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Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz, composer, music teacher and organist, b. 17th October 1916 in Sierpc; d. 21st November 1998 in Warsaw. He studied organ with Bronisław Rutkowski at the Warsaw Conservatoire (1936-39), and, after the war, composition with Kazimierz Sikorski at the State Higher School of Music in Łódź (degree in 1951). In the years directly following the war, he gave performances as a virtuoso organ-player and choirmaster, but later he dedicated himself primarily to composition and teaching. In 1945 he founded a primary and secondary music school in Płock, in which he held the posts of headmaster and teacher till 1949. He was engaged in the organisation of music life in the Mazowsze region (he founded choirs, taught conductors, etc.). In 1949-59 he taught at the State Higher School of Music in Łódź. In 1954 he took up a teaching post at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw – in which he held a professorial post from 1968. In 1963-69 he also acted as dean of the Faculty of Composition, Theory and Conducting, and in 1969-71 – as rector of the Academy of Music in Warsaw.
Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz was granted many awards and distinctions, incl. the Minister of National Defence Award (1968 and 1974), the Minister of Culture and Arts Award (1969 and 1978), the State Award, 3rd Class (1969), the Order of Merit to Cultural Life (1972), the Prime Minister's Award for works for children and young people (1979), and the Award of the Polish Composers’ Union (1985). He was also decorated with the Cavalier's and Officer's Crosses of the Polonia Restituta Order, the Medal of the National Education Committee, the Medal of the Warsaw Music Society for his contribution to the society's work, the Gold Medal of Honor for his work for the City of Warsaw.


Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz never flirted with the avant-garde. He always followed his own artistic route, which led him through the borderlands of tradition. Only two of his works were ever performed at the “Warsaw Autumn” Festival, which, the vicissitudes of the Festival’s programme policy notwithstanding, is still a good indicator of the conservative character of Paciorkiewicz’s music. In 1961, the “Warsaw Autumn” presented his song cycle Ciężar ziemi [The Earth’s Burden], and in 1986 – his String Quartet No. 2. The composer himself wrote in his commentary on the latter composition that “the form-shaping principles applied in this work are contemporary, which does not imply any radical rejection of the many centuries of achievements in this field, but is evident in the author’s emphasis on melodic clarity (polyphony) and harmonic transparency.”
Zbigniew Bagiński, who studied composition with Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz in the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw in 1967-72, shared his memories of work with the professor in an interview for “Ruch Muzyczny”: “It was a period of the triumphant expansion of radical trends in music, and hard times for artists who refused to yield to the ‘terror of the avant-garde’. Professor Paciorkiewicz – both as an artist and as a teacher – did not share the other artists’ enthusiasm for the constantly appearing new trends. He put trust in the values inherited from the music of the past, including the music of great 20th-century composers. He encouraged his students to analyse the works of Bartók, Hindemith, Stravinsky, but also Bach (Goldberg Variations!) and Beethoven. Nevertheless, he imposed no prohibitions on us. The pressure of the times was great, and one or another young composer frequently attempted to explore those currently fashionable regions (for who could resist the temptation to be a little more modern in those pre-postmodern times). The Professor calmly accepted those endeavours, without impatience or the slightest hint of anger. He trusted us, his students, and he believed that we would find our own way, our own world of musical values – he made no attempt to control our artistic search. Today I think that the Professor’s serenity, his tolerance for other people’s weaknesses, inner peace and satisfaction with life, which in his case was certainly not without cares, troubles, and failures – all this was grounded in his faith in the lasting values handed down to us by our great predecessors. This faith was totally independent from passing crazes and fashions, and was the fundament of his unchanging artistic ideals.”
By 1991, the year of a composer concert dedicated to Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz’s works, important changes had taken place in music. The “terror of the avant-garde” was already becoming but a faint memory. The Professor’s music sounded very fresh and vivid – both his older and more recent works – which, despite differences, share many common features: honest, high quality workmanship, clarity of expression, and a love of tradition.”

The internet site dedicated to the composer: www.paciorkiewicz.pl


Variations for string quartet * (1946)
Sonata for organ * (1946-47)
Ten Kurpie Songs for mixed choir (1948)
Kurpie Suite for small symphony orchestra (1948)
Overture for great symphony orchestra (1949)
From Chopin’s Songs for mixed choir (1949)
Ode to Youth [1st version], cantata for 4 solo voices, mixed choir and great symphony orchestra (1950)
Sonatina for piano * (1950)
Quintet for wind instruments * (1951)
Improvisation for solo harp * (1951)
Piano Concerto No. 1 (1951-52)
Symphony No. 1 (1953)
Ten Silesian Songs for mixed choir * (1954)
Piano Concerto No. 2 (1954)
Sonata for violin and piano * (1954)
Violin Concerto (1955)
Sonatina for two violins * (1955)
Cutouts from Sea Foam, small cantata for children’s choir and wind quintet * (1956)
Symphony No. 2 (1957)
Fantasy for violin and piano * (1957)
The Legend of Warsaw, ballet (1959)
Four Caprices (quasi una sonata) for clarinet and piano * (1960)
String Quartet No. 1 * (1960)
The Earth’s Burden [1st version] for voice and piano * (1960-61)
Fatherland for mixed choir and symphony orchestra (1961)
Ushiko, radio opera (1962)
Melodies and rhythms for piano * (1962-70)
Music for harp and 5 wind instruments * (1963)
Reed Trio * (1963)
Popular Overture for small symphony orchestra (1963)
Maiden from the Window, opera (1964)
Trio for flute, viola and harp * (1965-66)
Music for mezzo-soprano and string orchestra (1966)
Adagio and Allegro for string orchestra (1966-67)
The Earth’s Burden [2nd version] for soprano and orchestra (1967)
Ligea, radio opera (1967)
Organ Concerto No. 1 (1967)
Divertimento for clarinet and piano * or string orchestra (1968)
Soldier’s Fantasy for great wind orchestra (1968)
Gothic Fantasy for organ * (1968)
Improvvisazione for organ * (1968)
Postlude for organ * (1969)
Concerto for trombone and symphony orchestra * (1971)
Little Suite for 4 horns (1971)
Toccata No. 1 for organ * (1971)
Six Miniatures for 4 trombones (1971-72)
Piano Quintet * (1972)
De revolutionibus, oratorio for 4 solo voices, reciting voice, mixed choir, boys’ choir, organ concertante and great symphony orchestra (1972)
Missa brevis for mixed choir and organ (1973)
Duo Concertante [1st version] for clarinet and piano * (1973)
Duo Concertante [2nd version] for viola and piano (1974)
Sonata for cello and piano * (1974)
Toccata No. 2 for organ (1975)
Triptych for solo harp * (1975)
Concerto for viola and orchestra (1975-76)
Triptychon per organo * (1976-77)
Orpheus in the Woods, cantata for mixed choir * (1977)
Chamber Music for two brass quartets * (1978)
Ave Regina caelorum for mixed choir (1978)
Concerto alla barocco for harpsichord and small symphony orchestra (1978)
Diptychos for organ * (1978-80)
Concerto for harp, flute, and string orchestra (1979-80)
Preludes for wind quintet (1980)
Ode to Youth [2nd version], cantata for 4 solo voices, mixed choir and great symphony orchestra (1980-81)
String Quartet No. 2 (1982)
Concerto for oboe and symphony orchestra (1982)
Andante for violin and organ * (1984)
Concerto for two violins and orchestra (1984)
Polish Litany for mixed choir (1984)
Three Little Preludes and Fugues for organ * (1984-85)
Warsaw Triptych, 3 songs for mixed choir (1985)
Two Chorales for organ * (1985)
Reflexions for trumpet and organ (1987)
Decet for wind quintet and string quintet (1987-88)
Concerto No. 2 for organ and string orchestra (1987-88)
Sonata for viola and piano (1987-88)
Aria for viola and piano (1988)
Flute Quintet * (1988)
Symphony No. 3 (1989)
Concerto for viola, organ and orchestra (1989-90)
Sequence for organ * (1990)
Lauda Sion, dialogues for organ and harp (1990)
Ave Maria for mixed choir and organ (1991)
Concerto for cello and chamber ensemble (1991)
Andante calmato for cello and organ (1991)
Symphony No. 4 (1992)
Psalm 150 – Laudate Dominum for 5 solo voices or a 5-part mixed choir and organ (1993)
Caprice for solo clarinet (1995)
Andante for violin and viola (1996)

literatura wybrana

Hanuszewska Mieczysława Paciorkiewicz Tadeusz In: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Second Edition (ed. Stanley Sadie), vol. 18, Macmillan Publishers Limited, London 2001
Jaraczewska-Mockałło Krystyna Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz. Katalog twórczości i bibliografia [Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz. A Catalogue of Works and a Bibliography], Akademia Muzyczna w Warszawie, Warszawa 1998
Mrygoń Adam Paciorkiewicz Tadeusz In: Encyklopedia Muzyczna PWM (część biograficzna pod red. Elżbiety Dziębowskiej), t. „n-pa” [PWM Music Encyclopaedia, biographical part ed. by Elżbieta Dziębowska], vol. “N-Pa”, PWM, Kraków 2002
Peret-Ziemlańska Zofia Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz – pożegnanie [Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz – A Farewell] In: W hołdzie zmarłym absolwentom i pedagogom Akademii Muzycznej im. Fryderyka Chopina w Warszawie [Homage to the Late Graduates and Teachers from the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw], Akademia Muzyczna w Warszawie, Warszawa 1999