• Commemorating Composers

Six weeks ago, Andrzej Panufnik had a walk named after him in a Warsaw park.  Today, I passed by plaques set side-by-side on the wall of a building in the Saska Kępa district (south-east Warsaw) where the conductor and composer Andzej Markowski and the composer Zbigniew Turski once lived.  They are not far from the building where Witold Lutosławski lived after the war until 1968.  He too has his plaque.

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photo courtesy Michał Kubicki

Later on, my hosts and I passed near a skwer (Eng.: square/green) in Ujazdowski Park named after the critic, writer and composer Stefan Kisielewski.  Panufnik may have his road sign and Markowski, Turski and Lutosławski their plaques, but Kisielewski has not just one skwer but two.  Half an hour later, in Piaseczno, south of Warsaw, we drove past a second ‘Skwer im. Stefana Kisielewskiego’.

Our destination, en route to a family get-together, was a few hundred metres further on: the old cemetery at Piaseczno.  There lies Witold Maliszewski, a composer who is known primarily for one thing – having been Lutosławski’s composition teacher.  While Markowski, Turski, Kisielewski and Lutosławski were all buried in Powązki in north Warsaw, Maliszewski was interred in Piaseczno, close to where he had lived.  Like all Polish cemeteries, it was a riot of colour from the flowers placed there on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, the weekend before last.

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