Com­po­si­tion was first taught in War­saw at the School of Music and Dra­ma (1816). In 1821 Józef Elsner who was also Rec­tor of the Insti­tute of Music and Decla­ma­tion at the School began to lec­ture on the the­o­ry of music com­po­si­tion. By 1826, 11 stu­dents were study­ing com­po­si­tion, includ­ing Fry­deryk Chopin. Oth­er well-known com­posers, e.g., Igna­cy Dobrzyńs­ki, August Frey­er and Tomasz Nidec­ki, also fin­ished the School.

In 1863 Stanisław Moniuszko began to co-oper­ate with the Music Insti­tute (head­ed by Apoli­nary Kąt­s­ki). He taught coun­ter­point, com­po­si­tion, har­mo­ny and instru­men­ta­tion. Ten years lat­er (1972) Władysław Żeleńs­ki began to teach har­mo­ny and coun­ter­point and in 1888 Zyg­munt Noskows­ki, a for­mer grad­u­ate (1863), began to teach coun­ter­point, com­po­si­tion and orches­tra.

The Insti­tute fac­ul­ty super­vised the fac­tu­al aspects of the teach­ing — the prin­ci­pal objec­tive of con­tem­po­rary chairs. Also sim­i­lar to chairs today, the War­saw Insti­tute of Music (1888–1903) had a Ped­a­gog­i­cal Coun­cil (Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee, Exec­u­tive Depart­ment) which offered all spe­cial­i­ties. Gustaw Rogul­s­ki (har­mo­ny, coun­ter­point), a stu­dent of Hec­tor Berlioz, rep­re­sent­ed com­po­si­tion.

In the nine­teen-nineties the Insti­tute boast­ed such out­stand­ing grad­u­ates of com­po­si­tion as: Hen­ryk Mel­cer, Mikalo­jus Kon­stan­ti­nas Čiurlio­n­is (a Lithuan­ian com­pos­er), Mieczysław Karłow­icz, Ludomir Róży­c­ki, Tadeusz Joteyko, Mieczysław Kazuro, Antoni Sza­łows­ki and Apoli­nary Sze­lu­to.

In 1919 the Con­ser­va­to­ry of Music was estab­lished on force of a decree signed by Józef Pił­sud­s­ki, Igna­cy Jan Paderews­ki — as Prime Min­is­ter, Zenon Przes­my­c­ki “Miri­am” — as Min­is­ter of Cul­ture and Art. Roman Statkows­ki taught the com­po­si­tion class until his death in 1925. His grad­u­ates includ­ed: Jan Mak­lakiewicz, Piotr Perkows­ki, Kaz­imierz Wiłkomirs­ki and Jerzy Lefeld. The com­po­si­tion class was then taught by Hen­ryk Mel­cer, Piotr Rytel, Witold Mal­iszews­ki, Karol Szy­manows­ki (who, for a short but sem­i­nal peri­od, was direc­tor of the Con­ser­va­to­ry and lat­er rec­tor of the High­er School of Music), Kaz­imierz Siko­rs­ki, Władysław Raczkows­ki and Ludomir Róży­c­ki. The list of com­posers who also taught at the Con­ser­va­to­ry includes: Jerzy Lefeld, Stanisław Kazuro, Stanisław Niewiadom­s­ki, Juliusz Wertheim, Michał Surzyńs­ki, Jan Mak­lakiewicz, Grze­gorz Fitel­berg, Euge­niusz Moraws­ki and Kaz­imierz Wiłkomirs­ki. Some of them taught such method­olog­i­cal sub­jects as instru­men­ta­tion, coun­ter­point, score read­ing, and instru­ment stud­ies. All in all, this large group was the core of the com­po­si­tion depart­ment fac­ul­ty. It had a deci­sive voice as far as the shape of the spe­cial­i­sa­tion is con­cerned, i.e., played a role sim­i­lar to the role of the present Chair of Com­po­si­tion.

In 1932 the State Con­ser­va­to­ry of Music was reor­gan­ised and a depart­men­tal struc­ture was intro­duced. Depart­ment I com­prised two spe­cial­i­ties: com­po­si­tion and music the­o­ry, and the teach­ing staff con­sti­tut­ed the Fac­ul­ty Coun­cil. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Coun­cil were mem­bers of the Sci­en­tif­ic-Artis­tic Coun­cil, the top author­i­ty of the whole school. The Fac­ul­ty Coun­cil of Depart­ment I was there­fore an obvi­ous pre­de­ces­sor of the Chair. Thir­ty-two com­posers grad­u­at­ed from the Depart­ment at the time includ­ing: Graży­na Bacewiczów­na, Maria Dziewul­s­ka, Jan Eki­er, Tomasz Kiesewet­ter, Ste­fan Kisielews­ki, Witold Lutosławs­ki, Jan Adam Mak­lakiewicz, Artur Malaws­ki, Andrzej Panufnik, Piotr Perkows­ki and Antoni Sza­łows­ki.

After World War II Stanisław Kazuro, com­pos­er and teacher, reor­gan­ised the War­saw music school which was named the State High­er School of Music in 1946. The School had four depart­ments and the first one was the Depart­ment of Com­po­si­tion, Con­duct­ing and Music The­o­ry. In 1957, fol­low­ing a reor­gan­i­sa­tion, the num­ber of depart­ments increased to six and a num­ber of chairs were also estab­lished, includ­ing the Chair of Com­po­si­tion head­ed by Tadeusz Szeligows­ki. In 1962 the School was giv­en aca­d­e­m­ic sta­tus and was lat­er renamed to the Fry­deryk Chopin Acad­e­my of Music (in 1979), and to the Fry­deryk Chopin Uni­ver­si­ty of Music (in 2008).

