The groups

Bielska Orkiestra Kameralna (BOK) -The Chamber Orchestra of Bielsko-Biała

- has been existing since 1982. It gives concerts in the main establishment of Bielskie Centrum Kultury and in the sacred buildings in Bielsko-Biała.

The orchestra performs a wide variety of repertoire, from baroque music, through modern compositions
to light and popular music. The position of the artistic director has been held by Tadeusz Kocyba for the first ten years, now it is held by Witold Szulakowski. The Chamber Orchestra takes part in the most important artistic and music events in our city. Most of them are organised by Bielskie Centrum Kultury (J.S. Bach Music Festival, The Sacred Music Festival “SACRUM IN MUSICA”, The Festival of Polish Composers). The Chamber Orchestra cooperates with such great conductors as Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk, Jerzy Salwarowski and Kazimierz Kryza and with a lot of famous soloists such as Wiesław Ochman, Iwona Hossa, Adam Zdunikowski, Krzysztof Jakowicz, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, Piotr Paleczny or Ewa Pobłocka. The orchestra often accompanies choirs, among them The Choir of Silesian Philharmonic, the youth choir “Resonans con tutti” and the choirs from Bielsko-Biała like Ave Sol or the Chamber Choir of Bielsko-Biała. Apart from classical music repertoire, the orchestra presents popular and light music. The conductors of the concerts who should be mentioned are: Sławomir Chrzanowski, Krzesimir Dębski, Andrzej Marko czy Andrzej Zubek. The concert soloists were such great singers and instrumentalists as:
Adam Makowicz, Gheorghe Zamfir, Urszula Dudziak, Zbigniew Wodecki, Jacek, Wójcicki and many others.
In recent years the orchestra has taken part in the preperformance of the oratorio compositions of Janusz Kohut (composer and pianist). The Chamber Orchestra of Bielsko-Biała has given concerts in plenty of Polish cities as well as abroad ( Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Holland) presenting mainly Polish composers’ music.
BOK has an album to its credit. It was recorded under the direction of Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk and presents the compositions of Henryk Wieniawski, Mieczysław Karłowicz and Wojciech Kilar.
In a situation when the notes require a bigger line-up the orchestra takes the name: Bielsko-Biała Festival Orchestra.
There also exists the String Quintet, consisting of the instrumentalists from the BOK and The Choir of The Silesian Philharmonic. The quintet has performed all over the country and has a lot of video and radio recordings to its credit. What is more, it also has some recurrent events in its repertoire, e.g. From Bach to the Beatles, The Melodies of the World, Gypsy Romance and In the Sphere of Vienna.

Ave Sol

Ave Sol is an amateur youth mixed choir which consists of 50 people. The group has been conducted by Leszek Pollak since 1981. The choir has been functioning under the patronage of Bielskie Centrum Kultury since 1988. It wins prices in the most important choral competitions and festivals in Poland and abroad. A rich repertoire of the choir includes: early music compositions, classical and European music, modern, negro spirituals and gospel compositions.

The choir has to its credit 2 records: one with Christmas Carols and the other with the pieces of music about Bielsko-Biała which were composed by Józef Świder, Kazimierz Duda and Henryk Jan Bator.

The Chamber Choir of Bielsko-Biała

The Chamber Choir of Bielsko-Biała started functioning in 1993 under the patronage of Bielskie Centrum Kultury. It is formed by 25 amateurs and enthusiasts of choral music, who are all young people in various professions. The choir has been conducted from the beginning by Beata Borowska.

Its repertoire consists of a wide variety of sacred and profane compositions from diverse epochs
as from the Renaissance to Modernity. Apart from the a capella songs the choir also performs vocal-instrumental compositions such as Mozart’s Mass in C Major KV220 and Requiem in D Minor KV 626 as well as Msza Góralska (Goralian Mass) by Tadeusz Maklakiewicz.
Moreover, the choir presents negro spirituals, compositions inspired by folklore of various nations
and arrangements of light music.
In 1998 The Chamber Choir of Bielsko-Biała released its first album “Exultate Deo”,
which presents religious compositions from diverse epochs and styles. The next compositions came
into existence in 2002. The CD contains Polish carols which are performed to the accompaniment of a famous organist- Wacław Golonka. The latest record came out in 2010.

Folk Dance and Song Group „Bielsko”

Zespół Pieśni i Tańca” Bielsko” (Folk Dance and Song Group „Bielsko”) has been existing since 1974. It successfully presents its folkloristic and stage program on various all-Poland and international competitions.

