Composers / Witold Lutosławski / Places catalog
The first diploma thesis on Lutosławski’s music was produced at Cracow’s Jagiellonian University. It was written in 1953 by Bogusław Schaeffer for his master’s degree in musicology. In December 1984, that oldest Polish university awarded Lutosławski an honorary doctorate. He was the third musician to receive that distinction, after Karol Szymanowski and Ignacy Paderewski. In expressing his gratitude for the honour, the composer spoke of the duties which an artist had towards others, emphasising his responsibility for his talent, or the ‘good entrusted to him’, which he should multiply and transmit to his fellow men.
‘I am being rewarded for something that I can regard as having merited to only a limited extent – he said in the assembly hall of Collegium Maius. – After all, the value of musical works depends mainly on the value of the actual talent with which the composer is endowed. And talent is a privilege rather than a merit, although one might see a creative artist’s merits in his hard work or the judiciousness with which he administers the goods bestowed upon him. Yet here new doubts arise. After all, work, overcoming difficulties and all the possible efforts connected with creative endeavour are the life’s passion of each and every one of us and do not require any victory over oneself’.
Witold Lutosławski on Jagiellonian University. Private collections of Gabriela and Martin Bogusławski.