Zygmunt Krauze

(b. 19 September 1938, Warsaw).

Polish composer of mostly stage, orchestral, chamber, and piano works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as a pianist.

Prof. Krauze studied composition with Kazimierz Sikorski and piano with Maria Wiłkomirska at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, where he earned his MA in piano in 1962 and his MA in composition in 1964. He later studied composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in 1966–67, on a scholarship from the government of France. He received an honorary doctorate from the Universitatea Națională de Muzică București in 2013.

Among his honours are a period as a guest of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (1973–74), the Silver Cross of Merit from the government of Poland (1975), the Medal of Distinction from Jeunesses Musicales of Poland (1979), and a residency at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire (1982). He later received the Prize of the President of Polskie Radio i Telewizja (1987, for The Creation of Music [series of educational films]), the Prize of the Związek Kompozytorów Polskich – Polish Composers Union in Warsaw (1988), the Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (1989, 2005), the Chopin Gold Medal from the Fryderyk Chopin Foundation (1994), and the Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland (2010). In addition, he was named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1984 and Officier de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur in 2007, both by the government of France.

As a pianist, his specialty is contemporary music. He founded the Warsztat Muzyczny – Music Workshop for contemporary music in Warsaw in 1967 and served as its artistic director and pianist from 1967–89.

He is also active in other positions. He served as a member of the répertoire committee of the festival Warszawska Jesień – Warsaw Autumn from 1970–81, as a music advisor to IRCAM in Paris in 1982–83 and as president of the Polish Society for Contemporary Music from 1980–83 and 1989–2001, as well as its vice-president from 1983–89. He served as president of the section in Poland of ISCM from 1987–90, as a member of the music council of Polskie Radio from 1993–98 and as an artistic advisor to the ambassador of France to Poland from 1995–97. He has served as president of the Witold Lutosławski Society since 2003.

He lectured at the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt in 1976 and taught as a visiting professor at Yale University in 1982 and has been an eminent corresponding professor at Keimyung University in Daegu since 1996. He has taught as Professor of Composition at the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź since 2002 and at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music since 2006. He has given masterclasses in composition and piano in Chile, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA.

In addition to the works listed below, he has written many film scores.

His primary publishers are PWM and Universal Edition.





The Star (chamber opera, libretto by Helmut Kajzar), 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, alto, tenor saxophone, trumpet, electric guitar, violin, double bass, accordion, percussion, 1981 (also version as opera in 1 act, soprano, mezzo-soprano, mixed chorus, dance troupe, orchestra, 1994 [also version for soprano, computer, 2 camera operators, 2006])

Polyeucte martyr (incidental music, play by Pierre Corneille), flute, ney (flute from the Middle East), French horn, harp, double bass, piano, tubular bells, percussion, fixed media, 1987

El Público (incidental music, play by Federico García Lorca), clarinet, trumpet, trombone, electric guitar, violin, double bass, percussion, 1988

Réveille-toi, Philadelphie (incidental music, play by François Billetdoux), clarinet, trombone, harp, guitar, violin, double bass, piano, accordion, percussion, fixed media, 1988

OperetkaOpérette (incidental music, play by Witold Gombrowicz), clarinet, trumpet, trombone, violin, double bass, piano, percussion, 1988

Macbett (incidental music, play by Eugène Ionesco), 16 mixed voices, clarinet, trombone, violin, cello, double bass, piano, upright piano, synthesizer, percussion, 1992

Balthazar (opera in 2 acts, libretto by Ryszard Peryt, after Stanisław Wyspiański), soloists, mixed chorus, orchestra, 2001

Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy (opera in 4 acts, libretto by Grzegorz Jarzyna, the composer, after Witold Gombrowicz), soloists, mixed chorus, orchestra, 2004

Merlin (incidental music, play by Tankred Dorst), 3 voices, flute, harp, percussion, string orchestra, 2005

Œdipus Rex (incidental music, play by Sophocles), 2008

L'Avare (incidental music, play by Molière), 2010

Polieukt (opera in 5 acts, libretto by Alicja Choińska, Jorge Lavelli, after Pierre Corneille), 2010

The Trap (opera in 1 act, libretto by Grzegorz Jarzyna, the composer, after Tadeusz Różewicz), 2011


Piece for Orchestra No. 1, 1969

Piece for Orchestra No. 2, 1970

Voices, small orchestra (any 15 players), 1972

Folk Music, 1972

Aus aller Welt Stammende, 5 violins, 3 violas, 2 cellos, 1973

Fête galante et pastorale, 4 folk players (4 bagpipes, 4 fifes, 4 hurdy-gurdys, 4 violins), orchestra, 1975 (concert version of spatial composition)

Concerto No. 1, piano, orchestra, 1976

Suite de danses et de chansons, harpsichord, orchestra, 1977

Concerto, violin, orchestra, 1980

Tableau vivant, small orchestra, 1982

Piece for Orchestra No. 3, 1982

Arabesque, amplified piano, small orchestra, 1983

Blanc-rouge / Paysage d'un pays, large orchestra (winds, brass, mandolins, accordions, 6 percussion), 1985

