Maciej Zoltowski: A Visionary Maestro of the 21st Century

Born in Warsaw in 1971, Maciej Zoltowski has emerged as a luminary in the realm of contemporary music, with a profound passion for compositions from the 20th and 21st centuries. As a distinguished composer himself, he possesses an unparalleled understanding of the music he conducts, which has forged strong ties with both the contemporary music scene and some of the finest soloists of our time. Currently based in upstate New York, Maestro Zoltowski proudly holds the esteemed position of Artistic Director of the Fenimore Chamber Orchestra.

His musical journey has been punctuated by collaborations with numerous symphony orchestras in Poland, including the National Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio in Katowice, the Polish Radio Orchestra in Warsaw, the Polish Orchestra Jeunesses Musicales, Beethoven Academy Orchestra, and Poznan Philharmonic, to name a few. His baton has also enraptured audiences across the globe, gracing the stages of prestigious concert halls in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Some of his most celebrated engagements include electrifying performances in Berlin, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Athens and Mexico City.

Maestro Zoltowski’s artistic endeavors extend beyond the conductor’s podium. As a composer, his works have resonated during various renowned festivals, including the Two Days and Two Nights in Odessa (Ukraine), Europe-Asia festival in Kazan (Tatarstan-Russia), and the World Music Days 2002 in Hong Kong, among others.

Maciej Zoltowski’s academic pursuits have been nothing short of exceptional. He commenced his musical odyssey by studying violin at the distinguished F. Chopin and J. Elsner Music Schools in Warsaw. Excelling in his craft, he earned his diploma in violin performance with distinction before continuing his education at the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. It was here that he attained his M.A. diplomas in composition and conducting, under the tutelage of esteemed professors Marian Borkowski and Ryszard Dudek.

Throughout his artistic pilgrimage, Maestro Zoltowski honed his skills under the guidance of eminent artists such as Yuri Simonov, Zoltán Pesko, Lászlo Tihanyi, and Gianluigi Gelmetti, enhancing his prowess as a conductor and composer.

His artistic achievements have been widely recognized, earning him scholarships from the Polish Ministry of Culture, the Tadeusz Baird scholarship, the fellowship of the German Stiftung Kulturfonds in Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf, and the prestigious scholarship for young conductors from the Japanese Music Foundation JESC. He has also been a finalist in the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award (Tokyo) and won the first composers’ competition held by the Musica Sacra Society in Warsaw. In 2002, he was honored with the Silver Order of Merit by the President of the Republic of Poland, and in 2017, he received the Bronze Medal “Gloria Artis” for his invaluable contributions to culture from the Polish Minister for Culture and National Heritage.

With an illustrious career spanning various Polish music institutions, including the Polish Composers’ Union and Jeunesses Musicales Poland, Maestro Zoltowski has been the President of the ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music) Polish Section since 2010.

In 2002, he was appointed as the artistic director and conductor of the Cyprus State Orchestra, elevating the ensemble to unparalleled artistic heights. Under his baton, the orchestra embarked on numerous international tours, captivating audiences in cities like London, Copenhagen, Paris, and Athens. Throughout his tenure, Maestro Zoltowski has conducted over 80 concerts, operas, and ballet productions in Cyprus alone. From 2007 to 2017, he served as the Managing and Artistic Director of the Radom Chamber Orchestra (ROK) in Poland, further solidifying his reputation as an exceptional conductor.

The symphony of Maestro Zoltowski’s discography showcases remarkable collaborations and exceptional artistry. His recordings for The Steinway Club Cyprus, featuring Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 with Dimitris Sgouros, and a world premiere recording of Savvas Savva’s “Concerto for 10 Pianos and Orchestra,” are testaments to his dedication to innovative musical expressions. Other notable CDs include the Radom Chamber Orchestra’s “Grażyna Bacewicz – Works for Chamber Orchestra” vol. I and II, lauded by the international press and recognized with nominations for prestigious awards (French Diapason, Spanish Scherzo, International Classical Music Awards – ICMA). 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”.

A beacon of brilliance in the world of music, Maciej Zoltowski’s unwavering commitment to the arts, coupled with his profound understanding of contemporary compositions, has earned him an indelible place in the hearts of music enthusiasts worldwide. With his visionary approach and exceptional talents, he continues to enrich the world of music, leaving an indomitable legacy for generations to come.


“We are the beneficiaries of such an opulent abundance of talent. It was gratifying to hear an orchestra play as if they were particularly chosen for the momentous task. Each section played as one voice attaining a high level of emotional involvement and astonishing polish without ever losing the sense of pitch and immaculate intonation.
All of this was due to the considerable orchestral building wizardry of Maestro Maciej Zoltowski. The elegant juxtaposition of "storm and stress" of much of the afternoon's music can, in less capable hands, come across as tedious. On this occasion, the beauties of the relatively unknown works by Haydn and Mozart were neatly put on display with a never-faltering sense of orchestral proportion [...]. One could go on and on regarding the felicities of the afternoon and the conducting in particular. A new Orchestra led by Maestro Zoltowski is indeed a rare and historic jewel in the already considerable crown of artistic offerings in Cooperstown. The capacity audience, obviously having enjoyed itself, rewarded Maestro Zóltowski and Fenimore Chamber Orchestra with an enthusiastic and prolonged ovation at the conclusion of the concert”.

T. Stephen Wager in, 1.09.2022

“Maestro Maciej Zoltowski made a triumphant return to Oneonta on November 20, 2021 with a concert of Wind Serenades by Mozart, Dvořák and Richard Strauss. It is a completely fortunate situation that so glamorous and cosmopolite a musical personality such as Maestro Zoltowski has come to grace Catskill Symphony Orchestra and Upstate New York. In just two years’ time, his efforts of international renown at orchestra building have already been shown to great effect [...]. Very few orchestras in the land are graced with the rare intuitive abilities he so easily renders in terms of what is required by any composer. The entire Upstate New York region should breathlessly anticipate future performances of such enlightening beauty”.

T. Stephen Wager in, 9.12.2021

“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.”, 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