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Szymanowski, Karol Maciej

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Born: 1882 AD
Died: 1937 AD, at 54 years of age.

Nationality: Polish
Categories: Composers

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1882 - Born on October 6th in Timoshovka, Ukraine, Russian Empire. He was the foremost Polish composer of the early 20th century. 1901-1904 - Szymanowski began to compose and play the piano at an early age. He went to Warsaw and studied harmony, counterpoint, and composition privately. 1905-1912 - Finding the musical life in Warsaw limiting, he went to Berlin, where he organized the Young Polish Composers' Publishing Co. to publish new works by his countrymen. 1913 - His compositions from this period, which include the opera "Hagith", show the influence of Strauss, Wagner, and Scriabin. 1914-1917 - Isolated from the European musical community, he composed copiously and studied Islmic culture and ancient Greek drama and philosophy.          - Szymanowski's works from this period, which include Mity (“Myths”), Metopy (“Metopes”), and Maski (“Masques”), show great originality and diversity of style. 1918 - Szymanowski became deeply interested in the Polish folk idiom and tried to create a Polish national style, a task unattempted since Chopin.          - Szymanowski also traveled widely, promoting his works in London, Paris, and the United States and receiving international acclaim for his operas Hagith and Król Roger (“King Roger”). 1927 - He settled in Warsaw to assume the directorship of the Warsaw Conservatory for five years with the aim of improving musical education in Poland. 1930-1933 - Szymanowski retreated from the direct use of folk music in his compositions, and though he continued to use folk music material, his forms and orchestration recall those of his earlier works.          - Among the major works from this last period are the "Symphony No. 4" and the choral works "Veni Creator" and "Litania Do Marii Panny" (“Litany to the Virgin Mary”). 1937 - He died on March 29th in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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Page last updated: 12:32pm, 25th Dec '09