Krzysztof Knittel

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Knittel, Krzysztof (b. May 1, 1947, Warsaw). Polish composer of mostly chamber, stage and electroacoustic works that have been performed in the most of European countries, Asia, North and South Americas.

Apart from works for acoustic instruments Knittel has also composed computer music, created performances, bu ilt sound installations and played in the improvised music groups.

Mr. Knittel studied sound engineering and composition with Tadeusz Baird, Andrzej Dobrowolski, Wlodzimierz Kotonski at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw (1965-74).

He studied also computer music with Lejaren Hiller and programming at the Mathematical Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences (1973-74).

He attended Summer Courses of New Music in Darmstadt in 1974 and 76. He has worked at the Experimental Studio of Polish Radio since 1973 and at the Center for the Creative and Performing Arts at SUNY Buffalo in 1978.

Among his honors are the Solidarity Award in Music (1985, for String Quartet 84-85), Norwid Price in Music (2003, for Norwid Songs), Polish Composers' Union Prize (2003). He was also awarded by the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts in New York (1998).


Mr. Knittel co-founded the KEW Composers Group (1973-75, with Wojciech Michniewski and Elisabeth Sikora), Cytula Tyfun da Bamba Orchester (1981), the Independent Electroacoustic Music Studio (1982-84), ensemble Light from Poland (1985-87), interdisciplinary group Freight Train (existing since 1986 till today), CH&K Studio (since 1989, with Marek Choloniewski), the European Improvisation Orchestra (1996-98), CH&K&K (since 1999, with Marek Choloniewski and Wlodzimierz Kiniorski).

As journalist and critic he contributed to the Tygodnik Literacki (1990-91) and frelanced for Polish Television music department (1992-94). He has given lectures on new music in many European countries and in Americas. Concerts devoted exclusively to his music took place in Barcelona, Budapest, Cracow, Kromeriz, Leipzig, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Warsaw.

He served as vice-chairman of the Polish section of ISCM (1989-92), director of the International Contemporary Music Festival "Warsaw Autumn" (1995-98), vice-president (1995-99) and president of the Polish Composers' Union (1999-2003), vice-president of the Polish Music Council (since 2000).

Since 2001 Mr. Knittel teaches at the Academy of Music in Lodz. Since 2003 he is a member of Supervisary Board of Telewizja Polska (Polish public television) and the member of the Programming Board of Zacheta National Gallery.




LIST OF WORKS STAGE: detour (instrumental theatre work, text by Theodor W. Adorno), speaker, cello, piano, percussion, 2 tapes, 1974; Glückspavillon for Cathy (instrumental theatre work, text by KK), tuba, tape, 1978; Woman's voice (ballet, scenerio by KK after poems by Rafal Wojaczek), percussion ensemble (4), tape, 1980; Light (monologue for actress, text by KK), 1981; Satan in Goray (ballet, scenerio by KK after novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer), flute, violin, cello, piano, tape, 1993; Der Erwählte (ballet, scenerio by Marek Wortman after novel by Thomas Mann), recorders (sopran, alt, tenor, bass), cornemuse, baroque trombone, lute, harmonium, percussion instr., synthisizer Yamaha DX7IIFD, fiddle, viola da gamba, 1995; Awakenings (ballet, scenerio by Piotr Bikont after novel by Oliver Sachs), speaker, saxophones (soprano, tenor), percussion instr., synthisizers, samplers, sound installation, 1998; The Heartpiece - Double Opera (composed together with John King, libretto by John King and KK after theatre piece by Heiner Müller), soprano, el. guitar, drums, svnthisizer+sampler, string quartet, 1999; Spiegelverkehrte Reise (text by Piotr Bikont), soprano, actor, 2 CDs, 2000; The circus has come! (text by KK), soprano, flute, cello, piano, prepared piano, dancer, 2 x CD, 2003

ORCHESTRAL: Lipps, jazz trio (trumpet or tenor saxophone, bass, drums), symphony orchestra, 1974/78; 29 staves, chamber orchestra, 1980-81; Nibiru, harpsichord, string orchestra, 1987

