Choral Music Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

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Choral Music Concert
Bartosz Michałowski, photo: Weronika Kosińska

The requiem is an exceptional musical genre, almost every example of which is linked to the mourning of a particular individual or collectivity. Initially the name requiem meant a setting of the texts of the funeral mass, strictly defined by liturgical books. Over time, the genre became more independent, thanks to composers who chose the words of the cycle with increasing freedom. For many years, the reason behind the composing of the moving Requiem by Herbert Howells, one of the leading representatives of twentieth-century English choral music, was believed to have been the painful loss of his son. However, archive research has shown that this composition was written a few years earlier. Only later did the work acquire an overwhelmingly personal significance for the composer, who waited almost 40 years before publishing it. Howells’s Requiem will be performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir, conducted by its director, Bartosz Michałowski, in an exceptional concert of sacred choral music from different parts of twentieth-century Europe related largely to the theme of passing. The programme will conclude with the Missa brevis by the Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström, who died a few years ago and would have turned 80 this year.

Bartłomiej Gembicki

 

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Bartosz Michałowski

Director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir since 2017.

Bartosz Michałowski graduated with distinction in choral conducting from the Academy of Music in Poznań. In the years 1998–2005, he was assistant to Professor Stefan Stuligrosz and conductor of the Boys’ and Men’s Choir of the Poznań Philharmonic (known as the Poznań Nightingales), with which he has performed extensively in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Russia and Japan.

He won first prize in the 9th Polish National Choral Conductors Competition in Poznań, as well as a special prize for his diligent work on voice production with choirs. In 2015, he won the Orphée d‘Or of the Académie du Disque Lyrique in Paris, and was nominated for a Fryderyk Award. In 2020, he received a Fryderyk Award for a recording of Karol Szymanowski’s opera Hagith (with the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir). He also received two nominations for the International Classical Music Awards 2022.

Bartosz Michałowski is the founder, Artistic Director and conductor of the Poznań Chamber Choir – one of the best Polish ensembles of its kind. He is likewise the founder and Director of the ‘Opus 966’ Polish Composition Competition, and devised the ‘Pisz Muzykę – to proste!’ (‘Write music – it’s easy!’) composing workshops for children and youngsters. He also co-produced the ‘Obrazogranie’ project at the National Museum in Poznań.

As the Director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir, he has conducted – both in the Warsaw Philharmonic concert hall itself and in external venues – Szymanowski’s Kurpian Songs, masses by Kodály and Gretchaninov, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Requiem, and oratorios: Paulus by Mendelssohn and Messiah by Handel. He prepared the ensemble for the first ever performance of Anton Rubinstein’s sacred opera Moses (cond. Michail Jurowski) and has also helped prepare a dozen vocal-instrumental concerts of the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, during which he has collaborated with such eminent conductors as Ton Koopman, Christoph König, Matthew Halls, Martin Haselböck, Jacek Kaspszyk and  Krzysztof Penderecki.

He has been invited to participate in renowned festivals including the SchleswigHolstein Musik Festival and Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, and has collaborated regularly with renowned institutions and orchestras. He has numerous first performances to his credit.

In addition to gaining experience as a conductor, Bartosz Michałowski has spent many years working on enhancing his skills and knowledge in the field of voice production, completing masterclasses with Poppy Holden (Great Britain), Christian Elsner (Germany) and Józef Frakstein (Poland). Bartosz Michałowski holds a PhD from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music.

 

[2022]