PAWEL SZYMANSKI (b.1954 in Warsaw) graduated from the Warsaw State Higher School of Music (now Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy), where he studied composition with Wlodzimierz Kotonski and Tadeusz Baird. He was granted a Herder scholarship to study with Roman Haubenstock-Ramati in Vienna in 1984-85.
In 1976 Szymanski took part in the International Summer Academy of Ancient Music at Innsbruck, and in 1978, 1980 and 1982 participated in the International Summer Courses of New Music at Darmstadt. In 1979-81, he collaborated with the Experimental Studio of the Polish Radio, in 1982-84 with the Independent Studio of Electro-Acoustic Music (of which he was a co-founder), in 1983 with the Electronic Music Studio at the Music Academy in Cracow, and in 1987-88 with the Electronic Studio of Technischer Universitaet.
Winner of numerous composition competitions, Szymanski received 1st Prize in the Young Composers' Competition of The Polish Composers' Association in 1979 for his Gloria for female choir and instrumental ensemble. The piece was ranked 4th in the Works by Young Composers category at the Unesco International Composers' Tribune in Paris in 1981. In 1984, Lux Aeterna for voices and instruments won an award at the Sacred Music Composition Contest of the Internationale Bachakademie in Stuttgart. In 1987, Szymanski received an award in the Louisville Orchestra Competition and was granted honorary citizenship of the city of Louisville, Kentucky. In 1988 his Partita for amplified harpsichord and orchestra won the Benjamin Britten Composing Competition in Aldeburgh in 1988. In 1994 his Miserere, and in 2007 his Drei Lieder nach Trakl, were recommended works at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. The In Paradisum motet for male choir earned the composer the main prize at the Competition of The International Foundation of Polish Music in 1995. In 2005, he was decorated with the "Gloria Artis," the Republic's of Poland highest honor for contributions to Polish Culture.
Pawel Szymanski's music is regularly performed all over the world. A number of his works have been commissioned by European institutions and festivals, such as BBC, Radio France, the Aldeburgh Festival, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, and the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, and have been premiered by world-famous musicians, including London Sinfonietta, Suedwestfunk Baden-Baden, National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Silesian String Quartet. In 2006 the Festival of Pawel Szymanski's Music took place, from which the Polish Audiovisual Publishers released a four DVD set
Selected works (since 1990): Sixty-Odd Pages for orchestra (1991), Duet for two violins (1991), A Study of Shade, version for full orchestra (1992), Five Pieces for string quartet (1992), Two Studies for orchestra (1992), Miserere for voices and instruments (1993), Three Pieces for three recorders with metronome accompaniment (1993), Through the Looking Glass... III for solo harpsichord (1994; as well as a version for harpsichord and string quartet), Concerto for piano and orchestra (1994), Bagatelle fuer A.W. for violin, clarinet, tenor saxophone, and piano (1995), Sonat(in)a for piano (1995), In Paradisum deducant te Angeli..., motet for male choir (1995), Two melodies for piano (1995), Recalling a Serenade for clarinet, two violins, viola and cello (1996), A Kaleidoscope for M.C.E., version for solo violin (1997), quasi una sinfonietta for chamber orchestra (1990, version for full orchestra 2000), Film Music for orchestra (1996), Photograph from a Birthday Party (The Silesian Quartet with the shade of Bartók) for string quartet (1998), Viderunt omnes fines terrae for boys' choir and ensemble (1998), Prelude and Fugue for piano (2000), Three Songs to Words by Trakl for soprano and chamber orchestra (2002; version for soprano and piano - 2002, version for alto and piano - 2004), Chlorophaenhylohydroxipiperidinofluorobutyrophaenon for chamber ensemble and other sounds (2002), Compartment 2, Car 7 for vibraphone, violin, viola and cello (2003), Concerto a 4 for clarinet, bassoon, cello and piano (2004), Singletrack for piano (2005), Qudsja Zaher, opera in two acts, libretto by Maciej Drygas (2005), Gigue for solo cello (2006), Ceci n'est pas une ouverture for orchestra (2007), and Eals (Oomsu) for symphony orchestra (2009).