CHAMBER MUSIC: ~440, violin, piano, tape, 1973; form A, form E, woodwind quintet, 5 spot-lights, 1973; à la Santé, clarinet, trombone, cello, piano, 1974; dorikos, string quartet, tape, 1976-77; sketches for any performers, 1978; low sounds, version II - tam-tam, tape, 1979; Five Pieces, cello, piano, 1979-80; low sounds, version III - 2 speakers, tam-tam, tape, 1980; Man-Orchestra I, any players, tape, 1982; Starry Sky, 5 percussions, 1982; Black Water, White Water, Old Stream, any players, tape, 1983; It's time now, any 5 instr. and piano, 1983; Nora, any keyboard instr. or harp, 1983; String Quartet 1984-85; Three Cassettes, any 3 instr.+3 cassette players, 1986; Brother John's Struggle, flute, trombone, guitar, violin, percussion (1), 1987; Histoire II, clarinet, piano, synthesizer, tape, 1988; Man-Orchestra II, computer, synthesizer, sound objects, 1988; Borders of nothing, synthisizer, computer, 1990, low sounds, version IV - synthisizer+tape (1), 1990; low sounds, version V - electric guitar, synthesizer+tape, 1991; Homage to Charles Ives, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, viola, double bass, piano, percussion (1), 1991-92; Negev, synthesizer+sampler+percussion instr. (1), 1993; Sonata da camera No. 1 (for Tomasz Stanko), trumpet, electronic instr. (1), 1993; Sonata da camera No. 2 (for Marek Choloniewski), electronic instr. (2), 1995; Sonata da camera No. 3 (for Wladyslaw Klosiewicz), harpsichord, electronic instr. (1), 1995; Sonata da camera No. 4 (for Laszlo Melis and Albert Markos), violin, cello, electronic instr. (1), 1997; Homage to Barbara Zbrozyna, synthesizer+sampler (1), 1997; Sonata da camera No. 5 (for Ivan Monighetti), cello, electronic instr. (1), 1997; Sonata da camera No. 6 (for Kazimierz Pyzik and Marek Mietelski), viola da gamba, prepared piano, electronic instr. (1), 1998; Sonata da camera No. 7 (for Ed Bogaard), tenor saxophone, electronic instr. (1), 1999; Sonata da camera No. 8 (for Andrzej Chlopecki), speaker, electronic instr. (1), 2000; Sonata da camera No. 9 (for Wlodzimierz Kiniorski), soprano+tenor saxophones (1), electronic instr. (1), 2000; Sonata da camera No. 10 (for Andrei Smirnov), thereminvox, electronic instr. (1), 2000; Trio for any melodic instruments, 2001; Sonata da camera No. 11 (for Aleksander Gabrys), double-bass, electronic instr. (1), 2002; V2R Trio (Grand River Trio), clarinet, violin, piano, CD, 2003

CHORAL: Out of the Depths Have I Cried unto Thee, O Lord... (psalms 23, 51, 102,103,117, 130, 150), mixed choir, tape, 2000; El maale rahamim... (O God, full of mercy... - original text of Hebrew prayer), mixed choir, symphony orchestra, 2001

VOCAL: 14 Variations by Piotr Bikont and Krzysztof Knittel on 14 Variations by Edwin Moran on 14 Words by John Cage, voices (2), keyboards (2), 1986/92; Three Songs without Words, soprano, tape, 1987; Etwas aus leben (text by KK), voice, piano, any electronic instr., 1988; Jingle-Jangle (text by Piotr Bikont), synthesizer+voice (1), computer+voice (1), 1989; Instant reactions (text by Charles Baudelaire), soprano, trumpet, guitar, percussion, synthesizer, 1992; Norwid Songs (poems by Cyprian Kamil Norwid), soprano, piano, 2001

