The music lovers of Munich became familiar with the music of Lutosławski thanks to a cycle of concerts entitled Musica Viva. At the beginning of 1961, as part of that cycle, the Concerto for Orchestra was performed by the local philharmonic orchestra under the baton of Fritz Rieger. Five years later, the composer appeared in person at the Herkulessaal, conducting the chorus in a presentation of the Trois poèmes d’Henri Michaux. The organisers of Musica Viva also included his music on their programmes in the years 1970, 1976 and 1985. In that last year, they invited him for a monographic concert, in which he conducted the Third Symphony, among other things.
In November 1984, the Munich Philharmonic wanted to commission from Lutosławski a concerto for two pianos, but the composer turned them down. A couple of years later, however, the orchestra could boast a ‘Lutosławski’ premiere. In January 1990, it was the first to perform his quasi-concerto for violin of rather unusual origins and form. That work represented a combination of a work that had been in existence for five years and two new pieces that were being performed for the first time: thus Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Munich Philharmonic under Lutosławski’s baton began their performance with Partita, in a new arrangement for violin and orchestra; next, the soloist, having put down her violin, listened with the audience to Interlude, completed just three months before, after which she picked up her instrument again and played Chain II.