Stanislas Skrowaczewski (1923-2017) occupied an important place in Istomin’s life and career. In 1960, Skrowaczewski succeeded Dorati as musical director of the Minneapolis Symphony, which was to become the Minnesota Orchestra in 1968. Throughout the nineteen years of his tenure, Istomin was often invited as a soloist. It is no coincidence that Istomin chose Skrowaczewski for his first performance of Szymanowski’s Symphonie Concertante. They collaborated many times in America and Europe, especially in England from 1981 to 1992, when Skrowaczewski was principal conductor of the Hallé Orchestra.

Skrowaczewski began his career as a pianist, but he was forced to abandon it due to an injury to his hand. He later emerged as a great conductor, encouraged by George Szell who helped to launch his career in the United States. He was also a talented composer who continued to compose throughout his life. This gave him an intimate understanding of the works he conducted, regardless of their epoch or style. He was one of the few conductors with whom Istomin thought he could play any repertoire, ranging from Mozart to Szymanowski, or from Chopin to Brahms. This musical complicity was coupled with a very friendly relationship.

Some concerts

1965. Minneapolis. Szymanowski, Symphonie Concertante.

1973, July 27. Blossom. Cleveland Orchestra. Szymanowski, Symphonie Concertante. Recorded concert.

1974, July 18. Meadow Brook. Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Schumann, Concerto

1974, July 20. Meadow Brook. Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Chopin, Concerto No. 2

1975, January 6, 8 & 10. Minnesota Orchestra. Beethoven, Concerto No. 5.

1978, October 5 & 10. Minnesota Orchestra. Brahms, Concerto No. 2

1981, February 19. Brussels. Brahms, Concerto No. 2

1990, June 19. Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal. Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Mozart, Concerto No. 21.

1990, October 17 & 18 (Manchester), 24 (Cardiff) 25, (London, Barbican Center) 26 (Nottingham). Hallé Orchestra. Mozart, Concerto No. 21

Minneapolis and Hallé Orchestras: no other available information.

Music

Karol Szymanowski. Symphonie Concertante Op. 60, second and third movements. Eugene Istomin, piano. Cleveland Orchestra. Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. Blossom, July 27, 1973. The firts movement of this performance is available in the article dedicated to Szymanowski.