Cut! One of the great film composers has died

Cut! One of the great film composers has died


norman lebrecht

December 29, 2013

We’re receiving confirmation from Poland of the death of Wojciech Kilar at the age of 81.



Kilar wrote music for more than 130 films, most notably for Polanski’s The Pianist, Coppola’s Dracula, Jane Campion’sPortrait of a Lady and Andrzej Wajda’s Promised Land. Born in Lviv (now Ukraine) on 17 July 1932, he settled in Katowice in 1948 and became a leader of the new Polish wave. He never ceased composing works for concert performance, leaving five symphonies, two piano concertos and much choral music.

He was married to the pianist Barbara Pomianowska.


  • Ross Amico says:

    BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA had one of the best scores of the ’90s. Too bad the movie didn’t live up to it. (When is someone actually going to film Stoker’s book?)

    I was fortunate to hear Witold Rowicki conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in KRZESANY in 1987. Here’s a review I found online:

    It was the first time I had ever heard any of Kilar’s music. I never forgot that concert.

    R.I.P. Wojciech Kilar

  • Joel V. says:

    This is really sad news. I hope Kilar’s music will be played long afterwards – not just his film music, but also his symphonic pieces.

    I enjoyed much more his earlier pieces (e.g. Krzesany) in comparison to the works he wrote in his last decade. His earlier works show that we are talking about a major 21st century composer here, no doubt.

    Rest in peace!

  • Sylvester B. says:

    21st-century, the earlier work ?

    His horrible score spoiled Andrzej Wajda’s otherwise wonderful Pan Tadeusz.