5 September 1924, Lwów — 27 September 2008, Kraków


Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar, a composer and former professor at Kraków Music Academy, began her musical education at the Niementowska Music School in Lwów (now Lviv, Ukraine). After the Second World War she settled in Kraków, where she studied composition with Stanisław Wiechowicz and piano with Jan Hoffman. After graduating she first joined the faculty of the Kraków Music Lyceum and later the Music Academy, where in addition to her teaching duties she served as Dean of the Faculty of Composition (1975-1978), Vice-Rector (1978-1987) and Rector (1987-1993).

Moszumańska-Nazar was a prizewinner at the 1954 Young Composers’ Competition of the Polish Composers’ Union (for Oberek from the Suite of Polish Dances), the 1961 and 1966 International Competition for Women Composers in Mannheim (for Hexaedre and Exodus), the 1962 International Competition for Women Composers in Buenos Aires (First Prize and Gold Medal for Music for Strings), and the 1974 Karol Szymanowski Composers’ Competition (Second Prize for Polish Madonnas).

Moszumańska-Nazar’s honors also include the Award of the Polish Composers’ Union, the Award of the Minister of Culture and Art (five times), the Award of Merit for National Culture, the Prime Minister’s Award, an honorary doctorate from the Music Academy in Kraków, and the City of Kraków Award. In spite of her long illness, she continued to write music until the last moments of her life and her catalogue of works includes about 70 titles.

Selected Compositions

Chamber Music

3 Miniatures per clarinetto e pianoforte (1957)
5 Duets for flute and clarinet (1959)
Music for Strings (1962)
Interpretations for flute, magnetic tape and percussion (1967)
Quartetto per Archi (1973)
Variazioni Concertanti for piano and percussion (1979)
String Quartet No. 2 (1980)
String Quartet No. 3 (1995)
Kwiaty for piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet and piano (1997)
Impresja for string quarret (1998)
String Quartet No. 4 (2003)
Musiquette for 2 trumpets and small percussion ensemble (2003)
Sonata per due violini (2003)
Konfiguracje for cello and piano (2005)
Novelette for flute and piano (2006)

Orchestral Music

Concertino for piano and orchestra (1954)
Overture No. 1 (1954)
Overture No. 2 (1956)
Allegro Symphonique (1957)
Four Symphonic Essays (1958)
Hexaedre for orchestra (1960)
Variazioni Concertanti for flute and orchestra (1965)
Pour Orchestre (1969)
Intonations for 2 mixed choirs and symphony orchestra (1968)
Bel Canto for soprano, celesta and percussion (1972)
Polish Madonnas for mixed choir and orchestra (1974)
Challenge for baritone and chamber ensemble (1977)
Rhapsody II for symphony orchestra (1980)
Concerto for Orchestra (1986)
Sinfonietta for string orchestra (1986)
Fresk II for orchestra (1991)
Fresk III for orchestra (1993)
Leggiero e mobile for wind orchestra (1996)
Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra (1998)
Violin Concerto (2000)
Orpheus and Eurydice for soprano, baritone, narrator and chamber orchestra (2005)

Music for Solo Instruments

Variations for piano (1949)
Suite of Polish Dances for piano (1954)
Sonatina per pianoforte (1957)
Three Concert Studies for solo percussion (1969)
Bagatelles per pianoforte (1971)
Constelations for piano (1972)
From End to End for percussion (1976)
Canzona for violin (1988)
Music for Five for percussion (1990)
3 Moments musicaux for double bass (1990)
Recitativo for cello solo (1991)
Oratio brevis per organo solo (1995)
Serpentine for oboe solo (1997)
Grande Valse d’anniversaire for piano (2000)
Walc for piano (2001)
Urodziny, urodziny for solo cello (2001)
Moment musical V for cello solo (2002)
La Valse à la main gauche for piano (2003)
La Valse musette for piano (2003)

Manuscripts at USC

Bagatelle for piano (1971). Manuscript score in black ink with red, green, and blue marks and annotations. Written in a small music book with blue cover, 22 pages.

Un petit cadeau for flute, cello and percussion, dedicated to Krzysztof Penderecki for his 60th birthday. Manuscript score in black ink, with annotations in yellow and red marker, 7 pages on the 18-stave music paper.

“Fate brought me into close contact with excellent Polish percussionists, mainly jazz performers and just plain virtuosos, like M. Ptaszyńska, J. Pilch, J. Stefański, and L.H. Stevens, who inspired my imagination with their performing skills and their vast expertise in the field. They asked me to write for them, saying I understood percussion and they performed what I composed. That’s how Three Etudes for Percussion Solo came to be written, From End to End Percussion, Fantasy for Marimbaphone Solo, Warianty for Piano and Percussion, Interpretacje for Flute, Tape and Percussion, or the piece for five percussionists, Music for Five. Percussion also plays an important role in some of my chamber works, such as Pieśn nad pieśniami, Wyzwanie, Bel canto, Hexaedre, Pour orchestra, Rhapsody II, Variazioni concertanti for Flute and Chamber Orchestra, or in the Concerto for Orchestra.”

[Moszumańska-Nazar, O roli perkusji i traktowaniu jej w moich utworach. Akademia Muzyczna, Kraków, 2004]

“There are two types of chords that I have favored in all of my music: one of them is a juxtaposition of two minor thirds, the second is built from two superimposed fourths, a perfect fourth and a tritone. I like shifting these harmonies around, but do not write them out in tables or pre-compositional systems. […] In creating one has to be an egoist, one has to express oneself.”

[Moszumańska-Nazar, unpublished interview with Maja Trochimczyk, 1995]

“I cannot name and define one concrete emotion which is experienced while composing music. Composing is a sum of various experiences: imagination, knowledge, it all comes into play while a piece is being formed, created. There are formal schemes that might be used or rejected, there is the emotional flow and the structuring of the tensions following the outline of a sinusoid, with greater or smaller peaks at certain points in the piece. In order for the form to be proper, the dramatic climax should be located at the point of the golden division (that is about two thirds into the course of the work) – then the form is properly structured in time. Composing requires relying on experiences, searching for best results, listening to the music. […] In the process of composing, the most important role is played by the creative imagination. Music is different because different people, different composers have different compositional talents. Everyone has a different sense of beauty and every composer creates his or her own sound world, reflecting their own experiences, thoughts and emotions. One could almost say that the character of a person “shines through” the music: one person is emotional, another one is rational, etc.”

[Moszumańska-Nazar, unpublished interview with Maja Trochimczyk, 1995]

Page updated on 13 April 2018