On June 20th of this year, Polish musicologist Teresa Chylińska celebrated her 90th birthday. This extraordinary individual and a dynamic force par excellence in the research of Karol Szymanowski’s life has been a distinguished author, a highly accomplished editor and a great expert of modern music in Poland.

Tributes to this world class scholar came in abundance from all around the world and from her beloved Kraków, where she has resided since 1944 and where she studied musicology at the Jagiellonian University. In 1954, Dr. Chylińska began to work for PWM [Polish Music Publishers] and in 1970 she began lecturing in musicology at the Musicology Institute of the Jagiellonian University and in the  history of editing at the Kraków Music Academy.

A member of the Polish Composers’ Union and the International Musicological Society, since 1979 Teresa Chylińska has served as President of the Karol Szymanowski Music Society in Zakopane; in 1997 she joined the board of the Karol Szymanowski Foundation and the jury of the Karol Szymanowski Prize.

Publications & Awards

Throughout many decades, Dr. Chylińska has distinguished herself as the world’s preeminent Szymanowski expert and authored great number of books and articles about this important Polish composer. She also served as the editor of the new and complete edition of Karol Szymanowski’s works. Among her many titles we find a definitive, three-volume biography, Szymanowski i jego epoka [Szymanowski and His Era], a two-volume publication of Szymanowski’s correspondence as well as separate publications on Szymanowski’s letter exchanges with his Vienna-based publisher, Universal Edition (Między kompozytorem a wydawcą), and Dzieje przyjaźni [History of a friendship] as seen through the letters between Szymanowski and violinist Paweł Kochański and his wife. One of Teresa Chylińska’s most recent volumes, Karol Szymanowski—Romans, którego nie było? [Karol Szymanowski—A Nonexistent Romance?] joins a long library shelf of books devoted to this composer and his family.

Teresa Chylińska’s highly-accomplished literary output and editorial efforts have been recognized with a prodigious number of international prizes and awards, including: City of Kraków Award, Alfred Jurzykowski Award (New York City), Polish Composers’ Union Award, Karol Szymanowski Award, Golden Cross of Merit, Golden Gloria Artis Medal for service to Polish Culture, Jagiellonian University Medal “Plus ratio quam vis,” Polonia Restituta Cross of Poland, and a Special Award from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

Most recently, Dr. Chylińska’s professional accomplishments were recognized with the Great Editor Award [Nagroda Wielkiego Redaktora] at the Capital of the Polish Language Festival in Szczebrzeszyn, Poland, on August 2, 2021. PWM’s Director and Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Daniel Cichy, spoke at the award ceremony, describing his illustrious colleague as follows:

For many, Teresa Chylińska is […] an ideal editor; an example of a Great Editor, indeed. Always sensitive towards the authors and caringly approaching a text—whether written with the Latin alphabet or notated on a music staff […]. Painfully exacting, and known for her iron logic when it comes to fight with kind firmness for the author’s words […]. On other occasions, thanks to her deep research, she clarifies the ideas inside the text. And, what’s most important, in her editorial work she always finds a balance between the editor’s duties and her own literary temperament.

In her own remarks, Dr. Chylińska responded to the Great Editor Award by saying,

I am certainly a happy editor. And why? Because throughout my life I’ve been engaged in this unusual and so fascinating a profession […].

Congratulations on these well-deserved honors and best wishes for your continued and invaluable work!

[Sources: pwm.com.pl, pwm.com.pl]