Smolij Awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland Distinction

A prestigious award presented by the president of Poland, the “Knight’s Cross” is awarded to Poles or foreigners residing abroad who have made outstanding contributions to fostering relationships between Poland and other countries.


For over two decades, Mariusz Smolij has been an ambassador for him home country. He has tirelessly promoted the Polish culture and music on an international level. Mariusz has proudly presented Polish music on four continents and in nearly twenty countries. Outside of Poland, Smolij was responsible for organizing the largest festival of Polish classical music in Chicago. Today, Mariusz continues to promote the culture and music of his home country.


“I am honored to receive the “Knight’s Cross” award. Although I have conducted orchestras all over the world in almost 30 different countries, Lafayette has remained my true musical home. It has been my pleasure to be at the artistic helm of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra for the last fifteen years, and so it seemed fitting to be presented this award here in Lafayette. I welcome the Polish Council and am especially grateful to the Acadiana community and the ASO musical family for the privilege of making Lafayette my musical home.” – Mariusz Smolij, ASO Conductor and Music Director


The award will be presented to Maestro Smolij by Polish Council, Robert Rusieki during the Opening night performance of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra. Acadiana Symphony is celebrating its 35th anniversary with the Celebration Season.