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Józef Świder,

composer and teacher; b. 19th August 1930 in Czechowice; d. 22nd May 2014 in Katowice. He studied piano with Stefania Allinówna, music theory with Adam Mitscha and composition with Bolesław Woytowicz at the State Higher School of Music in Katowice. He continued his studies as an aspirant in the class of Bolesław Woytowicz, and then as a scholarship holder of the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome under the supervision of Goffredo Petrassi.

From 1952 he worked as a lecturer in composition and music theory at the Academy of Music in Katowice (from 1979 as a professor), where for many years he also served as dean and vice-chancellor. In addition, he was a professor at the Cieszyn Branch of the University of Silesia (for 15 years he headed the Institute for Music Education), as well as at the Postgraduate Choirmaster Studies at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. Among his students were Aleksander Lasoń, Andrzej Dziadek, and Wiesław Cienciała. He lectured at courses for conductors and music instructors, he was a juror of composition and singing competitions. For many years he was an active member of the Silesian branch of Polish Union of Choirs and Orchestras (PZChiO), holding the post of its artistic director from 1968 until 1975. In the years 1979-1981 and 1982-1975 he was the chairman of the Katowice branch of Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP), being its member from 1958. He was also a member of the ZAiKS Authors' Association.

For his work as a composer, he received, among others, the award at the Grzegorz Fitelberg Composition Competition for Concertino da camera, the second prize at the National Composers' Competition for the cantata Song about your homeland (1964), the Artistic Award of the Katowice voivodeship for the opera Wit Stwosz (1975), the award at the Festival of Polish Choral Music (1984), the "White Eagle" award at the Festival of Songs about Homeland in Kraśnik (1985), the "Silesian Polyhymnia" award for choir work and the Stanisław Ligoń Award of the Polish Radio Katowice (1986). The composer’s output includes over 200 pieces of choral music, three operas, several oratorios and numerous instrumental works. His compositions has been published by Polish and foreign publishing houses, including PWM Edition (Poland), Carus-Verlag, Verlag Dohr, Edition Ferrimontana (Germany), Gentry Publication (USA), Molenaar Edition (Netherlands). 

For his outstanding achievements, Józef Świder received many awards and distinctions. He was awarded, among others, the Silver and Golden Cross of Merit (1970 and 1974), Awards of the Minister of Culture and Art (II degree – 1973, I degree – 1975), the Knight's Cross and the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1979 and 1994), Award of the Prime Minister for works for children and youth (1987), Award of the Minister of Education for outstanding achievements in education (2000), Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for outstanding achievements in arts and education (2000), Primate of Poland “Silver Pipe” Award, Distinction of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for outstanding achievements in the dissemination of musical culture (2005), Centenary Award of the Silesian Association of Choirs (2010), and Pope John Paul II Order for merits to the Archdiocese of Kraków (2011).

On 17th August 2015 the Composer’s family has established Józef Świder Foundation. The institution carries out, above all, unpaid public benefit activities in the fields of culture and music education. Its main purpose is to popularize, promote, gather, document, preserve and cultivate the artistic output, achievements and musical legacy of Józef Świder, both in Poland and internationally.

updated: 2020 (ac)


