Bio

Maciej Zoltowski (b. 1971 in Warsaw) is well known for his devotion to music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Being himself a composer, he developed strong links with the contemporary music scene as well as with the best soloists of our times. His thorough and diversified knowledge allows him an unprecedented insight into the music he conducts.

Maestro Zoltowski collaborates with many Polish symphony orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio (Katowice), the Polish Radio Orchestra (Warsaw), the Polish Orchestra Jeunesses Musicales, Beethoven Academy Orchestra and Poznan Philharmonic. International audiences could see Maciej Zoltowski conducting in plenty of concert halls in Europe, Asia and both Americas. His most recent engagements included: Orkestra Akademik Başkent (Ankara/Turkey), Orquesta Sinfónica de Salta (Argentina), The Chamber Orchestra (Singapore), Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuenca (Ecuador), Sinfonia Toronto (Canada), Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra (China), Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Arlington, Garland Symphony Orchestra (USA), Voronezh Philharmonic Orchestra (Russia), Shumen State Symphony (Bulgaria), Orchestra Filarmonica Nino Rota (Italy), Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra da Camera del Trasimeno (Italy), Orquesta de Cámara de Bellas Artes (Mexico), Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Guanajuato (Mexico), Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Mexico), Orquesta Sinfónica de Yucatán (Mexico), Krasnoyarsk Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Çukurova State Symphony Orchestra (Turkey), the Pilsen Philharmonic (Czech Republic), the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra (China), Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä (Finland), Vogtland Philharmonie (Germany) and  Mikkeli City Orchestra (Finland).

Works composed by Maciej Zoltowski have been performed during numerous festivals, among others: Two Days and Two Nights in Odessa (Ukraine), festival Europe-Asia in Kazan (Tatarstan-Russia), Rheinsberger Musiktage zu Pfingsten in Rheinsberg (Germany), Roaring Hooves in Mongolia, Composium 1999 in Tokyo, Sound Ways in St. Petersburg, Past and Future in Odessa and World Music Days 2002 in Hong Kong.

Maciej Zoltowski studied violin at the prestigious F. Chopin and J. Elsner Music Schools in Warsaw. Having earned his diploma in violin performance with distinction, he continued his studies at the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, where he graduated in 1996 in composition and in 1997 in conducting faculty, obtaining both M.A. diplomas with awards. His teachers at the academy included Prof. Marian Borkowski and Prof. Ryszard Dudek.

Maciej Zoltowski participated in many master-courses working under supervision of notable artists like Yuri Simonov, Zoltán Pesko, Lászlo Tihanyi and Gianluigi Gelmetti.

For the artistic achievements, he received twice the Polish Ministry of Culture scholarship and the Tadeusz Baird scholarship. In 1997, he was awarded with the fellowship of the German Stiftung Kulturfonds in Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf. In 2000, he won the scholarship for young conductors of the Japanese Music Foundation JESC. He was the winner of the first composers’ competition held by the Musica Sacra Society in Warsaw. In 1999, he was the finalist of the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award (Tokyo). In 2002, the President of the Republic of Poland decorated him with the Silver Order of Merit. In 2017 the Polish Minister for Culture and National Heritage awarded him the Bronze Medal “Gloria Artis” for services to culture.

Maciej Zoltowski held posts in many Polish music institutions: chairperson of the Young Circle in the Polish Composers’ Union, secretary general of the Warsaw Branch of the Polish Composers’ Union, secretary general and subsequently president of the Jeunesses Musicales Poland, the Polish section of the Jeunesses Musicales International. Since 2010 he is President of the ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music) Polish Section.

Appointed artistic director and conductor of the Cyprus State Orchestra in 2002, Maciej Zoltowski has developed the ensemble to high artistic standards. This has resulted in many international tours the orchestra did under his direction, visiting London, Copenhagen, Paris and Athens. In Cyprus alone, he has led over 80 concert, opera and ballet productions. In 2007-2017 Maciej Zoltowski held the post of the Managing and Artistic Director of the Radom Chamber Orchestra (ROK) in Poland.

Maestro Zoltowski’s discography contains recordings for The Steinway Club Cyprus: Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 with Dimitris Sgouros and world premiere recording of a “Concerto for 10 Pianos and Orchestra” by Savvas Savva. Other CDs feature the Radom Chamber Orchestra: “Grażyna Bacewicz – Works for Chamber Orchestra” vol. I and II, enthusiastically received by the international press: Five Diapasons from the French magazine “Diapason”, Excepcional by the Spanish “Scherzo”, nomination to the International Classical Music Awards 2011. His most recent CD “Krzysztof Penderecki – Works for String Orchestra” has been released by DUX on the occasion of the composer’s 80th anniversary and included in the prestigious “Penderecki Special Edition”.


Reviews

“El maestro Zoltowski, sobrio, sencillo, de parca gestualidad, pero de clara elegancia, condujo con orgullo la música de su tierra, desconocida en nuestros lares y la orquesta local, con entrega y energía (según dice el maestro) respondió muy bien. Para destacar, solo cuatro ensayos, lo cual habla muy bien de director y dirigidos.”

