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Zbigniew Preisner

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Zbigniew Preisner (b. 1955) is one of Poland’s leading film score composers, best known for his work with film director Krzysztof Kieślowski.

Preisner was born on 20th May 1955 in Bielsko-Biała. He studied history and philosophy in Kraków; never having received formal music lessons, he taught himself about music by listening and transcribing parts from records. His compositional style represents a distinctively spare form of tonal neo-Romanticism.

Preisner is best known for the music composed for the films directed by fellow Pole Krzysztof Kieślowski. His “Song for the Unification of Europe”, based on the Greek text of 1 Corinthians 13, is attributed to a character in Kieślowski’s Three Colors: Blue and plays a dominant role in the story. His music for Three Colors: Red includes a setting of Polish and French versions of a poem by Wisława Szymborska, a Polish Nobel Prize-winning poet.

After working with Kieślowski on Three Colors: Blue, Preisner was hired by the producer Francis Ford Coppola to write the score for The Secret Garden, directed by Polish director Agnieszka Holland. Although Preisner is most closely associated with Kieślowski, he has collaborated with several other directors, winning a César in 1996 for his work on Jean Becker’s Élisa. He has won a number of other awards, including another César in 1994 for Three Colors: Red and the Silver Bear at the 1997 Berlin Film Festival 1997 for The Island on Bird Street.

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