16–17 January

Baird’s composer concerts in Poznań. The Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra performs his suite Colas BreugnonFive Songs to words by Halina PoświatowskaSinfonia breveFour Love Sonnets and Symphony No. 3.


Baird leaves for Budapest, where the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Witold Rowicki performs and records his Concerto for Orchestra.


Baird is in Rio de Janeiro, at the 3rd American Festival, as a member of the jury in a composers’ competition.

The visit to South America was an important event for the composer. This is how he recalled it many years later:

It seems to me that we in Europe are not quite aware of the fact that in those countries [Brazil and Japan] in recent years or decades there has emerged a whole generation of young composers with some considerable achievements to their credit. For me, the most interesting among them was a group of Brazilian composers, called the Group of Bahia. Several composers, including Ernesto Widmer, Carlos Nobre and Lindenbergue Cardoso, are currently active in this oldest Brazilian centre of culture. Their works have been a surprise for me, and a very positive surprise at that. I have also been very impressed with the music of two or three leading representatives of the young generation of Argentinian composers, above all, Hilda Dianda. This music bears a mark of distinctiveness, which I, an enemy of all anonymity in art, value probably above everything else.


Baird visits Japan for a concert of his works in Tokyo. The programme features the String QuartetFive Songs to words by Poświatowska and Four Novelettes.

Many years later Baird remembered the visit in the following manner:

Courtesy of Professor Todo from the Faculty of Music of the University of Tokyo, I had an opportunity to hear a large number of works by contemporary Japanese composers, including those unknown outside Japan, and I was struck by a puzzling phenomenon. The degree of distinctiveness of Japanese music or art in general – in any case we can talk about all spheres of this nation’s life – is marked by some incredible strangeness, uniqueness or even lack of similarity to other cultures.

Postcard from OsakaPostcard from OsakaO

Baird receives the State Prize, 1st class, for his Symphony No. 3 and Five Songs to words by Poświatowska.

State Award


8 April

Krzysztof Penderecki’s The Entombment of Christ, the first part of his monumental Utrenja, is premiered in Altenburg, near Cologne. The audience is delighted, but there are some critical opinions among experts. It is another step, after the Passion, by Penderecki towards music that would be more rooted in tradition. At the same time it is the composer’s first work showing his fascination with the Orthodox liturgy.

14 October

In London, Mstislav Rostropovich performs Witold Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto, written especially for him. There were some political comments on the work, later disclaimed by the composer. There is no doubt that the Cello Concerto has remained to this day one of the most often performed and stunning among Lutosławski’s works.


29 January

Baird receives the Alfred Jurzykowski Prize from the Jurzykowski Foundation in New York.


The composer travels to Dresden, where his Goethe-Briefe is premiered during the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Dresden Philharmonic.

26 September

Death of the composer’s father – Edward Baird.


Baird travels to Copenhagen to attend the premiere of his string quartet Play, which takes place on 21 November. This is how he reported on the preparations for the concert:

Play – v.v. difficult, the ensemble – they’re sweating. But I’m working with them a lot and perhaps I can get something out of them.

Postcard from CopenhagenPostcard from Copenhagen

Polish Television produces a documentary, Tadeusz Baird – A Portrait, directed by Ludwik Perski.

Tadeusz Baird – A Portrait, dir. Ludwik Perski (TVP 1971) – beginning


6 April

Igor Stravinsky dies in New York. Stravinsky’s oeuvre constitutes a history of 20th century music “in a nutshell” – from the national period through neo-classical works until the unexpected turn towards dodecaphony in the last period of his life.

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki composes Ad Matrem, Op. 29 for soprano, mixed choir and orchestra, a work which – though barely about 10 minutes long –  is extremely important in Górecki’s oeuvre. This is how Professor Gembalski talked about the piece in his laudatory speech, when the composer was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Katowice Academy of Music:

It was in Ad Matrem that Górecki invited the human voice to collaborate for good. From then on it would become an intrinsic element of his creative work. The Voice, which transmits the Word, i.e. the meaning, and, consequently, makes the message of a work more specific, reaching the listener not only thanks to the means of instrumental expression.

Dmitri Shostakovich writes his last symphony – Symphony No. 15 in A major, Op. 141. The composition closes a unique symphonic cycle in 20th century music.


