Information about the Festival 


   The organizer of the International Festival of Orthodox Church Music “Hajnówka” in Bialystok is the “Orthodox Church Music” Foundation in Hajnówka.
   We have held the Festival annually since 1982. So far, 895 choirs from 41 countries from Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Australia have participated in the Festival. We hosted choirs from Armenia, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Lebanon, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States.
   During the Festival orthodox church music is performed by the choirs regardless of their nationality or religion – we host not only orthodox church choirs, but also catholic, Greek catholic, protestant, old-believers’, as well as muslim, buddhist, jewish. The openness of the Festival, the variety of repertoire and cultural diversity is an example of mutual respect and tolerance, confirming the idea of the Festival as the Musical Forum of East and West.
   The aim of the International Festival of Orthodox Church Music “Hajnówka” in Bialystok is to present the great artistic and spiritual values of Orthodox Church music. Its program also creates opportunities for discussions, meetings, exchanges of experiences and forming new relationships between participants from different environments – thus enriching its aims with aesthetic and educational objectives.
   The Festival takes place under the Patronage of the President of Poland as well as the Patronage of the Polish Ministry of Culture and the Artistic Patronage of prof. Krzysztof Penderecki – one of the most prominent contemporary composers.
   Choirs participating in the Festival`s competition are judged by an international jury in the following categories: amateur (parish and secular), children and youth, music academies and professional. In 1995, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage qualified the International Festival of Orthodox Music „Hajnówka” in Bialystok to the musical art events at the highest level, giving it a „zero category”, same as International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition and thus the most famous Polish world music events.




  1. We have been organizing the International Festival of Orthodox Church Music „Hajnówka” annually, every May since 1982.
  2. Mixed, male and female choirs (max. 35 singers in choir) both from Poland and from abroad are able to participate in the Festival in the following categories:
  3. 1. amateur choirs:
    a)  parish choirs
    b) secular choirs
    c) children and youth choirs
    2. music academy choirs
    3. professional choirs
  4. The category and the authenticity of each amateur choir should be personally confirmed by its artistic manager.
  5. The repertoire should contain no less than five Orthodox Church music pieces, while time of performance should last about 18-20 minutes.
  6. We recommend varying up the repertoire in its historical cross-section, as well as using contrasting tempos, dynamics, and forms.
    Any changes in the repertoire can be reported until 15 March 2020.
  7. Applications should be sent to the Organizer’s Office by 15 January 2020.
  8. The organizers will inform choirs whether they’ve qualified for the Festival by the end of January 2020.
  9. Choirs qualified and invited to participate in the Festival are requested to submit the following information by the end of February 2020.
  10. a) phonetic titles and performance times of each composition (also in English)
    b) full names of their composers
    c) a single copy of notes for each of the compositions included in the program.
  11. The performances of the choirs are estimated by the international jury presided by Prof. Romuald Twardowski based on the following criteria:
  12. a) choice of repertoire
    b) interpretation
    c) conducting
    d) artistic impression
  13. All participating choirs will receive commemorative diplomas. The best choirs will be awarded with prizes. The choirs appointed by the jury are obliged to take part in the Gala Concert (in the same composition as during the qualifying auditions).
  14. The Organizers provide lodging and sustenance (3 meals a day).
  15. Participants cover their travel expenses and are to partly finance their visit through a money transfer (20 EURO per person per day) onto the organizers’ bank account to be made by 15 February 2020.
12.A written resignation from the participation in the Festival before 1 March 2020 will allow the return of the transferred funds.
13.Aside from participation in the Festival, the Organizers anticipate the choirs to perform in accompanying concerts (also using different repertoires).
14.The organizers reserve unlimited right for recording, duplication and distribution of recorded concerts through various means. The choirs and their conductors do not receive any compensation for participation in the concerts or for eventual radio or TV recordings made during the Festival.
15.All decisions of the regulations are final.
16.Festival applications and any additional information may be obtained from:
Managing Office
of the International Festival of Orthodox Church Music „Hajnówka” in Bialystok
Tamary Sołoniewicz 2, 17- 200 Hajnówka, Poland
tel. 0048 85 682 20 89 or 0048 85 682 32 02





Director of the Festival
Mikołaj Buszko