Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, who led the Minnesota Orchestra as music director for 19 years and conducted major orchestras in England, Japan and other countries, died Feb. 21 at a hospital in St. Louis Park, Minn. He was 93.
The orchestra announced the death and said it followed recent strokes.
Mr. Skrowaczewski’s last concerts were with the Minnesota Orchestra in October 2016, conducting works by Anton Bruckner, his specialty.
Mr. Skrowaczewski (pronounced skroh-vah-CHEHF’-skee) began leading the Minnesota Orchestra in 1960, when it was still known as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. During his tenure as music director, he was instrumental in the creation of Orchestra Hall, the orchestra’s home in downtown Minneapolis that opened in 1974.
He continued as the orchestra’s conductor laureate, serving on the orchestra’s artistic staff for 56 years. His tenure as music director equaled that of the orchestra’s founding music director Emil Oberhoffer for the longest tenure in that position.
Besides his work to create Orchestra Hall, Mr. Skrowaczewski also was a champion of new music, a celebrated composer and an advocate for the Minnesota Orchestra’s union musicians during a 16-month lockout, the orchestra said.
Mr. Skrowaczewski was born in Lwów, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine), on Oct. 3, 1923. He began studying the piano and violin at 4, composed his first symphonic work at 7 and gave his first public recital at 11. He won the International Competition for Conductors in Rome in 1956.
His conducting posts included working with the Halle Orchestra in Manchester, England, from 1984 to 1991, and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony in Tokyo from 2007 to 2010.
His wife of 55 years, Krystyna, died in 2011. They had three children, including composer Paul Sebastien.
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