Zygmunt Krauze

Born on 19th September 1938 in Warsaw, he studied piano with Maria Wiłkomirska and composition with Kazimierz Sikorski at that city’s State Higher School of Music. He continued his education with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. He is a professor of composi- tion at the Academy of Music in Łódź.

He has given lectures and taught master classes in Japan, South Korea, China, the United States and many countries in Europe. As a concert pianist he has performed in the world’s major venues. In 1967 he founded Music Workshop ensemble, with which he premiered more than a hundred works by leading contemporary composers. More than 120 compositions were written specially in response to commissions from this ensemble. At the invitation of Pierre Boulez he was an artistic consultant to IRCAM in Paris. From 1987 to 1990 he was the president of the International Society for Contemporary Music.

His accolades include: the Golden Cross of Merit (2004), the UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Human- ity Award (2005), the Legion of Honour, the Cavalier of the French Order of Arts and Letters (1984), and the Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2014).

Krauze is the author of Poland’s first spatial mu- sic compositions, the founder of unism in music. He divides his output into four categories: unistic music inspired by the paintings of Władysław Strzemiński, spatial compositions performed in specially arranged interiors, ‘music about music’, which speaks through allusions and quotations, and a subjective, deeply expressive ‘music of return to the roots’. The piano, frequently treated unconventionally, holds a special place in his output. Krauze has also composed seven operas and much incidental music for the theatre (in collaboration with the director Jorge Lavelli). His major works include: Five Unistic Pieces (1963), Spatial-Musical Compositions Nos 1 and 2 (1968, 1970), Piece for Orchestra No. 1 (1969), Folk Music (1972), Piano Concerto No. 1 (1976), and Underground River (1987).

Phot. Bartek Barczyk
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