Mateusz Ryczek is a composer and pianist. He was born on 3rd May, 1986, in Toruń.
In 1998 Ryczek enrolled in Toruń's School of Music, where he completed the curriculum in two semesters. In 1999, he moved on to the piano at the local musical high school, from which he graduated with honours in 2005. In 2008 Ryczek finished his undergraduate degree in composition with distinction under Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil at the Academy of Music in Wrocław.
He is currently doing a master’s degree at the same academy, where he is taught by Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil, Cezary Duchnowski (computer composition) and Zbigniew Karnecki (music for theatre and film).
Mateusz Ryczek is the winner of the 12th Crescendo National Composition Competition in Tarnów (first prize and Grand Prix in 2004). In 2005 he was awarded the Scholarship for Culture by the Mayor of Toruń. In 2008, his Rings of Saturn for double bass solo (2007) won the composition competition organised by the Wrocław Branch of the Polish Composers’ Union and the Polish Association of Bass Players, as well as first prize at the composition competition organised at the 3rd World Bass Festival in Wrocław.
Also in 2008, Mateusz Ryczek received an award for a choral song at the National Composition Competition at the Legnica Cantat Festival. In 2009 he received third prize in the Fides et Ratio competition for the song Knights of the Centuries to the words of Sandra Ryczek.
The composer takes an active part in the cultural life of Toruń. In 2005, his Dies Irae for choir and orchestra (2005) was performed at the concert Requiem for Beslan, co-organised by the Polish Humanitarian Organisation,. In 2007 Ryczek was invited to participate in an international project called Missa Solemnis, under which he presented his composition, Sanctus for soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, string quartet and organ (2007) during the Youth Circle Concert at the Warsaw Autumn Festival.
In the years 2007-2009, the composer co-organised a cycle of concerts titled Sound Factory, which presented compositions by the young generation of artists associated with Wrocław. Ryczka’s musical pieces have been repeatedly performed at Youth Circle Concerts at the Warsaw Autumn, the Musica Polonica Nova Festival in Wrocław, and the Poznań Interactions, among others. His compositions have also been presented at the 2nd Dialogues International Festival of Contemporary Music in Minsk, the Musica Electronica Nova Festival, the Epoch Music Festival in Duszniki-Zdrój, and the Ryszard Bukowski Music Days in Wrocław, as well as at concerts in Germany.
At the Poznań Spring Music Festival in 2010, the Chamber Orchestra of the Polish Radio Amadeus performed his 100-Year-Old Fugue under the direction of Agnieszka Duczmal. Mateusz Ryczek has also composed the music for numerous theatre performances, including About the Prince Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, directed by Bogusław Kierc; The Old, Big Clock based on The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffman, directed by Małgorzata Kazińska; Michał Walczak’s The Last Daddy directed by Tomasz Man; and Knights, based on Aristophanes’ comedy and directed by Paweł Pawlik. He also wrote the music for the film Lag Islands by Tomasz Tryzna presented at the 10th New Horizons Era International Film Festival in Wrocław.
Ryczek performs his own works for piano, and he also plays at premieres of newly written pieces. Since 2006 he has been a member of the Youth Circle of the Polish Composers’ Union, and now belongs to its Board of Directors.
Mateusz Ryczek’s music is made on the basis of strict rules. The composer’s passion for science is reflected in the harmonious structure of his works. He strives for very detailed scores. There are underlying proportions behind the form, harmony, rhythm and other elements of his musical works, acting as a kind of a skeleton.
Ryczek’s compositions are characterised by microtones, originating from the spectral techniques developed by him. The sound arrangements used in his pieces are formed at a pre-compositional level by mathematical operations based on pure hertz. In his works the composer also attempts to apply digital audio processing techniques to an acoustic, instrumental background.
- R152 for flute, vibraphone, double bass and piano (2004);
- Dancing With the Pots for flute, xylophone, kitchen instruments set and piano (2004);
- Dies Irae for choir and orchestra (2005);
- Mirror for two pianos tuned a quarter-tone apart and percussion (2005);
- Cycle 24 Danyszowych for synthetic instruments controlled by a computer (2005-2007);
- Breath for string trio (2006);
- Song from Otłoczyn I. A Hommage to Grandfather Bronek for children’s accordion and piano (2006);
- Meditations I. Suite for violin and piano (2006);
- Song from Otłoczyn II. The Sounds of Childhood for flute, violin, metal percussion and piano (2007);
- Harmonia Mundi for piano and three instrumental groups (2007);
- Sanctus for soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, string quartet and organ (2007);
- Rings of Saturn for double bass solo (2007);
- Time Rituals for orchestra (2007-2008);
- NGC 4414 for piano duo and percussion duo (2008);
- Song of the Guardian Angel for saxophone solo and youth orchestra (2008);
- Neptune for alto flute and live electronics (2008);
- About a Knight Chess Piece that Lost Its Golden Horseshoe (2008) opera for children (libretto Marta Ćwiklińska);
- Proxima Centauri for organs (2008);
- 100-Years-Old Fugue for string orchestra (2008-2009);
- Meditations II. The Longing of the Rising Sun for piano (2009);
- Knights of the Centuries for two stereophonic choirs (2009);
- Song from Otłoczyn IV. Two Words of the Princess to Her Darling on the Farm for voice and live electronics (2010);
- Espilon Aurigae for cello and double bass (2010);
- INFRASYMFONIA for orchestra (2010);
- Metasonora for orchestra (2010);
- Fragments of a Dream for string quartet (2010);
- Sub-deep of the Night for piano (2011);
- Copper Sky for voice and computer (2011);
- Madhouse for clarinet, electric guitar, cello, accordion, with a video by Piotr Bartos (2011);
- Seven Knocks for marimba trio (2011);
- Miedziane Niebo/ Copper Sky na sopran i komputer (2011)
- Warkocz Andromedy/Andromeda's Plait for 2 percussion players (2011)
- Sagittarius A for alto saxophone and live electronics (2011)
- Nebulae (2012)
- Przebłysk Pamięci/Flash of Memory nafor string orchestra and computer (2012)
- Ocean of Europe for flute, bass clarinet, trombone and 12 cellos (2012)
- Dźwięki zza żelaznej kurtyny/ Sounds from behind the Iron Curtain collage for Piotr Nowicki Gallery of Contemporary Art (2012)
- Ether for flute, double bass and piano (2013)
- 28 dni Księżyca/ 28 Days of the Moon for violin, klclarinet, percussion, piano and Hammond organ (2014)
- Tuba Dei for youth orchestra and electronics (2014)
Website of the composer: mateuszryczek.com
Author: Culture.pl, August 2011, transl. Bozhana Nikolova, update: GS, September 2015