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(b. 1927, Czechowice-Dziedzice)

Biography List of Works


Witold Szalonek was born on 2nd March 1927 in Czechowice-Dziedzice. In 1949-56 he studied at the State Higher School of Music in Katowice, piano with Wanda Chmielowska and composition with Bolesław Woytowicz. Following his first successes at international composers' competitions, he received a grant from Kranichsteiner Musikinstitut in Darmstadt (1960). In 1962-63 he continued his studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. In 1967 he began to teach composition at the Katowice School and in 1970-74 was in charge of the Department of Composition and Theory. In the early 1970s he was invited by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst to work as 'artist in residence' at West Berlin's Hochschule der Kunste. In 1973 he won the competition to succed Boris Blacher as Professor of Composition there. He has conducted numerous seminars and courses in composition in Poland, Denmark, Germany, Finland and Slovakia. In 1990 he received an honorary doctor's degree from the Wilhelmian University in Munchen. He also won the annual award of the Polish Composers' Union (1994).

Szalonek's diverse output includes choral, solo, chamber and orchestral works. They have been featured in major new music festivals such as the International Summer Courses in Dramstadt, ISCM World Music Days, Warsaw Autumn, Time of Music in Viitasaari, Gulbenkian Music Festival in Lisbon, Inventionen in Berlin, Alternatives in Moscow and Contrasts in Kiev. In 1963 Szlonek discovered and classified the so-called 'combined sounds' generated by the woodwind instruments. He is also the author of theoretical studies on a wide range of subjects, including 'combined sounds', sonorism, Chopin and Debussy.


Orchestral Works

Pastorale , for orchestra - 1955

Suita Polifoniczna - 1955

Nokturn , for harp and string orchestra - 1955

Satyra Symfoniczna - 1956

Polyphonic Suite for string orchestra - 1956

Confessions for mixed choir and orchestra - 1959

Concertino for flute and chamber orchestra - 1962

Les Sons for symphonic ensemble - 1965

Mutazioni for chamber orchestra - 1966

Little B-A-C-H Ssymphony for piano and symphony orchestra - 1981

Hautbois mon amour for oboe solo, 2 harps, timpani and string orchestra - 1999

Vocal-Instrumental Music

Kurpie suite, for alto and 9 instruments- 1955

Confessions , for speaker chorus and orchestra - 1959

O pleasant earth , for voice and orchestra - 1969

Instruments Works

Sonata, for Sello and Piano - 1958

Quattro monologhi, for oboe solo - 1966

Propozinioni, for flute, viola and harp - -1967

Mutanza, for piano - 1968

Improvisations sonoristiques, for clarinet, trombone, cello and piano - 1968

5 Little Pieces, for flute and othet instrument - 1969

Aarhus Music, for wind quintet - 1970

Propozioni II, for flute, violoncello and harp - 1970

Three Sketches, for harp - 1972

Connections, for 10 instruments - 1972

Propozioni III, for violino, violoncello and panipforte - 1977

Piernikiana , for tuba - 1977

Take the Game..., for 6 percussionist - 1981

Five Ghoulish Dreams, for alto saxophone - 1985

Inside?-Outside?, for bass clarinet and string quartet - 1987

Toccata e corale, for organo - 1988

Toccata e corale, version for piano - 1990

Elegia on the Death of Friend , for clarinet and piano - 1989

Invocazioni, for due chitarre - 1992

Medusa Dreams of Pegasus, for horn and recorder - 1997

Sept epigrammes modernes according to G.Hoffnung, for saxophone quartet - 1993

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Copyright 1999-2001 by the Polish Music Center
Send your comments and inquiries
Based on materials from the program book of the Warsaw Autumn Festival,
Encyklopedia Muzyki (Warsaw: PWN, 1995)
and PMRC Archives.
Edited in July 2000 by Błażej Wajszczuk. Updated on 28 June 2001.