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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » B » Bacewicz, Grazyna



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Grazyna Bacewicz (2/05/1909 - 1/17/1969)

Grażyna Bacewicz played a leading role in bringing Polish music into the twentieth-century mainstream and onto the international concert stage, as both a composer and a concertizing violinist. Following in the footsteps of Szymanowski, Bacewicz and her peers kept their roots in native Polish folksong while exploring and welcoming the possibilities offered by the invigorating trends of modernism. That this broadening of Polish musical culture was accomplished in spite of the country’s struggles during World War II and the limitations imposed by the subsequent socialist regime is a tribute to the talent, grit and determination of Bacewicz and her generation.

Born in Łodź, Poland, in 1909, she received her first musical training from her father. She played chamber music with her siblings and violin concertos with the local orchestra; by the age of twelve she had started to compose. When she graduated from the Warsaw Conservatory in 1932 (with degrees in both composition and violin performance) a concert featuring her works marked the occasion. A scholarship from the Polish virtuoso, composer and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski subsequently allowed her to study at the Ecole Normale in Paris. There she joined the growing list of composers studying with the redoubtable Nadia Boulanger and had her first taste of more cosmopolitan musical fashions.

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