Witold Roman Lutosławski (25 January 1913 – 7 February 1994) was a Polish composer and orchestral conductor. He was one of the major European composers of the 20th century. His works include four symphonies, a Concerto for Orchestra, a string quartet, instrumental works, concertos, and Orchestral song cycles. In the 1980s, he gave artistic support to the Solidarity movement.
About Witold Lutosławski in brief
Witold Roman Lutosławski (25 January 1913 – 7 February 1994) was a Polish composer and orchestral conductor. He was one of the major European composers of the 20th century. His early works were influenced by Polish folk music. 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. In the 1980s, he 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. He died in Warsaw, Poland, on February 7, 1994, after a long illness. He is survived by his wife, two children, and a step-daughter. His works include four symphonies, a Concerto for Orchestra, a string quartet, instrumental works, concertos, and Orchestral song cycles. His son, Witold, was given a strong grounding in musical structures, particularly form, particularly in the movements in his son’s Third Symphony. His only composition teacher was Witold Maliszewski, a renowned Polish composer who had been a pupil of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. His wife, Maria Olszewska, who later became his mother, was a fellow composer and a friend of the composer’s. His father Józef was involved in the Polish National Democratic Party. He studied in Zürich, where in 1904 he met and married a fellow student. He took over the management of the family estates in 1908.
His family owned estates in the area of Drozdowo. His mother worked as a physician, and translated books for children from 1924 to 1924. He started piano lessons in Warsaw for two years from the age of six. In 1925 he started violin lessons at the Warsaw Music School. In 1931 he enrolled at Warsaw University to study mathematics, and formally joined the Conservatory of Music in 1932. In 1936 he was admitted to the Warsaw Conservatory, where he studied composition and mathematics until his death. He also studied at the University of Wrocław, and was a member of the Polish Academy of Music. His brother, Marian, was also a composer, and they both died in the Second World War. His parents were both born into the Polish landed nobility, and he was the youngest of three brothers. He grew up in Warsaw before moving to Moscow, where his father was active in National Democracy politics. He made a living by playing the piano in Warsaw bars during World War II. After the war, Stalinist authorities banned his First Symphony for being \”formalist\”—allegedly accessible only to an elite. He and his brother Marian were executed by a firing squad in September 1918, some days before their scheduled trial. He later went on to become a well-known pianist and conductor in Poland. He wrote several books, including a collection of Polish folk songs.