To pursue creative musical projects, one needs two things: ambitious plans and ambitious musicians able to fulfil them. Jan Stanienda, a virtuoso violinist and prominent concertmaster, made sure he had both of these when in 1996 he decided to bring to life the new Wratislavia Chamber Orchestra.

The musicians whom he picked very carefully had already been known as winners of musical competitions, professors of musical academies, and artists welcomed in other excellent ensembles. It is enough to name some of the orchestras they played with (such as Sinfonia Helvetica and Menuhin Festival Orchestra), or some of the great names with whom they gave concerts (Grzegorz Nowak, Krystian Zimerman, James Galway, Sharon Kam), or famous concert halls in which they performed (Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Waterfront Hall in Belfast, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, Berliner Philharmonie, Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Philharmonie Gasteig in Munich). Indeed, Wratislavia has been having a huge musical potential since the very moment it was born.

The artistic team selected that way splendidly fitted Jan Stanienda’s plans. And these plans embraced interpreting and promoting chamber music in an unconstrained journey through musical époques and styles. Performing with the same ease music spanning from baroque to modern times, ranging between simpler and more elaborated musical forms, intended for smaller and larger chamber ensembles. Putting forward firm and daring competition to the best interpretations of renown musical pieces, but also making broad audiences more familiar with works of lesser popularity but well deserving promotion.

The very beginning had already been excellent. The Orchestra’s first concert took place in the festival Warsaw Music Encounters Early Music – New Music, 1996. And then a streak of other concerts followed. To name a few places and occasions: Warsaw (National Philharmonic, Royal Castle), Łańcut (Music Festival), Wrocław (Wratislavia Cantans and Musica Polonica Nova), Saint Petersburg and Siberia (the Polish Culture Season in Russia, 2008), China (Introduction to the Chopin’s Year in China, 2009/2010) and Mexico (Festival Internacional Cervantino and Festival de Música de Morelia Miguel Bernal Jimenez, 2010). And as a small cherry on top of all that, Wratislavia participated in creating the musical setting of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, as well as of the inauguration ceremony of the 46th Eucharistic Congress in Wrocław, 1997, in the gracious presence of Pope John Paul II.

The Orchestra has not been merely a follower of the plans of its creator and director. The ensemble have dreamed up and became the host of a new original cultural event, which since 1997 has become a fixed part of the musical calendar of Wrocław – the annual Chamber Music Festival Arsenal Nights. The festival which binds in a unique harmony the refined tastes and exceptional performances of world’s chamber music, with the architectural beauty of the magnificent relic of ancient city armoury in Wrocław.

The Orchestra’s broadening contacts, growing with each concert along with the brand name which Wratislavia has became, resulted not just in many new concert performances with acknowledge masters of world’s classical music, but also in several interesting recordings. Of these, three CDs gained prestigious awards or nominations: the album Haydn, Denisov – Cello Concertos with Marcin Zdunik (cello), awarded with Fryderyk 2010 (Polish top musical award). The record Polish music nominated to Fryderyk 2002. The record La Streghe 2 with Katarzyna Duda, nominated to Fryderyk 2001. The Orchestra has also given premiere concerts of many works of contemporary Polish composers, and many studio recordings in Polish national TV and Radio.

And the Orchestra still faces new plans and new challenges, plotted with a determined hand of its artistic director Jan Stanienda.

Jan Stanienda

...is the legendary Polish concertmaster, an eminent chamber musician, and a sparkling virtuoso.

He was born in Bytom, Poland. He is a graduate of the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, where he studied with Professor Krzysztof Jakowicz. His unbelievably rich imagination imparts to his interpretations a unique personal stamp. His masterful phrasing and use of colour and articulation leave an unforgettable impression on the audience.

Since 1975, Jan Stanienda has been a member of the Polish Chamber Orchestra under Jerzy Maksymiuk, and in 1977 he became its concertmaster and soloist. In 1976 he received a prize at the Niccolo Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa. He performed with many distinguished musicians, such as Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Maurice André, Michala Petri, Wanda Wilkomirska, Krzysztof Jakowicz, János Starker, Barbara Hendricks, Maurice Bourge, Lidia Grzanka-Urbaniak, Guy Touvron, Andrei Gridchuk, Grzegorz Nowak, Tadeusz Wojciechowski and Krzysztof Jablonski.

