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Polish Music


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Author Topic: Polish Music  (Read 3976 times)
jowcol
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« on: September 02, 2012, 05:20:50 pm »

Koscielec 1909 by Wojciech Kilar


Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Jerzy Maksymiuk, conductor

Radio broadcast, date unknown

From the collection of Karl Miller

The radio intro here describes a LOT about the work.



Wikipedia Bio


Biography
Wojciech Kilar is one of Poland’s esteemed composers. Born in 1932 in Lwów (now a city in Ukraine, it was part of Poland at the time). [1] His father was a gynecologist and his mother was a theater actress. Kilar has spent most of his life since 1948 in the city of Katowice in Southern Poland,[2] married (from April 1966 to November 2007) to Barbara Pomianowska, a pianist.[3] Kilar was 22 years old when he met 18 year old Barbara, his future wife.[4]

Education

Kilar studied at some of Poland's finest music academies, including the State Higher School of Music in Katowice, under the composer and pianist Władysława Markiewiczówna, graduating with top honors in 1955. He continued his post-graduate studies at the State Higher School of Music in Kraków from 1955 to 1958 under composer and pianist Bolesław Woytowicz. In 1957 he participated in the International New Music Summer Course in Darmstadt. Kilar expanded on his musical education in Paris in 1959-60, when a scholarship from the French government allowed him to study composition under Nadia Boulanger[5].

Music career
 Wojciech Kilar belonged (together with Boleslaw Szabelski, his student Henryk Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki) to the Polish Avant-garde music movement of the Sixties. In 1977 Kilar was one of the founding members of the Karol Szymanowski Society, based in the mountain town of Zakopane. Kilar chaired the Katowice chapter of the Association of Polish Composers for many years and from 1979-81 was vice chair of this association's national board. He was also a member of the Repertoire Committee for the "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music. In 1991 Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi made a biographical film about the composer titled Wojciech Kilar.

Having received critical success as a classical composer, Kilar scored his first domestic film in 1959, and has since gone on to write music from some of Poland's most acclaimed directors, including Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, Kazimierz Kutz and Andrzej Wajda. He worked on over 100 titles in his home country, including internationally recognised titles such as Bilans Kwartalny (1975), Spirala (1978), Constans (1980), Imperativ (1982), Rok Spokojnego Slonca (1984), and Zycie za Zycie (1991), plus several others in France and across other parts of Europe. He made his English-language debut with Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Dracula. His other English language features — Roman Polanski's trio Death and the Maiden (1994), The Ninth Gate (1999) and The Pianist (2002), and Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady (1996) — were typified by his trademark grinding basses and cellos, deeply romantic themes and minimalist chord progressions.

In addition to his film work, Kilar continues to write and publish purely classical works, which have included a horn sonata, a piece for a wind quintet, several pieces for chamber orchestra and choir, the acclaimed Baltic Canticles, the epic Exodus (famous as the trailer music from Schindler's List), a Concerto for Piano and Orchestra dedicated to Peter Jablonski, and his major work, the “September Symphony” (2003).[6]

Having abandoned Avant-garde music technical means almost entirely, he continues to employ a simplified musical language, in which sizable masses of sound serve as a backdrop for highlighted melodies. This occurs in those compositions that reference folk music (especially Polish Highlander Gorals folk melodies) and in patriotic and religious pieces.

Awards

Wojciech Kilar has received numerous awards for his artistic activity and achievements, including prizes from the Lili Boulanger Foundation in Boston (1960), the Minister of Culture and Art (1967, 1975), the Association of Polish Composers (1975), the Katowice province (1971, 1976, 1980), and the city of Katowice (1975, 1992).[7] He has also been awarded the First Class Award of Merit of the Polish Republic (1980), the Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation Prize in New York City (1984), the Solidarity Independent Trade Union Cultural Committee Arts Award (1989), the Wojciech Korfanty Prize (1995), the "Lux ex Silesia" Prize bestowed by the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Katowice (1995), and the Sonderpreis des Kulturpreis Schlesien des Landes Niedersachsen (1996).

Kilar's film scores have also won him many honors. He received the best score award for the music to Ziemia obiecana / The Promised Land (dir. Andrzej Wajda) at the Festival of Polish Films in Gdansk in 1975. This was followed by the Prix Louis Delluc, which Kilar was awarded in 1980 for the music to an animated film titled Le Roi et l'Oiseau / The King and the Mockingbird, (dir. Paul Grimault). One year later he collected an award at the Cork International Film Festival for the music to Papież Jan Pawel II / Pope John Paul II / Da un paese lontano: Papa Giovanni Paulo II (dir. Krzysztof Zanussi).

Perhaps his greatest success came with his score to Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, for which Kilar received the ASCAP Award 1992 from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Producers in Los Angeles and the prize for best score in a horror film in San Francisco in 1992. The Polish State Cinema Committee honored Kilar with a lifetime achievement award in 1991, while in 1976 he was decorated with the Cavaliers' Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. In November 2008 Kilar was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.



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