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The Pianist composer Wojciech Kilar dies at 81

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Dec 29, 2013 | 9:45am EST

The Pianist composer Wojciech Kilar has died, aged 81. The classical musician passed away on Sunday (29Dec13) in his hometown of Katowice, Poland following a long illness. Kilar began his career writing symphonies and concertos, but it was his work in Hollywood which garnered him critical acclaim, composing scores for more than 130 films over the years, including three projects with Roman Polanski - 1994's Death and the Maiden, 1999 thriller The Ninth Gate, and his Oscar-winning war drama The Pianist, which earned the musician a top nomination for the 2003 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTAs). He was also known for writing the music for Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, a project which won him the Best Score Composer honour from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 1992. He later went on to collaborate with filmmaker Jane Champion on 1996's Portrait of a Lady. Kilar was feted with a lifetime achievement award from the Polish State Cinema Committee in 1991, and in 2008, he was handed the Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, one of Poland's highest honours.

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