Witold Lutoslawski Biography (BBC)
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
Witold Lutoslawski Biography (Wikipedia)
Witold Roman Lutosławski (25 January 1913 – 7 February 1994) was a Polish composer and orchestral conductor. He is one of the major European composers of the 20th century, and one of the preeminent Polish musicians during his last three decades. He earned many international awards and prizes. His compositions (of which he was a notable conductor) include four symphonies, a Concerto for Orchestra, a string quartet, instrumental works, concertos, and orchestral song cycles.
During his youth, Lutosławski studied piano and composition in Warsaw. His early works were influenced by Polish folk music. His style demonstrates a wide range of rich atmospheric textures. He began developing his own characteristic composition techniques in the late 1950s. His music from this period onwards incorporates his own methods of building harmonies from small groups of musical intervals. It also uses aleatoric processes, in which the rhythmic coordination of parts is subject to an element of chance.
During World War II, after escaping German capture, Lutosławski made a living by playing the piano in Warsaw bars. After the war, Stalinist authorities banned his First Symphony for being "formalist"—allegedly accessible only to an elite. Lutosławski believed such anti-formalism was an unjustified retrograde step, and he resolutely strove to maintain his artistic integrity. In the 1980s, Lutosławski gave artistic support to the Solidarity movement. Near the end of his life, he was awarded the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest honour.
- Lutosławski: Paroles tissées - Preview Cliphttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01g8lp9.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01g8lp9.jpg2014-01-02T10:21:00.000ZListen to an excerpt from Lutosławski's Paroles tissées.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01p32b4
Lutosławski: Paroles tissées - Preview Clip
- Lutosławski: Concerto for Orchestra - Preview Cliphttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01g8lp9.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01g8lp9.jpg2013-12-17T15:22:00.000ZListen to an excerpt from Lutosławski's Concerto for Orchestra.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01nkyxt
Lutosławski: Concerto for Orchestra - Preview Clip
- Lutosławski: Piano Concerto - Preview Cliphttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01g8lp9.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01g8lp9.jpg2013-12-10T16:05:00.000ZListen to an excerpt from Lutosławski's Piano Concerto.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01n4xf3
Lutosławski: Piano Concerto - Preview Clip
- Lutosławski: Symphonic Variations - Preview Cliphttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01g8lp9.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01g8lp9.jpg2013-12-10T15:59:00.000ZListen to an excerpt from Lutosławski's Symphonic Variations.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01n4wkl
Lutosławski: Symphonic Variations - Preview Clip
- Lutosławski: Cello Concerto - Preview Cliphttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01g8lp9.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01g8lp9.jpg2013-10-17T12:13:00.000ZListen to an excerpt from Lutosławski's Cello Concerto.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01jwk4j
Lutosławski: Cello Concerto - Preview Clip
- Lutosławski: Variations on a Theme by Paganini - Preview Cliphttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01g8lp9.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01g8lp9.jpg2013-10-03T13:52:00.000ZListen to an excerpt from Lutosławski's Variations on a Theme by Paganini.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01j11p0
Lutosławski: Variations on a Theme by Paganini - Preview Clip
- Watch part of Lutosławski's Concerto for Cello from BBC Proms 2013http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01czdvw.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01czdvw.jpg2013-07-18T14:12:00.000ZThomas Adès conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Lutosławski's Concerto for Cello.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01czdvy
Watch part of Lutosławski's Concerto for Cello from BBC Proms 2013
Witold Lutoslawski Performances