Folk musicians in traditional village
costumes of the Krakow region are the endangered species among the
numerous street artists in the Old Town historic districts.
the city of music
historic area resounds with music of every kind as street musicians
vie for your attention and spare change at every corner. More
demanding audience may choose between frequent concerts and recitals
of classical music and diverse musical offerings of numerous clubs.
There is also no shortage of
selling CDs in downtown Krakow where the latest releases of the
world’s top acts are available as soon as they are launched in Paris
or Berlin. Radio stations mostly fill the local airwaves with recent
international hits and their domestic counterparts as well as pop
evergreens, though a few specialize in jazz or classical music. The
Old Town’s huge central
often serves as an open-air concert venue when some ensemble
(usually a pop band) takes up the makeshift stage by the
Town Hall Tower.
Note: Every full hour a Krakow
trumpeter plays the city's famous medieval
bugle call (hejnal
in Polish) from the tower of
St. Mary's church
overlooking the central square - always four times, towards four
directions of the world.
Listen to the
Krakow bugle call
Krakow's musical trends
Single personality towers above the local musical scene – Mr.
Krzysztof Penderecki who ranks among the world’s greatest living
composers of modern classical music (while his wife Elzbieta is
arguably Poland’s most influential impresario nowadays). Nonetheless
the latest works are rarely performed in Krakow, and even renderings
of the 20th-century classics happen rather seldom as the well-known
19th-century and earlier music is the king in the city’s concert
In the 21st century Poland’s mass audience remains firmly tuned in to
pop performed by the British and American acts as well as the native
ones. The latter often take inspiration from the musical traditions of
various peoples in the Central-East Europe. Yet it has little bearing on
the city’s vibrant club scene divided between varied DJ sets,
alternative pop and indie rock, hip-hop, blues, reggae, traditional rock
and mainstream jazz popular with club operators.
Auditorium Maximum of the Krakow university, 35 Krupnicza street,
often doubles as a music hall for 1,200.
Most popular venues
for music in Krakow
Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra plays regularly in its Filharmonia concert
hall at 1 Zwierzyniecka street where also most foreign orchestras,
ensembles and soloists perform on their visits to the city as well as
the city's other musicians. The hall
also resounds occasionally with pop music.
For decades, the
Krakow Opera Company had to make use
of the immense stage and plush auditorium of the
Teatr Slowackiego theater
at Sw. Ducha Pl. which often provides shelter to varied musical events.
Since December 2008 the brand-new, purpose-built
opera house at Lubicz street
has become the city's main venue for operatic productions as well as
operetta shows and ballet performances.
The Krakow Chamber Opera has its playhouse at 15 Miodowa street in the
Krakow’s classical-music orchestras, ensembles, choirs, etc. usually
give concerts in smaller halls such as Florianka at 8 Basztowa
street. Also, they often lease the city’s Gothic
famed for their splendid acoustics, for a night or two. Throughout
summer there are frequent open-air concerts – in gardens, the Old
Town's beautiful courtyards, on squares, etc.
Krakow clubs are
plentiful but usually not large – few can seat more than 100 and
those with a seating capacity of 200-300 are considered really big.
Recorded music is the staple, with live performances two or three
nights a week.
Some Krakow DJs gain local fame, while club celebrities from other
Polish cities and from abroad spin here occasionally too. Krakow's
DJ-produced 'club music' is restricted practically to Friday and
Saturday nights and it largely boils down to house though some
places do try diversify into breaks, jungle, drum'n'bass, nu jazz,
progressive, and whatever.
Musical Yearly Events in Krakow
Sources and Inspirations
International Percussion Festival, Shanties International
Festival of Sailors’ Songs
March: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Festival.
Paschalia festival of classical music.
April: ‘The Old
and The Young’ International Jazz
May: Festival of Krakow Composers, Film Music Festival,
Orthodox-Church Music Meetings, Days of Mendelssohn's Music.
June: Selector Festival (electronic music),
Summer Festival of Opera and Operetta,
International Festival of Military Bands,
Jewish Culture Festival.
Festival of Polish Music,
Summer Jazz Festival,
Tyniec Organ Recitals, Summer Organ Concerts, Crossroads Festival
of Traditional Music, Benedictine Music Summer.
in Old Krakow’ International Festival,
Summer Academy of Music, Tyniec Organ Recitals, Summer Organ Concerts, Coke Live Music
Contemporary Chamber Music
Danza' Festival of Court Dance.
Sacrum-Profanum Festival, Cracow Jazz
Autumn, Young Artists in Krakow Festival.
October: 7xGospel, Unsound Festival, Student Song
Festival, Krakow Ballet Meetings.
‘Zaduszki’ Jazz Festival,
Organ and Harpsichord Music Days, Audio Art Festival, Days of Church
December: ‘Jazz Juniors’ International
Competition of Young Jazz Bands.
Click to see updates on current and upcoming events.
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Theater in Krakow
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Yearly Cultural Events in Krakow
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