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We have listened to the premiere of the T4EU Anthem!

25 April 2023 | University of Silesia, Poland


Three events organised by the University of Silesia within the Transform4Europe are taking place in Katowice: T4EU Week, the Festival of European Culture and the PhD Conference. The programme of the event featured the Gala Concert at Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice. During the concert, we had an opportunity to listen to the Anthem of the Transform4Europe for the first time; the piece was composed by Adrian Robak, PhD, Assoc. Prof., an employee of the University of Silesia.

The idea behind writing an anthem that could become an identifying element for members of the Transform4Europe Alliance was born during a less official conversation between Prof. Adrian Robak and Prof. Małgorzata Myśliwiec, the T4EU Coordinator at the University of Silesia. The composer working at the USil Institute of Music decided to seize the opportunities given by the ‘Freedom of Research’ call for proposals within the Research Excellence Initiative.

‘The piece itself is an attempt to reconcile contradictory values, to create a song of water and fire; at least that’s what I feel. On the one hand, I’ve wanted to be faithful to the original choir tradition reaching at least the Middle Ages one could not depart from, and on the other hand, to preserve artistic freedom. Although, how to reconcile a good melody embedded in the tradition with some author’s touch, something original and close to me at the same time? I believe that I’ve managed to do that,’ says Prof. Adrian Robak.

The piece was performed by over 200 instrumentalists and choir singers. Karol Szymanowski Youth Symphony Orchestra from the secondary-level National Music School was supported by the ‘Harmonia’ Choir of the University of Silesia, the Academic Choir of the Silesian University of Technology, the mixed choir from the mentioned music school, and Sofia University Ensemble St. Kliment Ohridski. The lyrics of the Anthem are incredibly significant, as emphasises their very composer:

‘The poem Spiritus movens by Joanna Soćko, created bearing in mind the Anthem, was absolutely crucial for me. It was written in English, although the word ‘question’ appears in many different languages of countries of the Alliance’s partner universities. The lyrics contain a passage about change as a factor we cannot develop without. It was the real inspiration for me,’ states Prof. Adrian Robak.

The Gala Concert took place on 25 April 2023 and was attended by 460 people, among others, representatives of voivodeship and local authorities—including academic cities—rectors of partner universities, members of the Transform4Europe Alliance, MPs, representatives of the Consular Corps, as well as USil representatives: the Rector, Vice-Rectors, the University Council, the Former Rectors Council, deans, chancellors, academics, administrative staff, students, PhD students, and graduates.

You can read the entire interview with Prof. Adrian Robak at us.edu.pl/idb/en/swoboda-badan-hymn-sojuszu-transform4europe.

Gala Concert
Photo by Tomasz Kiełkowski
Photo by Tomasz Kiełkowski
Adrian Robak, PhD, Assoc. Prof.
Photo by Tomasz Kiełkowski
artistic performance
Photo by Tomasz Kiełkowski