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Penderecki mesmerises Doha audience.

Krzysztof Penderecki is one of the most awarded composers of his generation.

By Umer Nangiana

The most-awarded musician of his time, Krzysztof Penderecki mesmerised the local audience with his Adagio from Third Symphony and Concerto for Flute and Chamber as he took centre stage at Opera House, Katara Cultural Village with Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) recently.

In the more than 2-hour long musical extravaganza, the maestro captured the audience with Adagio before going on to conduct Orchestra (1992), Andante, Piu animato, Allegro con brio and vivo, besides the Concerto for flute and chamber. With him on flute was Lukasz Dlugosz.

The Penderecki performance.

After the intermission, the night ended with Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 in G Major and other melodies.

Born on November 23, 1933 in D?bica in Poland, Penderecki received violin and piano tuition at a very early age and entered the Conservatoire in Krakow when he was 18. In the history of 20th century music, his career stands out for his fast rise to the top, matched by none other, with the possible exception of Strawi?ski.

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 ME-nster Cathedral in 1966.

Polish-born flutist Lukasz Dlugosz also performed at the concerto.

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 September 11, 2001.

Extensive political-social associations can also be found in his 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.

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 the 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.

Polish-born flutist Lukasz Dlugosz performs as a soloist in Europe, Japan, China and the USA. He has played with famous conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Jacek Kaspszyk, Mariss Jansons, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Helmuth Rilling, Jerzy Maksymiuk and Gabriel Chmura besides Krzysztof Penderecki.

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Feb 29, 2016
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