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Apolonia Nowak

Trwa ładowanie zdjęć

Kurpian singer, also known for her handicraft work

Personal details:

Born in 1944

The leading white voice of the Kurpie region

She is one of the most famous Kurpie women in Poland. Her achievements include, among other things, nomination for the “Fryderyk” music award. She has cooperated with the famous jazz musician Włodzimierz Nahorny and has toured all over the world. Apolonia Nowak is the most successful artist of the Kurpie region.

To start with, Ms Apolonia owns a strong, clear “white” voice. She uses a singing technique, which exploits the chest register and is akin to controlled screaming. Right after graduation from her high school she got an offer to join the “Mazowsze” Song and Dance Ensemble, but at that time she couldn’t afford to take advantage of this opportunity. Only many years later she could eventually sing with “Mazowsze” on “Wesele Kurpiowskie” (Kurpie Wedding) – a cultural event organized in Kadzidło.

In 1960 she joined a folk group “Kurpianka – Cepelia”, where she soon became a soloist. She toured Italy, the UK and Russia and it is easy to lose count of the awards she has won. Moreover, Apolonia Nowak is not only a singer, she is a truly versatile artist. She deals with folk art paper cutting and she makes crepe tissue paper flowers. In one of these occupations she is even the precursor of a new style. She was the first one to introduce anthropomorphic motives to Kurpian paper cutting, such as the sacral one with Our Lady of Częstochowa or the figures of Pope John Paul II and father Jerzy Popiełuszko. Into her paper cuttouts she also incorporated images of Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Lech Wałęsa and even… Barack Obama.

Singing and paper cutting are talents that she developed at home. As a child she would often sing while helping her mother with art works that she did for Spółdzielnia Rękodzieła Ludowego i Artystycznego (co-operative for folk artists) “Kurpianka”, in which Apolonia herself also worked in the 70’s. Her paper cutouts were presented at many folklore events and art fairs in Germany, Sweden, the UK, France, Turkey, Italy and the USA.

Ms Apolonia is always open to work with artists from various musical fields. Among others, she cooperates with the ensemble of the Warsaw Music Society “Ars Nova” led by Jacek Urbaniak. Her personality and talent inspired a film director, Mariusz Grzegorzek, to make a musical movie Panny Smutne. The songs of Apolonia Nowak also became the basis for a theatrical play “Nocą siedzę przed sobą” (made by Polish TV Programme 2), where the artist performed along with the actor Marek Walczewski.

In 2008 Ms Apolonia celebrated the 50th anniversary of her creative activity. Despite the spectacular success, she maintains a healthy distance to her achievements – she enjoys them, but without flashing them around, and she just gets on with her business. She is an example of a person who achieved a lot thanks to her talent and work, but who managed to stay true to herself. In 2014 she made it to the “Złota dziesiątka kobiet Mazowsza” (Top Ten Women of Mazovia) as part of the Successful Women (“Kobiety Sukcesu”) contest.

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Adres miejsca

07-420 Kadzidło
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692 528 436
(29) 76 18 238