In Saturday’s (1/23) Toronto Star, John Terauds interviews Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, whose music is being celebrated at the University of Toronto’s new-music festival from January 25 to 31. Among the performers at the festival are faculty from the University of Toronto and musicians from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Esprit Orchestra. “At a time when most sensible people contemplate the quiet pleasures of retirement, Penderecki is busier than ever preaching his music-liberation message…. Unlike some other contemporary composers who have a signature sound—John Cage’s minimalism, or Arvo Part’s mesmeric incantations—Penderecki is less easy to pigeonhole. ‘I’m never satisfied,’ the affable artist explains from his home in Krakow, Poland…. The composer admits that he would like to set a couple more texts to music for the Seven Gates of Jerusalem, also known as his Symphony No. 7. There is already a Symphony No. 8, but he is not sure whether to tackle a ninth. ‘I hope it will be the last one.’ ” Penderecki also says in the article that nothing beats practice: “You can only learn orchestration if you have the possibility of using an orchestra.”

Posted January 27, 2010