USC Monogram Polish Music Center Books



(b. 1913, Siebiez, Russia)

Biography List of Works


Witold Rudziński was born on 4 March 1913 at Siebiez (Russia). He studied composition at the Mieczysław Karlowicz Conservatory of Music in Vilnius under Tadeusz Szeligowski and piano under Stanisław Szpinalski. He continued his studies in composition in Paris under Nadia Boulanger and Charles Koechlin, and also in the Gregorian Institute (1938-39). In addition Rudziński graduated in Slavonic philology from the Stefan Batory University in Vilnius (1936). In the years 1939-42 he was in charge of the theory class at the Vilnius Conservatory of Music. Since the war he has been active in the field of Polish misical life, occupying the positions of: professor at the Conservatory Music in Lodz (1945-47), director of the State School for Cultivating the Love of Music (attached to the Folk Music Institute in Łódź), music editor of the Publishing Cooperative "Czytenik" (1945-52), member of the State Publishing Council (1946), director of the Music Department in the Ministry of Culture and Art (1947-48), Artistic Director of the State Philharmonic Society and of the Warsaw Opera (1948-49), chief editor of the periodical "Music" (1950-56), chairman of the Polish Composers' Union (1951-52), as well as that of its Warsaw Section (1962-68 and again 1977-1981). In adition to composition he was engaged in teaching, musicography, writing articles for music magazines and popularizing music. He was the head of Doctoral Studies at the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw.

Witold Rudziński is the author of several books published by PWM, such as a didactic work How to Listen to Music (1947), a popular work of an encyclopaedic nature, Music for Everyone (1st ed.-1948, 2nd ed.-1966), books What Is Opera (1st ed.-1955, 2nd ed.-1960), Composer's Technique of Bela Bartok (1964), About Music in the Company of a Loud-Speaker (1975), and his magnum opus, a treatise Musical Rhythm. He also wrote a two-volume comprehensive biography of Moniuszko (vol.1-1955, vol.2-1961). Its popular version was published in 1954 in the series Short Music Monographs (5th ed.-1978). In the series Pocket Operatic Library appeard Rudziński's studies of Halka (1954, 1972) and The Haunted Manor (1956). The composer's publication on the subject of Moniuszko include also a number of articles published in music and literary periodicals.

Witold Rudziński received several prizes and state awards, such as the Prize at the Second Festival of Polish Music for his Quintet for Flute and Strings (1954), the Medal of the Tenth Anniversary of the Polish People's Republic (1955), the Officer's and Commander's Cross of the Order of Poland's Revival (1955 and 1960 respectively) for his contribution in the field of culture and art, the Award of the Third Degree of the Minister of Culture and Art for his composer's activity in the domain of operas (1963). He also won the First Special Mention at the Prince Pierre de Monaco Competition for his opera The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys (1963), First Prize at the Hommage a Grieg Competition of the Music Society "Harmonien" at Bergen for his Pictures from the Holy Cross Mountains (1965) and the Award of Merit for his activities as organizer of cultural activities (1979).


Orchestral Works and Concertos

Piano Concerto - 1936 (2nd revision 1947)

Divertimento for string orchestra - 1940

Symphony No. 2 - 1943

Baltic Overture - 1948

Musique Concertante for piano and chamber orchestra - 1958

Parades suite - 1958

Moniuszkiana symphonic suite - 1965

Pictures from the Holy Cross Mountains after Stefan Żeromski's novel "The Ashes" - 1965
  • The Hounds Rushed into the Forest
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Intermezzo
  • A Sleigh Ride

Conerto Grosso , per batteria sola e due orchestre - 1970 (revised 1965)

The Mountaineers' Overture - 1970

Works for Solo Voices, Choir and Orchestra or Instrumental Ensemble

Songs from Kurpie for small orchestra and 2-part mixed choir or solo voices - 1947
  • Oh, my Lord !
  • Hurry up, my Girl !
  • On Saint Adalbert Day
  • The Lark is Singing
  • The Maiden Drove the Cattle
  • Near Warsaw on the Oak
  • If I Had Not Married
  • On a Settee, on a Green One

