Polish composer of movie music laid to rest

WARSAW, Poland – Wojciech Kilar, a symphonic composer who gained fame writing film scores for “The Pianist” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” was hailed as a glorious figure in Polish and European music at his funeral on Saturday.

Poland’s First Lady Anna Komorowska and Culture Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski joined musicians and hundreds of Kilar’s fans during the ceremonies at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Katowice, the composer’s hometown, during which his music was played.

Kilar, 81, died of cancer on Sunday in Katowice.

In a letter read out before the ceremonies, France’s culture and communication minister, Aurelie Philipetti, said that Europe’s culture has lost one of its glorious figures, whose work has contributed to the history of the world’s music. In 2013, Kilar was awarded France’s highest distinction, the Legion of Honor.

Bogdan Zdrojewski, Poland’s culture minister, said Kilar was a “gem in the crown of Poland’s and world’s music,” while Deputy Prime Minister Elzbieta Bienkowska remembered him as a “very good and kind person.”

In his letter for the ceremony, President Bronislaw Komorowski expressed regret that Kilar, a prolific and much loved composer, is now gone.

A modest man who avoided public attention, Kilar loved best to write symphonies and concertos, but he got the world’s attention with his dense and sensuous score for “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 erotic horror movie.