Born Feb. 22, 1814, in Przysucha, Kielce Województwo; died June 3, 1890, in Krakow. Polish ethnologist and composer; founder of Polish folklore studies.
Kolberg studied in Warsaw under J. Eisner and the composer, pianist, and conductor I. Dobrzynski and completed his training in Berlin. He collected and studied a vast body of material on Polish folk poetry, culture, and everyday life and wrote adaptations of folk melodies and dances for piano. Kolberg published the collections Folksongs Arranged for Singing with a piano accompaniment (parts 1–2, 1842) and Songs of the Polish People (1857). Of considerable scholarly importance are his multivolume studies People, Their Customs, Way of Life, Language, Tales, Proverbs, Rituals, Beliefs, Amusements, Songs, Music, and Dances (vols. 1–23, 1865–90) and Ethnographic Pictures (1882; 11 volumes appeared during his lifetime). He wrote music for the theater (Janek From Ojców and The Shepherd’s King), dances, fantasias and études for piano, art songs, and adaptations of folk songs. Kolberg published several articles on Polish folk music, folk instruments, and Slavic music in Polish periodicals and in the General Encyclopedia.
WORKSDzieta wszystkie, vols. 1–66. Wroclaw, 1961–69.
REFERENCESKopernicki, I. Oskar Kolberg. Krakow, 1889.
Lam, S. Oskar Kolberg. Lvov, 1914.
Górski, R. Oskar Kolberg. [Warsaw, 1970.]