prof. dr hab.
Vice-Rector for Foreign Affairs
Paweł Gusnar is a saxophonist, soloist, chamber and session musician, teacher, professor at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. He is a versatile artist, open to different styles and forms of expression. As one of very few saxophonists, he successfully combines the equally high level of activity in the field of classical, jazz and light music.
He studied Saxophone Playing at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice and the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. Since 2003, he has taught saxophone at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and the Kiejstut and Grażyna Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź. In 2011, on the basis of the presented doctoral thesis (artistic work) entitled Realization of elements of jazz music in saxophone literature on the basis of three sonatas for saxophone and piano by: Phil Woods, Bill Dobbins and Ramon Ricker, Paweł Gusnar obtained a doctoral degree in music in the artistic discipline of Instrumental Studies, and in 2014 he obtained a post-doctoral degree. Since November 2011, (term of office 2012–2016) he held the function of Vice-Dean of the Department of Instrumental Studies at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. In 2016, he was elected Vice-Rector for Foreign Affairs at the FCUM.
He performs in prestigious chamber and philharmonic concert halls in Poland and abroad. As a soloist, he has played with such orchestras as: Sinfonia Varsovia, Polish Radio Orchestra, Amadeus, Concerto Avenna, Capella Bydgostiensis, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Sinfonia Baltica, National Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio, Płock Symphony Orchestra, Elbląg Chamber Orchestra, Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester), Orchestre Valentiana (France), Lviv Chamber Orchestra ‘Academia’ and nearly all philharmonic orchestras in Poland. He collaborates with numerous symphony orchestras, e.g. the National Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia or Polish Radio Orchestra, or with jazz or light music ensembles, such as the Adam Sztaba Orchestra, Kukla Band, Tomasz Szymuś Orchestra, or Krzysztof Herdzin Big Band. He also performs and records as a session musician (numerous TV productions, e.g. for TVP, TVN, or Polsat).
Paweł Gusnar is a great promoter of contemporary music who has performed and inspired works by numerous Polish composers, and a tireless promoter of Polish music around the world. Almost 70 pieces were written specially for him, including 16 works for saxophone and orchestra and works which are globally unique. Thanks to Gusnar, Polish saxophone repertoire has been noticed in the world’s most important music centres. In the last three years alone, he was the first-ever performer of saxophone pieces by such composers as Krzysztof Penderecki (Concerto for alto saxophone), Bronisław Kazimierz Przybylski (North), Krzysztof Knittel (Partita), Bartosz Kowalski (The Wrath of Wind), Krzysztof Herdzin (Concerto for viola, alto saxophone and symphony orchestra), or Sławomir Kaczorowski (Concerto for soprano saxophone and string orchestra).
He was also the very first performer of chamber pieces written by such composers as, among others: Miłosz Bembinow, Wojciech Błażejczyk, Artur Cieślak, Gerard Drozd, Grzegorz Duchnowski, Andrzej Dutkiewicz, Alicja Gronau-Osińska, Krzysztof Herdzin, Anna Maria Huszcza, Sławomir Kaczorowski, Andrzej Karałow, Benedykt Konowalski, Aleksander Kościów, Marcin T. Łukaszewski, Paweł Łukaszewski, Piotr Moss, Zbigniew Penherski, Maria Pokrzywińska, Dariusz Przybylski, Marian Sawa, Bogusław Schaeffer, Edward Sielicki, Elżbieta Sikora, Maciej Staszewski, Weronika Ratusińska, or Łukasz Woś.
Since 2015, the series entitled Paweł Gusnar Collection with scores written for this saxophonist has been published by Ars Musica.
Paweł Gusnar has recorded more than 50 CDs, including solo and original albums, e.g. New Polish Music for saxophone and organ, Jazz Sonatas, Komeda Inspirations, Saxophone Impressions, Saxophone Varie, Saxophone Varie vol. 2, (Re)Discovering Woodwind Masterpieces (first Polish recording of Glazunov’s Concerto in E‑flat Major op. 109), or Penderecki’s Concerto Per Viola (sassofono) ed Orchestra.
He has received many nominations for the Phonographic Academy’s Fryderyk award, also in the ‘Artist of the Year’ category; he won the award three times: in 2014 for Saxophone Varie, in 2015 for Paweł Łukaszewski’s Musica Sacra 5 (the album included Lenten Music written for Gusnar and performed by him with the Morpheus Saxophone Ensemble) and in 2016 for Verbum Incarnatum, released in collaboration with Mulierum Schola Gregoriana Clamaverunt Iusti (category: Album of the Year – Early Music). He was also twice nominated for the honourable Coryphaeus of Polish Music title (in 2014 and 2015).
As an unquestioned authority, he sits on the jury of competitions and gives masterclasses at world’s best music centres in such countries as South Korea and China, Ukraine, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, France and Spain.
Paweł Gusnar collaborates with YAMAHA, BG Franck Bichon and D’Addario.