Joseph Podobiński was born on 3/17/1925 in Polna near Gorlice in the province of Rzeszow. He came from a large family. His interest and talent for music came from his family. From an early age, he played the piano, accordion, violin, trumpet, organ, clarinet and saxophone. The working knowledge he obtained by playing a variety of instruments allowed him as a composer to take full advantage of instruments, which translated directly into the beautiful and natural sound of his music.
His father, John, who graduated from the Lviv Conservatory, gave his first lessons on the instruments to him. Unfortunately, the children became orphans when he died in March 1939 of tuberculosis. The obligation of keeping the family together fell on the older brothers. Joseph and his brothers founded the family band and played at various events. Additionally, he gave piano lessons. Joseph also worked as an organist in the church of St. Andrew the Apostle in Polna.
Joseph Podobiński, during the occupation of Poland, completed secondary school in the studies of general education and music. The family home held Polish language courses. Teaching was given by Irena from the house of Bautel, later the wife of the composer.
In 1942, at the age of seventeen, Joseph participated in the anti-Nazi resistance movement in Rzeszów. During one of his visits to a home of partisans, the Germans set up an ambush. The situation seemed hopeless. It is safe to say that the family saved music. Germans, surprised to see musical instruments, asked them to play some sort of a melody. Joseph Podobiński selected works by Johann Strauss and Franz Lehár. The Germans as they were setting off said that they would return to listen to the music. Fortunately, they never came back. In 1946, for his taking part in the anti-Nazi resistance movement, Joseph Podobiński was awarded the Medal of Victory and Freedom. He composed a song Partisan Memories to the words of Włodzimierz Grab.
In the years 1945 - 1947 Joseph Podobiński participated in military service, afterwards becoming a noncommissioned officer reserve. He was the conductor of a military band, which he created. In the press, there were articles about the Lieutenant bandmaster, who composed music on the train between Warsaw - Podkowa Leśna (place of the unit), and the songs were distributed to passengers.
In 1947, Joseph Podobiński married Irene in the house of Bautel and settled down in Siemianowice. After that, his life, work as a composer, and teaching was always associated with Silesia. Over the years, he became one of the most popular composers in Silesia.
In the years 1947-1956 he worked as a music instructor at the Regional Cultural Center in Katowice. While working there, he led a representative ensemble that performed under his direction for a few years. They were constantly on the radio providing music for Silesian Polish Radio broadcasts. They provided original compositions as well as study. The team was awarded second prize at the central qualifying in 1955 in Wroclaw (no first prize awarded). He composed music for a six-vector puppet theater named Czar. He created and developed a repertoire of artistic union teams across the province. He worked on a permanent basis with many of them such as: Philharmonic ZZG Mining in Zabrze, the Representative Song and Dance Ensemble ZZG in Siemianowice, Song and Dance Ensemble Jaworzno New Mine in Jaworzno, Song and Dance Ensemble of the Kosciuszko Mill in Chorzow, Song and Dance Ensemble Katowice Szopienice and others. He participated in the reviews of these teams as a juror. The achievements of Joseph Podobińskiego helped provide a strong song repertoire for the mining and metallurgical communities.
In the same period he also collaborated with the editorial Polish Radio worked with divisions such as music, literature, and the children section - by creating his own original pieces and developing folk melodies. He worked for Radiowa Czelodka, the most popular radio show in Silesia, where he created 600 Silesian folk songs and dances for the different teams at the audition. The composer's work reflected his newfound love of the Silesian region. Through his works, the composer expressed his appreciation for the culture, region and the folk customs that were associated with Silesia. He composed the music for the audition O Ondraszku. The popularity of the composer was wide spreading. His works were being sung within the Silesian region, on the Polish Radio in Katowice, in folk ensembles, and even barbershops across the land. The composer was also known for his new mainstream music entertainment, by creating music in various forms and sizes ranging from small pieces for soloists and choir to various larger orchestras (accordion, mandolin, and instrumental ensembles)
In 1948, Joseph Podobiński passed the entrance exam for the Department of Theory Composition and Conducting at the State University of Music in Katowice.
