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March 1, 2017
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Penderecki String Quartet and Krzysztof Penderecki
Penderecki String Quartet and Krzysztof Penderecki

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Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Penderecki String Quartet to perform namesake composer’s recent work in New York City

Oct 11/13| For Immediate Release


Mieke Barette, Outreach & Student Recruitment Coordinator
Faculty of Music
519-884-0710 ext. 2492 or


Lori Chalmers Morrison, Acting Director
Communications & Public Affairs
519-884-0710 ext. 3067 or

WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University’s ensemble-in-residence, the Penderecki String Quartet (PSQ), will perform in New York City Oct. 25 as part of an 80th birthday concert for Polish composer/conductor Krzysztof Penderecki, whom the quartet is named after.

The concert will take place in New York’s Symphony Space and will feature the PSQ performing the composer's third string quartet, titled Leaves of an Unwritten Diary (2009). The PSQ will work closely with Penderecki as they prepare his Quartet No. 3 prior to the New York concert.

“It is a remarkable work – deeply emotional, intensely furious – presenting a sentimental waltz that emerges from a dream state with evocations of Mahler and Shostakovich,” said PSQ violinist Jeremy Bell. “We are loving the piece, and enjoying the technical and interpretive challenges.”

Regarded as Poland’s greatest living composer, Penderecki’s works include Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, St. Luke Passion, Polish Requiem, Anaklasis, four operas, eight symphonies and other orchestral pieces, a variety of instrumental concertos, choral settings of religious texts, and numerous chamber and instrumental works. He has won several prestigious awards, including the Commander’s Cross (1964), the Prix Italia (1967, 1968), the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1964), three Grammy Awards (1987, 1998, 2001), and the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition (1992).

“It has been many years since we’ve worked with Maestro Penderecki,” said Jerzy Kaplanek, long-standing PSQ violinist. “The opportunity to be directly connected to his new quartet by working with him in person is a big honour, and gives us an important place in the legacy of this great composer.”

The PSQ will also bring Penderecki’s birthday celebration to Waterloo, performing String Quartet No. 3 on Oct. 27 for the K-W Chamber Music Society, and Nov. 7 for Laurier’s noon-hour concert series. 

The PSQ was formed in Poland in 1986 and began its permanent residence at Laurier in 1991. The PSQ currently features Kaplanek (violin), Bell (violin), Christine Vlajk (viola) and newest member Katie Schlaikjer (cello).


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