Studying music from an early age, he graduated in law studies from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.
Other notable scores were for Hachi: A Dog"s Tale, Unfaithful, Evening, The Visitor, and Washington Square. In the late 1970s, Kaczmarek started working with Jerzy Grotowski and his innovative Theater Laboratory. He created the Orchestra of the Eighth Day in 1977.
He recorded his first album, Music for the End (1982), for the United States (United States) company Flying Fish Records.
In 1989, Kaczmarek moved to Los Angeles, California in the United States. His music has been released by Sony Classical, Decca, Varèse Sarabande, Verve, Epic, Milan, and Savitor Records. He gives concerts in the United States and Europe.
In addition to his work in films, Kaczmarek was commissioned to write two symphonic and choral pieces for two important national occasions in Poland: Cantata for Freedom (2005) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Solidarity movement, and Oratorio 1956 (2006) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a bloody uprising against totalitarian government in Poznań, Poland. Both premieres were broadcast live on Polish national television
In 2007, Kaczmarek began working to set up a film institute in his home country of Poland.
Inspired by the Sundance Institute, he intends for the new institute to serve as a European center for the development of new work in film, theater, music and new media. His Instytut Rozbitek (Rozbitek Institute) opened in 2010. The first edition of the international film and music festival was organized in 5–13 August 2011, 2nd edition in 15–22 August 2012, 3rd edition in 2–9 August 2013, 4th edition in 8–14 August 2014 and 5yh edition in 7-14 August 2015.