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Krzysztof Penderecki

Krzysztof Penderecki

Country of origin: Poland
Birthday: November 23, 1933
Date of death: March 29, 2020

About Krzysztof Penderecki

I have spent decades searching for and discovering new sounds. At the same time, I have closely studied the forms, styles and harmonies of past eras. I have continued to adhere to both principles … my current creative output is a synthesis. (Krzysztof Penderecki)

Krzysztof Penderecki was born on 23 November 1933 in Dębica (Poland). He received violin and piano tuition at a very early age and entered the Conservatoire in Krakow when he was 18. From 1954, he studied composition with Artur Malewski and Stanislas Wiechowicz at the Krakow Academy of Music where he was subsequently appointed as professor in 1958. One year later, Penderecki won all three available prizes at the II Warsaw Competition for Young Composers. With the first performance of Anaklasis for 42 string instruments at the Donaueschingen Festival in 1960, he became part of the international avant-garde. Penderecki gained a reputation with a wider public with the premiere of the St Luke Passion in Münster Cathedral in 1966. The Polish composer taught at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen from 1966 to 1968. His first opera The Devils of Loudon based on a book by Aldous Huxley received its premiere at the Hamburg State Opera House in 1969. In 1972, Penderecki was appointed as rector of the State Academy of Music in Krakow and also taught at Yale University in the USA from 1973 to 1978. Penderecki gained an international reputation as the conductor of both his own compositions and other works.

Penderecki composed several of his works in remembrance of catastrophes in the 20th century. Threnos for 52 string instruments, composed in 1960, is dedicated to the victims of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and the piano concerto Resurrection was composed as a reaction to the terror attacks of 11 September 2001. For Penderecki, these associations in content are not merely an abstract concept, but also in their instrumental tonal colouring and dramatic sounds emotionally comprehensible for listeners. Extensive political-social associations can also be found in the Polish Requiem which he began in 1980 with the composition of the Lacrimosa which is dedicated to Lech Walesa. The composer dedicated other movements of this work to the Polish victims of Auschwitz and the Warsaw uprising in 1944. This was supplemented by the Ciaccona in memoriam Johannes Paul II in 2005 which commemorated the Polish Pope.

Numerous compositions from a variety of genres originated from direct cooperation with outstanding soloists including Anne-Sophie Mutter (2nd violin concerto Metamorphosen, among others), Mstislav Rostropovitch (Concerto per violoncello ed orchestra no. 2) and Boris Pergamenschikow (Concerto grosso). The composer’s interest was focused on large-scale musical forms, in particular the symphony. Penderecki’s 7th symphony Seven Gates of Jerusalem received its first performance in 1997 demands the forces of five vocal soloists, narrator, three choirs and large orchestra. This work with a duration of just over an hour was composed under the title within the context of the 3000-year anniversary of the city. The Old Testament texts of the vocal parts have a close association with Jerusalem’s turbulent history. Entitled Lieder der Vergänglichkeit, his 8th symphony for soloists, choir and large orchestra sets text of German romantic poems related to trees and the woods to music. The work had been commissioned on occasion of the grand opening of the Philharmonie Luxembourg in 2005. After his seventh and eighth contributions to the symphony genre, Penderecki finished his 6th Symphony with the subtitle "Chinese Songs" for the world premiere in Guangzhou in 2017.

Penderecki is one of the musicians among his own generation to have received the most awards: in 1966 he received the Grand Art Prize from the federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia, in 1967 the Prix Italia and the Sibelius Gold Medal and in 1970 the prize from the Polish Composers’ Association. He also received the Prix Arthur Honegger (1977), the Sibelius Prize of the Wihuri Foundation, the National Prize of Poland (both in 1983), the Premio Lorenzo il Magnifico (1985), the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition (1992), the Prize of the International Music Council/UNESCO (1993) and the Music Prize of the city of Duisburg (1999), the Cannes Award as "Living Composer of the Year" (2000), the Romano Guardini Prize of the Catholic Academy in Bavaria (2002) and the Praemium Imperiale (2004). Since 1990 he has been holder of the Grand Cross for Distinguished Services of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and Chevalier de Saint Georges. In 1995, he became a member of the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin and in 1998 a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In 2006, he was made Commander of the Three Star Order in Riga, Latvia and is a member of the Order of the White Eagle in Poland. Krzysztof Penderecki is honorary doctor and honorary professor of numerous international universities.

