Penderecki is forced to deny Communist spy activity

Lawyers for the distinguished Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki have issued a statement in response to a website report that the musician had been ‘used operationally’ on ‘frequent trips abroad’ by the Communist state intelligence services. The website claimed to have obtained secret files to this effect.

Penderecki, in a statement to the Polish news agency, PAP, said he had no knowledge of any such documents.

‘I have never been a collaborator of the Security Services,’ he stated categorically.

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  • Under the current Polish autocratic regime this comes a no surprise. It behaves just as the Communists they despise.

  • Cannot judge whether this is true about Penderecki. However, there is a little history about travelling musicians having a daytime job as spy, I’m afraid.

    • I had once a rare experience of being spied-upon by a Russian ‘composer’, because an American pianist was playing my music at the time. The man was dressed in a black cape with a big black hat, and when in a supermarket he would follow me around some 20 meters behind me on his toes, like in a cartoon movie, and duck behind a corner when I turned around. A very clumsy spy, who also tried his best to get into contact with the American pianist (in vain) to get him playing his music, which was bad 19C salon music, written on a grand piano stained with candle drippings – the instrument got on sale when the ‘composer’ went home to Russia, without any results both musically and politically. It was in the days of the decline of the Soviet Union so their staff got quite primitive. (By the way: this is not a joke, it really happeped, in the late seventies.)

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