Toccatina for trumpet and piano (1951)
Vocalise for soprano and viola (1951)
Golden Ballad for male choir and orchestra (1952)
Allegro e moderato for two pianos * (1953)
Missa simplex [version I] for mixed choir and organ (1953)
Sonata for bassoon and piano (1953)
Erotic poem for female choir and orchestra (1953)
Suite for two pianos (1953)
Four Songs for soprano (or tenor) and piano * (1953-56)
Concerto for piano and symphony orchestra (1955)
Concerto for soprano and symphony orchestra (1956)
Sonata for violin and piano (1956)
Little String Quartet (1957)
Four Songs for mixed choir * (1958-62)
Forest Silence for mixed choir (1959)
Sonata for cello and piano (1959)
Symphony (1960)
Two Songs for mixed choir (1961)
Concertino da camera for chamber ensemble (1961)
Nocturne for mixed choir (1961)
Miracles and Wonders for mixed choir * (1961)
Two Songs for mixed choir (1961)
Lullaby for male choir * (1962)
You stay and play the violin for mixed choir (1962)
Capriccio for clarinet and piano (1962)
Eternal summer, cantata for alto solo, male choir and orchestra (1962)
Lyrical Songs for mixed choir * (1963)
Three Songs to words by Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński for mixed choir (1963)
Concerto for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, strings and percussion (1963)
Songs about Your Homeland, cantata for soprano solo, mixed choir and orchestra (1964)
Two Songs to words by Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński for male choir * (1964)
Allegro and Gavotte for 2 pianos (1964)
Three Songs for alto and small symphony orchestra (1964)
"Jubilee" Ode for mixed choir and symphony orchestra (1964)
Canzonette senza parole for soprano (or tenor) and piano * (1965)
Rondo concertante for piano, organ and string orchestra (1965)
Song about Wit Stwosz for soprano, male choir and organ (1967)
Fantastic Dance for guitar (1967)
Silesia is Singing for mixed choir * (1968)
Little serenade for two trombones, horn, tuba and piano (1968)
Ten Silesian Songs for male, female and mixed choir (1968-79)
Magnus, opera in 3 acts (1970)
Insurrectionary Triptych, oratorium for solo voices, choir and orchestra (1971)
Wit Stwosz, opera in 3 acts with prologue (1974)
From those Days for soparno, mezzo-soprano, baritone, three mixed choirs and orchestra (1974)
Little Symphony in Three Parts for wind orchestra (1975)
Gaude Mater for mixed choir and guitar ensemble (1975)
Lyrical Miniatures for wind quintet (1975)
Steel Poem for tenor, bass, mixed choir and symphony orchestra (1976)
Ball of Songs, opera-musical in 3 acts (1977)
Five Songs to words by Adam Mickiewicz for mixed choir (1978)
Morning Music and other songs for female choir * (1978)
Suite for accordion and string orchestra (1979)
Old Shaft for male choir (1979)
Silesiana, oratorio for solo voices, choir and orchestra (1980)
Cantus gloriosus for mixed choir * (1980)
Cantus tristis for mixed choir * (1980)
Chamber Music, 6 songs for baritone and piano (1980)
Evocations for piano and chamber orchestra (1982)
Ten Songs to words by Polish poets for mixed choir * (1983)
Autumn Songs for low voice and piano * (1983)
Five Songs for male choir (1984)
Canon for mixed choir * (1984)
Rondo for mixed choir * (1984)
Ave Maria for mixed choir * (1984)
Prayer of Fr. Kordecki from "The Deluge" for mixed choir (1984)
Polish Songs for mixed choir and orchestra (1984)
Little Variations in D Major for mixed choir (1985)
Vowels for female choir * (1985)
Una bella canzone for mixed choir (1985)
Carol Mosaic for mixed choir (1985)
Great Choral Waltz, march for mixed choir * (1985-86)
Polonaise for mixed choir (1986)
Cantate Domino for mixed choir (1986)
A Little Vocal Concerto for female choir (1986)
Alla Polacca, Polish rhythms and melodies for female (or children's) choir * (1986)
Lullaby to words by Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński for mixed choir (1986)
Dance for mixed choir (1986)
Song about Happiness for mixed choir (1986)
Waltz in C-sharp minor for mixed choir (1986)
Cannonade for 3 or 4 voice canons * (1986)
Missa angelica for mixed choir, soprano solo and string orchestra (1986)