Worklist

Chronology

1933
Geboren am 23. November in Dębica (Polen)
1958
Diplomabschluss an der Krakauer Musikhochschule; übernimmt eine Professur an der Musikhochschule
1959
1., 2. und 3. Preis des II. Wettbewerbs Junger Polnischer Komponisten des Polnischen Komponistenverbandes für die Werke "Strophen", "Emanationen" und "Aus den Psalmen Davids"
1961
Preis der UNESCO für "Threnos"
1962
1. Preis eines Komponistenwettbewerbs in Krakau für "Kanon"
1966
Uraufführung der "Lukas-Passion" in Münster
1966
Großer Kunstpreis des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen für "Lukas-Passion"
1966-68
Dozent an der Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen
1967
Prix Italia für "Lukas-Passion"
1967
Sibelius Gold Medal
1968
Stipendiat des Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienstes in Berlin
1968
Prix Italia für "Dies Irae"
1970
Preis des Polnischen Komponistenverbandes
1972-87
Rektor der Musikhochschule in Krakau
1973
Uraufführung der 1. Sinfonie in Peterborough (GB)
1973-78
Professur an der Yale University, New Haven
1977
Gottfried-von-Herder-Preis der Stiftung F.v.S. zu Hamburg
1977
Prix Arthur Honegger für "Magnificat"
1981
Médaille de la Ville de Paris
1983
Sibelius Prize of the Wihuri Foundation
1983
Polnischer Staatspreis
1985
Premio Lorenzo il Magnífico
1986
Stefania Niekrasz Medal
1987
Karl-Wolf-Preis (Kunstpreis der Israelischen Wolf-Stiftung)
1988
Grammy Award für das "Concerto per violoncello ed orchestra no. 2"
1988
Principal Guest Conductor beim NDR-Sinfonieorchester Hamburg
1989
Manuel de Falla Goldmedaille der Academia de Bellas Artes, Granada
1990
Großes Verdienstkreuz des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
1990
Chevalier de Saint Georges
1991
Goldmedaille des Denkmalschutzes Warschau für den Wiederaufbau von Lusławice
1991
Der Asteroid 1991 GR10 wird nach Krzysztof Penderecki benannt und heißt fortan "21059 Penderecki"
1992
Österreichisches Ehrenzeichen für Wissenschaft und Kunst
1992
University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition für "Adagio · 4. Sinfonie für großes Orchester"
1992-2001
Musikalischer Direktor des Casals Festivals in Puerto Rico
1993
Distinguished Citizen Fellowship des Institute for Advanced Study at Indiana University Bloomington
1993
Preis des internationalen Musikrates/UNESCO
1993
Träger des kulturellen Verdienstordens des Fürstentums Monaco
1994-95
Primetime Emmy Award of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
1995
Ehrenbürger der Stadt Strasbourg
1995
Uraufführung von "Metamorphosen – Concerto per violino ed orchestra no. 2" in Leipzig
1995-96
Primetime Emmy Award of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
1997
Uraufführung von "Seven Gates of Jerusalem" in Jerusalem
1997
Crystal Award des Weltwirtschaftsforums Davos
1997
Schirmherr der Festspiele Europäische Wochen Passau
1997
Ehrenprofessor des Moskauer Tschaikowsky-Konservatoriums
1997
Künstlerischer Berater des Beijing Music Festivals
1998
Foreign Honorary Member der American Academy of Arts and Letters
1998
Korrespondierendes Mitglied der Bayerischen Akademie der Schönen Künste, München
1998
Preis für Komposition der Fördergemeinschaft der Europäischen Wirtschaft, verliehen am 10. September anlässlich des Penderecki-Festivals in Krakau
1998
Ehren-Professor des Beijing Konservatoriums
1998
Orden des Grande Duke Gediminas, Vilnius
1998
Business Centre Club Special Award, Warschau
1998
"Four Hundred Years of Warsaw's Municipality" Medal
1999
Grammy Award für "Metamorphosen"
1999
