Karlowicz, Mieczyslaw

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Karlowicz, Mieczyslaw

Karlowicz, Mieczyslaw , Polish composer; b. Wiszniewe, Dec. 11, 1876; d. in an avalanche while mountain climbing in Zakopane, Feb. 8, 1909. He was the son of the music theorist Jan Karlowicz (b. Subortowicze, near Troki, May 28, 1836; d. Warsaw, June 14, 1903). He studied violin in Warsaw from 1887 with Jakowski and Barcewicz, and also composition with Noskowski, Roguski, and Maszynski; continued his studies in Berlin with Urban (1895–1901). He was director of the Warsaw Music Soc. (1904–06). After a sojourn in Germany (where he studied conducting with Nikisch in Leipzig), he settled in Zakopane (1907). Essentially a Romanticist, he succeeded in blending the national elements of Polish folk music with the general European genre of mild modernism; there is an influence of Richard Strauss in his expansive tone painting. The appreciation of his music in Poland rose after his death; some of his piano pieces and songs have been established in the Polish repertoire.


orch.: Symphonic Poems: Powracajsce fate (Returning Waves; 1904); Odwieczne piesni (Eternal Songs; 1907); Stanislaw i Anna Oswiecimowie (Stanislaw and Anna of Oswiecim; 1908); Smutna opowiesç (Sad Story; 1908); Epizod na maskaradzie (Episode at the Masquerade; 1908-09; unfinished; completed by G. Fitelberg). other:Serenade for String Orch. (1898); Sym. in E minor, Odrodzenie (Renaissance; 1902); Violin Concerto (1902); Rapsodia litewska (1908).


E Kecki, M. K.: Szkic monograficzny (Warsaw, 1934); A. Chybinski, M. K. (1876–1909): Kronika zycia artysty i taternika (M. K. [1876-1909]: Chronicle of the Life of an Artist; Krakow, 1949); E. Dziebowska, ed., Z zycia i twórczosci M.a K.a (From the Life and Works of M. K.; Krakow, 1970); A. Wightman, H. K.: Portrait of a Twentieth-Century American Composer (Lanham, Md., 1997).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire