Zbigniew Preisner concert to open ICE Krakow

On behalf of the City of Krakow and the Krakow Festival Office, ICE Kraków is pleased to invite you to two concerts inaugurating the activity of this flagship facility. On the 16th and 17th of October 2014, the modern multifunctional congress centre will be the venue for a special project – a vocal and instrumental work commissioned by the City by one of Poland’s most prominent composers – Zbigniew Preisner.


- Zbigniew Preisner is one of Poland’s most prominent film music composers. For the opening ceremony of the ICE Kraków Congress Centre, Preisner accepted the proposal to compose a work especially for that occasion. The motto which the composer has chosen as a guiding theme for the multimedia show is ”Here and Now. 2014” – says Izabela Helbin, Director of the Krakow Festival Office. – Preisner’s vocal and instrumental work will be performed by an orchestra, mixed choir, men’s choir and world-renowned soloists – both vocalists and instrumentalists who are invited as guest stars for this project. Krakow artists will also appear onstage at ICE Kraków. It will be the first project by the composer to be set to texts written by a contemporary author and performed in Polish. The concert will be a multimedia show involving a large number of performers and using the modern technologies available at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre. – adds the Director. 


Zbigniew Preisner was born in Bielsko Biała on 20th May 1955. He learned to play the guitar and the piano. He studied history and philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. In 1977 he started collaborating with Krakow’s Piwnica pod Baranami cabaret as a composer, pianist and actor. He also worked for the Stary Theatre. His film scores and collaboration with filmmakers Krzysztof Kieślowski and Angieszka Holland on their greatest films brought him world success and acclaim. He has scored more than 80 films, theatrical performances and TV productions. The film Bez końca (Without End) initiated his regular collaboration with Kieślowski. Together with the scriptwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz they created some of the most famous and recognisable world films – the series Decalogue, The Double Life of Veronique, with its scores nominated for the French Academy Award, and the trilogy Three Colours. In the 1990s Preisner scored films made by many directors, e.g. John Irvin’s Prominent, At Play in the Fields of the Lord directed by the Brazilian Hector Babenco, Agnieszka Holland’s films, Louis Malle’s Damage, Luis Mandoki’s When A Man Loves A Woman. He also composed the theme music for the 26-part BBC serial People’s Century. Kieślowski’s death in 1996 made their planned next triptych Niebo, Czyściec, Piekło (Heaven, Purgatory, Hell) impossible. Two and half year after the death of his friend, Preisner titled his music for their project Requiem for My Friend, as a tribute to Kieślowski. The work premiered on 1 October 1998 at the Wielki Theatre in Warsaw. The composer started cooperation with the outstanding Polish pianist Leszek Możdżer, which resulted in 10 łatwych utworów na fortepian (10 Easy Pieces for Piano) and a few pieces of film scores (e.g. Aberdeen and Strange Gardens). In 2000 they worked together with David Gilmour – the leader and guitarist of Pink Floyd – on his solo album On An Island. Preisner has collaborated as a composer with the following directors: Krzysztof Kieślowski (scoring Decalogue I-IX, Three Colours, Bez końca, The Double Life of Veronique), Agnieszka Holland (Europa, Europa; Olivier, Olivier; The Secret Garden), Magdalena Łazarkiewicz Przez dotyk (Through Touch), Ostatni dzwonek (The Last School Bell), Louis Malle (Damage) and with many other French and American filmmakers. He received the Los Angeles-based Critics Association prize for Top Film Score Composer three times: in 1991, 1992 and 1993. He won the Cezar award twice: in 1995 (for Three Colours: Red directed by Kieślowski) and in 1996 (for a piece composed for Jean Becker’s Élisa). In 1997 he won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Festival for his score for the films The Island on Bird Street directed by Søren Kragh-Jacobsen His film-scores have been nominated for the Golden Globe awards several times: in 1992 for At Play in the Fields of the Lord and in 1994 for Three Colours. Blue. On 3rd May 2012 President Bronisław Komorowski honoured the composer with the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Poland’s Revival for his outstanding contribution to Polish and world culture and for achievements in creative and artistic work. Currently, the composer works in his own studio near Krakow.


Media contact

All journalists interested in the events organized in the ICE Kraków, please contact

Michał Zalewski
Media contact

Tel.: 0048 513 099 671 / 0048 12 354 23 20