Penderecki’s Garden

The Adam Mickiewicz Institute (AMI) today [20 May] announce Penderecki’s Garden, a digital project celebrating the life and legacy of Krzysztof Penderecki, who passed away on 29 March 2020. The project, which launches on 23 November 2020 – the anniversary of the composer’s birth – will be continually updated and aims to pay tribute to Penderecki’s memory.

Barbara Schabowska, Acting Director of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, says:

“Gardening was one of Krzysztof Penderecki’s greatest passions. Through this project, we are paying tribute to him as a composer and a great humanist. It won’t be just another information database. is going to be a virtual place of leisure, where visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the Polish composer, to play a music memory game, to compose their own mini-piece or to listen to a live concert while sitting under a virtual tree.”

Elżbieta Penderecka says:

“It was a pleasure to hear about the Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s idea to honour my late husband. His music is eternal and through Penderecki’s Garden people from different countries will be able to continue to be inspired by his contribution to the world.”

The tribute takes the form of a virtual interactive garden, referring to Penderecki’s personal interest in gardening and horticulture which came from his grandfather Robert Berger. Penderecki’s European Music Centre in Lusławice is filled with thousands of diverse species of trees, many of which were planted from seeds he brought back from international travels. The project does not intend to be academic and will explore the different layers of Penderecki’s legacy and will include botanical and poetic strands with featured experts Urszula Zajączkowska and Adam Wiedemann.

Users will be able to take a ‘walk’ in the garden, immersing themselves in the pieces inspired by Penderecki or written as tributes to him. AMI has commissioned artists of various genres to create music in memory of Penderecki, including Skalpel, Piotr Orzechowski “Pianohooligan”, Paweł Romańczuk, Hania Rani and Robert Piotrowicz.

Krzysztof Penderecki (23 November 1933 – 29 March 2020) was a Polish composer and conductor whose versatile musical output was referenced not only in the classical genre but also in film, rock, jazz and electronic music. Penderecki won many prizes and awards including the Sibelius Gold Medal, two Prix Italia and five Grammy Awards. Popular films such as William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island used works by Penderecki in their soundtracks. One of Penderecki’s most well-known works is Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, a work written in 1960, which was awarded the Tribune Internationale des Composieurs UNESCO prize.

Starting on 20 May, Penderecki’s Garden is promoted through an online music memory game ( in which the player has to match paired excerpts of the Maestro’s work. A preview of Penderecki’s Garden is available at

The project is part of the international cultural programme coordinated by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute within the framework of the multi-annual programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017-2022.