Renowned Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki has passed away this morning in Krakow at the age of 86, according to radio station Radio Krakow, citing family sources.
“With Professor Krzysztof Penderecki’s departure, Polish culture has suffered an irreparable loss,” Stanislaw Krawczynski, rector of the Krakow Academy of Music where Penderecki had worked for long years, told the station.
Born on November 23, 1933 in Debica, Penderecki became world famous in 1960 with ‘Treno to the victims of Hiroshima’. The work, written for 52 string instruments, earned the Polish musician the UNESCO Prize and was followed by another series of hits such as’ Anaklasis’, ‘Polymorphia’, ‘Psalmus’ and’ Stabat Mater ‘and’ The passion according to Saint lucas’.
At the end of the same decade, Penderecki wrote his first opera, ‘Demons of Loudun’ which premiered at the Hamburg Opera in 1969. Three years later, Penderecki made his directorial debut and since then conducted the most important orchestras in the world, such as one of the most representative characters of world avant-garde music.
In 1998 Penderecki became an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
In February 1999 he received two prestigious Grammy Awards: for Best Contemporary Composition (Second Concerto for Violin) and a recording of this Concert with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the London Symphony Orchestra under his baton.
In 2001, Penderecki was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts.
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