Born: 1954, Warsaw, Poland
PAWEŁ SZYMAŃSKI studied composition primarily with Włodzimierz Kotoński and Tadeusz Baird, and also spent three summers at the famously formative new music courses in Darmstadt. He began winning important prizes and commissions in his mid-20s, and his music, of course, eventually found its way to the Warsaw Autumn Festival.
As noted above, Szymański is known for recontextualizing traditional, mostly Baroque, musical materials and processes. (He also attended the International Summer Academy of Ancient Music at Innsbruck in 1976.) He began this with Partita II, his 1978 graduation piece, and everything since, he says, he has done within the same stylistic ambit, which he calls “surconventionalism.”