In the summer of 1975, Lutosławski travelled to Toruń to give a course for young composers organised by Jeunesses Musicales. Five years later, he returned, this time to conduct a concert during the 18th Festival of Polish Music, and also to accept another honorary doctorate. Giving thanks for the distinction to the senate of Copernicus University, he said:
‘It is a great honour for me […], a great distinction. I accept it with joy, but not without a certain embarrassment. That feeling has always accompanied me when such distinctions have befallen me in the past, since they must be understood as a reward for some services, recompense for some effort crowned with valuable results. But what are the services that I might have the right to ascribe to myself? Unfortunately, I do not see any such services, and I could not ascribe them to my account. It is really rather the opposite, given that I feel as if I owe a debt to the fortune that has endowed me with certain talents […] to the people who have the right to expect from me – a person more privileged by nature than they – products which might be of some use to them. […] Some merits might be discerned in the way in which an artist manages his abilities. After all, abilities can be not only exploited, but also wasted. But here too I see no reason to boast of anything, since – as for many of my colleagues – creative work, although undoubtedly combined with mental and spiritual effort, is first and foremost my life’s passion […]’.