Musician, singer and composer of music for hundreds of songs, he also created soundtracks, stage productions and TV poetry programs. He was born on 6th March, 1947, in Warsaw.
Musician, singer and composer.
After attending music, and then ballet, schools, Woźniak eventually pursued his education at the Secondary Technical School of Electrical Engineering. It was during that period that he learned to play guitar and eventually decided to join a fledgling community of Polish rock artists. His career took off when the song tellingly titled For Better or Worse became the first radio hit by the Dzikusy (Savages) band who had invited him to collaborate. The first Radio Song Exchange broadcasted in 1966 can be regarded as a landmark in his profession as a musician. Soon after he began to perform and record with Czterech (The Four). Accompanied by the latter band, he won the TV Song Exchange performing the song Hej, Hanno with lyrics by Agnieszka Osiecka. This prompted a wave of invitations to participate in various concerts and festivals. Only with Czesław Niemen, he gave nearly 100 concerts.
Since 1967, Woźniak composes music to poems by Polish poets: Juliusz Tuwim, Bolesław Leśmian, Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński, Edward Stachura, Bogdan Chorążuk and Bogdan Loebl. Since 1968 he’s been performing as a soloist, singing mostly melodious ballads of his own composition and accompanying himself on the guitar. He knew considerable success in the sixties and seventies.
In the autumn of 1971, Polish Recordings released Woźniak’s first full length album of lyrical ballads. It included the musician’s biggest hit High Clockmaster recorded with Alibabki girls band and Henryk Wojciechowski’s ensemble. Together they set off on a three-year-long tour in Poland and Europe. In 1973, the song won the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole.
Woźniak proved his lasting passion for theatre in producing many musical performances and musicals. His compositions were an integral part of the dramatic stagings. From 1988 to1993 he held the position of musical director at the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz. He received awards at theatre festivals for music composed for Stanisław Wyspiański’s Wesele (The Wedding) directed by Roman Kordziński, Jan Kochanowski’s Odprawa Posłów Greckich (The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys) directed by Andrzej Witkowski and Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita directed by Andrzej Maria Marczewski. In 1994, he received the Złote Maski award for his achievements in music for theatre. However, it was the musical score for Lato Muminków (The Summer of Moomin) performance staged by Andrzej Maria Marczewski with texts by Bogdan Chorążuk that brought him success comparable to that of the High Clockmaster hit.
Nevertheless, after years of intense presence on the music scene, Woźniak suddenly disappeared. It was not the artist’s voluntary decision but an outcome of explicit censorship imposed on Woźniak’s pacifist song It will be a son interpreted as ‘a knife stabbed in the back of Polish troops in Czechoslovakia’. In 1968, the song was banned from official media. Despite the alleged wind of freedom in the mid-seventies, artists in Poland lived a pathetic life filled with a constant search for extra income. The communist policy didn’t allow them to have higher income than an average worker. As a result, Woźniak concentrated mainly on writing music for films and plays.
In recent years the artist has been seeking to restore the prestige of Polish ballads and he has managed to do so. He frequently appears at festivals, on TV, and he produces new recordings of old hits. He has attracted a new young audience and found modern ways of sharing his music with the public. In 2014, Woźniak’s hit High Clockmaster became the theme of the computer game This War of Mine which has taken the world of computer games by storm.
Source: Based on the article written for culture.pl by Janusz Kowalczyk, ed. & transl. GS, 07.01.2015