Dear participants of the festival, friends of choir singing, enthusiasts of performing arts, ladies and gentlemen,

music is a phenomenon. Often it is a medicine that helps to overcome obstacles or difficult moments. It is an art that caresses the hearing and the soul, and in addition to the performers themselves, they delight the listeners.

The last months have been challenging for all of us. They were marked by a pandemic and people had to deal with a situation they were not prepared for. Life in many areas has stopped and not even the artistic one. I am all the more pleased that this year the 19th year of the international competition festival of university and high school choirs - Akademická Banská Bystrica - is taking place in our city. This festival has an integral place in the cultural and social calendar of our city and has gained prestige not only at home but also abroad. Above all, their importance extends beyond the borders of Slovakia, they are part of cultural cooperation in Europe and I am sure that, as every year, the contestants will give their all and perform unique artistic performances. Academic Banská Bystrica is not just a competition. It is a presentation of music that comes from the hearts of young people, fills them and motivates them.

During the festival, the choirs present classics and trends, exchange experiences and focus on the works of old masters, but also contemporary composers. I have to point out that the musical history of Banská Bystrica is rich, for which we owe in particular the various personalities. Among them is the composer Ján Cikker, a great art artist who would celebrate his 110th birthday this year. On the occasion of this anniversary, we honored more activities in our city and I believe that his work has inspired many competitors.

Dear organizers, dear participants and fans of the festival,

Thank you for supporting the arts and I am sure that thanks to you, the Beliana hall will be filled with captivating tones and positive energy, which will create a unique atmosphere in the city below Urpin. I wish you a successful course of events, and especially an unforgettable experience. Enjoy the 19th year of Academic Banská Bystrica.


Ján Nosko
The Mayor of Banská Bystrica


Enthusiastic lovers of choir singing, 

The international competition festival of high school and university choirs Akademická Banská Bystrica with its 19th year is written in the music history of Slovakia and I am glad that it is realized despite difficult pandemic times.

The unique fact remains that you come to Banská Bystrica in the 110th anniversary of the birth of composer Ján Cikker, whose name associates the Banská Bystrica family with a memorial plaque of the house in which he was born; the building of the Andrej Sládkovič Grammar School, where during his studies he received the basics of knowledge for life as a grammar school - today the building houses the Faculty of Economics of our university; the street, the elementary art school or the children's festival that bear his name; a house on Horná Street, from where Cikker's sound of the Free Slovak Transmitter came during the Slovak National Uprising; Cikker Hall of the historic town hall on the square and other important connections with the name of the composer.

Motifs of Ján Cikker's unique music come to mind and, immersed in it, I hear mountain streams, folk motifs, famous piano compositions, charming choral works and, of course, his operas. I am fascinated by his musical speech, which seeks answers to the questions of the meaning of life, by which he offers the desire for freedom, and displays humanistic ideas.

In Ján Cikker's personality, I also find a connection to the international significance of the ABB festival, as a native of Banská Bystrica, he received his music education at the Vítězslav Novák Master School in Prague and subsequently in Vienna. You, who have come to us from different European countries, are also united by one phenomenon, a common miracle - music.

So let me wish all the singers, conductors, jurors and guests at Akademická Banská Bystrica 2021 a beautiful artistic experience, many victories of spirit, joy and inner fulfillment. So that you, as the exceptional composer and teacher Master Ján Cikker did, give your ideas a take off and be able to uniquely sing the whole epic of human life.

doc. Ing. Vladimir Hiadlovsky, PhD.

rector of UMB

Prof. PaedDr. Milan Pazúrik, CSc.

Dear guests, dear young friends,

In 1985, a modern history of artistic activity and creativity of university students in the field of choral singing began to be written at the Faculty of Education in Banská Bystrica - ACADEMIC BANSKÁ BYSTRICA - a festival of university choirs. The premises of the faculty and the city resounded with the singing of young people, who brought a joyful atmosphere to the entire course of the national competition. The Academic Banská Bystrica (ABB) Festival has become a new holiday of choir singing. Gradually, he made a significant contribution to the history of Slovak choir culture. Initially, III. year in 1989, when with the participation of Slovak composers, compositions of new Slovak choral works were premiered. Since 1993, ABB has become an international competition festival (in the categories of female choirs and mixed choirs, and since 1997 also in the category of chamber choirs), which has raised the level of the festival. Singers' groups from abroad, choir conductors, enthusiasts of choir singing, organizers of choir life from domestic and foreign festival centers also showed interest in the festival competition show. XIVth year of Academic Banská Bystrica (2011) began to write history also in the category of high school choirs, which was included in this established international festival.

In the history of the festival, domestic and foreign choirs have participated in individual years, the works of our and world composers have been heard, and professional seminars in the field of choral singing and vocal art have taken place. In 1997, we also introduced the competition Miss ABB at the festival. There is an indescribable atmosphere at festival concerts and the final gala concert, where there is always spontaneity, sincere joy, mutual belonging, well-being, but most importantly - singing.

Hobbies and the development of choir singing contribute in an acceptable way to the intellectual and emotional development of young people and to the relationship to art. At the faculties of individual universities, it seems to be a very effective art education of students realized through active singing.

The Academic Banská Bystrica Festival has become widely known not only to choirs, but also to various music institutions, institutions, festival centers and the general musical public. It has become an established cultural event, which takes place every other year at Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica with the aim of "reviving" the works of composers, but especially to support the musical activity of university and high school youth and successfully present their school and city at home and abroad.

So welcome to XIX. year ABB, in this not the best pandemic period, which is infested the whole world with Corona, and feel good, pleasant and remember Banská Bystrica in full health.

             Prof. PaedDr. Milan Pazúrik, CSc.

The Artistic Director of the Festival 2021