Joanna Sendłak [+–]
Halina Maria Boniszewska [+–]
Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969): a composer with an individual, expressive style, an excellent violinist, a very fine pianist, and a talented author. At the Conservatory in Warsaw she studied composition with Kazimierz Sikorski, her violin tutor was Józef Jarzębski and her piano professor was Józef Turczynski. Graduating in 1932, she travelled to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger, later returning there to work with Carl Flesch. Her compositional output covered many genres, from ballets to songs and choral works, but also ranging from symphonies, concerti, and chamber works to pieces for solo piano. In 1936 she became principal violinist in the Polish Radio Orchestra. She then toured Europe as a soloist in the two years leading up to World War II, later resuming her career as a concert violinist and pianist after the war. For many years, Grażyna Bacewicz held the post of Vice-President of the Union of Polish Composers. She also served as a judge in many prestigious international music competitions. Strong and sensitive, and exceptionally family oriented, Grażyna Bacewicz was also blessed with unusual charm, phenomenal energy and huge creative potential.
Grażyna Bacewicz became world famous and won numerous prizes for her compositions, which were regularly performed by the best musicians, and picked up for publication. She received enthusiastic reviews from music critics, among them Stefan Kisielewski, who noted the ‘passionate ferocity’ of her playing and described her concerto for string orchestra as ‘a rare piece of healthy and tasty music’.
This biographical story, based in large measure on letters and other family documents, has been brought to us first hand by the composer’s grand-daughter, the writer Joanna Sendłak.
Series: Women in Music
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