In 2013, a group of Kraków-based instrumentalists shared stage as part of the European Workshop for Contemporary Music, conducted by maestro Rüdiger Bohn. Having then played together at Darmstadt’s Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, the musicians – persuaded by Martyna Zakrzewska, Mateusz Rusowicz, and Piotr Peszat – established an independent body. A couple of events held in a community centre by one of the town’s exit roads and in a then neglected and declining theatre-slash-cinema marked the beginnings of Spółdzielnia Muzyczna contemporary ensemble (“Musicians Associated”), a group who is specialised in performing new music.
Spółdzielnia Muzyczna has been featured repeatedly in Kraków and across Poland’s most prominent new music platforms, including the International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn, Kraków’s Sacrum Profanum, Audio Art, ELEMENTI, and aXes, Musica Moderna in Łódź, amongst many others. In 2020, the group performed at the Młodzi Muzycy Młodemu Miastu 2.0 festival in Stalowa Wola, contributing to the reinstitution of one of Poland’s formative cyclical contemporary music events after it’s hiatus of forty years. In 2019/2020, the ensemble curated a series of programmes showcasing classics from the 20th and 21st centuries together with the “ARS MODERNA” – hosted by the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Kraków. In 2021, the ensemble received the prestigious Ensemble Prize by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, which supports the structural and artistic development of Spółdzielnia Muzyczna.
During the summer of 2018, Spółdzielnia Muzyczna participated in the Ensemble-Akademie Freiburg, a contemporary chamber music masterclass working and exchanging closely with ensemble recherche. In Kraków, the group pursued several educational activities within the field of new music, including instrumental workshops, and competitions for young composers. What remains is the ensemble’s largest-scale pursuit in this domain: a series titled “Open Your Ears. Here and Now”, live and illustrated lectures on the most prominent and inspiring artistic approaches to musical composition, conducted – so far – in twenty-three original, individually themed editions.
In their programmes, Spółdzielnia Muzyczna combines works from the most significant figures of 20th century music with compositions by established and emerging leaders of younger generations, embracing experimentation and multimedia approaches to presentation. The ensemble’s repertoire covers such composers as Giacinto Scelsi, Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, Morton Feldman, Franco Donatoni, George Crumb, Georges Aperghis, Salvatore Sciarrino, Gérard Grisey, Paweł Szymański, Hanna Kulenty, Cezary Duchnowski, Trond Reinholdtsen, Matthew Shlomowitz, Artur Zagajewski, Alexander Schubert, Johannes Kreidler, Brigitta Muntendorf, Jagoda Szmytka, Piotr Tabakiernik, Marta Śniady, Christophe Bertrand, Jarosław Płonka, Jacek Sotomski, Piotr Peszat, and Paweł Malinowski.
As of November 2022