Krzysztof Knittel

One of Poland’s most eminent composers, a pioneer of electronic music in that country, enthusiast of the vast possibilities afforded by the electronic media as well as improvised and intuitive music. Born in Warsaw, he studied sound engineering and composition with Tadeusz Baird, Andrzej Dobrowolski and Włodzimierz Kotoński at Warsaw’s State Higher School of Music. He developed his interest in combining music with mathematics at courses held by the Polish Academy of Sciences. He also took part in the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music. He worked in the Polish Radio Experimental Studio and The Center of the Creative and Performing Arts in Buffalo.

He has held the posts of Warsaw Autumn festival director (1995–1998), president of the Polish Composers’ Union (PCU, 1999–2003) and of the Polish Music Council (2005–2017). In 2003 he received the PCU Award, and in 2005 the Silver Medal for Merit to Culture – “Gloria Artis”.

Knittel’s music explores the borderland between many styles and genres. Improvisation and performance are frequently a trademark of his compositions. He has created ballet, theatre and film music, electro-acoustic compositions, sound installations, as well as sacred music and works related to historical events. His discography comprises more than 50 albums. His major compositions include: String Quartet ‘Ursus’, Histoire III for harpsichord and tape, El maale rachamim, and The Passion of Our Lord according to St Matthew.

Phot. Bartek Barczyk
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