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Kazimierz Kord

Country of origin: Poland
Birthday: November 18, 1930

About Kazimierz Kord

Kazimierz Kord, born 1930, studied piano, organ and violoncello in Poland. Later on he studied piano with Nilsena at the Leningrad Conservatory, where he took the first prize in piano in 1955 and at the Kraków Conservatory, with the composer Artur Malawski, from 1956 to 1960, and made his conducting debut at the Warsaw Opera in 1960.

In 1977 he became chief conductor of Poland’s foremost orchestra, the Warsaw National Philharmonic, directing the orchestra until the end of its centenary celebrations in 2001. From the beginning of his period with the orchestra, with which he toured extensively, Kord worked to extend its repertoire, with the result that operas and oratorios were added to its programmes in addition to the more usual symphonic works. Kord was also an assiduous supporter of contemporary Polish composers, such as Lutosławski, Penderecki, Górecki and Kilar.

After 2001 he was given the title of conductor laureate and continued to maintain close contact with the orchestra. He has also held a number of positions outside Poland, although he has not pursued the typical career of the itinerant maestro. Succeeding Ernest Bour, he was chief conductor of the South West German Radio Symphony Orchestra at Baden-Baden; while in the USA he was principal guest conductor with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from, and worked closely with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra of Orange County, California. He continues to return to conduct both of these orchestras.

He received the Knight's Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order in 2001.