Professor Szymon Kawalla – full professor (discipline of musical arts, symphony and opera conducting, composition), Dean of the Department of Composition, Conducting and Theory of Music at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. Since 1986 he has taught conducting class at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. He was the Head of the Unit of Music and Literature Education at the Institute of Education, Department of Educational Studies of the Maria Grzegorzewska Academy of Special Education in Warsaw.
In 1992 he received from the President of the Republic of Poland the title of Professor of Musical Arts; he is an expert of the National Accreditation Committee and a juror at international music competitions; he also leads international masterclasses.
He studied at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw, Departments of: Instrumental Studies – violin, diploma 1972; Composition, Conducting and Theory of Music – symphony and opera conducting, diploma 1973; composition – 1974; music studies abroad: Switzerland, Hungary, USSR; 1982 – artistic procedure of the 1st degree (now a doctoral degree in arts) at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw; 1984 – artistic procedure of the 2nd degree (now a post-doctoral degree) at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. In the period of 1972–1974 he was a lecturer at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw; between 1975 and 1980 he was a senior lecturer at the State Higher School of Music in Bydgoszcz. He also was: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Head of the Institute of Music Education, Higher School of Pedagogy in Zielona Góra (1980–1986); Full Professor, Holy Cross Academy in Kielce (1996–2001); and teacher in primary and secondary schools (1966–1979).
Professional activity as a conductor and manager: 1972–1974 – music manager and principal conductor of the Central Artistic Ensemble of the Polish Army; 1974–1978 — conductor of the Pomeranian Symphony Orchestra in Bydgoszcz; 1979–1980 — head and artistic director and principal conductor of the State Chamber Orchestra in Toruń; 1980–1986 — head and artistic director and principal conductor of the State Philharmonic in Zielona Góra and the Chamber Opera Stage in Żagań; 1985–1991 — general and artistic director and principal conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and Choir of the Polish Radio and Television in Cracow; 1987–1995 — Principal Permanent Conductor of the Vienna Modern Masters CD Company, (Austria and USA); 1992–1994 — artistic consultant and principal conductor at the S. Moniuszko State Philharmonic in Koszalin; 1995–2001– general and artistic director and principal conductor at the Holy Cross Philharmonic and the Kielce Opera Stage; 2001–2006 – artistic director and principal conductor of the Orthodox Music Chamber Choir at the Warsaw Chamber Opera; 2002 – artistic director and principal conductor of the I.J. Paderewski Festival Orchestra in Warsaw; since 1995 – music manager and conductor/head of the Yeongnam Opera Company in Daegu, South Korea; since 2005 – juror and permanent conductor of finale concerts and laureates’ concerts at the International Competition for Brasswind Instruments and Percussion in Jeju, South Korea.
Szymon Kawalla has continually performed in Poland and abroad since 1966, giving over 7000 symphony, oratorio and opera performances (in such countries as: Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Iran, Iceland, Yugoslavia, Canada, South Korea, Cuba, Luxembourg, Malta, Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland , Sweden, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Hungary, Great Britain, or Italy). Of particular note are his three oratorio concerts for His Holiness Pope John Paul II, concerts commemorating the 5th and 10th anniversaries of the death of King Boduin of Belgium, attended by Queen Fabiola, and year-long festival concerts in Johann Sebastian Bach’s year (2000), opera premieres for the opening of the New Opera House (2004) in Daegu (South Korea) and opera galas for the opening of the Culture and Art Center, Keimuyng University (2008) in Daegu. He has recorded for radio, television and the cinema since 1972 and has been recording for the following record companies since 1977: Balcanton (Bulgaria), Cambria Records (USA), Centaur Records (USA), Connifer Records (United Kingdom), JIGU (South Korea), Polskie Nagrania [Polish Records], Veriton, and Vienna Modern Masters (Austria and USA).
