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Oscar-Winning Film Composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek has Died, Aged 71

The composer worked on the scores for films including "Finding Neverland"


Born in Konin, Poland in 1953, Polish composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek initially graduated with a degree in law, though he began working in music almost immediately afterward. After some time spent working with the avant-garde Polish theater director Jerzy Grotowski, Kaczmarek then immigrated to Los Angeles.

Kaczmarek worked on music for films produced both in Hollywood and elsewhere, such as the 2005 movie Total Eclipse with Leonardo DiCaprio, and the 2002 movie Unfaithful, which starred Richard Gere and Diane Lane.

His most prominent success, however, was in the 2004 film Finding Neverland, which was about the playwright J.M. Barrie. For this music, Kaczmarek received the Oscar for Best Original Score. The film received at least three other Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Johnny Depp.

Alongside his film music, Kaczmarek was also commissioned to write works for state occasions in Poland, including the Cantata for Freedom (2005) in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Solidarity movement, and Oratorio 1956 (2006) which commemorated the 50th anniversary of an uprising against the totalitarian government of Poznań.

Kaczmarek is survived by his second wife Aleksandra Twardowska-Kaczmarek, and his five children. Our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

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