Concerto Polacco is a pioneering early music ensemble in Poland. Many works of the world oratorio literature (among others, the Great Mass in B minor) have Concerto Polacco and Marek Toporowski to thank for their first Polish performances on period instruments.
The ensemble has been active since 1991, originally as a chamber ensemble. Over time, the ensemble has often been expanded to the size of a chamber orchestra. Concerto Polacco’s members are musicians specializing in period-instrument performance, gathered around harpsichordist, organist and conductor Marek Toporowski. The interests of the ensemble and its director are focused on vocal music – cantatas, operas and oratorios. From 1995 to 2004, together with the Sine Nomine choir, the ensemble took part in over 30 concerts in the Masterpieces of Oratorio-Cantata Music series organized in Warsaw. Another important element of Concerto Polacco’s activity is performance of Old Polish music (most of their recordings to date have indeed been devoted to Polish early music).
The ensemble’s first significant success was the award of 3rd Prize at an early music competition in Melk (Austria) in 1993.
The group has concertized at numerous festivals in Poland and abroad, taken part in over a dozen CD recordings, some of which have been nominated for the Fryderyk award (Polish Religious Music of the 17th Century, two CDs with music by G. G. Gorczycki, J. D. Holland’s Agatka and a CD with works from the Jasna Góra collections), and three of which have received this award (Fryderyk 2007 for a CD with music by A. Ivancic; two Fryderyk awards in 2008: for a CD with music by J. Zeidler and for a CD with music from the Jasna Góra collections). Under the baton of French guest conductor Didier Talpain, Concerto Polacco has recorded works by the sons of Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi and Etienne Nicolas Méhul, as well as Ludwig van Beethoven (9 concert arias, Symphony no. 1) for the French BNL label.
The ensemble has represented Polish Radio many times in the Euroradio Special Day broadcast series. It has also appeared twice at the prestigious Herne festival (in 2001 with Jan Dawid Holland’s opera Agatka).
Concerto Polacco has made numerous recordings as part of a project to record the works held by the Jasna Góra monastery archives.