Most important compositions: Divertimento for Strings and Percussion (1966), oratorio Pater Kolbe (1969), cantata Wit Stwosz (1970), Stabat Mater (1990), Cantata in Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II (1991); Fantasy for solo violin (2002), two Arabic Impressions for solo violin (2006), Holy Cross Caprice for solo violin (2006), Babice Dumka with variations for solo violin (2006), Giovanile for symphony orchestra (2006), Love Lyrics (2007), American Threnodies (2007), oratorio Totus Tuus (2008), cantata The Polish Pope, cantata Tear (2008), Lament and Mazovian Toccata for violin and piano or orchestra (2009), Missa Solemnis (2010), music fairy tale Pyza on the Polish Paths (2011), Fantasy AZ for solo violin (2012), Missa Solemnis Sti Joannis Paulus II (2014), Korean Triptych for violin, percussion and brass orchestra (2016), Poem – Waltz Danube and Thames waves for soprano, violin and orchestra (poem by A. Andrych) (2017), Lemento di St. Andrea Kim for violin, percussion and brass orchestra (2019), Hymn The Safe Youth (poem by K.C. Buszman) (2019);
Most important elaborations: K. Kurpiński — symphony The Battle of Mozajsk (1982), M. Kamieński — opera Destitution Made Happy (1983); M. Kamieński — Cantata Commemorating the Centenary of the Relief of Besieged Vienna (1984), W. Żeleński — Cantata Commemorating the Bicentenary of the Relief of Besieged Vienna (1986), K. Jezierski — cantata Casimire terris mirae (1986). Szymon Kawalla co-organized 7 International Scholarly Conferences at the Maria Grzegorzewska Academy of Special Education in Warsaw (2008–2013). He co-edited three scholarly monographs (2010–2012).
Awards: Silver Cross of Merit (1985), Knight’s Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland (1996), Officer’s Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland (2004), decoration Meritorious Polish Culture Activist; K. Szymanowski Medal, K. Kurpiński Medal, Award of the Minister of Culture and Art of the second degree; awards of the first degree of Their Magnificences Rectors of the Higher School of Pedagogy in Zielona Góra, the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and the J. Kochanowski Holy Cross Academy in Kielce. Szymon Kawalla is a winner of several regional and creative community awards – Award for Young Creators, Zielona Góra, 1985; Grand Prix du disque Accademie Charles Cross — Paris, 1991; Nike – Award of the Society of Friends of Fine Arts, 2001; Bene Meritum Award of the Society of Friends of Fine Arts, 2006; Grand Prix at the International Opera Festival in Daegu, 2010; co-winner of award for best opera production of the year in South Korea, 2010; The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music Medal, 2016; Gloria Artis Medal of Merit for Culture, 2017; Plaque of Appreciation No. 108 0f Governor Jeju Special Self-Governing Province South Korea, 2018.
Conductor – a graduate of the Karol Kurpiński Military Music Secondary School in Gdańsk and the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw in the class of wind orchestra conducting. In 1998 he completed postgraduate studies in choirmasterhood at the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, and in 2000 he completed postgraduate studies in voice emission at the same university. Since 1987 he has been associated with the Concert Orchestra of the Representative Artistic Ensemble of the Polish Armed Forces, initially as an instrumentalist, and then as a conductor. From 2004 to 2008 he was the Commander – Captain of the General Józef Wybicki Representative Orchestra of the Polish Armed Forces.
He is the author of nearly 100 transcriptions and musical arrangements for wind orchestra. He has made many recordings as an instrumentalist and conductor, and is frequently invited to participate in the works of the jury of festivals and competitions of wind orchestras, as well as a lecturer of workshops for conductors and drum-majors. For several years he has been a member of the board (and President since 2015) of the Polish branch of the Society of Military Music Enthusiasts. Since 2009, he has been the conductor of the Youth Brass Orchestra at the Volunteer Fire Brigade in Kaski, with which he has won the highest prizes at festivals and competitions for amateur music bands.
Born in 1976 in Żerków (Wielkopolskie Voivodeship). In 1996 he graduated from the Military High School of Music in Gdańsk, then in 2002 he became a graduate of the Jan Długosz Academy in Częstochowa in the faculty: Artistic education in the field of music art. In July 2013 he graduated from the Academy of Music in Poznan (specialization – conducting of wind orchestras).
