Krzysztof Penderecki

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Krzysztof Penderecki (23 November 1933, Dębica - 29 March 2020, Kraków) was a Polish composer, conductor and pedagogue.

He studied composition privately with Franciszek Skołyszewski, and then, from 1955 to 1958, with Artur Malawski and Stanisław Wiechowicz at the Academy of Music in Kraków. In 1958, he began lecturing in composition at his alma mater, and in 1972 he became a professor there and also served as its rector until 1987. He also lectured as an assistant professor in Essen at the Folkwang-Hochschule (1966-68) and at Yale University in New Haven (1973-78).

His many awards attest to his broad activities both as a composer and pedagogue. In 1959, Penderecki won the first, second and third prizes at the Competition of Young Composers of the Polish Composers' Union (works were submitted anonymously): for his Strofy / Strophes for soprano, voice (reciting) and ten instruments (1959), Emanacje / Emanations for two string orchestras (1958-59) and for his Psalmy Dawida / Psalms of David for mixed choir, stringed instruments and percussion (1958). In 1961, his Tren "Ofiarom Hiroszimy" / Threnody "for the Victims of Hiroshima" for 52 strings (1959-61) received an award at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. He received Prix Italia twice - in 1972 for his work Passio et mors Domini Nostri Jesu Christi secundum Lucam for three solo voices, speaker, three mixed choirs, boys' choir and orchestra (1963-66), and in 1968 for his Dies irae Oratorium ob memoriam in perniciei castris in Oswiecim necatorum inexstinguibilem reddendam for three solo voices, mixed choir and orchestra (1967). In addition, Penderecki received the following awards: the first state prize (1968, 1983); the award of the Polish Composers' Union (1970); the Gottfried von Herder Award from the W.v.s. Foundation in Hamburg (1977); the Jean Sibelius Award from the Wilhouri Foundation in Helsinki (1983); Premio Lorenzo Magnifico, Florence (1985); the award of the Karl Wolff Foundation (Israel, 1987); a Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (USA) for his Cello Concerto No. 2, with Mstislav Rostropovich (1988); Grawemeyer Award of the University of Louisville (1992); and the award of the UNESCO International Music Council (1993).

He was granted an honorary doctorate from the universities of Rochester, Bordeaux, Leuven, Washington, Belgrade, Madrid, Poznań, Warsaw, Buenos Aires, Glasgow, Krakow, Pittsburgh, Luzern, New Haven, Saint Petersburg, Leipzig, Seul. He was an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien in Stockholm, Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Académie Nationale des Sciences, Belles-lettres et Arts in Bordeaux, and the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Academia Scientiarium et Artium Europaea in Salzburg, Institut for Advanced Study University, Bloomington, The Kościuszko Foundation in New York, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, Academy for Performing Arts in Hong-Kong. In 1990, he received a German state award, Great Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Das Grosse Verdienstkreuz des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland); in 1993, he received an award for his service to culture from the Principality of Monaco; and in 1994, the Austrian honorary medal "For Academic and Artistic Achievement". In 1993, he was awarded an important Polish state award, the Commander's Cross with the star of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

After his debut as a conductor in 1973 with the London Symphony Orchestra, he appeared with symphony orchestras of Europe and the United States. He was the first guest conductor to appear with the Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Hamburg. In 1995, he directed the Sinfonia Varsovia during its U.S. tour.

In 1997, he published a book titled "Labirynt czasu: Pięć wykładów na koniec wieku" / "The Labyrinth of Time: Five Lectures for the End of the Century" (Warsaw: Presspublica, 1997).

Electronic music
  • Psalmus 1961, electronic music (1961)
  • Brygada śmierci / Brigade of Death, electronic music for a radio play (1963)
See also

Poland#Electroacoustic music