Krzysztof Eugeniusz Penderecki (Polish: [ˈkʂɨʂtɔf ɛuˈɡɛɲuʂ pɛndɛˈrɛt͡skʲi]; born 23 November 1933) is a Polish composer and conductor. According to The Guardian, Penderecki has been called Poland's greatest living composer. Among his best known works are his Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, St. Luke Passion, Polish Requiem, 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.
Krzysztof Penderecki: "The Dream of Jacob" (1974). Penderecki found as his source of inspiration a quote from Genesis 28:16, "And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not."
One of the best orchestral pieces of the second half of the 20th century: Threnody for the victims of Hiroshima by the polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. This terrific piece, which won the 3rd prize at the Grzegorz Fitelberg composing competition of Katowice, is a musical illustration of all the horror of the bomb and of war generally.
Krzysztof Penderecki lives in the Kraków suburb of Wola Justowska. He is working on an opera based on Phèdre by Racine for 2014 and wishes to write a 9th symphony.
In 1980, Penderecki was commissioned by Solidarity to compose a piece to accompany the unveiling of a statue at the Gdańsk shipyards to commemorate those killed in anti-government riots there in 1970. Penderecki responded with Lacrimosa, which he later expanded into one of the best known works of his later period, the Polish Requiem (1980–84, 1993, 2005).
Kraków to honour composer Penderecki 15.02.2018 10:30 Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, who turns 85 later this year, will be honoured in Kraków, a city with which he has forged close bonds throughout his career. Krzysztof Penderecki. Photo: Wikimedia CommonsKrzysztof Penderecki. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The city's council, the Kraków Festival Bureau and the Sinfonietta Cracovia have unveiled a programme of special events in tribute to the composer.
Highlights include four concerts featuring a selection of his major works performed by leading Polish and foreign orchestras and soloists.
On 18 July, Penderecki’s St Luke's Passion will be performed by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Kent Nagano, with Sarah Wegener, Lucas Meachem and Matthew Rose as the soloists, and two Polish choirs.
On 24 November, a day after the composer’s birthday, the Słowacki Theatre will be the venue of a gala concert under the motto ‘Vienna and Berlin in tribute to Penderecki’, featuring the Sinfonietta Cracovia and Austrian and German soloists.
Special events are also planned at Kraków’s Music Academy, which this year celebrates its 130th anniversary and hopes that Penderecki, its former rector, will write a piece to grace the occasion.
Penderecki’s vast output includes symphonic and chamber music, concertos, large-scale vocal-instrumental works and operas.
His long list of honours, distinctions, medals and honorary doctorates testifies to his position as one of the greatest living composers. He has received the Order of the White Eagle, the highest Polish state distinction, State Prizes of Germany, Austria, France and Monaco, and several Grammy awards. (mk/vb)