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Explore Penderecki's Garden

The Adam Mickiewicz Institute opens Penderecki’s Garden, a digital project celebrating the life, influence and legacy of Krzysztof Penderecki, a year after his death.

Penderecki’s Garden is a virtual, interactive space inspired by the work of Krzysztof Penderecki, one of Poland’s most celebrated composers, who passed away on 29 March 2020. Through the virtual garden’s layout, architectural structures and vegetation, audiences are invited to explore the life of Penderecki alongside compositions, inspirations and poems.

Penderecki’s Garden will provide a comprehensive overview of the composer’s legacy. Short sound, visual and audio-visual pieces will show the scale and significance of the cultural phenomenon of Penderecki’s music which crosses over multiple genres including film, rock, jazz, classical and electronic.

I am thrilled about the premiere of Penderecki’s Garden, a project devoted to the two greatest passions of my husband – music and nature. The initiative of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute will introduce international audiences to his world and its unique character, inspiring the next generation of creators– Elżbieta Penderecka, Penderecki’s widow.

poster with Penderecki

A garden is a space, and this is exactly how we treat this project. Not as a website, but as a place to meet Krzysztof Penderecki and those he inspired. It is a space filled with his creativity and passion. The visitors can discover the links between Penderecki’s Dies irae and Picasso’s Guernica, listen to a concert in the amphitheatre, and learn about the Lusławice garden’s species of trees. In the future, they will also be able to ‘walk’ the garden maze.”– Barbara Krzeska, Deputy Director of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

Tonight (8pm CET) AMI will host a special concert in memory of Krzystof Penderecki featuring the Atom String Quartet performing arrangements of Penderecki’s music in addition to world premiere performances of new works by Max Richter and Hania Rani. The two new works were commissioned by AMI for this occasion. The concert will be available to watch in the Amphitheatre of Penderecki’s Garden and is free to watch.

In connection with the project, AMI released a special digital album featuring Penderecki’s lesser-known Painters of Gdańsk, a twenty-minute piece he wrote as the soundtrack Marian Ussorowski’s film of the same name in 1964. To go alongside this piece, AMI commissioned three Polish artists – DJ duo Skalpel, sound artist Pobert Piotrowicz and composer Paweł Romańczuk -to compose short works inspired by Penderecki, all of which were written in 2020. The digital album will be available to listen to for free in April, and a number of limited-edition vinyl will be available throughout 2021. 

Krzysztof Penderecki (23 November 1933 – 29 March 2020) was a Polish composer and conductor whose versatile musical output was referenced across a wide range of genres. Penderecki won many prizes and awards including the Sibelius Gold Medal, two Prix Italia and five Grammy Awards. One of Penderecki’s most well-known works is “Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima”,a work written in 1960, which was awarded the Tribune Internationale des Composieurs UNESCO prize.

Aside from being a ground-breaking musician, he devoted his free time to nurturing his remarkable garden in Lusławice, Poland. In his honour, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute has created a new digital space combining his two greatest passions – music and gardening – to celebrate his extraordinary life: a virtual garden, which will grow along with his legacy. Enter and watch it bloom.

Financed by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport of the Republic of Poland as part of the Multi-annual Programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017-2022