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born November 23, 1933 in Dębica) is a Polish composer and conductor. His 1960 avant-garde Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima for string orchestra brought him to international attention, and this success was followed by acclaim for his choral St. Luke Passion. Both these works exhibit novel compositional techniques. Since the 1970s Penderecki's style has changed to encompass a post-Romantic idiom.
He has won prestigious awards including Grammy Awards in 1987 and 1998 and 2001, and the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition in 1992.
As well as the works already mentioned, his compositions include four operas, eight symphonies and other orchestral pieces, a variety of instrumental concertos, choral settings of mainly religious texts, as well as chamber and instrumental works.
Threnody to the victims of Hiroshima
Penderecki: "Dimensions of Time and Silence"
More About the Composer: Krzysztof Penerecki
One of today’s foremost contempory compsers, Krzysztof Penderecki studied at the Kraków Conservatory under Artur Malawski and Stanisław Wiechowicz and graduated in 1958. He was then appointed as a professor at the Conservatory, and in 1972 he became its rector. In 1959, Penderecki composed one of the best known and most often performed compositions, Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (UNESCO Prize). This piece was followed by a series of successes: in 1960 at the Donaueschinger Musikage with Anaklasis, the following year with Polymorphia, and Psalm, and in 1966 with Luke’s Passion, the first major work of his career. The piece was commissioned by the West German Radio in Cologne to celebrate the 700 anniversary of the Munster Cathedral, where the piece was performed on March 30, 1966. On this day, Penderecki was reborn—the performance marked a turning point in his career, making him the most acclaimed composer since Igor Stravinsky.
In 1988, Pendercki receive a Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Artists for his Concerto for Cello No. 2, M. Rostropovich as soloist, and recorded by ERATO. The following year, Krzysztof Penderecki received two Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition , (Violin Concert No. 2 – “Metamorphosen”: performed by Anne Sophie Mutter) and for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (the same piece under the composer’s baton). On 23 January 2000, Krzysztof Penderecki received the “Best Living Composer” award at the Midem Classic in Cannes and in October 2000 an honorary doctorate from the University of Luzern. In the same year, Pendercki’s Sonata for Violin and Piano was performed by Anne Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis at the Barbican in London and the Sextet, commissioned by the Musikverein was first performed at the Musikverein in Vienna by Mstislav Rostropovich, Yuri Bashmet, Julian Rachlin, Dmitry Alexeev, Radovan Vlatkovic and Paul Meyer.
In 2005 Krzysztof Penderecki was awarded the Order of the White Eagle — Poland's highest decoration — and in 2006 he received the Three Star Order in Latvia. He has received honorary doctorates and professionships from numerous universities, such as Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., the University of Glasgow, the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Universities of Rochester, Bordeaux, Leuwen, Belgrade, Madrid, Warsaw, and Poznań, as well as honorary memberships from the Royal Academy of Music (London), the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), the Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien (Stockholm), the Akademie der Künste (Berlin), the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires), and many others.
In 2011, the National Audiovisual Institute project of concerts by Krzysztof Penderecki , Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) and Aphex Twin, which took place during the European Congress of Culture in Wrocław won the Coryphaeus of Polish Music Award in the Event of the Year category.
In February 2013,an album with Krzysztof Penderecki's works "Fonogrammi", "Horn Concerto", "Partita", "The Awakening of Jacob", "Anaklasis" and "De Natura Sonoris", recorded for Naxis by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra under Antoni Wit, received the Grammy Award in the "Best Classical Compendium" category.
Krzysztof Penderecki is perhaps best know to audiences outside the concert hall for the way his music has been used in horror films, from "The Exorcist" and "The Shining" to David Lynch's "Inland Empire." Perderecki's early works explored the recreation of electronic sounds by the orchestra and were a perfect fit for film makers looking to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. The nineties saw Pendercki's concert works appropriated in David Lynch's Wild at Heart, Peter Weir's Fearless, and Jan de Bont's Twister; followed by Children of Men, Katyń, and Shutter Island, and used again by David Lynch in Inland Empire.
Anne-Sophie Mutter on Krzysztof Penderecki:
"The great Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki is, in the complexity of his musical development, equal to Picasso. Few composers have demonstrated so many different sides and, at the same time so many contradictions."
Source: Program acquired at A Celebration of Pendercki's 80th birthday
University of Rochester
April 14, 2013,
Europejskiego Centrum Muzyki Krzysztofa Pendereckiego
European Krzysztof Penderecki Center for Music
Construction works on the European Krzysztof Penderecki Center for Music started on the 10th of August 2011in Lusławice, Poland. The project has been co-funded by the European Union with the finances of the European Regional Development Fund, part of the operational programme Infrastructure and Environment, Małopolska Voivodeship and The Krzysztof Penderecki Academy Association – International Centre of Music, Ballet and Sport.
According to the initial project on the National Strategic Reference Frameworks passed by the European Commission on the 7th of May 2007, the operational scheme Infrastructure and Environment has become one of the strategic plans that are the basic tools to achieve the previously outlined aims with the financial means of the European Consolidation Board of the European Fund of Regional Development. The main objectives of the programme include improving and modernising the infrastructure of culture as well as protecting the cultural heritage of European and global importance. Special attention has been paid to an enhanced access to education in the field of the arts, which comprises extending and improving the quality of the didactic offer through providing an up-to-date base of workshops run according to the highest standards.
Lusławice is becoming a centre for music education spreading over the area of about 10 thousand square metres and with the capacity of over 70 thousand cubic metres. It will include a 650-seat concert hall and rooms for didactic use (rehearsal rooms, studios, a library, a recording studio), technical purposes and accommodation. Thanks to the European Krzysztof Penderecki Center for Music Lusławice will soon become the musical pride of the region. Click here to visit their website.
Portion of the musical score for Krzysztof Penderecki's
Threnody to the victims of Hiroshima