Marta Gardolińska

“…it all blazed gloriously though and left in no doubt that Gardolińska is a highly promising and exciting conductor.” Classical Source

© Bart Barczyk


Polish conductor, Marta Gardolińska, came to international attention as Young Conductor in Association at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra during the 18/19 and 19/20 seasons. During that time, she built a strong rapport and trust with the musicians which led her to conduct two phenomenally successful subscription weeks and several regional tours and educational projects. The 19/20 season also saw Marta make her very successful North American debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as a Dudamel Fellow, where she was invited to be second conductor to Gustavo Dudamel for their performances and Deutsche Grammophon recording of Ives Symphony No. 4. From 21/22 season Marta will become Music Director of the Opéra national de Lorraine following on from a triumphant debut of a new production of Zemlinsky’s Der Traumgörge in October 2019.

This 20/21 season will see Marta make a number of highly anticipated debuts, includg Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lorraine and Orchestre Chambre de Paris at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. She will also return to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for subscription concerts and conduct the Tonkunstler Orchestre at the Wiener Musikverein.

During the Summer of 2019, Marta made her debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Edinburgh Festival and other recent highlights have included concerts with Wiener Concert-Verein at the Musikverein and a return to her home city of Warsaw to conduct the young musicians of I Culture Orchestra at the Philharmonic Hall. Other professional engagements have led her to work with ensembles including the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Symphony Orchestra of Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste, Symphony Orchestra of Poznan Opera and the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia.

Inspired by the experience of singing in her school choir and fascinated by the colours of symphonic music, it led her to study conducting at the Frederic Chopin Music University of Warsaw, the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and in many masterclasses and workshops with artists such as Bernard Haitink, Peter Eötvös, Bertrand de Billy, György Kurtág and Marin Alsop.

In 2015, she was named Principal Conductor of the Akademischer Orchesterverein Wien and during the 2017-18 season, she held the position of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of TU-Orchester Wien.


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    18 Feb 21 Music Director Opéra national de Lorraine | Interviews
    Nancy, France
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    30 Sep 20 Zemlinsky Der Traumgörge
    Opera National de Lorraine

    “La chef, c’est aussi I’atout maitre a Nancy: la Polonaise Marta Gardolinska est une revelation, tant par son bras souple et sur que parson don pour marier voix et instruments, avec un sens inne des couleurs sonores.”

    Christian Merlin, Le Figaro, October 2020


    “Remarquable, le résultat est magnifié par des musiciens très impliqués, et par la direction exceptionnelle de la cheffe polonaise Marta Gardolińska, 32 ans. Cette Viennoise d’adoption (ce qui lui a permis, explique-t-elle, de parcourir la partition originale annotée par Gustav Mahler) est la révélation de cette production, et une baguette à suivre de près. Sa gestuelle précise et enveloppante assure la fluidité des changements de climat, nombreux lors du deuxième acte, et met constamment en valeur les timbres instrumentaux autant que vocaux.”

    Sophie Bourdais, Telerama, 09 October 2020


    “Ces solistes, les excellents choristes des Opéras de Nancy et Dijon et les instrumentistes de l’Opéra de Nancy sont placés sous la direction de Marta Gardolinska. Il suffit des quelques mesures de l’introduction orchestrale – hommage à la première symphonie de Gustav Mahler, commanditaire de l’œuvre – pour goûter l’immense talent de la musicienne polonaise installée à Vienne.

    Il s’épanouira tout au long de la représentation, notamment à l’acte II, tendu, fiévreux, bouleversant : la cheffe en maîtrise les épanchements, les sautes d’humeur et les brûlants paroxysmes, sans jamais « noyer » les chanteurs. Les instrumentistes rivalisent d’excellence, comme si la sève de cette musique raffinée et poignante coulait dans leur veine. Et l’on en oublie que la crise sanitaire a imposé un effectif orchestral réduit, tant il chante, palpite et flamboie.”

    Emmanuelle Giuliani, La Croix, 13 October 2020

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    02 Nov 19 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Nikita Boriso-Glebsky, violin
    Plymouth Guildhall

    “While I have been fortunate to have reviewed the orchestra on many occasions in the past, this was my first opportunity to see them under Polish-born BSO Young Conductor in Association, Marta Gardolińska, conducting without a baton.

    Mozart actually conducted the first performance of his opera buffa The Marriage of Figaro. Given that it requires the resources of a smaller chamber orchestra, many conductors would no doubt feel that a baton was not an absolute necessity here. Within a few seconds of Gardolińska taking her introductory bow, the orchestra led by Amyn Merchant was off at a tremendous pace, probably taking less than a millisecond to settle in. Despite this being a well-travelled overture, there was a real freshness to the reading, with nuances and exceptional attention to detail, especially dynamics high on the list. Watching Gardolińska as she conducted this short four-minute offering, it was quickly apparent that, in her individual case, nothing at all seemed to have been sacrificed by her using hands only.

    Sibelius’s Valse Triste is a perfect candidate for ‘hands-on’ conducting. While this is such a familiar piece, I found myself totally engrossed in the outstanding performance. There have been many run-of-the-mill examples of this somewhat lugubrious piece, and this could so easily have been the case here, where it might have been used just to fill the gap between overture and concerto and effect a complete change of mood. But there was so much to savour, in a mere six minutes, where conductor and orchestra working in perfect collaboration, crafted a performance that must be up there with some of the very best. While it was taken at quite a slow tempo, Gardolińska’s skill and insight into the score sustained the melancholy nature throughout, yet with some wonderfully passionate climaxes and associated changes of tempo along the way.

    Here violinist and conductor had clearly done their homework, and the result was sensational. But it did not even stop there. Gardolińska’s approach not only ensures that the orchestra plays as one, but equally never stifles a little bit of individualism from some quarters…

    I sat back and let Gardolińska and the BSO take me on a musical journey across the border. The eminently persuasive performance, and the individual characterization of each of the four constituent movements proved a truly magical experience throughout. Gardolińska simply could not have asked any more from her willing and well-disciplined players.

    Let me sum up. I felt that Marta Gardolińska really made her presence felt here, and the orchestra responded unfailingly. What particularly impressed me about her conducting was that the whole time her movements and body language were exactly enough to communicate her feelings, and ensure that everyone was on board, but without the need for over gesticulation, or mere affectation. And when this is all tied in with a clear beat that seems easy to follow, it is simply the dream-conducting package.”

    Philip R Buttall, Seen and Heard International, 3 November 2019

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    20 Feb 19 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
    Lighthouse, Poole

    “This was the BSO at its most electrifying, led by their amazing young conductor, Marta Gardolinska, confident, commanding and in total control.

    While most conductors bounce, she fairly dances on the podium.

    As wow finishes go, this was right up there as everyone in the hall knew.”

    Andy Martin, Daily Echo, 21 February 2019

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    17 Oct 18 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Nikita Boriso-Glebsky
    Lighthouse, Poole

    “Stepping in for Ben Gernon, this concert propelled Marta Gardolińska into the limelight. Clear from the opening of the Mozart was Gardolińska’s rapport with the players who responded to her neat, undemonstrative gestures with incisive ensemble and sonorous tone. Solemnity gave way to impishness, strings and woodwinds frisky, Gardolińska held back for the first tutti – making volcanic eruption all the more arresting.

    Performances of Max Bruch’s First Violin Concerto (there are two others) can sometimes be over-indulgent. This was an exception… Gardolińska drew some fabulous pianissimos and sensitivity from the BSO.

    The Rachmaninov was generous to a fault. The opening movement (without exposition repeat) unfolded with gradually accumulating tensions, well-judged climaxes integrated into an expansive discourse.. A bracing and vivid Scherzo highlighted opulent string tone, and if tempo-changes felt unstable (and the fugato a little hesitant), the whole was driven by energy and passion.. the Finale was somewhat episodic; it all blazed gloriously though and left in no doubt that Gardolińska is a highly promising and exciting conductor.”

    David Truslove, Classical Source, 17 October 2018