Famous Polish Composers

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 1 
Frédéric Chopin
(Polish Composer and Virtuoso Pianist of the Romantic Period)
Frédéric Chopin
8
Birthdate: March 1, 1810
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Żelazowa Wola, Poland
Died: October 17, 1849

Romantic Era virtuoso pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin, nicknamed The Poet of the Piano, is remembered as the inventor of the instrumental ballade. The legendary composer mostly created solo piano masterpieces but also experimented with piano concertos and chamber pieces. He was influenced by Bach, Mozart, and Polish folk music.

 2 
Władysław Szpilman
(Pianist Widely Known as the Central Figure in the 2002 'Roman Polanski' Film 'The Pianist')
Władysław Szpilman
4
Birthdate: December 5, 1911
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sosnowiec, Poland
Died: July 6, 2000

Władysław Szpilman was a Polish pianist of Jewish descent. He was a popular performer on Polish radio and in concert in the 1930s. He was also a prolific composer. He survived the Holocaust and was the central figure in the 2002 Roman Polanski film The Pianist. His son, Andrzej Szpilman, is also a composer and music producer. 

 3 
Witold Lutoslawski
(The Most Significant Polish Composer of 20th-Century Classical Music)
Witold Lutoslawski
2
Birthdate: January 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: February 7, 1994

Although he studied math at the University of Warsaw, Witold Lutoslawski also earned diplomas in composition and piano. He grew up to be one of the finest Polish composers and was often compared to Chopin. Known for combining neoclassical and folk elements in his music, he later won a Grammy.

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 4 
Krzysztof Penderecki
(Polish Composer and Conductor Who Created New Sounds From the Forms and Styles of Works From Past Centuries)
Krzysztof Penderecki
3
Birthdate: November 23, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Debica, Poland
Died: March 29, 2020

Krzysztof Penderecki was a Polish composer and conductor who achieved international recognition for his works, which include compositions like Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima and Anaklasis. Krzysztof Penderecki was honored with several prestigious awards such as four Grammy Awards, the Wihuri Sibelius Prize, and the Wolf Prize in Arts.

 5 
Henryk Górecki
(Polish Composer of Contemporary Classical Music)
Henryk Górecki
3
Birthdate: December 6, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Czernica, Poland
Died: November 12, 2010

Polish composer Henryk Górecki of contemporary classical music emerged as a prominent figure of the Polish avant-garde during the post-Stalin cultural thaw. His recording of Symphony no.3 with American soprano Dawn Upshaw and American conductor David Zinman became both a critical and commercial success selling over a million copies and raising Górecki’s international popularity to new heights.

 6 
André Tchaikowsky
(Composer)
André Tchaikowsky
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: June 26, 1982

Polish composer and pianist André Tchaikowsky started his concert career as a student. A great admirer of Shakespeare, Tchaikowsky‘s compositions include the settings of seven of Shakespeare's Sonnets, the opera titled The Merchant of Venice, and songs from The Tempest. According to his wishes, Tchaikowsky’s skull has been used as a theatrical prop by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

 7 
Karol Szymanowski
(Polish Composer, Pianist and a Member of the Modernist Movement 'Young Poland')
Karol Szymanowski
2
Birthdate: October 6, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tymoshivka, Ukraine
Died: March 29, 1937

Karol Szymanowski was a Polish pianist and composer best remembered for his opera King Roger, which was composed between 1918 and 1924. An internationally recognized composer, Karol Szymanowski is the recipient of some of the highest national honors such as the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and the Order of Polonia Restituta.

 8 
Henryk Wieniawski
(Polish Composer and Violinist Who is Regarded Amongst the Greatest Violinists in History)
Henryk Wieniawski
2
Birthdate: July 10, 1835
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lublin, Poland
Died: March 31, 1880

Henryk Wieniawski was a Polish composer, violinist, and pedagogue. He is often counted among the greatest violinists of all time. He was also one of the most important players in London's Beethoven Quartet Society. Henryk Wieniawski is still revered by violinists all over the world. 

 9 
Wojciech Kilar
(Polish Classical and Film Composer Known for His Score to Films: 'The Pianist' and 'Bram Stoker's Dracula')
Wojciech Kilar
2
Birthdate: July 17, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lwów, Poland
Died: December 29, 2013

Wojciech Kilar was a Polish composer whose film scores earned him several prestigious honors, including the Louis Delluc Prize for his work in the 1980 traditionally-animated film The King and the Mockingbird. He achieved international fame for his work in Bram Stoker's Dracula. He also received the César Award for his work in the 2002 war drama film The Pianist.

 10 
Abel Korzeniowski
(Composer, Film score composer)
Abel Korzeniowski
2
Birthdate: July 18, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kraków

Abel Korzeniowski is a Polish composer who works predominantly in films and theatre. He is best known for his work in the American drama film A Single Man, for which he received a San Diego Film Critics Society Award and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score. He has also won other prestigious awards including a Golden Knight Award. 

 11 
Zbigniew Preisner
(Polish Film Score Composer, Best Known for His Work with Film Director Krzysztof KieśLowski)
Zbigniew Preisner
2
Birthdate: May 20, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bielsko-Biala, Poland

Zbigniew Preisner is a Polish composer who works predominantly in films. He is best known for his collaboration with famous film director and screenwriter Krzysztof Kieślowski. Over the years, Zbigniew Preisner's work has earned him several prestigious awards and honors such as the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis. 

 12 
Krzysztof Krawczyk
(Singer)
Krzysztof Krawczyk
2
Birthdate: September 8, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Katowice, Poland
Died: April 5, 2021

Krzysztof Krawczyk was a Polish pop singer, composer, and guitarist. He is best remembered for co-founding the band Trubadurzy, which went on to become one of the most popular beat music bands of the 1960s in Poland. Krzysztof Krawczyk was the band's lead vocalist from 1963 to 1973 after which he pursued a successful solo career.

 13 
Josef Hofmann
(Polish-American Pianist, Composer and Inventor Known For His Invention of 'Pneumatic Shock Absorbers' for Cars and Airplanes)
Josef Hofmann
2
Birthdate: January 20, 1876
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kraków, Poland
Died: February 16, 1957

Josef Hofmann was a Polish-American composer, pianist, inventor, and music teacher. From 1927 to 1938, he served as the director of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, USA. As the director of the institute, Hofmann was instrumental in recruiting musicians like Efrem Zimbalist, Marcella Sembrich, Fritz Reiner, and Isabella Vengerova. Among his pupils were Abbey Simon and Shura Cherkassky.

 14 
Krzysztof Komeda
(Composer, Pianist, Jazz musician, Film score composer)
Krzysztof Komeda
2
Birthdate: April 27, 1931
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ostrów Wielkopolski
Died: April 23, 1969

Krzysztof Komeda was a Polish jazz pianist and film music composer. He is best remembered for his collaboration with popular filmmaker Roman Polanski; he worked as a composer for many of Polanski's films like Knife in the Water and Rosemary's Baby. Krzysztof Komeda's 1965 album Astigmatic is often counted among the most prominent European jazz albums of all time.

 15 
Mieczyslaw Weinberg
(Composer)
Mieczyslaw Weinberg
2
Birthdate: December 8, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Warsaw
Died: February 26, 1996

Mieczyslaw Weinberg was a Polish-born composer who produced much of his work in the USSR. Although his work was largely ignored during his lifetime, a revival concert series in Austria's Bregenz Festival in 2010 has helped rediscover his music. Since 2010, Mieczysław Weinberg's music has been described as the most compelling music of the 20th century.

 16 
Zbigniew Paleta
(Composer, Violinist)
Zbigniew Paleta
2
Birthdate: October 23, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kraków, Poland
 17 
Stanisław Moniuszko
(Polish Composer and Conductor Regarded as the 'Father of Polish National Opera')
Stanisław Moniuszko
2
Birthdate: May 5, 1819
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ubel', Belarus
Died: June 4, 1872

Stanisław Moniuszko was a Polish composer, teacher, and conductor. He is credited with writing several popular operas and art songs with patriotic folk themes that depicted the valor of the people of former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Thanks to his efforts to glorify the people of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Stanisław Moniuszko is called the father of Polish national opera.

 18 
Marek Grechuta
(Polish Singer-Songwriter, Composer and Lyricist)
Marek Grechuta
1
Birthdate: December 10, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Zamość, Poland
Died: October 9, 2006

Marek Grechuta was a Polish singer, composer, songwriter, and lyricist. He is credited with co-founding a cabaret called Anawa when he was still studying at Kraków's Tadeusz Kościuszko University of Technology. In 1971, he exited from Anawa and founded a band called WIEM. Marek Grechuta was prolific and produced a large number of hits during his career.

 19 
Tomasz Stanko
(Trumpeter, Composer)
Tomasz Stanko
2
Birthdate: July 11, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rzeszów, Poland
Died: July 29, 2018

Tomasz Stanko was a Polish composer and trumpeter. He is credited with founding the band Jazz Darings, which is often described by music historians as Europe's first band to play free jazz. Tomasz Stanko also gained international prominence, thanks to his collaborations with musicians like Jack DeJohnette, David Murray, and Chico Freeman.  

