Music
Witold Lutoslawski

Biography

Witold Lutoslawski hoped to continue his studies in Paris after graduating in piano and composition from the Warsaw Conservatory in 1937. But military service intervened, during which he was captured by the Germans before escaping to Warsaw (his brother was ...

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Biography

Witold Lutoslawski hoped to continue his studies in Paris after graduating in piano and composition from the Warsaw Conservatory in 1937. But military service intervened, during which he was captured by the Germans before escaping to Warsaw (his brother was not so fortunate, and died in Siberia).

His Variations on a Theme of Paganini (1941) for two pianos, was written for himself and his composer-contemporary Andrzej Panufnik, with whom he played in Warsaw’s cafés. In 1949 Lutoslawski’s First Symphony (1947) was banned, and in the following years his output included much folk music, including children’s songs, until the extrovert Concerto for Orchestra (1950–54) established his national reputation. His fondness of aleatoric, or chance, principles, was first explored in Jeux vénitiens (1961) and in many works of the 1960s.

After the Symphony No. 2 (1965–7) and the Cello Concerto (1969–70) he developed a more melodic style in the Double Concerto for oboe and harp (1980) and Symphony No. 3 (1981–3). He died a year after the premiere in Los Angeles of his Symphony No. 4.

Profile by Edward Bhesania © BBC

Clips (11)



Tracks (35)

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Concerto for orchestra
Little Suite (vers. for chamber orchestra)
Little Suite (vers. for chamber orchestra)
Variations on a theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra
Variations on a theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra
Variations on a theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra
Stiúrthóir
Ceolfhoireann
Composer
Performer
Concerto for orchestra
Concerto for orchestra
Concerto for orchestra
Ceolfhoireann
National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Stiúrthóir
Composer
Paganini Variations
Paganini Variations
Paganini Variations
Composer
Stiúrthóir
Performer
Ceolfhoireann
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
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