Composer, violist and writer. Lecturer at the Frydetyk Chopin Music University in Warsaw.
He was born on 5th of May 1974 in Opole. In 1998 he graduated with distinction from a composition class of Marian Borkowski at the Academy of Music in Warsaw (now: The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music). He also studied the viola under Błażej Sroczyński at the same academy as well as ethnology and classical philology at the University of Warsaw.
Since 2008 he has been a lecturer at his alma mater's Department of Composition, Conducting and Theory of Music. In 2016 he was elected vice-chancellor of the university. He also taught composition as a visiting professor at Keimyung University in Daegu, South Korea (2009, 2014–2015), gave lectures and taught classes in composition and contemporary music performance during the Jeunesses Modernes in Weikersheim and Munich (Germany, 2003) and at the San Diego State University in San Diego (USA, 2006). In 2007 he obtained a doctoral degree, followed by a post-doctoral degree in 2014.
Aleksander Kościów was a prize winner of composition competitions and also a holder of the Fulbright Foundation scholarship (2005). His pieces have been performed during contemporary music festivals, concerts and events in Poland (e.g. International Festival of Music Tradition and Avant-garde KODY, Musica Polonica Nova, Warsaw Music Meetings, and more) and abroad (France, Japan, South Korea, Lithuania, Germany, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Great Britain and Italy).
He has collaborated with Joe Alter, an American contemporary ballet choreographer as well as with numerous ensembles such as Kronos Quartet, Royal String Quartet, NeoQuartet, Camerata Quartet, London Sinfonietta, Vocal Ensemble of the International School of Traditional Music, Hebrides Ensemble, ProModern vocal sextet, Kwadrofonik and Cellonet.
Here’s how polish musicologist Iwona Lindstedt summarized Kościow’s works:
Space that extends from the music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Bachowski’s baroque, through Mahler’s and Brahms’s symphonies, selections of Szostakowicz, Bartók and Strawiński, Webern’s aphoristic nature, minimalist capture of Górecki, Pärt and Taverner, to the folk culture of the Mongolians and Aborigines, Tibetan sacral music and the versatile works of the pop music sphere, became the source of inspiration for Kościów – references of all kinds and of all levels, which appear in his works in a way distant from literality, remarkably specific. Esthetic and technical priorities aren’t regulated by Kościów in a systemic manner, although his music uses peculiar repetitive elements that make up the ensemble of characteristics of a recognizable, individual style.
A CD dedicated exclusively to his works was released by the Polish Composers’ Union / Polish Music Information Centre in co-operation with the Polish Radio in 2013 as part of the series Polish Music Today – Portraits of Contemporary Polish Composers.
In the years 1996-98 Aleksander Kościów held the position of secretary of the Polish Composers’ Union’s Youth Circle. He is now a member of Polish Composers’ Union, 'Contemporary Music Laboratory' Society and the Phonographic Academy.
He is also a writer and a publicist. He has published four novels: Świat nura / The World of the Loon (2006), Przeproś / Say Sorry. A Player’s Manual (2008) which was nominated for 'Paszporty Polityki' award, Lecą wieloryby / Whales Flying (2010), Lithaniae: dzieło jako krajobraz. Autorefleksja twórcy / Lithaniae: Work of Art as a Landscape. Author's Autoreflection (2013). He has also been writing articles about music for sociocultural quarterly magazine 'Strony' since 2009.
Source: press materials, an essay by Iwona Lindstedt Aleksander Kościów. Muzyka Polska Dzisiaj – Portrety Współczesnych Kompozytorów Polskich/ Aleksander Kościów. Polish Music Today - The Portrait of Contemporary Polish Composers. Update: June 2016, AG.
Translated by A.G. January 2015
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