Peter Paul Koprowski | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Peter Paul Koprowski

Peter Paul Koprowski, composer, professor, pianist (b at Lodz, Poland 24 August 1947).

Peter Paul Koprowski, composer, professor, pianist (b at Lodz, Poland 24 August 1947). Until 1969 Koprowski studied music in Krakow, where he also directed a new music ensemble. After studies with Nadia Boulanger, he emigrated to Canada in 1971 and began doctoral compositional studies at the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. Recognizing that his music has been strongly influenced by the Renaissance composers Ockeghem and Josquin des Près as well as the Polish composer Szymanowski, who believed in blending old and new, Koprowski has written works in many genres that come from his own experiences. After teaching at MCGILL UNIVERSITY, he has been on the faculty of the UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO since 1974. He has been composer-in-residence at the BANFF CENTRE (1981) and of the CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY (1988-9), for which he wrote the opera Dulcitius. Souvenirs de Pologne (1983) for piano and orchestra grew out of his first visit to Poland since his departure. Its five movements are representative of his approach, which is based on the independence of each line and the avoidance of strong emphasis on the main beats. Koprowski won the Jules Léger Prize in 1989 for the flute and piano work Sonnet for Laura and again in 1994 for the Woodwind Quintet. Having fulfilled over 50 commissions, he has completed eight concertos, five symphonies, and other orchestral works that were honoured with the Jean A. Chalmers National Music Award in 1997. In 2000 his cantata for chorus and orchestra Genesis was premiered. In 2001 his Millennium Cantata Restitution was premiered, a commission of the Music Canada 2000. His Viola Concerto was nominated for a JUNO AWARD in 2002. In his most recent works he explores a "tonal schizophrenia" combining many influences from his past, but providing for the listener a somewhat unsettled engagement along with wit.