The Department of Contemporary Music, Jazz and Percussion is continuing the work initiated by the Department of Interpretation of Contemporary Music, which began in 1990 and was established by prof. Adam Kaczyński. Educational functions of the Department’s employees encompass conducting classes for instrumental majors, on the subject of performance practice of contemporary music. Since 2007, these functions have also included jazz–oriented instrumental classes (trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, bass, drums), as well as instruction in other specialized aspects of jazz music. The program of contemporary music teaching, in the form of practical courses, encompasses all of the principal directions in 20th and 21st century music, chamber music, and also larger instrumental and vocal ensembles with a conductor. New musical notation, including graphic notation, new sound exploration, preparation of instruments and new concepts from the frontiers of music, instrumental theater and happening are just a few of the directions in contemporary performance technique, that comprise the educational curriculum.
All students attending classes in the Department are required to finish each semester with public examinations – concerts.
Beyond the didactic process, the Department conducts a wide range of concert and educational activities, dealing with composing technique and issues pertaining to the performance of contemporary, jazz and percussion music. In the years 1993 to 2002, international “Write & Play” music festivals were organized, dedicated to contemporary music from various countries, such as Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the United States, and many others.
Since the time that its directorship was assumed by prof. Jan Pilch, the Department has also participated in the organization of the “Sources and Inspirations” International Percussion Festival, and is the initiator of cyclical projects such as “Jazz at The Academy”, composers’/performance workshops, as well as master classes and seminars by foreign instructors (from the USA, Germany, Indonesia, the UK, Italy and Spain). A project titled “Musical Coexistence” – an international study session combined with concerts and workshops, which took place in February of 2010, was met with a great deal of interest from both listeners and participants, as well as laudatory reviews and opinions in the musical community. In the years 2012–2014 the Department administered a project titled ASTAPER, in cooperation with musical colleges in Valencia, Freiburg and Padua, along with the Higher School of Theater and Academy of Physical Education. The themes covered were “Fundamentals of anthropomotorics and stage presence techniques in percussion performance”. More than 10 concerts took place during the course of this project, and the entirety was documented in a publication containing the lectures given, as well as DVD recordings of the concerts and workshop sessions.
Those who have lectured and given master classes at the Department, in the course of its many years’ history include, among others:
- Bertel Krarup (Rector of the Fynske Musikkonservatorium in Odense, Denmark) – Contemporary Music at the Odense Conservatory.
- Per Erland Rassmussen (Prorector of the Fynske Musikkonservatorium in Odense, Denmark) – Contemporary Music, from Carl Nielsen to modern times.
- Ada Gentile and Vittorio Fellegara (Italy) – Musical notation as a form of communication composer – performer.
- Martin Joste (France) – Musical notation as a form of communication composer – performer.
- Krzysztof Knittel (Warsaw) – Musical notation as a form of communication composer – performer.
- Daniel Weissberg (Basel, Switzerland) – Individual composing techniques.
- Barbara Jazwinsky (Tulane University, USA) – Individual composing techniques.
- Adam Wodnicki (Denton University, USA) – The compositions of Ignacy Jan Paderewski.
- Carl Bergstrom–Nielsen (Humlebaek, Denmark) – Intuitive Music.
- Yuko Kawai (Japan) – Contemporary Japanese music.
- Adam Kaczyński (Krakow Academy of Music) – Shape for 2 pianos.
- Krzysztof Olczak (Gdańsk Academy of Music) – Issues in new accordion techniques in light of contemporary composing techniques.
- Sigfried Mauser (Salzburg, Austria) – Lecture as part of a Symposium dedicated to Alexander Zemlinsky.
- Paul Sacher (Basel, Switzerland) – Lecture as part of the conferment of a Doctor Honoris Causa title.
- Krystyna Moszumańska–Nazar (Krakow Academy of Music) – Musical notation as a form of communication composer – performer.
- Piotr Grella–Możejko (Edmonton, Canada) – Between the European leviathan and the American anvil.
- Carl Humphries (London, Great Britain) – Philosophical issues in modern music.
- Dinu Ghezzo (New York University, USA) – New realities of the composer’s profession at the beginning of the 20th century.
- Dr David Eddleman (Rockaway, USA) – Kolot min HaShoah.
- Marek Stachowski (Krakow Academy of Music) – Audition for flute, cello and piano.
- Chang–Min Park (Seul, Korea) – String Quartet II.
- Adam Walaciński (Krakow Academy of Music) – Musical Moment with Tribute Postlude.
- Isidore Rudnick (Cincinatti College for Performing Arts)
- Rick Van Matre (Cincinatti University – Music department)
- Bryan Corbett (Great Britain) Marek Dykta (USA, Berklee College of Music)
- Nick Petrella (USA – Sabian Education Director)
- John Wilkins and Victor Mendosa (USA, Berklee College of Music)
- Jan Jarczyk (McGill University)
- Dariusz Terefenko (Eastman School of Music)
- Eddie Henderson (Julliard School of Music)
- Willem von Hombracht (Webster University)
- Rosario Juliani (Conservatorio Nazionale di Santa Cecilia)
- Eric Mariental (USA)
- Chuck Israels (USA)
- Amsterdam Mallet Colective (Netherlands)