13 January

First concert by Group 49. The programme features Tadeusz Baird’s Piano Concerto, Jan Krenz’s Symphony and Kazimierz Serocki’s Four Dances. In the programme booklet Stefan Jarociński presents the Group’s programme.


Tadeusz Baird becomes a member of the Board of the Polish Composers’ Union (he will hold this post until December 1951).


18 March

Premiere of Symphonie pour un homme seul – a musique concrète composition by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry.


23 June

Premiere of Cantata No. 2 by Anton Webern.


Roman Palester writes Symphony No. 4, a work by a Polish composer who decided to stay abroad after 1949.



The 1st Polish Music Festival takes place. Baird is one of its organisers.

18 July

Baird receives the Artistic Prize, 3rd class, for 1951.

State Award


13 July

Arnold Schönberg – author of the dodecaphonic method and the so-called Second Viennese School – dies in Los Angeles.

18 October

Electronic music studio is set up in Cologne.


Igor Stravinsky writes the opera The Rake's Progress.

Cage composes his Concerto for Prepared Piano and Orchestra.


30 May

Another concert by Group 49 at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall. The programme includes Baird’s Colas Breugnon and Kazimierz Serocki’s Symphony No. 1. The concert is repeated on 1 July.

22 July

Tadeusz Baird is awarded the Gold Cross of Merit.


29 August

Premiere of John Cage’s silent piece 4′33″ during David Tudor’s recital.


Kazimierz Serocki writes Symphony No. 1.



Baird takes part in the International Youth and Student Festival in Bucharest.

19 September

The Board of the Polish Composers’ Union hears Baird’s Lyric Suite and the work receives the Presidium’s recommendation.

19 November

Baird’s Two Caprices for clarinet and piano wins the 2nd prize at a closed competition organised by the Polish Composers’ Union.


5 March

Sergei Prokofiev dies in Moscow.

10 June

Grzegorz Fitelberg dies in Katowice. A conductor and composer, he was also an indefatigable populariser of Polish music, from Szymanowski to the youngest authors (he conducted Baird’s Piano Concerto).

26 May

Premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Kontra-Punkte.


24–26 April

During the 7th General Assembly of the Polish Composers’ Union Tadeusz Baird is elected member of the Board and one of its three deputy presidents.


Baird goes on an artistic tour of the USSR with Witold Rowicki.


The composer undergoes a creative crisis and begins studying dodecaphony.


23 January

Premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s Septet.

19 May

Charles Ives dies in New York.

16–17 October

Cage visits the Donaueschingen Festival.


17 January–20 May

The 2nd Polish Music Festival takes place in Warsaw. This huge propaganda event was initially planned on an even bigger scale – it was to have lasted until 22 July. In the end, there were 163 symphonic concerts featuring performances of about 450 works by 119 composers. The Festival audience was estimated at over 150,000. Baird was one of the organisers of the Festival (alongside Kazimierz Serocki, Andrzej Dobrowolski and Włodzimierz Kotoński).

2nd Festival of Polish Music AwardInternational Composers' Competition Award

4-6 June

During the 8th General Assembly of the Polish Composers’ Union Baird and Serocki resign as deputy presidents of the PCU (probably in connection with Andrzej Panufnik’s escape from Poland in July that year). At the same time they propose that a Contemporary Music Festival be organised.

20 December

Baird’s composer evening at the Big Studio of the Polish Radio in Warsaw. The programme features his Sinfonietta (first movement), Colas BreugnonLyric Suite [played from a tape], as well as Little Suite for Children for piano, Prelude for piano and Five Children’s Songs.


27 November

Arthur Honegger dies in Paris.


Wojciech Kilar writes the Little Suite.

Grażyna Bacewicz composes String Quartet No. 5.


6 February

Tadeusz Baird is appointed member of the Culture and Art Council.

Notification from the Culture and Art Council

10-21 October

An International Festival of Contemporary Music takes place in Warsaw. Baird is one of the members of the Board of the Polish Composers’ Union responsible for the Festival. Two of Baird’s works are preformed during the Festival: the popular Colas Breugnon and Cassazione – a piece combining neo-classical elements with the dodecaphonic technique.


The composer takes part in the Edinburgh Festival.


15 December

Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Zeitmasse is premiered at the Domain Musicale Festival.


Pierre Boulez composes Structures for 2 Pianos.

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki writes Songs of Joy and Rhythm


Baird goes on an artistic tour of Lithuania and Italy.


28 July

Stockhausen’s XI Klavierstück is performed in Darmstadt. It is an aleatory work with the so-called polyvalent structure (it consists of 19 elements written out on one large page of the score), in which the performer decides where to begin and moves in this sound labyrinth until a given fragment is reached for the third time.


Boulez writes Piano Sonata No. 3, in which he uses some elements of the aleatory technique.

Serocki composes a song cycle entitled Eyes of the Air for soprano and piano.

The Experimental Music Studio is established in Warsaw, with Józef Patkowski as its director.



13th International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt. Baird listens to lectures and has an opportunity to hear works by Henri Pousseur, Bo Nilsson, Luigi Nono and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Postcard from DarmstadtPostcard from Darmstadt

Baird wins the 1st Prize for Four Essays at the Grzegorz Fitelberg Competition for composers.


8 September

In Darmstadt Cage delivers a lecture about indeterminacy.


3 October

The premiere of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Epitaph, Op. 12 to words by Julian Tuwim during the Warsaw Autumn is an event that places the young composer within the avant-garde movement.


Bacewicz writes Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion.

Cage writes the Piano Concerto.

Messiaen finishes writing Catalogue d’Oiseaux – a monumental work for piano solo inspired by the voices of 13 birds.



Baird’s Four Essays comes first at UNESCO’s International Rostrum of Composers in Paris.

10-16 June

4th International Congress of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) in Rome. Baird takes part in it (for the first time), alongside Lutosławski, Serocki and Szalonek.

Postcard from RomePostcard from Rome


The composer goes to Riga, where his Four Essays is performedHe tells Alina Sawicka:

Madness after the Essays. There’s been nothing like this before.


A spectacular debut by Krzysztof Penderecki: his three compositions – StrophesEmanations and Psalms of David – win the first three prizes at the Polish Composers’ Union Competition.

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki writes Symphony No. 1.