Composers / Witold Lutosławski / Places catalog


Japanese audiences owed their first contact with the music of Witold Lutosławski to the Czech conductor Václav Smetáček, who included the Little Suite on the programme of a concert with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in March 1961. That event was commemorated by a courteous letter sent to the composer before the concert by the then secretary of the Polish embassy in Tokyo, with information about the planned performance.

Lutosławski was to be invited to Japan in 1972, but a journey to such a distant country for just two concerts was rather senseless, and it was cancelled. He did not conduct his music in Japan until November 1979. He related with amusement how the guide looking after him and his wife would arrange to meet them with a precision unimaginable in Europe – for instance at 3 minutes past 9. He had rather less happy memories of the long periods spent in Tokyo traffic jams on the way to rehearsals. However, his suggestion of replacing the interminable journeys by official car with a quicker journey by underground train met with a wall of incomprehension. ‘Maestro on the metro? In Japan, that’s impossible’.

He returned here fourteen years later, in October 1993, to receive a prize awarded him by the Inamori Foundation. Kazuo Inamori, who set up the foundation in 1984, was a chemist by trade, like Alfred Nobel, and he owed his fortune to industrial production. Lutosławski was the third composer to be distinguished with the Kyoto Prize; he was very well acquainted with both his predecessors: Olivier Messiaen and John Cage. In his acceptance speech, he referred to a problem that he had been addressing for years. He spoke about music that should be perceived above all as art, and so the work of Bach or Chopin, but which many people treated as acoustic pulp, with no concern for the fact that they were thereby destroying their natural sensitivity to sound. ‘Music in the primary meaning of the word needs defending and protecting’, he appealed to his audience.

Place Category
Aix-en-Provence Appearances
Aldeburgh Appearances
Amsterdam Appearances
Århus Education
Aspen Appearances
Austin Other
Baranów Sandomierski Other
Basel Other
Basztowa Street Performance spaces
Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts Other
BBC Orchestra and other ensembles Appearances
Belfast Other
Berea Performance spaces
Berlin Appearances
Białystok Education
Boston Appearances
Brisbane Other
Budapest Other
Calgary Education, Other
Cambridge Other
Celle Publishers / Bookshops
Chicago Appearances
Cincinnati Other
Cleveland Appearances
Cologne Other
Copenhagen Appearances
Cracow Philharmonic Performance spaces
Dartington Education
Donaueschingen Other
Dresden Other
Drozdowo Flats
Düsseldorf Appearances
Edinburgh Other
Evian Appearances
Filmography Radio / TV
Florence Appearances
Geneva Appearances
Glasgow Other
Graz Other
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Hagen Other, Performance spaces
Hamburg Other
Hanover (New Hampshire) Other
Helsinki Education
Herkulessaal Appearances, Performance spaces
Houston Other
Huddersfield Appearances
Indianapolis Other
Jagiellonian University Education
Katowice Other
Kazimierz nad Wisłą Other
Komorów Flats
Łagów Other
Lancaster Appearances
La Rochelle Appearances
Leeds Appearances
Leipzig Education, Performance spaces, Publishers / Bookshops
Lisbon Appearances
Liverpool Appearances
Łomża Education
London Sinfonietta Performance spaces
Los Angeles Appearances
Louisville (Kentucky) Other
Lublin Appearances
Lucerne Other
Madrid Appearances
Manchester Appearances
Mikołajki Other
Milan Appearances
Montreal Appearances
Moscow Appearances
Munich Philharmonic Appearances, Performance spaces
New York Appearances
Odense Education, Performance spaces
Olsztyn Education
Opio (near Grasse) Flats
Oslo Other
Paris Appearances
Pittsburgh Appearances
Poznań Other
Prague Appearances
PWM EDITION Publishers / Bookshops
Riga Performance spaces
Rome Other
Rotterdam Appearances
Royal Albert Hall Appearances, Performance spaces
Royal Philharmonic Society Appearances
Saint Paul (Minnesota) Other
Salzburg Other
San Francisco Appearances
Strasbourg Appearances
Stockholm Appearances
Sydney Appearances
Szczecin Other
Tanglewood Education, Other
Tokyo Appearances
Toronto Education
Toruń Education
Venice Performance spaces
Vienna Performance spaces
Villars-sur-Ollon Other
Warsaw Appearances, Flats, Other, Performance spaces
Washington Appearances
Wawel Appearances
Wehr near Rheinfelden Other
Wrocław Other, Performance spaces
Wzdów Other
Zagreb Performance spaces
Zegrze Other
Zurich Performance spaces