Paweł Kotla studied symphony and opera conducting with prof. Ryszard Dudek and prof. Bogusław Madey at Chopin University of Music in Warsaw in his native Poland. He completed his postgraduate studies in musicology and performance practice at Oxford University. He also took part in international masterclasses in Vienna, Siena, Innsbruck, Bressanone and with the legendary conducting teacher Jorma Panula. He is now based in London where for the last four years he have been working regularly as a conductor with London Symphony Orchestra. He was also the artistic director of one of the largest Polish cultural programmes in 2011 – I, CULTURE Orchestra, the official orchestra of the Polish EU Presidency, which performed in some of the most important European concert halls (Stockholm, Warsaw, Kyiv, Berlin, London, Madrid and Brussels). The project has been ranked as one of top classical music events of 2011 in Poland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
During the course of his career he has worked with some of the biggest names in the world of international conducting, receiving excellent reviews from such famous maestros as Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Neville Marriner, Yuri Temirkanov and Andrew Parrott.
Until 2006 he worked as the artistic director of Płock Symphony Orchestra in Poland. He also worked for five years as a regular assistant to the present artistic director of Berlin Philharmonic Sir Simon Rattle. Apart from opera, contemporary music and core 19th-century repertoire he is also a keen performer of early music. He preforms extensively in Great Britain and Poland, but he has also conducted in Sweden, Germany, Austria, Ukraine, Spain, Belgium, Czech Republic, Russia, Brazil and France with orchestras such as Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal de Sao Paulo, Drottningholm Barockensemble, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Leicester Symphony Orchestra, Nottingham Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Polish National Philharmonic, Beethoven Academy Orchestra (Krakow), St. Petersburg Philharmonia and London Mozart Players. In April 2009 as the first Polish conductor of his generation he conducted the famous St. Petersburg Philharmonic. In March 2008 he received the highly prestigious invitation to conduct European Union Youth Orchestra in the concert in Strasbourg opening the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the European Parliament. This made him the first Polish conductor who conducted this celebrated orchestra.
He worked with most of Polish professional philharmonic orchestras (such as Białystok, Gdańsk, Kielce, Lublin, Łódź, Poznań, Rzeszów, Szczecin and Wrocław), Beethoven Academy Orchestra and with “Opera na Zamku” in Szczecin and Warsaw Chamber Opera. He also recorded with Polish Radio Orchestra in Warsaw and National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice. In September 2008 he opened the season of Łódź Philharmonic with the performance of Mahler’s Symphony no.2 and in May 2009 he made his debut with National Philharmonic in Warsaw. He performed in such prestigious concert halls as: Teatro Municipal in Sao Paulo, Nationa Philharmonic in Warsaw, National Opera of Ukraine in Kyiv, Berwaldhallen in Stockholm, Berlin Philharmonie, Barbican Centre in London, Teatro Real in Madrid, Royal Albert Hall in London, Great Hall of St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Royal Conservatoire in Brussels and (as the only Polish conductor since the fall of communism) in Royal Festival Hall in London. His performances were broadcast by radio stations in Poland, Sweden, Slovenia, Belgium, United Kingdom and Spain.
In April 2004 he received a medal from the Association of Polish Orchestras and Choirs. In June 2007 he received a scholarship from London Symphony Orchestra under the patronage of Sir Colin Davis. In 2011 he was of one of 20 musicians nominated for the most prestigious Polish award for arts – “Paszport Polityki”.