Artists with International Renown
Among the most popular Polish artists are film makers and Oscar laureates; Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polański who are film directors; Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, a film music composer; Janusz Kamiński, a cinematographer; and Allan Starski, a film set designer. Polish cinematography is recognised not only in the United States. Krzysztof Kieślowski (film director, laureate of a Golden Lion of Venetia Film Festival), Krzysztof Zanussi (film director) and Zbigniew Preisner (film music composer) have made the history of European cinema. The cinema of moral anxiety of the 1970s in Poland is considered one of the most interesting trends in the history of cinematography. Polish actors are also recognised on the international arena. In 2012, Jakub Gierszał was awarded the Shooting Star award for Europe’s best young actors. For many years, Wojciech Pszoniak and Jerzy Stuhr have featured in major European fields and theatre plays.
Polish artists are also prominent in other fields of arts. Krzysztof Penderecki is an outstanding contemporary music composer, Małgorzata Walewska is a top opera singer, Tomasz Stańko and Leszek Możdżer are well-known in the jazz world, Rafał Blechacz is a widely-recognised pianist, and Krystian Lupa, Krzysztof Warlikowski and Jan Klata are listed among the leading European theatre makers. At major galleries across the globe you can find works by the following Polish artists: Wojciech Siódmiak, Wilhelm Sasnal, Paweł Althamer, Rafał Olbiński and Magdalena Abakanowicz. Also young artists, such as Pati Dubiel, Katarzyna Kozyra, Zbigniew Libera and Zofia Kulik have gained international recognition.
Polish literature is also well-known. Works of Polish Nobel prize winners Wisława Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz, contemporary poets, writers and playwrights: Adam Zagajewski, Stanisław Różewicz, Witold Gombrowicz and Sławomir Mrożek can be read in many languages. Stanisław Lem and Ryszard Kapuściński are among the most popular and most often translated Polish writers. You can easily find their works in any university library.
Polish pop musicians find it more difficult to gain international renown, but that does not mean that they have nothing to offer. If you are interested in Polish music, check up on the artists who over the past years have been awarded with the most prestigious music prizes called Fryderyki. You can visit many websites devoted to electronic music, hip-hop or listen to artists who draw on folk music, among them the Warsaw Village Band, Dagadana and Monodia.
You can find information in English about major cultural events in Poland on www.culture.pl/web/English/news. Last, but not least, Polityka weekly awards prestigious distinctions for outstanding Polish artists called Paszporty Polityki.