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Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (born December 6, 1933) is a Polish composer of classical music.

Górecki was born in Czernica, in southern Poland. He did not study music seriously until he was in his twenties, when he began to study in Katowice. Later, while continuing his studies in Paris, Grecki was able to hear works by Anton Webern, Olivier Messiaen and Karlheinz Stockhausen, which were suppressed by the Polish government. Górecki eventually became a professor of music in Katowice, but he resigned his post in the late 1970s in protest against the government's refusal to allow Pope John Paul II to visit the city.

Górecki's music covers a variety of styles, but tends to be harmonically relatively simple. His first works were in the same avant-garde style as that of Pierre Boulez or other serialists, but his later music is more often compared to minimalism, often being labelled “holy minimalism”. Like Arvo Prt, with whom he is also compared, his works often reflect his religious beliefs (Górecki is a Catholic).

Górecki's best-known piece by far is his third symphony, subtitled Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. It is written in three movements for orchestra and soprano solo. The words of the first movement are from a 15th century lament, the second movement has words found written on the wall of a Gestapo prison cell in Zakopane, and the third movement is a folk song. The music throughout is slow and contemplative, with the first movement – an extended canon for strings – taking up around half the entire playing time. A typical performance of the work lasts about fifty minutes. The work was written in 1976, and premiered the following year. A recording of it released in 1993, with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Zinman and the solo part sung by Dawn Upshaw, sold over two million copies.da:Henryk Grecki de:Henryk Mikołaj Górecki nl:Henryk Grecki ja:ヘンリク・ミコワイ・グレツキ pl:Henryk Mikołaj Górecki pt:Henryk Grecki

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