Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Minnesota Maestro

Bruckner Symphony No. 9 with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony–Watch on YouTube

During the 60s and 70s Stanislaw Skrowaczewski was kind of a musical version of Harmon Killebrew of the Minnesota Twins: he helped the Minnesota Orchestra increase its standing in the big leagues.

During his tenure  (1960-79), he oversaw the change in name from the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra to the more state-embracing Minnesota Orchestra (1968). He facilitated the move from rented quarters (Northrup Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus) to Orchestra Hall, an architecturally and acoustically noteworthy home of its own (1974).* He expanded the Orchestra’s membership and season to 50 weeks a year. He conducted a concert at the U.N. on Human Rights Day (1965) and hosted a guest appearance of Stravinsky (1966).

Unlike the current music director, Osmo Vänskä, however, he does not appear to have had quite as distinguished a recording career. In my research of a number of classical guides, I only found one mention of a Skrowaczewski recording. It was as an “Additional Recommendation” in the Gramophone Classics Music Guide 2012 for Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 in D MinorThe Guide’s recommendation was for a version with the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, not the Minnesota Orchestra’s recording, which I reference below. The Minnesota Orchestra uses the original 1894 version and the Nowak edition, which came out in 1951.

*Tonally it is one of the most remarkable concert halls in the world.”–New York Times, October 23, 1974

Symphony No. 9 in D Minor: I. Feirerlich, misterioso with Minnesota Orchestra on Spotify