Spisak, Michal, eminent Polish composer; b. Dabrowa Górnicza, Sept. 14, 1914; d. Paris, Jan. 29, 1965. He studied violin and composition at the Katowice Cons. (diplomas in both, 1937), and composition with Sikorski in Warsaw (1935–37). He completed his training with Boulanger in Paris, where he lived for the rest of his life although he continued to be closely associated with his homeland. In 1964 he was awarded the Polish Composers’ Union Prize. He was greatly influenced by Boulanger and by the music of Stravinsky.
DRAMATIC: Opera: Marynka (1955). ORCH.: Serenade (1939); Concertino for Strings (1942); Aubade for Small Orch. (1943); Allegro de Voiron (1943); Bassoon Concerto (1944; Copenhagen, June 2, 1947); Toccata (1944); Suite for Strings (1945); Piano Concerto (1947); 2 Symphonies concertante (1947, 1956); Etudes for Strings (1948); Divertimento for 2 Pianos and Orch. (1948); Sonata for Violin and Orch. (1950); Trombone Concertino (1951); Divertimento (1951); Andante and Allegro for Violin and Orch. (1954); Concerto giocoso for Chamber Orch. (1957); Oboe Concerto (1962); Violin Concerto (Katowice, Jan. 30, 1976). CHAMBER: Quartet for Oboe, 2 Clarinets, and Bassoon (1938); Sonatina for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1946); Violin Sonata (1946); Wind Quintet (1948); Duetto concertante for Viola and Bassoon (1949); String Quartet (1953); Suite for 2 Violins (1957); Improvvisazione for Violin and Piano (1962). Piano: Concerto for 2 Solo Pianos (1942); other pieces. VOCAL: Choruses; songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire