The Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław
Faculty of Music Education, Choral Art
and Church Music
Choir Conducting Chair


National Forum of Music

Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne

 Honorary patronage:

The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

Wroclaw City Mayor
Wrocław - the meeting place

Marshal of Lower Silesia

Honorary Consulate of Austria

Honorary Consulate of Latvia

Honorary Consulate of Ukraine

Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Italy

Rector of
The Karol Lipiński
Academy of Music
in Wrocław
The Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław



Linas BalandisLinas Balandis (b. 1988, Lithuania) graduated in Choir Conducting under Vytautas Miškinis from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (2013) and is now continuing his education as a PhD student at the same institution, under Povilas Gylys and Danutė Kalavinskaitė. While studying, he worked as a singer in Vilnius City Choir Jauna muzika, and then as an accompanist and choirmaster of the ensembles Langas and the children’s choir Šv. Pranciškaus paukšteliai. From 2010 to 2012, Linas Balandis was the Artistic Director of the Youth Choir of St. Bernardine Church. In 2011-12, he worked as the choirmaster of the children’s choir of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. In 2011-13, he was employed as a choirmaster in the TV show Choir Wars. During the same period he was a choir singer of the chamber choir Brevis, the conductor and the Artistic Director of the chamber choir Cantemus as well as the conductor of the State Choir Vilnius (until 2016). In the years 2013-14, he worked in the J. Matulaitis Organist and Choirmaster Congregation.

He is the winner of two international competitions: The Art and Education in the 21st Century in Portugal (2009) and the V. Rovdo Conductors’ Competition in Minsk, at which he was also awarded two Special Prizes (the prize of the magazine Belarus Musician among them). Furthermore, he has won prizes at five Lithuanian competitions (including the Lithuanian Young Conductors Competition). He is currently the conductor and Artistic Director of the male choir Kariūnas at the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania and the Assistant Conductor of the youth choir Ąžuoliukas. He is also guest-conducting the ensemble Draugiški projektai (friendly projects).


Olga BelonogovaOlga Belonogova (b. 1991, Russia) graduated with distinction from the P. I. Ivanov-Radkievitz Art College in Krasnoyarsk and is now a final-year student of Choir Conducting at the P. Tchaikovsky State Conservatoire in Moscow. During her study, she cooperated as a conductor with numerous choirs, including the Chamber Choir of the State Conservatoire in Moscow, the A.W. Sveshnikov State Russian Academic Choir and W.S. Popov Grand Children’s Choir. She has also taught conducting at a secondary school of music in Moscow and has sung at the Eastern Orthodox Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. As an accompanist, she has performed at the Russian House in Berlin. She has won in several conducting competitions – an All-Russia Conducting Competition in Magnitogorsk (2011), the Conducting Olympics in Moscow (2012), and the International Choir Conducting Competition in Krasnoyarsk (2012). She has also reached the finals in several singing and piano competitions.

Driven by her interest in Polish culture, she has organised several concerts of Polish folk music in Moscow. In 2016 she established a six-member vocal ensemble, with which she has been performing songs from various cultural circles.


Szymon CichońSzymon Cichoń (b. 1989, Poland) received a master’s degree with distinction in Conducting, having studied under Iwona Melson at the K. Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice (2014). He also studied the organ under Mariola Brzoska at the Diocesan Organ School in Gliwice, which he finished in 2010. For many years he was a member of the boys-and-men’s choir Pueri Cantores Silesienses in Zabrze conducted by priest P. Klemens, with which he performed both at home and abroad. He was also a choir singer of the Academic Music Ensemble of the Silesian University of Technology and the Chamber Choir of the Academy of Music in Katowice, working under such conductors as K. Krzyżanowskia-Łoboda and Cz. Freund.

