The Polish Radio Choir was established in 1948 by Jerzy Gert. In later years, it sung under Alojzy Kluczniok, Tadeusz Dobrzański, Adam Pałka, Jerzy Kurcz, Maciej Ogarek, Stanisław Krawczyński, Bronisława Wietrzny, and Małgorzata Orawska. Until 1994 the Choir was an integral part of the Orchestra and Choir of Polish Radio and TV. Since 1995 the Choir has functioned an an independent institution.
The repertoire of the Polish Radio Choir of Kraków includes a cappella works and large-scale vocal-instrumental compositions representing all musical styles and epochs, with a special emphasis on Polish music. It has given first performances of many works by Polish composers, including Lutosławski’s Trois poemes d’Henri Michaux (underthe composer’s baton) and pieces by Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and others.
The Choir performed at numerous prestigious festivals such as Wratislavia Cantans, Warsaw Autumn, Settimana di Monreale, Festival Regione Lombardia, Oratorio und Cantata Festival Ratzeburg, Le Festival de la Musique Contemporaine Centre Pompidou, and the Rossini Opera Festival.
The discography of the Polish Radio Choir includes recordings of all works by Karol Szymanowski, selected compositions by Krzysztof Penderecki as well as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for EMI. Recent highlights have included concerts at the Europalia Festival in Brussels in 2001 (Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater, with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra underAntoni Wit), and a tour of Switzerland in 2002 (Prokotiev’s Alexander Nevsky, with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Wojciech Rajski). The Kraków Choir is one of the few choral ensembles to have Schónberg’s opera Moses and Aaron in its repertoire (Darmstadt 1998; Massimo Theatre, Palermo 2002; Stuttgart 2003). The Choir’s present Artistic Director (since 1995) is Włodzimierz Siedlik.
Włodzimierz Siedlik is a graduate of the Music Academy in Kraków (diploma with the highest distinction), the Liturgical Institute of the Papal Academy of Theology in Kraków (diploma with distinction) and the Course in Voice Production of the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz (diploma with distinction). He is a prizewinner of the National Competition for Choral Conductors in Poznan in 1990. In 1990-1992 he was in the director of the Paderewski Centre in Tarnów. In 1992-1996 he served as director of the State Music Schools in the town. His work with various choral ensembles has brought him numerous awards and honourable mentions in Poland and abroad.