In 1955, he graduated with very good grades in the courses taught by Professor John Galwas. For his final exam, he defended his diploma by providing pieces for a brass quartet, an overture for orchestra and concert trombone.
After graduation, Joseph Podobiński served as an instructor in music at two institutions: the Technical School of Mining and Energy in Katowice (1956 - 1959) and the Technical School of Mining in Chorzow Batory - in the Song and Dance (1959 -1961).
In 1961, he began teaching, which he continued for 20 years. He returned to his university in Katowice. He was a highly regarded teacher. For his educational work, he was awarded the 1982 Karol Szymanowski Prize in Katowice.
At the same time continued his work with the media. In the years 1965-1968 he worked as a music consultant at the television station in Katowice. He composed music for various television programs. Among them, U Bregułów na Zawodziu and Przy sobocie po robocie (entertainment programs provided for the occasion of Miner's Day with the participation of great artists such as: Alina Janowska, Halina Kunicka, Krystyna Sienkiewicz) and also programs for the occasion of the Silesian Uprisings and others.
The multi-talented composer found himself creating pieces for symphonic orchestra, instrumental symphonies, stage forms, small and large forms of vocal with instrumentals, and chamber music.
The composer has to his credit three symphonies, two rhapsodies, two overtures, and a symphonic poem for orchestra. The jazz symphony, which was performed in January 1962 in Katowice by the State Symphony Orchestra of the Silesian Philharmonic under the baton of the prestigious Czech conductor Vaclav Smetáček, was a great musical event that reached the national scale.
The jazz music style was also in his Second Symphony. The composer has his own emotional relationship to jazz using its features symphonic melody and color to further connect with him. The composer found love and passion within the jazz genre. In Polish music literature, both jazz symphony in 1960 and jazz rhapsody in 1968 were a new avant-garde trend.
Joseph Podobiński valued the work of composers who were representatives of mainstream modernism: Hindemith, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Britten.
The composer's pieces that are also worth mentioning include: Brilliant Butler and Sold Talent. In 1970, he held the premiere of the first operetta in three acts Brilliant Butler, at the National Operetta in Gliwice. Just two years later, there was another premiere, this time in Lublin. The work showed tremendous popularity to achieve notoriety at the Silesian Operetta being performed over 160 times. The operetta witch was performed in Lublin in spring of 1973 also received great popularity.
The premiere of another musical, Sold Talent, was debuted in February 1975 at the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Liberation of Silesia. Sold Talent stated by critics, showed more mature talent and composer ability than in his first operetta. Critics concluded that both works showed great promise in the category of Polish Operetta over time and not just the last 30 years. Another opera buffo Beautiful Andzia was created before the composer's death, and thus far has not been exposed anywhere.
The composer's works also includes chamber music. They were played in the concerts of contemporary music - Silesian Tribune of Composers and Silesian Music Days in Katowice. The group of works that deserves attention is: Variations for Violin and Piano, Children's Suite for Violin and Piano (1968), and I/ II/ III Quintet for wind instruments.
It is also worth mentioning works of characteristic entertainment in Jazz impressions on a solo trombone or symphony orchestra and Tourmaline for guitar quintet. From his pedagogical works, his Trombone Concerto and Symphony Orchestra or Contemporary Music on guitar and the Young Virtuoso should be mentioned.
Although Joseph Podobiński was associated throughout his life with Silesia, he also loved the Sądecki Beskid region. In the mid-seventies he bought with his wife a house in the district of Zapopradzie in Muszyna (the hometown of Irena Bautel). From then on, every free moment was spent there in Muszyna. The composer did not only rest in a picturesque location, but also composed many of his works. Echo Popradu, is one of the tracks directly related to his time in Muszyna.
After the death of his wife (they were married for 38 years), who was a huge supporter of him, left him feeling lost and alone. They had no children. He composed many pieces but kept them to himself. He withdrew himself from public life. Changes in the political system in 1989 made him happy, but he was finding himself less and less in the new reality. At the end, he became ill with cancer. Joseph died feeling alone on 05/16/1993. He was buried in Silesia in Siemianowice.
Joseph Podobiński belonged to the Polish Union of Authors and Composers since 1948.