Blecharz, Wojtek International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

go to content

born in Gdynia (Poland) in 1981, he graduated with honours from the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw in 2006, before obtaining a PhD in music composition from the University of California in San Diego in 2015. 

Since 2012 he has curated the Instalakcje music festival at Warsaw’s Nowy Theatre. He has directed his own two opera–installations: Transcryptum (2013) commissioned by the Grand Theatre – National Opera in Warsaw and Park–Opera (2016) commissioned by the Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw. His third opera-installation, Body–Opera, was commissioned by the Huddersfield Festival in 2016. In April 2018, his fourth opera, Fiasco, was premiered at the State Theatre in Darmstadt, directed by K.A.U & Wdowik. Since 2018, his opera Rechnitz. Opera – The Exterminating Angel has been presented at the TR Warszawa Theatre, a commission of that theatre and Warsaw Autumn, based on a text by Elfriede Jelinek and directed by Katarzyna Kalwat. 

In 2012, he received a scholarship prize “for perfection in music composition” at the Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, and in 2013 he was selected as one of winners of the IMPULS International Composition Competition in Graz. He was nominated for the Passport Award of the Polish Polityka weekly (2012), PKN Orlen’s Poles with Verve Award (2013), and Polish Radio Channel 3 Culture Man of the Year (2013). In 2013 his opera–installation Transcryptum was nominated to “cultural event of the year” by the Gazeta Wyborcza daily. In 2015 a choral theatre piece with Blecharz’s music Mutter Courage und ihre Hunden, directed by Marta Górnicka, commissioned by the Brunswick City Theatre, was acclaimed as one of the best 60 performances in Germany. In 2016 he received a music theatre award for the Best Performance of Contemporary Play (Warsaw/ Wałbrzych). In 2017 he received the Siemens Foundation Scholarship for composing other states_horizon for 16 performers and 16 wireless loudspeakers at Zurich’s Collegium Novum. In 2019, he was composer-in-residence at the prestigious Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy and was awarded the Progetto Positano for lifetime achievement from the ensemble mosaik. 

His latest works have been composed for the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra in Beijing, International Contemporary Ensemble in New York, Musiques Nouvelles in Brussels, KNDM Ensemble in Berlin, Kwadrofonik, Klangforum Wien, Royal String Quartet, Flute O’Clock, LutosAir, and many other ensembles. He has written stage works for TR Warszawa Theatre (Soundwork), Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Cracow (House of Sound), Goethe Institute in Warsaw and Polish Institute in Berlin (Axis), and the Roskilde Festival in Denmark (FIELD 5.Aura). Lately, his works have been featured at festivals and venues such as MATA (New York), Salzburg Biennale, Klangwerkstadt (Berlin), Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (Australia), Mostly Mozart (New York), Huddersfield, Rainy Days (Luxembourg), Time of Music in Viitasaari (Finland), Rumlingen (Switzerland), and Les Amplitudes in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland). In October 2016, he participated in Ari Benjamin Meyers’s 15-day installation at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, composing daily for four hours at the museum. In 2020, a retrospective presentation of Blecharz’s art from 2015–20 was organised at Berlin’s Radialsystem during the New Empathies festival. Currently, Wojtek Blecharz is working on his Symphony no. 3 for 222 wireless loudspeakers, commissioned by the Donaueschinger Musiktage. 

Selected works: Four Preludes for piano (1999–2003), Psalmus 82 per coro misto (2003–4), dim for voice, cello, accordion and piano (2006–7), Airlines for recorders, four performers (2007–8), Torporfor violin, bass clarinet, percussion and piano (2008), Hypopnea for detuned accordion (2010), -onym for bass flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and live electronics (2011), Phenotype for prepared violin (2012), Means of Protection for voice, cello and prepared accordion (2012), K’an for steel drum and ca. 130 sticks (2012), Transcryptum, opera–installation for female voice, cello, alto flute, two percussion, two accordions and double bass clarinet (2011–13), DFRGMNTD (I ow) for two pianos and two percussion (2011), DFRGMNTD (I am) for two pianos and two percussion (2013), Small Talks for accordion reed box and baritone saxophone (2012–13), September. The Next Reading for voice, piano four hands and four percussion (2013–14), (one) [year](later) for voice, flute, erhu, pipa, guzheng, yang qin and percussion (2014), blacksnowfalls for timpani (2014), Liminal Studies for string quartet (2014), ocean is not enough for 13 performers (2014), Counter-Earth for clarinet, voice and death whistle (one performer) (2015), no more stories for two flutists and video (2015), A Bright, Empty Space for woodwind quintet and electronic sounds (2015), Audioroom, sound installation (2016), Axis for rhythm generators, analogue synthesizers and cello (2016), Park-Opera, opera–installation (2016), Soundwork for eight performers (2016), Body-Opera, opera–installation (2016–17), House of Sound, concert–installation (2017), Rechnitz. Opera – The Exterminating Angel for five actors and cello ensemble, after a drama by Elfriede Jelinek (2018), dream-notes for sopranino saxophone and electronics (2019), FIELD 5.Aura for listener, performer and seven wireless loudspeakers (2019), Symphony 1 for orchestra in four groups (2019), Symphony 2 for an orchestra open for all types of music (2019), Stimm[i](u)ng for reversed cello and 1–4 instruments (also version for solo cello and two cellos, 2019), Manifesto for orchestra (2019), Sound Sculptures for choir (2019), Intermedia, interactive online sound installation online performed by the audience (2020), Mantra for Muranów, performative installation for choir (2020), Sonata for keyboard and tape, sound sculpture (2020), Songlines, music to the sculpture exhibition of Ewa Maria Śmigielska Follow the Dragon (2021).