Tadeusz Baird treated his profession very seriously. For him a composer’s work was not limited to just “writing notes”; he treated it as a mission of an artist to save society from too narrow horizons, from the so-called narrow specialisation in the dynamically developing knowledge of the world. According to Baird, each composer is an artist, as is each actor, playwright, musician, writer, painter, poet, theoretician and critic of art. At a time when humanistic values are clearly disappearing from the world, it is the duty of every artist to take on the most important task – passing on constantly updated, complex knowledge of humanity, trying to understand the essence of humanity by telling the truth about the external world and about one’s own experiences. As he said:
To be an artist means to have a sensitive, even excessively subtle nature, but at the same time it means having to enter a lifelong competition, that is to be able, in the name of one’s artistic reasons, to remain stubborn, to stand failures, to overcome difficulties. To be an artist not only by name means to be a dreamer and be able, regardless of the cost, to make dreams come true, and this requires strong will, inner discipline, industriousness. So to be an eminent artist, one must consist of two, mutually exclusive elements, it’s like being made of fire and water at the same time. [...] Artists have always needed character and courage, like they’ve needed talent, and today, in times of mass-produced pseudo-art, when there are so many temptations of easily achieving pseudo-artistic “success”, they need them more than ever.
In his views on the role of the artist-composer, Baird took into consideration a broad context. What mattered to him were both personality traits and the awareness of artistic service to society. Baird fulfilled this role in each of his fields (as a creator, teacher and organiser), inspired by his role model in this respect, Grażyna Bacewicz. He was fascinated with her approach to art and life, highly valuing her talent, knowledge and professional skills, reliability, artistic honesty, sincerity and guilessness, as well as respect and tolerance for other people’s behaviour. Baird’s broad perspective in his approach to the role of the composer in the development of art and society stemmed from his 40-year-long friendship with Bolesław Woytowicz. This brilliant artist taught Baird that what mattered more in art than compositional-technical issues were broader, humanistic questions. Baird learned a similar lesson from his meetings with Grzegorz Fitelberg, who surrounded him with his demanding goodness and human care – so simple that it seemed extraordinary. Baird’s views on the composer’s work were also shaped by his close relations with many other individuals (e.g. Jan Krenz, Kazimierz Serocki, Florian Dąbrowski, Halina Poświatowska) as well as his great humanistic erudition. All these experiences inspired Baird to formulate the most important characteristic of artists-composers: they were to be “the last of the Mohicans” responsible for society’s complete, humanistic profile.
- T. Baird, "Trudno być artystą (młodym)" ["It is difficult to be a (young) artist"], Kultura 20.05.1979 no. 20, p. 11.