In 1996-2002 he held the position of drum-major of the Kraków Military District Representative Orchestra, with which he performed at many festivals and concerts in Poland and Europe. From 2007 to 2011 he was the drum-major of the Arcelor Mittal Poland Orchestra. In August 2012 he was awarded the honorary badge of “Distinguished for Polish Culture” – granted by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. Currently he works as a musician in the Military Orchestra in Kraków. Jarosław Ignaszak devotes most of his energy to conducting, to which he subordinated the development of his musical career. For many years he has been taking part in workshops for wind orchestra drum majors as an instructor of the art of ruling a marching regiment. He leads various non-professional brass bands. In 1997-2008 he commanded the brass band “Sygnał” from Radziszów, which, under his baton, won leading places at the Małopolska wind orchestra festivals. Since 2004 he has been conducting the dynamically developing Wieniawa Orchestra from Raciborowice near Kraków. They have given concerts in many European cities, and even in an audience with Pope Benedict. They won first place in the 13th Malopolska Wind Orchestras Festival, in 2008 he recorded a CD with the orchestra. Since 2009, he has also successfully conducted the “Kosynierzy” Brass Orchestra from Luborzyca.
Jarosław Ignaszak focuses his conducting career on youth work. Although in many cases he works with amateur musicians, thanks to his great commitment, perseverance and appropriate approach, the conducted ensembles and orchestras develop quickly and achieve success. He has developed a unique style of work that is characterised by freedom, directness and a sense of humour. For his pupils he is not only a conductor and teacher, shaping their technique and musical sensitivity, but also a colleague and friend of the ensemble.
Conductor, composer and arranger. He started his musician career as a clarinettist in the Concert Orchestra of the Representative Artistic Ensemble of the Polish Armed Forces, graduating from the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk (clarinet). His next stage in his career was studying at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw (symphonic and opera conducting in Ryszard Dudek’s class). He is a conductor of Symphonic Orchestra of the Representative Artistic Ensemble of the Polish Armed Forces and since 2015 he also conducts the Representative Orchestra of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. He cooperates with many professional orchestras and leading artists of Polish music stage.
A significant part of his artistic achievements are numerous musical arrangements and his own compositions for various orchestras and artistic ensembles.
Conductor, composer, instrumentalist, pedagogue and popularizer of musical knowledge. Graduated from the Faculty of Composition, Conducting and Theory of Music (major: symphonic and opera conducting) at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. He received his Bachelor’s degree in the class of Professor Marek Pijarowski, and his Master’s degree in the class of Professor Szymon Kawalla. In 2017 he was awarded the title of Doctor of Music Art in the artistic discipline of conducting at his alma mater. Winner of numerous competitions in the field of music theory, composition and improvisation. Finalist of the second and third editions of the Young Stage programme of the Warsaw Chamber Opera, as part of which he led the world premieres of operas by contemporary composers. Since 2011, the artist has been a speaker at educational concerts at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw, and since 2014 he has been working as a conductor-pedagogue at the Complex of State Music Schools No. 1 in Warsaw. In 2016, the album of soprano Joanna Freszel Real Life Song, where the artist conducts the world premieres of works by Miłosz Bembinow and Katarzyna Szwed, received two nominations for the Fryderyk Award and the prestigious Les Orphées d’Or Award.
As a conductor, he also collaborates with the Oskar Kolberg Philharmonic in Kielce, the Szafranko Philharmonic in Rybnik, the Elbląg Chamber Orchestra, the Arte Creatura Music Theatre and the Rozmaitości Theatre in Warsaw. Since 2017 he has been a lecturer at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, where he teaches at the Faculty of Composition, Conducting and Theory of Music. It is worth mentioning that with his youth wind orchestras, the artist performed at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw, the Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk, the Częstochowa Philharmonic and at the seat of the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.
Member of the jury in the II stage of the Competition
A composer by vocation, a financier by profession. He started his adventure with music in his home town of Zamość, where he took classical guitar lessons for four years before switching to electric guitar and rock music. At the age of 13 he formed his first of many bands, creating many musical projects from reggae to strong rock in which he was the main composer of the repertoire, throughout his high school career. Despite his great passion for music, he graduated with a degree in financial management from the Higher School of Business – National Louis University in Nowy Sącz , and has been living and working in Warsaw since 2008. In recent years he played bass in the Warsaw-based band ICON that he co-founded before turning to jazz guitar under the tutelage of professional jazz guitarist Michał Przerwa Tetmajer of Jazzpospolita. What followed was a period of instinctive learning of both guitar technique and music theory. In January 2017 he began courses at Berklee College of Music, focused on composition and instrumentation for film and media, from which he obtained his Professional Certificate the following year. In October 2018, he began postgraduate studies in composition at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music under Dr. Aldona Nawrocka.
