Paweł Łukaszewski - composer

date: SINCE 2.2020 place: World In progress

Paweł Łukaszewski

Born in Częstochowa in 1968, he is a graduate of the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw, where he studied the cello (with Andrzej Wróbel, diploma in 1992) and composition (with Marian Borkowski, a diploma with distinction in 1995). He also finished the School for Arts Management at the University of Poznań (1994) and the postgraduate course in choral conducting at the Music Academy in Bydgoszcz (1996). He has been on the faculty of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music since 1996. In 2000 he gained his Ph.D. in composition and in 2007 he received a habilitation degree. He worked as a visiting professor in Chile and Argentina (2003, 2006). From 2016 he is vice-rector of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.

He has received numerous commissions from Poland and abroad (Japan, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, The Netherlands) and has held many grants, including those from the Częstochowa Town Council (1991-1992), the Professor Bogdan Suchodolski Foundation (1995), the ZAiKS Authors’ and Composers’ Association (1996), the Arts Promotion Fund of the Ministry of Culture (several times) and the President of Warsaw (2010).

His honours include First Prize at the Composers’ Competition in Łomża (1988), an honourable mention at the Tadeusz Baird Composers’ Competition (1994), First Prize at the Warsaw Music Academy Competition (1994), Second Prize at the 2nd Young Composers’ Forum in Kraków (1994), Second Prize at the Adam Didur Competition in Sanok (1996), and Second Prize at the 27th International ‘Florilege Vocal de Tours’ Competition in France (1998). He won the ‘Fryderyk’ Awards of the Polish Phonographic Academy (2005, 2006), the Award of the town of St Quentin (for the best performance of a contemporary work) at the Concours Europeen de Choeurs et Maitrises de Cathedrales (2006).

He has received the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1998), the award of the Mayor of Częstochowa for outstanding compositional achievements (1995), the award of the Rector of the Music Academy in Warsaw (2005) and the Saint Brother Albert Chmielowski Award for outstanding achievements in composition, conducting and organization of musical life (2006).  

His works have been performed at over 100 festivals in Poland and abroad (Britain, Argentina, Belarus, Belgium, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Spain, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Moldova, Peru, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, Ukraine, Uruguay, the Vatican and the United States). His discography includes over 100 CDs (Hyperion, Acte Préalable, Polskie Nagrania Edition, DUX, Musica Sacra Edition, Signum Records), one of which (String Quartet No. 1, performed by DAFÔ Quartet, DUX 0142) received the Fryderyk Award and six others were nominated for this award. Over sixty of his pieces have been published in Britain (ChesterNovello), Poland (PWM Edition), Germany (Edition Ferrimontana, Choris Mundi), Italy (Edizioni Carrara) and the United States (Lorenz Corporation). Almost all of his works have been recorded and broadcast by numerous radio and television stations.

He has served as the Director of the International Festival ‘Laboratory of Contemporary Music’ (since 1995) and as President of the Musica Sacra Association (since 2000). He is a member of the ZAiKS Association of Authors and Composers, the Presidium of the Council of the Phonographic Academy and of the artistic council of the Gaude Mater International Festival of Sacred Music in Częstochowa. He has sat on the juries of the composers’ competitions in Arezzo, Moscow and Bucharest. He is Artistic Director and Conductor of ‘Musica Sacra’ Choir of the Warsaw-Praga Cathedral and of the Musica Sacra Edition.

In recent years Paweł Łukaszewski’s music has gained a high recognition in Britain. His works have been performed (and some premiered) by such renowned choral ensembles from London and Cambridge as The Holst Singers, BBC Singers, Trinity College Choir, Tenebrae, Britten Sinfonia and Polyphony under the direction of prominent conductors Stephen Layton and Nigel Short. Two CDs devoted exclusively to his music have been released by Hyperion.


Pawel Lukaszewski - principal works:

SOLO: Icon for organ (2010), Souvenir V for celesta (2007), Souvenir IV for harpsichord (2007), Souvenir III for marimbaphone (2006), Moai for flute (2003), Stadium for piano (2002),  Souvenir II for piano (1999), Souvenir I for organ (1999), Capriccio for P.P. for violin solo (1991), Two preludies for piano (1989/1992).

CHAMBER AND SONGS: Lenten music for six saxophones (2011), Two sonnets after death for baritone and piano (2010), Piano trio (2008), Concertino for piano and brass (2007), Un cadeau for ensemble (2007), Pearl of wisdom for two pianos (2005), 3rd String Quartet (2004), Haiku – four songs for soprano and piano (2002), 2nd String Quartet (2000), Two songs for voice and piano (1989/2000), 1st String Quartet (1994), Aragena for soprano, cello and electronic medias (1993), Three songs for mezzosoprano and piano (1992), Quasi sonata for clarinet and piano (1991).

