Zbigniew Preisner (b. 1955) is Poland’s leading film music composer and is considered to be one of the most outstanding film composers of his generation. For many years Preisner enjoyed a close collaboration with the director Krzysztof Kieslowski and his scriptwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz. His scores for Kieslowski’s films – Dekalog, The Double Life Of Veronique, Three Colours Blue, Three Colours White and Three Colours Red – have brought him international acclaim.
Preisner has scored many feature films including Hector Babenco’s At Play In The Fields Of The Lord, Louis Malle’s Damage, Luis Mandoki’s When A Man Loves A Woman, Agnieszka Holland’s The Secret Garden, Charles Sturridge’s Fairytale: A True Story, Thomas Vinterberg’s It’s All About Love, Jean Becker’s Effroyables jardins, Claude Miller’s Un Secret and Max Färberböck’s Anonyma.
Requiem for my friend, Preisner’s first large-scale work specially written for recording and live performance, is dedicated to the memory of Krzysztof Kieslowski. Originally released on Erato Disques (Warner Classics) in October 1998 the work received its world premiere at the Teatr Wielki, Warsaw, on the 1st October 1998. The album has recently been rereleased on CD and vinyl by Sony Poland.
Preisner’s second large-scale work is Silence, Night and Dreams, for orchestra, choir and soloists, based on texts from the Book of Job. The recording features the voice of Teresa Salgueiro (from Madredeus) and was released worldwide on EMI Classics in 2007. The world premiere of the work took place on 4th September 2007 in the Herodion Theatre on the Acropolis in Athens.
Other CD releases include 10 Easy Pieces for Piano, Moje Koledy, Preisner’s Voices and Danse Macabre. In 2005, Preisner was commissioned by David Gilmour to arrange nine of songs on his album On An Island for a 40-piece string orchestra. The album was released worldwide in 2006 and Preisner conducted the string section of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra in these arrangements at the last concert on Gilmour's 2006 tour, at the shipyards in Gdansk, Poland. A live recording and film were made of the event and versions of these have been released in several formats and packages under the title Live In Gdansk.
Preisner records and mixes all his film scores and albums at his own studio in Niepolomice, Poland. Recent productions include Earthshine, the second album by the post-rock band Tides From Nebula and two albums by the jazz pianist Leszek Mozdzer, Time and Between Us And The Light.
Among many awards and citations Preisner received the Silver Bear from the Berlin Film Festival in 1997, two Césars from the French Film Academy – one in 1996 for Jean Becker’s Elisa, and one in 1995 for Three Colours Red – and three consecutive citations as the year’s most outstanding composer of film music in The Los Angeles Critics Association Awards of 1991,1992 and 1993. Preisner is a member of the French Film Academy and in 1992 he received the Award of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for outstanding achievements in the presentation of Polish Culture abroad. In October 2008 he was honoured by the International Eurasia Film Festival with an award for his contribution to Cinema and Arts.
2008: INTERNATIONAL EURASIA FILM FESTIVAL AWARD
for his contribution to Cinema and the Arts.
1996: THE SILVER BEAR, BERLIN
for Island on Bird Street
1996: THE ROYAL TELEVISION SOCIETY CRAFT & DESIGN AWARD FOR ORIGINAL MUSIC
for the title music of People’s Century
1996: FRYDERYK '95
Polish Record Industry Award
1996: CÉSAR AWARD OF THE FRENCH FILM ACADEMY
citation for Elisa
1995: CÉSAR AWARD OF THE FRENCH FILM ACADEMY
for Three Colours Red
1994: THE MAYOR OF KRAKOW'S MEDALl
for lifetime achievements
1993: GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD
nomination for Three Colours Blue
1993: THE LOS ANGELES CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARD
the year’s most outstanding composer of film music, third citation: Three Colours Blue, Olivier Olivier and The Secret Garden
1992: AWARD OF THE POLISH MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
for outstanding achievements in the presentation of Polish culture abroad
1992: CÉSAR AWARD OF THE FRENCH FILM ACADEMY
nomination for Dekalog and The Double Life Of Veronique
1992: GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD
nomination for At Play In The Fields Of The Lord
1992: THE LOS ANGELES CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARD
the year’s most outstanding composer of film music, second citation: Damage
1991: THE LOS ANGELES CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARD
the year’s most outstanding composer of film music, first citation: The Double Life Of Veronique, Europa Europa, At Play In The Fields Of The Lord