An eminent composer and violin virtuoso, proficient pianist and writer (born on 5th February 1909 in Łódź, died on 17th January 1969 in Warsaw). She received excellent music education, learning first from her father, later at Halina Kijeńska’s private conservatory in Łódź, and finally at Warsaw Conservatory with Kazimierz Sikorski (composition) and Józef Jarzębski (violin). She continued her studies in Paris with Nadia Boulanger (composition), André Touret and Carl Flesch (violin).

Till the mid-1950s she performed throughout Europe as a concert violinist, and sporadically as a pianist. In 1935 she won an honourable mention in the 1st International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition. In later decades she served on the juries of many competitions for composers and violinists. In 1966–1969 she taught a composition class at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw (now the Chopin University of Music). She authored several novels and novelettes, including the autobiographical story cycle Znak szczególny [A Distinguishing Mark].

Her accolades included the 1st prize for String Quartet No. 4 (1951) and the 2nd prize for String Quartet No. 5 (1956) in the International Contest for Composers in Liège, as well as the 3rd prize at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris (1960) for Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion.

As a composer, she favoured the ideal of ‘absolute’ music with no extramusical programmatic content. Her works from 1932–1944 are neo-Classical with vitalist and impressionistic elements. In 1945–1959 her neo-Classicism was enhanced by deeper forms of expression and coupled with distinctive folkloric elements. Her late music was a synthesis of her own style with attempts to take advantage of new techniques and types of sound (sonorism, dodecaphony).

Phot. Andrzej Zborski
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