prof. WIOLETTA MIŁKOWSKA
She is a graduate of the Department of Instrumental and Pedagogy at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Białystok under the guidance of prof. dr hab. Bożena Violetta Bielecka and Postgraduate Choirmaster Studies at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. She started working at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in 1990. In the years 2012-2016 she was the Head of the Department of Choral Conducting. In the 2016-2020 term, she was a member of the University’s Scientific Council. From 2020 Dean of the Faculty of Instrumental and Pedagogy, Music Education and Vocal Studies at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Białystok, where she also teaches choral conducting.
She is the conductor and artistic director of the Choir of the Białystok University of Technology (since 1997) and the Choir of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Białystok (since 2005). She has performed in many European countries, Canada and the USA. She took part in festivals, winning numerous awards. She is often invited to sit on the juries of national and international choir competitions.
Working with chamber orchestras, she conducted a number of oratorio concerts (including compositions by Bach, Vivaldi, Stachowicz, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Rossini, Moryta, Jenkins, Rutter). Together with the ensembles she leads, she recorded interpretations of selected works on CDs.
Wioletta Miłkowska is also involved in scientific activities, and the area of her research is funeral creativity. The research effects were presented in the dissertation entitled – Requiem in the works of Polish composers . She is also the author and scientific editor of books and numerous articles on Polish choral music.
She was the manager and co-organizer of many national and international scientific conferences (incl. National trend in the works of Polish composers…; Between the unknown and the forgotten. Polish music in the light of new discoveries ; In the circle of Polish choral music).
Wioletta Miłkowska has been an animator of the youth choral movement in Podlasie for 30 years. In the years 2006-2014, she was the coordinator of the activities of the National Program for the Development of School Choirs “Singing Poland” in the region. The picture of the functioning of school choir groups was presented in the publication “Śpiewająca Polska” (Białystok, 2011). For several years, he has been cooperating with children’s and youth choirs as part of his original educational and artistic project Rozśpiewany Białystok.
He is also a co-founder of the International Baltic Sea Choir (it includes members of Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Russian ensembles), with which he carries out artistic undertakings.
Honored with 1st Degree Awards of the Rector of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. Honored with the Medal of the National Education Commission and a statuette Wise Heart Teacher – The Award of the President of the City of Białystok. For her activities, she was awarded the Medal of Merit for Polish Culture and the Medal of Merit for the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. In 2017, she received the Artistic Award of the President of the City of Białystok. In 2018, honoring the distinction of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for Merit to Culture Gloria Artis, while in 2020, the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, awarded for merits in activities for the development of culture and art.
dr ZOLTÁN PAD
Zoltán Pad, conductor, studied at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest and in Munich with a DAAD scholarship. Since 2014, he is chief conductor of the Hungarian Radio Choir.
He is an internationally renowned conductor, who in recent years received the opportunity to conduct outstanding ensembles including the SWR Vokalensemble in Stuttgart, the MDR Radio Choir in Leipzig, the NDR Vokalensemble in Hamburg, the French Radio Choir, the ChorWerk Ruhr, the Polish Radio Choir, the Arsys Bourgogne Chamber Choir, the Croatian Radio Choir, the Cracovia Singers and the World Youth Choir.
In April 2022, he makes his debut in Elbphilharmonie Hamburg conducting the NDR Vokalensemble and the Resonanz Ensemble. In June, he records a CD with the Cracovia Singers and in October he has a concert with Chamber Choir Ireland in Dublin.
His extensive repertoire ranges from Renaissance music to recently composed works, he has conducted many first performances of contemporary pieces. He is a devoted interpreter of Hungarian contemporary music, and the works of Bartók, Kodály and Ligeti. He is a committed pedagogue and leads workshops and conducting courses all around the world.
As conductor of the Hungarian Radio Choir, he has conducted numerous concerts in Hungary and abroad, with several contemporary a cappella pieces premiered on their programme. Most pieces were also recorded for the Hungarian Radio.
As choir master he appeared at the Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festspiele), at the Donizetti Festival of Bergamo, and at concert venues such as the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the BOZAR in Brussels, the MÜPA in Budapest, the Auditorium de la Radio France and the Auditorium Rainer III. at Monte Carlo.
In recent years, he has worked with outstanding conductors and ensembles including Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker, Daniel Harding, Péter Eötvös and the Vienna Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Alan Gilbert, Helmuth Rilling, Christoph Gedschold, Kazuki Yamada, Pier Giorgio Morandi, Zoltán Kocsis, György Vashegyi, Gergely Kesselyák, Iván Fischer, Ádám Fischer and Carlos Miguel Prieto.
