The most famous of Polish woman conductors was born in a family with musical traditions. She completed her conducting studies in 1971 in the State Higher School of Music in Poznań in the class of of Professor Witold Krzemieński, obtaining an honours diploma. That year she began work as an assistant conductor in the State Philharmonic in Poznań, then as a conductor in the Poznań Opera, where she prepared the Polish first performance of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a first performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto and of Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet.
In 1968, when she was still a student, Agnieszka Duczmal formed a chamber orchestra, transformed in 1977 into the Polish Radio & Television Chamber Orchestra, then into the Amadeus Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra. She has been the orchestra’s director and artistic director since its formation.
Agnieszka Duczmal is a laureate of the 1st National Conductors’ Competition in Katowice (1970). In 1975 she wonan honourable mention in the 4th Herbert von Karajan International Conductors’ Competition in West Berlin. One year later, with her orchestra, she won the Herbert von Karajan Silver Medal at the International Young Orchestras Meeting, also in West Berlin. In 1982 she received the title of “La Donna del Mondo” (Woman of the World), awarded by the St. Vincent International Centre for Culture in Rome under the patronage of UNESCO and the president of Italy for exceptional achievement in the field of culture, arts and social activity on a worldwide scale.
Agnieszka Duczmal conducts concerts with symphony orchestras in Poland and abroad. She was the first woman conductor to appear on the stage of Milan’s Teatro alla Scala.
Together with the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio she has recorded more than 50 albums and more than 10 000 minutes of music for Polish Radio. For Polish Television she recorded music broadcasts a Duczmal]. She also recorded 5 hours of music for Télévision Française 1 and a one hour programme of Polish music for Japanese NHK television. She has als made many recordings for radio broadcasting companies in Germany, Belgium, for the BBC in London, the CBC in Montreal, for radio and television in Mexico and in Japan. Her recorded output includes many first performances, including the world première recording of J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations brilliantly transcribed for chamber orchestra by Józef Koffler and a first recording of Krzysztof Knittel’s St. Matthew Passion.
Many renowned composers have dedicated their works to her. She has made numerous transcriptions of masterpieces of music for her Orchestra, including Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition, as well as of chamber works by J. Brahms, A. Bruckner, C. Debussy, A. Dvořak, S. Moniuszko, F. Schubert, E.W. Korngold, S. Laks, P. Haas and E. Elgar. The conductor creates interesting concert projects for her audiences, combining music with ballet and painting. She also has a long-running record of holding concert cycles promoting young, talented Polish musicians.
Agnieszka Duczmal travels with her orchestra extensively, playing with famous soloists in major concert venues in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Agnieszka Duczmal was a member of juries in Polish and international music competitions, including the Eurovision Young Musicians competition, the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hannover and the Tadeusz Ochlewski Composers’ Competition.