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Norbert Palej

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Norbert Palej


Norbert Palej (b. 1977, Kraków, Poland) is a Polish composer, performer, educator and conductor.

Prof. Palej holds composition degrees from Cornell University, The Juilliard School, and the New England Conservatory.

Recent commissions include orchestral works for Orchestre 21, Orquesta de Camara de Valdivia, the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, and Sinfonia Toronto, operas for the Tapestry New Opera and the Canadian Children's Opera Company, two string quartets for the Penderecki String Quartet, a percussion concerto for Dame Evelyn Glennie, a song cycle for the Canadian Art Song Project, chamber pieces for various concerts, as well as a choral work for Soundstreams Canada.

Palej’s Weronika, for orchestra, received a performance by the Warsaw Philharmonic in 2020. His music has been heard in Canada, the USA, Thailand, Poland, Chile, Norway, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Austria, Hungary, Great Britain, Costa Rica, and across China. He has been a guest composer at the 2012 Beijing Modern Music Festival, the 2013 Thailand International Composition Festival, and the 2014 Sichuan Conservatory Sun River Festival. Palej is a recipient of the Toru Takemitsu Award from the Japan Society in Boston, the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the Robbins Family Prize in Music Composition, the Benjamin Britten Memorial Fellowship, the Susan and Ford Schumann Fellowship and Ontario and Toronto Arts Council Recording and Commissioning grants. He is a member of ASCAP, the Canadian Music Centre, and the Polish Composers' Association.

Palej is [2022] associate professor of composition and the artistic director of the annual New Music Festival at the University of Toronto. He is also an active concert pianist.

Works for Winds by This Composer