In 1966, he completed St Luke Passion, which brought him worldwide fame. His compositions from the 1970s and the 1980s (Te Deum, Polish Requiem), became a symbol of freedom in art.
He has received numerous awards in Poland and abroad, including the prestigious Grammy award (1988, 1999, 2001, 2013, 2017). He has received honorary doctorates from dozens of universities and art schools, and is an honorary member of many artistic and scientific academies. He received high state and foreign awards, including the Order of the White Eagle. In the 1970s, he stood behind the conductor’s pulpit. He conducts leading symphony orchestras in the United States and Europe.
He has written over 150 compositions, including 20 chamber pieces, 18 solo compositions, 25 concert pieces, 27 orchestral compositions, 7 symphonies, 21 songs and choral works, 25 cantata-oratorio works and 4 operas. He co-authored over 120 scores for animated films, puppet theatres, drama theatre, television theatre, as well as feature films and documentaries.
Krzysztof Penderecki initiated the creation of the European Music Centre in Lusławice, an international campus dedicated to young artist.