Writer, musician, activist Piotr Szczepanik dies aged 78

Wojciech Pacewicz/PAP

Piotr Szczepanik, a renowned Polish musician, writer and actor also known for his communist-era opposition activism died on Thursday at the age of 78.

"Sad news. Piotr Szczepanik - an excellent singer and musician, creator of unforgettable hits - has passed away. During martial law he co-organised the independent music scene and supported the activities of the democratic opposition. A wonderful, wise Person. R.I.P." tweeted President Andrzej Duda.

PAP was informed of Szeczpanik's death by his daughter, artist Jagoda Szczepanik. Her father wrote such Polish ballads as 'Kochać,' 'Goniac Kormorany' and 'Zolte kalendarze.'

A singer, guitarist and actor, Piotr Szcepanik was born on February 14, 1942, in Lublin, eastern Poland. After leaving school he worked with the local Theatre Lalki i Aktora in Lublin before studying art history at the Catholic University in Lublin. He debuted at the Students Song Festival in Krakow, southern Poland, in 1963. In the 60s and 70s he ran a cabaret called 'We support each other' with Bohdan Lazuka and Jacek Fedorowicz.

Also in the 70s, Szczepanik started to get involved in poetic music, performing alone with a guitar. He played concerts in Poland as well as in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many European countries.

In the 80s, he dedicated himself to the democratic opposition cause, organising the independent music scene under martial law.