edited by Maja Trochimczyk

Gorecki Autumn Poster
Gorecki Autumn Poster, 1997, USC, Los Angeles.

October 1-5, 1997
University of Southern California

A week of celebration of the music of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, the first living classical music composer whose music topped the Billboard charts; his Symphony No. 3 has sold over 1, 200,000 copies of recordings. The Polish composer was present to conduct the USC orchestra in a unique performance of the Symphony.

Wednesday, October 1:
Concert I. Solo & Chamber Music

USC students and alumni; Dr. James Harley (artistic director)

8:00 p.m. Hancock Auditorium (now: Newman Hall)


Four Preludes, Op. 1 (1955). Wojciech Kocyan, piano.
Variations, Op. 4, for violin and piano (1956). Linda Wang, violin, Robert Thies, piano
Sonata No. 1, Op. 6 (1954-84-90). Robert Thies, piano.
Valentine Piece, Op. 70 (1996), for flute and little bell. Emily Lin, flute.


For You, Anne Lill, Op. 58 (1986-90). Emily Lin, flute, Robert Thies, piano.
Intermezzo (1990). Robert Thies, piano.
Kleine Phantasie (1996). Linda Wang, violin, Robert Thies, piano.

Performers included pianist Robert Thies, and other USC students and recent graduates. The additional performance of Kleine Phantasie for violin and piano, scheduled for its world premiere in Germany, resulted in a coaching session by Górecki who sat at the piano after the concert and taught the musicians the proper interpretation of his new piece.

Górecki with young musicians (LR): Robert Thies, James Harley, Linda Wang, Emily Lin, Wojciech Kocyan.

Thursday, October 2:
Thomas’s Lecture And Film

Adrian Thomas, Prof. of Music, Cardiff University of Wales, Great Britain
(USC Provost’s Distinguished Visitor)

7: 00 p.m. Arnold Schoenberg Institute.

Public Lecture by Adrian Thomas: “An Introduction to the Music of Górecki”

Video Screening: “Master Composers: Henryk Górecki” (VPRO, The Netherlands, 1996)

Friday, October 3:
Composition and Performance Forum

(for USC music students only)


Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (with translator Joanna Niżyńska)
Prof. Adrian Thomas
Dr. Maria Anna Harley (now: Maja Trochimczyk)

Composition and Performance Forum

Conversation about Music with Henryk Mikołaj Górecki followed by a question period for the USC students of composition and performance.

11:00 a.m. Music Building 106 (moved to Hancock Auditorium)

Górecki with translators, M.A. Harley and Joanna Nizynska

Friday, October 3:
Concert II: Górecki Conducts Górecki

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, conductor
Elizabeth Hynes, soprano
USC Symphony Orchestra

8:00 p.m. Bovard Auditorium.

Performance of H.M. Górecki’s Symphony no. 3 op. 36, The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs (1976). Announcement of the creation of the Endowed Position called the “Stefan and Wanda Wilk Directorship of Polish Music Center” and funded by Dr. Stefan and Mrs. Wanda Wilk.

Peggy Schmid, Henryk Górecki, Larry Livingston, Maja Trochimczyk. Gift announcement ceremony after the concert.

Sunday, October 5:
The Górecki Phenomenon: Music History Symposium

Maria Anna Harley (now: Maja Trochimczyk), moderator


  • Prof. Adrian Thomas (Cardiff, Wales, UK): “A Comparison of Early and Late Styles in the Music of Górecki”
  • Dr. James Harley, Los Angeles: “Performance Difficulties in Górecki’s Music”
  • David Kopplin, Los Angeles: “The Concept of Time in Górecki’s String Quartets”
  • Asst. Prof. Maria Anna Harley, USC: “Górecki and the Paradigm of the ‘Maternal'”
  • Asst. Prof. Luke B. Howard, Minnesota: “Laying the Foundation: The Reception of Górecki’s Third Symphony, 1977-1992”
  • Mark Swed (L.A. Times, Los Angeles), respondent

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Arnold Schoenberg Institute.

Scholarly papers about the music of H. M. Górecki, with a closing discussion about the phenomenon of the Third Symphony, and questions from the audience. The composer was present to participate in the discussion.

Saturday, October 4:
Meeting With Supporters Of Ars Musica Foundation

Górecki makes a speech to supporters of the Ars Musica Foundation at the residence of Dr. Stefan and Mrs. Wanda Wilk, Studio City. The composer performs the piano part in his Three Songs to texts by Maria Konopnicka, with Andrzej Bachleda, baritone.

Henryk Gorecki and Prof. Adrian Thomas. Photo by Vladek Juszkiewicz

Sunday, October 5:
Concert III: Contemporary Music Ensemble


Donald Crockett, conductor
USC Contemporary Music Ensemble
8:00 p.m. Hancock Auditorium

Contemporary Polish music for larger chamber ensemble

Witold Lutosławski: Chain I for chamber ensemble (1983)
Henryk Mikołaj Górecki: Good Night op. 63, for soprano, alto flute and piano (1990)
Henryk Mikołaj Górecki: Kleines Requiem fur eine Polka for chamber ensemble (1995)

Listening to the Ensemble’s performance of Kleines Requiem fur eine Polka