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Three American Performances of Music by Grazyna Bacewicz

Dec. 04, 2017

Three American Performances of Music by Grazyna Bacewicz

On December 7, the American Symphony Orchestra performed two works by 20th-century Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz: Music for Strings, Trumpets, and Percussion, and Violin Concerto No. 7. Leon Botstein conducted the performances at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall as part of a program called “Triumph of Art.” The concert focused on music by composers who experienced confrontation from authoritarian regimes and their creative responses to resistance.


Written in 1958, Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion is a three-movement, 20-minute work that premiered in 1959 at the Warsaw Autumn Festival, led by Jan Krenz. Bacewicz was also an accomplished violinist and she performed the premieres of her first four violin concertos. Her Violin Concerto No. 7 (also 20-minutes in length) received its premiere in January 1966 by soloist Augustín León Ara. Daniel Sternfeld conducted the Belgian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra at the Grande Salle de Palais de Beaux-Arts, Brussels. This month’s performance features the acclaimed violinist, Alena Baeva.


Other performances of Bacewicz's music include David Danzmayr's recent performances with the San Diego Symphony of Bacewicz’s Overture on December 1 and 2. Written in 1943 during the German occupation of Warsaw, the overture is a compact, three-movement work that lasts six minutes. Bacewicz had to wait until Poland’s liberation for its world premiere. On September 1, 1945, Mieczyslaw Mierzejewski led the Krakow Philharmonic’s first performance as part of the Krakow Festival of Contemporary Music.

(Grazyna Bacewicz's Overture/Polish Radio Symphony/Lukasz Borowicz)

Grazyna Bacewicz

Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion (1950)

for orchestra

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Violin Concerto No. 7 (1965)

for violin and orchestra

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Overture (1943)

for orchestra

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