Since 2007, he has conducted the choir Cantores don Bosco of the Salesian State Schools in Zabrze, with which he has won, for instance, Grand Prix at the 11th Polish Festival of Church Choirs of Penitential and Passion Songs at Żory (2015), on nine occasions – 1st prize at the Festival of Christmas Carols and Pastorals Śpiewajcie Panu z weselem in Zabrze, an honourable mention at the Polish Festival of Christmas Carols and Pastorals at Będzin (2008), 1st prize at the Norbert Kroczek School Youth Culture Festival in Zabrze (2009, 2016), 1st prize at the Tychy Christmas Carol Evenings (2014). In 2016 the ensemble was admitted to the final concert of the National School Choir Development Programme Śpiewająca Polska in Wrocław under the auspices of the National Forum of Music. He has also cooperated with the choir Cantate Deo from Tychy-Czułów, the Singing Society Choir Modus Vivendi from Katowice-Piotrowice and the University of Economics Choir in Katowice, and he conducts the ensemble Gloria from the parish of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Kobielice.


Ana-Maria CrăciunAna-Maria Crăciun (b. 1990, Romania) was granted a bachelor’s degree in Conducting and Jazz Music in 2014 as well as a master’s degree in Choral Conducting, having studied under Prof. Valentina Gruescu (2016) at the National University of Music in Bucharest. In the years 2014-15, she studied at the K. Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław as a scholarship holder (two times). In 2016, she enrolled for a PhD course at her Alma Mater, having an interest in the Polish contemporary choral music (Polyphony and Vocal Instrumentalization in Polish Choral Music of 20th – 21st Century).

She is the founder and conductor of the choir Maestro Choir in Romania, with which she has performed with internationally known artists such as T. Turunen and M. Terrana. She has also cooperated with the I.C. Danielescu National Choir and conducts the church choir Nasterea Maicii Domnului-Dorobanti in Bucharest.


Javier FajardoJavier Fajardo (b. 1992, Spain) received a bachelor’s degree in Composition and Conducting at Oviedo in 2016. Currently, he is studying under Miguel Romea, combining his studies with singing. He has participated in conducting courses taught by G. Baltes, M. A. Garcia de Paz, E. Rosso, E. Azurza, N. Corti, J.R. Pascual-Vilaplana and A. Salado. Since 2010 he has been singing in the Spanish choir El León de Oro, and since 2014 – in the National Spanish Youth Choir. He was also been a member of The Tallis Scholars and Europa Chor Akademie.In 2013, he founded Viveiro Chamber Choir in his home town.

In 2016, he took the position of Assistant Conductor of the Extremadura Youth Orchestra. In the same year, he was selected to participate in a project for young conductors funded by the European Festival of Youth Choirs of Basel, in the Conducting Academy run by Frieder Bernius and in the International Master Classes held by Rundfunkchor Berlin.


Joo Yeon HwangJoo Yeon Hwang (b. 1986, South Korea) studied choral conducting and composition at Chung-Ang University (Seoul) under Hak Won Yoon. In 2006, she composed Sangjeoga: Miller’s Song, an eight-part choral piece that was published by Chung-Ang University, where J. Hwang conducted the premiere. She graduated summa cum laude in 2008. In the same year, she worked as the administrative assistant for World Vision Children’s Choir, conducted by Hee Churl Kim (Seoul, South Korea). In 2010, she began her master’s studies in choral music education with a choral conducting emphasis at Kansas State University (Manhattan, Kansas, US), where she was a scholarship recipient. As a master’s student, she worked as a conductor and accompanist for the Kansas State University choirs. She completed the degree in 2012. Afterward, again as a scholarship recipient, she began her doctoral studies in choral conducting at The University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona, US), studying under Bruce Chamberlain and Elizabeth Schauer. While pursuing her doctoral degree, she was a singer in the acclaimed Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus conducted by B. Chamberlain. In 2014, she participated in the Jazeps Vitols 5th International Choral Conducting Competition in Riga, Latvia, the only representative from the United States. She plans to complete the doctoral degree in 2016.


