Born in Lviv in 1929, composer, musicologist, playwright, graphic artist, and teacher. Between 1949 and 1953, he studied composition with Artur Malawski at the State High School of Music in Cracow and musicology with Zdzisław Jachimecki at the Jagiellonian University. He completed his studies in 1959 with Luigi Nono.
Between 1963 and 1998, he headed the class of composition at the Music Academy in Cracow, becoming professor in 1989. In 1965, he initiated a collaboration with the Polish Radio Experimental Studio in Warsaw, where his electronic works were composed. Between 1986 and 2002, he taught composition at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He has held masterclasses in contemporary composition in Toruń, Warsaw, Cracow, Salzburg, Karlsruhe, Middelburg, York, Utrecht, and Schwaz. He has educated over 160 students of different nationalities.
Between 1956 and 1996, he was active as a writer and critic, writing books (including New Music. Problems of Contemporary Composing Techniques, Classics of Dodecaphony, Introduction to Composition, Dictionary of TwentiethCentury Composers in two vols., Composers of the Twentieth Century), essays and articles on contemporary music, and studies in philosophy. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was also active as a graphic artist, authoring drawings variously related to music that were exhibited in Europe and the USA. In 1990, he founded his own publishing house in Salzburg: Collsch Edition.
He is the author of over 530 musical compositions. His works have been performed on seven occasions at the ISCM World Music Days. He addresses all musical genres, from symphony and chamber music to religious music, jazz and electronics.
Since 1955, he has also been active as a playwright, and has written over 40 stage works (several of which he has directed), performed on numerous occasions in Poland and abroad, and translated into 17 languages.
He has received the Ministry of Culture and the Arts Award (1971, 1972, 1980, 2001), Polish Composers' Union Award (1977), City of Cracow Award (1977), Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation Award in New York (1999), among others. He was also granted the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta in 1972.
He is an honorary member of the Polish Section, International Society for Contemporary Music (since 2000) and the Polish Composers' Union (since 2003).
Selected works (since 2002): Model 27 for piano (2002), Concerto for saxophone, piano and orchestra (2002), String Quartet no. 12 (2002), Nine Studies on Themes of Max Ernst for small orchestra (2002), Model 28 for piano (2003), Etude for cello and piano (2003), Small Divertimento for saxophone and piano (2003), String Quartet no. 13 (2003), Model 29 for piano (2003), Piano Concerto no. 5 with a choir of 15 soloists (2004), Concerto for viola and chamber orchestra (2004), String Quartet no. 14 (2004), Composition for guitar and accordion (2004), Sonata for cello and piano (2005), Four Miniatures for saxophone and piano (2005), blueS VII (Piano Concerto no. 6, 2005), Model 30 for piano (2005), Ocsenoi for voice, piano, clarinet, instrumental ensemble and electroacoustic media (2005), Fragment no. 3 for two actors, chamber ensemble and electronics (2005), Concerto for trumpet and chamber orchestra (2005), Piano Concerto no. 7 (2005), Quartet for four violas (2006), Concerto for clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophone (one soloist), chamber orchestra and electronics (2006), Model 31 for piano (2006), Concerto for trombone and chamber orchestra (2006), String Quartet no. 16 Avec une légèreté fantastique mais précise (2006), Model 31 for piano (2006), Grand Sonata for piano and electronics (2006), Concerto for marimbaphone and chamber orchestra (2006), Violin Concerto no. 5 with women's choir (2006), Concerto no. 2 for cello and chamber orchestra (2006), Sonata for three violins, cello and piano (2006), String Sextet (2006), Symphony no. 9 (2008).
Major stage works: Webern (1955), Scenario for a NonExisting but Possible Instrumental Actor (1963), Audience nos. 1-5 (1964), Quartet for Four Actors (1966), Fragment no. 1 (1968), Scenario for Three Actors (1970), Darkness (1980), Aurora (1982), Sins of Senility (1985), Kaczo (1987), Actor (1990), Trials (1990), Séance (1990), Tutam (1991), Toast (1991), Rondo (1991), Revenge (1991), Together (1992), Harvest (1993), Promotion (1993), If (1993), Denni (1993), Gloss (1993), Morning (1993), Multi (1994), Fragment no. 2 (1995), Largo (1996), The Demon of the Theatre (1998), Alles (1998), Announcement (1998), Farniente (dolce lavoro) (1998), Walks in the Park (1998), Inałt (1998), Sleep and Not (1998), Coincidence (1999), DwaTe (2000), Scale (2001), Love Scenes (2003), A Multimedia Something no. 1 (2004), Fragment no. 3 (2005), A Multimedia Something (2007), Last Play (2014).