Music Director of the New Hampshire Music Festival since 1993, Paul Polivnick has enjoyed both a critical and popular success since his inaugural season there. He concluded his eighth and final season with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra as Music Director and Conductor in that same year. His talent, energy and charisma were very much in evidence at the ASO’s Kennedy Center début in 1988. In 1987 he made his European début in Portugal with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, and in January 1988, he made his début as a conductor in Vienna. He has subsequently been made the Principal Conductor of the Harmonia Nova Orchestra of Vienna, and has conducted the Austrian Radio Orchestra in the same city. In August 1988 he made his début with the London Symphony Orchestra recording Russell Peck’s Signs of Life and Peace Overture, two works written for and dedicated to him. He has also conducted the Czech State Orchestra of Gottwaldov and the Brno Philharmonic. In 1988 he also made his Asian début with the Korean Symphony Orchestra in Seoul, where he has been repeatedly invited to return. In Spain he has conducted multiple performances with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalyuna and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon. He has also recorded with the Harmonia Nova in Vienna. Conducting frequently throughout the United States, he has appeared with many orchestras and is much in demand as a guest conductor. During the past few years he has also added operatic conducting engagements to his myriad activities. As Associate Principal Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Paul Polivnick conducted that orchestra for 35 weeks of each fifty-week season annually, previously having successfully held a similar title and post with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for three years.
Born in Atlantic City, Paul Polivnick first studied trumpet and violin with his father. He entered the Juilliard School in 1965 as a pupil of Oscar Shumsky, before concentrating on conducting with Jean Morel. At the same time he attended the Tanglewood Music Festival for three years, working with the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra there, his first two years as a violinist and his third on a conducting fellowship with Leonard Bernstein. He performed at the Aspen Music Festival for four summers, appearing as principal violist with the Chamber Symphony and studying with conductor Walter Susskind, while serving as Assistant Conductor of the Aspen Festival Orchestra under Jorge Mester. He went on to work at the Academia Chighiana in Siena, Italy with the renowned Italian conducting pedagogue Franco Ferrara.