Wratislavia Cantans, also referred to as the International Festival of Oratorio and Cantata Music, is held every September in Wrocław, Poland. The first festival was organized in 1966 by Andrzej Markowski: a composer and conductor, who took the post of director of the Wrocław Philharmonic in 1965 and who performed the function of artistic director of the Festival until 1976.
Between 1977 and 1996, when the Festival was organized by the Culture and Art Centre in Wrocław, the post of artistic director was given to Tadeusz Strugała, the former (1965–1976) organizing director. It was under Strugała’s management, when in 1978 Wratislavia Cantans was put on the list by the European Association of Music Festivals in Geneva, and thus officially earned the status of an international festival, although in fact, the Festival had hosted foreign artists since its very beginning.
In 1996 the post of general director was taken by Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg and in 1997 Ewa Michnik followed Tadeusz Strugała holding the position of artistic director. Michnik’s successors were Mariusz Smolij (2002 to 2004) and Jan Latham Koenig (2004 to 2005).
Meanwhile, under the management of Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg, in 1998 Wratislavia Cantans became a member of the New York’s International Society for the Performing Arts Foundation. Since 2005, the position of general director has been held by Andrzej Kosendiak and the position of artistic director has been performed by Paul McCreesh.
In 2006, during the 41st Wratislavia Cantans festival, the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir give its first official performance. The idea of the choir was put forward by Andrzej Kosendiak, while Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny was its founder and is now its director and conductor.
The initial oratorio-cantata formula was expanded with time to include chamber-music concerts, recitals and presentations of the visual arts.
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