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Joanna Wnuk-Nazar

Joanna Wnuk-Nazar


composer, conductor and teacher, (born: 28.05.1949 in Gdynia). She studied piano at the Fryderyk Chopin Secondary Music School in Kraków. In 1974 she graduated from the Academy of Music in Kraków, where she studied conducting and composition under Krzysztof Penderecki. In 1971-72 she participated in conducting courses with Hans Swarowski in Austria.


In 1973-74 she was a musical director at the Ludowy Theatre in Kraków, and in 1977-78 at the Stary Theatre in Kraków. In 1991-1997 she was the managing director of the Kraków Philharmonic. In 1997-1999 she held the position of the Polish Minister of Culture and Arts. In 2000-2018 she was the Director of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.


As a composer, Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa writes mostly theatre music (e.g. to Eugène Ionesco’s Exit the King, Molier’s The Misanthrope, William Shakespeare’s Richard III, Witold Gombrowicz’s Operetta, Stanisław Wyspiański’s Wedding) and music for the Polish Television Theatre productions (eg. Juliusz Słowacki’s The Silver Dream of Salomea, which was included in the list of the “Golden Hundred Television Theatre Productions”). She has also arranged music for many television spectacles, mainly directed by Kazimierz Kutz. Since retiring in 2018, she has devoted herself mainly to composing.


Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa has received numerous awards and distinctions, including Knight’s and Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Silver and Gold Medal for Merit to Culture “Gloria Artis”, Gold Medal of Merit for National Defense, Guardian of National Remembrance Sites Gold Medal, Meritorious Culture Activist Badge, Minister of Culture and Art Third Degree Award for Pedagogical Work, Polish Composers' Union Honorary Award, “Coryphaeus of Polish Music” Honorary Award, ZAiKS Authors' Association Award on its 100th anniversary, the Order of the White Eagle.