Born: January 1, 1922 - Lwow (Lvov/Lemberg, now Lviv), Poland
Died: February 26, 2000 - Cracow, Poland
The great Polish baritone, Andrzej Hiolski, studied singing with Helena Oleska at the Lwow Conservatory.
From 1945 to 1956 Andrzej Hiolski was a soloist of the Silesian Opera in Bytom. From 1957 until his death he was a soloist of the Warsaw Opera (later: Grand Theatre - National Opera). Until his last days he was an active opera and concert singer: three days before his sudden death he gave a guest performance in Cracow.
An extremely versatile singer, Andrzej Hiolski was equally admired as opera singer, concert singer in oratorio/cantata repertoire, and art song performer. He was an artist of musical culture and immaculate technique. He had had a beautiful voice with a noble fine vibrato and a cultured kind of interpretation. His repertoire was very wide, and included works from the early Baroque to compositions by Penderecki. He was an active propagator of Polish contemporary music. In 1966 he took part in the world premiere of The Passion According to St. Luke by Penderecki in Münster, and in 1969 in Devils of Loudun in Hamburg. He sang the main baritone roles in The Haunted Manor by Moniuszko (Miecznik), Tosca by Puccini (Scarpia) and Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky. He was Particularly valued were his interpretations of contemporary music and Romantic songs.
Andrzej Hiolski performed at the major concert halls and opera houses in Europe and the Americas. He took part in the major musical festivals, such as the Berliner Festwochen, the Salzburger Festspiele, the Holland Festival in Amsterdam, the Prague Spring Festival, the Warsaw Autumn Festival. He was the prize-winner of the coveted Grand Prix du Disque Award - in 1967 for The Passion According to St Luke and in 1970 for King Roger. In 1971 in Paris he received the Golden Orpheo Award for The Devils of Loudun.
Andrzej Hiolski can be heard on recordings of Penderecki (Devils of Loudon, St Luke Passion), as well as on a number of recordings of Moniuszko operas and songs. He also recorded some Verdi roles, Escamilio in Carmen and Don Giovanni.