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This November we will be celebrating the 90th birthday of late Krzysztof Penderecki, one of the most eminent composers of contemporary music. The Orchestra of the Capital Royal City of Krakow Sinfonietta Cracovia – which had the honour of performing with the Maestro who was the patron of many of the ensemble’s projects – joins in the celebration of the jubilee, embarking on an ambitious tournee across Spain and Portugal.

The Penderecki 90 tour includes four concerts (in Alicante, Bilbao, Madrid and Porto, between 12 and 16 November 2023), with the prelude in the form of the performance of Sinfonietta Cracovia chamber musicians on 7 July on Tenerife, as part of the Fimucité International Film Music Festival. The programme for the tour proposed by Sinfonietta Cracovia management (Agata Grabowiecka and Katarzyna Tomala-Jedynak) includes both the canon of Krzysztof Penderecki’s works for string orchestra, and entirely new arrangements of pieces made popular by great master directors (Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch whose films are the leading theme of the Tenerife’s concert programme). For this occasion new arrangements are being created which combine the string sound with electronic music (prepared by young Polish musician Jan Sanejko and featuring the legend of electronic music, Ben Watkins, co-founder of the Juno Reactor project).

Today, the music of Krzysztof Penderecki is the evidence of European avant-garde, a frame of reference for subsequent generations of composers, and even an inspiration for the world of cinema. The mission of Sinfonietta Cracovia is fostering the living memory of the master of sonorism and conveying to the next generations of audiences the artistic challenge inscribed in his music. The programme of the Penderecki 90 tour showcases the tonal richness of such varied works as the thoroughly contemporary Sinfonietta no. 3, or the pastiche-like Three Pieces in Old Style.

Sinfonietta Cracovia will be conducted by its artistic director and first conductor. Sinfonietta had the privilege of working with the Professor, and its interpretations of the Maestro’s pieces are often a benchmark for other artistic ensembles. For me, it is a great honour and challenge, to be able to attempt the challenge of His works during the monographic concert, concludes Katarzyna Tomala-Jedynak.

Krzysztof Penderecki was the mentor for Sinfonietta Cracovia; many a time he conducted its musicians, and it was under his eye that the exemplary and bold interpretations of his multiple works emerged, resulting, among others, in the album Penderecki Sinfonietta(s) published by Sony Classical in 2020. Together with his wife, Elżbieta Penderecka, he was also the promotor of granting the ensemble the status of the municipal cultural institution of Krakow in 1994.  Today, the idea behind the ensemble is updating the message contained in Penderecki’s music. I feel that particularly now it is important for us to be committed to the living memory of Him and the projects in which Penderecki’s music meets new generations, says the orchestra’s director Agata Grabowiecka.

The Penderecki 90 concert tour is co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage within the programme for the Promotion of Polish Culture Abroad. Concerts in Madrid, Bilbao and Alicante are moreover co-financed by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the celebration of the 90th birthday of Krzysztof Penderecki. Find out about the remaining musical events at The partner of the concerts in Madrid and Bilbao is the prestigious artistic agency Harrison Parrot and the Portuguese part of the Tour has the support of the Embassy of Poland in Portugal.

Sinfonietta Cracovia is a municipal cultural institution of the city of Krakow. More information at

Adam Mickiewicz Institute is a national cultural institution, whose goal is to build a lasting interest in Polish culture around the world. The institute works with foreign partners and initiates international cultural dialogue in line with the goals and aims of Polish foreign policy. The institute has put on cultural projects in 70 countries on 6 continents, including Great Britain, France, Israel, Germany, Turkey, USA, Canada, Australia, Morocco, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, as well as in China, Japan and Korea. The highest quality of the Institute's projects is confirmed by awards at international exhibitions and festivals. In 2023, the Polish Pavilion "Poetics of Necessity” organised by AMI received a medal at the London Design Biennale.

The institute's flagship brand CULTURE.PL – an up to date cultural news service, discussing the most interesting events and phenomena related to Polish culture – offers articles and news in three languages: Polish, English, and Ukrainian.

AMI is funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.


7 July 2023: Tenerife, Teatro Leal

12 November 2023: Alicante, ADDA Auditorio de Música de Alicante

13 November 2023: Madrid, Auditorio of the Reina Sofía Museum

15 November 2023: Bilbao, Philharmonic Society

16 November 2023: Porto, Casa da Musica

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