Born in Wrocław, Poland, Gabriel Chmura grew up in Israel, where he studied piano and composition at the Music Academy of Tel Aviv. He then studied conducting with Pierre Dervaux in Paris, Hans Swarowsky in Vienna and with Franco Ferrara in Siena, Italy.
In 1971 he was the first prize winner in the Herbert von Karajan Competition in Berlin, as well as the Gold Medal at the Cantelli Competition of Milano’s La Scala. These victories led to extensive international engagements. Recently, Gabriel Chmura won the Jan Kiepura Prize 2012 in the category of best conductor. In October 2013 he received an honorary degree honoris causa from the Music Academy in Wrocław.
Mr. Chmura was appointed Music Director of the opera house in Aachen, Germany, in 1974 and retained this position until his appointment as Music Director of the Bochumer Philharmonic in 1983. In 1987, he was appointed Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada. With this orchestra he made extensive tours in North America, including Carnegie Hall in New York. In 2001, Gabriel Chmura was appointed as Music Director of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice, and in August 2012, he became the artistic director of the Poznań Opera House in Poland.
He made his Munich debut in 1974 with Verdi’s Othello and was immediately reengaged for Bizet’s Carmen. Further he conducted a highly successful Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila in Barcelona, a critically acclaimed Massenet’s Werther at the Paris Opera and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Coq d’Or at the Chatelet Theatre, Paris. With the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada he completed the “Da Ponte Cycle” (Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte), Faust (staging Robert Wilson) with the State Opera inWarsaw and lots more. His recent productions include the two Weinberg operas The Passenger (in Warsaw) and The Portrait (in Nancy) both staged by David Pountney and also Shostakovich Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk and Parsifal of Wagner in Poznan Opera House.
Gabriel Chmura has recorded with the London Symphony for DGG, and with the Munich and the Berlin Radio Orchestras for CB S. Schubert’s Lazarus with the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Hermann Prey and Edith Mathis on the “Orfeo” label received the “Grand Prix de Disque Mondial de Montreux”. His recording of Haydn’s Symphonies no. 6, 7 and 8 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra for CBC was chosen as “Best Choice” by the American Record Guide and was nominated for the Canadian JUNO Award. The recent recording of the 1st Symphony by Mahler and the Sibelius Valse triste, the principal work from the 2002 UK tour, was very well received in Europe. After the huge success of the first two Weinberg CDs for “Chandos” (Symphony No 5 and Sinfonietta No 1, Symphony No 4, Sinfonietta No 2 and the Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes), the series has been followed by the release of the 14 & 16 Symphony.