On October 3rd, the late Polish composer, Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, will be celebrated at London’s Barbican Centre shortly before the 5th anniversary of Gorecki’s death. Polish music expert, Professor Adrian Thomas, will preface the event with an introduction to the life of Henryk Gorecki. The programme includes a screening of a film entitled ‘Please Find’ by Violetta Rotter-Kozer about Gorecki’s career and several concerts. Antoni Wit will also be making his debut in the evening, conducting the special celebratory concert by the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Silesia in the south of Poland in 1933, Górecki studied composition with Boleslaw Szabelski at the State Higher School of Music in Katowice. He has worked with great determination to develop his own compositional voice, through assimilating the techniques of his predecessors (Bartók, Szymanowski) and those active around him (Boulez, Xenakis, Nono). Górecki worked to achieve a direct link between the emotional and spiritual content of texts, both sacred and traditional, and his musical architecture- becoming a figurehead in Polish avant-garde music. Górecki held numerous honorary doctorates, including those from the Academy of Catholic Theology in Warsaw, Warsaw University, the Catholic University in Washington, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Victoria University in Victoria, Canada, and the University of British Columbia in Montreal.