Aleksander Zarzycki, a prominent Polish composer, pianist, and conductor during the Romantic era, was born in Lwów (now Lviv, Ukraine) in 1834. After completing his secondary education in Sambor, he received musical training from his father before studying under the tutelage of notable masters like Joseph Christoph Kessler, Rudolf Viole, and Napoléon Henri Reber.
Zarzycki gained recognition primarily for his piano performances, embarking on his first concert tour in 1856 alongside violinist Nikodem Biernacki. He held his debut major concert in Paris in 1860 and later performed in various European cities such as Koblenz, Wiesbaden, Dresden, and Leipzig. Zarzycki's influence in the artistic sphere of nineteenth-century Warsaw was significant, having co-founded and directed the Warsaw Music Society from 1871-74. This venture saw the establishment of a mixed choir, a string orchestra, and the WMS music publishing house.
In 1879, Zarzycki became the director of the Music Institute in Warsaw, introducing numerous reforms that included rewriting the syllabuses of all courses. His extensive musical repertoire includes piano pieces, songs, operas, and ballets, as well as music composed for dramas and comedies. Zarzycki died in 1895 in Warsaw, leaving a legacy that played a vital role in the development of Polish music.