Krzesimir Marcin Dębski (; born 26 October 1953 in Wałbrzych) is a Polish composer, conductor and jazz violinist. His music career as a musician has been that of a performer as well as composer of classical music, opera, television and feature films.
Krzesimir Dębski studied composition with Andrzej Koszewski, and conducting with Witold Krzemieński, at the Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań, Poland. Following graduation, Dębski became interested in jazz. Since 1982, as the leader and violinist of the jazz group String Connection, he has performed in the United States, Canada and over 25 countries in Europe.
In 1986 Dębski has cut down on his concert performances and concentrated primarily on composition. He has composed more than 60 symphonic and chamber music pieces, including an opera, 2 symphonies, religious works and 9 instrumental concertos. Since 1986, he has composed the music for over 70 films, received 8 platinum albums and has composed music for the highest-grossing movie in Polish film history, With Fire and Sword.
As deputy chairman of the Polish Association of Contemporary Music, Dębski has written music for film, theater, symphony, chamber orchestra and experimental ensembles. As a composer, he won the Fryderyk Award (the Polish equivalent for the Grammy Award). He was also awarded The International Film Music Academy, coveted "Philip" prize presented to him by the legendary film composer, Ennio Morricone.
Krzesimir Dębski has conducted concerts in which the following international stars performed: José Carreras, Nigel Kennedy, Adam Makowicz, The Canadian Brass, Vadim Repin, Mark O’Connor, Jean-Luc Ponty, John Blake, Ewa Malas-Godlewska and José Cura.
AwardsKrzesimir Dębski has been awarded numerous prizes for his jazz musicianship and composition work. The prizes include a.o.: First Prize at the World Competition of Jazz Ensembles (Belgium), and the Stanislaw Wyspiański Award from The Ministry of Culture (Warsaw, Poland). Readers of the monthly jazz magazine "Jazz Forum" have bestowed upon Dębski the honor of "Musician, Composer and Violinist Of The Year" from 1983 to 1986. "Down Beat" magazine rated Krzesimir Dębski among the top ten violinists in the world.
In 1986, Dębski received First Prize at the 25th Anniversary Spring Festival of Music, a composers' competition in Poland. In 1988, The Canadian Film Academy nominated Dębski for a Genie Award. The same year, he received a special award for his musical work with children from the Prime Minister of Poland.
FamilyThe parents of Krzesimir Dębski survived the Kisielin massacre. He is married to singer Anna Jurksztowicz.
Krzesimir Dębski in the press
As a film composer he is much sought after, and for most music lovers his name is associated with that area of activity. He has recently written music for screen versions of many masterpieces of Polish literature; he also composes for Hollywood. He has also made a brilliant career for himself as a jazzman. In 1985, he was ranked as one of the ten most distinguished jazz violinists in the world in the survey of the prestigious American magazine DownBeat.
All the same, he has not abandoned classical music, the writing of which he still regards as his most important creative task. "I have worked in nearly all the fields of the music world," he said in an interview for the "Studio" monthly in 1999; "rock men greet me as a rock musician, jazzmen - as a jazzman, still others - as a film composer. But I am personally convinced that classical music is my proper domain. I dedicate about 80 per cent of my time, or more in some periods, to the composition of contemporary classical music. Unfortunately, the world of contemporary music is so small that at times I cannot help having the impression that I could easily suffocate in it. And, for that matter, I do not seem to be fully accepted in that world. [...] ‘Oh, that’s him,’ they say, ‘he’s already been everywhere, done everything, does he really have to impose himself on us now?’ But I don’t complain - I have many performances. So far, I have refrained from releasing my music on record (though I could have done it at my own cost a long ago), but now I’d like to announce some releases with my compositions. The "Warsaw Autumn" has never presented my works, but I hope to be found worthy of this honour when I celebrate my 80th birthday... [...]. My pieces are performed every month, also frequently abroad. I feel happy that my works are played at usual philharmonic concerts, not only at festivals." ("Studio" 1999 no. 5)
Krzesimir Dębski comments on Ukrainian nationalistic crimes in Volhynia, where his grandparents were murdered.