Krzysztof Eugeniusz Penderecki

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Krzysztof Eugeniusz Penderecki

Birthplace: Dębica, Poland
Immediate Family:

Son of Tadeusz Penderecki and Zofia Penderecki
Husband of Private
Ex-husband of Private
Father of Private; Private and Private
Brother of Private and Private

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Krzysztof Eugeniusz Penderecki

Krzysztof Eugeniusz Penderecki ( born 23 November 1933) is a Polish composer and conductor. The Guardian has called him Poland's greatest living composer. Among his best known works are his Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, St. Luke Passion, Polish Requiem, Anaklasis, four operas, eight symphonies and other orchestral pieces, a variety of instrumental concertos, choral settings of mainly religious texts, as well as chamber and instrumental works.

Born in Dębica to a lawyer, Penderecki studied music at Jagiellonian University and the Academy of Music in Kraków. After graduating from the Academy of Music, Penderecki became a teacher at the academy and he began his career as a composer in 1959 during the Warsaw Autumn festival. His Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima for string orchestra and the choral work St. Luke Passion, have received popular acclaim. His first opera, The Devils of Loudun, was not immediately successful. Beginning in the mid-1970s, Penderecki's composing style changed, with his first violin concerto focusing on the semitone and the tritone. His choral work Polish Requiem was written in the 1980s, with Penderecki expanding it in 1993 and 2005.

During his life, Penderecki has won several prestigious awards, including the Commander's Cross in 1964, the Prix Italia in 1967 and 1968, the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta in 1964, three Grammy Awards in 1987, 1998 and 2001, and the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition in 1992.

Penderecki has three children, a daughter from his first marriage by his pianist first wife, and a son and daughter with his current wife, Elżbieta Penderecka (née Solecka), whom he married in He lives in the Kraków suburb of Wola Justowska. He is working on an opera based on Phèdre by Racine for 2014 and wishes to write a 9th symphony.

Honors and awards

  • 2014: Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, 1st Class
  • 2013: Grammy for The Best Classical Compendium
  • 2011: Viadrina Prize (Viadrina European University, Frankfurt)
  • 2009: Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; Merit of Armenia
  • 2008: Polish Academy Award for Best Film Score for Katyn; Commander of the Order of the Three Stars (Latvia)
  • 2005: Order of the White Eagle (Poland)
  • 2004: Praemium Imperiale – Music (Japan)
  • 2003: Grand Gold Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria;[20] Preis der Europäischen Kirchenmusik (Germany); Freedom of Dębica; Eduardo M. Torner Medal of the Conservatorio de Musica del Principado Asturias in Oviedo, Spain; honorary director of the Choir of the Prince of Asturias Foundation; Honorary President of the Apayo a la Creación Musical
  • 2002: State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia; Romano Guardini Prize
  • 2001: Prince of Asturias Award for Art; Honorary Member of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts;
  • 2000: Cannes Classical Award as "Living Composer of the Year"; honorary member of the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna; Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
  • 1999: Music Prize of the City of Duisburg
  • 1998: Composition Prize for the Promotion of the European economy; Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters; corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, Munich; Honorary Board of the Vilnius Festival '99
  • 1996: Primetime Emmy Award of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
  • 1995: Member of the Royal Irish Academy of Music (Dublin); honorary citizen of Strasbourg; Primetime Emmy Award of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; Herder Prize
  • 1993: Distinguished Citizen Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study at Indiana University, Bloomington; Prize of the International Music Council / UNESCO for Music; Cultural Merit of the Principality of Monaco
  • 1992: University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for Adagio – 4 Symphony; Austrian Medal for Science and Art
  • 1990: Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany; Chevalier de Saint Georges
  • 1987: Wolf Prize in Music
  • 1985: Premio Lorenzo Magnifico;
  • 1983: Wihuri Sibelius Prize (Finland); Polish National Award
  • 1977: Prix Arthur Honegger for Magnificat
  • 1977: Herder Prize
  • 1968: Prix Italia for the Dies Irae in memory of the victims of Auschwitz
  • 1967: Prix Italia for the St. Luke Passion; Sibelius Gold Medal
  • 1966: Grand Art Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia for St. Luke Passion;
  • 1961: Prize of the UNESCO International Tribune of Composers in Paris for Threnody;
  • 1959: 2nd Competition for Young Polish Composers in Warsaw organised by the Composers' Union – Penderecki was awarded the top three prizes for the works he anonymously submitted: Stanzas, Emanations, and Psalms of David.

Penderecki is honorary doctor and honorary professor of several universities: Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., University of Glasgow, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw, Seoul National University, Universities of Rochester, Bordeaux, Leuven, Belgrade, Madrid, Poznan and St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota), Duquesne University, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, University of Pittsburgh (PA), University of St. Petersburg, Beijing Conservatory, Yale University and Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster (Westphalia) (2006 Faculty of Arts).

He is an Honorary Member of the following academies and music companies: Royal Academy of Music (London), Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), Royal Swedish Academy of Music (Stockholm), Academy of Arts (London), Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires), the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna, Academy of Arts in Berlin, Académie Internationale de Philosophie et de l’Art in Bern, and the Académie Nationale des Sciences, Belles-lettres et Arts in Bordeaux.

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Krzysztof Eugeniusz Penderecki's Timeline

November 23, 1933