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Pavel Szymanski

Polish composer born 28 March, 1954 in Warsaw

Pawel Szymanski was born in 1954 in Warsaw. He studied composition with Wlodzimierz Kotonski at the Music Academy in this hometown, graduating in 1978, and went on to study with Tadeusz Baird (1978) and Roman Haubenstock-Ramati in Vienna (1984-85). In 1976, he participated in the Darmstadt Summer Courses. He worked at the Experimental Studio at the Polish National Radio from 1979 to 1981, at the Inedependant Studio of Electro-acoustic Music from 1982 to 1984 and at the Krakow Music Academy Electronic Music Studio in 1983.

His work Gloria (1979) was awarded first prize in a young composers competition and an honourable mention in the Young Composers category of the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in 1981. His work Lux Aeterna was awarded a prize in the Stuttgart International Bach Academy Sacred Music Composition Competition in 1985.

In the Spring of 1987, he composed Partita IV, which was premiered at the Sonorities Festival of that year in Belfast. In the same year, a portrait concert of his music was presented at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. His works have been performed in Poland, Austria, Great Britain, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark Germany, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden and the United States.

In 1988, Szymanski worked at the Electronic Music Studio at the Berlin Institute of Technology (TUB), where he composed Through the Looking Glass II for tape. In the same year, his work Partita III was awarded the Benjamin Britten Composition Prize; this led to a commission for A Study of Shade for chambre orchestra, which was premiered in 1989 at the Aldeburgh Festival. In 1990, his work Quasi una Sinfonietta was commissioned by the London Sinfonietta, and Sixty Odd Pages for chambre orchestra was commissioned by the Baden-Baden Radio Orchestra. His Five Pieces For String Quartet, a commission of BBC Bristol, was premiered in the Autumn of 1992 by the Brodsky Quartet and recorded by the same group for Silva Classics in 1994.

In January, 1994, he was awarded the Grand Prix from the Foundation of Culture. In May of the same year, his work Miserere was presented by Polish National Radio at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris, where it received an honourable mention. The complete orchestral version of A Study of Shade was premeired in the opening concert of the Warsaw Autumn Festival in 1994.

Pawel Szymanski works as an independent artist in Warsaw. His Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, commissioned by Radio France, was premiered by the Katowice Radio Symphony Orchestra and Ewa Poblocka, Antoni Wit conducting, as part of the Radio France Présences Festival of 1995. In 1996, Szymanski participated in the Toronto Soundstreams Festival, and in the same year, Recalling a Serenade for string quartet and clarinet was premiered at the Kuhmo Festival Kuhmo in Finland by the Silesian String Quartet and Kari Kriikku.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 1997

  • Instrumental ensemble music