ORCHESTRAL: Concerto for piano and string orchestra (2010),Adagietto for large string orchestra (2009), Utopia for orchestra (2008), Genome for string orchestra (2008), Trinity concerto for soprano saxophone (or oboe) and string orchestra (2007), Divertimento for chamber orchestra (2006), Concerto for string orchestra (1997/2006), Sinfonietta for string orchestra (2004), Concerto for organ and string orchestra (1996), Winterreise for string orchestra (1993), Arrampicata for orchestra (1992).

CHORAL:  Lamentationes for mixed choir a cappella (2011), cycle: Responsoria Tenebrae for six male voices or mixed choir a cappella (2010), Motette for mixed choir a cappella (2011), Five funeral kurpian songs (from Vesperae pro defunctis)  for mixed choir (2010), Two funeral psalms for two mixed choirs a cappella (2008), Nunc dimittis for mixed choir a cappella (2007), Veni creator for two mixed choirs a cappella (2004), Three orthodox prayers for female choir a cappella (2001-2003), Psalmus 102 for mixed choir a cappella (2002/2003), Homagge á Edith Stein for mixed choir a cappella (2002), Jesu Christi prostrationes (from Via crucis) for mixed choir a cappella (1999), cycle: Antiphonae for mixed or female choir a cappella: O Sapientia, O Adonai, O radix Jessae, O clavis David, O Oriens, O Rex gentium, O Emmanuel (1995-1999), cycle: Beatus vir for mixed choir a cappella Beatus vir, Sanctus Martinus (1996), Beatus vir, Sanctus Adalbertus (1997), Beatus vir, Cardinalis Wyszyński (2001), Beatus vir, Sanctus Ioannes de Dukla (2001), Beatus vir, Sanctus Paulus (2003), Beatus vir, Sanctus Antonius (2003), Splendor Patriae – Beatus vir, Sanctus Stanislaus (2003), Gloria Gentis – Beatus vir, Zygmunt Szczęsny-Feliński  (2003/2007),  Two Christmas motets for female or mixed choir a cappella: Venite adoremus, Laetentur caeli (2000), Stabat Mater for 3 female or mixed choirs a cappella (1994), Two lenten motets for mixed choir a cappella: Memento mei Domine, Crucem tuam adoramus Domine (1995),cycle: Ave Maria for two mixed choirs a cappella: Ave Maria, Ave maris stella, Salve Regina (1992/2003/2009).

VOCAL-INSTRUMENTAL: Luctus Mariae for soprano, mezzosoprano (or countertenor) female choir, harpsichord, string quartet or orchestra (2010), Five funeral kurpian songs for mixed choir and orchestra (2010), Laudate Dominum for female choir and string orchestra or organ (2009), Miserere for soprano, mixed choir and orchestra (2008), Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum for soprano, mezzosoprano, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra (2008), Terra nova et caelum novum for mixed choir and strings (2007), Magnificat and Nunc dimittis for saxophone, mixed choir and orchestra (2007), Messa per voci e fiati for mixed choir and wind ensemble (2004), Exsultet for soprano, mezzosoprano, female choir and orchestra(2003), Elogium – for victims from Katyn for baritono, cello, bells and strings (2002), Litanae de Sancto Clemente for soprano, mixed choir and string orchestra(2001/2002), Missa pro Patria for soprano, mezzosoprano, mixed choir, percussion and orchestra (1997), Gaudium et Spes for soprano, mixed choir and orchestra (1997), Recordationes de Christo moriendo for mezzosoprano and chamber orchestra (1996), Dominum benedicite in aeternum  for mixed choir, brass orchestra and percussion (1994).

ORATORIES: Resurrectio for soprano, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra (2012), 3rd Symphony - Symphony of Angels for soprano, mixed choir and orchestra (2011), Missa de Maria a Magdala for soprano, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra (2010), 1st Symphony - Symphony of Providence for soprano, mezzosoprano, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra (1997-2008), 2nd Symphony - Festinemus amare homines for soprano, two pianos, two mixed choirs and orchestra (2005), Via Crucis for countertenor, tenor, baritone, reciter, mixed choir and orchestra (2000), Vesperae pro defunctis  for mixed choir, organ and orchestra (1995/2011).


Major commissions: 
City of Leipzig,  Germany (2013)
Cantatrix Choir, The Netherlands (2012)
Erzbistum Köln, Germany (2012)
Polyphony, London, Great Britain (2012)
Wrocław Philharmonic (2011) The King's Singers, Great Britain (2010)  
Kultur-Insel Bremgarten, Switzerland (2009)  
CoMA, London, Great Britain (2008)  
Britten Sinfonia, Cambridge, Great Britain (2007)  
Polish Composers Union (2006)  
Kobe Chuo Chorus, Japan (2005)  
Akademie Klausenhof, Germany (2004)
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, Chile (2003)
Musica Viva Association, Montreal, Canada (2003)  
Polish Radio (1997)  
Theatre Des Cinq Diamants, Paris, France (1992)

Photos: P. Dłubak