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Department of Cello and Double Bass

The Department of Cello was formed in 1961. The beginnings of the cello class in Krakow date back to 1874, when the first students of that instruments appeared at the Music School of the Music Society in Kraków. The School was active in the years 1867 – 1888. Between 1874 and 1887, the cello class was attended by over forty students. Wacław Loeffer was one of the first cello teachers.

In 1888, the Music School was transformed into the Conservatoire of the Music Society in Kraków owing to Władysław Żeleński, who became the principal. At the invitation of Władysław Żeleński, Professor Karol Skarżyński, an outstanding cellist and pedagogue, began to teach the cello class in 1898.

In 1929, the cello class at the Conservatoire of the Music Society was taken over by Ferdynand Macalik, who led it until 1939.

In 1945, the State Conservatoire in Kraków opened, and in 1946 it was renamed the State Higher School of Music, which became the Academy of Music in Kraków in 1979.

Following the example of other universities, team work in the form of departments was introduced in 1957, during the term of Rector Professor Bronisław Rutkowski. In the academic year 1961/62, the Cello Department was spun off from the String Instruments Department. Professor Józef Mikulski, considered to be the founder of the so-called Kraków school of cello playing, became its first head. In the years 1969–1981, the Department of Cello was closed as an independent unit and subsequently operated within the Department of String Instruments headed by Professor Eugenia Umińska.

In 1981, the Department of Cello was reopened with the added double bass section, forming the Department of Cello and Double Bass. It was again headed by Professor J. Mikulski, whose health was deteriorating at that time. Due to the Professor’s health problems, his responsibilities were then entrusted to Professor Witold Herman. When Professor Mikulski had retired, Professor W. Herman was appointed as head of the Department.

In the academic year 2002/2003, Professor Zdzisław Łapiński took over as head of the Department and has held that office since then.