b. 1977, Poland

In addition to composing, Palej is a pianist and conductor. He has performed his piano works in many recitals in Europe and North America, and served as the director of the Cornell Chamber Choir, as well as assistant conductor of the Cornell Symphony Orchestra. As an orchestral conductor he specializes in the performance of contemporary music.

Palej’s works have been performed at Ozawa Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Caramoor Music Center in the United States and the Liszt Academy (Hungary). He was awarded a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. He received a doctoral degree in composition from Cornell University in 2008.

Recent commissions include pieces for Tapestry New Opera, Canadian Children's Opera Company, and the Penderecki String Quartet. His music has been heard in Canada, USA, Poland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Great Britain, and Costa Rica.

Norbert Palej has been Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Toronto since 2008.

Artist Compositions


Premiere Title of Commission Listen
01/30/2010 Arise, Cry Out in the Night Listen Close

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 was one of the twentieth century’s most tragic episodes of heroism: a desperate act of Jewish resistance against the murder of the ghetto’s population. Palej’s musical commemoration of this event draws on texts both ancient and modern.