Saxophonist, 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: of classical, jazz and popular music. His unique contributions to the composition and promotion of Polish music for that instrument include about a dozen Polish and foreign premieres every year. More than 70 works have been written specially for him by such composers as, among others, Miłosz Bembinow, Wojciech Błażejczyk, Artur Cieślak, Gerard Drozd, Grzegorz Duchnowski, Andrzej Dutkiewicz, Alicja Gronau-Osińska, Krzysztof Herdzin, Anna Maria Huszcza, Sławomir Kaczorowski, Andrzej Karałow, Benedykt Konowalski, Aleksander Kościow, Piotr Moss, Marcin T. Łukaszewski, Paweł Łukaszewski, Maria Pokrzywińska, Dariusz Przybylski, Edward Sielicki, and Łukasz Woś. In this number there are more than a dozen pieces with orchestra (by e.g. Krzysztof Penderecki, Bronisław Kazimierz Przybylski, Krzysztof Knittel, Nikola Kołodziejczyk, Bartosz Kowalski, Krzysztof Herdzin, and Weronika Ratusińska) 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.
Paweł Gusnar gives performances in prestigious philharmonic and chamber music venues in Poland and abroad. As a soloist he has performed with such orchestras as, among others, Sinfonia Varsovia, NOSPR, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra (POR), 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 (Zagrebačka filharmonija, Croatia), 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.
The artist 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 well as other broadcasters: TVN and Polsat, among others.
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 Viola (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”). Paweł Gusnar 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 invited to serve on competition juries and teach master classes at the world’s major music centres from South Korea and China to Ukraine, Croatia, Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Estonia, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, France and Spain.
The artist collaborates with such companies as YAMAHA, BG Franck Bichon and D’Addario.