The Mud Cavaliers

KRZYSZTOF KNITTEL - born 1.05.1947 in Warsaw. Studied sound engineering and composition at the Frederic Chopin State Higher School of Music in Warsaw. He has worked at the Experimental Studio of Polish Radio since 1973 and at the Center for the Creative and Performing Arts at State University of New York at Buffalo in 1978.

He composes symphonic, chamber, stage, electro-acoustic and computer works that have been performed in most European countries, Asia, North and South Americas. He took part in many art performances, built sound installations and played in improvised music groups. His compositions were written for the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, National Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio, “Amadeus” Chamber Orchestra of the Polish Radio, Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, Camerata Silesia Choir, for soloists – Elisabeth Chojnacka, Olga Pasichnyk (Critics’ Prize at the Warsaw Autumn Festival for her performance in “The Heartpiece – Double Opera” composed together with John King), Janusz Olejniczak, Tomasz Stanko and many others. Concerts dedicated exclusively to his music were held in Barcelona, Budapest, Cracow, Kromeriz, Leipzig, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Warsaw.

Co-founder of the KEW Composers Group (1973-75, with Elisabeth Sikora and Wojciech Michniewski), Cytula Tyfun da Bamba Orchester (1981), the Independent Electroacoustic Music Studio (1982-84), interdisciplinary group Freight Train (existing from 1986 till today), the European Improvisation Orchestra (1996-98), CH&K&K (since 1999, with Marek Choloniewski and Wlodzimierz Kiniorski), Mad Cavaliers (since 2003).

Among his honors are the Solidarity Award in Music (1985), Norwid Price in Music (2003), Polish Composers' Union Prize (2003). In 2005 he was awarded by Polish Minister of Culture with “Gloria Artis” Silver Medal. He was also awarded by the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts in New York (1998).

He served as director of the International Festival of Contemporary Music "Warsaw Autumn" (1995-98), president of the Polish Composers' Union (1999-2003), vice-president of the Polish Music Council (since 2000) and president (since 2005), the member of the Supervisory Board of Polish public television (2003-2006). Director of international Ad Libitum festival of improvised music since 2006. A member of the Programming Board of Zacheta National Gallery (2004-2012). Professor of the Fryderyk Chopin Music University, he teaches also at the music academies in Krakow and Lodz.He has worked in improvised music groups with such musicians as Andrzej Bauer, Franziska Baumann, Jeff Beer, Ed Bogaard, Marek Chołoniewski, Axel Dörner, Uwe Dierksen, Uli Fusseneger, Tim Hodgkinson, Carl-Ludwig Hübsch, Pere Oliver Jørgens, John King, Włodzimierz Kiniorski, Martin Klapper, Jacek Kochan, Werner Kodytek, Jerzy Kornowicz, Ryszard Latecki, Mieczysław Litwiński, Albert Markos, Laszlo Melis, Marek Mietelski, Ernesto Molinari, David Moss, Victor Nubla, Uwe Oberg, Olga Pasichnyk, Zdzisław Piernik, Adam Pierończyk, Jan Pilch, Andrzej Przybielski, Kazimierz Pyzik, Andrey Smirnov, Tomasz Stańko, Tadeusz Sudnik, Raymond Strid, Birgit Ulher, Wojciech Waglewski, Marcus Weiss, Tadeusz Wielecki, Frank Wingold, Niels Winther, Carlos Zingaro, Agata Zubel.

JERZY KORNOWICZ born in 1959, composer, piano improviser, music animator, born in 1959 in Lublin. He studied composition with Tadeusz Baird and Marian Borkowski at the Music Academy in Warsaw, and with Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.

He has written commissioned works for festivals, institutions and performers in Poland and abroad, such as BBC Radio, Polish Radio, the Experimental Studio of  Polish Radio, the BBC Singers Choir, the “Warsaw Autumn” Festival, the De Ereprijs Orchestra, the Joachim quartet, the Prague Philharmonic and the City of Wrocław.

Recordings of his works have been released on such labels as BBC Music, Signum Classic, Polskie Nagrania, Acte Préalable, the Centre for International Creative Initiatives „Rozdroża”, and Polish Music Information Centre.

