Roman Maciejewski Timeline - 1960–1969


In April Maciejewski goes to Kraków to attend rehearsals of his Requiem. The composer is warmly received by the musicians. Stefan Kisielewski writes in Tygodnik Powszechny: “After thirty years the Prodigal Son has returned to his homeland, returned very transformed, different – though in some way the same. And he has brought with him several dozen kilograms of the score of a Requiem written in honour of those who perished during the last war.”

The premiere of Maciejewski’s Requiem at the 4th Warsaw Autumn Festival goes virtually unnoticed. Owing to a sudden indisposition of the conductor scheduled to conduct the concert, the composer himself steps in.

Maciejewski records twenty of his mazurkas for the Polish Radio.


22 January — premiere of Eugène Ionesco’s absurd play Rhinoceros.

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki writes Scontri.

Krzysztof Penderecki composes Threnody for the Victims of  Hiroshima — a flagship work of sonorism.


In May the composer returns to the United States, where he presents his Requiem (from tape) in New York and meets Leonard Bernstein. Positive opinions about the Requiem are expressed by Józef Wittlin and Michał Kondracki.

Towards the end of May Maciejewski sets out on a return journey to Los Angeles. On his way he stops in Oshkosh to visit the Francs and presents his Requiem in Chicago.


2 July — Ernest Hemingway commits suicide.

13 August — the Berlin Wall is built.

Witold Lutosławski composes Venetian Games, his first piece written with the use of the controlled aleatory technique.

Roy Lichtenstein creates the first pop-art work — Look Mickey.


Maciejewski begins working in Hermosa Beach, California, as an organist at the Franciscan Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, where he also founds a parish choir.


10 February — death of Władysław Broniewski.

16 April — premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Polymorphia in Hamburg. The piece is regarded as the apex of the sonoristic stage in Penderecki’s oeuvre.

15–28 October — Cuban Crisis. The USSR tries to install medium-range missiles in Cuba.

John Steinbeck receives the Nobel Prize in literature.


Maciejewski accepts the position of organist at a church in Torrance.

His “Roman Choir” becomes one of the best church choirs in California.


30 January — death of  Francis Poulenc.

12 May — Stanisław Wiechowicz dies in Kraków.

22 November — assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Kazimierz Serocki writes an open form piece – A piacere, propositions for piano.


Maciejewski goes on a concert tour of Mexico with his choir. He writes Missa brevis with his choir in mind. From now on the composer would expand the choir’s repertoire, adding new religious works every year.


14 March — Antoni Słonimski hands Prime Minister Cyrankiewicz a letter signed by 34 intellectuals.

12 August — premiere of Andrzej Panufnik’s Sinfonia sacra in Monte Carlo. The work, completed in March 1963, wins the first prize at the Prince Rainier Competition in Monaco.

24 September — the unveiling of a new plafond, by Marc Chagall, at the Paris Opera provokes huge discussions.

14 October — Leonid Brezhnev elected First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (replacing Nikita Khrushchev).

Publication of Sławomir Mrożek’s Tango, considered to be his most important play (it would be staged in 1965 in Bydgoszcz).


6 May – Maciejewski’s choir gives a concert at the Hollywood Auditorium in Los Angeles. Leonidas Ossetyński, an eminent Polish cultural activist, reports on the concert in the following manner: “A rapturous applause forced the choir to give several encores and testified to the fact that throughout the concert there was not a single moment that could be described as boring.”


28 January — Michał Spisak dies in Paris.

21 March — premiere of Witold Lutosławski’s String Quartet in Stockholm.

7 May —  premiere of Olivier Messiaen’s composition Et expecto resurectionem mortuorum dedicated to the victims of the Second World War.

10 December — Tadeusz Kantor’s first happening, Cricotage , at the café of the Friends of Fine Arts Society in Warsaw.


Maciejewski moves to Redondo Beach, where he would live until the end of his stay in the USA. He describes his new flat in a letter to his mother:

“I’m very happy with my new flat, from which I have a beautiful view on the sea and a garden, where birds chirp among cacti and the branches of two trees whose greenery is a joy to the eyes.”


30 March — premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion in Münster.

18 December — premiere of Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blowup based on a short story by Julio Cortázar.

An initiative of the conductor and promoter of contemporary music Andrzej Markowski leads to the founding of the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Wrocław.


Roman’s father Józef dies in January. Maciejewski dedicates The Resurrection Mass to him.


5–10 June — Six-Day War between Israel and Arab states.

25 November — premiere of Forefathers’ Eve directed by Kazimierz Dejmek at Teatr Dramatyczny in Warsaw.

Publication of Gabriel García Márquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude regarded as a masterpiece of Ibero-American literature.

György Ligeti completes Lontano – an example of a new approach to polyphony (micropolyphony).


Maciejewski writes another mass – Missa brevis.


8 March — beginning of student unrest in Warsaw.

3 May — student protests break out in Paris.

On the night of 20 April the Soviet troops enter Czechoslovakia, marking the end of the “Prague Spring”.

October — in Paris Kultura Zygmunt Mycielski publishes a letter to Czech and Slovak musicians, protesting against the intervention in Czechoslovakia.

10 October — premiere of the first version of Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia, regarded as a classic work of postmodernism.

Karlheinz Stockhausen writes Stimmung, a vocal piece which marks a turn to minimalist techniques, but also heralds spectralism.


Maciejewski considers travelling to Poland and thinks about where to settle in old age.


17 January – Grażyna Bacewicz dies in Warsaw

13 February — Kazimierz Wierzyński dies in London.

20 July — first landing of humans on the Moon (Apollo 11 space mission).

25 July — Witold Gombrowicz dies in Vence.