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Two Famous Polish Artists: Major figures in two contrasting musical genres

Witold Lutosławski

The month of October is Polish-American Heritage month, therefore we would like to take the time to highlight two famous Polish artist- Marek Grechuta and Witold Lutosławski. We would like to reach our listeners who enjoy contemporary and classical music, so we hope that you all can enjoy this program. 

Marek Grechuta

Marek Grechuta was a Polish singer, songwriter, composer, and lyricist. Just at the end of World War II, Marek was born in Zamość (10 December 1945). He began to learn to play the piano at the age of seven. After moving to Krakow, he studied architecture at the Technical University. of Krakow. The first decent success came with the performance on Festiwal Piosenki Studenckiej in 1967. Marek Grechuta took the second place in this contest behind a then young student from Warszawa -  Maryla Rodowicz. The final of the contest was broadcast live on the television what enabled the young architecture student to be seen by the whole Poland. The next important event for Marek Grechuta was partaking in FAMA Festival where the young artist won the first prize. Marek Grechuta suddenly died the age of 60 (though it wasn't a secret that he'd been ill for a long time) died on 09 October 2006. He is buried at the Alei Zasłużonych Rakowickiego cemetery in Krakow. For outstanding contributions to Polish culture and the achievements in art, he was posthumously awarded by President Lech Kaczynski, the Commander's Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland. In 2010 a special commemorative coin was planned in his remembrance. 

Witold Lutosławski

Among Poland's most outstanding composers, as well as a leading figure in the realm of the music of the twentieth century. He was a great authority, a patriot, an educator of many generations of musicians and listeners. He was also a model of modesty, a highly cultured individual, someone who demanded much of himself and others. Witold Lutosławski born in Warsaw 25/01/1913 died in Warsaw 7/02/1994.  He studied piano since the age of 6, with Helena Hoffman then with Józef Smidowicz after 1924, and with A. Taube. He studied violin with Lidia Kmitowa from 1926 to 1932. Private lessons in theory and composition with Witold Maliszewski began in 1928 and his first work, completed in 1930, was performed two years later at a Warsaw Conservatory concert:  Taniec Chimery / Dance of the Chimera for piano. He also studied mathematics from 1931 to 1933, at the University of Warsaw. He continued in Maliszewski's composition class at the Conservatory after graduating in 1932, and studied piano with Jerzy Lefeld, receiving diplomas in piano performance in 1936 and in the composition in 1937 (for  Requiem for soprano, mixed choir and orchestra). 

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