prof. dr hab.
He currently holds the position of Head of Chair of Symphony and Opera Conducting at the University of Music in Warsaw. Until 2005 he was the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Cracow Philharmonic. He is a leading member of Poland’s post-war generation of conductors.
He studied conducting (1969–1974) with professor Stanisław Wisłocki at the Warsaw Academy of Music and musicology at the University of Warsaw (1969–1972). Directly after graduation he took up work at the Warsaw Chamber Opera (Warszawska Opera Kameralna), where he was successively promoted from assistant conductor (to Kazimierz Kord, Jerzy Maksymiuk and Jurgen Jurgens among others) to conductor and finaly to the music director of this opera. With the W.Ch.O. he toured many times Europe and the USA, conducting operas of Haydn, Pergolesi, Cimarosa, Paisiello, Telemann, Handel, Rossini and Donizetti, specializing — above all — in Mozart.
Tomasz Bugaj made a breakthrough in his career whan he won the 1978 International Competition in Bristol, U.K. (Imperial Tobacco International Conductors Award). This success led to appearances over several seasons with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Bournemouth Sinfonietta and brought him in to contact with many leading British ensembles, such as: London Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, BBC Welsh, Scottish Chamber and Ulster Orchestras.
In Poland he was artistic director of the Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz (1980–1984), Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic in Łódź (1987–1990) as well as regular guest of the leading Polish orchestras: Warsaw Philharmonic, Polish Radio National S.O. Katowice, Sinfonia Varsovia and Polish Chamber Orchestra. He has been equally active in the field of opera, cooperating with the Opera Houses in Warsaw (Teatr Wielki), Łódź, Poznań, Gdańsk, Aachen, Leeds (Opera North), Bilbao and Pamplona.
In Germany he conducted orchestras in: Aachen, Berlin, Bochum, Duisburg, Essen, Hagen, Flennsburg, Herford (Nordwestdeutche Philharmonic), Gelsenkirchen, Mannheim, Munich (Munchener Rundfunk Orchester), Stuttgart, Saarbrucken, Weimar and Wiesbaden. Tomasz Bugaj conducted several times the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg, orchestras in Bergen (Norway), Turku (Finland), RTL Luxemburg, Orquesta Nacional de Espana (Madrid), Orquesta Sinfonica de Gran Canaria, Orquesta Sinfonica de Bilbao, National Chamber Orchestra in Washington, Orchestra of the RTE in Dublin, Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Palermo, Slovak Philharmonic, Orchestra in Bratislava, Russian National Symphony Orchestra in Moscow and many, many others.
Among the halls in which he appeared are: Berlin Philharmonic and Schauspielhaus, Grieghallen in Bergen, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Herkulessaal in Munich, Liederhalle in Stuttgart, Royal Festival Hall and Barbican Hall in London, Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Grosses Fewstspielhaus in Salzburg and the Great Hall of the Moscow Concervatoire.
He took part in many international festivals, such as: Festival de Asturias, Bath International Festival of Music and Arts, Berliner Festwochen, Festspillene i Bergen, Carinthian Summer, Cheltenham International Festival of Music, Istambul International Festival, Wratislavia Cantans, Italian Festivals in Lucca, Milan, Ravello, Taormina.
Tomasz Bugaj has been invited to participate in numerous vocal competitions: in Pamplona, Bilbao, Warsaw, where he conducted during the final auditions, prizewinners’ concerts and took part in the work of the jury.
Tomasz Bugaj’s recordings have appeared on labels such as Orpheo, Polskie Nagrania, Yedang (South Korea), Musiques Suisses; he has also recorded for Polish Radio, TVP, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Bayerischer Rundfunk and BBC.