Marta Gardolińska

Young Conductor in Association, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Gustavo Dudamel Fellow, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra


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

© Bart Barczyk


Marta Gardolińska was born in 1988 in Warsaw, Poland and currently holds the post of Young Conductor in Association at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. In October 2018, she stood in last minute to make her acclaimed subscription debut with the BSO and will lead the Orchestra in a variety of concerts and educational activities over the coming seasons. In the 19/20 season she was announced as a Gustavo Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

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, Tonkunstler Orchester, 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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    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