Authors

Aleksander Nowak

He studied composition with Aleksander Lasoń at Katowice’s Academy of Music and with Steve Rouse at the University of Louisville, receiving scholarships from the ‘Young Poland’ programme of the National Centre for Culture Poland and the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

Since 2011 he has presided over the Katowice branch of the Polish Composers’ Union, as well as coordinating such festivals as: The Silesian Days of Contemporary Music, The Silesian Rostrum of Composers, and Brand-New Music. His accolades include the Polish state television channel TVP Kultura’s award ‘Guarantee of Culture’ (2011) and ‘Polityka’ Passport (2018). Nowak is a lecturer on the faculty of his alma mater. “My perception of the world is as a narrative; I see stories as staged versions of some truths,” says this one of the most recognisable composers of his generation. Aesthetically his music demonstrates affinities to the output of the Stalowa Wola generation, albeit he approaches their legacy with a dose of criticism. His characteristic ‘life-describing’ manner of composition is reflected in the titles of and commentaries for his works, as well as musical quotations and quasi-quotations. Concertante forms take pride of place in his instrumental music. They tend to receive such poetic titles as, for instance, mini-concerto for violin and chamber orchestra Cry Little Baby, Cry (2011).

The opera plays a major role in the composer’s output: the chamber opera Sudden Rain (2008) and Space Opera to texts by Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov (2015), which deals with the topics of human expansion into new territories and the suffering of animals. The 2018 edition of the Sacrum Profanum festival featured a production of his ahat ilī – Sister of Gods to a libretto by Olga Tokarczuk, whereas his Drach. Dramma per musica to a libretto by Szczepan Twardoch was a commission of the 2019 AUKSODRONE festival.

Nowak’s other major compositions include: Last Days of Wanda B. for string orchestra, Fiddler’s Green and White Savannas Never More for male voices and chamber orchestra, as well as Naninana.

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