About the Bank



9th Ferbuary 2017

Elżbieta and Krzysztof Penderecki are the winners of the 18th annual Aleksander Gieysztor Award

On February 8 at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Elżbieta and Krzysztof Penderecki were presented the Aleksander Gieysztor Award. This prestigious honor has been awarded for the past 18 years by the Kronenberg Foundation at Citi Handlowy for outstanding achievements in the protection of Polish cultural heritage. This year the Award Committee chaired by Prof. Andrzej Rottermund gave its appreciation to the winners primarily for their support of talented musicians, dedication to musical education, and activities to popularize the heritage of classical music in Poland.

The Aleksander Gieysztor Award has been presented for the past 18 years to institutions and individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to the protection of Polish cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible. It is one of the fundamental activities of the Kronenberg Foundation at Citi Handlowy in the field of supporting and protecting cultural heritage.

The 18th gala ceremony, during which the Aleksander Gieysztor Award was presented, took place on February 8 in the Royal Castle in Warsaw. This year the Award Committee showed its appreciation for: Special dedication to musical education of the highest level and activities carried out for years to popularize the heritage of classical music in Poland. But above all, consistent support for talented musicians and the creation of the Krzysztof Penderecki European Center for Music in Lusławice – an extraordinary space where young people can practice and develop their sensitivity and technique, working with the greatest virtuosos from all over the world.

Krzysztof and Elżbieta Penderecki function as both people and institutions. Throughout their professional lives, they have worked for talented young artists. Thanks to their involvement, Polish artists have access to the biggest music celebrities. By promoting talent, they demonstrate the high quality of Polish music in the international arena, and make it known to a wider audience.

They are both passionately involved in artistic endeavors aimed at creating music. The Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival is a permanent fixture in the calendar of cultural events in Poland. Each edition of the festival has a central theme around which the program of events is built. Symphony concerts, chamber music, and recitals performed by world-class musicians are organized as part of the festival. The essence of this event is, on the one hand, to familiarize the public with the creative achievements of prominent world musicians and, on the other hand, to get young, talented artists involved in it.

The Pendereckis tirelessly carry out the mission that they have set for themselves: the promotion of Polish music and culture. The projects they have undertaken are surprising in their scale. The construction of the Center for Music in Lusławice is a unique phenomenon on a national scale. The concert campus – a world-class educational facility – was built in just sixteen months. As the composer himself said, "It was a crazy project, but there was a method in this madness".

The center is a meeting place for talented young musicians and professors – eminent specialists in the art of performance, composition, and humanities in the broad sense. Thanks to valuable contacts and exchange of experiences, young artists gain in-depth knowledge of musical styles, as well as of the structure and meaning of musical work. The overall objective of the European Centre for Music is to develop the ability of young performers to interpret music (solo, chamber, and orchestral).

Krzysztof and Elżbieta Penderecki do not hesitate to get involved and implement projects on a scale that goes beyond the borders of our country. Their candidacy truly epitomizes the ideas behind the Aleksander Gieysztor Award.