All unusual events have their origins in a one moment – the Big Bang. For AZM – Academic Music Ensemble of The Silesian University of Technology, that happened when the internal enthusiasm and the passion for music of Silesian University of Technology students was discovered. For these people music is not just a hobby – it is a way of life.
AZM was founded in 1996 and since then has been under the chairmanship of a great conductor Prof. Krystyna Krzyżanowska-Łoboda. The Ensemble was created from choral singers and instrumentalists, its name proposed by former rector of The Silesian University of Technology – Prof. Willibald Winkler.
After a short period of time the effects of singing together has begun to exceed the wildest dreams of choir members. Between 1996 and 2000, as part of the project ‘AZM Invites’, they hosted choirs from the USA, Finland and the Netherlands in Gliwice. Between 1997 and 1999 two editions of Polish-Estonian Music Academy People to People International were held. In 2000, the first edition of International Workshop Music was held, which after time adopted the official name of the International Music Workshop "Musica Pro Europe". As a result AZM has started receiving many of rewards, but – let's get back to the Ensemble...
What makes AZM unique?
There are dozen of theories. Some people claim that it is the incredible atmosphere during rehearsals, the active engagement of choir members or the one-of-a-kind charisma of the conductor. Others say it is the repertoire, where everyone can find something for themselves, or the individual approach to singers voice emissions, and the opportunity to travel and represent the country in international competitions.
But, one thing is certain. It is the place where for many students an unforgettable adventure associated with musicstarted. Former members of AZM perform in the largest concert halls around the world, and current ones are following their career paths in music. Despite the high level of the AZM skills, nobody is jealous of each other’s talents – the Ensemble is like a family where everybody understands that to achieve a lot, the members have to work as a team. The best proofs of that are all additional rehearsals and integration meetings organized by themselves.
Where can I listen to AZM?
The AZM is very strongly associated with its hometown – Gliwice, and its Alma Mater – University of Technology in Gliwice. The Ensemble inaugurates the academic year – both in Gliwice Cathedral as well as at various departments of the Silesian University of Technology. It has performed in virtually every church in its hometown. It has been performed on numerous national and international festivals in Germany, Finland, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Bulgaria, Austria, Greece, Spain, Estonia, Hungary, Ukraine and Malta. ans can also purchase AZM CDs at each of their concerts.
What kind of music does AZM perform?
That seems to be a tough question. The best and the easiest way is just say ‘good’, but is does not reflect the Ensemble’s diversified repertoire. The AZM is not limited to any particular music category, style or era. The band performs compositions of Bach as well as pieces of music written by Polish composers, Finnish folk music or contemporary music. One year, AZM was able to support the gospel chorus singers who performed "Ein Deutsches Requiem" by Brahms and won four silver medals at the European Choir Olympic Games.