Symphonie parisienne, 1986

Terra incognita, piano, 10 strings, 1994

Rhapsod, string orchestra, 1995

Concerto No. 2, piano, orchestra, 1996

Serenade, 1998

Emille Bell, string orchestra, 2000

Adieu, upright piano, orchestra, 2001

Hymn for Tolerance, 2007

The Letters, 4 pianos/2 pianos 8 hands, orchestra, 2010

Memories of the east, orchestra of instruments from China, 2012


Wind Trio, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 1958

Prime numbers, 2 violins, 1961

String Quartet No. 1, 1965

Polychromie, clarinet, trombone, cello, piano, 1968

String Quartet No. 2, 1970

Idyll, 4 folk players (4 bagpipes, 4 fifes, 4 hurdy-gurdys, 4 violins, 16 bells), fixed media, 1974

Song, any 4–6 melody instruments, 1974

Soundscape, 4 amplified players (4 melodicas, 4 harmonicas, 8 recorders, 4 zithers, 8 sheep bells, 8 musical glasses), fixed media, 1975

Automatophone, 3 or more guitars, 3 or more mandolins, 3 or more music boxes, 1976 (concert version of spatial composition)

String Quartet No. 3, 1982

Quatuor pour la naissance, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, 1984

Je préfère qu'il chante, bassoon, 1985

Rivière souterraine, amplified ensemble (clarinet, trombone, electric guitar, cello, piano, accordion, percussion), fixed media, 1987 (concert version of spatial composition)

For Alfred Schlee with admiration, string quartet, 1991

Piano Quintet, piano, string quartet, 1993

P53, any number of players, 1994 (collaboration with Chris Cutler, Lutz Glandien, Marie Goyette, Yoshihide Ōtomo)

Pastorale, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1995

Divertissement Silésien, string quartet, 1998

Ode, flute (+ ocarina), 2 trumpets, guitar, 3 tom-toms (1 player), 2004

Fanfare, 4 trumpets, 2007

Voices for Ljubljana, flute, clarinet, trombone, viola, cello, piano, percussion, 2007

Fields and Hillssilence, any number of players, 2009


Trois Chansons (text by Claude Lefebvre), mixed chorus, 1997

Ball in the Opera (text by Julian Tuwim), mixed chorus, small orchestra (12 players), 2006

Podróż ChopinaVoyage de Chopin, mixed chorus, 2010 (also longer version for mixed chorus, folk ensemble, 2010)


Malay Pantuns (texts from pantun from Malaysia), mezzo-soprano/alto, 3 flutes, 1961

Postcard from the Mountains, soprano, flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, double bass, vibraphone, 1988

La Terre (text by Yves Bonnefoy), soprano, piano, orchestra, 1995

Five Songs (text by Tadeusz Różewicz), baritone, piano, 2000


Three Preludes, 1956

Sonatina, 1958

Six Folk Melodies, 1958

Theme with Variations, 1958

Three Études, 1958

Five Piano Pieces, 1958

Prelude, Intermezzo, Postlude, 1958

Seven Interludes, 1958

Two Inventions, 1958

Four Dances, 1959

Monody and Fugue, 1959

Ohne Kontraste, 1960

Five Unitary Piano Pieces, 1963

Triptych, 1964

Esquisse, 1966–67

Fallingwater, 1971

Gloves Music, 1972

Stone Music, 1972

One Piano Eight Hands, upright piano 8 hands, 1973

Music Box Waltz, 1977

Ballade, 1978

From Keyboard to Score, 1987

Nightmare Tango, 1987

La Chanson du mal-aimé, 1990

Refrain, 1993

La Naissance et le Déroulement d'un rêve, 2005


Diptychos, 1981


Commencement, 1982

Pour El, 2008


MusicalSpatial Composition No. 1, fixed media, 1968 (collaboration with architect Teresa Kelm, sculptor Henryk Morel)

MusicalSpatial Composition No. 2, fixed media, 1970 (collaboration with architect Teresa Kelm)

Automatophone, any 15 amplified plucked instruments, 15 amplified music boxes, 1974 (also concert version for 3 or more guitars, 3 or more mandolins, 3 or more music boxes)

Fête galante et pastorale, 6 ensembles, fixed media, 1974 (also version for 5 voices, 13 ensembles [52 total players], fixed media, 1984; concert version for bagpipes, fife, hurdy-gurdy, folk violin, orchestra)

Rivière souterraine, amplified ensemble (clarinet, trombone, electric guitar, cello, piano, accordion, percussion), fixed media, 1987 (collaboration with architects Jan Muniak, Wiesław Nowak; also concert version)

Aria, 21 sound sources, 2007


Blue jay way (George Harrison), piano, 1990