The Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra maintains the long-standing and rich tradition of chamber music performed by the artists of the Warsaw Philharmonic. The first chamber ensembles were established as early as at the beginning of the 20th century. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Musicians Ensemble under Karol Teutsch enjoyed many successful stage appearances all over the world. Other ensembles featuring Warsaw Philharmonic musicians also gained international recognition. In the 1990s, there were concerts featuring a string orchestra and eminent soloists (Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, Nigel Kennedy) as well as numerous recording sessions for Television and record companies.
The chamber ensemble was revived under the name of the Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra on the centenary of the Warsaw Philharmonic in 2001. It comprised leading instrumentalists of the Warsaw Philharmonic, including members of Karol Teutsch’s former ensemble, and gave its first concert on 10 February 2002. The post of Artistic Director was offered to Jan Lewtak – an artist with a prolific output as both soloist and chamber musician, a graduate from the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music (in the violin classes of Zenon Brzewski and Mirosław Ławrynowicz), the winner of numerous violin competitions, and also a recipient of an award from the Radio and Television Committee.
The Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra has performed with such outstanding artists as Salvatore Accardo, Jean Louis Capezzali, Łukasz Długosz, Marek Drewnowski, Urszula Dudziak, Chiara Enderle, Wojciech Gierlach, Evelyn Glennie, Ilya Gringolts, Krzysztof Herdzin, Andrzej Jagodziński, Krzysztof Jakowicz, Jakub Jakowicz, Isabelle van Keulen, Jacek Kortus, Jadwiga Kotnowska, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, Rafał Kwiatkowski, Roby Lacatos, Adam Makowicz, Ewa Małas-Godlewska, Shlomo Mintz, Artur Pachlewski, Mariusz Patyra, Piotr Pławner, Baiba Skride, Anna Maria Staśkiewicz, Agata Szymczewska, Edward Zienkowski, Hrachya Avanesyan, Lorenzo Gatto, Yossif Ivanov, Dmitri Makhtin, and Grzegorz Nowak. In 2003, the ensemble recorded Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, featuring Jan Lewtak as soloist and Antoni Wit as conductor. The year 2008 saw the release of The Four Seasons with Mariusz Patyra on solo violin and Jan Lewtak as conductor, this time on the Lipinski Sound label. In that same year, the Orchestra led by Antoni Wit recorded Penderecki’s works for string orchestra on the Naxos label. In February 2009, the ensemble celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Grażyna Bacewicz with a programme made up entirely of that eminent composer’s works,
including the premieres of two recently discovered pieces: Sinfonietta from 1929 and Symphony from 1946. The works were recorded by the Orchestra on an album of Bacewicz’s music for string orchestra, and released by Sony Music. The Orchestra celebrated its 10th anniversary with a concert in December 2011, which was also released on a CD (Warsaw Philharmonic / CD Accord), and was nominated for a 2013 Fryderyk Award. In February 2013, an album featuring music by Krzysztof Penderecki, including Fonogrammi, recorded by the Orchestra under Antoni Wit (Naxos), was honoured with a Grammy. In 2016, the musicians performed in the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall in Japan, and in June 2019 – at the Seoul Arts Center in South Korea. New CD record – Ennio Morricone – The Master of Musical Landscapes.