 20 
Theodor Leschetizky
(Polish Pianist Known for Composing Over a Hundred Characteristic Piano Pieces)
Theodor Leschetizky
1
Birthdate: June 22, 1830
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lancut, Poland
Died: November 14, 1915

Theodor Leschetizky was a Polish composer, pianist, and professor. A child prodigy, Leschetizky performed a Czerny piano concerto, at age 11, with Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart conducting. He had his own students at age 15 and by the time he was 18, Theodor Leschetizky had become a well-known virtuoso. He composed over a 100 characteristic piano pieces during his career.

 21 
Andrzej Panufnik
(Polish Composer and Conductor)
Andrzej Panufnik
1
Birthdate: September 24, 1914
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: October 27, 1991

Polish-born British composer and conductor Sir Andrzej Panufnik, best-remembered as a leading Polish composer, created compositions in a unique contemporary Polish style. He played an instrumental role in re-establishing the Warsaw Philharmonic orchestra following Second World War. He served as chief conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and eventually left the post to devote full-time to composition.

 22 
Piotr Anderszewski
(Pianist and Composer.)
Piotr Anderszewski
1
Birthdate: April 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland

Piotr Anderszewski is a Polish pianist and composer best known for his chamber music. He studied piano at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music and the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. He has given recitals at many famous venues, including the Royal Festival Hall and Carnegie Hall. He is a recipient of the Gilmore Artist Award.  

 23 
Ignaz Friedman
(Polish Pianist and Composer)
Ignaz Friedman
1
Birthdate: February 13, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Podgórze, Kraków, Poland
Died: January 26, 1948

Polish pianist Ignaz Friedman is best remembered for his renditions of Chopin. Apart from performing in over 2,800 concerts, he also penned 100 piano pieces, including Fantasiestücke. At the onset of World War II, he moved to Australia, where he lived and performed till his death.

 24 
Tadeusz Baird
(Polish Composer)
Tadeusz Baird
0
Birthdate: July 26, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Poland
Died: September 2, 1981

Polish composer Tadeusz Baird was 16 when he was deported to a German concentration camp. Following the liberation, he studied music in Warsaw and later formed Group 49. He later also taught at the Warsaw Academy of Music and won awards such as the Koussevitzky Prize.

 25 
Kazimierz Serocki
(Polish Composer and One of the Founders of the Warsaw Autumn Contemporary Music Festival)
Kazimierz Serocki
0
Birthdate: March 3, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toruń, Poland
Died: January 9, 1981

Kazimierz Serocki was a Polish composer known for his chamber music and orchestral works. He studied music under noted composer Kazimierz Sikorski and pianist Stanisław Szpinalski. He performed occasionally and focused mainly on composition. He was one of the founders of the Warsaw Autumn contemporary music festival. He was the recipient of numerous Polish and international awards. 

 26 
Karl Tausig
(Polish Pianist and Composer)
Karl Tausig
0
Birthdate: November 4, 1841
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: July 17, 1871

Karl Tausig was a Polish virtuoso pianist and composer. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest pianists of all time. The son of a pianist, he was introduced to the instrument at an early age. He studied under Hungarian Romantic pianist Franz Liszt and thrived under his mentorship. Sadly, the brilliant pianist died an untimely death at 29. 

 27 
Paul Kletzki
(Former Conductor)
Paul Kletzki
0
Birthdate: March 21, 1900
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Łódź, Congress Poland
Died: March 5, 1973

Excelling in both the piano and the violin, Paul Kletzki initially worked at the Berlin Philharmonic, before his Jewish roots forced him to flee Nazi Germany. Though he escaped (first to Italy and then to Switzerland), he lost many family members to the Holocaust. He died during an orchestra rehearsal.

 28 
Włodzimierz Korcz
(Composer, Film score composer)
Włodzimierz Korcz
0
Birthdate: November 13, 1943
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Łódź

Polish composer, music-producer, pianist, and song-writer Włodzimierz Korcz composes film and theatre music, performs at radio and TV concerts, and has co-produced several shows. He composed music of Żeby Polska była Polską, one of the best-known Polish protest songs, penned down by Jan Pietrzak. It emerged as an informal anthem of the Solidarity period in the People's Republic of Poland.  

 29 
Józef Sikorski
(Musician)
Józef Sikorski
1
Birthdate: 1813 AD
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: May 4, 1896

Polish musician and composer Józef Sikorski was also a prolific music writer, with works such as Chopin's Memoirs in his kitty. He also edited and wrote many music publications. Throughout his career in Warsaw, he not only excelled in the piano and music theory but also composed cantatas and church music.