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Aleksandra Szurmiak-Bogucka,

ethnomusicologist, promoter of regional culture; b. 26 December 1928 in Nowy Sącz. She attended the Secondary School of Music in Kraków, where she studied piano with Prof. Halina Ekier. She graduated from the Institute of Musicology of Jagiellonian University (1949-53), having studied under Z. Jachimecki, J. Reiss, S. Łobaczewska, and W. Poźniak, on top of which she completed a programme in ethnography under K. Moszyński and J. Klimaszewska. She conducted extensive field research on musical folk heritage of different ethnographic groups, mostly in the south of Poland. She specialises in traditional music of the Polish Carpathian Mountains and Subcarpathia. She started her professional career in 1954 at the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Science in Warsaw, working at the Folk Music Research Laboratory under Jadwiga and Marian Sobieski. In 1953 she joined the Kraków Regional Team to record and document traditional music folklore together with her husband, Kazimierz Bogucki, as part of the nationwide Fieldwork Collection of Musical Folklore. She collected a few thousand songs, melodies, and interviews with Lachy Sądeckie and Limanowskie, Górale of Skalne and Niżne Podhale, Górale Żywieccy, Górale Rytersko-Piwniczańscy, Górale Gorczańscy, Górale Pienińscy, Górale of Spisz and Orawa, Łemkowie, Cracovians, especially Eastern Cracovians, and – during her time at university – residents of Kurpie and Mazowsze regions. In 1965-91 she was an editor at PWM Edition, working e.g. on the series Obrzędy i zwyczaje ludowe (Folk Rites and Customs) and heading the section of early and folk music. She also taught on folklore at the Department of Music History (1963-64) and Department of Ethnography (1982-84) of Jagiellonian University; the Provincial Culture Centre in Nowy Sącz (1985-92); and since 1972 – annual folklore seminars held during the festival "Limanowska Słaza" in Limanowa.

Aleksandra Szurmiak-Bogucka has published a range of books, papers, and other writings. She has been invited to speak at many conferences and seminars. She is a consultant of the "Sokół" Małopolska Culture Centre (Małopolski Centrum Kultury "Sokół") in Nowy Sącz, member of many expert commissions and artistic councils operating at the regional, national, and international level (e.g. Polish Section of the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts, CIOFF), and juror of folklore competitions and showcases (e.g. m.in. International Festival of Highland Folklore in Zakopane, Festival of Lowland Folklore in Tarnów, Podhale Bands Competition in Szczawnica, Highland Carnival in Bukowina Tatrzańska, International Folklore Festival in Wisła and Żywiec, or the Festival of Folk Bands and Singers in Kazimierz Dolny). Together with her husband, she set up and led the Podhale Regional Band in Nowy Targ, and served as a music consultant of the Lachy Regional Band in Nowy Sącz. She assists many other regional bands with professional advice. Both in her research and efforts for the promotion of regional heritage she has been paying utmost attention to preserving local traditions in their original form and bringing them closer to contemporary audiences. She has devised many programmes derailing with the musical folklore of the region of Carpathia for Polish Radio. She is a member of the Polish Composers' Union (Section of Musicologists), Society of Folk Culture Lovers in Kraków, Society of Orawa Lovers, Association of Polish Highlanders, and the Polish Society for Ethnochoreology in Warsaw, whose lexicon Taniec w polskiej tradycji (Dance in Polish Tradition) she co-edited. She received the Oskar Kolberg Award in 1986.


updated: November 2014 (ab)