• Eric J. Cullen

IN MEMORIAM: Krzysztof Penderecki Passes

Updated: Sep 21, 2021

When his music is adapted for horror, the works of Krzysztof Penderecki can bring a truly frightening element to a film looking to scare its audience. Films like William Friedkin’s The Exorcist and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, both feature music composed and created by Penderecki and those that have seen either film, know just how impactful music can be.

On November 23rd, 1933, Penderecki was born in Dębica, Poland, the youngest of three siblings. After World War II, Krzysztof would study violin under Stanisław Darłak and in 1958 he would graduate the Academy of Music in Kraków.


Penderecki would take up teaching after graduation and the very next year would begin to gain recognition for his work. In 1965 Penderecki married his second wife, Elżbieta Penderecka. Already with a daughter from his first marriage, Penderecki would go on to have two children with Penderecka, a son and daughter and continue to live in Kraków, Poland.

Krzysztof Penderecki with his education in music theory, would go on to create some of the most admired sounds and works in string and large orchestra. Krzysztof would become an honorary doctor and honorary professor of several universities throughout his life which sadly came to an end today, March 29th.


The works and sounds of Krzysztof Penderecki will continue to be cherished by musicians and fans of music worldwide, his work with so much to offer other forms of media and art. I myself will continue to enjoy waking up to The Awakening of Jacob on weekdays. It's my favorite alarm, next to anything Nate Dogg.

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