A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

Witold Lutoslawski

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January 25, 1913: Witold Roman Lutoslawski is born at a clinic at 6 Moniuszki Street, Warsaw, Privislinskiy Kray, Russian Empire, the youngest of four children born to Józef Lutoslawski, an amateur pianist who manages his family’s estates, and Maria Olszewska, a physician and daughter of a mathematician.
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April 11, 1924: The Third Symphony op.27 “The Song of the Night” for tenor, chorus, and orchestra of Karol Szymanowski (41), to words of Rumi (tr. Micinski), is performed in Warsaw for the first time. The chorus is left out. In the audience is President Stanislaw Wojciechowski, as well as Witold Lutoslawski (11) who will remember the music as “spellbinding”, leaving him overwhelmed for weeks, as if he “had taken a large dose of a drug.” The evening is a resounding success with public and press. See 26 November 1921 and 3 February 1928.
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January 20, 1930: Scherzo for orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (16) is performed for the first time, at the Qui Pro Quo Theatre in Warsaw. It is perhaps the first public performance of any work by Lutoslawski.
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May 28, 1933: Haroun al Rashid for orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (20) is performed for the first time, in Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw.
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June 17, 1939: Symphonic Variations by Witold Lutoslawski (26) is performed in a live concert for the first time, in Krakow. It was broadcast over Polish Radio, Warsaw last April.
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July 29, 1944: Witold Lutoslawski (31) and his mother flee Warsaw for Komorów, 18 km to the southwest to stay with relatives.
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August 29, 1945: The first congress of the new Polish Composers’ Union opens. During the four-day meeting, Witold Lutoslawski’s (32) Wind Trio is first performed.
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September 2, 1945: The All-Poland Composers’ Congress is created at a meeting in Warsaw ending today. Witold Lutoslawski (32) is elected secretary-treasurer of the board of directors.
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July 22, 1946: Folk Melodies for piano by Witold Lutoslawski (33) is performed for the first time.
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October 26, 1946: Witold Lutoslawski (33) marries Maria Danuta (née Dygat) Boguslawska, daughter of an architect.
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May 6, 1947: Two Studies for piano by Witold Lutoslawski (34) are performed for the first time, over the airwaves of Dutch Radio, originating in Amsterdam.
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October 20, 1947: Three of the Six Children’s Songs for voice and piano by Witold Lutoslawski (34) are performed for the first time, in Krakow. See 26 January 1948.
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January 26, 1948: Two Children’s Songs for voice and piano by Witold Lutoslawski (35) to words of Tuwim is performed for the first time, in Kraków. Also premiered are Lutoslawski’s Six Children’s Songs for voice and piano, performed completely for the first time. See 20 October 1947.
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April 1, 1948: Symphony no.1 by Witold Lutoslawski (35) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of Polish Radio, originating in Katowice. See 6 April 1948.
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April 6, 1948: Symphony no.1 by Witold Lutoslawski (35) is performed before a live audience for the first time, in Katowice. See 1 April 1948.
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May 29, 1948: The Second International Congress of Composers and Musicologists meeting in Prague, commits to the Soviet model of Socialist Realism. This will cause Witold Lutoslawski (35) to fall out of official favor. He will be dropped from the leadership of the Union of Polish Composers.
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July 10, 1948: Incidental music to Slowacki’s play Fantasy by Witold Lutoslawski (35) is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
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December 9, 1948: Witold Lutoslawski (35) wins the Music Prize of the City of Warsaw for his music for children.
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October 28, 1949: Incidental music to Shakespeare’s play The Merry Wives of Windsor by Witold Lutoslawski (36) is performed for the first time, in Teatr Polski, Warsaw.
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November 9, 1949: Overture for strings by Witold Lutoslawski (36) is performed for the first time, in Prague.
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April 5, 1950: Incidental music to Hay’s play God, Caesar, and Peasant by Witold Lutoslawski (37) is performed for the first time, in Teatr Polski, Warsaw.
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September 26, 1950: The Snowslide, a song for voice and piano by Witold Lutoslawski (37) to words of Pushkin, is performed for the first time, in Kraków.
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April 13, 1951: Silesian Tryptich for soprano and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (38) to folk texts is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
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April 20, 1951: Petite Suite for orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (38) is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
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May 9, 1953: Two Children’s Songs for voice and piano by Witold Lutoslawski (40) to words of Barto are performed for the first time, in Warsaw, the composer at the keyboard.
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October 3, 1953: Incidental music to Slowacki’s play Horsztynski by Witold Lutoslawski (40) is performed for the first time, in Teatr Polski, Warsaw.
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April 29, 1954: Six Children’s Songs for chorus and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (41) is performed for the first time, in Warsaw. They were originally written in 1947 for voice and piano.
