Krzysztof Penderecki is a composer and conductor. He has studied at the Krakow Conservatory under Artur Malawski and Stanislaw Wiechowicz and graduated in 1958. In 1959, he composed Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima. For this, one of his best known and most often performed compositions, he received the UNESCO prize. This piece was followed by a series of success: in 1960 at the Donaueschinger Musiktage with Anaklasis, the following year with Polymorphia, Phonograms, and Psalm, and in 1966, St. Luke Passion, the first major work of his career. The following year brought the composition and performance of another major choral work, Dies Irae, known also as the Auschwitz Oratorio. He has received numerous prizes for his life’s work and he is the honorary member of various universities and music academies. In 2005 Krzysztof Penderecki was awarded the Order of the White Eagle — Poland’s highest decoration. He is an active conductor and often also conducts his own works. In September 1997 Krzysztof Penderecki became the musical director of the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra.