Karol Maciej Szymanowski was a Polish composer and pianist, the most celebrated Polish composer of the early 20th century.
His oeuvre has been divided into three periods. The first shows the influence of the late Romantic German school as well as the early works of Alexander Scriabin, as exemplified by his Étude Op. 4 No. 3 and his first two symphonies. Later, he developed an impressionistic and partially atonal style, present in such works as the Third Symphony and his Violin Concerto No. 1. His third period was influenced by the folk music of the Polish Górale region, as in the ballet Harnasie, the Fourth Symphony, and his sets of Mazurkas for piano.
He was awarded the highest national honors, including the Officer's Cross of theOrder of Polonia Restituta, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and other, including foreign, distinctions.