Poland celebrates Penderecki 85th birthday with festival

In this file photo taken Sept. 16, 2013, Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki attends a news conference in Warsaw, Poland. Poland's largest music publisher is commemorating the centennial of the country's independence by hosting concerts abroad that feature the work of modern Polish composers. The 11 concerts scheduled to take place on Sunday in foreign venues that include London, Melbourne and New York will highlight the music of composers such as Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, Wojciech Kilar and Krzysztof Penderecki. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's leading composer and conductor, Krzysztof Penderecki, is celebrating his 85th birthday with a weeklong festival of his music in Warsaw.

A concert of Penderecki's 2nd Cello Concerto and his "Songs of Reflection" and Nostalgia are opening the festival on Friday at the National Philharmonic.

Running until Nov. 23, the festival features symphonies, choral works and compositions for voice. Concerts also are being held at the Royal Castle, the Royal Theater and at the Polish capital's opera house.

Among the works performed will be the choir-and-orchestra pieces "Dies Illa" and "Credo," and the violin concerto "Metamorphosen", which was written for and will be played by German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter with Penderecki conducting.

Other performers include cellist Ivan Monighetti, violinist Agata Szymczewska and conductors Leonard Slatkin and John Axelrod.

Born Nov. 23, 1933, in Debica, southern Poland, Penderecki uses unconventional forms and sounds that evoke classical associations.


This story has been corrected to show the violinist's first name is spelled Anne-Sophie, not Ann-Sophie and the concerto's title is "Metamorphosen", not Matamorphosen.