Augustyn, Rafał

Composer, music critic and philologist, born in 1951 in Wrocław. He studied composition with Ryszard Bukowski in the State High School of Music in Wrocław (1971–74) and with Henryk Mikołaj Górecki in the State High School of Music in Katowice (1975–78). Simultaneously, he studied Polish philology at Wrocław University (1969–74) where since 1973 he has been on the faculty of the Institute of Polish Philology. In 1979–80 he taught Polish at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages. In 1982, he obtained a PhD in philology. 

He has received scholarships from the Eduard von Beinum Foundation, Fondation Acanthes, MacDowell Foundation, Salzburg Seminar (twice), and Kulturfonds Foundation. His compositional awards include the 1st Prize at the Jazz on the Oder Festival (1972, for Conversation), an honourable mention at the International Organ Competition in Szczecin (1973, for Laudes), 2nd Prize at the Polish Composers’ Union’s Competition for Young Composers (1979, for Atlantis I). In 2005 he received the Polish Composers’ Union Award “for outstanding achievements in the field of composition and for creative festival programming,” and in 2011, the Music Prize of the City of Wrocław. His compositions have frequently been performed at the Warsaw Autumn and other Polish festivals, as well as in other European countries, the United States, and Asia. In 2001, on the initiative of Christine Pryn, a series of concerts entitled Rafał Augustyn and Denmark, featuring the Nordlys Ensemble, was presented in Denmark. Rafał Augustyn also contributes as a critic and reviewer to musical and literary periodicals, as well as the Polish Radio and Polish TV. In 1984–94, together with Marek Pijarowski he directed the Musica Polonica Nova Festival of Polish Contemporary Music in Wrocław. In 1980–98 he served on the Warsaw Autumn Repertoire Committee. From 2018, he is a member of the Polish PEN Club. 

Selected works (from 1995): In partibus, colloquium for men’s choir and piano (1995), Cinque pezzi diversi per violino the pianoforte (1996), Toccata festiva for symphony orchestra (1997), Per Sawa, radio minifeature for tape (1997), Miroirsfor five performers (1997), Do ut des for string quartet (1998), Missafor soprano, alto, organ and choir (1998), Separate, four poems by Miron Białoszewski for soprano, flute and harp (1999), IMAGE/ILLUSION, sound collage (audiovisual installation with Jerzy Olek and Tadeusz Sawa–Borysławski, 1999), There is Nothing, madrigal for mixed choir to words by the composer (2000), Variations on the theme of Maria Zduniak for tape / computer (2000), Au pair for violin and piano (2001), Itinerarium, concertino for orchestra and piano (2001), Small Narratives for ensemble, two reciting voices and electronics (2003), Against Method for violin (2004), Quartet no. 2.5 Grand jeté with electronics (1995–2005), Od Sasa. Sounds–Pauses–Events for mixed choir and objets trouvés (2004– 5), Shadow, Inc. A parable for four players after H. Ch. Andersen for clarinet, violin, cello and piano (2005), A 4. Travel Impression for cello and piano (2005), The Manuscript Found in Saragossa, choreographic action in one act after Jan Potocki (2006–7), Vagor ergo sum. Small Cantata to words by Zbigniew Herbert, Emperor Hadrian and Italian State Railways for mixed choir and gongs (2008–11), Acqua alta. Cyclic Piece no. 4 for saxophone and electronics (2011), Rondeau for wind quintet (2015), String Quartet no. 3 Monadology (2015), Venta quemada, suite from the ballet The Manuscript Found in Saragossa for small orchestra with electronics (2015), Ricercar sopra il corale “Es ist genug” for clavichord and piano (2016), First Reading. (Un)Parliamentary Rhapsody for two groups of performers, improvised composition (2016), Krupówki. Cyclic Work no. 5 for strings (2016), Descensus Christi ad inferos. Apocryphal Oratorio in 11 Parts (2016), Short Case for flute, violin and cello (2017), Matrimonium. Cyclic Piece no. 6 for two flutes and piano (2017), Holiday Photos for children’s violin ensemble (2017), Droning_Holm for viola and accordion (2017), There / Here, concerto for violin, voices and instruments (2002–18).