January 25, 1913
February 7, 1994 in Warsaw
Also Known As:
Premiere Polish composer of the 20th century.
Type of Compositions:
He is known for his orchestral works, also choral works, piano pieces, music for tv and radio, film scores and children's songs. He also wrote a string quartet. His compositions had different elements derived from folk songs, atonality, 12-tone serialism and improvisation.
Lutoslawski could play the piano and violin and started composing when he was 9 years old. He entered the Warsaw Conservatory in 1932 where he studied composition and music theory.
Among his notable works are: "The Symphonic Variations,' "Variations on a Theme of Paganini," "Funeral Music," "Venetian Games," "Concerto for Orchestra," "Piano Concerto," "Symphony No. 2," "Symphony No. 3," "Chain 2" and "Concerto for Cello and Orchestra."
During the war, Lutoslawski made a living by playing the piano at various cafes in Warsaw. His composition titled "Funeral Music" was dedicated to the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. This composition earned praise from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's Tribune Internationale des Compositeurs. Lutoslawski's Paroles tissees was written for the tenor singer Peter Pears, Britten's life-long companion.
Watch Enrico Pace and Igor Roma perform Witold Lutoslawski's "Variations on a Theme of Paganini" courtesy of YouTube.