Question: 20th Century Classical Music - Polish Composers

Question? : There was a Polish composer who wrote a piece that served as an elegy to a mentor of his - another composer - who was killed by an avalanche while skiing. I'm looking for the name of the composer (not the one who was killed) and the name of the piece.(submitted May 19, 2005)

The google search ["polish composer" skiing avalanche] gets 69
hits. One of them, the Polish Music Reference Center
Newsletter (ISSN 098-9188), January 2000,Vol. 6, no. 1 at: says:

"A talented composer of symphonic music, Mieczyslaw Karlowicz
(1876-1909), dies in an avalanche in his beloved Tatra
mountains at the tender age of 33. The tragedy occured when
Karlowicz was alone on a skiing trip that took him on a path
from Hala Gasienicowa to Czarny Staw, near the peak of Mały
Koscielec, where a memorial tablet is now located. Karlowicz's tomb, in the historic Powazki Cemetary in Warsaw, is often visited by music lovers and students. The composer's tragic fate inspired many musical tributes, e.g. orchestral piece by Wojciech Kilar, Koscielec, 1909 and other memorial works."

Could this piece dedicated to Mieczyslaw Karlowicz,
"KOSCIELEC 1909" (1976), by Wojciech Kilar (b. 1932) be the
one you are thinking of? The only thing is, Karlowicz could
not have been Kilar's mentor, in the real sense - because
Kilar was born long after Karlowicz' death. It might take
quite a bit of searching in music databases like RILM Music or
RIPM (available in large academic libraries) to determine if
Karlowicz was a major influence on Kilar's composing. Quick
Google searches like: ["Wojciech Kilar" influences karlowicz]
(24 hits) are inconclusive - only seem to get sites listing
both of them among influences on other composers, or
influenced by other composers.

In any case, the Google search: ["Mieczyslaw Karlowicz"
dedicated] gets 94 hits, one of which is a short biography of
Wojciech Kilar at: .
About halfway down the page it says: "Kilar was unwilling to
give audiences and critics a rest and two years after KRZESANY
wrote another piece inspired by the mountains. Titled
KOSCIELEC 1909 (1976), the work was dedicated to Mieczyslaw
Karlowicz, a renowned composer who perished in an avalanche on
the slopes of Mount Koscielec in 1909, at the relatively young
age of 33 years. This was followed by SIWA MGLA / GREY MIST,
for baritone and orchestra (1979), and ORAWA, for chamber
ensemble (1986)."

Please let me know if you think there was a contemporary of
Karlowicz who also wrote a tribute or elegy to him - if so
that might take some serious research. As noted above, in the
University of Southern California Polish Music Center's
Newsletter, Karlowicz' ..."fate inspired many musical tributes..."


Jim Miller
jmiller2 {at}
Univ of Maryland