Born in 1926, he has his share in laying foundations of Polish musical life after World War II. He made his conducting debut at the Lodz Philharmonic (1946). In 1947-49 he led the Poznan Philharmonic, where he also became involved in opera (Mozart's Entführung aus dem Serail). In 1949-1951 he conducted the Polish Radio and Television Symphonic Orchestra in Katowice (together with Grzegorz Fitelberg, who saw him as his successor). In 1953-67 he and his orchestra recorded a great deal, took part in the Warsaw Autumn festivals and gave concerts abroad, which brought them worldwide recognition. In 1963 the group undertook its longest and very successful tour (55 concerts) across the Soviet Union, Mongolia, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Apart from his conducting duties at home, in the 60's Jan Krenz held the post of principal conductor of the Danmarks Radio Orchestra in Copenhagen owing to his previous success in Scandinavia. In 1968-73 he collaborated with the Warsaw Grand Theatre in staging important opera premieres (Otello, Elektra and Boris Godunov). At that time the artist went to South America and Japan. The result of the second visit was a close relationship with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony in Tokyo.
Jan Krenz has often been invited to conduct such renowned orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Leningrad Philharmonic or leading London orchestras. In 1979 he signed a three-year contract for the post of General-musikdirektor in Bonn. He increased the Beethovenhalle Orchestra up to 122 musicians, extended the repertory and staged the three-act version of Lulu by Berg and Straszny Dwor (The Haunted Manor) by Moniuszko with the most prominent Polish opera singers.
Although not permanently engaged by the National Philharmonic, Jan Krenz has been closely associated with the institution for over forty years now. He made his debut as a composer with a string quartet performed at a private underground concert during the last war. Later he turned to chamber, vocal and symphonic music. After fifteen years he recently returned to composition (Messe breve, Musica da camera, Epitaphion, Symphony No.2) In 1996 Jan Krenz celebrated the 50th anniversary of his artistic career.