The Shining Composer Krzysztof Penderecki Dies at 86

Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, known for his work on The Shining, The Exorcist, and Wild at Heart as well as many others, has died at his home in Krakow at 86. Penderecki's death was confirmed by the director of the Ludwig van Beethoven Association, an organization founded by his wife, Elzbieta.

Penderecki was born in Dębica, Poland in 1933 and studied at the Academy of Music in Krakow and became one of Poland's most well-known composers. Penderecki began composing in the 1960s and, in addition to his soundtrack and score work, produced eight symphonies, four operas, a requiem, and various concertos and choral works, many of them politically motivated and notably technically difficult to play, including his most famous work "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima" which has also appeared in films, including Children of Men.

His musical influence also reached well beyond his work in film as he served as inspiration for musicians such as Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood who himself has worked on the soundtracks for various films, including There Will Be Blood. Greenwood mourned Penderecki's passing in a post to Twitter on Sunday.

"What sad news to wake to," Greenwood wrote. "Penderecki was the greatest -- a fiercely creative composer, and a gentle, warm-hearted man. My condolences to his family, and to Poland on this huge loss to the musical world."

Greenwood has long credited Penderecki as an influence in his work and even collaborated with Penderecki, with Penderecki praising Greenwood's work with Radiohead in a 2012 interview with The Guardian.

"I told my granddaughter, and she knew immediately who they were," Penderecki said at the time. "She is 11 and she and my children gave me some discs to hear their music. I like it very much; it is very soft, very musical."

According to Poland's Ministry of Culture, Penderecki died following a "long and serious illness.


"After a long and serious illness, Krzysztof Penderecki - on of the greatest Polish musicians, a world authority in the field of classical music died," the announcement said (via Reuters).

Over the course of Penderecki's career, he won many awards including four Grammy Awards, the latest in2016 for Best Choral Performance.