Tomasz J. Opałka
was born on June 6th, 1983 in Ostrowiec Św, Poland. Between 2006-2011 Opalka studied Composition with prof. Krzysztof Baculewski at The Frideric Chopin University of Music in Warsaw (Master’s degree with honors). In 2013 received Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Composition.
Opalka took part in various courses and master classes led by artists such as: Michael Nyman, Adriana Holszky, Christopher Young, Robert Elhai, Aleksander Lasoń, Dennis Sands, Joel Hoffman and others.
He is a laureate of numerous prizes in competitions for composers; in 2010 Jury chaired by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki during The Wawel Musica Festiva Composers Competition granted The Grand Prize to Opalka’s SPACES - for large orchestra. This piece was premiered during the celebration of the 600th anniversary of Grunwald Battle in Arcaded Courtyard of The Wawel Royal Castle in Kraków. This concert was released on DVD in 2011.
Opalka is also a winner of the 3rd prize in Alexander Moyzes International Competition for Composers in Bratislava (Slovakia). Jury chaired by Wolfgang Rihm granted the prize to VISIONS OF PERFECT SHAPES for orchestra written in 2006. In 2007 Opalka received 2nd prize (first was not given) in The Karol Szymanowski Competition for Composers for his symphonic piece - QUADRA. In the same year his EPIDERMA won the 2nd prize in G. Fittelberg National Competition for Composers. In 2008 Opalka won 3rd prize in JP2 Competition for Composers for the piece The Leaf for choir and orchestra and 1st prize in Creative Valey Competition for young artists for his achievements in music composition. In 2009 his EVENT HORIZON SYMPHONY gained the 3rd prize in G. Bacewicz International Competition for Composers, the Jury was led by Zygmunt Krauze. In the same year, Opalka was a finalist of Tadeusz Baird Competition for Composers with his piece - Trans-Ist-One. In earlier years (2002, 2004) Opalka was a winner of the two editions of UFM National Competition for Composers for his works written for chamber orchestra (Remembrance, Interaction I).
In 2012 Opalka was one of the laureates of Transatlantyk International Film Music Competition and one of the winners of Zygmunt Mycielski Competition for Composers – Competition of Polish Composers’ Union. In 2013 became Laureate of next edition of Transatlantyk International Film Music Competition and one of the winners of FMF International Music Composition Contest.
His music was performed on many renowned festivals in Poland and abroad: Chain Festival (2013, 2014), The National Polish Radio Orchestra Festival of Premiers (2013), Warsaw Music Encounters (2012, 2013, 2014), Warsaw Autumn Contemporary Music Festival (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), Brucken Festival Fur Neue Musik (2009), Com’In (2008, 2009), The Four Season Festival in Warsaw (2009), Generations (2007, 2012), Beijing Modern (2011), Musica Moderna (2012), Druskomanija (2013), Provizlarm (2013) and many others.
To the date his music was released on six CD’s and one DVD. He is one of „16 greatest living composers in Poland” according to the Agnieszka Lewandowska-Kąkol’s book „Dźwięki, Szepty, Zgrzyty” [Sounds, Whispers, Noises”].
Opalka has worked with the best Polish orchestras and ensembles, such as; PolishRadio Orchestra, New Music Orchestra, Musica Festiva Orchestra, The National Polish Radio Orchestra, Scontri Ensemble, Saint-Cross Philharmonic Orchestra, Calisia Philharmonic Orchestra, Lodz Philharmonic Orchestra, Chain Chamber Orchestra.
In season 2013/2014 Opalka is a Composer in Residence at The Gorzów Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since 2010 Opalka was giving lectures at The Frideric Chopin University of Music and taught orchestration, composition, led seminars about contemporary music and modern composition techniques.
He received The Witold Lutosławski Scholarship in 2012 and Pro Polonia Scholarship, DongSan Research Foundation Scholarship, The Minister of Culture and National Heritage Scholarship (Three times).
In 2013 bacame one of four main characters in a documentary-feature film titled A few questions about hearing of the World - Potraits of Composers directed by Maja Baczynska.
Recently Opalka is working on his next symphony and a piano concerto which will be premiered in 2014. A monographic CD with his orchestral works is also planned for 2014.