Bartłomiej KarwańskiBartłomiej Karwański (b. 1993, Poland) is currently a last-year MA student of Choir Conducting under Przemysław Pałka and Paweł Łuczak at the I. J. Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań. Since the beginning of his studies he has been connected with the Academy’s Chamber Choir. He has participated in numerous music workshops, including the choral workshops Chóralne Abecadło and the International Summer Jazz Academy in Cracow.

Since 2012, he has been the conductor of Schola Lednicka operating at the Dominican Church in Poznań, which sings at Youth Meetings Lednica 2000 every year. In April 2016, he won 1st prize at the 16th S. Kulczyński Polish Choir Conducting Competition in Poznań. As one of the four conductors, he prepared and conducted the choir and orchestra during the World Youth Days in Cracow (2016).


Viacheslav LarinViacheslav Larin (b. 1990, Balarus) graduated from the Belarus State Academy of Music in Minsk. In 2013, he was a trainee with the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre under Povilas Gylys. During that time, he was also granted a Prof. A. Bogatyriov scholarship and a special prize ‘For an active participation in Minsk’s cultural life’, and in the following year – a scholarship of the President of Belarus.

He has won a number of prizes, including: 2nd prize at the 2nd and 3rd editions of the V. Rovdo Conductors’ Competition in Minsk, 1st prize at the 5th International Competition for Conductors of Academic Choirs in Krasnoyarsk, 2nd prize at the 6th International Competition TOWARDS POLYPHONY in Wrocław, and 1st prize at the Competition for Symphonic Conductors in Minsk. As a conductor and singer, he has toured Russia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and China.

At present, he is the head of the Department of Choral Conducting at the A.K. Glebov State College of Art in Minsk, runs the female choir Brevis and the choir of the Orchestral Faculty of the Belarussian State Academy of Music, where he also teaches the history of choral music. He is also a singer at the House of Mercy in Minsk. He actively promotes early music in Belarus – he is the Artistic Director and a member of the vocal ensemble Musikia, which specialises in early music, and he has included it in the programme of the 1st Youth Choir Festival that he has organised (2016).


Magdalena LipskaMagdalena Lipska (b. 1986, Poland) graduated in Conducting under Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny at the K. Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław, where she is now studying Solo Singing at the Vocal Faculty under Danuta Paziuk-Zipser. She has also graduated from the Medical University in Wrocław. While still being a student, she won 1st prize and the award for the best choir conducting methods at the 14th Polish Choir Conducting Competition in Poznań (2012). She has won a number of prizes and honourable mentions with the Choir of Senior Secondary School No. 17 in Wrocław that she formed: several prizes in the successive editions of the Singing Wrocław and Singing Poland Choir Competitions, 1st prize at the Theatre Festival Przekręt, Bronze Diploma at the 3rd International Festival of Advent and Christmas Songs in Cracow and the Prize of the Lower Silesian Music Society (2015). Since January 2015, she has been conducting the Choir Medici Cantantes of the Medical University in Wrocław, with whom she won 2nd prize and the Award for the Best Conductor at the International Choral Festival Vratislavia Sacra in Wrocław (2015), Silver Medal at the International Choir Competition at Preveza (2015) and 1st prize ('Sacred Music'), 2nd prize ('Folk Music') and the Special Award at the International Choir Competition at Freamunde (2016).

Since 2015, she has been working at the Faculty of Music Education, Choral Art and Church Music of the Academy of Music in Wrocław as a research-and-teaching assistant. She has been cooperating with the Choir Feichtinum, Chamber Choir Senza Rigore, string orchestra of the faculty, as well as the Choir of the National Forum of Music, the Polish National Youth Choir and Współczesny Theatre in Wrocław.


Justyna PakulakJustyna Pakulak (b. 1987, Poland) graduated in Theory of Music and Choir Conducting from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music under Dariusz Zimnicki. Afterwards, at the same institution, she completed an Ear Training programme of study.

