Opening of Bartek Barczyk’s photo exhibition in memory of Krzysztof Penderecki at the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR)

A brilliant composer, conductor and exceptional pedagogue. A Polish composer who left behind great works that are forever inscribed in the history of world music and culture. Krzysztof Penderecki, as he is referred to, was undoubtedly an outstanding figure whose artistic output changed the face of contemporary classical music. A large-format exhibition entitled 12 Words of a Master, featuring the works of the outstanding photographer Bartek Barczyk, was dedicated to his memory. The inauguration of the exhibition at the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, was accompanied by a semi-stage performance of one of the composer’s exceptional operas, The Black Mask. The exhibition can be visited until 29 December 2023

on 23 November 2023, the anniversary of the Master’s 90th birthday, a staged concert performance of Krzysztof Penderecki’s ‘The Black Mask’ took place in the concert hall of the Katowice-based National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR). The orchestra was conducted by the excellent Marin Alsop. The event was accompanied by a large-format exhibition 12 Words of a Master, featuring photographs by Bartek Barczyk dedicated to Maestro Penderecki. The choice of such a significant date, but also the venue for the event, was not accidental. As a composer and conductor, Krzysztof Penderecki was associated with the NOSPR for several decades

The architectural concept of the NOSPR headquarters itself is a kind of tribute to his memory. Designed by the studio of Tomasz Konior – a respected architect and owner of Konior Studio, who is inseparably linked to Silesia – it is modern, but immersed in the old context of Katowice. The brick pillars, rough on the surface, smooth and bright red in the recesses, are reminiscent of the windows of the familoks of the Nikiszowiec mining estate. Inside, it is still a true factory of material harmony: concrete, marble and wood. The area around the headquarters is filled with a summer amphitheatre and a green hornbeam labyrinth. This was the species of tree advised to the designers by Krzysztof Penderecki himself, a keen dendrologist

No wonder then that it was architect Tomasz Konior who was invited to collaborate on the design of the exhibition space, which takes us on a short yet moving journey into the Maestro’s soul. Dominik Koroś of Konior Studio also worked on the concept of the exhibition. 12 Words of a Maestro is a concise story about Krzysztof Penderecki’s legacy, captured in Bartek Barczyk’s frames, which is helped by fragments of conversations with the artist conducted by Aleksander Laskowski. It was thanks to this outstanding journalist, promoter of classical music and author of numerous books and publications in this field, that the idea of ‘writing’ an interdisciplinary biography of the Master was born

– As̨ the work on the book progressed (or rather, did not progress), I had a deeper and deeper conviction that the river interview was a form that did not suit Krzysztof Penderecki and thus could not tell the truth about him. At that time I met Bartek Barczyk. I was greatly impressed by his sensitivity to music̨ and his ability, so rare nowadays, to listen to the other person, even when he says almost nothing. Then I saw the pictures. […] I think it was then that we both realised̨ that combining the Professor’s words with photographs could be a good form of telling stories about him,” writes Aleksander Laskowski
12 Words is a collection of 12 photographs that magically add up to fragments of conversations with Krzysztof Penderecki. Each of them touches on issues and matters important to the Maestro – Concept, Nature, Wife, Time or Form. These are also the titles of the individual photographs, which open up to the exhibition’s visitors – a deep field for the interpretation of words and images, and thus an attempt to get to know the Maestro himself. And although there are 12 photographs, the exhibition closes with the 13th exhibition – Cluster: an epilogue without a photograph. Without a photograph, because this image must be sought in the music…

For the exhibition 12 Words of a Master is not only a look at the artist, but also at the man who touches the deepest recesses of human experience with his music. The project is supported by the media agency OKK! PR agency, whose owner, Olga Kisiel Konopka, is known for her promotion of art in its broadest sense in architecture-related circles. The exhibition can still be visited until 29 December 2023

See also: Photography | Museum | Events | Art

Latest content on the site

Beauty is all around you