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.
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.
Arthur Rubinstein was a Polish-American pianist counted amongst the greatest pianists of all time. He had an extensive career spanning eight decades, during which he earned much international acclaim. He played music performed by several illustrious composers and is especially remembered for his interpretation of Chopin’s music. Renowned pianists François-René Duchâble and Avi Schönfeld were his students.
Polish concert pianist and conductor Krystian Zimerman, noted for his interpretations of Romantic music, is counted by many as one of the greatest pianists of his generation. In 1975 he became the youngest winner of the International Chopin Piano Competition. A supporter of contemporary music, Zimerman has performed a wide variety of classical pieces, toured widely and made several recordings.
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.
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.
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.
Adam Darski is a Polish television personality and musician best known for his association with the extreme metal band Behemoth where he is the current frontman. Formed in 1991, Behemoth has played a key role in establishing the extreme metal underground in Poland.
Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a Polish musician who went on to become the third Prime Minister of Poland after being a spokesman for Polish independence for a long time. He also played a significant role as the nation's foreign minister in 1919 when he signed the Treaty of Versailles, an important event that marked the end of World War I.
Daniel Libeskind had initially moved to New York on a music scholarship. However, he later deviated to architecture and also taught for a while. One of his most celebrated designs is the Jewish Museum in Berlin. He also won a contest for a proposed design for rebuilding the World Trade Center.
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.
Margaret is a Polish singer-songwriter and TV personality. A recipient of many awards like MTV Europe Music Awards and Eska Music Awards, Margaret was named in Forbes' 100 most-valuable stars of Polish show business list in 2014. In 2015, she was named among 50 most-influential Polish celebrities in Wprost magazine.
Basia is a Polish recording artist, singer, and songwriter best known for her Latin-inspired jazz-pop music. She achieved international fame between 1987 and 1995 with the release of her studio albums, London Warsaw New York and Time and Tide. Apart from her home country, Basia is also popular in the UK, USA, and some Asian countries.
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.
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.
Polish bassist Pawel Maciwoda is best-known as a member of the famous German rock-band called Scorpions. Encouraged by his father, Maciwoda started playing bass guitar semi-professionally and became part of the Polish music scene at age fifteen and earned the nickname Baby. He has collaborated with jazz acts like Walk Away and released albums like Radio Wieliczka as solo artist.
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.
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.
Emanuel Ax is a Soviet Union-born American classical pianist best known for his collaboration with cellist Yo-Yo Ma; Ax's collaborative efforts alongside Yo-Yo Ma earned him five Grammys between 1986 and 1996. Ax has also earned a couple of Grammys for his solo performances. He is also the recipient of other awards like Avery Fisher Prize and Echo Klassik Award.
Andrzej Bogucki was a Polish actor, operetta singer, and songwriter. He is best remembered for his efforts to save the life of Polish Jewish pianist Władysław Szpilman during World War II when Poland was occupied by the Nazis. Andrzej Bogucki and his wife were honored with the Righteous Among the Nations award in 1978 for their actions during the war.
Natalia Karp was a Polish pianist and Holocaust survivor. During World War II, Karp and her sister were sent to the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp where she was ordered to play the piano by SS functionary Amon Göth on his birthday. Impressed with her performance, Göth spared her and her sister. Karp survived the war and continued playing into her 90s.
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.
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.
Waclaw Kieltyka is a Polish composer and musician. He is best known for founding the popular death metal band Decapitated where he is the lead guitarist. Over the years, Waclaw Kieltyka has also contributed to the success of other bands like Lux Occulta, Sceptic, Vader, and Hypocrisy.
Czeslaw Niemen was a Polish singer-songwriter, keyboard player, and composer. He gained notoriety during the 1960s for his revolutionary music, such as the 1967 song Strange Is This World, which was considered the most prominent Polish protest song of that time. Czeslaw Niemen’s life and career have inspired several documentaries, including Krzysztof Magowski's 2014 film A Dream About Warsaw.
Tomasz Wroblewski is a Polish musician best known for his association with the popular black-death metal band Behemoth where he performs as the bassist and backing vocalist. Since 1991, Behemoth has played a major role in establishing the extreme metal underground in Poland. Tomasz Wroblewski is also credited with founding the popular stoner rock/heavy metal band Black River.
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.
