received prestigious Polish and international awards and have been honoured by the International Composers’ Rostrum in Paris. Many have also featured on CDs issued by Polish Radio, Sony, BMG. EMI Classics, CD Accord, RCA, Opus 111, cpo, Pony Canyon, KOCH, Olympia, and Chandos Records. Among these, mention should be made of Polish Romantic overtures (performed by Sinfonia Varsovia under Grzegorz Nowak), a selection of Bach cantatas (sung by Jadwiga Rappé with Concerto Avenna under Andrzej Mysiński), Chopin piano concertos (performed by Janusz Olejniczak with Sinfonia Varsovia under Grzegorz Nowak), the songs of Mieczysław Karłowicz (sung by Jadwiga Rappé, with Ewa Pobłocka at the piano) and Chopin waltzes (Wojciech Świtała). Pride of place among the studio recordings released as albums goes to those of a concert of Martha Argerich and Sinfonia Varsovia (cond. Grzegorz Nowak), one of the studio’s first recording projects, and the complete works of the 17th-century Polish composer Adam Jarzębski (Canzoni e concerti, performed by the Orchestra of the 18th Century, led by the violinist Lucy van Dael).
The Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio has also hosted many jazz musicians and pop singers including Jim Hall, Sadao Watanabe Band, Al Di Meola and Dino Saluzzi, Joscho Stephan Quartet, Włodzimierz Nahorny, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Henryk Miśkiewicz, Krzysztof Ścierański, Urszula Dudziak, Anna Maria Jopek, Leszek Możdżer, Michał Urbaniak, Włodek Pawlik, Tomasz Stańko, the Andrzej Jagodziński Trio, Ewa Bem, Kayah, Justyna Steczkowska, Edyta Bartosiewicz, Halina Frąckowiak, Zbigniew Wodecki, Hanna Banaszak, Wojciech Młynarski, Grzegorz Turnau, Krzysztof Krawczyk, Stanisław Soyka and Janusz Strobel.