Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, whose work could be heard in films like The Shining and The Exorcist, died at his home on March 29 in Kraków after “a long and serious illness.” He was 86.
According to THR, his death is not related to COVID-19 although his care giver was diagnosed with the virus — Penderecki is said to have tested negative. The death of the Primetime Emmy and multiple Grammy Award-winning composer was confirmed by The Ludwig Von Beethoven Association in Poland.
Penderecki will be remembered as “a Great Pole, an eminent artist, humanist, one of the world’s best known and most acclaimed Polish composers” by the association co-founded by his wife, Elzbieta Penderecka. He has been hailed as one of the most popular contemporary and classic music composers, as well as simply “A warm and good person,” by Piotr Glinski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
“Polish culture has suffered a great and irreparable loss today,” Glinski wrote in Polish via Twitter on Sunday. “Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki, the greatest Polish contemporary composer, whose music was listened from Japan to the United States, passed away after a long illness.” He added, “Drawing on the rich heritage of Polish culture, it gave it a universal dimension. A warm and good person. I offer my sincere condolences to his relatives.”
Penderecki was also remembered by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, with whom he collaborated with on the 2012 album 48 Responses to Polymorphia.
“What sad news to wake to. Penderecki was the greatest – a fiercely creative composer, and a gentle, warm-hearted man,” Greenwood shared via Twitter on Sunday. “My condolences to his family, and to Poland on this huge loss to the musical world.”
Penderecki is survived by his second wife Elzbieta, daughters Beata and Dominika, and son Lukasz.
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