has a history dating back to before World War II. Violinist and conductor Stefan Rachoń became its Artistic Director in 1945. He was followed by Włodzimierz Kamirski, Jan Pruszak and Mieczysław Nowakowski. During the term of Tadeusz Strugała (1990–93), the ensemble assumed its present name and moved to a new venue, the Polish Radio Concert Hall, which was named after Witold Lutosławski. Wojciech Rajski served as the orchestra’s Artistic Director in 1993–2006.
In March 2007 Łukasz Borowicz, who had performed and made recordings with the orchestra for some time, was appointed its Artistic Director. A CD featuring works by Schumann (conducted by Borowicz, with cellist Dominik Połoński) won the Fryderyk Award of the Polish recording industry (2007). During the 2007/08 season, the orchestra gave concert performances of Verdi’s Falstaff and Cherubini’s Lodoïska (staged under the artistic supervision of Christa Ludwig at the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw). Both works were released on CDs by the Polish Radio, and the Lodoïska album was nominated for the MIDEM Classical Awards and the Fryderyk Award.
The 2008/09 season was inaugurated with a concert performance of the opera Maria by Polish composer Roman Statkowski (1859– 1925). Its live recording was released on CD by the Polish Radio. To mark the 100th anniversary and the 40th death anniversary of Grażyna Bacewicz, her Overture and complete Violin Concertos (with Joanna Kurkowicz as soloist) were recorded for Chandos. During the 13th Ludwig van Beethoven Festival, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, with the Polish Radio Choir, performed Louis Spohr’s opera Der Berggeist. The 2008/09 season ended with a concert of works by Andrzej Panufnik, a recording project released by CPO; so far, three CDs have been released. The orchestra continued its exploration of the less familiar operatic repertoire with Weber’s Euryanthe, performed during the Easter Festival in March 2010 and subsequently released on CD. The season ended with a concert performance of Szymon Laks’ opera L’Hirondelle inattendue (first Polish performance in the original French version) and Karol Rathaus’s ballet Le lion amoureux, also released on CD. The orchestra also took part in concert performances of Feliks Ignacy Dobrzyński’s Monbar or the Filibusters (2010), Donizetti’s Maria Padilla (2011), Italo Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re (2012), all released on CD, Feliks Nowowiejski’s The Legend of the Baltic (2011) and Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra (2013). In the coming months, the orchestra will continue its series of recordings with leading Polish singers. Three CDs with Piotr Beczała (for Orfeo), Artur Ruciński (for the Polish Radio) and Mariusz Kwiecień (for Harmonia Mundi) have already been released.