Symphony for organ, choir and orchestra (1986)
The Seasons for mixed choir (1987)
I like the end of the day for mixed choir (1987)
Who looks for you for mixed choir (1987)
Vocalisa pax for female choir (1987)
Crooked march for small brass band (1987)
Four Sonnets for mixed choir (1988)
Magnificat for mixed choir (1988)
Laudate pueri for mixed choir (1988)
Dixit Dominus for mixed choir (1988)
Ave Maris Stella for mixed choir (1988)
Beatus vir for mixed choir (1988)
From morning till night for children's choir and piano (1988)
Lux perpetua for mixed choir (1988)
Oberek for female choir (1988)
Vesperae in Festo B.M. Virginis for mixed choir and organ (1989)
Pater Noster for mixed choir (1989)
Missa corale for mixed choir (1990)
Prayer to the Mother of God for mixed choir (1990)
Missa in re for mixed choir a cappella * (1990)
Symphonic Play for orchestra (1990)
Libera me for mixed choir (1990-93)
Improvisation for clarinet and piano (1991)
Come Christians Join to Sing for mixed choir (1992)
Mamamia for female choir and piano (1992)
Perpetuum mobile for piano (1992)
Pater Noster for mixed choir (1993)
Missa brevis for mixed choir and piano or organ (1993)
Three Sacred Songs for mixed choir (1993)
Pièce ridicule for organ (1993)
Missa simplex [version II] for mixed choir and organ (1993)
Pièce sentimentale for organ (1993)
Mini-Quintetto for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon (1993)
Lullaby for mixed choir (1994)
Miserere for mixed choir (1995)
Little Triptych for wind orchestra and mixed choir (1995)
Chanson d’amour for mixed choir (1996)
"Musica sacra" Preludium for mixed choir and piano or organ (1996)
Requiem aeternam for mixed choir (1996)
Canti laudantes for soprano solo, mixed choir and symphony orchestra (1996)
Circus Music for wind orchestra (1996)
Ubi amor et caritas for mixed choir (1997)
What do You Want from Us, Lord [version I] for mixed choir and harp * (1997)
Concerto for guitar and string orchestra (1998)
Missa festiva for quartet of soloists, mixed choir and string orchestra (1998)
What do You Want from Us, Lord [version II] for mixed choir and piano * (1999)
Jubilate Deo for mixed choir and piano or organ (1999)
Psalm 150 – Laudate Dominum for mixed choir (2000)
Te Deum for soprano, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra (2001)
Three Songs to words by Joseph Eichendorff for mixed choir (2001)
De Profundis Clamavi for mixed choir (2002)
Da Pacem Domine for mixed choir (2002)
Canzonetta 2+1 for soprano, alto and baritone (2002)
Crescendo – diminuendo for mixed choir and piano (2002)
Salve Regina for mixed choir (2002)
Psalm 127Beati Omnes for mixed choir (2003)
Maggiore – minore for solo voices and piano (2003)
Meditazioni for guitar (2004)
Songs of joy for mixed choir and orchestra (2004)
Alma Redemptoris Mater for mixed choir and symphony orchestra (2005)
Toccatina e fugato for organ (2005)
Traditional Song for mixed choir (2006)
Laudate Dominum for mixed choir (2006)
To the Patron of Good Fame for mixed choir (2007)
Invocation for mixed choir (2007)
Gietrzwałd Litany for soprano, mixed choir and orchestra (2007)
Ode to Youth for mixed choir (2007)
Homeland for mixed choir (2007)
Stabat Mater for mixed choir (2007)
Supplications for mixed choir (2007)
Song of the Lord's Servant for mixed choir (2008)
The Journey of Mr Cogito for reciter, solo voices, mixed choir and piano (2008)
Psalm 84 – Quam dilecta tabernacula tua for mixed choir and orchestra (2009)
Rosary Paintings of Bocheńska Mother in Sacrifice for solo voices, boys' choir and orchestra (2009)
Double Canon for mixed choir and piano (2011)
Psalm 8 – Almighty Lord for mixed choir (2013)
Psalm 24 – And the earth, and whatever is on it for mixed choir (2013)
Psalm 66 – Let all the earth for mixed choir (2013)
Psalm 70 – Make haste, O God, to deliver me for mixed choir (2013)
Psalm 130 – De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine for mixed choir (2013)
Scherzo for alto saxophone and piano (2013)
Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied for solo voices, two choirs and orchestra (2014)