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Karol Szymanowski 1882-1937 Print


Among the treasures of the University of Warsaw Library, the legacy of Karol Szymanowski takes a special place. He is widely regarded as the most important (besides Fryderyk Chopin) Polish composer. His legacy is stored in the Archives of Polish Composers – a separate collection of the Music Department, including the heritage of great musicians – their manuscripts, drafts, literacy and commentary writings, correspondence, memorabilia, etc.

The latest acquisition which enriched our collection is the manuscript of the 4th Symphony op. 60 called Sinfonia Concertante, purchased at the prestigious auction of musical manuscripts in Sotheby’s Auction House in London on the 30th of November 2006. The manuscript was bought from funds of Ministry of Culture. The first bars of this Symphony are now the UWL sound signal played at the moment of opening and just before closing of the Library.


The University of Warsaw Library pays special attention to the collection of Karol Szymanowski’s archive materials. The first panel decorating the façade of the Library’s building includes the notation of the composer’s well known work – his early, neo-Romantic Etude in E flat minor.

2007 –  the Year of Karol SzymanowskiOn 16th of November 2006, the Polish Sejm announced ‘2007 as the Year of Karol Szymanowski’, to commemorate  the 125th anniversary of his birth and the 70th anniversary of the composer’s death.

UWL took an active part in celebration of that jubilee. The official inauguration of the Year of Karol Szymanowski was held in UWL on the 19th of February 2007. The ceremony was accompanied by the first public presentation of the manuscript purchased at the auction in London .The opening of the exhibition commemorating the great composer was another part of the ceremony.March


UWL together with the Univeristy of Warsaw Fondation have published a multimedia publication on DVD titled Karol Szymanowski.This is the first of the kind electronic publication widely portraying life, works and artistic heritage of the composer.The publication was prepared in cooperation with: PWM Edition (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne), Polish Audiovisual Publishers, National Library, National Museum in Cracow, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Polish Radio, Polish Television as well as eminent Polish musicologists. 

The publication is bilingual (Polish and English). DVD is accompanied by CD containing a record of Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater. This composition is also recorded on DVD which presents the autograph of the score (belonging to the National Library).

 The publication was financed from funds of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Polish Audiovisual Publisher, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the University of Warsaw. This non-profit undertaking can’t be sold. It is sent out free of charge to Polish libraries. The foreign distribution is held by The Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

© 2018 University of Warsaw Library
Financial support from the European Commision within the Socrates/Erasmus Programme.