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In memoriam: Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020)

Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki died this Sunday at the age of 86.

Artistic director, founder and violinist David Harrington writes: “With his Quartetto per archi (1960), Krzysztof Penderecki took one of the boldest steps ever taken in our genre. It’s an encyclopedia of sound effects, a bursting new alphabet, and, in this six minute piece, Penderecki set music on a refreshingly bold course. He wrote many other amazing works but his first string quartet created a whole new world. A giant tree in the forest of music has fallen.”

Kronos Quartet with composer Krzysztof Penderecki in Krakow, Poland, at the 2012 Sacrum Profanum Festival.
Kronos Quartet (including cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, 2005–2013) with composer Krzysztof Penderecki in Krakow, Poland, at the 2012 Sacrum Profanum Festival
Header photo: publicity photo of Kronos Quartet (including Jennifer Culp, 1999–2005) performing Penderecki’s “Quartetto per archi” as part of Visual Music, circa 2003
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