The Chair of Percussion
In 1957, on the initiative of Jerzy Zgodziński, the first percussion class in Polish higher music education was established in Poznań. It functioned at that time as a specialty at the instrumental faculty, becoming an inspiration for the founding of the Department of Percussion in 1972. The unit was headed by Jerzy Zgodziński (who had been employed as assistant professor since 1972, and since 1989 he had held the title of professor). In subsequent years, the position of head of the only such unit in Poland was also held by Professors Jerzy Skrzypczak (1996-1997), Edward Iwicki (1997-2005), and Marian Rapczewski (2005-2016) at whose request the Chair of Percussion was established in 2006.
In addition to those mentioned (acting as heads), the Chair over the years has included: Grzegorz Markiewicz, Wiktor Szmańda, Mirosław Strecker, Prof. Maria Anders, PhD, Włodzimierz Olejniczak, Prof. Jorge Luis Valcarcel Gregorio (Instrumental Faculty of the Szczecin branch of the I. J. Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań), Zbigniew Łowżył, Prof. Jacek Wota, Prof. Katarzyna Myćka, PhD, Prof. Marta Klimasara, and Małgorzata Szymecka.
At present the Chair is composed of the following research and teaching staff: Krzysztof Przybyłowicz, PhD, DSc, ProfTit (Head), Piotr Szulc, PhD, Piotr Sołkowicz, PhD, Bartek Miler, MA and Tomasz Sośniak, PhD (accompanist). Development of scientific interests of the Chair’s members and the research results achieved are in close correlation with the didactic process and influence the final shape of the curriculum. Its main assumption and goal is to educate a versatile percussionist, therefore during the whole period of studies a lot of attention is paid to elements of playing technique on all kinds of percussion instruments. A very important role in the curriculum is played by the orchestral studies, since the vast majority of students will seek work in symphony orchestras and opera companies. No less important and developing for a percussionist is playing in a chamber ensemble, which is also reflected in the didactic work at the Chair of Percussion; chamber music is at the same time a continuation of the ideas of Professor Jerzy Zgodziński, who regarded it as an extremely interesting form of artistic activity. Apart from the main classes covering the study of playing particular percussion instruments, orchestral studies and chamber music, each student has a two-semester course in playing the jazz set. In addition, the necessary theoretical knowledge is provided by the lecturers during classes in specialist literature and methodology of teaching the main subject.
The National Jerzy Zgodziński Percussion Competition, which takes place every three years, is one of the special events inspired and organized by the Chair of Percussion in Poznań. Every three years young percussionists from all over Poland have an opportunity to confront their skills, learn about the latest achievements in the art of percussion, exchange experiences and meet excellent percussionists. They are evaluated by eminent jurors from Poland and abroad. It is currently the biggest percussion competition event in the country.
Students and teachers of the Chair give numerous concerts. Usually at least once a semester a specially prepared concert is held with pieces of the classics of percussion music and contemporary works, performed solo and in chamber ensembles. We promote contemporary music by participating in the annual Poznań Music Spring festival, as well as by performing works of teachers and students of our Academy.
We do not forget about young people from first and second degree music schools. The Chair of Percussion is an organizer of, among others, workshops in chamber music for students of music schools of second degree and concerts with the participation of the youngest.
In order to raise the level of students’ education, the school authorities and teachers associated in the Chair organize master classes and percussion seminars conducted by the most outstanding artists, professors and percussion virtuosos in the world. In recent years the invitation was accepted by: Katarzyna Myćka, Ryszard Pusz, John Beck, Marta Klimasara, David Friedman, Emmanuel Séjourné, Andrei Pushkarev, Giulio Constanzo, Claudio Santangelo, Frederic Macarez, Cristoforo Pasquale, Se-Mi Hwang, Anders Åstrand, Jean Geoffroy, Markus Leoson.
So far 140 students have graduated from the Academy of Music in Poznań in the field of percussion. This number also includes graduates who studied at the Instrumental Faculty of the Szczecin branch of the I. J. Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań and several students who finished their studies with a bachelor degree. Students of the Chair of Percussion are very successful in national and international percussion competitions; in recent years they have won nearly 20 international percussion contests where they have repeatedly been awarded first prizes.
Members of the Chair of Percussion:
Krzysztof Przybyłowicz, PhD, DSc, ProfTit
Piotr Sołkowicz, PhD
Piotr Szulc, PhD
Bartek Miler, MA
Tomasz Sośniak, PhD
Mateusz Brzostowski, MA (collborator)
Cyprian Sekrecki, MA (collborator)