PIANO: Three Studies, 1980; Four Preludes, 1983; Between, piano, tape, 1993

HARPSICHORD: Histoire III, harpsichord, tape, 1989


The Conqueror Worm, tape, 1976;

odds and ends, tape, 1978;

low sounds, version I - tape, 1980;

three studies for tape, 1979;

polygamy (composed together with Andrzej Biezan), tape, 1979;

norcet 1, tape, 1980;

norcet 2, tape, 1980;

Old Style Pieces, tape, 1985;

Lapis, tape, 1985; Poko, tape, 1986;

Histoire I, tape, 1988;

Man-Nature (collection of sixteen computer compositions controlled by the graphical images), 1991;

Surface en rotation, tape, 1997


passage,1994; radio sculpture,1994;

to touch snake from the inside, 2003;

MUSIC FOR SILENT MOVIES (composed by the group Freight-Train: Piotr Bikont - speaker, Tomasz Stanko - trumpet, Wlodzimierz Kiniorski - sopran and tenor saxophones, Marek Choloniewski - computers, Krzysztof Knittel - synthesizer+sampler): Schatten (director - Arthur Robison), 1923/1993;

Orlaks Hände (dir. Robert Wiene), 1924/1996;

Faust (dir. Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau), 1926/1998;

Aelite (dir. Jakov Protazanov), 1924/2000;

Eden (dir. Andrzej Czeczot), 2001/2001


cv written by Dan Albertson

Krzysztof Knittel est né en 1947 à Varsovie. Il compose de la musique pour ensemble de chambre, instruments solo, musique électronique, ballet, théâtre, télévision et films ; il produit aussi des installations sonores.
Il fait des études d'ingénieurie et de composition avec Tadeusz Baird, Andrzej Dobrowolski, Wlodzimierz Kotonski et Lajaren Hiller, à l'Académe de musique de Varsovie.
Il suit un cours de programmation à l'Institut de mathématiques de Varsovie pendant un an en 1973. Les années suivantes jusqu'en 1976 il participe au cours international d'été de nouvelle musique à Darmstad. En 1978, il travaille au Center of the Creative and Performnig Arts de Buffalo.
Depuis 1973, il coopère avec le studio expérimental de la Radio polonaise.
Il est co-organisateur et leader de Musique Electronique Live et de groupes musicaux intuitifs dont Kew Composers Group - avec Elisabeth Sikora et Wojciech Michniwski, Cytula Tyfun Da Bamba Orchestrer, Independant Electroacoustic Music Studio, et Light From Poland.
De 1989 à 92, il est vice-président de la Société pour la Musique Contemporaine (branche de la ISCM).
Depuis 1990, il organise de concerts de musique nouvelle au Centre d'Art Contemporain de Varsovie - Audio-Art Festival. Il est depuis 1985 vice-président des Compositeurs Polonais et directeur du Festival International de Musique contemporaine "Automne de Varsovie".

Krysztof Knittel is borned in 1947 in Varsaw. He composes music for chamber ensembles, for solo instruments, electronic and computer music, music for the ballet, theatre, for television and film ; he makes also sound installations.
He studied sound engineering and composition with Tadeusz Baird, Andrezej Dobrowoloski, Wlodzimierz Kotonski and Lajaren Hiller at th Academy of Music in Varsaw.
He folloxed a computer programing course at the mathematics Institue in Varsaw in 1973. The followinf years he participated in the international course for new music in Darmstad. In 1978, he worked at the Center of the Creative and Performnig Arts in Buffalo.
Since 1973, he has cooperated with the Experimental Studio of Polish Radio.
He is cofounder of live electronic and intuitive groups - Kew Composers Group - with Elisabeth Sikora and Wojciech Michniwski, Cytula Tyfun Da Bamba Orchestrer, Independant Electroacoustic Music Studio, and Light From Poland.
From 1989 to 92, he was the vice-president of the Polish Society for Contempory Music (branch of the ISCM). Since 1990, he organized new music concerts at the Center for Contempory Art in Ujazdowski Castle in Varsaw - Audio-Art festival Festival. Since 1985 he is the vice-president of the Polish Composers Union and director of the International Festival of Contempory Music in Varsaw "Warsaw Autumn".