About the Choir


The Jadwiga Czerwińska Academic Choir is the representative ensemble of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. The history of the Academic Choir dates back to 1949 when the ensemble was officially created on the initiative of a group of students under the leadership of Prof. Adam Wyleżyński, former Rector of the Vilnius Academy of Music. Changes to the structure of the University caused temporary breaks in the artistic activity of the ensemble.

The activity of the Choir was resumed in 1969 when Kazimierz Górski became its conductor and artistic director. Since then the activity of the ensemble and its artistic development have been uninterrupted.

In 1973 the position of conductor and artistic director of the Choir was taken over by Jadwiga Czerwińska. That marked the beginning of a period of intense activity and concerts in Poland and abroad. The effects of the work were numerous prizes and awards at choral competitions and festivals: 1st prize at the International Youth Choral Festival in Neerpelt, Belgium (1974), an award at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales (1975), 2nd and 4th prizes at the International Choir Competition in Gorizia, Italy (1978). The Choir established cooperation with the Lublin Philharmonic, participating in the performance of great oratorios.

The development of the artistic and concert activity of the Choir was interrupted in 1980 by the premature death of Jadwiga Czerwińska at the height of her creative powers, with numerous artistic plans and projects ahead. In recognition of her accomplishments, at the request of the members of the Choir, the Senate of the University changed the name of the Choir to Jadwiga Czerwińska Academic Choir, UMCS. The leadership of the ensemble was taken over by a member of the Choir and a pupil of the Patroness of the Choir, Karol Borsuk, who undertook the difficult task of continuing the work of Jadwiga Czerwińska.
In 1982 the position of the conductor and artistic director of the Academic Choir was given to Andrea Jaworska. Under her leadership the cooperation with the Lublin Philharmonic was reactivated and foreign contacts were renewed.

In 1984 the Choir took part in the festival in Nuoro, Sardinia, and afterwards took a concert tour of Italy that ended in the Vatican with the Choir being granted a private audience with Pope John Paul II. In that year the Choir also won an award at the choral festival in Międzyzdroje.

1985 was another milestone in the history of the Academic Choir, UMCS. It was then that Urszula Bobryk became the conductor and the artistic director of the Choir. From that moment the activity of the ensemble is uninterruptedly related with her person. The aim of the artistic activity of the new conductor was not only to maintain a high artistic level, but to raise it constantly, which was to give the ensemble a suitably high rank at the national level and to achieve international competitiveness.
Under her direction the Choir began a new phase of its artistic activity, with active cooperation with the Lublin Philharmonic, performing oratorios by J.S. Bach, W.A. Mozart, L. van Beethoven, G. Mahler, C. Orff, W. Kilar, H.M. Górecki, M. Palmeri, R.T. Twardowski, L. Możdżer.

The Choir gave numerous concerts in Poland and abroad, and participated in international choral festivals and competitions in France, Italy, Germany, Finland, Greece, Austria, Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Turkey, Israel and the USA.
The Academic Choir, UMCS, won many first prizes and Golden Diplomas at national and international choral festivals and competitions: Moers-Repelen (Germany, 1992), Vaasa (Finland, 1998), Fort Lauderdale (Florida, 1999), Preveza (Greece, 2000), Bruk (Austria, 2001), Linz (Austria, 2003), Šiauliai (Lithuania, 2004), Fürstenwald, Berlin (Germany, 2004), Torrevieja (Spain, 2008), Montecatini Terme (Italy, 2016), Agrigento, Sicily (Italy, 2016).

Conductor Urszula Bobryk received two awards as an artistic personality and as the best choral conductor, at the choral competitions in Germany (1992) and USA (1999).

After seventy years from its creation, the Jadwiga Czerwińska Academic Choir, UMCS, is among the top-ranking university choirs in Poland, constantly proves its high artistic level, enjoying appreciation of the public and winning numerous prizes at competitions and festivals in Poland and abroad.

Under the direction of Urszula Bobryk, the ensemble is characterised by care for a high level of performance, participation in many international musical projects, and above all by active promotion of Polish choral music abroad.


Urszula Bobryk is Professor Extraordinarius of Musical Arts. She graduated from the Frederic Chopin Musical Academy in Warsaw. Since 1983 she has worked at the School of Fine Arts of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, where she has conducted courses in choir conducting and held the chair of choir studies and practices.

She has been the artistic director of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Choir since 1985 to the present. She took part in numerous artistic festivals and competitions all over the world in which she represented the University. As the artistic director and conductor of the University choir she performed various important activities which resulted in keeping high artistic standard of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Choir. She conducted lectures in International Choir Workshops in Madrid as well as courses in interpretation of Polish choir music at Matej Bali University in Banska Bystrica.

She sat on numerous committees and was a jury member in choir competitions and festivals. She educated many conductors, reviewed numerous Ph.D. and M.A. dissertations of students of the School of Fine Arts of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University. Her artistic activities were paralleled by educational ones. In 2002 she obtained the title Professor Extraordinarius of musical art, and in 2005 – the position of Professor Ordinarius, between 2001-2005 she was the Director of the Institute of Music of The School of Fine Arts of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, between 2005-2012 she was the Dean of this School, and since 2012 she has been the Vice-Rector for student affairs of the University.

Prof. Urszula Bobryk has an impressive record of achievements in artistic performance of music – both a cappella and vocal-instrumental. She has been co-operating with the Lublin Philharmonic Orchestra in preparation of performances of oratorios and cantatas conducted by many eminent contemporary conductors. She also conducted herself a few concerts of the Lublin Philharmonic Orchestra – of Magnificat by J.S. Bach, Gloria by A. Vivaldi, Coronation Mass by W.A. Mozart, Mass in E minor by A. Bruckner, Misa a Buenos Aires by M. Palmeri, Exodus by W. Kilar, Exegi Monumentum by R. Twardowski.

She popularized Polish musical culture in both Poland and abroad also through conducting a few world premières of contemporary compositions. She was a prizewinner in nine international musical competitions and festivals, including two individual awards for the best conductor: in Moers-Repelen (Germany) in 1992 and Fort Lauderdale (Florida, USA) in 1999.

The Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Choir, conducted by Prof. Urszula Bobryk, received many awards and distinctions in choir competitions in Poland and abroad:

  • 1st Prize – Legnica 1990,
  • 1st Prize – Rumia 1991,
  • 1st Prize – Moers-Repelen (Germany) 1992,
  • Golden Diploma – Vaasa (Finland) 1998,
  • Golden Diploma – Fort Lauderdale, Florida (USA) 1999,
  • Golden Medal – Preveza (Greece) 2000,
  • 1st Prize – Bruck (Austria) 2001,
  • Golden Diploma – Linz (Austria) 2003.

Professor Urszula Bobryk’s spectacular artistic achievements include the world premières of pieces by the following Polish composers: Nieszpory by Wojciech Dankowski, Te Deum by Wojciech Kilar, Suita Lubelska czyli Pieśń o Kolchidzie by Romuald Lipko, the triptych Z ziemi wiernej by Piotr Selim, Missa Brevis by Jan Szopiński.

The 70th anniversary of artistic activity of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Choir and the 35th anniversary of professor Urszula Bobryk’s artistic work will be celebrated with the performance of two world premières of Caelum et Terra by Romuald Twardowski for choir and orchestra, and of the oratorio Metamorphoseon by Leszek Możdżer for piano, choir and orchestra.

Urszula Bobryk is a greatly respected musician and choir conductor. For her activities and achievements in the field of art and popularization of culture she was presented with:

  • awards by the Rector of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (many times),
  • awards by the President of Lublin (twice: in 1999 and 2004),
  • the Honorary Golden Badge of Merit awarded by Polish Association of Choirs and Orchestras (1999),
  • the Honorary Badge of Merit Zasłużony dla Kultury Polskiej awarded by The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of The Republic of Poland (2005),
  • the Medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (2008),
  • the Angelus animacji życia kulturalnego Award (2016).