Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
biuletyn informacji publicznej




COMPOSER OF THE MONTH for February is Eugeniusz Knapik, who will be the subject of special promotions lasting till the end of February:


– 50% discount on all his works from the PWM stores,

– the presentation of special photographs of the composer commissioned by PWM,

– the presentation of interesting information relating to the composer and his work,

– competitions and bespoke promotions.



We launch the promotional campaign for Eugeniusz Knapik with the composer’s A–Z, in which he talks about himself and things close to his heart. It makes exceptional reading!


A is for Academy

It was a beautiful sunny morning in June 1965 when I crossed the threshold of the building on Wojewódzka (then 27. Stycznia) Street to take the entrance exam for the Secondary School of Music. The Academy [College of Music] was on the next floor up. At the time, I hadn’t the slightest idea that that day would open the door to my professional and family life and that it would fill them with incredible intensity. Today, with a sense of having fulfilled my duty, I admire how beautiful it looks.


B is for Ballet

Although opera is so close to ballet, and despite a great deal of urging, I have never composed music for a ballet. Yet my self-contained instrumental works have often been used as the music for ballets. How to explain this? Well, perhaps I ran out of words…


C is for Chłopecki

How beautifully two people can differ, having different views, yet hold one another in mutual trust and respect, and build a friendship on that foundation! That was the story of Andrzej Chłopecki and I.


D is for Droba

It is good to have such a Droba close by. It gives you strength and sets you on your feet. Together, you tread the ground firmly, see things more clearly and hear not what you want to hear, but what resonates with you most powerfully. Our friendship was strong and a one-off. Everyone should have their own Droba close by…


E is for Emotions

Emotion is the true source of a work of art. If a work begins anywhere, it is in emotion. Only afterwards does one choose and order the material.

F is for Family

To say that family is important is a huge understatement. I am happy to have forged one. It is a wonderful anchor and haven! I can only regret frequently not devoting enough time and effort to it. Then I was surprised that my daughters had grown up so quickly.


G is for Górecki

An extraordinary accumulation of opposites. The gamut of human emotions. Violence and tenderness, immediacy and withdrawal, energy and contemplation, silence and the soul of society, and many, many other features filling his rich personality to overflowing. Above all, however, an uncompromising composer. Unique.


I is for Inspiration

During one of many important discussions held at the Baranowski Gatherings, an august group of people were debating the subject of inspiration in art. Sometime after midnight, everyone reached the conclusion that we knew nothing about it and it couldn’t be put into words. For me, that was an important and significant encounter.


J is for Jan

One day, a ‘messenger’ appeared at my door with a proposal for an opera commission. It was the assistant to Jan Fabre. Thus a prediction I had made in an interview a few years before came true: ‘Opera doesn’t interest me. It’s an anachronism’. I then proceeded to compose four operas. Thus Jan composed my life and taught me humility! It is to him that I owe my life in opera.


L is for Lutosławski

An icon… Sometimes, one would like to forget about that. To simply listen to his marvellously created music, with every detail carefully weighed. Then, his human, unsymmetrical face would emerge more often from behind the sounds.


M is for Messiaen

He loomed at the start. As a teenager, after hearing is Vingt Regards… at the ‘Warsaw Autumn’, for several days I could think about nothing else. I was dazzled by his rich imagination. The feeling was so strong that I began to think about composing. Today, I ask myself what my life might have looked like if I hadn’t gone to that concert.


N is for Nature

We are part of her, and she is part of us. It sounds trite. So why do we go to such lengths to wound her, and even destroy her? Perhaps we don’t love each other? After all, we’ll be the first victims of the process. I’m no ecologist…!

O is for Opera

Opera, to my great surprise, turned out to be my life’s great adventure. You only realise what it is when you’ve composed one. It is a huge, living undertaking, the complex mechanism of which must first be pieced together and then set in motion by the composer in a score. The music is the nucleus of an opera, and everyone should proceed in accordance with the instructions it contains. Alas, only outstanding directors understand this truth.


P is for Porąbka / Poetry / Pianist

3 Ps – how different, yet all of them dear. Each ‘P’ is a crucial part of my life. I’ve been in Porąbka for thirty years now, and it feels like I’ve been there forever. I don’t write poetry, but it’s often my signpost in the world of musical imagination. I don’t perform as a concert pianist, but the experience I’ve gained has shown that I often carry on a dialogue with the listener as if I was playing. My composition technique is the sum of this and other elements.

Q is for Quartet

Four men have been meeting each other almost every day for the last forty years. They don’t just play, but talk with each other. That commands respect. The Silesian Quartet play my Quartet to perfection!


S is for Silesia

An exceptional place and wonderful people. That’s it… I can only repeat after Wojciech Kilar: even if the Silesian air means that I’ll die here earlier, then I’ll die healthier. After that, he chain-smoked his way to the age of eighty-one.


T is for Trilogy

It is unfathomable that I’ve composed an operatic trilogy. Seven hours of music for soloists, two choirs and a large symphony orchestra. It’s as if I’d composed fourteen symphonies in seven years!!


U is for Unexpected

When Krzysztof Droba invited me to the MMMM Festival in Stalowa Wola, I thought it might be a lot of fuss about nothing. Once I had travelled there with four double basses and performers, on a twelve-hour train journey, I thought it was a great adventure, something like conquering the ‘Wild East’. After I’d been there a while, I felt what it was to be free and how important ideas were in life. Thus a generation was born. And Krzysztof was its godfather.


W is for Work

To say that a work consists of sounds is like declaring that a person consists of protein and acid. Even if it’s true, it’s a lie.


X marks the spot

An island and freedom have one thing in common – they are both a small point in the midst of untamed material over which we, as a species and as individuals, have no influence. That reflection is a source of joy and a sense of true freedom.


Z is for Zimerman

Sometimes it’s worth waiting – so I wait.



© PWM / photo Bartek Barczyk

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