On two occasions, she reached the finals of the Polish Choir Conducting Competition in Poznań (an honourable mention in 2010, 3rd prize and the Best Conducting Technique Award in 2012). She received a scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (2010/2011 and 2011/2012) as well as a Keymung University scholarship (2011/2012). She has participated in international conducting courses, e.g. in France, Lithuania, Belgium and Germany.

She is now working as a teacher of theoretical subjects at the K. Szymanowski State Schools of Music No. 4 in Warsaw and, since 2015, as a lecturer at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. She is the second conductor of the Academic Choir of the University of Technology in Warsaw, and a co-founder and conductor of the choir Tibi Domine attached to the parish of the Most Holy Saviour in Warsaw. She also cooperates as a conductor during the choir workshops ‘Musique-Montagne’ at Les Diablerets in Switzerland.


Izabela Polakowska-RybskaIzabela Polakowska-Rybska (b. 1986, Poland) graduated from the K. Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław in Conducting under Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny, (Faculty of Music Education), and in Conducting under Alan Urbanek (Faculty of Composition, Conducting, Theory of Music and Music Therapy). She has been developing her skills and abilities by participating in numerous courses for choral and orchestral conductors, working under J.Łukaszewski, K. Szydzisz, J. Kaspszyk, Ł. Borowicz, R. Hollingworth, S. Layton, B. Chilcott and P. McCreesh.

For several years she worked as an assistant to the Choir Medici Cantantes of the Medical University in Wrocław (2007-12), she founded the choir at Schools No. 14 in Wrocław (2010) and for a year she was the conductor and artistic assistant to the Children’s Choir of Wrocław Opera (2012). In the years 2013-15, she worked as the Artistic Director of the Polish Radio Choir, with which she performed, for instance, at the Festival Warsaw Autumn, Sacrum Profanum, Witold Lutosławski Festival Łańcuch, Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival and Edinburgh International Festival. She prepared the ensemble for a recording of three CDs with music by Polish composers: Krzysztof Penderecki – Choral Works, The doorstep of hope – in honour of John Paul II and Stanislaw Moniuszko – Gate of Dawn litanies. She has won 3rd prize at the 1st Youth Choir Festival at Chojnów, 1st prize at the 10th Lower Silesian Festival of School Choirs as well as an honourable mention and the Prize for the Best Polish Participant of the 5th International Choir Conducting Competition TOWARDS POLYPHONY. Since 2013, she has been a visiting Assistant Conductor of the Polish National Youth Choir. In February 2016, she became Conductor and Artistic Director of the Opole Philharmonic Choir.


Alexey ShamritskyAlexey Shamritsky (b. 1988, Ukraine) completed a course of study at the Conducting and Choral Department of N. Łysenko School of Music (2011), and then a master’s (2011) and post-graduate programme of study (2014) at the National Academy of Music in Kiev in Music Education and Choir Conducting. While still at his school, he won the New Faces of Ukraine competition held by the State National Philharmonic Orchestra (2005). In 2011, he received 1st prize at the 5th Ukrainian Choir Conducting Competition.

Since 2009, he has been the Artistic Director of the Kiev Youth Chamber Choir Sophia. With the ensemble, he recorded a CD entitled Liturgy (2011), won 1st prize and the Award for the Best Conductor of the 33rd International Sacred Music Festival Hajnówka 2014 in Białystok, Poland, and 1st prize and the Award for the Best Conductor of the 27th International Beli Bartok Choir Competition in Debrecen, Hungary (2016). In July 2016, he became the chief conductor of the Academic Chamber Choir Khreshchatyk.


