Witold Lutosławski Society
The Witold Lutosławski Society was founded in 1999 to propagate and promote the composer’s musical and spiritual legacy and to support the performance of his works. In that spirit, in 2004, the Society began organising the Lutosławski Award, an international composition competition.
The Society invited Arne Nordheim to sit on the jury, which was chaired by Zygmunt Krauze, and the other jurists were Chen Yi and Charles Bodman Rae. The jury deliberated at the Warsaw Philharmonic on 3–4 December 2004 and selected 157 of the 169 submitted scores for the competition. Arne Nordheim must have noticed the deteriorating state of his health, since after the deliberations he mentioned that it had been a difficult task and that he would not be taking up any more work of that kind. It was his last visit to Warsaw.
Here is what he wrote about Adieu, performed in September 1994 in a concert devoted to the memory of Lutosławski:
‘I wrote this work under the impression of the painful experience of the loss of another person – a person with whom I had enjoyed personal and friendly relations, whom I deeply respected as one of the greatest geniuses of our times. In such a situation, I did not consider it appropriate to count the notes and weigh the strings to arrive at a verbal balance. The title says it all: departure – loss – sadness’ (quoted from the programme). (jc)