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Tadeusz Wielecki,

composer and double bassist; b. 5th July 1954 in Warsaw. He studied double bass with Alfred Wieczorek and Andrzej Mysiński and composition with Włodzimierz Kotoński at the Warsaw Academy of Music. In 1986 he received the Witold Lutosławski scholarship. In the years 1986-87 he continued his education with Isang Yun in West Berlin and Klaus Huber in Freiburg im Breisgau.

As a double bassist, Wielecki performs contemporary solo works and has given concerts in a number of European and Asian countries, as well as in the United States.

In 1995 his A Very True Story for tape received the highest award at the EAR radio competition and Budapest, and in 1999 his Concerto à rebours for violin and orchestra (1998) was recommended at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. 

His works have been commissioned by institutions, festivals and ensembles such as Warsaw Autumn, Polish Radio, Poznań Philharmonic, de ereprijs, the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music, Klangspuren in Schwaz, Klangforum Wien, Hiroshima Symphony Association, Klangforum Wien, New Music Orchestra (OMN) in Katowice, Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra in Beijing, Plural Ensemble in Madrid, Ensemble intercontemporain, Music Workshop, Silesian Quartet, and many other ensembles and institutions. Within the framework of  the “Collections – the priority Composers’ Commissions” programme of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Polish Republic he has composed a.o. Readingfor orchestra (2014), Dynamistatic Composition for chamber orchestra (2015) and Multiple Image for chamber ensemble and ticking clocks (2016)

He has also been involved in the promotion of contemporary music and artistic education, presenting programs on new music for children and youth on the Polish Radio titled Przeboje muzyki współczesnej (Contemporary Music Hits), Coś z niczego (Something from Nothing) and Dźwiękowdzięki (Sound Charms). He also collaborated with the Children’s Art Centre of Poznań.

In 1992 Tadeusz Wielecki chaired the Artistic Committee of the World Music Days held by the International Society of Contemporary Music in Warsaw. In 2004 he was invited to give lectures during the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music and in 2005 at Florida State University (Tallahassee) he presented his double bass works and modern playing techniques on the instrument, including his own solutions.

Between 1999 and 2016 Tadeusz Wielecki was the director of the “Warsaw Autumn” International Festival of Contemporary Music. He was awarded the Polish Composers’ Union’s Annual Award (2008) and The Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis  medal (from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Polish Republic) – bronze in 2005 and silver in 2007.

In 2013, Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC, in co-operation with the Polish Radio SA and thanks to the generous support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, released an audio CD dedicated to his music, as part of the the Polish Music Today – Portraits of Contemporary Polish Composers series.

updated: December 2016 (wa), March 2017, May 2017 (iz)



Wielecki is one of the most interesting Polish composers of the middle generation. His attitude to composing is shaped by emotional expressiveness and an intellectual approach to the process of composing at the same time. Many of his works are intellectually experimental. His experience as a double bassist has undoubtedly influenced his methods of composing. Wielecki is particularly interested in modifying the traditional technique of playing string instruments. In his Concerto à rebours for violin and orchestra (1998), the composer develops a characteristic method of playing that could be referred to as "sliding". Its main idea is continuous movement, sliding fingers along the strings, as opposed to the traditional technique with fingers statically placed on the instrument’s fingerboard. According to Wielecki, this technical innovation has a musical impact because it influences the sound of music.

For the composer, the "musical gesture" is a special theoretical category and an important element of the composition technique. He describes it in the following way: "Its essence is the dramaturgic indivisibility of a motif, of a musical unit. It is therefore a kind of musical event, which cannot be reduced to some simple form without deforming its basic function - the function of an element of a musical action. It should be followed by something resembling a sign. A mere motif or an abstract music unit will not be considered a gesture. In fact, the point is to incorporate the rules of the gesture (meant as the body’s reaction) into musical discourse. The reaction conveys a message without the use of words. One makes a gesture in order to communicate feelings, one’s own inner truth. However such a gesture is musically valuable: it has its own energy, rhythm, tempo and duration. Transferring those aspects into sounds is possible. Yet additionally - and it is an essential consideration - these elements convey expressions and meanings. Since the key aspects of a musical gesture are its distinct and characteristic features, this method of composing enables the artist to create music which uses expressions and different energies. Also the possibility to elicit a greater plasticity from the matter of music and, independently, to make sounds more meaningful from a humanist point of view than they usually are when treated as a pure construction”.

The idea of a musical gesture has been used by the composer in such compositions as Melody with Accompaniment for chamber ensemble (1981), Ductus for small string orchestra and harpsichord (1986), Beggar’s Ballad for chamber ensemble (1994) and three work titled Study in Gesture scored for clarinet, piano and cello (1995), for piano (1997) and for clarinet, trombone, piano, cello and double bass (2000). His recent method of composing is marked by the use of the so-called technique of composed trill – Tafte for symphony orchestra (2002), Time of Stones for amplified double bass and chamber orchestra (2002), String Quartet (2003-2004), as well as Rustle of Semitones for double bass and ensemble (2004).

Wielecki explains the general idea of his music: "My aim is to relate to the deep, intimate layers of the psyche. When dealing with music, we face the unlimited, the transcendent. A musical, artistic action emerges from communicating with another person, but in regard to God, the Absolute".


