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Jan Radzynski

RADZYNSKI, JAN (1950– ), composer, born in Warsaw, Poland. Radzynski immigrated to Israel in 1969 and studied at the Tel Aviv Rubin Academy of Music with Leon *Schidlowsky. From 1977 he continued his studies at Yale University in the U.S. with Krzysztof Penderecki and Jacob Druckman and received his doctorate in 1984. He settled in the U.S.

Radzynski's music is characterized by the utilization of contemporary techniques in contexts rich of stylistic elements from the past. It is carried by expressive melodies of long chromatic lines and features rich textures and carefully composed structures, paying special attention to the links and interrelations between movements of a single work. Radzynski's virtuoso writing offers technical challenges to the performing musicians and is often witty and full of verve. By embedding East European-Jewish (cantorial) and Middle-Eastern (heterophonic) musical elements in compositions committed to the past masters, Radzynski aims at a musical language timeless and contemporary alike, culturally unique and universal.

His works have been performed by such orchestras as the Cleveland, Columbus, New Haven Symphony, the Mexico National, the West German and the Saarländische Radio Symphony Orchestras, the krakow Philharmonic, the Russian Federal, the Moscow Bolshoi Theater Chamber Orchestra; the Israel Philharmonic, Jerusalem and Haifa Symphony and Israel Chamber Orchestras and Israel Sinfonietta. He was composition professor at Yale between 1981 and 1994 and was professor at the Ohio State University in Columbus.

Radzynski's list of compositions include String Quartet (1977); Kaddish for the Victims of the Holocaust for four amplified flutes, six percussion players, piano and strings (1979); Homage to Itzik Manger for mixed ensemble of nine players (1979); Canto for piano (1981); Psalms for viola and eight celli (1983); Take Five, brass quintet (1984); Hebrew Melodies, piano quintet; Violin/Viola Sonata (1985); DavidSymphony in One Movement (1987); Encounters for chamber ensemble (1988); Viola Concerto (1990); Time's Other Beat for symphony orchestra (1990); Cello Concerto (1990–92); Serenade, Wind Quintet; String Trio (1995); Fanfare; Shirat Ma'ayan for mezzo-soprano, tenor and orchestra (1997); Summer Charms Rag for violin and piano (1998); Personal Verses for violin and piano (1999); Serenade for Strings (2000); Concert Duos for clarinet and cello (2004).

Among the many awards Radzynski received are the ASCAP Standard Awards (1989 and 1997), the Mellon Fellowship (1985), the Research and Creative Work Grant of the Rothschild Foundation (1995), and the Distinguished Scholar Award given by the Ohio State University (1996). In 1983 he was in residence at the Foundation Artists' House in Boswil, Switzerland.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.