Jerzy Derfel

born on January the 9th 1941 in Lida, is a Polish composer, pianist, conductor and author of instrumental and vocal songs and pieces, musicals, as well as theatre, radio, entertainment, ballet, TV, and film music. 

A graduate of Sopot’s Primary and Secondary Music School in piano class and of Higher State School of Music in Warsaw where he studied the piano under Professor Ryszard Bakst. 

During his high school years, in 1958, he formed a music band ‘Flamingo’ that specialized in traditional jazz. Derfel was the band’s cornet player until 1962. The band performed on many festivals, e.g. on Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw in 1961.

In 1962 he moved to Warsaw and, while studying, began his artistic collaboration with Maciej Małecki. Together, they formed a piano duo that performed classical music. Derfel has also collaborated with STS (Students’ Satirical Theatre) and the students of Ludwik Sempoliński. Since his graduation he has been working mainly as a composer and accompanist, collaborating with such artists of Polish stages as Wojciech Młynarski, Halina Kunicka, Ewa Dałkowska, Alicja Majewską, Jerzy Połomski, Danuta Rinn, Rena Rolska, Irena Santor, Teresa Tutinas, and Mieczysław Wojnicki. He has written music for over a thousand songs and lyrics of authors such as Ireneusz Iredyński, Jonasz Kofta, Wojciech Młynarski, Agnieszka Osiecka, and Jeremi Przybora. 

Derfel has composed music for many musicals, including Wesołego powszedniego dnia (Happy ordinary day), The Stormy Life of Lasik Roitschwantz, Barefoot but with spurs. He is the author of instrumental music Sonata in E minor for saxophone, alt and string quintet, Preludes for clarinet and bassoon with string orchestra, instrumental and vocal music Little Joyful Mass in D minor, The Hymn of Love, film music Rozmowy przy wycinaniu lasu (Tree cutting talks), Miś (Teddy Bear), Co mi zrobisz, jak mnie złapiesz (What will you do when you catch me) or Droga (The Road).

In 1975 he was awarded the Grand Prix during the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole for a song Bywają takie dni (Such days do happen) and in 2012 he received the Grand Prix as a Lifetime Achievement Award. His other awards include Officer’s Cross of Order of Polonia Restituta (2004), Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis (2005) and Laurel of Solidarność that he received together with Wojciech Młynarski for the programme Róbmy swoje (Let’s do our thing) in 1988.