5 June

An all-Baird concert at the National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw featuring his chamber works.

3 September

Baird begins his work as a teacher at the State School of Music in Warsaw. His first students include Elżbieta Sikora and Krzysztof Knittel. However, owing to a lack of agreement over the conditions of employment, Baird resigns already in November (the problem probably concerned the fact that without a degree in composition, Baird could not be employed as a contractual professor).


Baird travels to Norrköping to attend the premiere of Psychodrama.

Postcard from NorrköpingPostcard from Norrköping


Witold Lutosławski writes the Preludes and Fugue, a work in which he went the furthest in his use of the aleatory technique (the only time he used “aleatoricism of choice”).

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki writes Symphony No. 2, the “Copernican”.



Tadeusz Baird is appointed member of the Music Council.

6 July

Tadeusz Baird passes his MA exam in composition at the State School of Music in Florian Dąbrowski’s class and obtains his Masters of Arts degree. A year before the composer resumed his composition studies, interrupted in 1951.

Higher education diplomaHigher education diploma

23 September

Premiere of Baird’s Concerto for oboe and orchestra at the Warsaw Autumn.


Baird travels to Canada, where his Elegeia is premiered in Ottawa.

Postcard from TorontoPostcard from Toronto


Krzysztof Penderecki writes Symphony No. 1. The use of a classical form was another, rather surprising turn in the composer’s oeuvre; however, the sonic language of the piece remained avant-garde.

Dmitri Shostakovich writes String Quartet No. 14.

Great success of Kazimierz Serocki’s Impromptu fantasque at the Warsaw Autumn (the work is encored).


6 February

The composer’s mother – Maria Baird née Popov – dies after a serious illness.

The composer was very close to his mother, whom he cared for till the end of her life. As he recalls in a conversation with Izabela Grzenkowicz:

One day after the funeral, I went to the wintery Baltic seaside. I stayed there alone for about a fortnight.

11 February

Baird receives the Arthur Honegger Prize for his compositional achievements in 1973.

13 February

The rector of the State School of Music in Warsaw, Tadeusz Wroński, submits a request to the Ministry of Culture and Art to award the title of contractual professor to Baird.

1 April

Baird begins his work as a contractual professor at the State School of Music in Warsaw. At the same time he is appointed chair of the Department of Composition at the Faculty of Composition, Conducting and Music Theory at the School.

Letter concerning Baird's work as a contractual professor at the State School of Music in Warsaw

11 April

First broadcast on the Polish Television of the film Tomorrow, directed by Bogdan Hussakowski, after Baird’s opera.

Tomorrow, dir. Bogdan Hussakowski (TVP 1973) - beginning


14 October

Baird takes part in a Polish-Swedish symposium in Stockholm.

Postcard from StockholmPostcard from Stockholm


Wojciech Kilar’s Krzesany presented at the Warsaw Autumn provokes great controversy – some are enthusiastic, others disgusted.

Olivier Messiaen creates the monumental Des canyons aux etoiles, a work that sums up his experiences as a composer.

Tomasz Sikorski composes Music from Afar.

Dmitri Shostakovich writes his last string quartet – Quartet No. 15, Op. 144.



Tadeusz Baird goes on an artistic tour of Georgia. As he writes to his future wife:

It’s very beautiful here, everything is nice except the music.


Despite the fact that the Warsaw Autumn is taking place in Warsaw, the composer goes on a holiday to Bulgaria.

14 October

Baird receives the Award of the Minister of Culture and Art, 1st Class.

Minister of Culture and Arts Award


Baird travels to Munich and Frankfurt.


9 August

Dmitri Shostakovich dies in Moscow.

Krzysztof Penderecki writes another opera – Paradise Lost.

IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) is founded in Paris.


21 April

Baird is appointed head of the Polish section of the ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music).


The composer travels to Nuremberg to attend the premiere of his Concerto lugubre.

Postcard from NurembergPostcard from NurembergPostcard from NurembergPostcard from NurembergPostcard from Nuremberg


Baird and a group of students are in Budapest on an exchange of music school students.


Baird goes on an artistic tour of the USSR (Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Baikal and Moscow).

Postcard from BaikalPostcard from Baikal

21 October

Tadeusz Baird marries his long-time companion, Alina Sawicka.


The composer decides to resign as the chair of the Department of Composition at the Warsaw School of Music. However, the Ministry persuades him to remain in his post.


