photo - onpolishmusic.com
He received the medal on Saturday from the Polish Ambassador in London, Witold Sobków, at the Royal Festival Hall during a ceremony preceding the world premiere of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Fourth Symphony by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrey Boreyko.
Adrian Thomas gave a pre-concert talk about the work.
Polish music has occupied a prominent place in Adrian Thomas’s activities as musicologist, composer, conductor, lecturer, broadcaster and writer since the early 1970s.
In 1993, during his tenure as Head of Music at BBC Radio 3, he was the moving spirit behind 'Polska!', a festival of concerts, plays and speech programmes ranging across Polish arts and culture.
He is perhaps best known as the author of the only major study on Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1997) but he has also written extensively on other Polish composers including Witold Lutosławski, Grażyna Bacewicz and Andrzej Panufnik.
In 2005 Thomas published his acclaimed ‘Polish Music since Szymanowski' and his monograph on Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto is due later this year.
The Gloria Artis award is yet another of Adrian Thomas’s Polish distinctions. He has earlier received the annual award of the Polish Composers’ Union (1989), the Polish Government’s medal of the Order of Merit for Polish Culture (1996) and the Lutosławski Society medal (2005).
Adrian Thomas has contributed numerous entries on Polish music to, among other publications, including The New Grove Dictionary of Opera and The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition, as well as programme notes and CD booklets on Polish music.
On his website – onpolishmusic.com – the music critic lists the Grotowski theatre, ‘pączki’ (doughnuts) from the Blikle café in Warsaw and Polish posters of the 70s and 80s among the things he particularly likes about Poland.
Polish Radio’s English Service is proud to have hosted Adrian Thomas on the air on many occasions and takes this opportunity to congratulate him on the Gloria Artis medal.
Listen to an interview with reporter Michal Kubkicki with Adrian Thomas about the composer Andrzej Panufnik, born 100 years ago. The interview was recorded in 1992, several months after Panufnik’s death. (mk/pg)