This book is a must-have for the die-hard Penderecki fan. Obviously it does not comment on his career post-1989, but it provides a superb commentary on his major works up til then. The biographical information is interesting, but this is not a biography of the MAN Penderecki, but simply the COMPOSER. A chronology of his life is given - birth, education, travels, performances etc. - but we learn very little of Penderecki as a person, and how he expressed himself through music. This is unfortunate and I hope one day to see a true biography of Penderecki. So, as I said, this book is primarily useful in the commentary on Penderecki's compositions. It does require some knowledge of musical theory beforehand, but for those who meet that requirement and are interested in Penderecki's music, this book is invaluable.