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Wojciech Kilar

Wojciech Kilar


Wojciech Kilar was born in Lviv on July 17, 1932. When the Bolsheviks entered Lviv in 1944, he had to leave his native town. After short periods spent in Krosno, Rzeszów and Kraków he settled in Katowice. Between 1946–47 he studied piano with K. Mirski in the secondary music school in Rzeszów. In 1947 he made his debut there at the Young Talents’ Competition playing his own Two Children’s Miniatures (2nd prize). Between 1947–48 he attended the music lyceum (a secondary music school) in Kraków studying piano with M. Bilińska-Riegerowa and harmony (privately) with A. Malawski; he continued his piano studies in the secondary music school in Katowice with W. Markiewiczówna. At the same time he took private composition lessons with B. Woytowicz. Between 1950–55 he studied with B. Woytowicz (piano and composition) at the Higher State Music School in Katowice. He graduated in 1955 gaining a diploma with distinction. In the same year he received 2nd prize for his Little Overture at the Symphonic Works Competition during the 5th Youth Festival in Warsaw. This work, still in neoclassical style, was placed in the programme of the first Warsaw Autumn festival of contemporary music in 1956. Between 1955–58 he was a post-graduate student of B. Woytowicz. In 1957 he took part in the International Summer Courses of New Music in Darmstadt. On receiving a French government scholarship, he studied composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris between 1959–60; in 1960 he won the award of the Lili Boulanger Foundation in Boston for his Oda Béla Bartók in Memoriam. He also appeared as a pianist performing his own works. Between 1979–81 he was vice-president of the Main Board of the Polish Composers’ Union. In 1977 he became a founder member of the Karol Szymanowski Society in Zakopane and was its vice-president for two terms. He is also a member of the Podhale Highlanders’ Union. In 1991 Krzysztof Zanussi made a television film entitled Wojciech Kilar. In 1999 the composer received an honorary doctorate from University of Opole. Since 1999 he has been a full member of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Letters. In 2002 he received a Commander’s Cross with a Star of the Order of the Restoration of Poland. In March 2007 Wojciech Kilar received the medal "Fides et ratio" from the University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński in Warsaw. Wojciech Kilar died on December 29, 2013.

He is the winner of numerous awards and distinctions:

Lili Boulanger Composition Award (1960)
Minister of Culture and Art Award: 2nd class (1967), 1st class (1976), (2003)
Katowice Voivodship Award (1967, 1971, 1975 and 1980)
“Golden Grapes” – the award of the festival “Lubuskie Lato Filmowe” (Film Summer of the Region of Ziemia Lubuska) at Łagów for the music for The Red and the Golden (1970) and The Romantic (1971)
The award at the International Film Festival in Cork, Ireland, for the music for The Glass Ball (1973) and Da un paese lontano. Papa Giovanni Paolo II (1981)
Polish Composers’ Union Award (1975)
The award at the Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdańsk for the music for the films The Promised Land, A Quarterly Balance, The Line, From Nowhere to Nowhere (1975) and The Spiral (1978)
Katowice City Award (1975, 1992)
State Award, 1st class (1980)
Prix Louis Delluc for the music for the film Le roi et l’oiseau (1980)
An award at the film festival in Catania for the music for Da un paese lontano. Papa Giovanni Paolo II (1981)
A. Jurzykowski Foundation Award in New York (1984)
Artistic Award of the Committee of Independent Culture of the “Solidarity” Independent Self-governing Trade Union (1989)
The Award of the Three Uprising Wings (1990)
Katowice TV Award (1990)
The Award of the President of the Film Committee (1991)
ASCAP Award 1992 in Los Angeles for the music for the film Bram Stoker’s Dracula as well as Best Score Composer Award for a 1992 Horror Film in San Francisco
The Award of the American Composers’ Society for the music for the film Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1993)
W. Korfanty Award (1995)
“Lux ex Silesia” Award of the Katowice Metropolitan Archbishop (1995)
K. Kieślowski Award granted by the Bank Cultural Foundation (1996)
Sonderpreis des Kulturpreises Schlesien des Landes Niedersachsen (1996)
“Artur” – the honorary award of the Film Museum in Łódź during the First Film Music Festival (1997)
Special Prize of ZAIKS (Union of Stage Artists and Composers) (1998)
Honorary Citizenship of Rzeszów (1998)
Honorary Decoration of the City of Katowice (1998)
The Grand Award of the Foundation of Culture (2000)
“Golden Sceptre” of the Foundation of Polish Culture (2000)
Prize of the Katowice Gallery of BCC (2000)
“Feliks” – the prize of Gazeta Wyborcza (Bydgoszcz) (2000)
“Golden Duck” – a film prize awarded by the readers of the monthly Film for the music for the film Pan Tadeusz (2000) and The Pianist (2003)
“Eagles” – the Polish Film Award for the music for Pan Tadeusz (2000), Life as a Fatal Disease Communicated Through Sex (2001) and The Pianist (2003)
Brother Albert Prize (2001)
Philip Award for achievements in the domain of film music as part of the Music and Film Festival (2001)
Award of the Society of the Friends of Silesia in Warsaw (2002)
Laurel of the Upper Silesia Society of the Friends of Sciences (2002)
“Cesar” – the award of the French Film Academy for the music for The Pianist (2002)
“Super Victor” for the most outstanding personality of the telescreen (2002)
Command-er’s Cross with a Star of the Order of the Restoration of Poland (2002)
The Award of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2003)
“Golden Hipolit” Prize awarded by the Poznań Society of Hipolit Cegielski (2003)
“Ecce Homo” Award (2003)
“Ring of Bethlehem Magi” Award (2003)
Karol Miarka Prize (2003)
Juliusz Ligoń Prize (2003)
Medal "Fides et ratio" from the University of Kardynał Stefan Wyszyński in Warsaw (2007)
Golden Fryderyk (2012)
Order of the White Eagle (2012)
Koryfeusz Muzyki Polskiej Award (2012)

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