Music Director & Conductor Piotr Gajewski
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.