Trio for trumpet, horn and trombone (1978)
Nocturne for mixed choir a cappella (1979)
Music for clarinet (1979)
Tango for clarinet, trombone, cello and piano (1980)
Misterioso for percussionist-actor (1980)
A Week for recorder, percussion, piano and double bass (1980)
Duckling [version I] for accordion, piano, percussion, double bass and reciter (1980-1988)
Duckling [version II] for bassist-reciter (1980-1988)
Serious Music for violin, trombone and percussion (1981)
Melody with Accompaniment for chamber ensemble (1981)
Crest for chamber orchestra (1981)
Trio for violin, double bass and piano * (1985)
Recitative Music for percussion, piano, violin, viola and double bass (1985)
Collage-Tango for piano * (1985)
Ductus for small string orchestra and harpsichord * (1986)
Chamber Poem for two violins, double bass and piano * (1986)
Numerous Branches of Ramified Plaits for clarinet, piano and cello * (1987-1988)
Badrulbudura for percussionist and actor (1988)
Opened Series V for solo double bass (1988)
Gestures of the Soul for organ, accordion, synthesizer, guitar and percussion (1989)
Metaphysical Ballad for chamber orchestra* (1990)
The Thread is Spinning... for cello solo (1991)
He Breathed Upon Him... for bassoon solo, strings and a mime * (1992)
Thread is Spinning... III for double bass solo (1992)
Two Questions and One Guess for chamber orchestra (1992)
Opened Series VI for double bass solo (1993)
Beggar’s Ballad for chamber ensemble * (1994)
Egocentric Poem for amplified piano and tape (1994-1995)
Collage-Tango for chamber orchestra (1995)
Study in Gesture for clarinet, piano and cello (1995)
Id for orchestra (1995-1996)
Study in Gesture III for clarinet, trombone, piano, cello and double bass (2000)
Thesis for flute solo (2000)
Crest for orchestra (2000)
Credo, quia absurdum for tape and dancer (2001)
Time of Stones for amplified double bass and chamber orchestra * (2002)
String Quartet (2004)
The Whisper of Semitones for double bass and chamber ensemble (2004)
Schwärme for symphony orchestra (2005)
The Knights of the Round Table, documentary opera for soprano, tuba, instrumental ensemble and electronic media (2006)
Hazard and Necessity for string quartet and electronics (2006)
The Valley of Dry Water for chamber orchestra (2007)
Music for the play Obrock (2008)
String Vibration for harpsichord (2008)
Piano Concerto (2008-2009)
At the Beginning there was... for slammer, sampler and chamber ensemble (2009)
Quartertones and Half-shades for double bass, two percussions and trumpet ad libitum (2009)
Documentary Opera about the Round Table; new version of the documentary opera Knights of the Round Table (2009)
Gear Wheels, Springs and Modes for violin and guitar (2010)
Calls for traditional singing, mime and chamber orchestra (2011)
The Thread is Spinning ... IV for double bass and chamber ensemble (2012)
Subjective Model. Dramatised Form for viola, tuba, tape and informal group of performers (2012)
Points of Hearing for chamber ensemble (2012)
Dream about Podlasie, intuitive audiovisual composition to photos by M. Wideryński (with M. Litwiński, K. Knittel, R. Latecki and T. Sudnikiem) (2012)
The Little Shoemonger and the False King, chamber opera for children and adults (2013)
Reading for orchestra (2014)
Romania Mea, intuitive audiovisual composition to photos by V. Dumitrescu - version for 4 improvisers: 3 musicians and 1 performer of visual action (2014)
Dynamistatic Composition for chamber orchestra (2015)
Sphinx for double bass (2015)
Wobbliness, Dynamistatic Composition II for traditional Chinese instruments (2015)
Study of Gesture IV for string trio and percussion (2015)
Haiku from Romania (with S. Esztényi, R. Latecki, H. Zemler) (2016)
Multiple Image for chamber ensemble and ticking clocks (2016)
Expressions for piano and ukulele (2016-2017)
I Sound Therefore I Am for two accordions (2017)
Sound Pranks for sounds, gestures and mimes for children and adults (2017)
Exercises from Antigone  for baritone, percussion and Hammond organ to the text of Sophocles (2018)
Ungraspability for piano, harp and percussion (2018)
Vibrations for accordion and orchestra (2019)
Where was once an old man and woman...for speaking double bassist (2019)
Anamnesis for symphony orchestra and electronics (2019)

literatura wybrana

Brak mi odrobiny nieśmiertelności. Tadeusz Wielecki odpowiada na pytania Ewy Gajkowskiej, "Ruch Muzyczny" 1994 nr 19, s. 1, 8
Moc elektroniki "Gazeta Wyborcza" dod. "Warszawska Jesień" 2009 nr 218, s. 2
Muzyka to rodzaj spektaklu "Ruch Muzyczny” 1988 nr 22, s. 16-17
Nie tylko Zimerman "Gazeta Wyborcza" dod. "Gazeta Stołeczna" 2013 nr 218, s. 6
Pięćdziesiąta Warszawska Jesień [z dyrektorem 50. Międzynarodowego Festiwalu Muzyki Współczesnej "Warszawska Jesień", Tadeuszem Wieleckim, rozmawia Eugeniusz Ratajczyk], "Glissando" 2006 nr 8, s.118-121
Warszawska Jesień - atrakcyjna pięćdziesiątka "Gazeta Wyborcza" dod. "Gazeta Stołeczna" 2007 nr 220, s. 2-3
Wielecki [wywiad], "Glissando" nr 8, marzec 2006, s.118-121
Baculewski Krzysztof Warsaw Autumn’s new director, "Polish Culture" 1998 nr 4, s. 42
Mądro Andrzej O muzyce Tadeusza Wieleckiego 2012
Mądro Andrzej Poetyka muzyczna Tadeusza Wieleckiego 2008
Thomas Adrian Wielecki Tadeusz in: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Second Edition (ed. Stanley Sadie), vol. 27, Macmillan Publishers Limited, London 2001