Composer and musician. Creator of film scores to over 50 feature and documentary films, and Oscar winner for the original soundtrack of 'Finding Neverland'. Born on 29th April 1953 in Konin.
Musician and composer of film scores for over 50 feature and documentary films, Oscar winner for the sound track of Finding Neverland.
Jan Andrzej Paweł Kaczmarek's grandfather was a violinist who played in movie theatres with local musicians. As a child, Kaczmarek was a frequent guest at the Poznań Philharmonic where he attended symphonies. Around the same time, he also started studying piano, and his first success came when he composed a school anthem while still a high school student in Konin. He also composed music for his school theatre. Intent on pursuing a diplomatic career Kaczmarek enrolled at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań to study law.
The breakthrough for Kaczmarek's musical career came when the composer became involved with the avant-garde Teatr Laboratorium run by Jerzy Grotowski. In 1977, he embarked on a two-year collaboration with Teatr Ósmego Dnia (Theatre of the Eighth Day), during which time he also founded the chamber ensemble Orkiestra Ósmego Dnia (The Orchestra of the Eighth Day). Kaczmarek and his orchestra successfully completed a tour of the USA, a tour that resulted in the recording of the artist's first LP, Music for the End published by the Chicago-based, independent recording house Flying Fish Records.
In 1989, Kaczmarek moved to Los Angeles where he started recording for Sony Classical, Decca, Varese Sarabande, Milan and Savitor Records. He also gave concerts in both the USA and Europe. Inspired by the Sundance Institute, he founded the Instytut Rozbitek in Poznań in 2004, an institute devoted to organising cultural life of the city. He is the member of the American Film Academy, European Film Academy and Polish Film Academy.
His musical body of work includes symphonies and theatrical scores, including music composed for performances of Adam Mickiewicz's Forefathers' Eve (originally: Dziady) and Zygmunt Krasiński's Nie-Boska Komedia (Un-Divine Comedy), along with many other classic Polish dramas. He also directed three multimedia shows: Czekając na kometę Halleya, Symfonia Solo and The Tower of Babel. In 2005, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Gdańsk Agreement and the founding of the trade union Solidarność, Kaczmarek composed the Cantata of Freedom, an expansive work in five movements scored for over 200 musicians. The Cantata was performed in Gdańsk on August 31, 2005.
In 1992, Kaczmarek won the Drama Desk Award presented by the New York's theatre critics for the best music in a play. The award was for his work for Joanne Akalaitis's Tis Pity She's a Whore performed at the New York Shakespeare Festival.
Kaczmarek has collaborated regularly with Agnieszka Holland, with whom he worked on the Total Eclipse, Washington Square and The Miracle. He also wrote the film scores for Janusz Kamiński's directing debut Lost Souls and Jerzy Kawalerowicz's Quo Vadis.
Kaczmarek's status as one of the most accomplished film score composers of his time was confirmed in 2005 when he received the American Film Academy Award for Best Original Sound Track for Marc Foster's Finding Neverland (2004), the story of writer James Matthew Barri, author of the book The Peter Pan. Other nominees that year included John Williams, James Newton Howard and Thomas Newman.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute commissioned a musical work by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek based on the performance described in Adam Mickiewicz's epic masterpiece Pan Tadeusz which premiered on the 3rd of July, 2011.
The Polish Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz wrote of a musical performance in his major literary work, Pan Tadeusz. Two hundred years later to the day Warsaw's National Philharmonic performs the piece known as Yankiel's Concerto for the first time. Most Poles are familiar with the work, although no one has ever heard the piece played live. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute has specially commissioned the performance, with music composed by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. See more...
Selected film scores:
- 1981 - Cień / The Shadow, dir. Andrzej Domalik
- 1992 - Białe małżeństwo / White Marriage, dir. Magdalena Łazarkiewicz
- 1995 - Total Eclipse, dir. Agnieszka Holland
- 1997 - The Washington Square), dir. Agnieszka Holland
- 1999 - The Third Miracle, dir. Agnieszka Holland
- 2000 - Lost Souls, dir. Janusz Kamiński
- 2001 - Quo Vadis?, dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz
- 2002 - Unfaithful, dir. Adrian Lyne
- 2004 - Finding Neverland, dir. Marc Forster
- 2007 - Evening, dir. Lajos Koltai
- 2009 - The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, dir. John Kent Harrison
- 2009 - Hachiko: A Dog's Story, dir. Lasse Hallström
- 2009 -Get Low, dir. Aaron Schneider
- 2013 - Tajemnica Westerplatte (1939 Battle of Westerplatte), dir. Paweł Chochlew
- 2013 - Joanna, dir. Aneta Kopacz
- 2014 - Rabbit Hole, dir. John Cameron Mitchell
- 2014 - Dancing Before the Enemy: How a Teenage Boy Fooled the Nazis and Lived, dir. Adam Bardach
- 2015 - My 600 grams of happiness, dir. Aneta Kopacz
- 2015 - Interlude City of a Dead Woman, dir. Angela Ismailos
- 2016 - Van Gogh, dir. Daniel Fridell (in post-production)