Michal Szpak is a Polish singer best known for his appearance in the Polish version of the popular talent show X Factor in 2011. Szpak's popularity increased when he finished eighth after competing in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Color of Your Life. Michal Szpak has also released a couple of gold and platinum-certified studio albums.
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.
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.
Moritz Moszkowski was a pianist, teacher, and composer of Polish-Jewish descent. He achieved popularity during the late 19th century and was well respected by his peers. Moritz Moszkowski is credited with teaching future composers like Ernest Schelling, Joaquín Nin, Carl Lachmund, and Joaquín Turina.
Olga Jackowska was a Polish rock singer and songwriter best remembered for her association with the rock band Maanam where she was the lead singer from 1976 to 2008. Olga Jackowska was also a voice actress; she voiced Edna Mode in the Polish versions of both Incredibles films.
Patryk Dominik Sztyber is a Polish heavy metal guitarist and musician best known for his association with the popular extreme metal band Behemoth where he performs as a backing vocalist and rhythm guitarist. Apart from Behemoth, Patryk Dominik Sztyber has also contributed to the success of the death metal band Nomad.
Zbigniew Wodecki was a Polish singer, composer, musician, TV presenter, and actor. He achieved tremendous popularity in Poland during the 1970s and '80s and was recognized as one of the most famous singers. He was also honored with several prestigious awards, including the Fryderyk Award. In 2017, Zbigniew Wodecki was posthumously honored with the Order of Polonia Restituta.
Kayah is a Polish singer and songwriter best known for her expertise in a variety of music genres, such as dance, world, pop, soul, and jazz. Since 1995, when she released her first self-written album, Kayah has been recognized as one of the most commercially and critically successful Polish singers. She is also credited with co-founding her record label Kayax.
Wanda Landowska was a Polish pianist and harpsichordist who is credited with reinvigorating the popularity of the harpsichord through her performances, writings, teaching, and recordings in the early 20th century. In 1933, Wanda Landowska became the first person to record Goldberg Variations, which were originally composed by Johann Sebastian Bach for keyboard, on the harpsichord.
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.
Marina is a Polish actress, singer, and songwriter. She achieved popularity in 2010 when she won the Eska Music Award for her debut single Glam Pop which became a radio hit in Poland. Marina is also known for her acting skills and has appeared in many popular TV series like Usta usta and 39 i pół.
Andrzej Piaseczny is a Polish singer, songwriter, television personality, and actor. He took part in the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest where he represented Poland with the dance song 2 Long. Having won several awards over the years, Andrzej Piaseczny is one of the most decorated and celebrated gay singers in Poland.
Adrian Kowanek is a Polish musician best known for his association with popular death metal bands Decapitated and Atrophia Red Sun where he was the lead vocalist. Adrian Kowanek was one of the key members of Atrophia Red Sun where he was active from 1994 to 2008 before being involved in an accident that left him confined to wheelchair.
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.
Anna Maria Jopek is a Polish vocalist, improviser, and songwriter. She achieved national prominence when she competed in the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest where she represented her country with the song Ale jestem. Over the years, Anna Maria Jopek has been successful, winning awards such as Michel Legrand's Personal Award among others.
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.
Mariusz Duda is a Polish composer and musician best known for co-founding the popular progressive rock band Riverside where he performs as a vocalist and bassist. Mariusz Duda is also credited with founding a progressive rock side-project called Lunatic Soul, which has released successful albums like Fractured, Under the Fragmented Sky, and Through Shaded Woods.
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.
Maciej Maleńczuk is a Polish guitarist, vocalist, and poet. He is best known for his song Vladimir which went viral in several Discord servers in late 2018, earning Maleńczuk worldwide fame. Maciej Maleńczuk is also known for his association with his former music groups Homo Twist and Püdelsi where he was the leader.
Henryk Szeryng was a Polish violinist best remembered for his contribution during the Second World War when he performed in more than 300 concerts all over the world for Allied troops. Apart from being a violinist, Henryk Szeryng also served as Wladyslaw Sikorski's liaison officer and interpreter as he was fluent in seven languages.
Polish singer-songwriter Beata Kozidrak, counted among the most popular singers in Poland, is best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the widely recognised Polish pop-rock band called BAJM. Her career was launched when she performed the song Piechotą do lata and won second place at the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole as a member of BAJM.