José Mario Carrer in Salta 21, 29.04.2018

“The evening began with a spectacular performance of the "Carnival" Overture by Antonin Dvorak. This not so popular piece, with truly superb moments, sounded under Maciej Zoltowski’s baton as a compact, multi-colored, expressive musical story. Zoltowski […] led the performance with calm, consistency, precision, musicality, with a sense of the orchestra, flair and nerve, if not exceedingly exhibited, easy to feel during the entire concert. […] After the break, Maciej Zoltowski, in a manner both vivid and at ease, led the suite from Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Golden Cockerel, […]. It was nicely played, exposing rich inventory of moods, danceable (if necessary), with indeed spectacular fragments, when a theme has been passed between oboe, flute and clarinet, picked up by the violas, cellos, violins, contrasted by brass instruments and horns, amplified by percussion. It was as if Zoltowski wanted to show that the Golden Cockerel was conceived by Rimsky-Korsakov not only as a colourful fairy tale, but as a fierce political satire, full of bold touches.”
24kurier.pl, 4.02.2014

“Nuestro director invitado, el maestro polaco Maciej Zoltowski, de apenas 42 años de edad, es un hombre alto nativo de Varsovia que actúa rectamente, sin aspavientos, y conduce a la orquesta sana y salva por los poderosos vientos sibelianos de la obra, hasta el soberbio final. [...] Zoltowski trabajó con excelencia a los instrumentistas de la OSY, ofreciéndonos una clara y amena lectura a pesar de la sobriedad del colorido de la obra que por momentos nos recuerda a Tchaikowski. Ojalá tengamos la oportunidad de ver de nuevo al Mtro. Zoltowski en futuros programas.”
Roldán Peniche Barrera in Por Esto!, 2013

“La Cuarta Sinfonía de Robert Schumann [...] Aunque dicen que Marciej Zoltowski prefiere a los compositores de los siglos XX y XXI, el hombre posee las suficientes tablas para descifrar a un compositor tan propio del estilo del XIX como Schumann. Nuestro director huésped nos regaló con una inspirada lectura de la Cuarta Sinfonía Op. 120, de un genio que se andaba entre las luminosas salas de concierto y los oscuros manicomios de Alemania. Esta su última sinfonía posee la hermosura y la tristeza tan afines a Schumann. Y así lo entendió el maestro Zoltowski, todavía joven, tranquilo y reposado en su conducción, elegante, preciso y con una fácil seguridad. [...] Y del Scherzo: Lebhaft, el maestro Zoltowski produjo una verdadera joya, rica en texturas y en sonidos alegres y variados. El movimiento final de esta sinfonía de media hora de duración, es noble y solemne; el maestro polaco lució sus amplios conocimientos y su total comprensión de la obra ofreciéndonos una lectura emotiva y grandiosa de una de las sinfonías más importantes del Romanticismo europeo al mediar el siglo XIX. La entusiasta ovación obsequiada al maestro Zoltowski y a la OSY dio fin a este sexto programa de la temporada, que será repetido en su integridad hoy domingo a las 12 del día.”
Roldán Peniche Barrera in Por Esto!, 2012

“Finalizó la velada con la sinfonía en re menor Op. 120 de don Roberto [Robert Schumann]. Muestrario de algunos de sus tics nerviosos y fijaciones temáticas, la pieza posee un vigor y una estructura (cíclica) tan audaces que sorprendió a los primeros oyentes en 1841. En la versión de anteanoche, el maestro Zoltowski extendió con afecto la romántica textura, sobre todo, para dicha del cronista, a quien le encanta, la delicada, expresiva melodía que el oboe y el chelo presentan en la cúspide de la Romanza o segundo movimiento. Aplausos, aplausos y aplausos.”

Jorge H. Álvarez Rendón in Diario de Yucatán, 18.11.2012

“Mit kontrastreichem Programm stellte sich der junge polnische Dirigent Maciej Zoltowski im 2. Sinfoniekonzert der Vogtland Philharmonie Greiz/Reichenbach (VPH) am Freitag vor. Das Orchester entfaltete unter ihm ein farbiges, vorwiegend weiches, subtiles Klangbild. Mit der sinfonischen Dichtung „Die Steppe" lernten die Greizer den polnischen Komponisten Zygmunt Noskowski kennen, einen Zeitgenossen Tschaikowskis. [...] Die VPH interpretierte das Werk trotz großer Schwierigkeiten (die Streicher waren achtfach geteilt!) klangschön und musikalisch voll engagiert. [...] Robert Schumanns 2. Sinfonie in C-Dur op. 61 entstand nach einem Ausbruch seiner psychischen Erkrankung, aus: der er sich mit kompositorischer Arbeit wieder heraus rettete. Nach einer, von den Musikern der VPH mit warmem Ton geblasenen langsamen Einleitung folgt ein energisches Allegro, das Zoltowski mit der VPH relativ unbeschwert musizierte. Beim folgenden Scherzo setzte er diese Stimmung fort, wobei zwischen dem hektisch-fröhlichen Scherzo das Trio klangvoll und cantabel musiziert wurde. Ein wunderschön gestaltetes Adagio, das an J. S. Bach erinnert, folgte als 3. Satz, Streicher und Holzbläsersolisten ergänzten sich beim ablösenden Spiel des Themas mit intensiver musikalischer Interpretation. Lebenslust und rheinische Fröhlichkeit strahlte die Wiedergabe des letzten Satzes aus, zu dem Schumann sagte „Erst im letzten Satz fing ich an, mich wieder wohl zu fühlen.”
Irmengart Müller-Uri in OTZ, 24.10.2006