Composers / Witold Lutosławski / Places catalog
BBC Orchestra and other ensembles
Lutosławski appeared on the BBC many times: first as a speaker, and later mostly as a composer and conductor. He first sat in front of a BBC microphone in 1963, as an avant-garde composer responding to the question ‘Is this music?’ In later years, he worked with the BBC Orchestra, conducting the first European performance of his Third Symphony.
Lutosławski enjoyed good working relations with many institutions and ensembles in London. In March 1984, a Lutosławski Festival Week was organised by the Royal Academy of Music. Although the title might have been slightly exaggerated, with the ‘week’ lasting just five days (26–30 March), the statistics were bettered on the next such occasion, when in February 1989 the London Philharmonic Orchestra organised a ten-day Lutosławski Festival. In four concerts, Lutosławski’s works were conducted by the composer and by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The London Symphony Orchestra, meanwhile, invited the composer in the autumn of 1990, together with Anne-Sophie Mutter, for the second performance, after the Munich premiere, of the triptych comprising Partita, Interlude and Chain 2.
BBC Symphony Orchestra. Phot. James Mitchell. (creative commons)
The Royal Academy of Music in London. (creative commons)
Witold Lutosławski during the rehearsal with BBC orchestra (1978). The Witold Lutosławski Society.