composer, pianist, arranger
Piotr Zalewski is a composer, pianist and music arranger from Poland. His portfolio includes solo, chamber, orchestral, choral, electronic and hybrid (acoustic + electronic) compositions.
Minimalism and neoromanticism are the musical genres most liked by Piotr. He has developed a characteristic style that he loosely describes as intuitive music. He explains it as follows:
“In the early stages of creation I completely trust my first, spontaneous feeling and reaction, not forced by logical thinking. Most often the germ of such a composition is a improvised structure based on imagination”.
This structure (or motif) is then appropriately developed to form a uniform texture. The form is characterized by dynamic motion, repetitions, simple rhythms and layering.
Piotr Zalewski's artistic activity can be divided into five categories: solo projects (including collaborations), music for larger ensembles (orchestra, choir), original arrangements, music for image (films, animations) and commercial music (advertisements, spots, exhibitions).
First of all Piotr realizes himself as an solo artist. He works on an coherent artistic image, creates promotional content, looks for musicians to cooperate, organizes his own concerts, participates in competitions and workshops.
The project he is currently working on is the debut album IMAGO for solo piano released in September 2019.
The album is conceptual:
“Individual songs correspond to the stages of the butterfly's life cycle; from the birth of the caterpillar through pupa to the mature form of imago. Using the image of butterfly transformation, I want to point to the process of human maturation, his experiences, motivations, crisis moments, and evolution”.
Among pieces for larger ensembles Piotr can boast of composition “Four Seasons” for chamber orchestra, percussion and choir performed at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music concert hall.
He also mentions his choral piece “Domine non sum dignus” which he himself led (conductor's debut). The composition was performed for the first time at the Academy of Music in Lodz, then it was presented at various places in Poland and Europe.
Piotr also distinguishes at this point the composition “Nie mów!” to the poem by Adam Asnyk for a small orchestra and voice. This composition won the third prize in the National Composer Competition named by Tadeusz Ochlewski in Cracow organized by PWM. The jury joined: Krzysztof Penderecki, Paweł Mykietyn, Eugeniusz Knapik, Jerzy Kornowicz, Elżbieta Sikora, and Daniel Cichy.
Original music arrangements for various ensembles are another pillar of Piotr Zalewski's activity.
In the competition organized by the portal 2track.pro and Sony Music Poland he created the rework of the song “Nie Dobiję Się Do Ciebie” by Daria Zawiałow, awarded with the first place.
He created and presented the prize-winning third place rework of the song “Nie Czekaj" by Barbara Wrońska, in a competition organized by the Pekao S.A. bank.
He created an orchestral arrangement for the song of Anna Jantar “Tylko mnie poproś do tańca” performed at the inaugural concert at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music during the Night of Museums.
music for image & commercials
Piotr is passionate about films and animations. He eagerly creates music for this type of visual forms. At the moment, his soundtrack-portfolio include mainly competition works. He qualified twice to the second stage of the composition competition at the Film Music Festival in Cracow 2015 and 2016. In 2015 he participated in the master classes organized by this festival. He also participated in the Transatlantyk Film Music Competition 2017.
The composer also carries out commercial projects creating music for television and internet commercials, spots, broadcasts and photo exhibitions. He has received orders from companies such as:
Winiary, RMF Classic, Egurrola, Dance Studio, Funtronic, Ney Gallery & Prints, Adescom.
In October 2019 Piotr Zalewski took the position of musical leader on a german cruise ship "Mein Schiff 6" owned by TUI, sailing the shores of Europe, Middle East and Central Asia. He was responsible for:
musical preparation of vocalists during rehearsals in Berlin
coordination, planning and artistic supervision over musical events on the ship
supervision of the correct performance of songs by vocalists and music bands
scheduling and participation in vocal casting rehearsals
preparing solo performances of singers and accompanying them on stage
cooperation with sound engineers, supervision over the correctness of the mix of performances
The contract ended on March 9, 2020.
"It was a great time full of interesting challenges and adventures with wonderful people from all over the world".
Education: first steps
Piotr Zalewski already showed his first interest in music as a seven-year-old. He played with one finger previously heard carols on the old upright-piano in his grandparents tenement house. Then, together with his family, he went to Germany for 3 years, where he was involved in music to a small extent. He began his regular music education with private lessons at the age of 14.
“Until now, I remember a fantastic lady who visited my family home and passed me the acquired knowledge of the piano technique and music theory. It's hard to say in words how important these lessons were to me and what impact they had. I am composing, producing, playing, arranging and teaching music until now. I am convinced that I owe love to music through these early private lessons. They were of great importance in making subsequent musical choices. They influenced the choice of schools, then the academy and the university. They let me believe in myself, get joy and express myself through music”
Piotr expanded his knowledge and musical skills in the field of classical harmony and piano technique by attending the Foundation founded by the Music School Complex named by Fryderyk Chopin in Warsaw. He also studied jazz for a year. In addition, at that time he began to play in various rock bands. In 2011, he enrolled in the Sound Production School in Warsaw, where he gained knowledge in the field of recording techniques, sound processing, mixing and mastering. Having obtained a diploma in 2013, he successfully passed the entrance exams at the Academy of Music in Łódź, starting in October undergraduate studies in composition.
“The best thing about my studies in Łódź was the opportunity to present my compositions at the Musica Moderna festival organized by the Academy. Listening to my compositions live was the most effective verification of the chosen composer's techniques, instrumental solutions and sense of the whole form”.
Piotr passed his bachelor's degree in 2016 and returned to Warsaw, where he got a master's degree at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. He perfected his compositional skills under the guidance of the successful and active composer Dariusz Przybylski.
It was at this time that he won the 3rd prize in the composition competition named by Tadeusz Ochlewski, performed his first orchestral arrangement during the Night of Museums and presented the diploma composition “Four Seasons”. He graduated in 2019 with the master's degree in art.