Konowalski, Benedykt

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Benedykt Konowalski


Born: March 21, 1928

Country: Poland

Studies: Warsaw University (1952), Warsaw Music Academy (1960/62)

Teachers: Jan Maklakiewicz, Tadeusz Szeligowski

Benedykt Konowalski was born in 1928. He is a composer, conductor and teacher. He first graduated in law from the University of Warsaw (1952). A year later he gained a diploma in music education from the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw. He subsequently studied composition with Jan Maklakiewicz and Tadeusz Szeligowski (diploma in 1960) and conducting with Stanisław Wisłocki (diploma in 1964). In 1966 he joined the faculty of the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw (later the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy and now the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music) as a lecturer. In 1973-1974 he served as Deputy Dean of the Department of Composition, Conducting and Music Theory. In 1978-1998 he was Head of the Section of Brass Band Conducting; in 1984-1987 he held the post of Deputy Chancellor of the Music Academy. In 1987 he received the title of associate professor and in 1992 of full professor.

Since making his conducting debut in 1954, he has worked with numerous symphony orchestras in Poland and abroad. He has given first performances of many works by contemporary Polish composers, including Piotr Perkowski, Witold, Rudziński, Tadeusz Baird, Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz, Kazimierz Sikorski and Wawrzyniec Żuławski. He has made recordings for TV, radio and various labels, with such ensembles as the Great Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio and Television in Katowice (now Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra) and the Warsaw Philharmonic. His own compositions are featured on 30 records, produced in Poland and abroad, including seven devoted solely to his music. He has served as music director in numerous performances staged by drama companies, music theatres and operettas.

He began his compositional career in 1960 with the opera Chagall’s Album (to a libretto by J. Gałkowski and B. Choiński). His output comprises over 250 works, including 18 symphonies, 3 requiem settings, 39 concertos, 5 organ symphonies, 7 oratorios, over 100 chamber pieces, choral compositions, suites, vocal and vocal-instrumental works, ballets as well as teaching pieces for children and young people.

Over fifty of his works have been published in Poland and abroad, and many of tchem have been performed during concerts and at festivals in prestigious venues in Europe (Düsseldorf, Cologne, St. Petersburg, Salzburg, London, Tallinn, Sofia, Paris), America (Rochester, Washington, Indianapolis, Richmond, Mexico City, Caracas), as well as in Pusan (South Korea) and in Singapore. He has participated in numerous international symposia and congresses (Copenhagen, Rome, London, Paris, Buenos Aires, Montreal, Madrid, Budapest, Berlin, Prague, Cannes).

He served as chairman of the Popular Music Section and of the Publications Commision of the Polish Composers Union, a member of the Board and of the Praesidium of the ZAiKS Authors and Composers Association, as well as a member of Scholarships Commission of the Ministry of Culture and Art. He is a co-founder of the Music Publishers of the Authors Agency. He has sat on the juries of many music competitions in Poland and abroad.

He is a prize-winner of the Stanisław Wiechowicz Composers Competition (1968), the competition of the Warsaw Branch of the Polish Composers Union (1990), the Feliks Nowowiejski Competition (1996) and the Grażyna Bacewicz Competition (1999). He is the recipent of numerous awards for his artistic achievements as well as in his teaching and social work, including the prizes of the Minister of Culture and Art. (1977, 1987), the Minister of National Defence (1985), the Prime Minister (1979 – 1st Degree Prize and 1987 – 2nd Degree Prize) and of the Chancellor of the Music Academy in Warsaw (1980, 1997). His honours also include the Knight’s Cross and the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Golden Honrary Badge for Services to the City of Warsaw, the ‘Polonia Mater Nostra Est’ Medal for Outstanding Services to the Polish Nation and State (1998), the Medal for the 80th anniversary of Polish independence (1998), and the ‘Gloria Artis’ Silver Medal of Cultural Merit (2009).[1]

Works for Percussion

Rondo for Solo Percussion - Multiple Percussion
The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - Multiple Percussion; Organ
Quadruple Concerto - Percussion Quartet; Orchestra
Music for Solo Violin and Percussion Instruments - Percussion Quartet; Violin
Contradictory Dialogoues - Marimba; Clarinet
Triplex Concerto - Multiple Percussion; Piano, Bass, Orchestra