Piotr Gajewski is widely credited with building the Philharmonic to its present status as one of the most respected ensembles in the Washington region; he has been hailed in The Washington Post as an "immensely talented and insightful conductor, whose standards, taste and sensitivity are impeccable." In addition to his appearances with the National Philharmonic, Maestro Gajewski is much in demand as a guest conductor. In recent years, he has appeared with most of the major orchestras in his native Poland, as well as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in England, the Karlovy Vary Symphony in the Czech Republic, the Okanagan Symphony in Canada and numerous orchestras in the United States.
Born in Poland, Gajewski began studying piano at age four. After immigrating to the United States in 1969, he continued his studies at the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division, Carleton College and the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where he earned B.M. and M.M. in Orchestral Conducting. Upon completing his formal education, Gajewski continued refining his conducting skills at the 1983 Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts, where he was awarded a Leonard Bernstein Conducting Fellowship. His teachers there included Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Andre Previn, Gunther Schuller, Gustav Meier, and Maurice Abravanel.
Maestro Gajewski has conducted many important world premieres, including works by Steven Gerber, Joel Hoffman, Andreas Makris, Gerhard Samuel and Peter Ware. Gajewski's recording on the Koch International label of Steven Gerber's Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto, and Serenade for String Orchestra with the National Chamber Orchestra, garnered enthusiastic reviews.
Gajewski is also a winner of many prizes and awards, among them a prize at New York's prestigious Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition and, in 2006, Montgomery County's Comcast Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Achievement Award.