b Tymoszowka, Ukraine, 6 October 1882
d Lausanne, 29 March 1937, aged fifty-four
He was the son of wealthy landowners. Both his parents played piano, and he himself studied privately from an early age, entering the Warsaw Conservatory in 1901. He was much influenced by Beethoven, Wagner, Chopin, R. Strauss and later Stravinsky, and he achieved early fame as a composer. After World War I, the Russian revolution brought financial hardship from which he never recovered. In 1926 he accepted the directorship of the Warsaw Conservatory for two years. In his last years he was seriously affected by tuberculosis.
Symphony No 1 in F minor
Symphony No 2 in Bb major
Symphony No 3, Song of the Night, with tenor and chorus
Violin Concerto No 1
String Quartet in C major
King Roger, opera
Prince Potemkin, incidental music
Symphonie Concertante for piano 1
Violin Concerto No 2
Szymanowski also composed symphonic poems, piano music, choral music and songs.