Paweł Gusnar is a chamber and session musician and educator, professor at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź. He studied saxophone performance at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice and the Fryderyk Chopin Academy (now University) of Music in Warsaw. In 2016 he was elected deputy vice-chancellor for foreign contacts at that University.
As a versatile artist open to many styles and forms of expression, he is one of the few saxophone players to be active as a high-class performer in all the three fields – classical, jazz and pop music. His unique contributions to the composition and promotion of Polish music for the instrument include about a dozen Polish and foreign premieres every year. More than 70 works have been written specially for him by mostly polish composers. This number icludes around a dozen pieces with orchestra (by Krzysztof Penderecki, Bronisław Kazimierz Przybylski, Krzysztof Knittel, Nikola Kołodziejczyk, Bartosz Kowalski, Krzysztof Herdzin, Weronika Ratusińska and others) as well as some pioneering compositions setting new global trends. It is thanks to Gusnar that the Polish saxophone repertoire has found its way to major music centres worldwide. He also promotes Polish music by publishing a score series of his own name (The Paweł Gusnar Collection, publ. Ars Musica). 2018 saw the publication of his edition of Orchestral Studies for Saxophone.
As a soloist Gusnar has performed with numerous orchestras (Sinfonia Varsovia, NOSPR, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Iuventus, Amadeus, Concerto Avenna, Capella Bydgostiensis, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Sinfonia Baltica, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (PNRSO), Płock Symphony Orchestra, Elbląg Chamber Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, Great Britain), Orchestra Valentiana (France), Lviv Chamber Orchestra Academia) as well as nearly all the philharmonic orchestras in Poland. Her regularly collaborates with numerous symphony orchestras including Warsaw Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia and the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra (POR) as well as jazz and pop bands such as Adam Sztaba Orchestra, Zygmunt Kukla’s Kukla Band, Tomasz Szymuś Orkiestra and Krzysztof Herdzin’s ensembles. As a session musician he has recorded numerous television programmes for Polish state television TVP as TVN, Polsat and other broadcasters.
His vast discography comprises more than 50 CDs, including solo and original programmes. Some of the highlights have been New Polish Music for Saxophone and Organ, Jazz Sonatas, Komeda Inspirations, Saxophone Impressions, Saxophone Varie, Saxophone Varie Vol. 2, (Re)Discovering Woodwind Masterpieces (the first Polish recording of Glazunov’s Concerto in E-Flat Major Op. 109) and Penderecki’s Concerto Per Sassofono ed Orchestra. Frequently nominated for the Fryderyk Award of the Polish Phonographic Academy, he won this award three times: in 2014 for Saxophone Varie, in 2015 for Paweł Łukaszewski’s Musica Sacra 5, and in 2016 for the album Verbum Incarnatum (a collaboration with the Mulierum Schola Gregoriana Clamaverunt Iusti – in the category of “Early Music Album of the Year”). He has also been nominated for the prestigious title of Coryphaeus of Polish Music (2014, 2015, 2017).
As an unquestionable authority in his field, he has been serve on competition juries and taught masterclasses at the world’s major music centres from South Korea, China, USA and United Arab Emirates to Ukraine, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Estonia, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, France and Spain.
The artist collaborates with YAMAHA, BG Franck Bichon and D’Addario.