Artur Zagajewski (b. 1978, in Tomaszów Mazowiecki) is a composer and music theorist. His diverse body of work includes performances, ballets and city operas. Among his favourite sources of sound are instruments made out of PVC pipes. He makes music suffused with the effects of his sonoristic explorations.
In 2005, he graduated with honours from his studies in music theory under Ryszard Daniel Golianek, and in 2008, in composition under Bronisław Kazimierz Przybylski at the Academy of Music in Łódź. From 2004 to 2006, he participated in courses run by the Studio of Computer Music at the Academy of Music in Łódź, led by Krzysztof Knittel.
Artur Zagajewski has brought a breath of fresh air to the small world of Polish contemporary classical music. It's hard to say whether this is due to his interests outside the academy or his natural creativity in the field of sound and form, but his music cannot be confused with anyone else’s on the national scene. Obviously, one can point out the foreign masters: Horatio Radulescu and Giacinto Scelsi and their meditative music which is yet full of internal movement and pulsation or György Ligeti with his micro-polyphony, extreme registers and extended vocal techniques. However, Zagajewski discloses entirely different influences: 'Cobain is a brilliant artist who moves me with his sensitivity. I absorb Nirvana’s music, which is a combination of simplicity of form and rhythm, roughness of sound and sincerity of expression. In my work, I would like, as Cobain did, hold on to this truthfulness and naturalness of music.– stated Jan Topolski in Dwutygodnik.
Zagajewski also conducts theoretical research on rock music, which he popularizes at public lectures and through various publications (Glissando, Operomania). He is an associate professor at the Academy of Music in Łódź, and he teaches classes in music theory at the Stanisław Moniuszko School of Music in Łódź.
Zagajewski’s music has been presented at the following festivals: Dźwiękowe perspektywy ekranu. Muzyczne laboratorium sztuk: film – elektroakustyka – intermedia/The Sound perspectives of the screen. Music Laboratory of the Arts: film - electroacoustic - intermedia (The Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz); Fokus Łódź Biennale; Kolory Polski/Colours of Poland (The Łódź Philharmonic); Muzyka w Starym Klasztorze/Music in the Old Monastery (Łódź); XI Międzynarodowy Festiwal Muzyki Akustycznej, Elektronicznej oraz Projekcji Multimedialnych w Brnie/ 11th International Festival of Acoustic, Electronic Music and Multimedia Projection in Brno; Sound Screen Festival (Bydgoszcz); Łódzkie Spotkania Baletowe / Łódź International Ballet Festival (in cooperation with Paulina Wycichowska), as well as during the Musica Moderna session (The Academy of Music in Łódź), the contem. ucha cycle at the The Łódź Philharmonic and regularly at the Warsaw Autumn International Contemporary Music Festival. From 2005 to 2008, Zagajewski collaborated with video artist Michał Brzeziński; their works were shown in galleries in Poznań, Warsaw, Szczecin, Kraków, Gdańsk and Wrocław. He has collaborated with cellist Dominik Połońskim since 2010.
He is the winner of the 850 Jahre Cottbus - Musikalische Bilder einer Stadt International Composition Competition (honourable mention, 2006), two editions of BMW Crash! organized by the Zachęta Association of Contemporary Art in Szczecin (honourable mention in 2006 and the first prize in 2007), the Tadeusz Baird Young Composers Competition (second prize in 2007 and 2009), fifth edition of the Krzysztof Komeda Composers Competition in Słupsk (honourable mention, 2007), the composition competition organized within the framework of the Festival of Contemporary Children and Youth Music Silver Pane in Kraków (honourable mention, 2009), 3rd Grażyna Bacewicz International Composition Competition in Łódź (first prize, 2009), in-OUT-side competition organized as part of the Sound Screen Festival in Bydgoszcz (first prize, 2009). In 2010, Zagajewski was honoured with the Eureka Award in Łódź. In 2014 his Stabat Mater was nominated for the Polonica Nova Wrocław Award.
- TR13 for tape and video (2005)
- Secession Club for alto saxophone and tape (2005)
- Lichtspiele in der Oberkirche for accordion and string orchestra (2006)
- Re-cykl I–IV (...a jej duszę poszarpaną...)/ Re-cycle I-IV (... and her jagged soul...) for alto voice and tape (2007)
- See me for drums and tape (2007)
- Glassmusic-motet for four instruments and tape (2007)
- 1540. Light for flutes and tape (2007)
- Birds for chamber orchestra and tape (2008)
- Fuzz G.B. for tape and video (2008)
- Liście/Leaves for chamber orchestra (2008)
- unhum for symphonic orchestra (2009)
- mixes for tape and radio (2009)
- Orgadronum for chamber choir (2009)
- Song of Nature for female voice, PVC pipe, prepared piano, drum and computer (2010)
- Płatki żółtej róży/ Yellow rose petals for cello and tape (2010)
- Sceny chronofotograficzne/Chronophotographic scenes, ballet (2011)
- Oratorium na orkiestrę i chór mieszkańców Warszawy/Oratorio for orchestra and choir of Warsaw residents, concert/performance with Zorka Wollny and Anna Szwajgier (2011)
- Stabat Mater for four mixed choirs and orchestra (2012)
- cantona 16 musicians (2012)
- EC 14 for 4 PVC tubes (2012)
- Nature Morte for 24 PVC tubes (2013)
- Traktion Einsna for cello solo (2013)
- brut for cello and ensemble (2014)
- Słuchodrzewisko, sound installation for flute, clarinet, oboe, trumpet and two trombones (2014).
Artur Zagajewski's music available on the Ninateka website: Oratorium na orkiestrę i chór mieszkańców Warszawy' (2011, with Zorka Wolny and Anna Szwajgier), canto (2012), Nautre Mortem (2013).
Source: press materials, ed. fl, transl. GS, January 2015