Despite composing ever since he mastered his first guitar tricks, he considers his most important compositions to be those created only after 2014. Among them are: Whole-tone impression (2014), November in Am for piano and strings (2016), From down till light for chamber orchestra (2017), Dance in the eastern night for symphony orchestra (2017), Image for cello no. 1 for solo cello (2018), Film Variations on the theme of the aria Szumią jodly na gór szczycie by S. Moniuszko (2018), Dimension zero for organs (2019), Looking through the glass for 4 violin (2019). In addition, he is the author of over a hundred miniatures in the form of film cue. He currently focuses on writing contemporary classical music and music for the media. He shares his passion for composition with his professional career as a business consultant in the IT industry.
Member of the jury in the III stage of the Competition
Polish composer and pianist, winner of 14 awards at national and international composition competitions, member of the Young Polish Composers’ Union and the Authors’ Association ZAiKS. He studied composition in the classes of Prof. Stanisław Moryto and Prof. Paweł Łukaszewski at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music (2012, 2014). His most outstanding compositions include: Angstroms I for orchestra from 2014 (he uses the Unified Colourful Scales – an original idea), States Of The Matter for great symphony orchestra from 2015, I Piano Concerto from 2011, which the composer performed in the concert hall of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in October 2011, String Quartet published by Ablaze Records on a CD Millenial Masters vol. 5, released by Schott Music Verlag, and awarded first prize in the “Musica Sacra” Competition Seven Last Words of Christ for mixed choir a cappella, and recently performed in the United States at College-Conservatory Of Music Dreaming Music Piano Quintet. Słotwiński is also the author of symphonies (including Symphony Credo, Symphony No. 1 Symphony of Love Songs and Symphony No. 2), chamber music: Piano Sonata and film music (etudes submitted to Transatlantyk Film Festival 2015 and 2016, German Game Music Award, Film Music Festival in Krakow 2016 and Zurich Film Festival), electronic (RGBy II) and electro-acoustic (Symphony of Independence). Słotwiński’s works have received numerous awards (e.g. first prize for Opus966 in 2014, second prize in the Penderecki Competition “Sopot Classic” in 2015), he is the author of over 50 compositions, including the 70-minute oratorio Noachis Terra for soloists, choir and great symphony orchestra; he is a multiple scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Ministry of Science and Higher Education and Societe Generale Bank (2008, 2010-2012). He has also consulted his compositions on numerous courses, meetings and workshops: He has worked with: Joele Hoffman, Lowel Liebermann, Vladimir Scolnic, Zygmunt Krauze, Edward Sielicki and Sławomir Czarnecki.
He is also an active pianist and conductor (in 2016 he founded his own orchestra Warsaw Modern Players, with which he recorded his work Urban Games and led to the performance of his cantata Song of Bathsheba). He is the author of the reconstruction of Wojciech Sowiński’s Piano Concerto in G minor Op. 36 from 1836, whose extract for one piano he found in the United States, then brought to Poland and created from scratch a score of the work with orchestrated tutti and composed accompaniments.
The secrets of piano art were handed down to him by numerous professors. Among them were: Anna Jastrzębska-Quinn, Ewa Bogucka, Irina Rumiancewa, Borys Petruszański, Piotr Paleczny, Edward Auer, Szabolcs Esztenyi (piano improvisation), Maria Sterczyńska (chamber music), Maria Garbyś and Emilian Madey (during their studies at the Fryderyk Chopin University). In 2016, he completed courses in composition and film orchestration at the Hollywood Music Workshop under the direction of Conrad Pope (orchestrator of John Williams, Howard Shore and others, Star Wars, Hobbit) and jazz arrangements with Nan Schwartz (multiple Emmy winner). His works have been performed in Warsaw, Sopot, Poznan, Katowice, Kraków, Lviv, Milno in Croatia and Cincinnati.
header photo: sheet-music-music-piano-instrument by Pixabay, public domain / exerpt from the original
Szymon Kawalla: photo and biography: UMFC w Warszawie
Adam Czajkowski: photo: RZAWP / biography: organiser’s materials
Jarosław Ignaszak: photo and biography: Orkiestra Wieniawa
Tomasz Labuń: photo and biography – organiser’s materials
Jarosław Praszczałek: photo and biography – Jarosław Praszczałek
Tomasz Dudziński: photo and biography – Tomasz Dudziński
Artur Słotwiński: biography: Artur Słotwiński / photo: Artur Słotwiński – facebook