Andrzej Kurylewicz (born 24 November 1932 in Lwów, died 12 April 2007 in Konstancin-Jeziorna), was a Polish composer, pianist, trombonist, trumpet player and conductor. His works range from serious music, including both chamber and symphonic pieces, to theatrical, film, ballet, and jazz. He was shaped in the tradition of classical and serious music and pioneered Polish jazz, cultivating both areas in parallel.
In 1965, he sets up Piwnica Artystyczna Kurylewiczów together with his wife, Wanda Warska, and is joined by his daughter Gabriela Kurylewicz in 1987.
From 1969 to 1978, he becomes founder and leader of the ensemble Formacja Muzyki Współczesnej (Contemporary Music Formation), famous for performing contemporary jazz and European avantgarde music, and they travel across the Western world.
From 1970 onwards, he mainly composes serious music: solo instrumental works (for example Piano Crumbs for piano, Impromptu avec Romarin for harpsichord, Due Pezzi Semplici for organ, Drzeworyt I and II for flute, Moods for double bass and Tubesque for tuba); sacred music (Missa Brevis, Te Deum, Five Psalms after the Roman Missal, Ave Maris Stella, Ave Maria); chamber works (String Quartets I, II, III and IV, String Trio Dormitina and three piano trios Trio per Tre, Tango Rubio, El Dancion Sentimental); piano quintets (Gabriela, Larghetto Kamienie Staromiejskie) and brass trios and quintets. Moreover, he writes for string orchestra (Psalm 60, Szkic do Krajobrazu, Sonet, Serenata Leopolitana, Witraż w Miejscowości N.) and symphonic orchestra (Schema Quatro per Quatro, Adagio da Dramma, Suita Symfoniczna Pan Tadeusz, Suita Symfoniczna Polskie Drogi, two Symphonic Poems In Verona and Godzina się Zniża, Symphonic Sketch Osiem Sekwencji Nad Niemnem and Msza Warszawska).
In 1999, he establishes the Kurylewicz Trio (Andrzej Kurylewicz - piano, Paweł Pańta - double bass, Cezary Konrad - percussion) which Bohdan Pociej describes as enchanting by its lightness, charme, elegance, taste, precision, concise harmonies, innovative variations, form and lyricism.
Every Monday, with his Kurylewicz Trio, with Wanda Warska and Gabriela Kurylewicz he has performed in the Piwnica Artystyczna Kurylewiczów.
In 1984 he becomes the Composer in Residence of the City of Wilhelmshaven (West Germany) and in 1989 he begins a collaboration with the University of Kansas (USA).
Rewards: PRTV 1965, Nagroda Miasta Warszawy 1978, Prix Italia 1981, Medal Miasta Warszawy 1997, the German Verdienstkreuz I Klasse 2001, and posthumously, Krzyż Oficerski Orderu Odrodzenia Polski 2007.
From 2007, accordingly to the will of the composer, Gabriela Kurylewicz and her Fundacja Forma publishes the critical and complete edition of his Opera Omnia, and initiates and produces the annual festival of music and poetry, the Andrzej Kurylewicz Music Days.
Andrzej Kurylewicz's music is constantly being performed at the Piwnica Artystyczna Kurylewiczów in Warsaw and regularly at Steinway Hall in London; the complete list of his works is available on the website of the Piwnica Artystyczna Kurylewiczów and Fundacja Forma.