Baner informacyjny do wystawyOn July 2, 2023, the Casimir Pulaski Museum in Warka is proud to open a new temporary exhibition. This time, we are going to take you to the movies for great cinematographic super productions, starring... original soundtrack music!

The opening ceremony is due to take place at 4:30 pm during the Vivat Pulaski Historical and Cultural Picnic.

"Starring: OST. Polish composers in the American movie industry" is the result of many years of work. The idea came to us a long time ago, but the project had to be put on hold following the outbreak of Covid-19.

The Exhibition features Polish composers who were successful in writing original scores for the American movie industry, including Bronisław Kaper, Henryk Wars, Krzysztof Komeda, Krzysztof Penderecki, Zbigniew Preisner, Wojciech Kilar, and Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. They all greatly contributed to the triumph of big screen productions overseas, with some of their projects now being called iconic.
Wernisaż wystawy Muzyka w roli głównej 01The Exhibition includes not only movie scenes and posters, but also original memorabilia, including a coin that Krzysztof Komeda received as a good luck charm from Roman Polański when he arrived in the U.S.; Zbigniew Preisner's awards; manuscripts of Wojciech Kilar's scores; and items from Jan A.P. Kaczmarek's wardrobe, which he wore during the 2005 Oscar gala. And we are going to be accompanied by great music all along!

It was not easy to collect materials for such a complex exhibition. Numerous individuals and institutions contributed to our success, including American entities. Our close cooperation puts the proverbial icing on the cake composed of years of efforts to popularize the contribution of Polish composers to American cinematography. Thanks to it, we are now able to show visitors an exhibition that is not only valuable, but also inspiring, and of great educational value.

The exhibition "Starring: OST. Polish composers in the American movie industry" can be toured until December 17, 2023.



Dear Visitors,

For the first time in the history of the Casimir Pulaski Museum in Warka, we have the honor to open an exhibition that highlights great achievements of Polish film music composers. So far, we have mostly focused our attention on great emigrants who went down in history, on successes of Polish visual artists who created their works of art abroad, and especially on American soil. This time, music shall be the star. Written by seven Polish composers who succeeded in making their dreams come true in American film studios, it brought Poland further international fame.

Music is a field of fine arts which works on the human psyche through sounds, and thus it greatly impacts our lives. The world's greatest thinkers have written about its merits and its beneficial effects: music makes us better and gentler. "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything," said Greek philosopher Plato. It accompanies us during the most vital moments of our existence. Music also plays a special role in films. It complements the movie's message, illustrates the image, helps to understand, supplement, and interpret. OST writers undoubtedly have one of the most important roles to play. They must work in unison with the director and producers. Oscar-winning composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, who won an Oscar for his role in Marc Forster's Finding Neverland, recalls:

«Finding Neverland's producers told my agent that they were afraid that a composer from Poland would write something depressing and gloomy. I felt the spirit of a warrior rise in me and I quickly wrote a piece in one day, I hired a choir and an orchestra... I wrote it and immediately sent it. This was the most optimistic piece in my life. It was so positive that I never released it, because I didn't have the courage. But it was so convincing that I got the job soon after."

It is a great success to be recognized by producers and to be entrusted with OST music for American super productions. Many Poles got to that point, and today we are showing you seven of them: Bronisław Kaper, Henryk Wars, Krzysztof Komeda, Krzysztof Penderecki, Zbigniew Preisner, Wojciech Kilar, and Jan A.P. Kaczmarek.

The Exhibition was born out of the strong conviction that it is worth making the triumphs of our compatriots more visible to the world. We first started thinking about such an endeavor as early as in 2016 while working out the concept of the next milestones. The idea to exhibit movie posters changed into featuring music of Polish composers in American productions and with time, it grew into a research project. Museum historian and film lover Karol Kucharski took the lead in developing the script. Covid-19 hit when the exhibition was finally possible. Being able to accommodate only a small audience and with the Museum's doors closing and opening every now and then, we felt forced to put the project on hold. Today's opening coincides with the 10th anniversary of the VIVAT PULASKI Historical and Cultural Picnic, held on the eve of the American Independence Day.

