About the Festival

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

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!

In 2020 the festival has changed its name to the Krakow International Festival of Composers (before: International Festival of Krakow Composers). Although traditionally it takes place in the spring, due to the pandemic of coronavirus I had to postpone it until the autumn and shorten the repertoire to eight concerts.

During this year’s 32nd Festival, traditionally the output of the composers from Kraków in the context of the international music will be presented. The repertoire will be enriched by the compositions inspired by nature, such as: Wyspy (Islands) by Eugeniusz Knapik, Warkocz Bereniki (Coma Berenices) by Jerzy Kornowicz, Sounds of Forest by Sofia Gubaidulina or Le merle noir (Blackbird) by Olivier Messiaen.

During the inaugural concert, we will hear the composition by Krzysztof Penderecki: Ciaccona in memoria del Giovanni Paolo II, performed by Sinfonietta Cracovia under the baton of Jurek Dybał. It will be a special event commemorating our Master from Kraków who passed away this year as well as the 100th birth anniversary of the Polish Pope. During this concert, the orchestra will also premiere e.g. the newest pieces of Wojciech Widłak and Kamil Kruk (the part of musical saw played by the composer himself).

At the festival, great musicians will be performing: Cracow Wind Quintet with the guests Beata Bilińska (piano) and Łukasz Zimnik (flute), “Messages” String Quartet, duo Natalia Jarząbek (flute) and Dominika Peszko (piano) as well as the Capella Marialis choir from the St Mary’s Basilica in Kraków under the direction of Krzysztof Michałek.

The tradition of the festival is the annual concert of the Studio of Electroacoustic Music at the Academy of Music in Kraków. This year, at the concert titled “Electronic Cocktail”, the newest works by the music composition students will be presented, most of them being at the same time the world premieres.

The important element of the programme of the 32nd Festival is the 3rd Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition for Young Composers, inaugurated on his 85th birth anniversary. This year’s jury awarded the Main Prize to the piece Streams… contacts for flute and piano, the author of which is Austrian composer Otto Wanke (b. 1989).

During the concerts, music by the composers from Poland, England, Austria, China, Greece, Japan, Germany, Russia and the USA will be played. You will hear 16 world premieres and 3 Polish premieres.

The festival will be complemented by the musicological session “Music and nature”, during which the speeches will be given by theoreticians from the Academy of Music in Kraków and the Institute of Musicology of the Jagiellonian University.

Marcel Chyrzyński

General and artistic director