USC Monogram Polish Music Center Books



(5 Sept. 1924, Lwów [now L'viv, Ukraine] - 27 Sept. 2009, Kraków)

Biography List of Works In Her Words Manuscripts


Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar was born in Lwów (now Lviv, Ukraine) on 5 September 1924. After the Second World War she settled in Kraków, where she studied composition with Stanisław Wiechowicz and piano with Jan Hoffman at the city's State Higher School of Music (now Music Academy). She is a prize-winner of numerous competitions, including the Young Composers' Competition of the Polish Composers' Union (1954, for Oberek from the Suite of Polish Dances), the International Competition for Women Composers in Mannheim (1961 for Hexaedre and 1966 for Exodus), the International Competition for Women Composers in Buenos Aires (1962 - First Prize and Gold Medal for Music for Strings), and Karol Szymanowski Composers' Competition (1974 - Second Prize for Polish Madonnas. She is a Professor at the Music Academy in Kraków, where she served as Rector in 1987-93. Her honours include the Award of the Polish Composers' Union, the Award of the Minister of Culture and Art (five times), the Award of Merit for National Culture, the Prime Minister's Award, an Honoris Causa doctorate from the Music Academy in Kraków, and the City of Kraków Award.

On Saturday, 27 September 2009, Ms. Moszumańska-Nazar passed away after a long illness. She was writing music until the last moments of her life.


There are two types of chords that I have favored in all of my music: one of them is a juxtaposition of two minor thirds, the second is built from two superimposed fourths, a perfect fourth and a tritone. I like shifting these harmonies around, but do not write them out in tables or pre-compositional systems. [...] In creating one has to be an egoist, one has to express oneself. [Moszumańska-Nazar, unpublished interview with Trochimczyk, 1995]

I cannot name and define one concrete emotion which is experienced while composing music. Composing is a sum of various experiences: imagination, knowledge, it all comes into play while a piece is being formed, created. There are formal schemas that might be used or rejected, there is the emotional flow and the structuring of the tensions following the outline of a sinusoid, with greater or smaller peaks at certain points in the piece. In order for the form to be proper, the dramatic climax should be located at the point of the golden division (that is about two thirds into the course of the work) - then the form is properly structured in time. Composing requires relying on experiences, searching for best results, listening to the music. [...] In the process of composing, the most important role is played by the creative imagination. Music is different because different people, different composers have different compositional talents. Everyone has a different sense of beauty and every composer creates his or her own sound world, reflecting their own experiences, thoughts and emotions. One could almost say that the character of a person "shines through" the music: one person is emotional, another one is rational, etc. [Moszumańska-Nazar, unpublished interview with Trochimczyk, 1995]


  • Bagatele, for piano (1971). Manuscript score in black ink with red, green, and blue marks and annotations. Written in a small music book with blue cover (a standard Polish music-notebook), 22 pages.

  • Un petit cadeau, for flute, cello and percussion, dedicated to Krzysztof Penderecki for his 60th birthday. ( Manuscript score in black ink, withannotations in yellow and red marker, 7 pages, music paper of 18 staves.


    Chamber Music

    3 Miniatures, per clarinetto e pianoforte - 1957

    5 Duets, for flute and clarinet - 1959

    Music for Strings,for violins, viola, cellos - 1962

    Interpretations, for flute, magnetic tape and percussion - 1967

    Quartetto per Archi - 1973

    Variazioni Concertanti for flute - 1965

    Variazioni Concertanti for piano and percussion - 1979

    Orchestral Music

    Concertino, for piano and orchestra - 1954

    Overture No.1 - 1954

    Overture No.2 - 1956

    Allegro Symphonique - 1957

    For Symphonic Essays - 1958

    Hexaedre, for orchestra - 1960

    Pour Orchestre - 1969

    Intonations for 2 mixed choirs and symphony orchestra - 1968

    Bel Canto for soprano, celesta and percusion - 1972

    Polish Madonnas, poem for mixed choir and orchestra - 1974

    Challenge, for baritone and chamber ensemble - 1977

    Concerto, for orchestra - 1986

    Sinfonietta, for orchestra - 1986

    Fresk II, for orchestra - 1991

    Music for Solo Instruments

    Variations, for piano - 1949

    Suite of Polish Dances, for piano - 1954

    Sonatina per pianoforte - 1957

    Three Concerts Studies, for percussion solo - 1969

    Bagattele, per pianoforte - 1971

    Constelations, for piano - 1972

    From End to End, for percussion - 1976

    Canzona for violin - 1988

    Music for Five for percussion - 1990

    3 Mouvements for double bass - 1990

    Recitativo for viola - 1990

    PMC Home Page Composers

    Copyright 1999-2009 by the Polish Music Center
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    Based on materials from the program book of the Warsaw Autumn Festival,
    an obituary from the Polish Music Information Centre in Warsaw,
    and an entry in the PWM Encyclopedia of Music.
    Edited in July 2000 by Błażej Wajszczuk. Updated on 28 June 2001; 2 June 2009 by Krysta Close.