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    Composer, “official opponent of socialism” in the People's Republic of Poland. Stefan Kisielewski died 30 years ago

    30 years ago, on September 27, 1991, died Stefan Kisielewski, composer, writer, and journalist, “Bernard Shaw on the Vistula River”, “official opponent of socialism” in the People’s Republic of Poland. Three days earlier, his piano concerto has its premiere at the Warsaw Autumn festival.

    He has written this concert for eleven years. “Music was just as perverse as Stefan Kisielewski’s writing,” wrote Mariusz Urbanek in his book “Kisielewscy” (The Kisielewski family) (2006). “It was called , but the piano was just a background for drums and wind instruments,” he explained.

    Kisielewski was a Varsovian, born on March 7, 1911. He studied at the Warsaw Conservatory, obtaining diplomas in music theory and composition, and piano. He also attended Polish studies and philosophy at the University of Warsaw. He started writing during his studies, in 1936 he made contact with the magazine “Bunt Młodych” (Youth Revolt), edited by Jerzy Giedroyc.

    During the war, in the first days of the Warsaw Uprising, he was shot in the buttock, which ended his military career.

    After the war, he wrote, inter alia, in “Tygodnik Powszechny”. He was supposed to write about music, but he quickly took up journalism.

    In 1964 he was one of the signatories of the so-called Letter of 34 to communist authority regarding freedom of culture. In 1968, for criticizing censorship in communist Poland (he used the designation ‘dyktatura ciemniaków’ – ‘a dictatorship of dunces’), he was forbidden to publish for three years. He was also beaten up by so-called “unknown perpetrators” (a euphemism for perpetrators of criminal acts of political violence who in all likelihood were members of the communist secret police).

    His writing and political thought were generally marked by pragmatism. Stefan Kisielewski died on September 27, 1991. “Kisiel sounds like Wawel. And also made of stone,” wrote Jerzy Waldorff.


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