One of the major forces in 20th Century Polish music has died at home in Kraków
His music made a stunning contribution to Eastern European avant garde music in the 1960s but the perceived difficulty of his music never prevented him from connecting with a large, mainstream audience, often via Hollywood.
His music has struck home with successive generations outside of the classical world thanks, in part, to such films as The Exorcist (1973), The Shining (1980), Wild At Heart (1990) and Children Of Men (2006). Most recently, David Lynch, a longstanding fan, used an extended section of Threnody To The Victims Of Hiroshima to powerful effect during his Twin Peaks: The Return series in 2017.
Penderecki himself could often seem to suffer from a good natured irritation by this intersection with popular culture. He complained that Kubrick had committed "harikari" on his work after hearing the director's use of 'De Natura Sonoris No. 2' at the climax of The Shining. (The composer, who refused Kubrick's plea to write original material for the film, added that he also "understood" why the piece had been edited in repetitively, to represent the psychosis of the main character, and to emphasise the psychological nature of the maze in the film).