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Krakow Festival Office

More than festivals Prime Kraków festivals, spectacular events for audiences counted in hundreds of thousands, events organised around music, theatre, film, the beaux arts, and literature recognised throughout Poland and Europe – this is what Kraków Festival Office (KBF), one of Poland’s most active public institutions, does today. The operator of the ICE Kraków Congress Centre is the direct inheritor and continuator of the activities and mission of the Kraków 2000 Festival Bureau set up in 1997 to organise a series of events emphasising the role of Kraków in its capacity of the European City of Culture. It was the initiative and effort of the KBF that allowed the inception of such festivals as award-strewn Sacrum Profanum and Misteria Paschalia besides the Kraków Film Music Festival and Grolsch ArtBoom Festival.

Organisational agility and efficiency, and the skill of building from scratch a brand of international recognition for festivals are decisive for the power and prestige of the institution, much like the entire spectrum of activity of the KBF in various fields.

A natural consequence of such an approach was the expansion of the purely organisational operations of the KBF by adding championing functions in support of development of creative industries, cultural and business tourism, the meetings industry, and leisure time industries. An array of endeavours promoting and disseminating literature, notably Kraków UNESCO City of Literature and Literary Małopolska, the operation of the Krakow Film Commission and Regional Film Fund, assumption of the function of the cultural operator of the Kraków Arena, Poland’s largest and most modern sports and event hall, and management of the vast structure of tourist information under the brand of InfoKraków and ICE Kraków Congress Centre indicate the directions of KBF development initiated in the recent years. It is worth emphasising that these activities continue in strong bond with the environment: many of the initiatives are concerted with appropriate partners, and the consensus thus developed allows further partnership and cooperation. This in turn makes the Kraków Festival Office perceived as the architect of a network bringing together municipal and central institutions, non-governmental organisations, and notably businesses that can in this way keep in touch and communicate on the culture – knowledge – innovation – business platform.

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Capella Cracoviensis

Semper in altum. Capella Cracoviensis has been guided by this motto for a few years now, which makes it the most dynamically developing Polish ensemble specialising in historical performance practice. Owing to the consistent support provided by the City of Cracow, Capella Cracoviensis may carry out uncompromising ambitious projects at the highest artistic level in collaboration with distinguished musicians of similar sensitivity and comparable courage. The list of regulars featured in concerts with CC includes Vincent Dumestre (Le Poème Harmonique), Fabio Bonizzoni (La Risonanza), Alessandro Moccia (Orchestre des Champs-Élysées), Andrew Parrott, Paul Goodwin and Ensemble Oltremontano while Accademia Bizantina, Fretwork, Nachtmusique, Paul McCreesh, Giuliano Carmignola and Christophe Rousset (Les Talens Lyriques) come to Cracow to perform as guests. As well as performing concerts, CC explores the territories of baroque and classical opera, successfully staging some of these works in Poland, such as Handel’s Amadigi, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice

The Capella Cracoviensis Choir is a vocal ensemble whose technical mastery as well as flexibility enable it to diversify its repertoire, which ranges from Gesualdo’s arduous mannerist madrigals to the avant-garde compositions of the 20th century. The choir of Capella Cracoviensis has accompanied such eminent guests of Misteria Paschalia and Opera Rara festivals as Fabio Biondi with his ensemble Europa Galante, Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble, Le Poème Harmonique and ensemble La Venexiana under Claudo Cavina. 

CC is often present at European festivals, including Haydn Festspiele Brühl, Bachfest Leipzig, SWR Festspiele, Händel Festspiele Halle. It gives regular concerts abroad: in Vienna’s Konzerthaus, in Versailles, Brussels, Ghent, Lviv and Kiev. 

Jan Tomasz Adamus, a renowned organist, harpsichordist, conductor and animator of musical life, became head and artistic director of Capella Cracoviensis in 2008. He has honed his skills as an artist collaborating with many outstanding singers while drawing on the achievements of Europe’s most important centres of art as the permanent counterpoint of all developments in music can be found in painting, sculpture, architecture and philosophy. The invitation given by the City of Cracow to Jan Tomasz Adamus to become the general and artistic director of Capella Cracoviensis has been one of the most widely discussed transfers in the world of Polish culture of the recent years. 

CC was established in 1970 as the initiative of the then director of Cracow Philharmonic Jerzy Katlewicz, who entrusted Stanisław Gałoński the formation of ensemble specialized in historical performance practice. In the course of time Capella Cracoviensis became an independent entity and functioned as a kind of small philharmonic, performing on modern instruments a wide range of repertoire from renaissance to modern classical compositions.

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