seems to be leaving its regional status to claim national attention." In the Spring of 1987, Maestro Polivnick was nominated for the Seaver Award, an award given annually to the most outstanding young conductor in the USA, however, owing to administrative realignment, no award was granted in '87. In August of the same year, he made his European debut in Portugal with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, and in January of 1988, he traveled to Vienna for his conducting debut there. He has subsequently been made the Principal Conductor of the Harmonia Nova Orchestra of Vienna, and has conducted the Orkester des Osterreichschen Rundfunks in the capital city of Austria. In August of 1988, he made his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra recording Russell Peck's Signs of Life and Peace Overture, two works which were written for and dedicated to him. In other recent European appearances he has conducted the Czech State Orchestra of Gottwaldov and its Brno Philharmonic. The same highly active year of 1988, found him making his Asiatic debut 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; and a Nonesuch CD album with the premiere recording of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in a performance of William Kraft's Interplay made under his direction was released in mid-1989. Conducting frequently throughout the USA, he has appeared with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Richmond, Akron and Savannah Symphony Orchestras, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. He is considered among those "most-in-demand" as Guest Conductors in America and has led the Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Utah, Sacramento, North Carolina, Memphis, Fort Worth, Austin, Edmonton, San Diego, San Jose, Puerto Rico, and Virginia Symphony Orchestras to list but a representative few. During the past few years, Paul Polivnick has added operatic conducting engagements to his myriad activities, gathering still more kudos to his credit.
As Associate Principal Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Paul Polivnick led that esteemed ensemble for 35 weeks of each 50 week season annually. Prior to that position, he held a similar title and post with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for three years.
While in Indianapolis he was popularly received by its critics, audiences and musicians. He had been appointed Conductor of the Debut Orchestra of the Young Musicians Foundation in Los Angeles immediately following the completion of his studies in 1969. His first position had him responsible for four consecutive seasons held in both the Los Angeles Music Center and Royce Hall on the campus of U.C.L.A. He also found time to perform as a violist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for two years, and conducted a subscription concert for that noted ensemble.
Born in Atlantic City, Paul Polivnick grew up in Westchester County just north of New York City. His father, Sidney Polivnick gave young Paul his first lessons beginning at age eight on both trumpet and violin. After private study with Boris Koutzen, former first violinist with the late Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony Orchestra, and Raymond Crisara, trumpeter with the same orchestra, he enter The Juilliard School in 1965. He began there as a violin major studying with that legendary "musician's musician", violinist Oscar Shumsky. Eventually he focused on conducting with instructor Jean Morel. He actually entered The Juilliard School with numerous years of study behind him in piano, violin and trumpet, and, were such degrees granted, he could easily have been awarded a double major in conducting and violin. Upon graduation from Juilliard in 1969, his actual degree was in orchestral conducting. Concurrent with his studies at Juilliard, Paul Polivnick attended the Tanglewood Music Festival for three years, working with the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra there. His first two years were as a violinist and his third on a conducting fellowship with conductor 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 conductor Jorge Mester. He went on to work at the Academia Chighiana in Siena, Italy with the renowned Italian conducting pedagogue Franco Ferrara. 1976 marked Paul Polivnick's debut conducting opera with the Hidden Valley Opera Ensemble in its production of La Traviata in Carmel, California. The following year he led the same company in the world premiere of Conrad Sousa's Transformations. In the summer of 1977, he served as Assistant Conductor for the Seattle Opera's noted production of the complete Wagner Ring Cycle working with Artistic Director Henry Holt. During 1978 he had guest conducting engagements which took him from the East Coast to the Rocky Mountains where he made his debut with the justifiably famed Central City Opera in Colorado conducting nine performances of The Bohemian Girl by Irish composer Michael William Balfe. From there, he traveled to Jefferson, New Hampshire for appearances at the White Mountains Festival of the Arts conducting Bach's Magnificat. During each of Mr. Polivnick's tenures with orchestras, his responsibilities have been many and varied.
In Los Angeles, he founded and conducted one of the most unique orchestras in this country, the Los Angeles Radio Orchestra and had his first experience in orchestral administration, as well as being initiated in the mysteries of the broadcast media when his concerts were aired on KPFK-FM in Los Angeles. He also made his first recordings there, conducting numerous sessions for such major studios as RCA, United, and A & M for popular recording artists. With the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra he conducted both subscription and Bach series concerts; in state and out-of-state touring engagements; the direction of Youth Concerts and the ISO Educational Program. He coordinated programs for the successful "Sunday Night Pops" series and special concert events, including a number of free outdoor concerts. His duties in Milwaukee were similar to those he maintained in Indiana, but were considerably increased by his activities as spokesman to the community-at-large for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. A gregarious gentleman, Paul Polivnick is at ease with artistic colleagues, politicians, civic leaders, and orchestra volunteers. Notably, he is often recommended by orchestral musicians for conducting engagements, since he is held in unusually high respect by the members of the orchestras where he has held posts.