He is a welcomed guest conductor of orchestras, primarily conducting oratorical works. He worked with the Hungarian Radio Orchestra, Kodály Philharmonic Orchestra, Győr Philharmonic Orchestra, Oradea Philharmonic Orchestra and Alba Regia Symphony Orchestra. Between 2009 and 2014, he worked as chief conductor of the Kodály Choir Debrecen, which is one of the few professional choirs in Hungary. During this time, Zoltán conducted over 130 concerts with the choir and prepared a further 131 more concert programmes.
Among many other pieces, he conducted Concerto for Choir by Alfred Schnittke and The Sealed Angel (Zapechatlennyi angel) by Rodion Shchedrin and the oratorio The Company of Heaven by Benjamin Britten as its first Hungarian performance. In December 2012, under the direction of Zoltán Pad, the Kodály Choir was awarded the Prima Award of Hungary. In the autumn of 2012, he was the choir master of the joint chorus of the Kodály Choir Debrecen and the Choir of the Hungarian State Opera in Verdi’s Aida performed in Doha, which was the first operatic performance in the history of Qatar.
He has conducted concerts with the Purcell Choir, the Cantemus Choir and the National Choir (of Hungary). He also has considerable experience as a university lecturer. 2005-2021 he worked as assistant lecturer, then subsequently senior lecturer of the Liszt Academy of Music. In 2011, he completed his doctoral studies with first class honours, with his DLA thesis entitled The “passion” of Dietrich Buxtehude. In 2008, he led the choirs of the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing.
Zoltán Pad is regularly invited to conducting master courses (Limerick, Ireland; Marktoberdorf, Germany) and he regularly works with youth choirs. He is a returning jury member at international choir and conductor competitions. Between 2009 and 2014, he was a member of the Artistic Board of the Béla Bartók International Choir Competition, and held the position of artistic director of the contest in 2013/14. In March 2018, he was awarded the Liszt Prize and in 2022 Lajtha-prize in honour of his work.
prof. VACLOVAS AUGUSTINAS
Vaclovas Augustinas (b.1959) graduated twice from the Lithuanian Academy of Music, receiving diplomas in choir conducting in 1981 (under Prof. Hermanas Perelšteinas) and composition in 1992 (under Prof. Julius Juzeliūnas). He was member of rock groups “Saulės laikrodis” and “Antis” (keyboards, vocal); after the reunion of “Antis” in 2007, he continues to compose songs and perform with them. From 1980 to 1992 Augustinas taught at the “Ąžuoliukas” music school. Since 1992 he has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Vilnius Municipality Choir “Jauna muzika”.
Vaclovas Augustinas is a member of Lithuanian Composers Union and the Lithuaniain Choral Union. In 1993, as guest conductor, he participated in the Congress of Choirleaders in Växjö, Sweden.
In 1996 he led master courses for choir conductors during the international festival “XVI Jardanos Coralistas Aragonesas” in Borja, Spain.
In 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 he was a Chief Conductor of the World Lihuanian Song Festivals.
In 1999 he delivered lectures and led the seminar at the world symposium of the International Choir Music Federation held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
In 2000 he conducted the joint choir of the Nordic and Baltic Countries Choral Assembly.
Since 2002 he works as a guest conductor with Netherlands Radio Choir, Chamber Choir of Novosibirsk Society, State Choir „Latvia“ and with number of Lihuanian choirs. In 2015 he was a guest conductor at „Kirchenmusikalishe Werwoche des Erzbistum Köln“
V. Augustinas often works as the juror at different national and international choir competitions (including Marktoberdorf International Choir Competition 2005, Latvian National Choir Competition 2013, World Choir Games 2014 and others)
Since 2011 V.Augustinas constantly works as a juror at International Composers Competition „Musica Sacra“
Since 1995 V. Augustinas has collaborated with European leading authorities on choral music (including Frieder Bernius, Werner Pfaf, Anders Eby, Simon Halsey, Herman Max, Gary Graden, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Erik Westberg, Bob Chilcott, Maris Sirmais and others), organizing workshops on choral conducting in Vilnius with Jauna muzika choir.
