It was just last year that the young Polish conductor Krzysztof Urbanski made a knockout debut with the San Francisco Symphony, leading the orchestra with a rare combination of dramatic intensity and kinetic flair. It was the kind of performance so striking that it left you not quite believing what you’d just witnessed. Well, you can believe it, all right. Urbanski returned to Davies Symphony Hall on Friday night for the first of two non-consecutive guest weeks with the orchestra, and it turns out his earlier appearance was no fluke at all. Urbanski takes to the podium like a cross between Arturo Toscanini and Fred Astaire, turning each interpretive decision into a balletic piece of performance art.
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Around the Web
- Urbanski makes a dazzling return to Davies Hall
By Joshua Kosman - Saturday Oct 7, 2017
- Urbanski comes back for more
By Joshua Kosman - Wednesday Oct 18, 2017
Conductor Krzysztof Urbanski’s appearance with the San Francisco Symphony earlier this month was one of the most exciting events Davies Symphony Hall has witnessed in a long time. Missed it? You’re in luck. Urbanski returns to San Francisco after a week away, bringing his musical dynamism and high-flying podium style to bear on music of Mozart and Dvorák, as well as the great and too rarely heard Concerto for Orchestra by his fellow Pole, the late Witold Lutoslawski. The soloist for the Dvorák Cello Concerto was supposed to be Sol Gabetta, making her S.F. Symphony debut after an extraordinary solo recital here last year.
- Urbanski turns in another dazzler with SF Symphony
By Joshua Kosman - Friday Oct 20, 2017
There’s just no way around it: This month’s visits to Davies Symphony Hall by the magnificent young Polish conductor Krzysztof Urbanski constitute the most exciting development on the San Francisco Symphony’s horizon in a good long while. It’s not easy to write about Urbanski’s remarkable podium gifts without gushing, but let’s give it a try. His conducting combines a masterful precision of detail with a command of the broader expanse of even the most challenging repertoire. He seems to have inspired the Symphony musicians to remarkable feats of instrumental prowess even beyond what they normally muster. He brings a charismatic star power to every performance that makes him as thrilling to watch as to listen to.
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