* February 5, 1909 in Łódź
† January 17, 1969 in Warsaw

Grażyna Bacewicz Composer and violinist. She was born on 5 February 1909 in Łódź, to a Polish-Lithuanian family. She took her first music lessons with her father Vincas Bacevičius, as did her siblings: brothers Kiejstut - pianist, composer, teacher (1904-93) and Witold - composer, pianist, music activist (1905-70) and her sister Wanda - poet and journalist (1914-2011).
From 1919 Grażyna Bacewicz studied at the Helena Kijeńska-Dobkiewicz Music Conservatory in Łódź. In 1928-32 she continued her musical education at the Warsaw Conservatory of Music, studying composition under Kazimierz Sikorski, violin under Józef Jarzębski and piano under Józef Turczyński. She completed her studies at the École Normale de la Musique in Paris (1932-33) in the class of Nadia Boulanger (composition) and André Touret (violin). At the end of 1934, she returned to Paris to work under Carl Flesch (violin).
In 1934-35 and 1945-46 she led a violin class and taught theoretical subjects (harmony, counterpoint) at the Music Conservatory in Łódź. She lectured on composition at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw (1966-69), from 1967 as a full professor.
Until the early 1950s she combined her composing activity with the career of a concertante violinist, achieving success in both of these fields. In 1935 she was awarded the first distinction at the 1st H. Wieniawski International Violin Competition. In 1936-38, she played in the Polish Radio Orchestra in Warsaw, led by Grzegorz Fitelberg. Before World War II she gave solo and chamber concerts, often with her brother Kiejstut (in France, Spain and Lithuania). During the Nazi occupation, she took part in secret concert life, and in the post-war period she made concert tours to the Soviet Union, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, France and Hungary. She also successfully performed as a pianist. She withdrew from active concert life in 1953, although in the following years she made several more premieres of her own works.
She received series of awards at composers’ competitions for her compositions. These were, among others: Competition for Women Composers in Paris (1933: 1st prize for Quintet for Wind Instruments), International Art Competition in London (1948: distinction for the Olympic Cantata for mixed choir and orchestra), F. Chopin Composers' Competition in Warsaw (1949: 2nd prize for Piano Concerto, 3rd prize for Krakowiak concerto for piano, and distinction for Etude for piano), International Contest for Composers in Liège (1951: 1st prize for String Quartet No. 4 and 1956: 2nd prize for String Quartet No. 5), UNESCO’s International Rostrum of Composers in Paris (1960: 3rd prize for "Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion"), Queen Elisabeth International Composing Competition in Brussels (1965: Gold Medal for String Quartet No. 7). She also received the Music Award of the City of Warsaw (1949), State Awards of the 3rd and 2nd degree (1952, 1956), the Award of the Minister of Culture and Art (1955), and the Award of the Polish Composers' Union (1960); she was awarded, among others, the Knight's Cross (1953) and the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1955).
She sat on the jury of Polish and foreign performance and composition competitions (Poznań, Paris, Moscow, Liège, Naples, Budapest). In 1955-57 and 1960-69, she served as the vice-president of the Polish Composers' Union.
She was also involved in literary work. Her play „Jerzyki albo nie jestem ptakiem” ("Swifts, or I am not a bird") (1963) received a distinction in the Ateneum competition, and a few years later was staged in the Television Theatre (1968). The composer also wrote four novels (preserved in manuscripts) and numerous short stories, many of which appeared in print in the autobiographical volume "Znak szczególny" ("Special Character"), published after her death (1970, 1974).

  • for orchestra: Overture (1943), 4 symphonies (1945, 1951, 1952, 1953), Concerto for string orchestra (1948), Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion (1958), Pensieri notturni for chamber orchestra (1961), Concerto for large symphony orchestra (1962), Musica sinfonica in tre movimenti (1965), Divertimento for string orchestra (1965), In una parte (1967);
  • for solo instrument and orchestra: 7 violin concertos (1937, 1945, 1948, 1951, 1954, 1957, 1965), Concerto for piano (1949), 2 cello concertos (1951, 1963), Concerto for two pianos (1966), Concerto for viola (1968);
  • chamber music: Quintet for wind instruments (1932), Trio for oboe, violin and cello (1935), Sonata for oboe and piano (1937), 7 string quartets (1938, 1943, 1947, 1951, 1955, 1960, 1965), 5 sonatas for violin and piano (1945, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951), Trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon (1948), Quartet for four violins (1949), 2 obereks for violin and piano (1949, 1952), 2 piano quintets (1952, 1965), Partita for violin and piano (1955), Quartet for 4 cellos (Quartetto per 4 violoncelli, 1964), Incrustations for horn and chamber ensemble (1965), Trio for oboe, harp and percussion (1965);
  • for solo instruments: 2 sonatas for solo violin (1941, 1958), 2 sonatas for piano (1949, 1953), 10 etudes for piano (1957), Little triptych for piano (1965);
  • for voice and instruments: songs for voice with piano (1929-56), radio opera "The Adventure of King Arthur". (1959);
  • ballets: "Peasant King" (1953), "Esik in Ostend" (1964), "Desire" (1969).



* June 13, 1904 in Łódź
† August 27, 1993 in Zgierz

Kiejstut Bacewicz Pianist-chamber musician, teacher, composer and organizer of musical life.
He studied at the Music Conservatory of Helena Kijeńska-Dobkiewiczowa in Łódź and at the State Conservatory of Music in Warsaw (piano with Antoni Dobkiewicz, composition with Roman Statkowski and Piotr Rytel) and at the University of Warsaw (philosophy studies). In the years 1931-45 he was involved in teaching, publishing and concert activities (as a chamber musician) in Kaunas and Warsaw.
After World War II he returned to Łódź, where he participated in the restitution of music education he held the position of director of the State Secondary Music School in Łódź, concurrently running classes in accompaniment, chamber music and humanities at the State Higher School of Music in Łódź (later the Academy of Music), where he worked until 1991; he also temporarily lectured at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw. In 1950 he became the dean of the Instrumental Faculty of the State Higher School of Music in Łódź, and in 1957-69 he was its rector for four terms of office. In 1957 he contributed to the establishment of the Department of Theory of Music, Piano and Orchestral Instruments within the institution, and in 1959 he established the first Department of Chamber Music in Poland, which he headed until 1974.
Simultaneously he conducted his concert activities, performing with i.a. Eugenia Umińska, Irena Dubiska, Barbara Górzyńska, Halszka Baranowicz-Bacewicz, Olga Olgina, Lidia Skowron, Teresa Żylis-Gara, Mieczysław Szaleski, Zenon Płoszaj, Zbigniew Frieman, Andrzej Hiolski, as well as with his own sister Grażyna, with whom he made a number of world premieres and first recordings of her chamber works.
He composed songs and piano pieces (incl. Toccata). He published a number of research papers on the issues of piano chamber music.
Awarded, i.a. with the Knight’s Cross and Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Medal of the National Education Commission and the honorary title of the Teacher of Merit of the People’s Republic of Poland. In 1993 he received an honorary doctorate from the Academy of Music in Łódź.