Paweł SzypulskiPaweł Szypulski (b. 1991, Poland) graduated in Conducting from the F. Chopin University of Music in Białystok under Bożena Violetta Bielecka (2015) and completed the Post-Graduate Choir Conducting and Voice Projection Studies at the F. Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz under Marcin Tomczak (2016). He participated in the 15th Stanisław Kulczyński Polish Choir Conducting Competition in Poznań (2014). As a choir singer of Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic (since 2012), he has worked under the direction of such conductors as: J. Axelrod, J. M. Florencio, K. Penderecki, K. Szydzisz, M. Klauza and W. Rodek. As a vocal coach (2013-14), he conducted rehearsals for numerous concerts and performances on his own.

He is the founder, conductor and Artistic Director of the Białystok Chamber Choir Concinamus omnes. For several years now, as an assistant conductor, vocal coach and choir singer, he has regularly participated in the international Polish Choir and Peace Philharmonic project. He is teaching conducting at the I. J. Paderewski Schools of Music in Białystok, and since 2015 he has also been working as a research-and-teaching assistant at his Alma mater.


Kaoru TaniKaoru Tani (b. 1987, Japan) was awarded a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Music by Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo (2010), and then studied Orchestral and Choir Conducting under Erwin Ortner and Uroš Lajovic at Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna (2011-14). Since 2014, she has been continuing her study of choir conducting under Johannes Prinz at Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz.

She has won 2nd prize at the 5th Competition for Young Choir Conductors as part of Tokyo Cantat 2016.

As a choir singer, she is performing with the Vienna-based choirs Arnold Schönberg Chor and Wiener Singverein. She is one of the Projektchor Philharmonia conductors and the leading conductor of the Japanese vocal ensemble Initium.


Matīss TučsMatīss Tučs (b. 1993) completed a course in choir conducting at Riga Cathedral Choir School (2000-13) and is now a fourth-year student of Choir Conducting under Sigvards Kļavas at the J. Vītols Latvian Academy of Music.

For eight years he sang in the Riga Cathedral Boys’ Choir, participating in performances of the operas Tosca and The Queen of Spades at the Latvian National Opera. As a soloist, he sang in the children’s opera Noah’s Ark. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of the well-known youth choir Kamēr..., and then he co-operated with the State Academic Choir Latvija, the Latvian Radio Choir, the professional chamber choir Ave Sol, the Baroque choir Collegium choro musici Riga and the Estonian youth choir Voces Musicales, performing under such conductors as S. Kļavas, M. Sirmais, A. Nelsons, M. Jansons, R. Muti, R. Chailly, A. Mustonen and R. Joostu. As a choir singer, he participated in concerts in Europe, Asia and Northern America.

Since 2011, he has been a conductor of several Latvian amateur choirs. He reached the finals of the Imants Kokars’ International Competition of Choir Conductors (2013). He is currently the choirmaster of the Riga Cathedral Boys’ Choir, and the principal conductor of the Bank of Latvia Choir as well as the mixed choir Uz Augšu in Talsi. His hobby: playing the saxophone and active sports, he won several prizes in that.


Kota YanagishimaKota Yanagishima (b. 1986, Japan) – after a scholarship at Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Mannheim, in 2012 he began to study Choir Conducting under Georg Grün and Symphonic Conducting under Toshiyuki Kamioka at Hochschule für Musik in Saar. He has taken part in master courses taught by S. Parkman, G. Leenaars, S. Halsey, J.-P. Weigle and G. Grün, as part of which he conducted a number of reputable German ensembles, including: NDR Chor, Berlin Radio Choir, Berlin Philharmonic Choir and Kammerchor Saarbrücken. In 2015, he won a Dirigentenforum Deutscher Musikrat scholarship.

Since 2012, he has been an assistant to Georg Grün at Großen Chor der Hochschule für Musik Saar, which he also conducts occasionally. Since 2013 he has been one of the conductors of the Projektchor Philharmonia project, and since 2013 – the artistic director of the Japanese vocal ensemble Initium. He also conducts Kirchenchor St Cäcilia LU-Oggersheim in Ludwigshafen.



ESK Wrocław 2016 Światowe Dni Chóralne