was born in October 3, 1882 in the estate Timoshovka in Ukraine in a highculture family of
Polish landowners - Korvin-Shymanovsky, who lead their genealogy from famous times of
Polish history. Summer they spent in Timoshovka , winter - in Elisavetgrad. In
Elisavetgrad the relatives of Szymanowski - Neuhauses, Blumenfelds also lived,
Ivashkevytches came to stay for a while quite often.
Karol from early years showed the gift of a composer. All Szymanowski
children passed through the well-known Elisavetgrad musical school of Gustav Neuhaus.
Since 1901 Karol studied in Warsaw under guidance of the famous Polish
composer of that time Zygmunt Noskovsky (composition and counterpoint) and theorist Mark
Zavyrsky (harmony). At that time he got close with young musicians - G.Fitelberg,
M.Karlovych, L.Ruzitsky, A.Sheluto. So appeared community "Young Poland in
Music", the purpose of which was the propaganda of new Polish music - in joint
concerts and by issuing compositions. The first concert, in which young composers' works
were played, was held in Warsaw philarmonic society in February 2, 1906 and was repeated
in February 9. Such Szymanowski's compositions - the Concert overture op.12 (conducted by
G.Fitelberg), Variations on a national theme op.10 for a piano (soloist - Neuhaus) were
played; in the concert on the 9th of February Neuhaus played the Fantasy op.14 dedicated
to it instead of Variations. Critics met the debut of young composers kindly and even with
enthusiasm. In the same year, in March 30, the concert in Berlin was held.
In November, 1906 Szymanowski visited Lviv, where he managed to
establish contacts with musical public, since then Szymanowski's compositions sounded
quite often in Lviv.
In 1909 A.Rubinstain acted in Krakow with program consisting of Szymanowski's
compositions, in 1914 Szymanowski's Overture was played in S.Kusevitsky's seasons (in
concert dedicated to modern Polish music).
In spring 1914 Szymanowski went to Italy, to Sicily island. From Italy,
through Paris he went to London and got acquainted with Stravinsky. Here he faced the
beginning of the First World War, and the composer returned to native Timoshovka .
The years of the First World War Szymanowski spent in Ukraine, in summer he
lived in Timoshovka, in winter - in Kiev, he often went to Petrograd and Moscow. The Szymanowski's
compositions were included to Kusevitsky's and Zilotty's repertoire, the musical
corporation of Jurgenson got interested in their publication.
The period of revolution and civil war (1917-1919) Szymanowski spent with his
family in Elisavetgrad.
Here he wrote "Songs of Furious Muedzin", "Love Songs of
Hafiz", transcriptions of 3 Paganini's Capris, the novel "Epheb", started
working at opera "The King Roger".
Szymanowski activity from the end of 1919 took place in Poland.
In August, 1922 Szymanowski went to Zakopane, where he rediscovered
for himself the national art of Polish gurals. The idea of national ballet
"Harnasy" soon appeared
1924 - 1926 brought to the Polish artist a number of fortunes, the concerts
in Paris (1924 - 1925) were specially remarkable, where the First Violin concert,
"Love Songs of Hafiz", the Third simphony, Mazurka and "Metopes" for a
piano were played; in 1926 in Warsaw the staging of opera "The King Roger" was
In 1930-1932 Szymanowski - the principal of Musical Academy in Warsaw
The efforts of Szymanowski - the teacher were directed towards rising the
professional level of young musicians, widening their horizon in the world of modern
The government awarded Szymanowski with the Cross of Legion of Honor,
Jagellon University in Krakow awarded him with a title of the Doctor "honoris
causa", the International Society of Modern Music, including R.Shtraus, de Falia,
Ravel, Stravinsky and Bartok, elected the composer as an Honored Member.
In December, 1936, being hopelessly ill, Szymanowski went to Grass,
where he still attempted to make sketches of ballet "Returning of Odissey".
There, in March, 1937 in extremely bad condition he was found by L.Gradshtain, the
secretary of the composer, who arrived on his call. She transported him to the sanatorium
at first in Cannes, then in Lausanne, where in March 29, at midnight Szymanowski died.
He was buried in Krakow.