Composer, music critic and Polish philologist, born in 1951 in Wrocław. In 1971–74 he studied composition with Ryszard Bukowski in the State High School of Music in Wrocław, in 1975–78 with Henryk Mikołaj Górecki in the State High School of Music in Katowice. Simultaneously, he studied Polish philology at Wrocław University (1969–74) where since 1973 he has been on the faculty of the Institute of Polish Philology. In 1979–80 he taught Polish at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages. In 1982, he obtained a PhD in philology. He has received scholarships from the Eduard von Beinum Foundation, Fondation Acanthes, MacDowell Foundation, Salzburg Seminar (twice), and Kulturfonds Foundation. His compositional awards include the 1st Prize at the Jazz on the Oder Festival (1972, for Conversation), an honourable mention at the International Organ Competition in Szczecin (1973, for Laudes), 2nd Prize at the Polish Composers’ Union’s Competition for Young Composers (1979, for Atlantis I). In 2005 he received the Polish Composers’ Union Award “for outstanding achievements in the field of composition and for creative festival programming”, and in 2011 – the Music Prize of the City of Wrocław. His compositions have frequently been performed at the Warsaw Autumn and other Polish festivals, as well as in other European countries, the US and Asia. In 2001, on the initiative of Christine Pryn, a series of concerts featuring the Nordlys Ensemble, was presented in Denmark.
Rafał Augustyn also contributes as a critic and reviewer to musical and literary periodicals, as well as the Polish Radio and Polish TV. In 1984–94, together with Marek Pijarowski he directed the Musica Polonica Nova Festival of Polish Contemporary Music in Wrocław. In 1980–98 he served on the Warsaw Autumn Repertoire Committee. He is also a co-founder of Brevis music publishing company.
Selected works (since 1995): In partibus, colloquium for men’s choir and piano (1995), Grand jeté. Quartet No. 2 1/2 with Electronics (1995/2005), Cinque pezzi diversi for violin and piano (1996), Toccata festiva for symphony orchestra (1997), Per Sawa, short radio play for tape (1997), Miroirs for five performers (1997), Do ut des for string quartet (1998), Mass for soprano, alto, organ and choir (1998), Separate, 4 poems by Miron Białoszewski for soprano, flute and harp (1999), IMAGE/ILLUSION, audiovisual installation (with Jerzy Olek and Tadeusz Sawa-Borysławski, 1999), Nothing There, madrigal for mixed choir to words by the composer (2000), Variations on a Theme by Maria Zduniak for tape or computer (2000), Au pair for violin and piano (2001), Itinerarium, concertino for orchestra and piano (2001), Little Narratives for ensemble, two speakers and electronics (2003), Against Method for violin (2004), Od Sasa. Sounds-Pauses-Events for mixed choir and found objects (2004–05), Shadow, Inc. A Parable for Four Players after H. Ch. Andersen for clarinet, violin, cello and piano (2005), A-4. Travel Impression for cello and piano (2005), The Manuscript Found in Saragossa, choreographic action in one act after Jan Potocki (2006–07), Vagor ergo sum. Little Cantata for mixed choir and gongs to words by Zbigniew Herbert, Emperor Hadrian and Italian State Railway (2008/11), Acqua alta. Cyclic Piece No. 4 for saxophone and electronics (2011), Tam. Music for Violin, Voices and Instruments (2002/13).