Stefan Stuligrosz was born on 26 August 1920 in Poznań. He became attracted to music since early childhood and as a young boy he carefully watched rehearsals of the Cathedral Choir conducted by Fr. Wacław Gieburowski. This legendary choirmaster of pre-war Poznań confided in young Stuligrosz that he should become his successor, which did take place in 1939. Arrested by the Nazis, Fr. Gieburowski left Poznań and the nineteen-year-old Stefan Stuligrosz began clandestine rehearsals with a handful of singers. The choir sang during Masses in the Poznań churches of All the Saints in Grobla and of Our Lady of Sorrows in Łazarz. Residents of Poznań found it an extraordinary manifestation of the Polish spirit.

Following the Second World War, the young choirmaster began tertiary music studies, which progressed very quickly: 1951 – a diploma in musicology at A. Mickiewicz University in Poznań under Prof. Adolf Chybiński; 1953 – a diploma in symphonic conducting under Prof. Walerian Bierdiajew; 1953 – a diploma in soloist singing under Prof. Maria Trąmpczyńska and in the piano and music theory under Prof. Gertruda Konatkowska at the State Higher School of Music in Poznań.

At that time the boys’ and men’s choir conducted by Stefan Stuligrosz consisted of as many as 80 voices. The first significant national success was a guest performance in the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall in 1949. Poznań was proud of Stuligrosz’s Choir and began to call them “Poznań Nightingales”. Before long the ensemble became affiliated to the Poznań Philharmonics. This linkage has continued until today and apart from joint concerts is signalled in the official name of the group: The Boys’ and Men’s Choir of the Poznań Philharmonics “Poznań Nightingales”.

Stefan Stuligrosz was concurrently a long-standing and indefatigable teacher and educator at I. J. Paderewski Music Academy in Poznań, occupying the positions of its assistant lecturer, senior lecturer, associate professor and full professor. In the period 1967 – 1981 he was the President of the Academy. He educated esteemed conductors and choirmasters, e.g. Grzegorz Nowak, Janusz Dzięcioł, Jan Szyrocki, Kazimierz Górski, Fr. Kazimierz Szymonik, Mieczysław Dondajewski, Antoni Gref, and Maciej Wieloch.

Apart from conducting the “Poznań Nightingales”, Professor Stuligrosz would for short periods direct such choirs as Stanisław Moniuszko Mixed Choir, Men’s Choir “Echo”, and the Choir of Poznań Technical University. A man of hard work and artistic enthusiasm, in the period 1953 - 1963 he was the head of the Music Section of Polish Radio, Poznań Station, and from 1971 until 1990 the President of the Henryk Wieniawski Poznań Music Society. He has composed close to 600 pieces for the choir, a capella or to the accompaniment of a piano, organ and orchestra. He has arranged tens of Christmas carols and songs.

His accomplishments and merits have been recognized with the award of the following distinctions:
  • Crosses: Knight’s, Officer’s, Commander’s and Commander’s with a Star;

  • Order of the Standard of Work, 1st class;

  • Grand Cross of St. Silvester the Pope – granted by John Paul II;

  • The Order of Smile – conferred by children;

  • Honoris Causa Doctorates from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome and the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Musical Academy in Poznań and Catholic Univercity of Lublin;

  • “Gigant 2000” awarded by Gazeta Wyborcza daily in Wielkopolska for the style of work;

  • “A Diamond Baton” of the Polish Radio – presented on 16 September 2005 during the Grand Jubilee Gala of Polskie Radio SA in the Great Theatre in Warsaw;

  • National Award for Artists, A Ring of the Wise Men of Bethlehem, presented on 6 January 2006 by Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, Metropolitan of Poznań;

  • The title of “Master of Polish Language” conferred on 22 September 2008 for attentiveness to the language used by children and young people involved in vocal art and for exceptional skills of using language to speak about the manner of sound development in musical performances.

On October 10, 2010 Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski decorated Stefan Stuligrosz with the highest Polish state distinction, the Order of the White Eagle.

Stefan Stuligrosz died on 15 of June, 2012.



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