Starting with the trail-blazing orchestral composition Jeux vénitiens in 1961, he has contributed, through a large number of significant works, such as Trois poèmes d´Henri Michaux (1961-63), his string quartet (1964) and his third Symphony (1986), towards a renewal of the contemporary orchestral vocabulary which, through its consistency and its artistic sincerity, has made his music an indispensable part of the central present-day orchestral and chamber music repertoire.

As a pathfinder and spiritual leader of his fellow countrymen in times of severe intellectual repression, he helped, through his uncompromising stance and his moral courage, to keep Polish music open for a long time to international contacts of every kind, and in this way played an outstanding part in creating for Eastern European music interests an airhole of vital importance.

His personal combination of great artist, eminent organiser, campaigner for liberty and national conscience has earned Witold Lutoslawski a high-ranking position in the cultural history of 20th century Europe.

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Witold Lutoslawski