Composer specialising in instrumental music. He works as an adjunct professor at the Music Academy in Cracow.
Wojciech Ziemowit Zych was born on 4th April 1976 in Warsaw. He studied composition in Marek Stachowski's class at the Music Academy in Cracow and graduated with honours. From 2001 to 2002, he sharpened his skills at the undergraduate programme directed by Peter-Jan Wagemans at the Conservatory in Rotterdam. He has also participated in many composition master classes, including Radziejowice (1997), Gdańsk (1998), Buckow near Berlin (1999), and Darmstadt (2008). He was awarded a scholarship by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (1999). In 2006 he earned his PhD in the Arts.
In 1996, he received second prize in the Polish Composition Competition for middle school students in Tarnów, third prize and an honourable mention in the Sixth Adam Didur Composition Competition in Sanok, and a distinction in the Tadeusz Baird Composition Competition. He has received commissions for compositions from the Friends of Warsaw Autumn Society, German Radio, the Polish Composers' Union as part of the project ‘60 commissions for the 60th anniversary of the PCU’, Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Wrocław and Sacrum Profanum Festival in Cracow (Made in Poland – Miłosz Sounds, a project marking the Year of Czesław Miłosz 2011). His Kaspar Hauser’s Friends, commissioned by German Radio and Warsaw Autumn, represented the Polish Radio at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composer in Vienna in 2005. Différance, commissioned by Warsaw Autumn, was performed during this festival in 2010, earning the composer a nomination for the Koryfeusz Muzyki Polskiej award for Personality of the Year. Miłosz’s Postgrammar, commissioned by the Sacrum Profanum festival in Cracow, was performed in 2011 by the Asko | Schönberg ensemble.
– Zych’s musical language has a complicated grammar and requires concentration. Clichés and unambiguity are not enough to comprehend it. The same is true of the titles and the extra-musical references contained therein. The best example is Kaspar Hauser (1812–1833), a person who managed to elude science, logic, and all rationality. He was a mystery and he carried a mystery within. Although he provoked the interest of onlookers and aristocrats, no one was able to fathom his nature, emotions, and fate. Wojciech Ziemowit Zych revels in ambiguities. The neurotic drive to impose order and to pigeonhole has no power over him. His music always deals with memory, in the broadest sense: memory as a memento, as nostalgia, and as an openness to what lies in the future. For him, the future begins in the past and in the arduous and profound experience of the present – stated Ewa Szczecińska in a publication for Biweekly.pl.
Wojciech Ziemowit Zych's compositions regularly appear at festivals such as the Warsaw Autumn, the Days of Cracow Composers' Music and the Musica Polonica Nova in Wrocław. His pieces were also performed internationally at UltraSchall in Berlin (2006), Musikhøst in Odense (Denmark, 2007), and FOCUS! 2011 – Polish Modern: New Directions in Polish Music Since 1945 in New York.
From 2006 to 2008 he was a member of the Repertoire Committee of the Warsaw Autumn International Contemporary Music Festival. He works as an adjunct professor at the Department of Composition at the Faculty of Creativity, Interpretation and Musical Education at the Music Academy in Kraków. Since 2007 he has been a member of the Polish Composers’ Union.
In 2009 DUX Recording Producers released an album with his orchestral pieces Wojciech Ziemowit Zych. Orchestral Works (as part of the series Young Composers' Tribute to Fryderyk Chopin). In 2010 the album won the Pizzicato Supersonic Award of Radio Luxembourg.
In the 2012/13 season he was a composer-in-residence at the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Cracow.
Most Important Compositions
- Kolęda 1942 / Carol 1942 for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra with lyrics by Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński (1997)
- Epifanium/ Epitaph for trumpet, strings, harp and celesta (1998)
- SOLILOKWIUM I- Umysł wrzący/ SOLILOQUY I – Boiling Mind for chamber ensemble (1999)
- SOLILOKWIUM II - Pejzaż myśli zamarzłych/ SOLILOQUY II- Landscape of Frozen Thoughts for bass clarinet and 20 string instruments (1999)
- Mille coqs blessés à mort for great chamber ensemble (2000)
- Dwie narracje fantasmagoryczne / Two Phantasmagoric Narratives for two harps (2001)
- Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra (2001)
- Sympony n° 1 (2001-2002)
- Toccata holenderska/ Dutch Toccata for two bass clarinets and two pianos (2002)
- Ballada I / Ballade I for bass clarinet, cello and harp (2002)
- Meandry – Warstwy – Mechanizmy/ Intricacies – Layers – Mechanisms for great chamber orchestra (2002-2003)
- Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra (2003)
- Ballada II / Ballade II for violin, bass clarinet and marimba (2003)
- Hommage à Tadeusz Kantor for orchestra (2003)
- Enfant terrible for chamber ensemble (2003-2004)
- Przyjaciele Kaspara Hausera/ Friends of Caspar Hauser for chamber ensemble (2004)
- Symphony n° 2 (2004)
- P.S. [version I] for harpsichord solo (2005)
- P.S. [version II] for piano solo (2005)
- Nieuspokojenie / Uncalmness for bass clarinet solo (2005)
- Kooperatywa/ Cooperative for alto saxophone and accordion (2005)
- Stale obecna tęsknota/ Enduring Feeling of Longing for violin, bass clarinet, percussion and piano (2005)
- Hommage à György Kurtág, 21 miniatures for violin and bass clarinet (2005-2006)
- Poruszenia woli/ Movements of Will for orchestra (2005-2006)
- Rozedrgranie/ Vibration for two pianos (2006)
- Poetyka niedo-.../Niedo-...poetyka/ Poetics un-…/ Un-… Poetics for harpsichord solo (2007)
- Retoryka niedo-.../Niedo-...retoryka/ Rhetoric un-…/Un-…Rhetoric for string quartet (2007)
- Różnia / Différance for two pianos and two percussions (2007-2010)
- Akt oskarżenia w formie ronda / Accusation Act in Rondo Form and Unfinished Letter... for percussion duo (2008)
- ...list niedokończony..., list odnaleziony... / ...unfinished letted, found letter... for percussion duo (2008)
- Kooperatywa II / Cooperative II for cello and accordion (2010)
- Chorągwie / Banners for bass flute quartet (2010)
- Gest i puls / Gesture and Pulse for violin solo with spatial amplification (2010)
- Postgramatyka Miłosza... Teraz szukajcie go w gajach i puszczach słownika / Miłosz’s Postgrammar... Search for him now in the groves and wild forests of the dictionary for ensemble (2011)
- Symphony no. 3 (2011-13)
- Kontr-atrofia / Counter–atrophy for tenor saxophone (2012)
- Dwumian β / Binomial β for tenor saxophone and bass clarinet (2012)
- Dwumian α / Binomial α for two flutists (2012)
- Pictorcoeli for choir a cappella (2013)
- Mikrologia (czule) stosowana / Micrology (tenderly) applied for cello (2013)
- Opływ / Przepływ / Upływ /Roundflow / Throughflow / Outflow for eight spatially amplified cellos (2014)
Author: Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Centre, Association of Polish Composers, December 2004, transl. GS, August 2015. Update: May 2016.