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Collection Description: Roman Palester - a Composer from behind the Iron Curtain

Roman Palester (1907-1989) was one of the greatest Polish composers of the 20th century, by many considered to be the "successor of Karol Szymanowski". He studied piano at the Kraków Institute of Music, Lviv Conservatory, Art History at Warsaw University, Composition and Music Theory at the Warsaw Conservatory. From 1952, he was in exile in Munich (and later in Paris), working with Radio Free Europe. This provoked the Polish Communist government to censor Palester, which resulted in his complete exclusion from the music scene in Poland. Although the censorship was revoked in 1977, the composer has never really been welcomed back to the hearts and ears of his countrymen. His music is rarely performed even nowadays. Moreover, there is still little record of Palester’s music, and the transcripts of his radio show at RWE have never been fully published. As the main bearer of the composer’s legacy, The University of Warsaw Library is trying to shine more light on this important figure. One such attempt is publishing Palester’s original scores online, so as to make them available to other musicians. We are also presenting a wide selection of his radio show transcripts. Their accessible form, eloquent language, and diverse subject matter will be of interest to a much wider audience than just musical aficionados. (Piotr Maculewicz, tł.: Paweł Grochólski)

Number of publications in collection: 175

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