Wojciech Kilar (17 July 1932 – 29 December 2013) was a Polish classical and film music composer. His film scores have won many honors including the best score award for the music to Ziemia obiecana (The Promised Land) in 1975, followed by the Prix Louis Delluc in 1980 for the music to Le Roi et l'Oiseau / The King and the Mockingbird, and an award at the Cork International Film Festival for the music to From A Far Country (1981) about the life of Pope John Paul II. One of his greatest successes...
Wojciech Kilar (17 July 1932 – 29 December 2013) was a Polish classical and film music composer. His film scores have won many honors including the best score award for the music to Ziemia obiecana (The Promised Land) in 1975, followed by the Prix Louis Delluc in 1980 for the music to Le Roi et l'Oiseau / The King and the Mockingbird, and an award at the Cork International Film Festival for the music to From A Far Country (1981) about the life of Pope John Paul II.
One of his greatest successes came with his score to Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1993 which received the ASCAP Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Producers in Los Angeles, nominated also for the Saturn Award for Best Music in a science fiction, fantasy, or horror film in San Francisco in 1993. In 2003, he won the César Award for Best Film Music written for The Pianist, at France's 28th César Awards Ceremony in 2003, for which he also received a BAFTA nomination. The film's soundtrack featured his "Moving to the Ghetto Oct. 31, 1940" with the other 10 tracks being works by Frédéric Chopin. The music in the movie includes pieces by Beethoven and Bach.
Wojciech Kilar was born on 17 July 1932 in Lwów (then Poland; since 1945 Lviv in UkrSSR, now Ukraine). His father was a gynecologist and his mother was a theater actress. Kilar spent most of his life from 1948 in the city of Katowice in Southern Poland, married (from April 1966 to November 2007) to Barbara Pomianowska, a pianist. Kilar was 22 years old when he met 18-year-old Barbara, his future wife.
Later in life, Kilar composed symphonic music, chamber works and works for solo instruments. January 2001 saw the world premiere of his Missa pro pace (composed for a full symphony orchestra, mixed choir and a quartet of soloists) at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. The work was written to commemorate the Warsaw Philharmonic's centennial. In December 2001, it was performed again in the Paul VI Audience Hall in the presence of Pope John Paul II. His 1984 composition Angelus was used in the motion picture City of Angels; Orawa, from 1988, found its use in the Santa Clara Vanguard's 2003 production, "Pathways".
For most of his life, Kilar's output was dominated by music for film with a small but steady stream of concert works. Post 2000, he turned to "music of a singular authorship". Since his 2003 September Symphony, (Symphony No.3), a four-movement full scale symphony written for the composer's friend Antoni Wit, Kilar returned to absolute music. September Symphony was the first symphony by the composer since 1955's Symphony for Strings (along with another student symphony) and Kilar considered it his first mature symphony (composed at age 71).
From 2003, Kilar had been steadily producing large scale concert works. His Lament (2003) for unaccompanied mixed choir, his Symphony No.4 Sinfonia de Motu (Symphony of Motion) from 2005 written for large orchestra, choir and soloists, his Magnificat Mass from 2006, Symphony No.5 Advent Symphony from 2007 and another large mass, Te Deum premiered in November 2008. Kilar was quoted as saying that he believed he had discovered the philosopher's stone, and that "there was nothing more beautiful than the solitary sound or concord that lasted eternally, that this was the deepest wisdom, nothing like our tricks with sonata allegros, fugues, and harmonics." Kilar's works have been performed by several major international orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.