The Katowice City Singers' Ensemble Camerata Silesia - NOSPR
The Katowice City Singers' Ensemble Camerata Silesia
The Camerata Silesia was founded in 1990 by Anna Szostak, who remains its director and conductor to this day. The Camerata Silesia formed with the idea of creating a group of singers who could perform both as a chamber ensemble – and as support for soloists in vocal and instrumental works – and a cappella choral works.
From its inception, the Camerata Silesia focused primarily on pre-Classical and twentieth century music and in a short time became Poland's most renowned ensemble of its kind. The group gabbed critics' attention through both its demonstrations of the aural culture characteristic of Renaissance and Baroque performance styles, as well as through its uncommonly broad technical abilities. The latter in particular often turned the ensemble's contemporary music performances into spectacular successes.
In 1996 the Camerata Silesia released an album containing a selection of Mikołaj Zieleński's Offertoria / Offertories and Komunie / Communions and garnered both the Fryderyk 1996 Polish Music Award and the coveted Album of the Year 1996 title (from Studio magazine). Both this record and the ensemble's 1997 recording of Bartłomiej Pękiel's Missa Pulcherrima are among the most significant achievements in the performance of early music in Poland. In 1998 the monographic album of Paweł Szymański, containing his Lux Aeterna performed by the Camerata Silesia and an instrumental ensemble under the direction of Anna Szostak, received the title Album of the Year 1997 from Studio monthly and the Fryderyk 1997 Polish Music Award in the contemporary music category. A second Fryderyk in the same year - this time in the category of solo music – was awarded to an album containing two series Karol Szymanowski's Pieśni kurpiowskie / Kurpie Songs as performed by the Camerata Silesia and soloists Olga Pasiecznik and Jozsef Örmena. The ensemble also came through with record market hits in the form of its recordings of Negro Spirituals (1994) and of Polish Christmas carols as selected and arranged by Krzysztof Baculewski (1995, 1999). Other important recording achievements of the ensemble include the album "Miserere" (2000), which contains early and contemporary pieces set to the words of Psalm 51, and a record published by the Musicon label containing the Camerata's renditions of the works of Purcell, Bach and Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki with soloist Emma Kirkby. The latter album received a nomination for the Fryderyk 2001 Polish Music Award in the early music category. "Camerata Silesia Sings Chopin" is the ensemble's most recent album, released in 2003.
Since 1993 the ensemble has received regular invitations to participate in the Warszawska Jesień /Warsaw Autumn Festival. Its performances of the Cantatas of Anton Webern with the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra under the direction of Ed Spanjaard (1995) and the Trois Poemes d'henri Michaux of Witold Lutosławski with the Wielka Orkiestra Symfoniczna Polskiego Radia / Polish Radio Great Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Anna Szostak and Antoni Wit (1996) number among the greatest artistic events of the festival. Lutoslawski's Poematy / Poems as sung by the ensemble found themselves onto the recorded anthology of this composer's music released by the Naxos label. The Camerata's most important achievements also include its performance of the Sinfonia of Luciano Berio during the inaugural concert of the 1999 edition of the Warsaw Autumn Festival. That same year, the ensemble from Katowice appeared in concert at the famous Gewandhaus in Leipzig based on an invitation from the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk. It also went on to perform in Taipei (Taiwan) and offer a series of concerts during Expo 2000 in Hannover.
In October of 2001, the Camerata Silesia took part in the "Anima Mundi" G. Sinopoli Festival of Religious Music in Pisa, Italy, which resulted in an invitation to participate in subsequent editions of the festival. In October of 2003, the ensemble performed two concerts during the festival, one of which was broadcast live on Italian radio. Prior to this, the Camerata gave a number of concerts in Rome, among them one at the Auditorium Parco della Musica with the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
For several years now the Camerata Silesia has been working with famous English singer Emma Kirkby, and recently began collaborating with Barbara Sclick (concerts in Düsseldorf and Katowice).
The Camerata Silesia takes part in archive recordings produced by Polish State Radio, as well as in concerts broadcast by the European Radio Union. It also makes frequent television appearances. The ensemble operates under the aegis of the Katowice Municipal Office and in 2003 received the Cultural Award of the Mayor of the Katowice.
9th Festival of Premieres "Polish Modern Music" / Camerata Silesia / Anna Szostak