Krzysztof Penderecki

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Penderecki, Krzysztof

(kshĭsh`tôf pändĕrĕts`kē), 1933–2020, Polish composer. His music is characterized by unusual sonorities, and he devised his own system of notation to convey the effects he desired. His early works were in the avant-garde tradition, but after decades in which he produced a large body of works, he turned toward a distinctive kind of neo-romanticism. Penderecki's works include several symphonies, the Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (1960), a concerto for five-stringed violin (1967–68), operas including The Devils of Loudun (1969), Utrenja [morning prayer] (1970), the St. Luke Passion (1963–66), the choral Seventh Symphony (Seven Gates of Jerusalem, 1996), and the choral Polish Requiem (first written 1980s, expanded 1993, 2005). He is also known for his modernist film scores for William Friedkin's The Exorcist (1973), Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980), and David Lynch's Wild at Heart (1990), and his music has influenced a number of rock musicians. From 1972 to 1987 he was rector of the Kraków conservatory, and he long served as conductor of the Kraków Symphony.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Penderecki, Krzysztof


Born Nov. 23, 1933, in Deębica. Polish composer and leading representative of the Polish avant-garde.

Penderecki teaches composition at the State Higher School of Music in Kraków, where he has been principal since 1972, and at the conservatory in Essen (Federal Republic of Germany). He experiments in sound coloring. His quest for nonmusical means of expressiveness has led him to attach great importance to rhythmic declamation; his work with “speaking choruses” emphasizes articulation, dynamics, and timbres. Penderecki makes use of sound effects and stresses percussion, especially in jazz compositions. In 1959 he began composing religious music that is tinged with “Catholic humanism” and draws upon elements of Gregorian chant. His compositions include The Psalms of David (for mixed choir and percussion; 1958), Anaklasis (for percussion and strings; 1960), Canon (for orchestra and tape recorder; 1962), The Passion According to St. Luke (1966), The Devils of Loudun (based on A. Huxley’s work; 1969), The Eighth Eclogue of Horace (for vocal ensemble; 1972), and music for films and the dramatic theater.


Lisicki, K. Szkice o Krzysztofie Pendereckim. Warsaw, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Krzysztof Penderecki's 801'1 birthday in November, 2013 was marked with a celebratory concert featuring four of his most distinguished compositions.
An ensemble of no less than 68 musicians will perform under the baton of maestro Krzysztof Penderecki, a noted Polish conductor and composer whose "Saint Luke Passion" played at Baalbeck in 1971.
Among the highlights for this year's programme are the opening gala titled Chopin Bicentennial Celebration, which will be performed by The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, under the guidance of composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki. It will feature Chopin virtuoso pianist Krzysztof Jablonski.
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Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Amadeus Choir, Elmer Iseler Singers, Toronto Children's Chorus Krzysztof Penderecki: Credo (Toronto premiere) and New Work (world premiere)
While Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti aimed for the high notes in the Opera House, and Polish maestro Krzysztof Penderecki conducted the premiere of his Fifth Symphony over in the Orchestra Hall, Mexican juggler Arturo Alegria faced an equally tough job just across the plaza, under the tent of the Big Apple Circus.
He inspired and premiered over 100 pieces and formed long-standing artistic partnerships withsuch prominent composers asDmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, Henri Dutilleux, Witold Lutosawski, Olivier Messiaen, Luciano Berio, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Norbert Moret, Andreas Makris and Benjamin Britten.
Krzysztof Penderecki is one of the musicians among his own generation to have received the most awards.
She also points out that Kubrick used music to do the opposite as well, giving the audience access to the troubling sublime and purposefully increasing their unease, as in his use of music by Krzysztof Penderecki in The Shining.
The festival will present a first in Turkey on its closing night when the Side Festival Orchestra, an 82-member ensemble of musicians from around the world and Turkey, takes to the stage under the baton of Grammy Award-winning Polish conductor-composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The Side Festival Orchestra is Turkey's first-ever festival orchestra, named after and formed for a particular festival.
Dowd said his own defining moment as a percussionist came in 2001, when the Oregon Bach Festival's recording of the Credo by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki - a work the festival had commissioned - won the Grammy for best choral performance.