Born 10 November 1937 in Płowce, he graduated in tuba from Warsaw’s State High School of Music. In 1974–78 he collaborated with Warsaw’s National Theatre, in 1983–88, with the National Theatre in Łódź. He has been active as an educator since 1983. He has participated in the International Music Meetings in Bayreuth (1971–74) and festivals such as Warsaw Autumn (since 1972), Witten (1977), Cologne (1977, 1979), Darmstadt, Los Angeles (1978), Bourges (1978), Stockholm (1979, 1981), Salzburg (1978, 1987), Lisbon (1982), Washington (1983), and Metz (1984). Since 1978 he has been Poland’s permanent representative in the International Tuba Euphonium Association in the United States.
As a soloist he has performed in hundreds of symphonic and chamber music concerts. His wide repertoire ranges from his own transcriptions of old masters’ works to most recent developments in new music. The greatest contemporary music composers have written for and dedicated their music to him. After several years’ break, he returned to the contemporary music scene, working now with the younger generation of improvising musicians such as Sławomir Janicki (double bass), Michał Górczyński (clarinet), and Andrzej Izdebski (guitar).
Zdzisław Piernik has given performances throughout the world, including in Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Portugal, Sweden, Japan, Mexico and the United States), where his originality and expressive power have won much acclaim. He has recorded extensively as a soloist, in a duo with piano and with symphony orchestras for record companies such as Polskie Nagrania, Pro-Viva, Sonoton, as well as for radio broadcasters in Germany, Belgium, France, Sweden, Great Britain, and for television in Munich and London.