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Krauze, Zygmunt

is an important artist of his generation. His artistic achievements and efforts in the promotion of music have been recognised with many awards and distinctions, including the French Legion of Honour (2007) and the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1984). In 1987 he was elected President of the International Society for Contemporary Music and has been an honorary member of this organisation since 1999.

He studied composition with Kazimierz Sikorski and piano with Maria Wiłkomirska. Subsequently he studied in Paris under the supervision of Nadia Boulanger. Soon after, he began teaching young students of composition. In 2002, he was appointed Professor of Composition at the Music Academy in Łódź and since 2006, he has lectured at the Fryderyk Chopin Music University in Warsaw.

Krauze’s works include five operas, instrumental forms ranging from miniatures to symphonic works engaging hundreds of musicians, music for theatre, choral works, and songs. Many of his compositions have been recorded by Polskie Nagrania, DUX, ORF, Nonesuch, Thesis, Musical Observations (CP2), Collins Classics, Warner Classics, Recommended Records, and EMI. An important part of Krauze’s work is unistic music, whose theory is based on the paintings of Władysław Strzemiński. The piano is given the highest priority in Krauze’s output. As an actively performing pianist, Krauze not only composes for this instrument but also performs his own compositions. In 1966, he received the 1st Prize at the Gaudeamus International Interpreters’ Competition in Amsterdam. In 1967, he founded the ensemble Warsztat Muzyczny (Music Workshop), which he directed for 25 years and which commissioned over 100 compositions from leading international composers.

Krauze’s activity as an organiser of musical events began in 1970 when he became a member of the Repertoire Committee of the Warsaw Autumn Festival. At the invitation of Pierre Boulez in 1982, he became artistic advisor at IRCAM. He was one of the founding members of the Witold Lutosławski Society and for one term, served as its president. He is regularly invited to judge at international composition competitions throughout the world.


Major works: Five Unistic Compositions for piano (1963), String Quartet no. 1 (1965), Polychromy for four instruments (1968), Piece for Orchestra no. 1 (1969), String Quartet no. 2 (1970), Piece for Orchestra no. 2 (1970), Gloves Music for piano (1972), Folk Music for orchestra (1972), Stone Music for piano (1972), Aus aller Welt stammende for five violins, three violas and two cellos (1973), Automatophone, spatial composition for 15 playing mechanisms and 15 amplified strings (1974), Fête galante et pastorale, spatial composition for six instrumental groups and 13 tapes distributed in the 26 chambers of the Eggenberg Castle in Graz (1974; concert version for orchestra, 1975; version for 13 instrumental groups, five voices and 13 tapes distributed in the 13 chambers of the Rohan Palace in Strasbourg, 1984), Soundscape for four soloists playing on four zithers, four melodicas, eight recorders, eight cowbells, eight glasses, eight mouth organs, with electronic amplification and tape (1975), Piano Concerto no. 1 (1976), Suite de danses et de chansons for harpsichord and orchestra (1977), Violin Concerto (1980), String Quartet no. 3 (1982), Piece for Orchestra no. 3 (1982), Arabesque for amplified piano and chamber orchestra (1983), Birthday Quartet for clarinet, violin, cello and piano (1984), Paris Symphony for orchestra (1986), Underground River for seven tapes (1987; also concert version for seven instruments and seven tapes), Refrain for piano (1993), Piano Quintet (1993), Piano Concerto no. 2 (1996), Serenade for orchestra (1998), Adieu for out-of-tune piano and symphony orchestra (2001), Balthazar, opera after Stanisław Wyspiański (2001), Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy, opera after Witold Gombrowicz (2004), Ball at the Opera for chamber choir and 12 instruments, to words by Julian Tuwim (2006), The Star, opera in one act for soprano, computer and two cameramen, after Helmut Kajzar (3rd version, 2006), Hymn to Tolerance for orchestra (2007), Aria, installation for 21 sound sources (63 loudspeakers) in exhibition space (2007), Pour El for harpsichord (2008), Letters for four pianos and orchestra (2010), Polyeucte, opera in two acts after Pierre Corneille (2010), Canzona for instrumental ensemble (2011), Memories of the East for 85 Chinese instruments (2012), Underground River 2 for electronic sound and symphony orchestra (2013), Idyll 2 for folk instruments, voices and electronic sound (2015).