AFIM Indie Award für "Credo" bei Hänssler
1999
Musikpreis der Stadt Duisburg in Verbindung mit der Köhler-Osbahr-Stiftung
1999
Honorary Board des Vilnius Festival
2000
Uraufführung "Sextett" in Wien
2000
Cannes Classical Award als "Living Composer of the Year"
2000
Ordine al Merito della Republica Italiana
2000
Ehrenstaatsbürger von Puerto Rico
2001
Prinz-von-Asturien-Preis in der Sparte Künste
2001
Grammy Award "Best Choral Composition" für "Credo"
2002
Romano Guardini Preis der Katholischen Akademie in Bayern
2002
Staatspreis des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen
2003
Ehrenbürger der Stadt Dębica, Polen
2003
Ehrendirektor des Chors der Prinz-von-Asturien-Stiftung
2003
Eduardo M. Torner-Medaille des Conservatorio Superior de Música del Principado de Asturias, Oviedo
2003
Ehrenpräsident der Asociación Cultural Apoyo a la Creación Musical, Oviedo
2004
Praemium Imperiale
2005
Uraufführung der 8. Sinfonie "Lieder der Vergänglichkeit" in Luxembourg
2005
Order of the White Eagle
2006
Commander of the Three Star Order, Riga
2008
Ehrenprofessor des Komitas State Conservatory Yerevan
2008
Goldmedaille des armenischen Kulturministeriums
2008
Polnischer Filmpreis Orzeł für die Musik zum Film "Das Massaker von Katyn"
2009
Ehrenorden der Republik Armenien für Verdienste um die armenisch-polnischen Beziehungen und musikalische Leistungen
2011
Super Wiktor Award der polnischen Wiktory TV Academy
2012
Lifetime Achievement Award der International Classical Music Awards
2012
Viadrina-Preis der Europa-Universität Frankfurt (Oder)
2012
Glocal Hero Award des Transatlantyk Film & Music Festival Poznan für Elzbieta und Krzysztof Penderecki
2013
Auszeichnung "Paszport Polityk" der polnischen Zeitschrift Polityka, gemeinsam mit seiner Frau
2013
Ehrenbürger der Stadt Krakau
2014
Goldene Medaille der Stadt Jerewan
2014
Ehrenmitglied der Komponistenunion Armeniens
2014
Diamond Laurel of Abilities and Competence der Stadt Zabrze
2014
Ehrenmitglied des Musikvereins Graz
2014
Orden des Marienland-Kreuzes 1. Klasse der Republik Estland
2015
Ehrenpräsident des Polnischen Komponistenverbandes
2015
Per Artem ad Deum-Medaille des Päpstlichen Kulturrats
2017
Erazm und Anna Jerzmanowski-Preis der Polnischen Akademie der Künste und Wissenschaften
2017
Koryfeusz Award für CD "Penderecki conducts Penderecki"
2018
Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
2019
Lifetime Achievement Award der World Soundtrack Awards beim Film Fest Gent
2020

Penderecki stirbt am 29.03.

________

Ehrendoktorwürden: Universitäten von Rochester, Bordeaux, Leuwen, Belgrad, Madrid, Poznań, Luzern, Leipzig, St. Petersburg, Yale, Seoul, St. Olaf College Northfield/MN, Georgetown University Washington D.C., Duquesne University Pittsburgh, Academy of Music in Odessa, u.a.

Ehrenmitgliedschaften: Royal Academy of Music (London), Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rom), Kungl. Musikaliska Akademien (Stockholm), Akademie der Künste (Berlin), Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires), Académie Internationale de Philosophie de l’Art (Bern), Académie Nationale des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts (Bordeaux), Academia Scientiarum et Artium Europaea (Salzburg), Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Irish Academy of Music (Dublin), American Academy of Arts and Letters, Kosciuszko Foundation (New York), Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Wien), Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, u.a.

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