At the end of the 18th century, Polish classical music evolved into national forms like the polonaise. In the 19th century the most popular composers were: Józef Elsner and his pupils Fryderyk Chopin and Ignacy Dobrzyński. Important opera composers were Karol Kurpiński and Stanisław Moniuszko. Famous soloists and composers were Henryk Wieniawski and Juliusz Zarębski. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the most promiment composers were Władysław Zeleński and Mieczysław Karłowicz. Karol Szymanowski gained prominence prior to World War II. Józef Koffler was the first Polish twelve-tone composer (dodecaphonist).
Between the wars, a group of composers formed the Association of Young Polish Musicians; these included Grażyna Bacewicz, Zygmunt Mycielski, Michał Spisak and Tadeusz Szeligowski.
Following World War II, some composers, such as Roman Palester and Andrzej Panufnik, fled the country and remained in the exile. In the early 1960s, however, a number of composers known as the Polish Composers' School arose, characterized by the use of sonorism and dodecaphonism. The style emerged out of the political crisis in 1956, following Stalin's death; that same year saw the Warsaw Autumn music festival inaugurated, from whence came additional popularity for the Polish Composers' School. Composers included Tadeusz Baird, Boguslaw Schaeffer, Włodzimierz Kotoński, Witold Szalonek, Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutosławski, Wojciech Kilar, Kazimierz Serocki and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. More modern composers include Krzysztof Meyer, Paweł Szymański, Krzesimir Dębski, Hanna Kulenty, Eugeniusz Knapik and Paweł Mykietyn.
For a more complete and scholarly study of the following Polish musicians, be sure to visit the University of Southern California's Polish Music Center's web site.
The Warszynski Trio (Tatiana Warszynski, violin, Amy Nicholson, cello, Mikolaj Warszynski, piano) was founded to commission and play Canadian and international works for piano trio. Over the years the trio members have commissioned, premièred and/or given performances of works by a host of Canadian and foreign composers.
They have presented those works at the Edmonton and Saskatchewan New Music Festivals as well as at frequent recital appearances. Recent commissions include new pieces from Scott Godin (Montréal), George Andrix, Thom Golub, Piotr Grella-Mozejko and Jacek Sobieraj (all from Edmonton). The three musicians released their first CD - ‘Devil’s dance’ - devoted to Canadian New Music, in the Summer of 2007.