It's with sadness that I share the news that Stanisław Skrowaczewski, legendary conductor emeritus of the Minnesota Orchestra and composer, passed away early this morning. Maestro Skrowaczewski's loss is deeply felt in Minnesota and throughout the music world, given his remarkable contributions to music and Minnesota.
Throughout his life, Maestro Skrowaczewski maintained an active conducting schedule in the Twin Cities and across the globe. This past fall, at age 93, he conducted the Minnesota Orchestra in Anton Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony at Orchestra Hall.
Widely heralded as the preeminent living Bruckner interpreter, Maestro Skrowaczewski recorded all of Bruckner’s symphonies and earned the Gold Medal of the Mahler-Bruckner Society. He made his American conducting debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at the invitation of George Szell in 1956. In addition to conducting, he was a widely recognized composer who had his music performed by major orchestras in the U.S. and abroad.
We are profoundly grateful beneficiaries of Maestro Skrowaczewski's generosity, through his donation of his professional papers and recorded performances to the University of Minnesota Archives, offering an incomparable resource for study by U of M students and by conductors and researchers worldwide. In addition, our Green Room for Ted Mann Concert Hall was named in the Maestro’s honor.
Please keep the Skrowaczewski family in your thoughts and join me in reflecting on this musical luminary's invaluable contribution to our art. A memorial service to celebrate his legacy will be held on Tuesday, March 28 at Orchestra Hall, with more details announced at a later date.
Michael Kim, D.M.A.
Director and Professor, University of Minnesota School of Music