The fol­low­ing pro­fes­sors have head­ed the Chair of Com­po­si­tion since its estab­lish­ment in 1957:

Tadeusz Szeligows­ki (1957–1962), Piotr Perkows­ki (1962–1972), Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz (1972–1977), Tadeusz Baird (1977–1980), Zbig­niew Rudz­ińs­ki(1980–1981), Włodz­imierz Kotońs­ki (1981–1999), Mar­i­an Borkows­ki (1999–2004), Zbig­niew Bag­ińs­ki (2004–2012), Marcin Błażewicz (2012–2016), Paweł Łukaszews­ki (2016- ).

The Chair of Com­po­si­tion is an organ­i­sa­tion­al unit of Depart­ment 1. It groups emi­nent Pol­ish com­posers whose cre­ative work has won them many inter­na­tion­al suc­cess­es. The Chair of Com­po­si­tion fac­ul­ty divide their time between artis­tic work, research and teach­ing future com­posers. The pur­pose of instruc­tion is to pro­vide stu­dents with a com­pre­hen­sive body of knowl­edge and skills in the field of com­po­si­tion, with spe­cial empha­sis on con­tem­po­rary com­pos­ing tech­niques. The Chair of Com­po­si­tion is a place where its mem­bers advance their qual­i­fi­ca­tions, per­fect their teach­ing meth­ods, exchange artis­tic and ped­a­gog­i­cal expe­ri­ence with oth­er acad­e­mies and artis­tic com­mu­ni­ties and do research on wide­ly under­stood meth­ods of com­po­si­tion, forms of musi­cal expres­sion (tra­di­tion­al and con­tem­po­rary), espe­cial­ly Pol­ish.

The Chair of Com­po­si­tion is respon­si­ble for a group of sub­jects which are taught both at Depart­ment 1 and at oth­er depart­ments such as: Com­po­si­tion, Har­mo­ny, Exer­cis­es in Har­mo­ny, Coun­ter­point, Instru­men­ta­tion, Instru­ment Stud­ies, Score Read­ing, Con­tem­po­rary Com­po­si­tion Tech­niques and Elec­tron­ic Music.

The fol­low­ing pro­fes­sors have taught com­po­si­tion class­es since 1945: Tadeusz Szeligows­ki, Kaz­imierz Siko­rs­ki, Jan Mak­lakiewicz, Piotr Rytel, Bolesław Woy­tow­icz, Piotr Perkows­ki, Tadeusz Baird, Andrzej Dobrowol­s­ki, Witold Rudz­ińs­ki, Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz, Włodz­imierz Kotońs­ki, Zbig­niew Rudz­ińs­ki, Mar­i­an Borkows­ki and — cur­rent­ly — Krzysztof Bac­ulews­ki, Zbig­niew Bag­ińs­ki, Marcin Błażewicz, Alek­sander Koś­ciów, Paweł Łukaszews­ki, Stanisław Mory­to.

In 1990, with­in the frame­work of the Chair of Com­po­si­tion, Włodz­imierz Kotońs­ki estab­lished the Com­put­er Music Stu­dio. In 1999 Mar­i­an Borkows­ki led to the estab­lish­ment of the fol­low­ing spe­cial­ist lab­o­ra­to­ries: Con­tem­po­rary Com­po­si­tion Tech­niques (head: Igna­cy Zalews­ki), Instru­men­ta­tion and Instru­ment Stud­ies (Andrzej Karałow).

Thanks to Mar­i­an Borkowski’s ini­tia­tive the fol­low­ing events took place since 1999:

The Chair also organ­is­es open con­certs giv­en by for­eign guests from many coun­tries (Japan, Korea, USA, Cana­da, Ger­many, Switzer­land, Chile, Roma­nia) and Poland, includ­ing the Chair of Com­po­si­tion Fac­ul­ty, and sci­en­tif­ic-artis­tic ses­sions devot­ed to the out­put of out­stand­ing Pol­ish and for­eign com­posers (Kaz­imierz Siko­rs­ki — 1995, Franz Schu­bert — 1997, Feliks Nowowiejs­ki — 1998, Piotr Perkows­ki — 2001, Witold Rudz­ińs­ki — 2003). It pub­lish­es ses­sion pro­ceed­ings, books on the analy­sis of con­tem­po­rary music, com­pos­ing tech­niques, the aes­thet­ics of music and the ren­der­ing of con­tem­po­rary music. In 2002 the Chair of Com­po­si­tion began to offer bien­ni­al Post­grad­u­ate Com­po­si­tion Stud­ies co-ordi­nat­ed by Mar­i­an Borkows­ki. About 30 com­posers whose lives and work has been pre­sent­ed in the Almanac of Com­posers at the Fry­deryk Chopin Acad­e­my of Music in War­saw (Ed. A. Gronau-Osińs­ka) now work at the FCUM.

Com­pos­er Con­certs organ­ised by the dif­fer­ent com­po­si­tion class­es and the annu­al Elec­tro-acoustic Music Con­cert pre­sent­ing the work of the Elec­tron­ic Music Stu­dio are impor­tant tests of stu­dent progress.

Chair Members

Chair collaborators



last modified: 07/06/2018