Polish composer Penderecki dies at 86 after long illness

WARSAW/KRAKOW (Reuters) – Poland’s Krzysztof Penderecki, one of the world’s most celebrated composers, died on Sunday at the age of 86, his family said.

Penderecki was known for his film scores, including for William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist”, Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” and David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart”, for his Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima and the largely atonal St Luke’s Passion.

“After a long and serious illness, Krzysztof Penderecki — one of the greatest Polish musicians, a world authority in the field of classical music died,” Poland’s Ministry of Culture said in a tweet.

Penderecki had been tested for coronavirus after his carer was diagnosed with the illness, but the composer’s result was negative, his daughter Beata Penderecka told Reuters.

Part of the family had been under quarantine at home after attending a family meeting on March 7, Penderecka said. Several people present later tested positive for coronavirus.

Elzbieta Penderecka, the composer’s wife tested negative, Beata Penderecka said.

Penderecki won four Grammy awards for his music, most recently for best choral performance in 2016.

(Reporting by Anna Koper and Wojciech Zurawski; writing by Alan Charlish; Editing by Louise Heavens and Catherine Evans)

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