The Children’s Choir was established in September 2011 as an initiative of the then Director of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic in Białystok, Roberto Skolmowski. The Choir’s conductor is Dr. Ewa Barbara Rafałko. The most meaningful enterprise of the ensemble was taking part in the Ch. Williams’s musical “Korczak,” which premiered the day of the inauguration of the new building of the Podlasie and Philharmonic—European Art Centre. For the next three artistic seasons the Choir performed during many symphonic and chamber concerts at the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic’s venues, as well as Christmas concerts and occasional events, such as the celebration of 20th anniversary of the Biebrza National Park. Alongside the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, the Children’s Choir performed e.g. the monumental L. Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony No. 3 or C. Orff’s “Carmina Burana.” The ensemble also took part in many concerts outside the institution. Children choristers sang in the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic’s performances such as musicals—J. Bock’s “Fiddler on the Roof” (dir. by R. Skolmowski) and L. Simon’s “Doctor Zhivago” (dir. by J. Szydłowski), operas—G. Verdi’s “Traviata” (dir. by R. Skolmowski) (while juggling balls, pois, and plates!), G. Bizet’s “Carmen” (dir. by B. Redo-Dobber), and G. Puccini’s “La Bohème” (dir. by M. Sartova). Choir’s repertoire contains a concert “Years go by, but songs stay.” In 2016 the Children’s Choir alongside the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra took part in a Polish premiere of C. Matthews’s “Pluto, the Renewer” under the baton of P. Kotla. The Children’s Choir was also the first—alongside the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir—to perform P. Łukaszewski’s Symphony No. 4 “Symphony on the Mercy of God” under the baton of W. Michniewski. A “Symphony on the Mercy of God” recording, featuring soloists A. Mikołajczyk-Niewiedział and M. Nerkowski and the ensembles of Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra, Choir and Children’s Choir, under the baton of W. Michniewski, was awarded the Fryderyk Music Award in the Album of the Year Contemporary Music category (2017).
Children’s Choir Coordinator