The history of the choir Pueri Cantores Santi Nicolai

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The Boys’ Choir Pueri Cantores Sancti Nicolai - the Honorary Ambassador for the Royal and Mining Town of Bochnia is a group of amateur singers. It was founded in 1987 by Father Stanisław Adamczyk, who is still its conductor.

Apart from performing and promoting sacred music, the initial aim of the choir’s founder was to bring up young choristers who would participate actively in the life of their hometown and sing during church services and local events. As a result, a community, in which the boys learn self-discipline, concentration, responsibility, precision in team work, self-criticism, and experience the pleasure of creating art and enjoy the beauty of serving God and people, has been shaped around the boys’ choir since it was founded.

Today the ensemble gives concerts to a much wider audience. It is respected both in Poland and abroad. The choir’s extensive repertoire includes sacred music and contemporary light music. Its artistic achievements are manifested in numerous prizes which the choir has received during international and Polish competitions and festivals. It is worth mentioning the following ones:
- fourth prize for mixed voice choirs in the 47th International Polyphonic Competition Guido D’Arezzo in Italy (1999)
- third prize for mixed voice choirs in the 20th International Music Festival in Cantonigròs taking place in Catalonia (2002)
- first prize Cum laude in the 7th International Festival Giuseppe Zelioli in Lecco (2009)
- first prize in the 12th International Festival Giuseppe Zelioli in Lecco (2016).

The ensemble has often toured abroad giving concerts in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Latvia, Luxembourg, Germany, Slovakia, Ukraine and Italy. Despite being an amateur choir, it has gained respect among the elites of the Polish music community, which resulted in granting the prestigious Jerzy Kurczewski Award to Father Stanisław Adamczyk, the choir’s conductor, in 2002 by the jury under the auspices of Krzysztof Penderecki, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to choral music. The choir’s reputation has also led to numerous invitations to take part in the most important music events in Poland.

The choir of Bochnia has given concerts during the international festival Wratislavia Cantans, Music in Old Kraków, Gaude Mater in Częstochowa, Gaude Cantem in Bielsko Biała. It has also performed alongside the National Symphonic Orchestra and the Polish Radio Choir, the Madrigal Singers and the Capella Cracoviensis Orchestra (the compositions included, among others, G.F. Handel’s oratorio Messiah, F. Liszt’s oratorio Saint Stanislaus, J.S. Bach’s Oster-Oratorio and Magnificat, and W.A. Mozart’s Litaniae Lauretanae). The choir’s repertoire has recently included such compositions for a choir and orchestra as J. Świder’s Oratorio - Rosary Pictures Offered to Our Lady of Bochnia, H.J. Botor’s Oratorio of Rudy, K. Penderecki’s St Luke Passion and Credo.

The choir has frequently participated in well-known artistic events taking place regularly in Kraków, including the Film Music Festival, the Polish Music Festival and the festival Music in Old Kraków. In 2015 the choir and an accompanying orchestra, conducted by Stanisław Gałoński, inaugurated the jubilee fortieth edition of the festival Music in Old Kraków in the Wawel Royal Cathedral performing the Magnificat by Nicholas of Radom and the Cracovia civitas by an anonymous composer. In 2015 the choir also performed Joseph Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli (Paukenmesse) under the direction of Maciej Tworek.

The choir has got an impressive discography: it has released 13 CDs so far and participated in making recordings for the Polish Radio and Television on a number of occasions. It cooperates regularly with:
- Bożena Wojciechowska - second conductor
- Marcin Skoczek - assistant conductor
- Krzysztof Kościółek - accompanist.