About the Festival

Marcel Chyrzyński – general and artistic director of the Festival (photo by Marta Filipczyk)

The International Festival of Krakow Composers (formerly known as Days of Music by Krakow Composers) has been present among the cultural events in Krakow since 1989. The main purpose of the Festival is the promotion and presentation of contemporary, professional work of Krakow composers (from classics and professors, through the outstanding middle generation to the youngest composers and students of composition) created in relation to the musical tradition of neighbouring countries, countries of the European Union and music of the world. This concept is realised via organisation of concerts and meetings with composers. What is more, there are organised special lectures during the Festival (conducted, among others, by the music theorists of the Academy of Music in Krakow and musicologists of the Jagiellonian University). For the last 20 years the musicologist Jerzy Stankiewicz was the art director and the author of the Festival’s programme. From the 2014 the person responsible for the Festival is the composer Marcel Chyrzyński.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

This year brings about the 30th anniversary edition of the International Festival of Krakow Composers. Three previous editions focused on presenting the Krakow composers in the context of Far East music (2015), Latin American music (2016) and music coming from the Nordic circle (2017). This time, the festival is merged by the idea of word as a source of musical inspiration for numerous compositions.

Mutual relations of music and text have invariably accompanied music through its entire history. It is a phenomenon of an interdisciplinary art, created as a result of combining ambiguity of music with conceptually perceptible word, an issue previously discussed by Michał Bristiger in the context of music theory. Nevertheless, a word-sound relationship is not always based on equal proportions. On one occasion, it will be a fair relationship, with both languages treated equally in a work, but on the other, either music or word will assume a dominant role in a composition.

During this year’s festival, you will have a chance to listen to numerous vocal-instrumental compositions (also with electronics), as well instrumental works inspired by text. All works will be performed by excellent musicians, including: an acclaimed Hungarian singer based in Berlin, Anna Korondi, Blanka Dembosz and a Korean vocalist Youngji Oh, who will perform together with the Modern Ensemble, accompanied by both classical instruments and traditional Korean ones.

One of the events during this year’s festival will be an academic session titled “Music and word”, in which theorists from the Academy of Music in Krakow and the Jagiellonian University will present their papers.

One of the most important events during the 30th festival will be the 1st Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition for Young Composers, established on the anniversary of the composer’s 85th birthday. The competition’s main purpose is to promote music of the young generation of composers from all over the world. This year’s jury awarded the Main Prize to Orestis Papaioannou (b. 1995) for his composition Quintet in Five Scenes, which will be performed on the 18th of April by the Quasars Ensemble from Slovakia.

The festival will be honored with presence of many acclaimed composers, such as Gabriela Ortiz from Mexico and Ivan Buffa from Slovakia, who will present academic papers on their artistic work in the Academy of Music in Krakow.

During concerts there will be presented music of composers from Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Greece, England, Mexico, the United States, Australia, South Korea and Japan. You will witness 37 world premieres and 15 Polish first performances.

I deeply hope that the upcoming 30th anniversary festival will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Marcel Chyrzyński
General and artistic director