• Bohdan Mazurek (1937-2014)

kronika_3_-_mazurekThe Polish composer and sound engineer Bohdan Mazurek – a key figure in the development of electronic music in Poland – has died at the age of 76.  Alongside Eugeniusz Rudnik, Mazurek helped to develop the Polish Radio Experimental Studio after its foundation in 1957 by Józef Patkowski into a central force in Polish music in the 1960s and 70s.  He assisted many composers in realising their electronic music but was also a composer, in his own right, of both electronic and film music.  His music won prizes in several competitions (Dartmouth, Bourges) and he taught not only at the Warsaw Music Academy but at several institutions in the USA.

I knew Bohdan Mazurek early on in my involvement in Polish music.  He was a gentle giant, modest and with a selfless devotion to his metier.  He was a thoroughly decent and lovely man and I recall spending many good-spirited hours in his company.  He helped me hugely as I tried to find my way in the rich panorama of Polish music.  His own music went largely undervalued, with very little percolating abroad.  Bozzetti was, however, included in the 1970 boxed LP set ‘Electronic Panorama’ (Philips 6740 001), which profiled new electronic compositions from Paris, Tokyo, Utrecht and Warsaw.

br_es02Fortunately, in 2010  the Warsaw-based independent label Bôłt Records, in partnership with Polish Radio and Foundation 4.99, issued a double CD of Mazurek’s music, Sentinel Hypothesis’.  It includes an excellent essay and notes by Bolesław Błaszczyk. The twelve works on these discs are: Bozzetti (1967), Epitaph for Jan Palach (1969), Sinfonia Rustica (1970), Canti (1973), Ballade (1976), Children’s Dreams (1976), Daisy Story (1977-79), Six Electronic Preludes (1981), From the Notebook (1983), Letter to Friends (1986), Pennsylvania Dream (1987), Reverie (1989).

An appreciation just published (in Polish) at culture.pl includes YouTube links for Bozzetti (1967) and Canti (1973).

OBITUARY

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