Today, November 23, is Krzysztof Penderecki’s 82nd birthday. While can be argued that he is our greatest living composer (only Boulez might challenge him in that position) there’s no doubt that he is our most influential; even if you’ve never heard any of his music if you’ve seen a horror movie from the last thirty years the terrifying, massed-strings sounds that you heard were his invention (and, outside of university sponsored recitals, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ve never heard anything influenced by Boulez). For good reason the Poles regard him as a national hero, he’s the most widely known Polish composer since Chopin.
Here is a performance of Penderecki’s Second Violin Concerto, conducted by the maestro and performed by Juyoung Baek. Celebrate this happy day with all of us at Refinersfire.