Committee of Ministers Chairmanship – Poland : November 2004 – May 2005 

Krzysztof Penderecki né à Debica, Pologne du sud, en 1933, étudie la composition musicale avec Franciszek Skolyszewski, puis à l'Ecole supérieure de musique de Cracovie avec Artur Malawski et Stanislaw Wiechowicz. Il a été salué comme l'un des plus grand compositeur contemporain dès la création de Strophes en 1959 au festival «L'Automne de Varsovie». Sa musique est riche d'effets sonores, l’écriture est efficace et simplifiée. Une part essentielle de son inspiration est d’essence religieuse et catholique. En 1960, sa pièce Anaklasis, pour 42 instruments à cordes, est créée par l'Orchestre du Südwestfunk. Puis, Dimensions de temps et de silence, Thrène (Prix de l'Unesco 1961), Polymorphia et Fluorescences, le Quatuor à cordes n° 1, Dies Irae à la mémoire des victimes d'Auschwitz (Prix Italia 1968) et Stabat Mater pour trois chœurs mixtes a cappella et enfin la Passion selon saint Luc (Grand Prix d'Art du Land de Nordrhein-Westfalen 1966 et Prix Italia 1967), valent à Penderecki son renom international.

Krzysztof Penderecki, who was born in Debica, in southern Poland, in 1933, was first taught composition by Franciszek Skolyszewski, before attending Cracow's Higher College of Music, where his teachers were Artur Malawski and Stanislaw Wiechowicz. It was when Strophes was premiered at the Warsaw Autumn Festival of 1959 that he began to be regarded as one of the major contemporary composers. His music, featuring a wealth of unusual sound effects, is effectively and simply composed. His work is very much inspired by his Catholic faith. The Südwestfunk Orchestra gave the first performance of his Anaklasis, for 42 string instruments, in 1960. His international reputation was assured by subsequent works including Dimensions of Time and Silence, Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (UNESCO prize, 1961), Polymorphia and Fluorescences, the String Quartet No 1, Dies Irae in memory of the victims of Auschwitz (Prix Italia, 1968) and Stabat Mater for three mixed a cappella choirs, and, lastly, his St Luke Passion (which won a prize for great art awarded by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1966, as well as the Prix Italia in 1967).