He has performed both as soloist and conductor in every European country and on every continent.

He gave concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York, Berliner Philharmonie, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid, Barbican Centre and Royal Albert Hall in London (BBC Henry Wood Promenade Concerts), Santa Cecilia in Vatican and many others.

From 1986 until 2000, he was concertmaster of Sinfonia Varsovia, and in the years 1993-1995 he was the artistic director of the orchestra Leopoldinum. Besides leading Sinfonia Varsovia and the Polish Chamber Orchestra, he has performed with, and directed, many chamber and symphonic orchestras in Poland and abroad. In 1991-92 he was the Premier Violon Solo of the Orchestre de Chambre National de Toulouse. With this orchestra he conducted the January 1, 1992 Concert for Peace in Dubrovnik in which Barbara Hendricks participated. In 1998 he performed in Atlanta’s Spivey Hall at the gala concert on the occasion of Poland’s joining NATO.

He has made numerous recordings on CD and for radio and television. He has recorded with such companies as Aperto, Linn Records, Pavane, Kos Warsaw Records and DUX. He is the creator and artistic director of the Wrocław Chamber Music Festival Arsenal Nights and the laureate of the Wrocław Music Award (2006).



Three most renowned romantic serenades – by Dvořák, Elgar and Tchaikovsky, all three purely for strings – make their way to the repertoire of every chamber orchestra. The compositions that are not just beautiful but also challenging are enthusiastically welcomed by music lovers. And that makes them fascinating and interesting even to the most demanding professionals.

Polish Music

Works of the Polish classicism and twentieth-century pieces. These works are at the same time ones of the most beautiful and most frequently performed items for string orchestra of the Polish musical literature of both epochs. Polish Music has been nominated for the Polish Phonographic Academy Award – FRYDERYK 2002.

Katarzyna Duda

Le Streghe 2

Virtuoso pieces composed by the most outstanding 19th-century violinists in a sparkling performance by Katarzyna Duda. It is a continuation of Le Streghe, a record made by this artist together with pianist Waldemar Malicki. Le Streghe 2 has been nominated for the Polish Phonographic Academy Award – FRYDERYK 2001.

Dominika Falger

Mozart – Violin Concertos No. 4 & No. 5

The two best known, and also most beautiful, violin concertos of W. A. Mozart in an interpretation by Dominika Falger, which is fresh, but at the same time faithfully reconstructs the style of Salzburg’s genius. The Wratislavia Chamber Orchestra is conducted by the Viennese Christian Schulz. This disc is the first in a cycle of recordings of concertos by W. A. Mozart.

Kama Grott

The Baroque
Oboe Concertos

Kama Grott’s first solo album with baroque concertos recorded for Universal Music Polska. It was produced by Leszek M. Wójcik – a director of Carnegie Hall recording studio in New York. The record for all baroque and oboe music lovers.

Dominika Falger

Mozart – Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, Adagio, Rondos

Another record from the cycle of Mozart’s all works for violin and orchestra. This time two first concertos and three independent parts performed by Dominika Falger, whose interpretations are truly amazing...

D. Falger, J. Flieder

Mozart – Violin Concerto No. 3, Sinfonia Concertante

One of the most beautiful double concertos in the history of music, the Sinfonia Concertante by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in a burning into memory interpretation by Dominika Falger (violin) and Johannes Flieder (viola). The disc contains the Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major KV 216, with a fashionable Strassbourger quadrille in its third movement.

Marcin Zdunik

Haydn – Cello Concertos, Denisov – Tod ist ein langer Schlaf

The debut record of Marcin Zdunik, awarded in 2010 with Poland’s most prestigious musical award FRYDERYK. Includes two Cello Concertos by J. Haydn, and variations on a theme of his canon “Tod ist ein langer Schlaf” by E. Denisov. This original piece composed in 1982 on the occasion of 250th birth anniversary of the Viennese classic is in itself a delicious musical scenery.


Ruch Muzyczny

Derby in the concert hall

(...) the ensemble is a versatile and vivid instrument with a wide range of tone colours and dynamics. It is a well integrated group, playing with one breath, like an expressive extension of the artistic director’s gestures. (...) One can listen for hours to their phrasing, nuances, developments and accents in any repertoire. (...) Jan Stanienda uses light-and-shade effects to perfection, but even in old music it is the light-and-shade of Bocklin, rather than that of Caravaggio. And how wonderful it sounds!

