Marta Ptaszynska, composer, percussionist, and professor of composition, born in Warsaw, Poland, is the author of such well-known works as the Concerto for Marimba, Concerto for Saxophone, Winter’s Tale, Sonnets to Orpheus, and Moon Flowers, as well as numerous compositions for percussion (Siderals, Graffito, Spider Walk, Space Model, Letter to the Sun), which have been performed many times around the world.
Her distinguished career as a composition teacher includes professorships at Bennington College in Vermont, the University of California in Berkeley and in Santa Barbara, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Indiana University in Bloomington, and Northwestern University in Evanston. In 1998 Ptaszynska was appointed a Professor of Music and in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. Since 2005 she holds an endowed chair of Helen B. & Frank L. Sulzberger Professor of Composition.
In 1965-70 Ptaszynska was a president of the Circle of Young Composers of the Union of Polish Composers in Poland. In the years 1981-84 she aso served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) in the U.S. In 1991 she co-founded and was vice president of the American Society of Polish Music in New York for several years. As an artistic adviser, she arranged the music program of two Polish music festivals which took place at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in New York in 1994 and 1996.
This work was composed for the anniversary concert in January 1986 and had been commissioned by Szymon Kawalla, the conductor of the Symphony Orchestra in Zielona Gira, where its first performance took place with Stanislaw Skoczynski as soloist