Serocki, Kazimierz, prominent Polish composer; b. Torun, March 3, 1922; d. Warsaw, Jan. 9, 1981. He studied piano with Szpinalski and composition with Sikorski at the od Cons. (graduated, 1946), then received further training in composition from Boulanger and in piano from Levy in Paris (1947–48). He was active as a pianist in Poland (1946–51). With Tadeusz Baird and Jan Krenz, he formed the modernistic Group ’49, dedicated to the cause of the avant-garde; in 1956 he was one of the organizers of the audaciously futuristic “Warsaw Autumn” Festivals. In the interim he toured as a concert pianist. In his early music, he fell into the fashionable neo-Classical current strewn with tolerable dissonances and spiked with bristling atonalities; experimented with Webernized dodecaphonies before molding his own style of composition, an amalgam of pragmatic serial-ism and permissible aleatory procedures, while maintaining an air of well-nigh monastic nominalism in formal strictures and informal structures; in some pieces, he made incursions into the exotic field of American jazz.
ORCH .: Symphonic Scherzo (1948); Triptych for Chamber Orch. (1949); 4 tance ludowe (4 People’s Dances) for Chamber Orch. (1949); Romantic Concerto for Piano and Orch. (1950); 2 syms.: No. 1 (1952) and No. 2, Symphony of Songs, for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (Warsaw, June 11, 1953); Trombone Concerto (1953); Sinfonietta for 2 String Orchs. (1956); Musica concertante for Chamber Orch. (1958); Episodes for Strings and 3 groups of Percussion (1958–59); Segmenti for 12 Winds, 6 Strings, Piano, Celesta, Harpsichord, Guitar, Mandolin, and 58 Percussion Instruments (1960–61); Symphonic Frescoes (1963); Forte e piano for 2 Pianos and Orch. (1967; Cologne, March 29, 1968); Dramatic Story (1968–71; Warsaw, Sept. 23, 1971); Fantasia elegiaca for Organ and Orch. (1971–;72; Baden-Baden, June 9, 1972); Sonatina for Trombone and Orch. (1972–73; Strasbourg, Dec. 19, 1975); Concerto alia cadenza for Recorder and Orch. (1975); Ad Libitum, 5 pieces (1976; Hamburg, Sept. 17, 1977); Pianophonie for Piano, Electronic Sound Transformation, and Orch. (1976–78; Metz, Nov. 18, 1978). CHAMBER : Suite for 4 Trombones (1953); Continuum, sextet for 123 Percussion Instruments manipulated by 6 Multimanual Percussionists (1965–66); Swinging Music for Clarinet, Trombone, Cello or Double Bass, and Piano (1970); Phantasmagoria for Piano and Percussion (1970–71); Impromptu fantastique for 6 Flutes, Mandolins, Guitars, Percussionists, and Piano (1973–74). Piano: Sonatina (1952); Sonata (1955); A piacere (1963). VOCAL: 3 melodie Kurpiowskie (3 Melodies from Kurpie) for 6 Sopranos, 6 Tenors, and Chamber Orch. (1949); 2 cantatas: Mazowsze (1950) and Murarz warszawski (1951); Serce nocy (Heart of the Night), cycle for Baritone and Piano (1956); Oczy powi-etrza (Eyes of the Wind), cycle for Soprano and Orch. or Piano (1957–58); Niobe for 2 Narrators, Chorus, and Orch. (1966); Poezje (Poems) for Soprano and Chamber Orch. (1968–69).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire