The Senza Rigore Chamber Choir
The Senza Rigore Chamber Choir of the Academy of Music in Wrocław was formed in October 2000. It is made up of the Academy’s students and graduates. The name of the choir, suggested by one of its members, emphasises the voluntary nature of the undertaking and readiness to go beyond the standard curriculum of the studies. The founder, artistic director and conductor of the choir is prof. dr hab. Jolanta Szybalska-Matczak.
The intensive work of the group of people with a shared passion soon resulted in a debut during the 27th "Barbórka" Academic Choirs Festival in Wrocław in December 2000. Since then, the Senza Rigore Chamber Choir has had an opportunity to represent the Academy of Music in Wrocław at numerous prestigious concerts and festivals with a national and international reach, including: Cantus Organi International Organ Music Festival in Wołów, “Wieczory Tumskie” concerts in Wrocław, the Gliwice Choral Meetings, the 15th May with Early Music Festival in Wrocław, the Legnica Organ Conversatorium, the International Choral Festival in Hradec Kralove, the Kampanila International Choral Festival in Mikulov, the International Festival of Choirs and Orchestras in Riva del Garda, Toscana, the Eurochestries International Festival in Pons, and the International Choir Festival and Competition in Lloret de Mar. The choir has also performed at concerts organised at music academies in Warsaw, Bydgoszcz and Katowice. The choir performed the role of a workshop ensemble during the “Towards Polyphony” International Choral Conducting Competition organised at the Academy of Music in Wrocław. It has given concerts in the Czech Republic, Germany, Ukraine, Italy, France and Spain.
The Senza Rigore Chamber Choir has also run in choral competitions. The major achievements of the choir include:
- Grand Prix and special honourable mention at the Lucjan Laprus Choral Song Competition in Wrocław, Poland (2002),
- 1st place and special prize of the Director of the TVP 3 branch of the Polish Television at the 1st National Passion Songs Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland (2003),
- Grand Prix at the 6th Cantio Lodziensis Łódź Choral Festival, Poland (2003),
- 1st place and special prize of the Rector of the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz at the 2nd National Passion Songs Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland (2005),
- Honourable mention and special prize for performing the obligatory piece at the 9th Łapskie Te Deum International Sacred Song Festival in Łapy, Poland (2006),
- Grand Prix, honourable mention for the obligatory piece, honourable mention for the conductor at the 20th National Festival of Song of the Sea in Wejherowo, Poland (2008),
- 1st prize and the Gold Medal at the Musica Religiosa International Competition in Olomouc (2009),
- The Golden Diploma for the best performance of a piece by Feliks Nowowiejski and the prize for the best performance of a piece by a Polish composer at the Feliks Nowowiejski International Choral Music Festival in Barczewo, Poland (2012),
- Grand Prix for the best performance of a contemporary music piece, the Prof. Czesław Freund prize for the best conductor at the 10th Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Rybnik Choir Autumn International Festival in Rybnik, Poland (2014),
- 4 Golden Diplomas in the categories of sacred music, folk music, Catalonian music, P. Casals and special awards in the categories of Catalonian music and P. Casals at the 5th International Choir Festival and Competition in Lloret de Mar, Barcelona, Spain (2015).
- 1st prizes and the Gold Diploma in the categories of mixed choirs and sacred music, and the prize for the best conductor at the 12th In… Canto Sul Garda International Choral Competition in Riva del Garda, Italy (2017).
- Grand Prix, the Golden Diploma in the category of chamber choirs, the Golden Diploma in the category of sacred music at the 11th Johannes Brahms International Choir Competition in Wernigerode, Germany (2019).
The list of awards testifies to the strong commitment of all choir singers. Each of them, in spite of their busy schedules and a number of other activities, devotes a lot of time and effort to the choir. Senza Rigore is indeed a place for enthusiasts passionate about choir singing. The fact that this passion also translates into successes in competitions that bring credit to the Academy is a source of true satisfaction for the members of the choir and the conductor.