R. Augustyn

Wieczór Wrocławia

Two orchestras,
a single triumph

(...) Splendidly captured sound proportions and precise performance, not averse to virtuosity, resulted in the technical triumph of the young ensemble. Its complete success, however, is due to the interesting shapes that Jan Stanienda can impose on the music. These shapes are striking and full of energy, without making the music shallow. (...) There is no doubt that Wratislavia is a very serious, perhaps the most serious, contender to the title of the best Polish chamber orchestra.

J. Puchalski

Ruch Muzyczny

Journey to Polyhymnia

(...) Stanienda’s orchestra presented a high standard, especially in the im pressive Concerto for Orchestra by Bacewicz – fast tempos, wisely planned climaxes. (...)

M. Gmys

Ruch Muzyczny

Stanienda’s festival in Wrocław

(...) Wratislavia has the potential enabling it to aspire to artistic heights; its leader and concertmaster endows the orchestra with his own expressive and individual stamp. (...) The distinctive characteristic of this group is the incredible lightness and swiftness of the strings. It manifests itself most effectively and accurately at the roots: in the compositions of Italian baroque masters, especially in those most original and striking works by Vivaldi. His music (...) under Stanienda’s direction acquires a vivid and intense splen dour. The artist knows how to draw out all dynamic and agogic flavours, colours, nuances of articulation (...)

K. Kościukiewicz

World Premiers

Wratislavia’s repertoire includes the compositions of almost all of the finest composers from Poland and throughout the world. Contemporary music, especially premiere performances, play an important role in the ensemble’s programme.

List of premiere performances:

Piotr Moss – Rémanences

Anna Sikorzak-Olek – harp,
Jan Stanienda – conductor

Krzesimir Dębski – Flute Concerto

Jadwiga Kotnowska – flute,
Jan Stanienda – conductor

Feliks Janiewicz / Władysław Słowiński – Divertimento concertante

Jan Stanienda – violin, conductor

Arild Plau – Tuba Concerto*

Øystein Baadsvik – tuba (Norway),
Jan Stanienda – conductor

Krzysztof Baculewski – Cantata „Les Adieux”*

Jadwiga Rappé – alto,
Jan Stanienda – conductor

Zbigniew Penherski – Small Litany for Strings

Jan Stanienda – conductor

Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil – Lydian Music*

Jan Stanienda – conductor

Aleksander Kościów – Clodioculos

Jan Stanienda – conductor

Aleksander Kościów – The Elements

Jan Stanienda – conductor

Aleksander Vinitsky – Fantasia for Guitar and Orchestra

Aleksander Vinitsky – guitar
Jan Stanienda – conductor

Marek Pasieczny – Yuthful Fantasie

Marek Pasieczny – guitar
Jan Stanienda – conductor

Alina Błońska – La musica callada

Jan Stanienda – conductor

Marcin Błażewicz – Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra

Jan Stanienda – violin, conductor

Jerzy Maksymiuk – Vivaldi in Boston

Jan Stanienda – conductor

Jan Oleszkowicz – Jurassic Music for Bassoon and String Orchestra

Leszek Wachnik – bassoon
Jan Stanienda – conductor

Salvator Brotons – Concerto for Viola and Strings*

Jesús Rodríguez González – viola (Spain)
Jan Stanienda – conductor

Marcin Błażewicz – Concerto for Accordion and Strings

Klaudiusz Baran – accordion
Jan Stanienda – conductor

Jerzy Maksymiuk – In a Pensive Mood – Adagio per archi e pianoforte

Krzysztof Stanienda – piano
Jan Stanienda – conductor

Jerzy Kornowicz – Two Spaces for 2 Violins and String Orchestra

Janusz Wawrowski – violin
Jan Stanienda – violin, conductor

Wojciech Błażejczyk – Concerto for Electric Guitar and String Orchestra

Wojciech Błażejczyk – electric guitar
Jan Stanienda – conductor

* – these premieres took place during the Chamber Music Festival Arsenal Nights.

Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland


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