I congratulate and thank all those who made the Exhibition possible. I wish to thank Karol Kucharski for collecting materials and developing leads as well as for his curatorial care and determination. I thank Zbigniew Preisner, Elżbieta Penderecki and the European Krzysztof Penderecki Music Center, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek's spouse Aleksandra Twardowska-Kaczmarek, Director of the Polish Music Center at USC in Los Angeles, CA Marek Żebrowski, the Museum of Katowice History, the National Digital Archives, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, the University of California, the National Library in Warsaw, Krzysztof Komeda's heirs Tomasz Lach and Magdalena Szymankiewicz, and collectors Krzysztof Dydo and Piotr Dąbrowski for their kind support and all their help. I also wish to thank designers: Kamila Schinwelska and Marcin Gwiazdowski, and Alena Trafimava Studio, who produced the Exhibition.

This exhibition would not have been possible without the financial assistance of the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the District of Grójec. I extend my heartfelt thanks to Minister of Culture and National Heritage Prof. Dr. Piotr Gliński for funding the exhibition and the Honorary Patronage. I would like to thank the local government of Grójec headed by District Governor Krzysztof Ambroziak. I wish to thank Mazovian Province Governor Adam Struzik and Warka Mayor Dariusz Gizka for their Honorary Patronage.

I wish all Visitors a number of positive emotions while listening to these wonderful works of OST music presented throughout the Exhibition. May they help you become a better person and to fall in love all over again with music, life, and others.

Iwona Stefaniak
Casimir Pulaski Museum in Warka



Time for Music!

American films are made to capture the imagination of the whole world. At least this is what excellent composer Wojciech Kilar would say. With their often high budgets, shot on a grand scale, American cinematographic productions have continued to attract the attention of people from different regions of the world for decades. They bring those in the movie industry enormous fame and money. It is worth remembering that not only actors have their roles to play, but also producers, directors, screenwriters, and composers, who stand at the top of this creative pyramid. Through music, they usher in another layer of value.

Poles with their musical compositions have contributed to the ultimate success of many American films. The Exhibition "Starring: OST. Polish composers in the American movie industry" is all about them and their works of art. The Exhibition focuses on seven composers from Poland who made their mark on Hollywood. Each and every one of them had come to this point following a different path, creating their own story, worthy of being shown on the screen. For many, Bronisław Kaper was one of the most noteworthy artists working for the famous Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio. Henryk Wars wrote soundtracks for John Wayne's westerns. Krzysztof Komeda gained recognition thanks to his collaboration with Paramount Pictures. Krzysztof Penderecki allowed his symphonic music to benefit Stanley Kubrick's vision. Zbigniew Preisner was voted best film music composer three times in a row by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Wojciech Kilar musically illustrated the now cult film Bram Stoker's Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola. Jan A.P. Kaczmarek got an Oscar in 2005. We as Poles can only be proud of these and many other achievements of our compatriots.

I strongly encourage you to take a moment to appreciate the message that the Exhibition carries. To begin with, just sit comfortably in the cinema chair, look, read, and listen... Then approach the Exhibition wall to see the collection. You will be able to discover some of the items by yourself... Just pull more drawers. You are not going to be disappointed!

Karol Kucharski
Exhibition Curator




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Curator: Karol Kucharski

in cooperation with: Iwona Stefaniak

written by: Karol Kucharski

Polish proofreading: Marzena Pawłowska

translated by: Joanna Łukasiak-Hołysz

Set design: Kamila Schinwelska, Marcin Gwiazdowski / Elipsy

arranged and produced by: Alena Trafimava / Artmontage

Expert consultant: Radosław Kruszyna

Administrative and Technical Staff:
Iwona Jagiełło-Mogielska, Marzena Kądrowska-Grochal, Janusz Kreczmański,
Piotr Kupnicki, Krzysztof Perzyna, Anna Trzaska

organized by: Casimir Pulaski Museum in Warka


Museum of Katowice History in Katowice, Poland
Polish Music Center USC in in Los Angeles, CA, USA
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland
National Digital Archives in Warsaw, Poland

Honorary Patronage:

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Culture and National Heritage Prof. Piotr Gliński
Mazovian Province Governor Adam Struzik
Grójec District Governor Krzysztof Ambroziak
Warka Mayor Dariusz Gizka

Media Partners:
Radio Plus Radom


"Starring: OST. Polish composers in the American movie industry" was subsidized by
the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the District of Grójec.

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