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Andrzej Panufnik Timeline

Born in Warsaw, 24 September, into musical family


First attempts at composition, age 9.


Studies theory and composition at Warsaw State Conservatoire. Gains diploma with distinction in half the normal period. First recognition as composer for Piano Trio.


Studies conducting under Felix Weingartner in Vienna until 1939. Further studies in Paris and London


Joins family in Warsaw on outbreak of World War II. Survives Nazi occupation, performing in piano duo with Witold Lutoslawski, including 'underground' concerts of banned music. Composes Tragic Overture and second symphony; also the still popular Warszawskie Dzieci (Warsaw Children) and other resistance songs. All his music destroyed in Warsaw Uprising of 1944.


Conductor of Krakow Philharmonic and Music Director of Polish Army Film Productions. Reconstructs from memory some of his lost scores, but decides to abandon the two symphonies.


Music Director of Warsaw Philharmonic. With Twelve Miniature Studies and the quarter-tone elements in Lullaby he lays the ground for the future Polish avant-garde movement.


Wins Karol Szymanowski Competition, Krakow, with Nocturne. Undertakes first guest appearances conducting leading European orchestras including Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and l'Orchestre National, Paris.


With Sinfonia Rustica, wins Chopin Cempetition. Is acknowledged as Poland's leading composer, and is awarded the highest medal, Standard of Labour, 1st Class, but difficulties soon ensue with the imposition of the soviet doctrine of Socialist Realism.


Vice-Chairman, with Arthur-Honnegger, of International Music Council of UNESCO, though not allowed to attend meetings. Sent to USSR to observe teaching methods and meets Shostakovich. To avoid political pressures on composing style begins series of works based on early Polish music, including Old Polish Suite.


Awarded State Laureate of Poland this and following year despite consistent refusal to join the Communist Party. Marries Scarlett O'Mahoney-Rudnicka


Heroic Overture wins Pre-Olympic Competition in Warsaw. Conducts premiere at Helsinki Olympic Games, but the work is banned in Poland for being "formalistic and decadent"


As head of Polish cultural delegation meets Chou En Lai and Chairman Mao. Deaths of composer's father and 6-month-old daughter


Escapes from Poland as protest against political control over creative artists. Settles in England. In Poland he has officially "ceased to exist"


Leopold Stokowski, a champion of his music, conducts world premiere of Sinfonia Elegiaca in Houston, Texas. Panufnik appointed Musical Director of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. First Marriage ends


Resigns Birmingham post to concentrate on composition, with occasional guest conducting


Sinfonia Sacra is awarded Prix de Composition Prince Pierre de Monaco. Marries the writer and photographer Camilla Jessel


Sibelius Centenary Medal for Composition, London


Birth of daughter Roxanna (also a composer)


Birth of son Jeremy


Leopold Stockowski conducts premiere of Universal Prayer in New York, later recording it in Westminster Cathedral, London. Jascha Horenstein records Panufnik disc for Unicorn-Kanchana with the London Symphony Orchestra, beginning a long association between composer and the LSO


Yehudi Menuhin commissions, premieres and records Violin Concerto


Sinfonia di Sfere is premiered at the Royal Festival Hall by the London Cymphony Orchestra under David Atherton


Panufnik's music is heard in Poland for the first time in 23 years with performances of Universal Prayer at Warsaw Autumn on insistence of members of Polish Composers' Union


Sinfonia Sacra recieves ovation after its Polish premiere at Warsaw Autumn with Sir Alexander Gibson conducting the Scottish National Orchestra


Further Polish performances including Wada Wilkomirska in Violin Concerto. London Symphony Orchestra gives premiere of Concerto Festivo, a commission for its 75th anniversary


Sinfonia Quartet No.2 'Messages' premiered by Gabrieli Quartet. Composes Concertino for timpani, percussion and strings as set work for the Shell-LSO Music Scholarship


Seiji Ozawa conducts and records Sinfonia Votiva, a commission for the centenary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Sir Georg Solti conducts Sinfonia Sacra with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra


Awarded the Prix de Composition Musicale Prince Rainier III de Monaco for his entire oeuvre


Conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in a celebration of his 70th birthday at the Barbican. World premiere in New York of Arbor Cosmica, commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, conducted by Gerard Schwarz


Bassoon Concerto commissioned and premiered by Robert Thompson in Milwaukee. Polish premiere of Sinfonia Votiva at Warsaw Autumn


Conducts world premiere of Symphony No.9 commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society for the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Publication by Methuen of autobiograph Composing Myself


String Sextet commissioned by Park Lane Group and premiered in London. Makes New York conducting debut in all-Panufnik programme with the New York Chamber Symphony. A young Pole is arrested in Poland for distributing translated chapters of Panufnik autobiography


Premiere of Harmony by the New York Chamber Symphony; recordings reissued on CD by Unicorn-Kanchana records the Bassoon and Violin Concertos, the first of several discs on the Conifer Classics label sponsored by Technics


Conducts premiere performances of Symphony No.10, a centennial commission from Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Sir Georg Solti. To mark the new-found freedoms in Poland makes a momentous return visit after an absence of 36 years for the Warsaw Autumn Philharmonic in opening all-Panufnik concert and Scottish Chamber Orchestra in European premiere of Harmony


Knighted in New Year Honours. Symphony No.9 and Piano concerto recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra for Conifer, the last time he conducts. Cello Concerto commissioned by the LSO for Mstislav Rostropovich completed in September.


Dies in Twickenham. Recieves posthumous award by Polish President, Lech Walesa, of Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restitua


Panufnik memorial concerts include premiere of Cello Concerto in London conducted by Hugh Wolff with Rostropovich as soloist, followed by recording on the NMC label


20th ANNIVERSARY of death


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