English Section

Renowned composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek passes away at 71

21.05.2024 15:00
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, the distinguished film music composer and Oscar winner, has died at the age of 71.
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek.
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek.Photo: Wojciech Kusiński/Polskie Radio

His wife, Aleksandra Twardowska Kaczmarek, confirmed his passing on social media. "After a long and serious illness, my husband Jan A.P. Kaczmarek passed away. Until the end, he was a fighter, trusting that he would recover and share his work with us... I watched by his side until the end. He died surrounded by love, the value in which he believed most strongly," her message read.

Film director Agnieszka Holland recalled Kaczmarek as a wonderful creative partner, a man of great talent who had the courage to search for innovative ideas in his film music. “At the peak of his success in America, he left Hollywood because he felt he didn’t want to become a cog in the machine of the Hollywood industry. He wanted to chart his own paths”, Holland told the Polish Press Agency.

His 2005 Academy Award for Best Original Score for Finding Neverland, Marc Foster’s highly-acclaimed movie, skyrocketed Kaczmarek to international stardom. He contributed soundtracks for over 70 feature and documentary films, including Agnieszka Holland’s Total EclipseThe Third Miracle and Washington Square, Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s Quo Vadis and Adrian Lyne's Unfaithful.

After returning to Poland from the United States, where he lived for almost three decades, Kaczmarek was involved in several major projects, composing pieces for the anniversaries of the birth of Solidarity and of the 1956 workers revolt in Poznań, as well as launching the Transatlantyk Film Festival which was aimed at promoting young musical talent.

In the early stage of his career, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek wrote music for the theatre and toured Europe with a mini-orchestra of his own creation, known as The Orchestra of the Eighth Day. At the end of the Orchestra's first American tour in 1982, Kaczmarek recorded his debut album, Music for the End, for the Chicago-based independent Flying Fish Records.

Last year, Kaczmarek had his name embedded in the Avenue of Stars in the city of Łódź.


Source: IAR

Click on the audio player above to listen to a report by Radio Poland's Agnieszka Bielawska.