This series of monographs was initiated in 1981 by Wanda Wilk with the intention of filling in the lack of information in America on music of Polish origin. The series consists of scholarly in-depth monographs on selected topics.

The books were initially published by the Friends of Polish Music (Wanda Wilk, President of Friends of Polish Music, served as the Editor-in-Chief, inclusive of vol. 6); in volume 6 the publisher changed to the Polish Music Center at USC. For volumes 7 and 8, Dr. Maja Trochimczyk served as the series Editor-in-Chief, with Dr. Linda Schubert as Editor.

You may order the available titles from the Polish Music History Series by emailing Please add $7.50 for shipping and handling charges in the U.S. or $15 for foreign orders (per order). This rate is subject to change for very large orders.

No. 1 (out of print)

Karol Szymanowski. Most Neglected Composer of the Century

by Wanda Wilk
With a foreword by William Thomson. 1982.


Short guide published for the composer’s Centennial Celebration at the University of Southern California. 16 pp.: port.; 22cm.

ISBN 0-916545-01-6. Lib. of Congress catalog no.: ML 410 S99 W5.

Available only from Friends of Polish Music c/o Polish Music Center.

No. 2

Grażyna Bacewicz: Her Life and Works

by Judith Rosen
With a foreword by Witold Lutosławski.

Friends of Polish Music, 1984.


The first monograph in English by a leading specialist on women composers. Includes lists of principal prizes, awards and others; list of compositions; discography; bibliography; index. 70 pp.: ill., music, ports,; 23 cm.

ISBN 0-916545-02-4. Lib. of Congress catalog no.: ML 410 B05 R7

The following parts of this book have been published online in Polish Music Journal vol. 5 no. 1: foreword by Witold Lutosławski with text by Judith Rosen, and an updated bibliography by Maja Trochimczyk and James Harley. The list of Bacewicz’s compositions and a discography is available here.

No. 3

Grażyna Bacewicz: Chamber and Orchestral Music

by Adrian Thomas

Friends of Polish Music, 1985.


A follow-up to PMHS 2 and the first analytical study of Bacewicz’s music. Prof. Thomas is a British composer, musicologist, and an expert on Polish music, professor of music at Cardiff University of Wales. 128 pp. and 57 ill., Includes list of published works; bibliography; index.

ISBN 0-916545-03-2. Library of Congress catalog no.: ML 410 B05 T5

No. 4

Polish Music Literature (1515-1990): A Selected Bibliography

by Kornel Michałowski & Gillian Olechno-Huszcza



First Polish music bibliography in English. Compiled by Kornel Michałowski, the foremost Polish music bibliographer and revised with additions by Gillian Olechno-Huszcza, former archivist of the Polish Music Center at USC.
244 pp. Includes bibliographical s and index.

ISBN 0-916545-04-0. Lib. of Congress no.: ML 120 P6

No. 5

Karol Szymanowski: His Life and Works

by Teresa Chylińska

Translated by Dr. John Głowacki. 1993.


Based on the correspondence and writings of Szymanowski collected for thirty years by the author, a foremost Polish expert on this composer, the monograph provides new material and new insights. It includes references to all first performances of the composer’s works in America and the composer’s own analysis of his Second Piano Sonata. Background information on the beginnings of Stabat Mater (a choral masterpiece of this century), and the scenario to the ballet Harnasie appear in a book for the first time.

355 pp. With discography, bibliography and index.

ISBN 0-916545-00-8

No. 6

After Chopin: Essays in Polish Music

Maja Trochimczyk, ed.

Published by Polish Music Center at USC, 2000.


A collection of essays in three parts. Part I: “100 Years of Defining Chopin” with essays by 19th-and-20th-century Polish composers about Chopin and his significance (by Władysław Żeleński, Zygmunt Noskowski, Karol Szymanowski, Stanisław Niewiadomski, Mateusz Gliński, and Witold Lutosławski). These essays appear in English for the first time. Part II: “Wilk Prizes for Research in Polish Music” including a selection of prize-winning essays about Karol Szymanowski, Witold Lutosławski and Roman Ingarden (by Stephen Downes, Richard Zielinski, Michael Klein, and Maja Trochimczyk). Part III: “Music and National Identity” with essays by Zofia Helman (nationality and universality of Polish music), Timothy Cooley (Wilk Prize winner; the music of the Tatra mountains) and Maja Trochimczyk (national anthems).

