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Poland celebrates Penderecki 85th birthday with festival

In this file photo taken Sept. 16, 2013, Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki attends a news conference in Warsaw, Poland. Poland's largest music publisher is commemorating the centennial of the country's independence by hosting concerts abroad that feature the work of modern Polish composers. The 11 concerts scheduled to take place on Sunday in foreign venues that include London, Melbourne and New York will highlight the music of composers such as Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, Wojciech Kilar and Krzysztof Penderecki. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s leading composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki is celebrating his 85th birthday with a week-long festival of his music in Warsaw.

A concert of Penderecki’s 2nd Cello Concerto and his Songs of Reflection and Nostalgia are opening the festival on Friday, at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw.

Running until Nov. 23, also at other venues, the festival features various musical forms including symphonies, choral works and compositions for voice.

Among them will be Dies Illa, Credo and violin concerto Matamorphosen that was written for and will be played by Ann-Sophie Mutter, and conducted by Penderecki.

Other performers include cellist Ivan Monighetti, violinist Agata Szymczewska and conductors Leonard Slatkin and John Axelrod.

Born Nov. 23, 1933, in Debica, southern Poland, Penderecki uses unconventional forms and sounds that evoke classical associations.

The Associated Press