Zygmunt Krauze is an important artist of his generation. His artistic achievements and efforts in the promotion of music have been recognised with many awards and distinctions, including the French National Order of the Legion of Honour (2007) and the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1984). In 1987 he was elected President of the International Society for Contemporary Music and has been an honorary member of the organization since 1999.
Krauze’s composition studies were completed under the supervision of Kazimierz Sikorski and his piano studies were supervised by Maria Wiłkomirska. Than, in Paris he worked under the supervision of Nadia Boulanger. Soon after, he began teaching young students of composition. He has been conducting seminars and composition courses in Darmstadt, Basel, Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm, Jerusalem, Beijing, Hong Kong and at universities in the USA: Columbia University, Yale University, Indiana University at Bloomington and the University of California in Santa Barbara. In 2002, he was appointed as a Professor of Composition at the Academy of Music in Łódź.
Krauze’s compositions include six operas, instrumental forms, from miniatures to symphonic works engaging hundreds of musicians, music for theatre and film, choral pieces and space compositions. Many of his compositions have been recorded and released on records of Polskie Nagrania, DUX, ORF, Nonesuch, Thesis, Musical Observations (CP2), Collins Classics, Warner Classics, Recommended Records, Bôłt Records and EMI.
Exceptionally important in the list of Krauze’s work is unitary music, which theoretical base comes from the paintings of Władysław Strzemiński. In his compositions, piano is the instrument given the highest priority. As an actively performing pianist, Krauze not only composes for this instrument, but also performs his own compositions. In 1966 Zygmunt Krauze received First Prize at the Gaudeamus International Interpreters Competition (in the Netherlands) for performers of contemporary music. In 1967, he founded his ensemble Warsztat Muzyczny (Music Workshop), which he directed for 25 years. The ensemble commissioned over 100 compositions that were created by renowned composers from around the world.
Krauze’s activity as an organiser of musical events began in 1970 when he became a member of the Repertoire Committee of the Warsaw Autumn Festival. At the invitation of Pierre Boulez in 1982, he became an artistic advisor at the Institut de Recherche de Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM). He was one of the founding members of the Witold Lutosławski Society and for one term held the position of its president. He is regularly invited to be a judge in international composition competitions throughout the world.