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(b. 1914, Dąbrowa Górnicza - d. 1965, Paris)

Biography List of Works


Michał Spisak was born on 14 September, 1914 at Dąbrowa Górnicza and died on 29 January, 1965 in Paris. He studied at the Katowice Conservatory, where in 1937 he received a diploma with honors in a violin and composition. He continued his studies in composition under Kazimierz Sikorski in Warsaw (1935-37). In 1937 he went to Paris, where he studied with Nadia Boulanger; he remained in France until his death, while maintaining constant contact with his native country. In 1937 he became vice-president of the Association of Young Polish Musicians in Paris. In Poland he had appeared as a violinist, but from 1937 he gave his attention exclusively to composition. His compositions have been performed in the whole world.

Michał Spisak is the holder of numerous prizes and distinctions: twice the Lili Boulanger Prize (1945, 1946); Premier Grand Prix at the Queen Elizabeth of Belgium International Composers Competition for Serenade for orchestra (Brussels, 1953) and Premier Grand Prix at the same competition for Concerto giocoso for chamber orchestra (1957); Grand Prix at the International Competition for the Official Olympic Anthem (Monaco, 1955); Premier Prix at the Henryk Wieniawski International Composers Competition for Improvisazione for violin and piano (Poznań, 1962). In 1964 the Union of Polish Composers in Warsaw awarded Michał Spisak their annual prize for his whole creative output.


Orchestral Works

Serenade - 1939

Aubade for small orchestra - 1943

Suite for string orchestra - 1945

Toccata - 1947

Symphony Concertante No. 1 - 1947

Divertissement (Musique legere no.1) - 1950

Ballet "Melos" - 1951

Symphony Concertante No. 2 - 1956

Concerto Giocoso for chamber orchestra - 1957

Allegro de Voiron - 1957 (after work of 1943)

Works for Solo Instruments and Orchestra

Clarinet Concertino - 1940-41

Bassoon Concerto - 1944

Piano Concerto - 1947

Divertimento for 2 pianos and orchestra - 1950

Sonata for violin and orchestra - 1950

Trombone Concertino - 1951

Andante et Allegro for violin and string orchestra - 1954

Chamber Music

Quartet for oboe, 2 clarinets and bassoon - 1938

Concerto for 2 pianos - 1942

Sonatine for oboe, clarinet and bassoon - 1947

Sonate for violin and piano - 1946

Wind Quintet - 1948

Duetto Concertante for viola and bassoon - 1949

Musique Legere No. 2 for 2 violins, cello, double bass and piano - 1951

Three Preludes for soprano and flute - 1953

String Quartet No. 1 - 1953

Suite for 2 violins - 1958

Suite for 2 violas - 1959

Works for Solo Instruments and Piano

Two Caprices for violin and piano - 1937

Concertino for clarinet and piano - 1940-41

Humoresque for piano - 1943

Suite for piano - 1943

Concerto for bassoon and piano - 1944

Sonata for violin and orchestra (reduction for violin and piano) - 1950

Concertino for trombone and piano - 1951

Andante et Allegro for violin and piano - 1954

Improvisazione for violin and piano - 1962

Works for Unaccompanied Choir or Choir and Orchestra

Two Psalms for mixed choir and orchestra - 1938

Anthem for mixed choir and orchestra - 1947

Christmas Mass for unaccompanied choir - 1953

Olimpic Anthem (Pindar) for mixed choir and orchestra - 1955

Pedrek Wyrzutek, cantata for boy's soprano, bass, reciter and boys' and men's choir - 1962

Didactic Works

Five Studies for string orchestra - 1948

Studies for violin ensembles - 1949-50

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Edited and updated in July 2000 by Ewa Grzegrzulka. Updated on 28 June 2001.