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HomeVocal CompetitionJury 2017Jacek Sykulski

Jacek Sykulski

Composer, conductor and choirmaster. He graduated from the Academy of Music in Poznan, where he majored in clarinet and composition. In 1987, he came to Canada for a year`s apprenticeship with esteemed Canadian composer and four- time Gemini recipient, Christopher Dedrick. Sykulski has been the conductor and the artistic director of the Academic Choir of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań since 1996. In 2003, he was appointed director of the Poznań Boys’ Choir. These groups have performed successful concerts in some of the most prestigious concert halls and churches throughout Europe, Canada, United States, Bolivia, China, Taiwan, and Japan. In 1991, Sykulski gained recognition as a composer for his setting of ‘Abba Father” (lyrics by Father Jan Gora OP), which was an anthem for the 6th World Youth Day held in 1991 in Częstochowa, Poland. Sykulski has also composed several memorial pieces to premiere at various significant historical events in cities throughout the world. “Peace Meditation” and “Dance in the Fire”, both written for the first anniversary of September 11 were performed at Ground Zero in New York City in 2002. “Voices from the Past,” written for the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, highlighted a memorial service in Berlin Haus des Rundfunks in 2003. Similarly, The Mass of St. Hyacinth was performed in Kraków in 2004 to commemorate the General Chapter of the Dominican Order in Kraków.

In 2005 Sykulski composed music for a documentary film about Pope John Paul II, and in 2006 he was commissioned by the President of Poznań to write a piece, entitled “Missa 1956,” for the 50th anniversary of the Poznań ‘June Uprising’. His “Oratorium Gietrzwałdzkie” for soloists, choir and orchestra, written in 2006, was commissioned by the Mayor of Olsztyn to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the revelation of Mary, Mother of Jesus in the small village of Gietrzwałd, Poland.

Sykulski’s “Wolności dla nas Idzie czas” (Our Time of Freedom Is At Hand) for orchestra, chorus and soloists, to text by text by Eugeniusz Wachowiak, was composed in 2008 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Wielkopolska Uprising. His “Media Vita” for wind orchestra and chorus was commissioned by the Kunst en Vriendshaap Fanfare Orchestra from Wittem for performance at the 2009 World Music Contest in Kerkrade, The Netherlands.

Sykulski’s activities in the field of cultural popularization have been repeatedly appreciated, a.o. by the President of Poznań, who distinguished him with the Great Seal of the City of Poznan Award, by Głos Wielkopolski (local newspaper), which awarded him twice the Medal of Young Art Award, by the Primate of Poland, who awarded him the Silver Pipe Award, for his contribution to the propagation of sacred music, by Polish Market journal, from which he received the Honorary Pearl of Culture In 2015 he also received the most important cultural award in Poland - Gloria Artis, awarded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Sykulski’s compositions and musical arrangements have enjoyed high esteem and warm reception by music critics and audiences alike. Renowned artists, such as the Taipei Male Choir, Chor Leoni Men’s Choir (Canada), Chicago a cappella, and Affabre Concinui (Polish Chamber Singers) have performed a variety of his pieces over the years. Recordings and performances of his compositions have received airplay in the United States, on Polish television, BBC Radio, and Sender Freies Radio, Berlin (SFB: Radio Free Berlin).