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the Kilar Award ceremony

Special guests: Elliot Goldenthal, Krzysztof Penderecki



Krzysztof Penderecki — Three Pieces in Baroque Style
Elliot Goldenthal — Concerto for Trumpet and Strings [dedicated to Tadeusz Kościuszko, world premier]
Michael Nyman — The Piano for Strings


Krzysztof Penderecki — Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima for 52 Strings
Krzysztof Penderecki — Symphony No.  2,  I-II Moderato — Allegretto
Krzysztof Penderecki — Polymorphia for 48 strings
Krzysztof Penderecki — Symphony No. 3, IV Passacaglia — Allegro Moderato

Tine Thing Helseth — trumpet
National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Dirk Brossé — conductor

For a long time, film music was not treated seriously by the philharmonic-academic community. Created for the need of images and often subordinated to them, it long struggled for a place in concert halls and in university curricula, where it has been included only very recently.  Yet it is true that such giants of contemporary classical music as Philip Glass, Wojciech Kilar, Leonard Bernstein, and Michael Nyman have written scores for films. It is indeed Michael Nyman, fairly recently proclaimed laureate of the 4th Wojciech Kilar Award, will be a guest of the inaugural concert during which he will receive a statuette from the Mayors of Krakow and Katowice and will play a piano part in the suite from The Piano, perhaps the most recognisable of Nyman’s soundtracks. During the concert, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra will also perform the orchestral arrangement of String Quartet No. 3 – an autonomous composition but at the same time closely linked to his film thread. For the Quartet No. 3 is designed as a chain of variations on the theme of Out of the Ruins, Nyman’s hypnotising  and beautiful  soundtrack for a BBC documentary  on the earthquake in Armenia in 1988.

The real gem of this part of the concert will be the world premiere of the latest composition by Elliot Goldenthal – the first laureate of the Wojciech Kilar Award, and Academy Award winner for his soundtrack for Frida. This composition is exceptional in many respects. Its emergence is a direct result of an unusually strong bond which the composer developed with Krakow and Poland in the course of his previous three visits to the Film Music Festival in Krakow. It is the expression of his willingness to pay homage not only to Polish culture but also to many years of good relations between Poland and the United States. The Concert for trumpet and string orchestra – a composition for which Goldenthal, trumpeter by profession, as he says,  has waited his entire life – was inspired by the personage of Tadeusz Kościuszko, a figure of utmost importance in the history of both Poland and the United States. It is a particular accent in the hundredth anniversary of regaining independence by Poland.

The second part of the concert will include compositions by Krzysztof Penderecki. Autonomous compositions frequently used by the most prominent film and television directors. Compositions marking the directions for the development of sonorism will be presented combined with film clips. We will listen to Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, recently used to create a dense atmosphere in the newest season of cult series Twin Peaks by David Lynch, while earlier it sounded in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and in Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men. In The Shining, Kubrick also used a later composition corresponding with the Threnody, i.e.  Polimorphia for 42 string instruments being a musical transcript of encephalograms, that is graphs illustrating the activity of brain waves generated while listening to several Penderecki’s early-avant-garde compositions. Fairly recently we could hear in Demon, the last film of a director Marcin Wrona. In any case, Polimorphia has been fairly popular among filmmakers; apart from The Shining and Demon we can also find it in such films as Lynch’s Inland Empire Weir’s Fearless, and inFriedkin’s The Exorcist. The programme of this part of the concert will be supplemented by fragments of two symphonies from the ‘new synthesis’ stylistic period: the first part of Moderato from Symphony No. 2 (Christmas Symphony) used by Andrzej Wajda in his film Katyn, and the fourth part of the Symphony No. 3 Passacaglia — Allegro Moderato based on a bass ostinato composed in seven years, so characteristically used by Martin Scorsese in the film Shutter Island. This part can also be heard in Katyn as well as in Pablo Larraín’s Neruda.

The concert is a part of the celebrations of the 85th birthday of K. Penderecki, organised by the City of Krakow.


Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki
special guest
Elliot Goldenthal
Elliot Goldenthal
special guest
Tine Thing Helseth
Tine Thing Helseth
The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Dirk Brossé
Dirk Brossé