prof. dr h.c. Barbara Świątek-Żelazna
She graduated from the State Higher School of Music in Kraków, obtaining a diploma with honours in the flute class of Prof. Wacław Chudziak. Subsequently, she continued her flute education at the Conservatoire National Supérier de Musique de Paris under the guidance of Prof. Gastone Crunelle. She has worked for many years in the Polish Radio and Television Orchestra in Kraków as the solo flautist. She is the winner of national (Katowice, Łódź) and international (Vienna, Helsinki, Utrecht) competitions.
With Elżbieta Stefańska and Jerzy Klocek, they formed a Baroque Trio, and she was a member of the Warsaw Harp Trio together with Urszula Mazurek and Zdzisław Polonek; in addition, she was a soloist in the Kraków Chamber Orchestra under Kazimierz Kord and a long-time member of the MW2 band. Being a very active performer, she has participated, as a soloist and chamber music player, in a number of prestigious national and international music festivals. Numerous musical works have been recorded by her for the Polish Radio and Television and for foreign broadcast stations. As a soloist, she has given concerts with all the orchestras in Poland. She conducts flute master classes in Poland and abroad (Belgium, Ukraine). She is a member of the jury at international flute competitions (Munich – ARD, Lviv, Czerniowce) and national competitions (Dąbrowa Górnicza, Łódź, Sieradz, Kraków). Following her cooperation with Polish and foreign composers (including Krzysztof Meyer, Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar, Adam Walaciński, Bogusław Schaeffer, Krešimir Fribec), she has had a number of musical works dedicated to her. She was behind the idea, and is now the artistic director, of the International Flute Competition in Kraków. She has received various honours, including the Gold Medal of Merit to Culture Gloria Artis and the Officer’s Cross, and awards from the Minister of Art and Culture, the Award of the City of Kraków, Excellent in Teaching Award R. E. and R. A. Robinson, the Małopolskie Province Award Ars Quaerendi for outstanding contribution to the development and promotion of culture in the Master and Student category. During the International Festival of Contemporary Music “Warsaw Autumn,” she also received the prestigious Orpheus distinction awarded by SPAM critics for the most interesting artistic event of the Festival and for a path of artistic exploration. She is a full professor of the Academy of Music in Kraków. She has held the office of the Head of the Department of Wind Instruments, Percussion and Accordion. In 1999-2002, she was the Rector of the Academy of Music in Kraków. In 2019, she was awarded the degree of doctor honoris causa of the Academy of Music in Kraków.