Attention to detail . . . unusual warmth and spaciousness . . . impressive control . . . a wide range of nuance and expressive details – these are comments one hears again and again about Wanda Kaluzny’s conducting.
Born in Montreal, Kaluzny started her musical studies with lessons in piano and organ. She began her conducting career at the age of 11 when she assumed the position of organist and choir director at the Holy Cross Parish in Montreal, a position she held for eight years. A year later, at the age of twenty, she founded the Montreal Chamber Orchestra (MCO) making her, at the time, the youngest and only woman conductor of a professional orchestra in Canada.
Kaluzny’s conducting studies include working with Stefan Stuligrosz in Poland and with Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux Memorial Foundation in the U.S. In 1981, she toured in Europe as Maestro Bruck’s assistant. In addition, Kaluzny has guest conducted in North America and Europe. In April 1990, she was the first woman to guest conduct the Baden-Baden Symphony in Germany. She not only earned very favourable reviews in the media but, in the opinion of one German journalist, she “undoubtedly put to rest the prejudicial notion that conducting is a man’s job“.
Maestra Kaluzny has received recognition from many sources for her bold and successful foray into the largely male preserve of conducting. Among her many accolades, several stand out:
- 1987 - Selected by Glamour magazine of New York as one of North America’s Ten Most Outstanding Women.
- 1993 – Annual Achievement Award from the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Montreal.
- 1999 - Woman of Distinction Award from the YWCA Foundation and the Award of Excellence from the Career Women Interaction Network.
- 2000 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal recognized Kaluzny as “a woman whose life is synonymous with commitment and success” at their 12th Annual Network Dinner.
- 2004 – the Women’s Executive NetworkTM (WXNTM ) honoured Kaluzny in the Trailblazer category of the 2004 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards.
- 2012 – Wanda Kaluzny was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her unwavering commitment to the musical development of Young artists and her willingness to pioneer unique soloists, composers and repertoire.
- Wanda Kaluzny is featured in the book Against the Current by Judith Finlayson. She is also cited in Who’s Who of American Women, The World Who’s Who of Women, the Encyclopedia of Canadian Music, and many other publications.