PAWEŁ KOTLA studied symphonic and opera conducting under Professor Ryszard Dudek and Professor Boguslaw Madey at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. He also completed postgraduate studies in musicology and performance of early music at the University of Oxford. Moreover, he attended courses in Vienna, Siena, Innsbruck and Brixen, and studied with the legendary Finnish professor Jorma Panula. He settled in London over ten years ago works there as a conductor in the London Symphony Orchestra.
In his professional career he had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most famous conductors. He was praised by such masters as Sir Colin Davis (“Pawel Kotla is a conductor of a noteworthy talent. I would gladly recommend him to everyone.”), Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Neville Marriner, Yuri Temirkanov and Andrew Parrott. All of them emphasized not only his talent, but also great knowledge of music, precise technique and his great passion.
From 1996 to 1998 he was the artistic director of the Oxford Symphonic Orchestra and then the Oxford University Philharmonia. In the years 1997-1998 he worked as assistant conductor in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. During that time he cooperated closely with the local prestigious Department of Opera Studies. Apart from that, he worked for five years, beginning from 1998, as assistant conductor to the current director of the Berliner Philharmoniker – Sir Simon Rattle.
His musical interests include not only opera, contemporary music and classical repertoire, but also early music. In 1995, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of Henry Purcell’s death, he organized and conducted a concert of the baroque orchestra Arte dei Suonatori in Warsaw, which performed for the first time in full size. Apart from Great Britain and Poland, he conducted in Sweden, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Russia and Brazil, leading, among others, such ensembles as the Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal de Sao Paulo, Drottningholm Barockensemble, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, King’s Chamber Orchestra and Europe’s leading chamber orchestra – London Mozart Players. In April 2009 he was the first Polish conductor of his generation to perform with the famous Academic Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg, considered by the international press to be one of the best orchestras in the world. The last Polish conductors to lead this orchestra were Krzysztof Penderecki, Antoni Wit, Kazimierz Kord and Jerzy Maksymiuk.
In March 2008 he received an especially prestigious offer to perform with the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) at the concert which opened the celebrations of the European Parliament’s 50th anniversary. Thus, he became the first Pole to lead this orchestra and now stands alongside such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Claudio Abbado and Herbert von Karajan.