Moniuszko, Stanislaw, famous Polish composer; b. Ubiel, Minsk province, Russia, May 5, 1819; d. Warsaw, June 4, 1872. In 1827 his family went to Warsaw, where he studied piano and music with August Freyer; continued his training with Dominick Ste-fanowica in Minsk and with Rungenhagen in Berlin (1837). He went to Vilnius in 1840, where he served as organist at St. John’s. He gained attention as a composer when he publ. vol. I of his Èpiewnik domowy (Songbook for Home Use; 1843), garnering the support of various Polish figures in the arts, and also winning the admiration of Glinka, Dargomizhsky, and Cui in Russia. On Jan. 1, 1848, a concert performance of the 2-act version of his opera Halka was given for the first time in Vilnius; after he expanded it to 4 acts, it was staged in Warsaw on Jan. 1, 1858, scoring a great success. He then settled in Warsaw (1859), becoming conductor of opera at the Grand Theater. He continued to compose for the stage, and also taught at the Music Inst. (from 1864). He publ. Pamietnik do nauki harmonii (Textbook on Harmony; 1871). Moniuszko holds a revered place in Polish music history as the outstanding composer of opera in his era; he also excelled as a composer of songs. A complete ed. of his works commenced publication in Krakow in 1965.
dramatic:Opera: Halka (1846–47; 2-act version, concert perf., Vilnius, Jan. 1, 1848; 4-act version, 1857; Warsaw, Jan. 1, 1858); Sielanka (Idyll; c. 1848); Bettly (Vilnius, May 20, 1852); Flis (The Raftsman; Warsaw, Sept. 24, 1858); Rokiczana (1858–59); Hrabina (The Countess; 1859; Warsaw, Feb. 7, 1860); Verbum nobile (Warsaw, Jan. 1, 1860); Straszny dwór (The Haunted Manor; 1861–64; Warsaw, Sept. 18, 1865); Paria (1859–69; Warsaw, Dec. 11, 1869); Trea (1872; unfinished). operetta:Nocleg w Apeninach (A Night’s Lodging in the Apennines; Vilnius, 1839); Ideal czyli Nowa Precioza (Ideal or The New Preciosa; Vilnius, 1840); Karmaniol czyli Francuzi lubi zartowac (Carmagnole or The French Like Joking; 1841); Zólta szlafmyca (The Yellow Nightcap; 1841); Nowy Don Quichot czyli Sto szanlestw (The New Don Quixote or 100 Follies; 1841; Lemberg, 1849); Loteria (The Lottery; Minsk, Nov. 1843); Cyganie (The Gypsies; 1850; Vilnius, May 20, 1852; rev. as Jawnuta,Warsaw, June 5, 1860); Beata (1871; Warsaw, Feb. 2, 1872). Other: Incidental music to 14 plays; ballets. o r c h.:Bajka (The Fairy Tale), overture (Vilnius, May 1, 1848); Kain, overture (St. Petersburg, March 1856); Polonaise de concert (1866); Uwertura wojenna (Military Overture; Vilnius, March 19, 1857). Other: Chamber music; vocal works.
A. Walicki, S. M. (Warsaw, 1873); A. Polinski, M. (Kiev, 1914); H. Opienski, S. M.: Zycie i dziela (S. M.: Life and Works; Lwów, 1924); S. Niewiadomski, S. M. (Warsaw, 1928); F. Kecki, A Catalogue of Musical Works of M. Karlowicz and S. M. (Warsaw, 1936); Z. Jachimecki, Muzyka koscielna Moniuszki (M’s Church Music; Warsaw, 1947); W Rudzinski, S. M. (Krakow, 1954; 4th ed., 1972); J. Prosnack, S. M. (Krakow, 1964; 2nd ed., 1969); W. Rudzinski and M. Stokowska, eds., S. M.:Listy zebrane (S. M.: Collected Letters; Krakow, 1969); K. Mazur, Pierwodruki S.a M. (The Editions of M/s Works; Warsaw, 1970).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire