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Henryk Górecki to Be Celebrated in Free Memorial Concert at New York's (Le) Poisson Rouge

Henryk Górecki by Gerry Hurkmans

Polish composer Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, who passed away a year ago this week, will be celebrated in a free memorial concert at New York's (Le) Poisson Rouge tonight. The all-Górecki program, presented by LPR and the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, features Górecki's Kleines Requiem für eine Polka, performed by Ensemble Signal, led by Brad Lubman, and Quasi una Fantasia: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 64, performed by the JACK Quartet.

As a result of Poland's increasing political emancipation in the late 1980s, Górecki's music traveled more widely and attracted new performers and audiences in the West. This renewed interest led to the composition of three major string quartets for Kronos Quartet, including Quasi una fantasia, completed in 1991. Not long after came the 1992 Nonesuch recording of Górecki's Symphony No. 3, "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs," featuring Dawn Upshaw and the London Sinfonietta, which brought the composer a worldwide audience and sold more than a million copies. Górecki completed his Kleines Requiem in 1993.

“The inclusion of the Kleines Requiem on the program was very important to us," says Anna Perzanowska, Music Programmer for The Polish Cultural Institute in New York, "as this great piece is heard less often than his quartets or the Third Symphony." Perzanowska expects tonight's event to be "a very special concert, meaningful to the memory of Górecki and hopefully the larger community.”

Tonight's memorial concert is free and open to the public with required RSVP. For more information, visit

To read Kronos Quartet founder David Harrington's remembrance of Henryk Górecki published last year in the Nonesuch Journal, click here. For more on the Nonesuch recordings of these and other of Górecki's works, click here.


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