MARTIN KISZKO  COMPOSER

Martin Kiszko is of Polish-British origin; his family footfalls echo around the marshy soils of Belarussian villages as well as the streets of council estates in Leeds. He began music studies at seven and was accepted at the Leeds City College of Music at age ten.

After completing a BA in Music, Fine Arts and Intermedia and a PGC in Film at Bristol University, Martin assisted veteran film composer Edward Williams with whom he co-founded an innovative inter-media performance group. The ensemble performed Martin's work Cairoglyph, written for actor Tony Robinson, and The Stratagem of Nauplius  which was premiered at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

Between 1984-1997 he composed and orchestrated over 200 scores for film and television. Amongst these were the landmark natural history series Land of the Eagle and Realms of the Russian Bear, in which he pioneered the recording of music samples on film locations as well as using ethnomusicological research to assist the natural history score. He subsequently introduced the palette of East European orchestras to BBC Natural History programmes such as Alien Empire  and Battle of the Sexes.

The diversity of Martin's material also embraces BBC, ITV and C4 dramas Black Hearts in Battersea, The Levels, The Uninvited  and Zastrozzi - a Romance. His many well known TV signature tunes include BBC's Newsround, Food and Drink, Omnibus, Public Eye, Wildlife on Two, and The Natural World. In addition, he has released eight soundtrack albums with the City of Prague Philharmonic, the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the London Film Orchestra and the Emerald Ensemble. His score for the BBC's Dreamworks promo (requested by and made for Steven Spielberg and the BBC) was awarded Best Music Video at Missoula Film Festival USA.

During the winter of 2001 Martin voyaged to Antarctica where he composed, performed, and claimed a world first for a spoof Antarctic National Anthem (Someone had to do it!) The visit also provided the inspiration for his cantata Sea Star  with words by Britain's foremost woman poet Anne Ridler OBE.   [1/2]


In 2003 he was commissioned by Elektrodome to produce and direct a multi-media work Inua  using state-of-the-art technology 'Soundbeam'. The work was premiered at Worcester Cathedral on December 16th 2003 and won a 2004 British Academy of Composers and Songwriters Composer of the Year Award.

After a commission as Music Consultant on Aardman Animation's computer game of Wallace and Gromit - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit , Martin composed a cantata A Radius of Curves  to celebrate the 2006 Isambard Kingdom Brunel 200th birthday celebrations. Later, in 2007, he composed, conducted and performed the score for the major movie The Killing of John Lennon  - cinematically released in the UK and the USA in 2008. A return to music and multi-media work that year resulted in the composition, filming and direction of Vi Spy , a work for electric violin with attached spycam, dancer, and ultrasonic beams. The work was world premiered at Bristol’s Colston Hall.

In addition to his composition, Martin’s academic work has included a PhD on the migration of the balalaika, a paper published in The Galpin Society Journal , the entry for 'Balalaika' in the New Grove Dictionary of Music , and the writing and directing of the first UK video on the craft of film music composition - The Art of the Film Score . His teaching portfolio includes: The National Film and Television School, The University of Illinois, The University of the Eastern Mediterranean, University of Bristol, University of the West of England, University of Bath Spa, Liverpool Hope University, Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology. In terms of festivals he has led workshops, lectures or panels at Wildscreen Film Festival, Jackson Hole Film Festival USA, Encounters Film Festival, BAFTA Cineformation and Cheltenham Music Festival. He has also judged for BAFTA, The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters and The Ivor Novello Awards. He has been invited as a judge for the 2009 Monaco International Film Festival.

Martin has recently completed The Art and Craft of Contemporary Orchestration for Film and TV course given by Hollywood orchestrator Scott Smalley (Batman/Judge Dredd) in New York

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