prof. dr hab.
Professor Szymon Kawalla – full professor (discipline of musical arts, symphony and opera conducting, composition), Dean of the Department of Composition, Conducting and Theory of Music at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. Since 1986 he has taught conducting class at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and since 2008 he has held the function of Head of the Unit of Music and Literature Education at the Institute of Education, Department of Educational Studies of the Maria Grzegorzewska Academy of Special Education in Warsaw.
In 1992 he received from the President of the Republic of Poland the title of Professor of Musical Arts; he is an expert of the National Accreditation Committee and a juror at international music competitions; he also leads international masterclasses.
He studied at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw, Departments of: Instrumental Studies – violin, diploma 1972; Composition, Conducting and Theory of Music – symphony and opera conducting, diploma 1973; composition – 1974; music studies abroad: Switzerland, Hungary, USSR; 1982 – artistic procedure of the 1st degree (now a doctoral degree in arts) at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw; 1984 – artistic procedure of the 2nd degree (now a post-doctoral degree) at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. In the period of 1972–1974 he was a lecturer at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw; between 1975 and 1980 he was a senior lecturer at the State Higher School of Music in Bydgoszcz. He also was: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Head of the Institute of Music Education, Higher School of Pedagogy in Zielona Góra (1980–1986); Full Professor, Holy Cross Academy in Kielce (1996–2001); and teacher in primary and secondary schools (1966–1979).
Professional activity as a conductor and manager: 1972–1974 – music manager and principal conductor of the Central Artistic Ensemble of the Polish Army; 1974–1978 — conductor of the Pomeranian Symphony Orchestra in Bydgoszcz; 1979–1980 — head and artistic director and principal conductor of the State Chamber Orchestra in Toruń; 1980–1986 — head and artistic director and principal conductor of the State Philharmonic in Zielona Góra and the Chamber Opera Stage in Żagań; 1985–1991 — general and artistic director and principal conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and Choir of the Polish Radio and Television in Cracow; 1987–1995 — Principal Permanent Conductor of the Vienna Modern Masters CD Company, (Austria and USA); 1992–1994 — artistic consultant and principal conductor at the S. Moniuszko State Philharmonic in Koszalin; 1995–2001– general and artistic director and principal conductor at the Holy Cross Philharmonic and the Kielce Opera Stage; 2001–2006 – artistic director and principal conductor of the Orthodox Music Chamber Choir at the Warsaw Chamber Opera; 2002 – artistic director and principal conductor of the I.J. Paderewski Festival Orchestra in Warsaw; since 1995 – music manager and conductor/head of the Yeongnam Opera Company in Daegu, South Korea; since 2005 – juror and permanent conductor of finale concerts and laureates’ concerts at the International Competition for Brasswind Instruments and Percussion in Jeju, South Korea.
Szymon Kawalla has continually performed in Poland and abroad since 1966 giving over 5000 symphony, oratorio and opera performances (in such countries as: Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Iran, Iceland, Yugoslavia, Canada, South Korea, Cuba, Luxembourg, Malta, Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland , Sweden, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Hungary, Great Britain, or Italy). Worth emphasizing are: three oratorio concerts for His Holiness Pope John Paul II, concerts commemorating the 5th and 10th anniversaries of the death of King Boduin of Belgium, attended by Queen Fabiola, and year-long festival concerts in Johann Sebastian Bach’s year (2000), opera premieres for the opening of the New Opera House (2004) in Daegu (South Korea) and opera galas for the opening of the Culture and Art Center, Keimuyng University (2008) in Daegu. He has recorded for radio, television and the cinema since 1972 and has been recording for the following record companies since 1977: Balcanton (Bulgaria), Cambria Records (USA), Centaur Records (USA), Connifer Records (United Kingdom), JIGU (South Korea), Polskie Nagrania [Polish Records], Veriton, and Vienna Modern Masters (Austria and USA).
Most important compositions: Divertimento for Strings and Percussion (1966), oratorio Pater Kolbe (1969), cantata Wit Stwosz (1970), Stabat Mater (1990), Cantata in Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II (1991); Fantasy for solo violin (2002), two Arabic Impressions for solo violin (2006), Holy Cross Caprice for solo violin (2006), Babice Dumka with variations for solo violin (2006), Giovanile for symphony orchestra (2006), Love Lyrics (2007), American Threnodies (2007), oratorio Totus Tuus (2008), cantata The Polish Pope, cantata Tear (2008), Lament and Mazovian Toccata for violin and piano or orchestra (2009), Missa Solemnis (2010), music fairy tale Pyza on the Polish Paths (2011), Fantasy AZ for solo violin (2012).
Most important elaborations: K. Kurpiński — symphony The Battle of Mozajsk (1982), M. Kamieński — opera Destitution Made Happy (1983); M. Kamieński — Cantata Commemorating the Centenary of the Relief of Besieged Vienna (1984), W. Żeleński — Cantata Commemorating the Bicentenary of the Relief of Besieged Vienna (1986), K. Jezierski — cantata Casimire terris mirae (1986). Szymon Kawalla co-organized 7 International Scholarly Conferences at the Maria Grzegorzewska Academy of Special Education in Warsaw (2008–2013). He co-edited three scholarly monographs (2010–2012).
Awards: Silver Cross of Merit (1985), Knight’s Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland (1996), Officer’s Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland (2004), decoration Meritorious Polish Culture Activist; K. Szymanowski Medal, K. Kurpiński Medal, Award of the Minister of Culture and Art of the second degree; awards of the first degree of Their Magnificences Rectors of the Higher School of Pedagogy in Zielona Góra, the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and the J. Kochanowski Holy Cross Academy in Kielce. Szymon Kawalla is a winner of several regional and creative community awards – Award for Young Creators, Zielona Góra, 1985; Grand Prix du disque Accademie Charles Cross — Paris, 1991; Nike – Award of the Society of Friends of Fine Arts, 2001; Bene Meritum Award of the Society of Friends of Fine Arts, 2006; Grand Prix at the International Opera Festival in Daegu, 2010; co-winner of award for best opera production of the year in South Korea, 2010.