Symphony, Maestro Agree on Extension

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The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has extended the contract of Music Director Krzysztof Urbański. The deal runs through the 2017-2018 season. September 19, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announces that Music Director Krzysztof Urbański will extend his commitment as the artistic leader of the Orchestra through the 2017-2018 season. Maestro Urbański is the seventh Music Director of the Indianapolis Symphony, and began his tenure with the ISO in September 2011 under a four-year agreement.

"I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to stay in Indianapolis and continue working with the outstanding musicians of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra," said Krzysztof Urbański.

"With still so much to accomplish, the decision to stay felt right to me. This orchestra is filled with great talent, this organization has new administrative leadership, and this city loves the music that we make. It's an honor for me to continue as artistic leader and be a part of this orchestra's future."

Urbański's performances with the ISO have garnered significant critical and audience acclaim. Highlights have included Shostakovich’s fifth symphony at the ISO's 2011 Opening Night Gala, Beethoven's "Eroica," Brahms' Symphony No. 1, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and the world premiere of William Bolcom’s Games and Challenges, with ISO artists-in-residence Time for Three. Urbański has introduced Indianapolis audiences to works by Polish composers Gorecki, Lutosławski, Karłowicz and Wojciech Kilar. His inaugural recording as Music Director, featuring Elgar’s Cello Concerto with cellist Zuill Bailey and selections from Smetana’s M? vlast, was released in 2013 to critical acclaim.

In less than two years as Music Director, Urbański has filled a number of key artistic roles in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He presided over the hiring of two ISO Principal musicians: Principal Oboe Jennifer Christen and Principal Trumpet Ryan Beach. In total, Urbański has hired four musicians with a number of additional positions scheduled to be filled in coming seasons.

The community has responded to Urbański’s music-making as well. Advance sales for the 2013-2014 season at the Hilbert Circle Theatre have surpassed any year for the last five years, and due to public enthusiasm and demand, Urbański and the ISO will once again return to the campuses of Indiana University and DePauw University for run-out performances this season. He has garnered critical acclaim from The Los Angeles Times (“Urbański gives off a dashing rock star vibe and resembles a young Herbert von Karajan on the podium”) and Die Welt (“With gentlemen like him, classical music is heading for a safe future: a wizard of music, young, but with a serious approach to the artistic ethos, the Maestro conquered the hearts of the orchestra and the audience alike”), and Urbański has caught the attention of audiences and reviewers alike in Trondheim, Berlin, Hamburg, Madrid, and Tokyo, among many others.

“On behalf of the ISO Board, I’m thrilled that Krzysztof will continue leading our Orchestra for an additional three years and keep Indianapolis as his American home,” said Martha Lamkin, ISO Board Chair. “We knew we had found a rising star in 2011, and today, Krzysztof is in demand all over the globe. On the podium, he inspires our musicians and excites our audiences, and we look forward to a brilliant future with our exceptionally talented Music Director leading the way.”

“I am delighted that Krzysztof has made a long-term commitment to the ISO,” said Gary Ginstling, CEO of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. “His artistic leadership is central to the ISO’s future, and his decision to extend his tenure here is a vote of confidence in that future. The entire Indianapolis community should be extremely excited about having a chance to experience Krzysztof and the ISO’s electrifying performances for many years to come.”

Krzysztof Urbański returns to Indianapolis for the next several weekends to lead the Orchestra in its Opening Night Gala on Friday, Sept. 20; in performances featuring pianist Garrick Ohlsson for Chopin’s first piano concerto, Sept. 26-28; and for Verdi’s Requiem with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir on Oct. 11 and 12.

In addition to serving as the Music Director of the ISO, Urbański continues as Chief Conductor of the Trondheim Symfoniorkester. Later this season Urbański and the ISO will perform the world premiere of Wojciech Kilar’s Pastorale e capriccio, a co-commission of the ISO and Trondheim. In 2013-2014, he takes the Trondheim Symfoniorkester on tour to Vienna, Cologne, Warsaw and Krak?w. He also holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor of Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.

This season, Urbański debuts with Berliner Philharmoniker and Chicago Symphony Orchestra (at the Ravinia Festival) and next season with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonk?nstler-Orchester Nieder?sterreich and M?nchner Philharmoniker. He will also return to the Philharmonia Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de Espana, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. In the U.S., engagements include a return to Los Angeles Philharmonic for his debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall and Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra.

Last season he conducted major European tours with both the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the European Union Youth Orchestra, and returned to Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival to conduct their Akademie Orchestra. In November 2013, he participates in an internationally-televised concert in Warsaw with Sinfonia Varsovia to mark the 80th birthday of his compatriot Krzysztof Penderecki – conducting his Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, and sharing the podium with Charles Dutoit and Valery Gergiev.

Urbański graduated from the Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw in 2007, and in the same year was the unanimous First Prize Winner of the Prague Spring International Conducting Competition. From 2007-2009 he served as Assistant Conductor to the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, working under Music Director Antoni Wit with whom he also studied at University. He holds the position of Adjunct Professor of Music (Orchestral Conducting) at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Source: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra