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Wroński, Adam

(b Kraków, 1850 or 1851; d Krynica, 17 Dec 1915). Polish violinist, conductor and composer. He was educated at the music school of the Kraków Technical Institute, studying the violin with Ignacy Wójcikiewicz, theory and wind instruments with Piotr Studziński, and the piano with Józef Blaschke. Later, he studied at the Vienna Conservatory. While serving in the Austrian army Wroński played the violin in the orchestra of the 70th Infantry Regiment under the direction of Michał Zimmermann, from whom he learned much about the craft of instrumentation. He soon became assistant conductor, and in 1867 he went with the orchestra to the Paris Exposition Universelle, where they won first prize. For several years he was musical director of the band of the 40th Infantry Regiment, from which, with great effort, he was able to create a full symphony orchestra. The latter had a great impact on the musical culture of Kraków, promoting important works and becoming part of the Old Theatre (Teatr Stary), where it accompanied performances and played during the entr'actes (under the direction of S. Koźmian). The orchestra also collaborated with the Kraków operetta (under the direction of K. Hofman), and stimulated the amateur musical scene. In 1875, following the example of the Strauss family in Vienna, Wroński organized his own orchestra in the spa town of Krynica, and directed the ensemble for some 40 years. As its soloist and conductor, he wrote about 180 dances, numerous arrangements and small symphonic pieces for the orchestra. When the 40th Infantry Regiment relocated from Kraków to Rzeszów, Wroński established a city orchestra in Kraków (probably inspired by W. Żeleński), becoming its director in 1882. After its sudden disbanding in 1885 by the Austrian administration of Galicia, he devoted himself to teaching and to playing in a string quartet. In 1886 he moved to Kołomyja as director of the Music Society named after Stanisław Moniuszko, at the same time being engaged in the running of a symphony orchestra and teaching music. From 1897 he worked as conductor of the theatre orchestra at Lemberg, and after 1900 he was head of the music school of the Music Society in Sambor. In 1907 he returned to Kraków briefly in order to direct both the orchestra of the Harmonia Society of Friends of Music and their music school, and in 1908 he was back in Lemberg conducting operettas. Later he directed the Music Society of Stryj.

Wroński's dance music contained a strong folk and Slavonic flavour. Known as the ‘Polish Strauss’, he composed with ease and was a born melodist. Among about 250 compositions are overtures and fantasies for orchestra; dances for orchestra, piano and other ensembles, which are mostly waltzes (the waltz ‘On the Waves of the Vistula’ ran to 50 editions), but also including gallops, mazurs, polonaises and marches (for example, the ‘Sokołów March’ op.92); miniatures for violin and piano (for example, the Elegy op.34, and Kołysanka (‘Lullaby’) op.171); theatre music; solo and choral songs. Particularly well regarded were his collections of national songs in various arrangements, and his krakowiak dances Z nad Wisły (‘From the Vistula’), which won a prize in 1904 at the K. Lubomirski composition competition, are still performed by wind orchestras. A large collection of Wroński's works can be found in the Biblioteka Jagiellonska, Kraków.



SMP [incl. work-list]

‘Adam Wroński’, Echo muzyczne, teatralne i artystyczne [Musical, theatrical and artistic echo] (Warsaw, 1894), no.561, p.310

J.W. Reiss: ‘Polski Strauss: w dwudziestolecie smierci Adama Wrońskiego’ [The Polish Strauss: on the 20th anniversary of Adam Wroński's death], Orkiestra, ii (1936), 20–22

J.W. Reiss: Almanach muzyczny Krakowa 1780–1914 (Kraków, 1939)

J.W. Reiss: ‘Polska muzyka taneczna w XIX wieku’ [Polish dance music in the 19th century], Muzyka, iv/9–10 (1953), 26–44 [with Eng. summary]

L.T. Błaszczyk: Dyrygenci polscy i obcy w Polsce działający w XIX i XX wieku [Polish and foreign conductors working in Poland in the 19th and 20th centuries] (Kraków, 1964)


Wu Dinglian [Wu Ting-Lien]

(b Tainan, 3 Dec 1950). Taiwanese composer. He holds degrees in composition from Dongwu University, Taiwan (BA 1981), Northern Illinois University (MM 1982) and UCLA (PhD 1987); his teachers have included Shi Weiliang, Ma Shuilong, Paul O. Steg, Elaine Barkin, Paul Reale, Gilbert Reaney and Roy Travis. Upon his return to Taiwan he was appointed professor of composition at Jiaotong Daxue in 1988 where he was responsible for establishing Taiwan’s first computer music studio. Wu’s compositional influences and techniques range widely from Chinese poetry (Qiusi, 1982) and philosophy (Ji, 1991) to pitch-set theory (Wuyue de fanxiang, 1984) and electronically produced sound (Dongzhong zhi jing, jingzhong zhi dong, ‘Calm in Movement and Movement in Calm’, 1990). Oxymoronic titles such as this and Wuzhijin de pianke, ‘The Unending Moment’ (1990–92) are examples of the conjunction of polarities evident in many of Wu’s pieces. A characteristic example is his juxtaposition of long sustained sounds with tremolos and harsh percussive attacks.


(selective list)

Stage: Gulao de secai [Colours of Old] (children’s ballet), 1975; Hou Yi she ri [Hou Yi Shoots the Sun] (children’s ballet), 1978

Orch: Sym. Poem, 1981; Qiusi [Autumn Thoughts], chbr orch, 1982; Sym. no.1, 1983; Zai Qiufeng zhong de sange renwu [3 Characters in the Autumn Wind], chbr orch, 1984; Wuzhijin de pianke III [The Unending Moment], pf, str, 1991–2; Sound World, Chin. orch, 1997

Vocal: Jia [Home], children’s chorus, 1974; Xunzhao yi ke xing [Looking for a Star], chorus, fl, pf, str, 1974; Ershi de geshu [Songs of Childhood], children’s chorus, 1977; Cuowu [Mistake], S, pf, 1979; Huanghelou [House of the Yellow Crane], T, ens, 1979; San shou ge [3 Songs], female chorus, 1980; Niannu jiao [Charming Niannu], T, orch, 1982; Wuxian [Boundless], S, orch, 1984

Chbr: Dialogue, 2 vn, 1973; Guocheng [Process], fl, pf, 1975; Gu yi [Old Ideas], str qt, 1976; Sonata, vn, pf, 1979; Trio, fl, vc, pf, 1980; Fugue, wind qnt, 1980; Huaijiu de hanxi [Nostalgic Sighs], ens, 3 perc, 1982; Kong [Empty], fl, vc, pf, 1984; Wuyue de fanxiang [Echoes of May], fl, cl, trbn, vc, pf, perc, 1984; Bingdong de hanxi [Frozen Sighs], 10 perc ens, 1989; Mist, fl ens, 1989; Ji [Solitary], Chin. insts, 1991; Echoes from Afar, brass qnt, perc, 1997; Yo, pipa, dizi, huqin, 1998

Pf: Prelude and Fugue, 1973; 9 Poetic Piano Pieces, 1974; Qing Ming [Festival], 2 pf, 1979; Variation, 1980; 9 Pieces in Various 20th-Century Techniques, 1981; Wuzhijin de pianke I, 1990; Wuzhijin de pianke II, MIDI acoustic pfs, 1991

Cptr: Dongzhong zhi jing, jingzhong zhi dong [Calm in Movement and Movement in Calm], 1990

Principal publishers: Council for Cultural Planning and Development, Taibei

MSS in C.C. Liu Collection, Institute of Chinese Studies, U. of Heidelberg


Diao Yuwen: ‘Kan Wu Dinglian zishuo zihua’ [Wu talking about himself], Guantou Yinyue, no.40 (1985), 22–5

Song Yuhua: ‘Renshi women de zuoqujia: Wu Dinglian’ [Get to know our composers: Wu], Yinyue yu yinxiang, no.165 (1987), 110–13

B. Mittler: ‘Mirrors and Double Mirrors: The Politics of Identity in New Music from Hong Kong and Taiwan’, CHIME, no.9 (1996), 4–44, esp. 26–7

B. Mittler: Dangerous Tunes: the Politics of Chinese Music in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China since 1949 (Wiesbaden, 1997), 217–21


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