A Peasant's Lot cantata for soprano, tenor, bass, mixed choir and orchestra - 1952

The Roof of the World for reciting voice and symphony orchestra - 1960

Gaude Mater Polonia, oratorio for reciting voice, soprano, alto, tenor, mixed choir and orchestra - 1966

Lipce, oratorio for choir and orchestra to the lyrical fragments from Wladyslaw Reymont's novel "The Peasants" - 1968

Works for Solo Voice with Piano or Instrumental Ensemble

Ballad of Janosik, for voice with piano - 1941

A Lyrical Guide to Warsaw, a cycle of songs for voice and piano - 1953

Deux Portraits Des Femmes, for soprano and strind quartet - 1960

To the Citizen John Brown, concertino for female voice and chamber ensemble - 1972

Wherever the Earth is Asleep , songs for voice and piano - 1975

Two Songs, for vice and piano to the words by C.K. Norwid - 1976-77
  • How...(from A Dorio ad Phrygium) - 1976
  • In Vain ! (from a letter to Joanna Kuczynska) - 1977

Singing Courtyard (the Woodpecker and the Pine), 20 songs for children for voice and piano - 1978

Works for Mixed Choir

Five Years , war poem for 4-part unaccompanied mixed choir - 1945

Seven Folk Songs for 3-part unaccompanied mixed choir in easy arrangement - 1945
  • Young Johny Was Going
  • In the Green Coppice (Canon)
  • Green Rue - Herb
  • Good Evening, my Girl
  • The Sycamore Is Growing
  • The Rye Crop
  • Under the Green Oak

Ballad of Janosik , for mixed choir and small orchestra - 1954

Mazovia , motet for mixed and piano - 1964

Chamber Music

Canzonetta, for flute, oboe and piano - 1940

String Quartet No. 2 - 1943

Sonata for viola and piano - 1946

Nonet - 1947

Quintet for flute, 2 violins, viola and cello - 1954

Musica Profana for flute, clarinet, trumpet and strings - 1960

Preludes for chamber ensemble - 1967

Burlesque per clarinetto e pianoforte - 1969

Polonaise - Rapsodie per violoncello e pianoforte - 1969

Sonata Pastorale for violin and piano - 1978

Capriccio-Impromptu - Hommage a Bizet for violin and piano - 1980

Solo Works

Polish Suite , for piano - 1948
  • The Cracow Bugle Call
  • Kujawiak
  • Dance from Kurpie
  • Cracovienne

Variations and Fugue for percussion solo - 1966

Largo, Aria e Toccata per arpa sola - 1968

The Mountaineers' Fantasia for guitar - 1970

Proverbia Latina for clvichord - 1974

Quasi Una Sonata for piano - 1975

Duo Concertante per batteria - 1976

Sonata for harpsichord - 1977

Stage Works

Janko the Fiddler , opera in 3 acts for 2 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, mixed choir and orchestra - 1951

The Commander of Paris, opera in 3 acts (6 scenes) for soprano, mezzo-soprano,5 tenors, 4 baritones, bass, mixed choir and orchestra - 1957

The Soldier's Song, from the 1st scene of The Commander of Paris for voice and piano`

The Dismissal of the Grecian Envoys, opera in 1 act for soprano, dramatic soprano, 5 tenors, 3 baritones, bass-baritone, bass, mixed choir and orchestra - 1962

Shulamite, opera in 1 act (5 scenes) for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, mixed choir, ballet and orchestra - 1964

The Yellow Nightcap, musical comedy in 3 acts for 2 sopranos, 3 tenors, 2 baritones, 2 basses, mixed choir, ballet and orchestra - 1969`

The Peasants, opera in 4 acts for 5 sopranos, 3 altos, 4 tenors, 2 baritones, 2 basses, mixed choir, enlarged symphony orchestra and ballet - 1972

The Rose and the Ring, children's opera for solo voices, mixed choir and orchestra - 1982

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Based on materials from PWM Brochure.
Edited in July 2000 by Ewa Grzegrzulka. Updated on 28 June 2001.