(Last update in October 2020)
Aleksander Nowak was born in 1979, in Gliwice (Poland). He began music education with piano and guitar with Grażyna and Grzegorz Dzierzgowski, and continued as a guitarist with Bogusław Pietrzak at the State Secondary Music School in Gliwice. There, he also met Uliana Biłan, his first composition teacher.
In 2001-2006 he studied composition with Aleksander Lasoń at The Karol Szymanowski Acacemy of Music in Katowice, and in 2006-2008 with Steve Rouse at the School of Music University of Louisville (USA).
Since 2008 he works at the Academy of Music in Katowice teaching i.e. composition and orchestration. In 2010 he earned a doctorate and in 2016, habilitation. Since September 2020 he is the Chair of the Composition and Theory of Music.
He has written instrumental and vocal-instrumental music for many soloists, ensembles and institutions. His compositions were performed by i.e. Ricardo Gallen, Eugeniusz Knapik, Urszula Kryger, Łukasz Kuropaczewski, Piotr Pławner, Piotr Sałajczyk, Agata Szymczewska, as well as CELLONET Warsaw Group, Lasoń Ensemble, The London Sinfonietta, Chamber Philharmony Pardubice, Kwartludium, Silesian Quartet, AUKSO Chamber Orchestra, Elbląska Orkiestra Kameralna, Orkiestra Muzyki Nowej, National Symphony Orchestra in Warsaw, Szczecin Philharmony,Silesian Philharmony or The Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.
An important part of his worki s opera. In 2009 and 2019 The National Opera Grand Theatre in Warsaw presented chamber opera Sudden Rain to the libretto by Anna Koneiczna, directed by Maja Kleczewska. In 2013, the “Warsaw Autumn” Festival showed a quasi-drama for voices and video Spoon River to the texts by Edgar Lee Masters, co-created with Adam Dudek. In 2015 Space Opera to the original libretto by Georgi Gospodinov, directed by Ewelina Pietrowiak was premiered (and repeated in 2016) at the Grand Theatre in Poznań. In 2018, the Sacrum-Profanum presented opera ahat-ilī – Sister of gods to the libretto by Olga Tokarczuk, direcred by Pia Partum. In 2019 the festival Auksodrone premiered Drach. Dramma per musica to the libretto by Szczepan Twardoch.
Recordings of his compositions can be found on two monographic albums: ”Fiddler’s Green” published in 2009 by Polish Radio Katowice and ”3x4+8” bublisjed by CD Accord in 2012, as well as on TWOgether Duo album ”Satin” (Sarton Records, 2013), Agata Szymczewska’s album ”Modern Soul” (CD Accord, 2016) and ”Works for Rhodes Piano and Strings” album with Piotr Orzechowski and AUKSO Orchestra (PWM, ANA 001). In 2020 Polish Music Edition started a new audio-visual series with ahat-ilī – Sister of gods on BlueRay.
His works are published by the Polish Music Edition PWM.
Aleksander Nowak has never won any composition competition. However he is a laureate of i.e. “Gwarancje Kultury” Award (TVP Kultura), “Young Poland” Scholarship, Moritz von Bomhard Fellowship, and “Polityka Passport Award” 2018.
In 2011-2020 he was the president of the Silesian branch of the Polish Composers’ Union, coordinating festivals such „Śląskie Dni Muzyki Współczesnej”, „Śląskie Trybuny Kompozytorów” and „Brand-New Music”.