ALEKSANDER WNUK, multi-percussionist / performer / PhD in Art
“He always strives for perfection in his playing and a very personal performance by involving his artistic emotionality. Through a large portion of talent, combined with an enormous motivation, he has already become an experienced musician with a personal voice in the field of solo performing.” [Gert Mortensen]
I specialize in performing New Music, as a soloist and chamber musician. As far as repertoire is concerned, my interests mostly revolve around contemporary classical music in the multi-percussion and intermedia genres (involving extended stage perfoming techniques). I frequently premiere new compositions. My activity also includes free improvisation, composing and performing music for theatre spectacles and films, traditional music, and also free rock and Ambient. Writings of mine have been published in the contemporary music magazine “Glissando”.
In my artistic practice I put emphasis on versatility. As artist of Copenhagen’s World Percussion Shows Global Voices of Percussion (2010) and GloboBEATS (2013) I worked with musicians from diverse musical cultures of the world (Vietnam, Bhurma, Indonesia, India, Japan, China, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Cook Islands, Turkey).
As a soloist I have performed in Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Poland, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Iran, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine. My repertoire includes as well classical contemporary works, as recent compositions. Among the most significant achievements is the World Premiere of Sarah Nemtsov’s concerto for solo percussionist, narrator and large orchestra En Face (Cottbus, 2019).
Currently I am part of Spółdzielnia Muzyczna contemporary ensemble from Kraków – group specializing in contemporary music, W/L duo (with guitarist Michał Lazar) – working in the field of theatre and film music, and improvisation within free rock/Ambient/noise genres, and Echoes of Peace (with Michael Jones, Wassim Ibrahim, Michał Szerląg, Krzysztof Augustyn), fusion of Middle Eastern and European musical cultures. I am a member of Krakow Improvisers Orchestra specializing in conducted free improvisation. I also work with the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków, Rozbark Theater of Dance and Movement in Bytom, and Scena Supernova in Kraków. As a guest artist I co-operate with Hashtag Ensemble, contemporary music group from Warsaw.
Among festivals I have actively taken part in are Warsaw Autumn, Sacrum Profanum, Poznań Music Spring, Audio Art, KODY, Kraków Jazz Autumn, Tehran International Contemporary Music Festival, Ad Libitum, Polish Dance Platform, Music Olomouc, Istanbul Music Festival, Contrasts Contemporary Music Festival, Musica Privata, Pulsar Contemporary Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Baltic Sea Music Festival, Young Euro Classic, EXPO 2010 Music Festival, Trzy-Czte-Ry, Kraków Film Music Festival, Wschód Kultury. I was musician in residence at Ostrava Days 2017.
As member of Percurama Percussion Ensemble (Denmark) I toured China and Scandinavia, among other regions, with Gert Mortensen. As a symphonist I perform in the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Sinfonietta Cracovia, the Symphony Orchestra of Artur Malawski Philharmonic in Rzeszów and the Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra.
I come from Rzeszów, where my musical path early began. I obtained education in my areas of specialisation mainly in Denmark and Poland but also in Austria and Germany, among other countries. Having graduated from the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk and the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, where I studied in the reputable class led by Prof. Gert Mortensen, I also completed postgraduate studies in the latter, in the prestigious Soloist Class. In order to expand my horizons, I have been supplementing my education with numerous music workshops and courses in Europe, including Darmstadt’s Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik as well as the Academy for Contemporary Music impuls in Graz and Ensemble Recherche Akademie in Freiburg, where I had a chance to work with several world-renowned composers, such as Georges Aperghis, and learn from praised percussionists: Prof. Christian Dierstein (Freiburg/Basel), James Wood (London/Berlin), Prof. Håkon Stene (Oslo/Freiburg). I am Doctor of Arts, with this academic degree obtained at the Academy of Music in Cracow, under the direction of Prof. Jan Pilch. The field of my research was percussionist’s performativity as a parameter of a contemporary music work.
I am multiple scholar of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, including “Young Poland scholarship”, and Daninas Foundation in Copenhagen. I won the International Percussion Competition in Fermo (Italy) and competed in the ARD Music Competition 2014 in Munich (Germany), one of the world’s most prestigious music competitions.