Grand Prix Polskiej Chóralistyki im. Stefana Stuligrosza, fot. Projekt Hamak
Stefan Stuligrosz Grand Prix of Polish Choral Music; photo: Hamak Project

Prof. Magdalena Wdowicka-Mackiewicz is a graduate of the Poznan Academy of Music in the class of choral conducting of Prof. Stanisław Kulczyński. She is a two-time winner of the National Competition for Choral Conductors in Poznań (1992 – 2nd prize, 1994 – 1st prize). Currently, as a professor at this university, she teaches choral conducting. She received the title of professor of musical arts in 2016. From 2012 to 2020, she was Head of the Department of Choral Conducting, and since October 2020 she has been Director of the Conducting Institute.

Magdalena Wdowicka-Mackiewicz has worked with many choirs and orchestras: the choir of the Academy of Music in Poznań, the Arte dei Suonatori baroque orchestra, the Collegium F Orchestra, the Air Force Representative Orchestra, with whom she has prepared vocal and instrumental works by, among others: J. S. Bach, W. A. Mozart, C. Orff, A. Pärt.

Magdalena Wdowicka-Mackiewicz specialises mainly in the performance of music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. She participates as a lecturer in conferences and scientific sessions, is a juror at choral competitions (including Concorso Internationale di Canto Corale in Gorizia), and conducts choral workshops. She is a member of the European Choral Asssociation Europa Cantat.

Magdalena Wdowicka-Mackiewicz’s artistic activity is primarily associated with the Dysonans Chamber Choir, of which she has been the conductor since 1991. With this ensemble she has won many significant awards at choral competitions in Poland and Europe, including: Grand Prix and the prize for the best conductor at the 17th Gaude Cantem International Choir Festival in Bielsko-Biała in October 2022, 1st Prize in the Baroque category, 2nd Prize in the Renaissance category and a special prize for a programme of the highest artistic value at one of the most prestigious choral competitions in Europe – the 55th Concorso Internazionale di Canto Corale Seghizzi Gorizia in 2016. She also took part in the final of the London International A Cappella Choir Competition organised by Peter Phillips, director of The Tallis Scholars, in 2017. Since 2018, she has also been involved in the performance of baroque music from South America, discovered and reconstructed by Revd Prof. Piotr Nawrot. The fruit of this collaboration was a trip to South America and participation in the XII Festival Internacional de Música Renacentista y Barroca Americana ‘Misiones de Chiquitos’ in Bolivia.

For her activities, Magdalena Wdowicka-Mackiewicz was awarded the Bronze Cross of Merit (2007), the Medal of the National Education Commission (2013) and the Silver Medal for Long Service (2017).

2nd Conductor

Michał Plichta, fot. Maurycy Kłos
Michał Plichta, photo: Maurycy Kłos

Michał Plichta graduated with honours in choral conducting in the class of Prof. Magdalena Wdowicka-Mackiewicz in 2023. Student of symphonic conducting at the Wrocław Academy of Music in the class of Prof. Alan Urbanek. Co-founder and conductor of the Project Group Orchestra, with which he has been touring continuously since 2019 both in Poland and in Germany, the Czech Republic and Italy. His conducting credits include more than thirty premieres of works by young Polish composers. He constantly collaborates with composers from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Italy.

In the spring of 2022, he was assistant conductor at the Wrocław Opera, he conducted the premiere of The Barber of Seville at the Wrocław Academy of Music. Since October 2022, he has been artistic director of the Chamber Choir of the Kalisz Academy, and since June 2023 he has been second conductor of the Dysonans Chamber Choir.

Michał Plichta is a laureate of composition and conducting competitions in Poland and abroad, such as the 9th International Tournament of Choral Conductors Toward Polyphony (honorable mention and special award for his work on a piece by S.Moniuszko), the 18th National Competition of Choral Conductors (3rd place and extra prize for his work on a madrigal by C. Monteverdi) or the Andrzej Koszewski International Composition Competition.

Michał Plichta actively participates in Scientific Conferences devoted to the issues of 20th century choral music performance, such as: the 1st Inter-University Conference of the Artistic and Scientific Circle of the Chair of Woodwind Instruments in Poznań, the 1st Polish Scientific Conference: “Church Music – an unexplored space?” in Wrocław, the Polish Choral Conference in Wrocław, or the 6th Polish Scientific Conference in the series “Contexts of Conducting Art” in Łódź.