Performers of his works include Elżbieta Chojnacka, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Stephen Cleobury, Arturo Tamayo, Antoni Ros-Marbà, Aleksander Lasoń, Marek Moś,  Szymon Bywalec, Krzysztof Bąkowski, Aleksandra Krzanowska, Terje Thiwang,and Maciej Grzybowski, as well as numerous orchestras and ensembles: New Music Orchestra, National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Leopoldinum, Polish Chamber Orchestra, Aukso, Schola Cantorum Gedanensis choir as well as orchestras and ensembles from other countries.

In 2000 his Figury w oplocie received a commendation from UNESCO’s International Rostrum of Composers, while in 2008 his composition Spiętrzenia was included in the group of seven nominations for the first edition of Opus Music Prize of the Public Media.

Kornowicz also composes works for children, music for the theatre and film, as well as songs. In 2001 he initiated the formation of „Mud Cavaliers”, an intuitive music group which brings together improvising composers and authors of alternative and jazz music. He has performed with this group at many festivals. In 2011 Mud Cavaliers performed in many capital cities of Europe with the programme „Metropolis and myth” within the framework of the Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Jerzy Kornowicz also makes appearances as a solo improviser.  

He co-organised the second and third Encounters of Young Composers „Droga”, co-initiated the „Akordy” in Lublin, and the „Generacje” series of concerts for Polish Radio. He was the artistic curator of the Audio Art and Sound Spaces festival at the Centre for Contemporary Art at Zamek Ujazdowski in Warsaw, and author of the project „The Academy of Sound” – a series of educational concerts featuring new music, presented at Warsaw schools. He is the artistic commissioner of the “Kody” Festival of Music Tradition and Avant-garde in Lublin, and the author of the workshops “All-Poland Buy-up of New and Used Sounds”.

Since 1994 he has led the authorial programme of music education in the schools of the Association for Culture and Education in Warsaw. Since 2003 he has been President of the Polish Composers’ Union,and since 2013 - president of Creative Poland - association gathering Polish creative circles of people and representants of creative industries.

Selected works (since 1995): Puzzler for chamber orchestra (1995), Nieustanne rzeczy wirowanie [Things constantly spinning] for solo violin (1996), Turlajśpiewka [Rollingsong] for saxophone quartet (1997), Metanoja for harpsichord and tape (1998), Figury w oplocie [Interwoven figures] for chamber orchestra (1998-99), Cztery poematy do tekstów Czesława Miłosza [Four poems to texts by Czesław Miłosz] for voice and piano (2000), Kształty żywiołów [Shapes of elements] for harpsichord and sounds of nature (2000), Oczekiwanie [Awaiting] for mixed choir (2000), Spiętrzenia [Accumulations] for piano quintet (2001), Renesis for sounds of nature (2001), Zaklęcia [Spells] for mixed choir (2001), Lśnienie [Shining] for violin and piano (2001), Wstęga purpury (W szponach walca)[Riband of purple (In the claws of the waltz)] for piano (2002), Cztery strumienie [Four streams] for strings (2003), Zorze I – „Praskie” [Dawns I – “Prague”] for symphony orchestra (2004), Zorze II – Ereprijs for chamber orchestra (2004–05), Zorze III – Weltblech for ensemble of brass wind instruments and percussion (2005), Zorze IV – Melos-Ethos for 15 performers (2006), Sceny z bezkresu [Scenes from infinity] for instrumental ensemble, vocal ensemble and live electronics (2006), Spiętrzenia [Accumulations] for orchestra (2007), Two songs to texts of Chopin’s songs for soprano and piano (2010), Scenes from Bulgakov for chamber orchestra and improvising computer (2010), Scenes from Bulgakov – Minsk for chamber orchestra and tape (2011), Dzwony od Nielisza [Bells of Nielisz] for two pianos (2011), Dzwony z Saint-Acheul [Bells of Saint-Acheul] for two pianos and sampler (2012), Godzina przemian – Echo, król Midas i łabędzie [The Hour of Change – Echo, King Midas and the Swans – a musical expedition based on themes from Ovids Metamorphoses edited by Anna Kamieńska (2012) and projects created together with Mud Cavaliers,  Big Transition for symhony orchestra, piano and other instruments concertanti (2013), Silence of Sounds - Towards S.E for piano and tape (2013), Here  for piano (2013).

MIECZYSŁAW LITWIŃSKI - composer, singer, multiinstrumentalist. He has lived and worked in Poland, USA and Lithuania. Composition studies at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. He was directly influenced by the contacts with John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen. He writes chamber music, scores for ballet, modern dance and theatre. Numerous commissions, pieces perfomed among others at: Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, LaMama, Knitting Factory in New York, Foro Traiano in Rome, at festivals of modern/new music, e.g.: Inventionen (Berlin), Bang on a Can (New York), Kontrasty (Lviv), Warsaw Autumn, Ad Libitum (Warsaw). Concerts all around Europe, in America, Russia and Iran. Collaborated among others with: Pauline  Oliveros, Peter Gordon, Raphael Mostel, David Hykes, Hamid Drake, Wu Wei, the Coen brothers, Robert Ellmann (film), Vega Vaiciunaite, Gytis Padegimas, Wacław Sobaszek (theatre), Henryk Waniek, Andrzej Urbanowicz (fine arts), Ohad Naharin, Royston Maldoom, Pat Cremins, Muna Tseng, Amy Sue Rosen, Tamar Rogoff, Alma Yoray, Gianna Valenti (modern  dance). Collaboration with museums, e. g.: Museum of Natural History, Roerich Museum (New York), Musei di Fori Imperiali (Rome), Modern Art Museum (Isfahan), National Museum, Museum of Asia and Pacific, Modern Art Centre (Warsaw). He is also a teacher and a lecturer (among others: New York Open Center, New York University, Vytautas the Great University in Kaunas, Lithuania, Warsaw University).

TADEUSZ SUDNIK born in 1955 in Warsaw, since 1978 associated with the Experimental Studio of Polish Radio.

Co-operation with intuitive and live electronic music groups – Cytula Tyfun da Bamba Orchester and Independent Electroacoustic Music Studio. In 1884-88 he played in Tomasz Stańko FREELECTRONIC quartet (concerts at the festivals in Montreaux,West Berlin,

Le Mans, Madrid, Athens, Zurich and many others) with musicians such as Sonny Sharrock,

Peter Giger & Dom Um Romao.

Later on he collaborated with many musicians (double bass, saxophone , trumpet players).

Composes music for the ballet Night Landscape in the National Opera in Warsaw), is working as the music engineer recording both contemporary electronic music and best jazz & rock Polish groups. Founded "Impossible Sounds Studio" his current place of work.

He was working in New York on Double Opera  (J.King ,K.Knittel) as a sound designer. He played with Berlin Composers Ensemble in Bucarest and Berlin.

His main field of interest is recording & transformation of the sound to make it more understandable for the listeners.

Also he uses his set of Neumann microphones to record musical events in his studio with musicians that he wanted to record.

He is specialized in both recording playing and transforming sounds live with musicians using all techniques analog & computer.


TADEUSZ WIELECKI born in Warsaw in 1954, he studied the double bass (with Alfred Wieczorek and Andrzej Mysiński) and composition (with Włodzimierz Kotoński) at the Music Academy in Warsaw. Thanks to a Witold Lutosławski grant, he continued his compositional studies abroad, with Isang Yun in West Berlin and Klaus Huber in Freiburg (1986–87). As a double bass player he focuses on the contemporary solo repertoire. He has performed in many European countries, Asia and the United States.

He is also active as an improviser, playing with musical ensembles such as Mud Cavaliers and Laterna.

In 1999 his Concerto à rebours for violin and orchestra (1998) was commended at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris.

He is also active in the field of promoting contemporary music and arts education. He ran several cycles of radio programmes introducing children into the world of new music and cooperated with the Children’s Arts Centre in Poznań and the Okopowa Cultural Centre. He was Artistic Director of World Music Days in Warsaw in 1992. In 2004 he was invited as a lecturer to the Summer Courses of New Music in Darmstadt.

His works have been commissioned by institutions, festivals and ensembles such as Warsaw Autumn, Polish Radio, Poznań Philharmonic, De Ereprijs, the Summer Courses of New Music in Darmstadt, Klangspuren in Schwaz, Klangforum Wien, Hiroshima Symphony Association, and others.

He has served as Director of the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music since 1999.