Orquestra Clássica do Centro

Jan Wierzba

Born in Poland and raised in Portugal, Jan is known as an extremely versatile conductor with a repertoire ranging from Early Music to Contemporary Music, and experience in Opera, Musical Theatre, Choral or Symphonic music.

Principal Conductor of the Orquestra Classica do Centro, Jan is also currently serving as Assistant Conductor to the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Marc Albrecht.

Founder and Musical Director of Ensemble MPMP with whom he has been championing Portuguese Music for the last 6 years, he has performed a series of modern premieres of portuguese works of the 18th and 19th centuries, premeried a considerable amount of contemporary pieces, and regularly performs and records for the Portuguese Classical Radio Antena 2 and the Portuguese Public Television RTP2.

Recent and upcoming projects include the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Real Filharmonia de Galicia, Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, Orquestra Classica do Centro, Ensemble MPMP, Porto Symphony Orchestra Casa da Musica, Orquestra do Norte, Orquestra Classica da Madeira, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Orquestra Geraçao and Orquestra Classica de Espinho.

Jan was Resident Assistant Conductor at the Operosa Opera Festival in Serbia, and took part in a series of masterclasses with Maestro Carlo Rizzi, both activities being part of the European Network for Opera Academies. 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.

As Assistant Conductor, Jan served Juanjo Mena, Marc Albrecht, 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, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Gulbenkian Orchestra. In 2016 he served as Assistant Chorus Master to Ching-Lien Wu at the Dutch National Opera.

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 30 works by established composers, spanning a wide range of genres, in four different countries.

Generously supported by a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, he studied 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.