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His Music Made This Scene Terrifying

Krzysztof Penderecki has died at 86
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 29, 2020 3:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Krzysztof Penderecki, an award-winning conductor and one of the world’s most popular contemporary classical music composers whose works have featured in Hollywood films like The Shining and Shutter Island died Sunday. He was 86. In a statement emailed to the AP, the Ludwig van Beethoven Association said Penderecki had a "long and serious illness." He died at his Krakow home, the association said. The statement called Penderecki a "Great Pole, an outstanding creator and a humanist" who was one of the world's best appreciated Polish composers. The association was founded by Penderecki's wife, Elzbieta Penderecka, and the communique was signed by its head, Andrzej Giza.

Penderecki was best known for his monumental compositions for orchestra and choir, like St. Luke Passion and Seven Gates of Jerusalem, though his range was much wider. Rock fans know him from his work with Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. A violinist and a committed educator, he built a music center across the road from his home in southern Poland, where young virtuosos have the chance to learn from and play with world-famous masters. Culture Minister Piotr Glinski tweeted that "Poland's culture has suffered a huge and irreparable loss," and that Penderecki was the nation's “most outstanding contemporary composer whose music could be heard around the globe, from Japan to the United States." Glinski added that Pendercki was "a warm and good person."

(Read more obituary stories.)

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