Composers / Witold Lutosławski / Persons catalog

Martina Homma

Martina Homma — German musicologist, author of many publications on twentieth and nineteenth century music, researcher of Witold Lutosławski’s creative output. She studied piano, music theory, musicology, philosophy, as well as Slavic and German studies in Cologne, Cracow, and Warsaw. In 1996, she published a dissertation of over 750 pages: Witold Lutoslawski. Zwölfton-Harmonik – Formbildung – 'aleatorischer Kontrapunkt'. Studien zum Gesamtwerk unter Einbeziehung der Skizzen (Bela Verlag, Cologne).

The volume was the result of many years of research into the music of Lutosławski – research also based on his sketches, with which Homma acquainted herself in the late eighties at his home. In a conversation with Grzegorz Michalski, she remembered the times: “I would arrive every day at nine o’clock. A question was always posed: which sketches would be my pleasure? So I would tell him what I wished that day, which was quite comfortable for me. For example ‘today’ I would wish this and that – I would bring my scores, all the notes I had, and he would come with an envelope ready with sketches (...) and would leave me alone. I looked at what I wanted, till around eleven, eleven-thirty. He would then come, personally make me a small coffee, and ask me if I had any questions, if I understand everything, and if I would still like to find out more about anything”.

Homma’s dissertation was received enthusiastically in musicological and music criticism circles, and she immediately entered the canon of publications on the Polish composer. Andrzej Chłopecki closed his review of her work with a call: “For this book, in which Martina Homma turned Lutosławski’s ‘compositional kitchen’ upside down, and then created in it an order unexpected to its very owner, I nominate Martina Homma to all the most prestigious, most generous awards with which the Third Polish Republic can possibly honour her service to Polish culture.”

On January 24, 2013, at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Martina Homma received the Witold Lutosławski Centenary Medal for her outstanding contribution to the dissemination of the music and knowledge about the Polish composer.

When asked about her favourite composition by Witold Lutosławski, she mentioned Mi-parti. (sw / trans. mk)