Let me introduce you to the national treasure of Poland:
GRAZYNA BACEWICZ (1909-1969) composer, violinist, pianist and educator. She composed in the neoclassical style, but as her output spans over almost half a century it is varied in style and degree of modernity. I find her glances towards Polish folk music very refreshing and often really fun!
She was born into a Polish/Lithuanian family where they spoke both languages at home. From early years, she studied violin, piano and composition, and in the 1930s she got a scholarship to study for Nadia Boulanger in her famous Boulangerie in Paris. While there, she composed her woodwind quintet and received 1st prize for it in a competition.
Parallel to her composing, she became such an accomplished violinist that she e.g. won the Wieniawski competition in 1935. She undertook many tours to every corner of Europe as violinist, and also had a position in the Polish Radio Orchestra for a while. In addition, she must have been quite the pianist as well, because she premiered her piano concertos herself.
Bacewicz eventually became professor of violin and composition in the music academies in Lodz and Warsaw and was a respected judge in many competitions. She served as vice president in the Polish composers’ association.
Today, she is celebrated with festivals and academies in her name, and her works are played often in Poland. The amount of prizes she won and the medals she got for her services to the country are too many to list here, but I am glad to find a woman composer that is so highly respected in her home country – and rightly so because her music is quite something!
the Ouverture for orchestra
the Quartet for four violins
the Woodwind quintet
Symphony no 4
the Concerto for strings