220px-Wojciech_Kilar_2 Polish classical and film music composer Wojciech Kilar has died aged 81 after a long illness.

Kilar became known internationally as the author of dozens of film soundtracks such as Roman Polanski’s The Pianist, Jane Campion’s The Portrait of a Lady, and Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He also composed symphonic music, chamber works and works for solo instruments.

He was also, for a time, a frontrunner to compose the score for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films.

In October 1999, a Polish newspaper reported (according to a fan’s translation) that the LOTR film trilogy would be composed by Wojciech Kilar. Throughout November, December, and January, TORn referred to Kilar’s status as composer as ‘close to signing’.

In February 2000, a New Line Cimema representative reportedly said that Kilar’s name had been brought up but there was some favoritism towards James Horner for score composer. Ultimately, Kilar did not sign on as the composer. He later said that at first he had “welcomed the proposal with enthusiasm”, but considered it a “fortunate circumstance” to eventually be “turned down” as he felt the job would have involved too much pressure and work and that he preferred working alone.

Krzesany, for orchestra (1974) by Wojciech Kilar