Karol Maciej Szymanowski (6 October 1882 – 28 March 1937) was a Polish composer and pianist, considered one of the greatest Polish composers of the 20th century.
His oeuvre has been divided into three periods. In the first, he showed the influence of the late Romantic German school as well as the early works of Alexander Scriabin, exemplified by his Étude Op. 4 No. 3, as well as his first two symphonies. Later, he developed an impressionistic partially atonal style, present in works as the Third Symphony or his Violin Concerto No. 1. His third period was influenced by the folk music of the Polish Górale region, like the ballet Harnasie, the Fourth Symphony, or his sets of Mazurkas for piano.
He was awarded the highest national honors including the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and other, also foreign distinctions.