333 pp. With music examples, illustrations, portraits.

ISBN 0-916545-05-9.

No. 7

The Songs of Karol Szymanowski and His Contemporaries

Zofia Helman, Teresa Chylińska, and Alistair Wightman, eds.

Published by Polish Music Center at USC, 2002.


Proceedings of the International Symposiumthat took place in March 1997 in Zakopane to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Szymanowski’s death. Foreword by Teresa Chylińska. Papers by Tomasz Baranowski, Edward Boniecki, Paul Cadrin, Stephen Downes, Maciej Gołąb, Zofia Helman, Danuta Jasińska, Elżbieta Jasińska Jędrosz, Alicja Jarzębska, Laura Kafka, Daniela Philippi, Wolfgang Ruf, Andrzej Tuchowski, Mieczysław Tomaszewski, Roman Vlad, Adam Walaciński, and Alistair Wightman. Papers translated by Alistair Wightman and Anne Desler. Polish version published by Musica Iagellonica in 2001.

The publication of this volume was made possible by a grant from the Karol Szymanowski Fund, established by Anne Felicya Cierpik at the Kościuszo Foundation of New York.

304 pages; 128 illustrations; list of Szymanowski’s songs.

ISBN 0-916545-06-7.

No. 8

Józef Koffler: Compositional Style and Source Documents

by Maciej Gołąb
Foreword by Prof. Antony Polonsky

Published by Polish Music Center at USC, 2004.


The first monograph about a Polish-Jewish composer, Józef Koffler, Poland’s first twelve-tone composer, a pioneer of neoclassicism and folklorism in Polish music, who died in the Holocaust in 1944. Koffler’s oeuvre includes symphonies, piano concerto, numerous chamber pieces, including Ukrainian Sketches for string quartet, chamber cantata Die Liebe, songs, works for solo piano (withe arrangements of Polish and Ukrainian folklore). Prof. Gołąb’s study is a detailed examination of Koffler’s life, music, and compositional style, based on newly discovered sources (manuscripts for pieces that were considered lost, especially the Piano Concerto).

Polish version published by Musica Iagellonica in 1995. English version includes a foreword by Prof. Antony Polonsky (Albert Abramson Chair of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum) and a CD with a sample of Koffler’s music from the archives of the Polish Radio in Warsaw, Poland; CD edited by Mateusz Gołąb [47 examples, 43 minutes].

Translated by Maksymilian Kapelański, Marek Żebrowski and Linda Schubert.

Includes a CD of music examples.

Hardcover. ISBN 0-916545-07-5.

No. 9

Maria Szymanowska

by Sławomir Dobrzański

Published by Polish Music Center at USC, June 2005.


The first English-language monograph about the life and music of virtuosa pianist-composer Maria Szymanowska, née Wołowska (1789-1831). Based on Dobrzański’s doctoral dissertation, the book presents Szymanowska’s biography based on Polish sources as well as thorough analyses of her whole oeuvre, especially her piano music (with a separate chapter dedicated to her influence on Fryderyk Chopin). The CD contains Dobrzański’s studio recordings, including her nocturnes, etudes, fantasy, mazurkas, and other works for solo piano.

Paperback. ISBN 1-932800-18-2.

No. 10

Zygmunt Stojowski: Life and Music

by Joseph A. Herter

Published by Polish Music Center at USC, August 2007.


The first comprehensive biography of this long-neglected and undeservedly forgotten virtuoso pianist and composer. Stojowski was born in Poland in 1870 and studied at the Conservatoire Nationale in Paris with Leo Delibes, Theodore Dubois and Louis Dièmer. Mr. Herter’s book provides fascinating insights and details of Stojowski’s colorful life, his association with musicians such as Stokowski, Nikisch, Tchaikovski, and Paderewski, information on his students (including Oscar Levant, Alfred Newman, and Guiomar Noaves, among many others), and a catalogue of his compositions.

Paperback. ISBN 1-932800-26-3.