prof. dr hab.

Ewa Marchwicka

choral conducting


  • 1985 to the present — the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw (FCUM Associate Professor since 2005)
  • 1976 to the present — Music School, Miodowa Street, Warsaw
  • 1979–1988 — Music High School in Warsaw (mixed choir and symphony orchestra) 1979–1988
  • 1998–2000 — ROMA Music Theatre (choirmaster)


  • 1990 — First Degree Music Qualifications (vocal and vocal-instrumental ensemble leadership)
  • 1993 — PhD (Education)
  • 2000 — Second Degree Music Qualifications (vocal and vocal-instrumental ensemble leadership)
  • 2012 — Title of Professor in Music

Artistic activities:
(choir conducting)

  • Participation in over 100 national and international competitions and festivals (over 60 prizes including 16 first prizes and many prizes for conducting)
  • Over 400 concerts conducted by herself, over a dozen hours of radio and television recordings, several CDs, many first performances
  • Performances in e.g., United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Greece, Holland, France, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Italy and Hungary.
  • Co-operation with K. Kord, J. Maksymiuk, T. Strugała, W. Pffaf, W. Rajski, A. Wit, J. Frakstein, J. Mahler, P. Nowicki, K. Szmyt and many instrumentalists of leading Polish orchestras. Concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of the National Philharmonic.

Research activities:

  • Over 40 articles
  • academic books and scientific books for the general public. These books discuss such issues as the economising of teaching, modern didactics and the stimulation of creative thinking and they present the author’s own method of teaching group musical performance.

Publishing activity:

In 2010 I established a publishing company Edukacja XXI [Education 21] with a thought about editing selected materials which have been bringing clear progress to intellectual development. The time they come from is not a priority; what remains important is that it is thanks to them the development of education or a man’s self-education was or will be possible. That is why I do not intend to publish only new works but also to reedit the ones which already meet the mentioned criteria (and are not currently present on the market). The selection of these works is not based upon their prestigious meaning, as the “Copernican Revolution” will not happen thanks to one book, CD or computer programme. Nevertheless, we should use materials which by themselves have a progressive structure. The beginning of the collection are my own works, works by my family and close friends, but only such ones that bring something new to didactics – they teach in a different way than previously. The works are, of course, published as model ones, under a small imprint. A more remote aim is creating a quasi-library of intellectual progress. I think it will be very interesting.

Major interests:

music, scientific research, foreign languages, plastic arts, theatre, photography, tourism and sport (including extreme sport).

MA and PhD thesis topics which interest me most:

  1. The role of the best vocal ensembles in the development of performance culture — case studies;
  2. Avant-gardists’ choral compositions as a study of the perfection of intonation and interpretative thinking;
  3. The methodology of teaching “ensembles” in music schools of different levels;
  4. Interpretation and score exemplified by the works of various composers.

The author’s own work at the intersection of various disciplines:

- integration

A review of the relevant literature has led to the conclusion that we still have not reached a sufficient understanding of either the structure of integration or its inherent potential even though every new construct is obviously the result of some specific assumption and the functional merging of components, many of which have been analysed, studied and described. The construction per se, however, the ensuing method of functioning and the way components are linked are rarely associated with the natural process of integration.

The reason probably lies in the analytic method of scientific research which developed in the 20th century. But, as the Nobel prize Winners anticipate, if the 20th century was the age of analysis the 21st century will be the age of synthesis because — they think — syntheses will be the next cause of more in-depth cognisance of the patterns and rules governing our surrounding world. Hence in the field of research methodology we can now recognise a determined effort to lay new foundations for novel approaches to scientific issues.

- a quantum interpretation of learning processes

The human brain actualises its potential to various degrees in the process of development and inculturation. Creative processes and activities have a particularly stimulating effect on this “growth” process. The organism actualises its potential in ways which are most convenient for it. This actualisation is physiologically determined but it is also determined by the person’s situation (environmental factors in the broad sense). Assimilative and accommodative potential increases and, as it becomes more and more flexible, it enables various forms of “systematic” intellectual education at school, in the family and in the community. But natural potential will only be really reinforced if this education is based on methods which are compatible with, or at least not completely at odds with, the organism’s physiology including its cognitive functions.

- a quantum interpretation of the psychology of music

Contemporary interpretation of universal physics, but also state-of-the art genetic and brain physiology research, compel us to reinterpret many areas of the psychology of music anew. We must take into account the QUANTUM nature of the universe and life. This interpretation has unexpectedly proven to be more akin to music than we have so far thought. Hence the need to reinterpret what has traditionally been called musical aptitude. In this context music not only serves such functions as recreation, developing the love of music, contact with artistic values, therapy, compensation, energetic cleansing. Above all it stimulates the “growth” which may lead to mental and cerebral self-creation. It all depends on the method!!!

- the biological determinants of artistic achievement

My experience as a conductor, teacher and researcher has inspired me to seek for the origins of musical talent. My own interdisciplinary research presented in my doctoral thesis Artistic activity and music perception in adolescents, the work Paradigms of creative education… and many press articles all suggest that every skill is “potentialised” but this “potentialisation” is physiologically non-specific and must first be assembled. This means that as long as we know a skill’s major “operators” and methods of assembly, we may provoke the human brain to assemble any function we like. In other words, at least theoretically, everybody can learn everything. If it is true that we are all endowed with the potential for versatile talent but only a few of us achieve a high specific level (in music — a level which will allow us to be professional musicians) then the conclusions are obvious: the causes lie largely in the methods of inculturation, schooling and self-education. Pursuing this line of reasoning further I discovered the predicate of the training of musical thinking, one which situates the art of music in the realm of the most sublime, creative intellectual processes. This is a major shift in the approach to the role of music in human self-creation because it moves the centre of gravity from the development of sensitivity (always associated with reactivity — the 2nd signal system) to conscious, volitional processes which create not only the human mind but also the human brain. However, human mental potential is rooted in the creativity of the physiological functions of the organism. Their recognition, analysis and reverberation in human creative processes is the next step in my research.

- interpretation of works of music within the framework of the premises of quantum physics

To understand the physiology of creative process is to fulfil the dream of the eugenics of mankind.

Pathetic as this may sound, we will not be able to deliberately develop the potential of the human brain until we grasp the very nature of the physiology of creative processes. Simple analyses have demonstrated that creativity is not limited to the artistic domain. It is the mechanism of grand human mental progress. For what is every scientific discovery if not a new interpretation of the factual state, of patterns previously unrecognised? The thesis that interpretation as a mental process has many analogies in science and procesual arts can be supported without laboratory tests although nowadays they too are feasible. In both these fields the core of specialist cognitive processes is discovery, i.e., specification of the universally unfamiliar and perceptible only for the appropriately armed mind.

Professor Ewa Marchwicka, PhD Hab.

e‑mail: ewa.marchwicka@chopin.edu.pl