Composer and musicologist Jan Węcowski died in Warsaw on 11 February 2021, at the age of 89. Since 1964, he was a member of the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP) and in 1973-1975 he was president of the ZKP’s Warsaw Branch. He was a long-term lecturer at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy Music in Warsaw and the editor-in-chief of the Academy’s publishing house.

He graduated in musicology from the University of Warsaw, where he studied with Hieronim Feicht. He also completed supplementary studies in history and classical philology as well as a library course at the University of Warsaw. Already from 1957 he was engaged in teaching. He was a member of many organizations and associations.

In the years 1960-1981, he collaborated with the Polish Radio and created over 500 music programs and wrote over 200 album reviews. From 1990 to 1992, he was the artistic director of the Polish Radio and advisor to the vice president of the Radio and Television Committee. In 1967-88, he was editor, director and artistic director of the Veriton record label, and in 1988-90, he was artistic director and deputy representative at the Arston record label. From 1970, he collaborated with Polish Television. In 1998–2006, he was the editor-in-chief of the Publishing House of the Academy of Music in Warsaw.

As a musicologist, he participated in many scientific conferences in Poland and abroad. He discovered the oldest known preserved music manuscript in Poland – Exsultet (ca. 1060) from the Tyniec Sacramentarium and several dozen early music pieces (including by Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki). On his initiative about 500 early and contemporary music pieces have been published.

Jan Węcowski’s compositions were performed in Poland and abroad, including in France, Italy and Germany, and have been released on many CDs. He was also the author of Polish and Latin poetry texts and translations from French, Italian and Latin, which were used in numerous works by Polish composers.

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