Adam Mickiewicz University Chamber Choir - Poznań, Poland
Conductor: prof. Krzysztof Szydzisz, dr Joanna Piech-Sławecka
Adam Mickiewicz University Chamber Choir - Poznań, Poland
The AMU Chamber Choir was established by Prof. Krzysztof Szydzisz in 1992 and has been performing on stage for nearly 25 years. It is one of the best university choirs in Poland. The choir's members are students, graduates and young academic teachers at AMU and other Poznań universities. The conductor’s assistant since 2003 and second conductor since 2013 is Joanna Piech-Sławecka, Ph.D.
The choir performs music in a variety of styles (a cappella pieces, as well as vocal and instrumental forms of all epochs), amazing audiences with each new project. They have already sung Jewish music, sailor songs, Astor Piazzola's tangos, Gypsy tunes, songs of the Old Gentelmen’s Cabaret, jazz numbers and many more (www.choir.amu.edu.pl).
The ensemble is famous for exceptionally blended tone quality. Its recipe for success is most importantly good organization and cooperation between members. One of the ensemble’s many strengths are great solo singers. Their versatility is appreciated by the audience as well as renowned Poznań composers. The Chamber Choir actively participates in the life of the city and the university, and gives concerts both in Poland and abroad. It is known across Europe, with performances in the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden, the Vatican, the UK and Italy; it also gave concerts outside Europe: in the USA, Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico and even South Korea.
Most of these foreign visits involved participation in a number of contests, in which the choir won prestigious awards, receiving praise from the jury and applause of the audience as well as recognition of the international choir community. The choir was awarded prizes at a number of festivals: in Legnica, Międzyzdroje, Suwałki, Llangollen (UK), Malta, Vienna, Busan (South Korea) and other cities. In 2009 they came second in the youth choir category at the prestigious International Choir Competition “Let the Peoples Sing” in Oslo, organized by Euroradio. In 2012 the choir, conducted by Joanna Piech-Sławecka, won second place in the Mixed Choir category at the Balkan Folk Fest in Bulgaria.
The Hilliard Ensemble, Paco Peňa, Susan Moninger, Jürgen Müller (La Fura Dels Baus), Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra, The Polish Radio Orchestra Amadeus conducted by Agnieszka Duczmal; Ewa Bem, Stanisław Soyka, Magda Umer, Jarosław Bręk, Agata Zubel, Iwona Hossa, Małgorzata Walewska, Andrzej Poniedzielski, Zbigniew Grochal, Andrzej Lajborek, Marek Szurawski, Zbigniew Kozub, Marek Jasiński, Romuald Twardowski, Paweł Łukaszewski, Miłosz Bembinow, Marcin Sompoliński, Łukasz Borowicz, Marek Pijarowski, Jerzy Salwarowski, Zbigniew Łowżył, Bogdan Hołownia, Jarosław Kostka, Waldemar Malicki - these are just a few names of great artists and groups with whom the Chamber Choir has had the pleasure to collaborate.
The Choir has also released several records: Tobie i sobie śpiewam (Singing for you and me) in 2003, Piosenka jest dobra na wszystko (A song is the best remedy). Piosenki Starszych Panów (Old Gentelmen’s Songs) in 2005, Florilegium in 2007 and The Spirit of Tango. Misa a Buenos Aires in 2014 – album recorded with Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of the Polish Radio under A. Duczmal with Małgorzata Walewska (soprano), composer Martin Palmeri (piano) and Mario Stefano Pertodarchi (bandoneon).
The AMU Chamber Choir organizes the International Festival of University Choirs “Universitas Cantat”, which takes place in Poznan every two years.
Prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Szydzisz
Choirmaster, musicologist, vocal pedagogy specialist, speech-language therapist and a cultural manager. He is a graduate of Catholic University of Lublin (musicology), Academy of Music in Poznań (Faculty for Vocal Performance and Acting) and of Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz (choral conducting). He completed a post-graduate course in ensemble voice production at Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz and participated in specialist courses for conductors in Slovenia, Denmark, Austria, Germany, the USA and Poland. In addition, he had the opportunity to take part in Eric Ericson's master classes. He also obtained post-graduate certificates in cultural management (School of Cultural Management, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), higher education management (Faculty of Management and Social Communication, Jagiellonian University, Cracow) and speech-language therapy (Special Pedagogy Department, Adam Mickiewicz University), MBA in Higher Education Management (postgraduate studies) – Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and Poznań University of Economics).
Krzysztof Szydzisz works at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, where he heads the Department of Voice Production (http://www.amuz.bydgoszcz.pl/pl/index_pl.html), established in 2004. He is actively involved teaching at numerous workshops and courses for academic teachers, speech-language therapists and choral conductors. Moreover, he is a vocal consultant for many choir ensembles at home and abroad as well as a music consultant for the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat for the 2013-2015 term. He is also a member of juries at a variety of national and international choir competitions: Legnica Cantat, Canti Veris Praga, IFAS Pardubice, Advent and Christmas Music Festival Praga, Folk Festival in Bratislava, Tonen 2000, World Choir Games, European Music Festival for Young People – Neerpelt, International Choir Festival and the International Choir Festival “Per Musicam ad Astra” in Toruń and others. Since 1998 he has been director of the International Festival of University Choirs Universitas Cantat in Poznań.
The Adam Mickiewicz University Chamber Choir, of whom Krzysztof Szydzisz is a conductor, has given concerts on five continents and in over twenty countries, including Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Ecuador, France, the Czech Republic, Greece, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the USA. Together with his ensemble, he has won the first prizes of national and international competitions. He takes interest in a diverse repertoire, 19th to 21st century European choral literature being the most prominent area. As the conductor of the AMU Chamber Choir he has won a number of honourable mentions and awards.
Conductor, choirmaster, oboist, speech therapist, voice production coach. During her studies at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz she was awarded a scholarship from the Polish Ministry of Culture. Since 2002 she is affiliated with the Adam Mickiewicz University Chamber Choir, in 2003 she was appointed as assistant conductor to Prof. Krzysztof Szydzisz and currently holds the post of the ensemble’s second conductor. She is also an assistant professor at the AMU Faculty of Pedagogy and Arts in Kalisz, where she teaches a conducting class. She performs with the AMU Chamber Choir in Poland and abroad.
Dr. Joanna Piech-Sławecka organizes concerts for the International Festival of University Choirs "Universitas Cantat” hosted at Adam Mickiewicz University and is the Vice-Director of the festival since 2009. She is also President of the AMU Chamber Choir Friends' Association.