Henryk Górecki
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Górecki’s early penchant for music was marked by stubbornperseverance on his part far more than by recognition ofchildhood talent or encouragement from a supportive family. His first formal instruction in composition began with Boleslaw Szabelski at the High School of Music in Katowice in 1955. As a composer, his provincial isolation proved to be something of a boon, for he was free to develop his craft relatively unencumbered by prevailing political dogma. He turned first to advanced serialism, the vogue in the 1950s, but by 1958 he had developed a style based upon the manipulation of timbre, texture, and register. From that point forward recognition came quickly, represented by a first prize from the Polish Composer’s Union in 1960, three prizes from the Polish Ministry of Culture (1965, 1969, 1973), and first prize at the UNESCO competition in Paris in 1973.