His works are being regularly performed in Lithuania and abroad at various festivals, concert venues and choir competitions. Among them, his “Hymne à Saint Martin” for double mixed choir a cappella was awarded 3rd prize at the international competition for choral works “Florilege vocal de Tours” in France, 1996, and next year “Stomping Bride” for mixed choir and instruments was performed at the congress of the Association of American Choir Conductors in San diego, California. In 2004 he was awarded the prize for the best choral work (“Lux aeterna”) at the composers’ competition organized by the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, in 2006 – the Mūzų Malūnas Prize for his concert activities, in 2010 – the 1st prize (for Calm and Quiet) at the competition of choral composition, organized by the Lithuanian Folk Culture Centre and the Lithuanian Composers’ Union. More information – www.mxl.lt
His compositions have been published by Alliance Music Publication, Houston, Texas; Laurendale Associates, Van Nuys, California; Hinshaw Music, Inc; UAB Miela Harmonija; Musica Baltica, Riga
Choral works, naturally, represent the most significant and substantial part of his creative output. They often reveal composers’ reluctance to depart from the major-minor system: one can find a few instances, where his harmonies, dominated by the third structures, seem to approach modal organization of pitches. In these works, rhythm and melodic contour are inextricably linked to phonetic and semantic characteristics of a given verbal text. Acoustic affinity serves as a basic factor for dynamic development of his forms.
Since 2011 V. Augustinas is a full time professor at the Lituanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Since 2014 – the head of Composition Department.
In 2010 V. Augustinas was awarded the most prestigious award in the country – Lithuanian National Arts and Culture Prize.
prof. JOLANTA SZYBALSKA-MATCZAK
She graduated from the Faculty of Music Education of the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław in the conducting class of Professor Zofia Urbanyi-Krasnodębska and completed Postgraduate Choral Studies in Bydgoszcz. Since 1991, she has worked at her alma mater, where she teaches choral conducting, among others. In the same year, she started working with the ‘Feichtinum’ Choir, first as an assistant (1991–1995), then the second conductor (1995–2005) and the artistic director (2005–2014). An important moment in her professional career came in October 2000, when the ‘Senza Rigore’ Vocal Ensemble was established, currently operating at the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław under the name of the ‘Senza Rigore’ Chamber Choir. With this ensemble she participates, among others, in prestigious music festivals as well as national and international choral competitions, at which she has won the highest awards and distinctions, including:
- Grand Prix at the ‘Birstonas Cantat’ International Choir and Orchestra Competition in Lithuania (2018),
- Grand Prix at the 11th Johannes Brahms International Choral Competition in Wernigerode, Germany (2019).
In the years 2008–2012, she held the position of Deputy Dean and then (2012–2020) Dean of the Faculty of Music Education, Choral Art and Church Music at the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław. Currently, she is the Head of the Council for the Discipline of Musical Arts and the Head of the Chair of Choral Art and Ensemble Conducting.
From 2009 to 2011, she conducted artistic activity with the ‘Voice Factory’ Vocal Ensemble as part of the ‘Chopin a cappella’ programme, which was successfully presented in Poland and abroad. The work of the ensemble is well-documented and confirmed by two CD albums, radio and television recordings, and the Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage received at the 23rd Bydgoszcz Musical Impressions in 2010.
As a lecturer, she has cooperated with the Polish Choir Conductors’ Studio in Koszalin and with the Summer Academy at the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław. She continuously cooperates with the Choir Academy – the National Programme for the Development of School Choirs ‘Singing Poland’. She has also conducted classes for choir members and conductors as part of the Polish National Youth Choir project. She is invited to participate in the jury of national and international choral competitions.
In 2014, in recognition of her wide-range activity she was honoured by the President of the Republic of Poland with the title of Professor of Musical Arts.
She has received awards of the Rector of the Academy of Music in Wrocław, the Silver Badge of Merit for the City of Rybnik, the honorary Badge of Merit for the Polish Culture, the Brown Cross of Merit, the Silver Cross of Merit and individual awards for the best conductor won at choir competitions.
dr hab. ANNA MONIUSZKO
Graduated with distinction conducting in the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music (Warsaw, Poland),where she began her academic career in 2003. In 2010 she received PhD degree in conducting, following with post – doc degree (habilitation) in 2015. She continues to work in her Alma Mater giving classes on conducting and early music performance.
In 2003 she began her cooperation with one of the oldest academic choirs in Poland – The Choir of Medical University in Białystok, with which she won many prizes in international choirs competitions and was awarded with special individual prizes for the best conductor of the competition.
In 2005 she founded professional ensemble „Diletto” which specializes in historical performing of early music, especially of the baroque period. In over a decade the „Diletto” ensemble has staged 7 operas and many of the most famous oratorios such as Haendel’s Messiah, Israel in Egypt, Brockes Passion or Bach’s Christmas- oratorio, Eastern – oratorio, St. John’s Passion and many more.
In 2009 she was awarded with Scholarship for the Young Artists and in 2010 Scholarship for the Professional Artists founded by the President of the Białystok City. In the year 2016 she was honoured with the Artistic Prize of the President of the City of Białystok (Poland) for her artistic activity.