The Musical Heart of Poznań
The history of the School commenced on 16th October 1920 with inauguration of the first academic year at the State Academy and School of Music. Renamed into the State Music Conservatory a year later, and the State Higher School of Music in 1947, the School received its present name of the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in 1981.
Since the very beginning of its activity, the Academy has boasted teaching staff composed of eminent musicians: conductors, instrumentalists, vocalists, composers and music theoreticians. September 2012 witnessed the appointment of Professor dr Halina Lorkowska as the first woman and thirteenth Rector in the history of the Academy.
Our greatest pride are our students, young artists who put their passion and devotion into their musical education to develop their skills under their masters. In the academic year 2013/2014 we are educating 655 students at five faculties: the Faculty of Composing, Conducting, Theory of Music and Eurhythmics; the Faculty of Instruments; the Faculty of Vocal Performance and Acting; the Faculty of Choral Conducting, Music Education and Church Music; and the Faculty of String Instruments, Harp, Guitar and Luthiery. One of nine higher schools of music in Poland, our Academy is the only Poish higher school to offer courses in artistic luthiery.
Our extremely dynamic artistic activity gives our students numerous opportunities to confront their skills and achievements with music lovers, especially since 2006, when the school received a new concert hall. Built with the financial support from the European Union, Aula Nova meets all European acoustic standards, seats 539 listeners and 34-voice, 3-manual A. Schuke organ from Potsdam. The building was designed by Jerzy Gurawski (the Jan Baptista di Quadro Award, 2006), and built by Hochtief Polska (the First Prize in the category of Public Buildings at a competition organized by the Polish Association of Civil Engineers and Technicians, 2006).
A spectacular venue for a variety of artistic projects, over the last five years the Academy’s concert halls have hosted over 700 concerts, featuring teachers, students and graduates, chamber ensembles, choirs and orchestras, including the Symphonic Orchestra, Sinfonietta, Orchestra Nova and the CoOperate Orchestra. The presented repertoire has covered music literature of all epochs, from ancient music to the 21st century compositions. It is with great satisfaction that we observe that all our artistic projects enjoy immense popularity with the audience: interest in the concert “Musica Classica – Musica Magna” organized in Aula Nova to crown the carnival (27th February 2014) exceeded our most daring expectations. Student ensembles representing the whole academic society conducted by Warcisław Kunc performed Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite for string quintet and percussion, and Orff’s Carmina burana: the first performance of the composition arranged for two pianos, six percussionists, soloists and choir in the history of the Academy.
Another significant area of the Academy’s activity is organizing music competitions, including the International Piano Competition “Halina Czerny-Stefańska in Memoriam” (its first edition in September 2008 was open to contestants from Europe), the National S. Kulczyński Competition for Choral Condutors, the Academic Organ Competition “Romuald Sroczyński in Memoriam”, and the Academic Harpsichord Competition. In collaboration with the H. Wieniawski Music Society we organize national music competitions addressed to students of music academies: the Z. Jahnke Violin Competition, the J. Rakowski Viola Competition, the D. Danczowski Cello Competition, the A. B. Ciechański Double Bass Competition, and the W. Kamiński Luthiery Competition (organized with the Polish Society of Luthiers.)
The Academy is also engaged in broadly understood international collaboration with partner institutions that involves student, teacher and staff exchange, master courses, concerts, conferences, seminars, workshops and lectures. Thanks to the dynamically functioning LLP Erasmus Programme the Academy has established and developed contacts with over 100 renowned schools in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, and Turkey. Over the years, the Academy has been anually ranked among the prestigious top ten out of 269 members of the Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen from 55 countries. Apart from bilateral Erasmus agreements, the Academy has signed agreements with institutions in Armenia (The V. Komitas Conservatory in Erewan), Georgia (The V. Saradjishvili State Conservatory in Tbilisi), Russia (The P. Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow) and the USA (Oklahoma City University, Bloomfield College). The Academy is also member of the Association of Baltic Academies of Music (ABAM).
Our Academy provides the highest standard of education: our students and young teachers win the main prizes at distinguished national and international music competitions hosted in the biggest cultural centres. The impressive number of their achievements is constantly growing, which confirms us in our belief that our Academy offers knowledge, competence and skills on the world level: over the last two academic years (2012/2013 and 2013/2014) our students and teachers were granted 140 awards, including 40 First Prizes. In the past academic year, 24 students of various specialities received scholarships of the Minister of Science and Higher Education, while 3 students won awards of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
As the year 2015 marks the 95th anniversary of the Academy, we are planning to expand our concert offer in order to present our everyday life at the Academy, what and how we teach and learn, and how we contribute to the contemporary music culture. The motto of the celebrations shall be In Homage to Our Masters.
All our actions are aimed at showing that the Academy wishes to serve not only our students, but also our city, our homeland and, last but not least, our common Europe.