The composer receives the Jean Sibelius Medal.


Henryk Mikołaj Górecki writes Symphony No. 3 – “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”.

Philipp Glass composes the opera Einstein on the Beach.


3 December

Benjamin Britten dies in Aldeburgh.



Tadeusz Baird goes on an artistic trip to Berlin.

Postcard from BerlinPostcard from Berlin

5 October

The composer writes a letter to the rector of the State School of Music, Tadeusz Maklakiewicz, about his promised promotion to full professorship.

29 October

Baird is awarded the title of full professor of music.

Notification of the title of full professor of music


Violin concerto no. 1 by Krzysztof Penderecki is premiered in Basel.

At the age of 95 dies in London an outstanding conductor Leopold Stokowski.


1 February

Baird again becomes the chair of the Department of Composition of the State School of Music in Warsaw.


Baird goes on an artistic trip to West Germany and Holland (Utrecht, Cologne).


Tadeusz Baird goes to Moscow to attend the Polish Music Festival.


The composer again goes on an artistic tour of West Germany (Gelsenkirchen, Frankfurt am Main, Bonn), where the premiere of his Scenes takes place.

Postcard from GelsenkirchenPostcard from Gelsenkirchen

10 May

Akademie der Künste der DDR in Berlin chooses Tadeusz Baird to be a corresponding member of the music section.

Corresponding Member of the Akademie der Künste Diploma

26 July

The composer celebrates his 50th birthday. He receives many congratulatory letters, both from the authorities and from friends.

This is how Baird himself commented on this moment of his life:

To be fifty is nothing special, it’s no breakthrough; it was worse when one’s youth was coming to an end, it’ll be even worse, when old age comes (sooner rather than later...). For the moment, one doesn’t feel any weakening of physical strength and one’s mind, so it seems to me, is functioning quite well. [...] At the moment it seems to me that it’s not a bad time for intense and effective work: the worldview is formed but not fossilised yet, one’sinterest in affairs, in people and in the world hasn’t diminished, on the contrary, one has acquired some (good and bad, what’s more important, I wonder?) experiences and has a clear goal in mind (which is probably not going to be achieved, but that’s the fate of almost all people), the resistance of the sound matter is weakening, it’s easier to achieve what one wants (though perhaps this is just an illusion or evidence – horror of horrors! – of getting into a rut?).


Baird travels to Kraków (the venue of the Polish premiere of the Scenes) and Katowice.


Krzysztof Zanussi directs a film devoted to three Polish composers (Baird, Witold Lutosławski and Krzysztof Penderecki).


Witold Lutosławski's Les espaces du sommeil are premiered in Berlin.

Iannis Xenakis writes Mycenae-Alpha using a computer system called UPIC, which translates graphical images into musical results.



Baird travels to Berlin.


Baird goes on an artistic trip to Paris (premiere of his Variations in Rondo Form).


Baird goes on an artistic tour of West Germany.

16 and 23 May

Baird’s composer concerts at the Łańcut Festival and the National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw.

26 July

The composer receives the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Prime Minister, 1st class.

Award of the President of the Council of Ministers


Holidays in Spain.

Not so long ago I went once again to my beloved Spain, this wonderful and unique country, with which only Greece can compete in my sentiments and memories (perhaps because it’s so different, but it prompts similar general reflections). In fact, these were two separate trips to Spain – the first during which I personally visited the Balearic Islands (one of the few parts of the country I hadn’t seen), and the second, just as interesting, during which I accompanied Théophile Gautier in his 1840 journey from Irun through Burgos, Valladolid, Madrid and Toledo as far as Granada, Seville, Cordoba, Málaga and Cadiz. So much has changed over those nearly 140 years, and yet so little, today, as then, as always, the country fascinates, makes you think, arouses love and some fear, from which a true love is apparently never free.

15 November

The composer decides to resign for good as the chair of the Department of Composition at the Warsaw School of Music.

15-17 November

Baird is in Łodź for the National Festival of Contemporary Music for Children and Young People DO-RE-MI.

Diploma of DO-RE-MI Festival


22 October

Nadia Boulanger is died. She taught many of the leading composers and musicians of the 20th century.

Witold Lutosławski composes Novelette for orchester, in which new to his music aesthetic qualities are introduced.