Connoisseurs of modern music, Polish culture enthusiasts, and Twin Peaks fans – take note:
Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki will be in Indiana this week, to conduct a performance of his St. Luke Passion at Indiana University (along with receiving an honorary degree and being part of a symposium dedicated to his music).
Penderecki is known best for his frightening and affecting work for strings, Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima. This piece and many of his other works are noted for the dense masses of sound, with notes dissonantly clustered together, often to chilling effect.
His music has shown up as part of the soundtracks to The Shining, The Exorcist, Children of Men, Shutter Island, and most recently, the “Trinity” Episode of Twin Peaks (as well as David Lynch's Wild at Heart and Inland Empire.)
Penderecki's music also includes choral works, most notably St. Luke's Passion from 1966, a monumental work blending elements of old traditions with modern soundscapes.
What does this have to do with you, who will probably not be able to hop a train to central Indiana by the middle of the week? The performance and the symposium will be streamed online through IUMusicLive – you can watch it all here online here on Wednesday November 15th. The symposium is at noon and the concert is at 8pm (Note: Bloomington, Indiana is on Eastern time, same as Rochester.)
Want to know more about Penderecki and his music? Take some time to listen to Halina Goldberg, professor of musicology at Indiana University, and choral conductor Dominick DiOrio discuss Penderecki and his music and the connections that led to this week's events.
You can also read and hear more about Penderecki in this post from NPR Music's Deceptive Cadence blog from a few years ago, marking Penderecki's 80th birthday.