29.03.2021 - 30.11.2021 Music

In Memory of Krzysztof Penderecki, Polish Composer

We encourage you to watch the video of the planting of the Krzysztof Penderecki Tree in the Meise Botanic Garden:

29 March this year marks the first anniversary of death of Krzysztof Penderecki, composer and conductor, one of the most important pioneers and creators of world contemporary music..

To commemorate the work and life of Krzysztof Penderecki, on the initiative of the Polish Institute in Brussels and the Meise Botanic Garden, a tree dedicated to the composer was planted in this garden near Brussels. The composer himself visited the garden in Meise during his artistic stays in Belgium.

In the words of Steven Dessein, director of the Meise Botanic Garden: “We are very honoured that we are here in Belgium, just a few minutes away from Brussels we are able to participate in what we could call the greatest composition of Krzysztof Penderecki, since he himself built a very large arboretum in Poland and he named it his biggest composition.”

A heavily branched tree, Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’, was planted at the end of the main avenue of the magnificent Rosarium. The tree has the special feature of flowering in late autumn, on the composer’s birthday, 23 November.  The bright pink flowers are a nice surprise in the cold season, and the green leaves take on beautiful copper-yellow hues in autumn.

Krzysztof Penderecki is the author of symphonic compositions such as ‘Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima’ (‘8’37)’, ‘St Luke Passion’, ‘Polish Requiem’ and the oratorio ‘Dies Illa’ . The premiere of the last piece on 9 November 2014 in the Koekelberg Basilica in Brussels is linked to the Polish composer’s long-standing cooperation with the Festival of Flanders. Among his operatic compositions we should mention “The Devils of Loudun” and “Paradise Lost”, commissioned to celebrate the 200th founding of the United States and presented for the first time by the Chicago Opera. Krzysztof Penderecki, a humanist and a man of culture, did not leave behind only musical works. It was his initiative to create the European Centre for Music in Lusławice, near Cracow, dedicated to young talented artists. He was an admirer of trees – he was the architect of the Arboretum in Lusławice with several thousand tree species.

We would like to thank the Meise Botanic Garden team for their openness, enthusiasm and kindness during the realization of the project of planting Krzysztof Penderecki’s Tree.

The music for the video ‘In Memory of Krzysztof Penderecki, Polish Composer’ was composed by Katarzyna Głowicka. The video was produced by Kea Leens P.R.ODACTION.

The planting of a tree dedicated to Krzysztof Penderecki in the Meise Botanic Garden is part of the virtual project “Enter Penderecki’s Garden” launched by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in 2020. On 29 March 2021, the first anniversary of the composer’s death, a website dedicated to the life and work of the artist will be inaugurated: Penderecki’s Garden.  

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