Beginning with his Łagów debut in 1949 and regardless of the external circumstances, the stature of Tadeusz Baird the composer was gradually growing. He was at the centre of Polish musical life, travelled regularly abroad and was invited to be jury member at various festivals and competitions. In addition, he received awards from the government, but, primarily, from various musical institutions. His most important achievements include first place – won three times – at UNESCO’s International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. In 1959 he won the prize for his Four Essays for orchestra, in 1963 – for the Variations without a Theme for symphony orchestra and in 1966 – for the Four Dialogues for oboe and chamber orchestra. He also received the Serge Koussevitzky Prize (1968), Alfred Jurzykowski Prize (1971), Arthur Honegger Prize (1974) and the Sibelius Medal (1976). The 1970s were marked by a veritable “shower” of various honorary and financial rewards. As a mature musician at that time Baird had achieved a high status in Polish musical culture and on the international stage (mainly in Germany and the USA). Half of all his 36 awards (prizes, diplomas, medals) come from that period. In addition to prestige, these awards often provided substantial financial support to the composer, a fact which he confirmed sarcastically:
As regards the award: I don’t really know whether in this hardly lovable Homeland of ours it is a more decent thing to be noticed and appreciated by those in power or, rather, to be disregarded and ignored. Unless one can console oneself by Kisiel’s old saying: it’s not just shame, they pay as well.
- K. Tarnawska-Kaczorowska, Tadeusz Baird. Glosy do biografii [Tadeusz Baird. A Biography], Kraków 1997, pp. 229-230.