"Golden Sceptre" for Jerzy Maksymiuk

Jerzy Maksymiuk – a celebrated conductor, composer, pianist and a great personality of the Polish music scene, has received this year’s “Golden Sceptre” award from Bank Millennium and the Polish Culture Foundation.

The artist was recognised for “his entire artistic activity, outstanding achievements as a conductor, comprising the legacy of great classics as well as contemporary composers; for his untamed creative personality and the unique gift of communicating with the auditorium, for opposing the element of commercialisation of musical culture ".

The "Small Sceptre” – an award presented by the Grand Winner to a young generation artist – went to Maciej Koczur, an extremely talented 25-year old conductor, winner of many awards at international competitions.

The awards ceremony was held on October 6th 2014 in the offices of Polish Television in Warsaw.

Jerzy Maksymiuk

Jerzy Maksymiuk (1936), holds diplomas in piano (Jerzy Lefeld’s class) composition (Piotr Perkowski’s class) and conducting (Bogusław Madey’s class) from The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. A pianist, conductor, composer, music promoter, one of the most colourful personalities of Polish cultural life.

In 1961 he won the first prize in the National Ignacy Jan Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz. Conducting, however, soon became his principal career. In 1972 he founded the Polish Chamber Orchestra (known today as Sinfonia Varsovia), which was soon hailed by many critics as one of the world’s best orchestras.

The first conductor of WOSPR since 1975. In the years 1983-1991 he headed the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Since 1990 he has been collaborating with the English National Opera, where he conducted the premieres of “Don Giovanni” and “Die Fledermaus”. He has also given concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Regularly cooperates with Sinfonia Varsovia

Mr Maksymiuk has recorded approx. 100 albums, i.a. for EMI (13 albums), Hyperion, Naxos. Many were honoured with prestigious awards. In Poland he has been awarded the Fryderyk many times, i.a. for the “Karłowicz” and “Witold Lutosławski” albums as well as for an album with music by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki.

Jerzy Maksymiuk is also a composer of symphonic music, chamber and ballet pieces, songs and film scores. “Expront” (1980) is his favourite piece among older works. As far as film music is concerned he is particularly pleased with his score for “The Hourglass Sanatorium” directed by Wojciech Has.

The last few years were very fruitful for Mr Maksymiuk as composer. His recent works include ”A Lonely Star over Be’er Sheva” (2010) for quintet, “Vivaldi in Boston” for string orchestra and string quartet (2010) “Leaves Somewhere Falling” for chamber orchestra and piano (2011), “Heart Lamentation, Kielce In Memoriam” for orchestra, clarinet and soprano (2012). His 85-minute score for the silent film “Mania” starring Pola Negri was performed live in 2012 during cinema shows in London, Madrid, Paris, Kiev, Berlin and Warsaw.

Maestro Maksymiuk has received the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Rebirth of Poland and the Gloria Artis Gold Medal. He also won SuperWiktor. Mr Maksymiuk is an Honorary Citizen of Białystok.