The group consists of three children’s groups and a representative group- a total of 100 people. Mrs. Bożena Bieńczyk is the Artistic Director and the choreographer of the group while the function of the Musical Director is in charge of Marzena Grzybowska.
The Folk Dance and Song Group “Bielsko” has two different programs in its repertoire.
The folkloristic one presents the original Polish folklore which is artistically processed and depicts the variety of our culture. The other one is a stage program presented under the name “Bielska Estrada”, which is also folkloristic but very stylized in terms of the dance, music and costumes. It shows not only Polish folklore but also the folklore of other countries. The stage repertoire is divided into several thematic blocks: Polish, Hungarian, Bavarian, Russian, Spanish, Gypsy and country.
The group is accompanied by a seven-person band or sixteen-person big-band consisting of professional musicians.
“Bielsko” has been on tour to France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and the USA (Montana, Idaho and Utah).
During their performances the artists delight the audience with their youth, temper and artistic craft.

The Brass Band of Bielsko-Biała

Several dozen people, two formations- parade and military band formation, a splendid repertoire as well as a clear and professional sound- The Brass Band of Bielsko-Biała.

The band’s roots date back to 1974. It is a laureate of diverse prestigious contests and festivals.
The Brass Band of Bielsko-Biała has performed abroad in such countries as Czech Republic, Germany and Belgium. An interesting detail is the fact that the brothers Łukasz and Paweł Golec used to play in the band.
In 2000, during a concert in Bielskie Centrum Kultury, an album was recorded and below you may listen to such songs from that album as: Birdland or Bohemian Rhapsody.
The Brass Band of Bielsko-Biała gives concerts under two stage incarnations.
The first one is a parade formation which is currently directed by Jarosław Grzybowski and has a wide variety of repertoire from marching music to pop music hits.
The second one is named the military band formation and it was founded in January 2002. Capt. Wojciech Piątek is its Kapellmeister. All the musicians wear uniforms and the band gives performances mainly during national holidays (e.g. The Third of May, 11 November, or 1 September) and sacred holidays (e.g. Corpus Christi or Papal Ceremonies). The band plays mostly marching and patriotic compositions but its repertoire notably exceeds that domain.

Jarzębinki, Antrakt

The group „Jarzębinki” has been existing in Bielsko-Biała since 1986. It is a multiple laureate of many all-Poland and international children’s festivals. The program of this dance group is an over two hours performance which is full of expression, colour, dance and song. The group “Jarzębinki” consists of over one hundred of children at the age of 3,5 to 16.

The founder of the group as well as the director and choreographer is Mrs. Barbara Komarnicka-Drużbicz. The repertoire is a performance which is based on such dance techniques as jazz, classical dance, modern or broadway jazz and includes also some elements of acrobatics, ball room dances and modern dances like hip-hop or funky. What is more, the group presents cheerleader, parade and majorette repertoire.
The group gas given over 700 concerts so far in such countries as France, Croatia, Hungary, Corfu Island, Czech Republic (two times), Spain, Bulgaria (three times), Italy (four times) and Greece (five times).
Antrakt
The dance group „Antrakt” was founded in 1999 as an alternative for former dancers of „Jarzębinki”. Its repertoire is based mainly on modern dance and jazz and includes dance miniatures and forms on the boundary of dance theatre and movement. The group is oriented toward finding new ways of expression and toward experiments with the form and choreography content. The group had a break in its activity from 2002 to 2007 and was re-established in 2007. Aleksandra Komarnicka-Drużbicz has been the choreographer since then. The group may be joined by former dancers of “Jarzębinki” as well as by the people who are starting their adventure with dance right now (or have already started in other places) and are over 15.

Gallery of Creative Environments

Gallery of Creative Environments came into existence in 1995 as part of Bielskie Centrum Kultury. Its aim is to promote the most interesting phenomena of modern art. It also conducts publishing activity and organises competitions and all-Poland artistic meetings. Its activity was initiated by the visual artist Piotr Czadankiewicz and it has been conducted by him until now.

Gallery of Creative Environments realizes the authorial program of displays and it tries to present the most significant phenomena of Polish modern art. It focuses on the artistic achievements which concern the reflection on the identity of a modern human being and the place of an artist/creator in present reality.
It presents the works of such artists as: Mirosław Bałka, Tadeusz Brzozowski, Marek Chlanda, Stefan Gierowski, Koji Kamoji, Natalia LL, Jerzy Nowosielski, Ryszard Otręba and Zbigniew Warpechowski.
The Gallery presents the works done in various fields (painting, sculpture, photography, graphics, multimedia activity etc.). It presents the works of artists who have the experience of many years as well as active artists of younger generations (e.g. Janusz Bałdyga, Barbara Bańda, Tomasz Ciecierski, Stanisław Dróżdż, Izabella Gustowska, Elżbieta Jabłońska, Wojciech Kubiak, Kamil Kuskowski, Dominik Lejman, Leszek Mądzik, Jadwiga Sawicka, Mikołaj Smoczyński, Grzegorz Sztwiertnia, Jerzy Truszkowski). It is also a place where we can see the works of artists connected with Bielsko-Biała and Podbeskidzie such as: Jerzy Fober, Krzysztof Kokoryn, Bronisław Krzysztof, Krystyna Pasterczyk, Jadwiga Smykowska, Teresa Sztwiertnia and Paweł Warchoł.

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