Cappella Gedanensis

Cappella Gedanensis has been playing for over 30 years. The group is a vocal and instrumental ensemble, specialising in renditions of early music. The beginnings of the ensemble date back to 1981, when a group of musicians led by Alina Kowalska – Pińczak, inspired by the rich collection of works by Gdańsk composers of the 16th – 18th centuries compiled in the library of the Polish Academy of Sciences, decided to return this music, which had been forgotten for generations to its former glory.

In continuing the tradition of the Town Councillors’ Ensemble formed in the 16th century, Cappella Gedanensis referred to Gdańsk’s musical heritage, finding its aim in the arrangement and publishing of the masterpieces of Gdańsk music. The music of Gdańsk performed by the Cappella is regularly featured in radio and television programmes broadcast by stations in Poland and abroad. The ample output of the Gdańsk musical legacy is represented by the following composers: Franciscus de Rivulo, P. Siefert, C. Förster, C. Büthner, Ch. Werner, N. Zangius, J.V. Meder, F.A. Volckmar, M.D. Freislich, J.B.Ch. Freislich. In addition to the Gdańsk repertory, the group also performs the great oratorio and cantata works by G.F. Händel, J.S. Bach, A. Vivaldi, B. Pergolesi, W.A. Mozart, F. Schubert, C. Saint-Saëns. Part of this prolific output has been released on cassettes, analogue discs and compact discs (11 CDs). A significant repertory is being prepared for recording. An album of Christmas carols recorded by the Cappella entitled The New Year at the Holy Father’s won a Platinum Disc.

The crowning of the groups work was its participation in festivals and concerts almost round the entire world – the USA, China, Israel and in most of the countries of Europe, including at the WDR Radio Festival in Herne and Schwabisch Gmünd (Spalt, Germany), the Sacred Music Festival in Abu Gosh (Israel) Wratislavia Cantans (Wrocław, Poland), the Early Music Festival (Brussels, Belgium), the Baroque Music Festival (Germany, Lithuania, Poland), the Royal Music Festival (Stockholm, Sweden). The group also performed for Pope John Paul II and took part in important historical events, playing for European presidents and monarchs: King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden; Queen Margaret II of Denmark; King Harald of Norway; Charles, the Prince of Wales, presidents Vaclav Havel and Lech Wałęsa and for Lady Margaret Thatcher.

In 1992, after eleven years of performing, Cappella Gedanensis obtained the status of a cultural institution approved by the Gdańsk City Council.