JAN WIERZBA - conductor

Born in Poland and raised in Portugal, Jan is regarded as one of the most promising conductors of the portuguese musical scene.

He has recently been appointed Assistant Conductor to the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and their Artistic Director Marc Albrecht, for the duration of two seasons, as well as Artistic Director of the Almada Chamber Orchestra. Jan is also founder and Musical Director of Ensemble MPMP with whom he has been championing Portuguese Music, having recently performed the Requiem by Domingos Bomtempo at the Dias da Musica Festival in Lisbon, broadcasted live for the portuguese national television.

Recent and upcoming projects include concerts with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Madeira Classical Orchestra, Ensemble MPMP, SINTESE Ensemble, Porto Symphony Orchestra Casa da Musica, Orquestra Classica de Espinho, Filarmonia das Beiras and Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa. Jan was also Resident Assistant Conductor at the Operosa Opera Festival, that took place in Serbia and Montenegro last August, and he took part in a series of masterclasses with Maestro Carlo Rizzi, both activities being part of the European Network for Opera Academies.

As Assistant Conductor, Jan served Juanjo Mena, Sir Andrew Davis, Jac van Steen, Krystjan Jarvi, Vassily Petrenko, Marc Tardue, Pedro Carneiro, Christian Lindberg and Joana Carneiro with orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, Baltic Youth Philhramonic, Portuguese Chamber Orchestra, and Gulbenkian Orchestra. In 2016 he served Assistant Chorus Master to Ching-Lien Wu at the Dutch National Opera.

He has participated in numerous workshops such as the Masterclasses with Bernard Haitink and the Lucerne Festival Strings, with Matthias Pintscher and the Lucerne Academy Orchestra, the International Community Arts Academy, co-organized by the Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra and Festival d’Aix en Provence, the Opera in Creation Workshop at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Jarvi Conducting Academy. He is a regular presence at the European Network for Opera Academies (ENOA) activities.

He has had the opportunity to work with Neeme Jarvi, Peter Rundel, Leonid Grin, Jorma Panula, Johannes Schlaefli, Jean-Sebastien Béreau, Mark Stringer, Nicolas Pasquet, Sir Mark Elder, and Paavo Jarvi.

As a keen performer of new music, Jan has had the opportunity to premiere over twenty works by established composers, spanning a wide range of genres, in four different countries. He is also a big enthusiast of opera, having performed two modern premieres of forgotten works, as well as two premieres of contemporary operas.

Generously supported by a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, he is studying on the Konzertexamen program, with Prof. Nicolas Pasquet and Ekhart Wycik, at the Franz Liszt Hochschule fur Musik, in Weimar. He completed his Masters in Conducting with Distinction at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester, tutored by Clark Rundell and Mark Heron. Jan holds a Bachelor in conducting from the National Superior Orchestra Academy in Lisbon, where he was tutored by Jean-Marc Burfin as well as a Bachelor in Piano from the Porto Higher Music and Performing Arts School (ESMAE), where he studied with Constantin Sandu. He was awarded the 3rd Prize in Conducting and 1st prize in Chamber Music at the Portuguese Radio Young Musician Competition (in 2016 and 2006, respectively), the Mortimer Furber Prize for Conducting, the Rotary Club award for one of the top 3 graduates from ESMAE and a scholarship from the Yamaha Music Foundation for Europe.