Zbigniew Preisner


Zbigniew Preisner (b. 1955) is Poland's leading film music composer and is considered to be one of the most outstanding film composers of his generation. For many years Preisner enjoyed a close collaboration with the director Krzysztof Kieslowski and his scriptwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz. His scores for Kieslowski’s films No end, Dekalog, The Double Life Of Veronique, Three Colours Blue, Three Colours White and Three Colours Red have brought him international acclaim.

Preisner has scored many feature films including Hector Babenco’s At Play In The Fields Of The Lord, Foolish heart, My Hindu Friend, Louis Malle’s Damage, Luis Mandoki’s When A Man Loves A Woman, Agnieszka Holland’s Europa Europa, Olivier Olivier, The Secret Garden, Charles Sturridge’s Fairytale: A True Story, Thomas Vinterberg’s It’s All About Love, Jean Becker’s Eliza, Effroyables jardins, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen The Island on Bird Street, Claude Miller’s Un Secret, Max Färberböck’s Anonyma, Kriszta Deak's Aglaja. Camilo Cavalcante’s The History of Eternity, Mitchell Lichtenstein’s Angelica, Fernando Trueba’s Queen of Spain, Forgotten we'll be, Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen’s Valley of Shadows, Feng Mei's Love song 1980.

Requiem for My Friend, Preisner’s first large-scale work specially written for recording and live performance, is dedicated to the memory of Krzysztof Kieslowski. Originally released on Erato Disques (Warner Classics) in October 1998, the work received its world premiere at the Teatr Wielki, Warsaw, on the 1st October 1998. The album has been rereleased on CD and vinyl by Sony Poland.

Preisner’s second large-scale work is Silence, Night and Dreams, for orchestra, choir and soloists, based on texts from the Book of Job. The recording features the voice of Teresa Salgueiro (from Madredeus) and was released worldwide on EMI Classics in 2007. The world premiere of the work took place on 4th September 2007 in the Herodion Theatre on the Acropolis in Athens.

Other CD releases include 10 Easy Pieces for Piano, Moje Koledy, Preisner’s Voices and Danse Macabre, W poszukiwaniu dróg Stare i nowe kolędy, 2016 Dokąd?, Twilight. In 2005, Preisner was commissioned by David Gilmour to arrange nine of songs on his album On An Island for a 40-piece string orchestra. The album was released worldwide in 2006 and Preisner conducted the string section of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra in these arrangements at the concert on Gilmour's 2006 tour, at the shipyards in Gdansk, Poland. A live recording and film were made of the event and versions of these have been released in several formats and packages under the title Live In Gdansk. Gilmour and Preisner met again on the occasion of the work on Gilmour’s album Rattle That Lock, released in 2015. Zbigniew Preisner conducted the NFM Orchestra during Gilmour’s concert in Wroclaw in June 2016.

A new stage in Preisner’s work began in 2013. At that time Preisner released the album Diaries of Hope which began his close collaboration with Lisa Gerrard. They performed together in Wroclaw, London, Istanbul and Shanghai. They also met several times in the studio, while recoding music for the films Lies We Tell and Valley of Shadows or for the album Melodies of my youth that was released worldwide in 2019, as well as on stage during the concerts Here and Now (2014), and 2016 Dokad? and Preisner's Music concerts including the anniversary concert of Zbigniew Preisner that took place on October 5th 2019 in Tauron Arena, Krakow.

Preisner records and mixes all his film scores and albums at his own studio in Poland. His recent works as producer of music include Earthshine, the second album by the post-rock band Tides From Nebula and two albums by the jazz pianist Leszek Mozdzer, Time and Between Us And The Light.

Among many awards and citations Preisner received the Silver Bear from the Berlin Film Festival in 1997, two Césars from the French Film Academy – one in 1996 for Jean Becker’s Elisa, and one in 1995 for Three Colours Red – and three consecutive citations as the year’s most outstanding composer of film music in The Los Angeles Critics Association Awards of 1991,1992 and 1993. In October 2008 he was honoured by the International Eurasia Film Festival with an award for his contribution to Cinema and the Arts. In 2016 his music for film The History of Eternity was awarded the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize. In February 2017 he received the Special Award from the Polish Society of Cinematographers for his gift for composing film music that creates deeper understanding and additional dimensions for each story. In September 2018 during 34th Haifa International Film Festival he received Lifetime achievement award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to Music for Films.

Preisner also received the Award of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for outstanding achievements in the presentation of Polish Culture abroad, the Officer’s Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland from the President of Poland, and the Gold Medal Gloria Artis from the Polish Minister of Culture. Preisner is a member of the French Film Academy.

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