In the 1970s, Krzysztof Penderecki was looking for a place to harbour him and his creative pursuits. The composer considered abandoned palaces and ruined castles that the communism-ravaged country abounded with. Eventually, he chose the Lusławice Manor House: a true home, moreover, one of exceptional significance for culture and history. A manor house is open, without the gimmicks and glitz, and moats and bastions. Inviting and hospitable. An emanation of bygone Polishness, the country manor style evokes an aura of unpretentious freedom.
In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the philosophy of the Polish Brethren – Arians with its ideas of tolerance and spiritual brotherhood radiated from Lusławice to the world thanks to the school they instituted here. It was also here that the painter Jacek Malczewski taught artistically talented local children to draw and paint. Living in Lusławice, Krzysztof Penderecki intended to continue the tradition. The idea to create a unique centre for music was born during the first Lusławice concerts organised in the summer of 1980.
Two decades later, the composer had an association set up, and in consequence, a new cultural institution established. Set up in 2005, the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music was entered into the registry of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and gained the status of a national institution of culture.
The operation of the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music follows the lodestar of inspiring the most talented young musicians to hone their skills in the pursuit of true artistic maturity. Master classes, solo, chamber and orchestra workshops, seminars, and lectures emphasise the relationship between the master and the student. In this way, the institution cherishes the traditional European values. The centre is the meeting place for the young aficionados of music with masters of the performing arts and composers, and also with outstanding figures of what is broadly construed as humanities. Extensive education at all the stages of artistic development focuses on the development of practical performing and interpretation skills, and also reinforces the knowledge of musical styles, history of the forms and genres of European music, and the aesthetic qualities of a work of music and its place in culture. Next to the comprehensive musical education, the second key realm of activity of the Lusławice Centre are concerts and festivals. The presentations range from classical masterpieces of world music literature to the latest works. The emphasis on promoting the recently composed works performed by the artists of the young generation and their masters among wide-ranging audiences is an individual and important trait of the Lusławice Centre.
"At the meeting point of nature and culture, a European place has emerged, rooted in local tradition, inscribed in the picturesque landscape of Lesser Poland"
the award of the Association of Polish Architects in 2014
Krzysztof Penderecki’s great dream came true with the completion of the headquarters of the centre: a unique international centre for music was set up. This exceptional work of architecture is the fulfilment of many long years of efforts of a team gathered around the unifying idea. The investment worth PLN 65 million was co-financed by the European Union (from the European Regional Development Fund, as part of Infrastructure and Environment programme), the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Małopolska Region and Krzysztof Penderecki Academy Association: International Centre for Music. The investor was the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music, and the unique design from Biuro Architektoniczne DDJM was transformed into the actual structure by Skanska SA. The construction of the centre was a singularity on at least a national scale as it only took 16 months to create the whole campus. The construction of a world-class education and concert site has been an overwhelming success.
Participants of the meetings, master classes, and artistic workshops and concerts organised by the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music are the most talented musicians, and world-class artists and teachers. The centre continues to abide by the highest standard it defined for the projects it delivers both in Lusławice and elsewhere in the country. The place teems with living music, an effect favoured by the conducive properties of the building itself (situated far from the maddening crowd, with state-of-the-art technical facilities, magnificent concert hall, and a modern recording studio in the shell of unique architecture) coupled with the lavish and varied agenda of the institution. Combined with efficient organisation and atmosphere of the place, these all capture the hearts of young musicians, eminent artists, teachers, and the growing ranks of the audience now counted in thousands.
A range of proprietary projects were completed in the years preceding the construction of the Centre for Music in Lusławice. They included Meetings with the Master series of instrumental and vocal workshops offering a platform for the dialogue between the maestros of the 20th and the artists of the 21st centuries, and the Young Composers programme presenting and promoting the works of the young generation of Polish composers.
In its new seat, the Centre for Music initiated a range of educational and concert projects that define the mainstream of the centre’s activity for the years to come.
Every year, there are around 100 artistic and educational events organised in the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music. The centre organises many concerts, exhibitions, meetings, lectures, workshops, and solo, chamber and orchestra master classes as their organiser or co-organiser.
Prizes and awards
Coryphaeus of Polish Music in the category "event of 2013 in music" - for the opening ceremony of the Center in Lusławice on May 21, 2013.
"Lider Małopolski 2013" - for creating a place for training and improving the musical skills of young artists based on spiritual values and the old Polish tradition of artistic education "student - master".
"Award of the Year of the Association of Polish Architects 2013", under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski
“At the meeting point of nature and culture, a European place has emerged, rooted in local tradition, inscribed in the picturesque landscape of Małopolska. Timeless patterns and natural materials make the object noble and sincere. The internal courtyard creates a unique atmosphere that favors the organization of outdoor events, becoming the heart of the establishment. The concert hall creates a harmony of shape, matter, color and sound. Architecture devoid of pathos, perfectly serves music, focuses artists and the local community. "
Award of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship Stanisław Witkiewicz in the category - Public utility architecture, including small architecture and spatial development.
“The design and implementation are an unprecedented and original example of the implementation of a large program and cubature of the facility in an open rural landscape, against the background of fields and meadows and the surrounding hills. In the paradigm category, a model for an interesting and culturally important solution was created. The economy of means of expression and the simplicity of the object's form as a dominant feature does not compete with the landscape environment, but rather enriches and complements it in its cultural dimension. "
Program Board of the Krzysztof Penderecki European Music Center