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date: 12 November 2019

Penderecki, Krzysztof (opera)locked

  • Adrian Thomas

Extract

(b Debica, Nov 23, 1933). Polish composer. He was one of the first composers from his country to develop a distinctive profile after the decade of near-isolation after World War II.

Penderecki studied composition privately with Franciszek Skolyszewski and then (1955–8) with Artur Malawski and Stanisław Wiechowicz at the Kraków Conservatory. He himself later taught there and was appointed rector in 1972. His reputation was established in 1959 when he won three first prizes in a national competition. In the early 1960s Penderecki seemed to personify the Polish avant garde, with his brutist instrumental sonorities. His reputation quickly spread abroad, notably through performances of such works as Anaklasis (1960), Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (1960) and the St Luke Passion (1963–6). For a work of such complexity, this last won an exceptionally wide audience and led, with other successful compositions to numerous commissions from both Europe and the USA. He taught composition in Essen, ...

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