About the Festival

Marcel Chyrzyński – general and artistic director of the Festival (Photo by Marta Filipczyk / PWM Edition)

The Krakow International Festival of Composers (formerly known as Days of Music by Krakow Composers and 2014-2019 International Festival of Krakow Composers) has been part the cultural life of Krakow since 1989. The main purpose of the Festival is the promotion and presentation of contemporary professional work of Krakow composers (classics and professors, but also the outstanding middle generation, and the youngest composers and students of composition) created in relation to world music. This concept is realized via organization of concerts and meetings with composers. What is more, special lectures are organized during the Festival (conducted, among others, by music theorists of the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow, musicologists of the Jagiellonian University and invited guests from Poland and abroad).
In 1989, the festival was brought to life by Jerzy Kaszycki, Juliusz Łuciuk, Maciej Negrey and Kazimierz Pyzik. Since 1994 (for 20 years) the artistic director of the festival and the author of the program concept was musicologist Jerzy Stankiewicz. Since 2014 the general and artistic director is composer Marcel Chyrzyński.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Mathematics is science, music is art. Can these two disciplines have anything in common? You will find the answer to this question during the 36th Krakow International Festival of Composers, whose main topic will be mathematics in music. This will be also the topic of a musicological session, during which composers and music theorists from the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Kraków will present papers: Mateusz Bień, Maciej Jabłoński, Marcin Strzelecki and Natalia Szwab as well as Krzysztof Wołek from the University of Louisville (USA).

A special guest at the festival will be the renowned composer and animator of culture, Jerzy Kornowicz — President of the Polish Composers’ Union in 2003–15 and Director of the Warsaw Autumn Festival since 2015. He will give a lecture on his work and conduct master classes with Composition students of the K. Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow.

A special festival event will be the jubilee celebration of Dr. h.c. Jerzy Stankiewicz on his 80th birthday and 50 years of his creative work — Vice President of the General Board of the Polish Composers’ Union (1995–99), President of the Krakow Branch of the Polish Composers’ Union (1994–2016) and Director of our festival (1994–2013), awarded the National Order of the Legion of Honor of the French Republic (2024).

An extremely interesting concert will be a performance by Ignacy Lisiecki, a Polish pianist permanently residing in Japan, who will present colorful and diverse works by composers from Europe, Asia and the USA.

Thanks to the collaboration with the Intersonanzen Festival in Potsdam and in cooperation with the Polish Institute in Berlin, we will listen to a concert with a Polish-German program performed by the Cracow Duo: Kalinowski & Szlezer. The concert will be repeated on June 3 at the festival in Germany.

On the occasion of the 95th anniversary of Bogusław Schaeffer’s birth and the fifth anniversary of his death, there will be a screening of a film notation directed by Paweł Bitka Zapendowski entitled Bogusław Schaeffer — composer, teacher, musicologist, music critic, music popularizer and playwright. The film broadcast will be followed by a discussion in which invited guests will take part.

For lovers of electroacoustic music, there will traditionally be an “Electronic Cocktail”, i.e. presentation of the works of the Electroacoustic Music Studio of K. Penderecki Academy of Music.

At the end of the festival, harpsichordist Gośka Isphording (Poland–The Netherlands) will perform together with the Dafô string quartet. Jan Kotula, double bass concertmaster of NOSPR in Katowice, will play as a guest. The concert will feature the world premiere of a composition by Ylli Daklani, a young composer from Kosovo, who received the Main Prize at the 7th Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition for Young Composers.

The eight festival concerts will feature works by composers from Poland, Australia, Denmark, France, Japan, Kosovo, Germany, Ukraine, the USA and the UK. The audience will hear 24 world premieres and four Polish premieres, among others.

I wish you an unforgettable experience!

Marcel Chyrzyński

General and artistic director