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Classical Composers A-Z: Krystof Penderecki

Peter Wintersgill presents a portrait of the Polish composer Krystof Penderecki.

Born
23rd November, 1933, in Debica, Poland.

Adult Life
He was taught by Malawski at Krakow Conservatoire from 1955-58, and later taught there himself. Later still he taught at the Yale School of Music.

Some of his best-known works are the Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima for 52 strings (1960), and the St. Luke Passion (1966), which combines styles both old and new. It was an immediate success.

He is a great innovator, being the first composer to introduce such strange effects as the sawing of wood, the rustling of paper and the sound of typewriters. He also obtains effects from conventional instruments by unconventional means.

Other works include two string quartets, a cello concerto, an opera The Devils of Loundun (1970) and Psalms for Tape (1961).

He is still alive.

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