Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Degree Name

DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Getz, Christine

First Committee Member

Stalter, Timothy

Second Committee Member

Puderbaugh, David

Third Committee Member

Muriello, John

Fourth Committee Member

Platte, Nathan


This is the first published edition of Suita Maryjna (1987), a nine-movement Marian suite intended for three-part treble chorus, string quartet and two flutes composed by the Polish neoclassicist composer Irena Pfeiffer (1912-1986). The work was most likely intended for performance during Pope John Paul II’s pilgrimage to the Wawel Cathedral in Cracow, Poland in June 1987. It is structured according to a Marian prayer service known as the Jasna Góra Appeal, first prayed in the Jasna Góra Sanctuary in Częstochowa, Poland when the nation gained its sovereignty in 1918. The appeal was popularized by Pope John Paul II, who prayed it across Poland during his pilgrimages.

Following the 1987 pilgrimage, Pfeiffer sent a manuscript of Suita Maryjna to the Lira Ensemble, a professional ensemble in Chicago specializing in Polish music, song and dance. Pfeiffer played an important role in the Lira by serving as a long-distance artistic advisor and by providing co-founder and current artistic advisor Lucyna Migala with modern Polish compositions for nearly twenty-five years. Suita Maryjna became a cornerstone of the ensemble’s repertory and was performed frequently, including in a studio recording in 1996. This edition of Suita Maryjna is placed in the context of Pfeiffer’s career, with particular attention to her working relationship with Pope John Paul II and the Lira Ensemble. Moreover, it discusses how Suita Maryjna reflects archaism, one of several strands of Polish neoclassicism in which diverse styles from earlier historical periods are fused.


Catholicism, Chicago, Irena Pfeiffer, Lira Ensemble, Marian Suite, Pope John Paul II


viii, 138 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 66-71).


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Copyright © 2018 Christopher John Nakielski

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