Grażyna Bacewicz

Among many protegés of the 20th Century’s greatest musical mentor, Nadia Boulanger, Polish Grażyna Bacewicz stands out as multi-talented and inventive.  She was best known as virtuoso violinist, retiring after WW II to devote full time to composition.  In her later years, she wrote a novel and short stories.

Listen to the Overture for Orchestra of Grażyna Bacewicz, born this day in 1909.

For me the work of composing is like sculpting a stone, not like transmitting the sounds of imagination or inspiration. The majority of contemporary composers work as systematically as bureaucrats. If there is no inspiration one does the menial “workshop” jobs, if there is inpspiration the creative work continues. Discipline, strict discipline in composition is essential to for me. There is a saying: the house will fall down if it were to be built without principles. However, since dodecaphony does not appeal to me very much I am sitting alone and working out my own system. [Letter of Grażyna Bacewicz to her brother, Witold (Vytautas Bacevicius), 23 October 1958].

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