Romuald Twardowski

Composer and educator, born on 17th June 1930 in Vilnius. He studied composition with Julius Juzeliūnas at Vilnius Conservatory (1952–1957) and with Bolesław Woytowicz at Warsaw’s State Higher School of Music (1957–1960). In 1963 and 1966 he continued his composition studies under the guidance of Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

In 1972–2010 Twardowski was a lecturer on the faculty of Warsaw’s Academy of Music (now the Chopin University of Music). He served on the juries of prestigious music competitions (among others, from 1983 as president of the jury of the International Festival of Orthodox Church Music in Hajnówka, and from 1991 as a member of the Artistic Committee of the International Festival of Sacred Music “Gaude Mater” in Częstochowa).

His rich and varied output combines the achievements of 20th-century composition technique with elements of historical traditions, and has developed in three main directions: stage works (including operas: Cyrano de Bergerac, 1962; Tragedy or the Story of John and Herod, 1964; Lord Jim, 1973); sacred music (e.g. Psalmus 149 for mixed choir, 1962; Little Orthodox Liturgy for vocal ensemble and 3 instrumental groups, 1968; Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom for mixed choir, 2006), and educational pieces (e.g. Little Concerto for piano and instrumental group, 1980; Youth Trio for violin, cello and piano, 1993).

His works have frequently been awarded in international competitions. For instance, Antifoneper tre gruppi d’orchestra won the 2nd prize in the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris (1963); Sonetti di Petrarca — 1st prize in Prague (1966), ballet-pantomime The Sorcerer’s Statues and the drama Lord Jim — 1st prizes in Monaco (respectively in 1965 and 1973).

In 1995 he was presented with the annual Award of the Polish Composers’ Union, and in 2006 — the Paderewski Award in Baltimore. His other accolades include a Cavalier’s (1974) and Officer’s (1985) Cross-es of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Golden Badge with Diamond of the Polish Association of Choirs and Orchestras (2007), and the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture — Gloria Artis (2010). Since 2012 there has been a primary music school of his name in Puławy.

Phot. Bartek Barczyk
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