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Stefan Stuligrosz,

conductor, teacher, musicologist and composer; b. 26th August 1920 in Poznań, d. 15th June 2012 in Puszczykowo. In the years 1931-37 he attended the Saint Mary Magdalene Middle School in Poznań. From 1937 until the outbreak of World War II, he learned the merchant trade at the Woźniak’s Department Store. After the war he graduated from the Karol Marcinkowki Middle School in Poznań. He studied piano and music theory with Gertruda Konatkowska and solo singing with Maria Trąmpczyńska. As a boy, he joined the soprano section of the Poznań Cathedral Choir conducted by Father Wacław Gieburowski. After the Gestapo arrested Gieburowski in 1939, Stuligrosz took over as conductor of the 24-voice Boys' and Men's Choir. In 1945 he founded the ‘Poznań Nightingales’ Boys' and Men's Choir. Since 1950 the choir under his direction regularly collaborated with the Poznań Philharmonic. After the occupation, in 1951, he graduated from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, where he studied musicology with Adolf Chybiński. Two years later he graduated with honours from the State Higher School of Music in Poznań, where he studied singing with Maria Trąmpczyńska and symphonic conducting with Walerian Bierdiajew.

From 1951 to 1982 Stuligrosz was a faculty member of the Academy of Music in Poznań, where he taught choral conducting. He was the Dean of the Vocal Department (1963-64), the Academy’s Vice-Chancellor (1964-67) and Chancellor (1964-67, 1967-1981), and the head of the Department of Choral Studies (1972-82), which was established on his initiative. He trained a number of excellent choir conductors of international renown. Stuligrosz's other activities included membership in the Section of Music and the Presidium of the Council of Higher Artistic Education at the Ministry of Culture and Art (1973-82), managing the Music Division of the Polish Radio in Poznań (1953-63) and chairing the Henryk Wieniawski Poznań Music Society (1971-90).

Stuligrosz composed over 600 sacred choral works and over 100 arrangements of Polish and foreign carols. He was also involved in research on choral music and studies. A film portrait of the famous conductor, Stuligrosza szkoła przetrwania [Stuligrosz’s School of Survival] directed by Monika Górska, was released in 2008.

Stuligrosz's success with the Poznań Nightingales and his pedagogical work have been recognized with a number of awards, medals and distinctions. He received the Golden Cross of Merit (1952), the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1955), the Art Award of the City of Poznań (1955), the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1959), the 1st degree Award of the Minister of Culture (1970, 1977), the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1973), State Awards of the 1st degree (1976, 1984), Grand Cross of the Pontifical Order of Pope Saint Sylvester awarded by the Holy Father John Paul II (1989), Commemorative Medal "Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam" awarded by the Poznań Voivode (1993), Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1997), "Adi Art" 2001 statuette, Polish Radio "Diamond Baton" (2005), Gold Medal for Merit to Culture Gloria Artis (2005), Jerzy Kurczewski Award (2007), "Master of Polish Speech" Award (2008), "Per Artem ad Deum Medal" annual award presented by the Pontifical Council for Culture (2012). In 1995 he received an honorary doctorate from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, in 2000 – from the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome, in 2002 – from the Academy of Music in Poznań, and in 2009 – from the Catholic University of Lublin. The world-renowned maestro also received symbolic keys to New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Chicago. In 2015 the square in front of the Academy of Music in Poznań was officially named after Stefan Stuligrosz.

updated: 2020 (ac)