THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ORTHODOX MUSIC
no-image, THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ORTHODOX MUSIC
The International Festival of Orthodox Music was established in 1981 initially as the Ortodox Music Days.
The Festival, under the name "The International Festival of Orthodox Music in Hajnowka", was established in 1981 initially as the ORTHODOX MUSIC DAYS. Mikolaj Buszko was the man behind the concept and the organizer. Initial plans were that it was going to be a caroling event, but for organizational reasons it takes place in spring in the month of May. The first festival organized in 1982 lasted just several days during which nine parish, amateur choirs as well as the professional Ensemble of Orthodox Music of the Warsaw Chamber Choir led by fr. Jerzy Szurbak participated in the event.
The next year was a turning-point for the history of the festival since it was moved to the newly constructed Orthodox council of the Holy Trinity in Hajnowka. From this moment, the temple has become the home for festival gatherings. In 1983, the renown Polish composer Romuald Twardowski joined the event's group of organizers. Beginning with the 3. ORTHODOX MUSIC DAYS, the festival became increasingly more diverse and presented a much richer program. Fringe events such as exhibits of tapestries and folk stitching, as well as evening gatherings in the forest wilderness by the campfire started to become part of the event. In 1984, the Youth Ensemble from Kouvola in Finland was the first foreign choir to perform in Hajnowka. Modest gatherings of parish choirs began to transform in time into an international event represenitng high artistic level.
In 1991, the festival changed its name to the INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ORTHODOX MUSIC. Despite these changes, it did not lose its musical festive holiday character. Its central idea is the desire to reach the sources of Orthodox music and the beginnings of Christianity as well as to bring out and to spread far and wide its most beautiful songs. The festival's form creates the opportunity for discussion, gatherings, an exachange of experiences and friendship-making between participants coming from different backgrounds. This aspect enriches the festival's character by aesthetic and pegagogical aims. Every year, in May, the festival hosts over a thousand singers. In 2001 one could hear choirs singing Orthodox songs in Old Orthodox Slavic, Ukranian, Bulgarian, Finnish, Russian, Byelorussian as well as in the Lemk dialest and in Swedish.
Choirs from Poland and abroad can participate in the FESTIVAL OF ORTHODOX MUSIC. The choirs can be mixed, all male and all female and be parish choirs (rural and urban) as well as secular choirs (amateur and professional). The choirs concerts are evaluated by a jury chaired by Romuald Twardowski. The jurors award prizes in considering the selection of repertoire, interpretation, conducting and artistic impression. However, all choirs receive commemorative diplomas. Choirs selected by the jury are obliged to perform at the Gala Concert on the last day of the Festival in the Hajnówka Community Center and the State Philharmonic in Bialystok.
Since 1985, all the festival concerts are registered phonografically and since 1995, compact discs with the best festival recordings from the last festival are published.
In 1995, the Ministry of Culture and Art qualified the INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ORTHODOX MUSIC in Hajnowka as an artistic music event of the highest rank awarding it the "zero category", which is the same category that the CHOPIN COMPETITION
and the INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC "WARSAW AUTUMN"
Polish Music Information Center
Polish Composers' Union
updated by: Anna Iwanicka-Nijakowska
Phone/Fax: (+48 85) 682 32 03, 682 20 89