Andrzej Dobrowolski
Registered as:

Dobrowolski Andrzej

General Information

Year of Birth:  1921
Date of Birth:  9. September 1921
Country of Birth: 
Date of Death:  8. August 1990
Place of Death:  Graz


PeriodEducationInstrumentTeacherEducation OrganisationLocation
1945 - 1951

music theory studies with Stefania Lobaczewska




Warsaw Conservatory: studies with Stefan Belina-Skupiewski

Warsaw Conservatory: studies with Ludwik Kurkiewicz

Warsaw Conservatory: studies with Bronislaw Rutkowski

composition studies





Warsaw Academy of Music: lecturer in composition and music theory

1954 - 1969

Polish Composer Association: secretary general

1954 - 1969

co-founder of the festival

1954 - 1969

member of the staff at the experimental studios for electronic music


guest professorship


full professorship


head of the department of composition, music theory and conducting training

Performances (Selection)


Broadcast Belgrade: studio for electronics

Kraków Spring of Young Musicians Festival 

Poznan Spring

performances in numerous countries in Europe, Asia and America

Commissions (Selection)

PeriodCommissionCompositionCommissioner (Organisation)Commissioner (Person)


Polish Composers Association


PeriodAwardCompositionAwarding Organisation

Polish Ministry of Culture: award for outstanding artistic achievements


Polish Composers Association: lifetime achievement award



Description of Style

The "Eight studies for Oboe, Trumpet, Bassoon and Double Bass" (1958/1959) are the first and only attempt to apply the technique of total serialization. The first piece is still written in the classical dodecaphonic technique, in the second the serial manner is only intuitively imitated, in the next piece, however, the serial technique is strictly implemented. The pitch line is ordered beneath other elements such as rhythm, dynamics, timbre, etc., but all elements are never simultaneously determined by the series.
The solo voice of the "Music for Tape and Solo Oboe" (1965) is based on a twelve-tone row, whose construction is projected on some fragments of the tape parts. The idea of this work was to confront the original sounds with their transformations and to use the spatial possibilities, which result from the alignment of speakers on both sides of the Estrade and the soloists in the middle.
Based on compositions in which the possibilities of the spatial sound effects are used as well as the effects resulting from a combination of instrumental and electronic and concrete music, the "Music for Orchestra No. 1" (1968) leans on a twelve-tone row, written for a traditional orchestra. Determinant are three elements: heterophonic passes of detoured tones; motifs from groups of repetitive sounds, clusters of moving internal structure, usually forming the background for the rest of the sound and chord passages.
Similar to "A-LA. Music for Orchestra No. 4" (1974) and the "Music for Mixed Choir, Two Brass Groups, Double Basses and Drums" (1975), the spatial organization of sound is also of great importance in the "Music for Three Accordions, Harmonica and Percussion" (1977), and indeed one of the form-building elements. The spatial events happen between the three as the crest of an equivalent triangle of the placed instrumental groups. There are three basic types of spatial effect: 1. Continuous development of the sound from one group to another, 2. Approach of a sound in one of the groups and its decay in another, 3. Hoquetus dialogue between different groups. While the tape part was based on "concrete" sound material in the earlier works, it is purely electronic in the "Music for Tape and Solo Bass Clarinet" (1980).
I have always felt a certain reluctance concerning the connection of music with language. The only thing that felt right for me in "Escape. Music for Chamber Ensemble and a Speaker" (1986), was to create a new third, independent quality from the two different, independent qualities music and literature. The spoken text should not portray any subjective feelings, but describe events that lie at the border between reality and dreams, between reality and abstraction. The music should be a counterpoint to the text, sometimes supporting the text in a homophonic manner.
The "Passacaglia for TX 816" (1988/1989) is the first piece that was implemented exclusively with digital technology. The microtonal scale based on assigning a particular value for the pitch bend to every sound of a tempered twelve tone scale.


Andrzej Dobrowolski, compilation of program texts