THE IDEA OF THE COMPETITION
THE GOAL AND THE IDEA BEHIND THE COMPETITION
International Flute Competition in Krakow came to life due to the need to create a beautiful artistic event in town but also thanks to the organizer’s certainty that it is needed and has a chance to become a local tradition.
The first Competition was listed one of the the most significant artistic events that took place in Poland in 1999. It instantly gained acclamation which resulted from high artistic level, attractive programme and charming ambiance of kindness combined with intense work.
It has been years now that I have the opportunity to observe this event. Since I am able to compare the Competition with similar events around the world, I may without hesitation admit it is an exemplary one and Krakow along with all the country should be truly proud of this achievement. It is rare to see such solicitude for clarity of evaluation criteria, perfect organization and an atmosphere of respect and kindness. The transparent formula of the competition, effective advertising and the educational values of the event are evident and make the number of competitors and audience grow with every edition.
Where does this success come from? The answer is simple. It is the unquestionable charm of flute music and the big heart of the organizer.
I wish the Academy of Music in Krakow to preserve this mastery of style and the International Flute Competition to continue to shine bright in the Krakow Old Town. May this chronicle be the best confirmation of my words.
At the turn of the century, Krakow became one of the symbols of the most refined level of flute playing. Thanks to six editions of the competition (three of which were on a national scale), the International Flute Competition for young flute virtuosi was born.
I am filled with great satisfaction because the Krakow’s Competition gained sincere approval and strongly positive reactions from most renowned musical experts. Talented flutists from all around the world gather on the stage in Krakow to accept the challenge of presenting their skills before the great masters of their instrument, whose comments and observations often play a significant role in their future career path.
I owe special thanks to the Jury Members. Their rich artistic personalities, wholehearted engagement in the jury sessions, expertise and experience is what creates the unique and culture-forming quality of the Competition. I feel entitled to feeling proud since the international achievements of the prizewinners of our competition increase its prestige every year. I am truly happy to see them touch the hearts of the contemporary audience all around the world.
The international flute society highly values the honorary patronage of prof. dr h.c. Krzysztof Penderecki. I would like to thank past and present Rectors of the Academy of Music in Krakow for all the support and benevolence. I am very grateful to the Ministry of Culture for all the help needed to implement the idea of developing such a beautiful music event in Poland. Special thanks also go to the fantastic coordination team members: Krzysztof Rymarczyk, Agnieszka Dzik, Janusz Pater and Kazimierz Płoskoń for their relentless efforts to ensure flawless course of all the previous editions of the Competition. The contribution made by all the Sponsors for the last seventeen years also has to be mentioned. I would like to congratulate them on the wonderful results of their support and wish the continued success of this noble initiative.
I hope that this Chronicle depicts the beautiful qualities of the International Flute Competition and shall encourage participation of even greater number of competitors and guests in the future.
About the Competition
The Flute Competition in Krakow came to life in 1989. The first three editions were held on a national level (1989, 1992, 1995) and then it transformed into an international competition (since 1999). This conversion resulted from the interest of musical circles in organizing an international event for interpreters of flute music in Central Europe. The idea originated in Krakow, the culturally richest city of Poland and was conceived by Barbara Świątek-Żelazna, one of the most outstanding figures on the Polish music stage, rector of the Academy of Music in Krakow (1999 to 2002), and the Head of the Wind, Percussion and Accordion Department (since 1981).
Barbara Świątek-Żelazna: … I had been thinking of organizing a Flute Competition long time before it happened. I began seriously considering the idea in 1985 when I was invited to be member of the Jury at the prestigious international competition in Munich. I remember one of the great masters there saying „playing the flute has gone from a disease to an epidemic!” My thought was to try doing the best I could in order to improve the level of flute playing in Poland. Competition seemed the right answer. Nothing stimulates progress like competing.
Anna Woźniakowska: The Krakow Competition was born 10 years ago when Barbara Świątek-Żelazna organized the 1st National Flute Competition for the students of secondary music schools and universities. The meeting of flutists from all around Poland in Krakow was a breakthrough point. As a consequence, the Polish Flutist Association, cooperating closely with parallel organizations from abroad, was established and the competition had its next editions. All these factors contributed to the improvement of the skills presented by Polish flute players. Political transformation also played its part since it brought easier access to instruments, scores and recordings. It enabled international travel and contacts. International educational exchange developed quickly which allowed the organizers of the Competition to expand the scope of the event.