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October 22, 1954: Four Silesian Songs for four violins by Witold Lutoslawski (41) is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
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November 26, 1954: Concerto for orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (41) is performed for the first time, in the Roma Theatre, Warsaw.
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February 15, 1955: Dance Preludes for clarinet and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (42) is performed for the first time, in Warsaw. See 10 November 1959.
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June 25, 1955: Incidental music to de Musset’s play Lorenzaccio by Witold Lutoslawski (42) is performed for the first time, in Teatr Polski, Warsaw.
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July 22, 1955: Witold Lutoslawski (42) wins the Polish Order of Labor, class 2.
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March 31, 1957: Witold Lutoslawski (44) registers the pseudonym Derwid with the Polish Association of Writers and Composers for the Stage. He will write over 30 popular songs under this name.
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March 26, 1958: Musique Funèbre by Witold Lutoslawski (45) is performed for the first time, in Katowice. It is dedicated to the Poles who resisted the Nazi occupation.
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September 6, 1958: Incidental music to Giraudoux’s play The Madwoman of Chaillot by Witold Lutoslawski (45) is performed for the first time, in Teatr Polski, Warsaw.
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November 10, 1959: Dance Preludes for chamber orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (46) is performed for the first time, in Louny, Czechoslovakia. See 15 February 1955.
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November 25, 1959: Five Songs for soprano and piano by Witold Lutoslawski (46) to words of Illakowicz are performed for the first time, in Katowice. See 12 February 1960.
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February 12, 1960: Five Songs for voice and 30 solo instruments by Witold Lutoslawski (47) to words of Illakowicz are performed for the first time, in Katowice. See 25 November 1959.
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January 18, 1961: Witold Lutoslawski (47) becomes President of the Polish section of the ISCM.
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April 24, 1961: Two works are performed for the first time, in Venice: three of the four movements of Jeux Vénitiens for chamber orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (48), and Fonogrammi for flute and chamber orchestra by Krzysztof Penderecki (27). See 16 September 1961.
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September 16, 1961: Jeux Vénitiens for chamber orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (48) is performed completely for the first time, in Warsaw. See 24 April 1961.
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July 22, 1962: Witold Lutoslawski (49) receives a lifetime achievement award from the Polish Minister of Culture.
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May 9, 1963: Three Poems of Henri Michaux for chorus and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (50) are performed for the first time, in Zagreb.
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July 22, 1964: Witold Lutoslawski (51) is awarded the State Prize for music, first class, in Warsaw.
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March 12, 1965: String Quartet by Witold Lutoslawski (52) is performed for the first time, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Stockholm.
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June 20, 1965: Paroles tissées for tenor and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (52) to words of Chabrun is performed for the first time, in Aldeburgh, conducted by the composer.
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October 8, 1965: Three Postludes for orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (52) are performed completely for the first time, in Kraków. See 1 September 1963.
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October 15, 1966: The second movement of the Symphony no.2 of Witold Lutoslawski (53) is performed for the first time, in Hamburg, conducted by Pierre Boulez (41). See 9 June 1967.
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June 9, 1967: Symphony no.2 by Witold Lutoslawski (54) is performed completely for the first time, in Katowice, conducted by the composer.
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November 18, 1968: Livre pour orchestre by Witold Lutoslawski (55) is performed for the first time, in Hagen, West Germany.
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October 14, 1970: Concerto for cello and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (57) is performed for the first time, in Royal Festival Hall, London.
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October 12, 1972: Preludes and Fugue for 13 solo strings by Witold Lutoslawski (59) is performed for the first time, in Graz.
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June 30, 1973: Warsaw University confers an honorary degree on Witold Lutoslawski (60).
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October 9, 1973: Witold Lutoslawski (60) is awarded the Sibelius Prize in Helsinki.
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June 15, 1974: Witold Lutoslawski (61) receives an honorary doctorate from Northwestern University in Chicago.
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May 2, 1976: Several works for solo cello are performed for the first time, in the Tonhalle, Zürich, to celebrate the 70th birthday of Paul Sacher. Mstislav Rostropovich asked Benjamin Britten to write a theme on which other composers would create variations. However, the other composers ended up writing individual compositions. They will be published by Universal Edition as 12 Hommages à Paul Sacher. Among the works premiered today are Tema “Sacher” by Benjamin Britten (62), Sacher Variation by Witold Lutoslawski (63), and Puneña no.2 “Hommage à Paul Sacher” op.45 by Alberto Ginastera (60). See 3 July 1977.
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October 22, 1976: Mi-Parti for orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (63) is performed for the first time, in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam conducted by the composer.
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April 12, 1978: Les espaces du sommeil for baritone and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (65) is performed for the first time, in West Berlin, conducted by the composer.
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July 22, 1978: Witold Lutoslawski (65) receives the State Prize for Music, first class, in Warsaw. This is the third time he has won this award.
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November 18, 1979: Variations on a Theme by Paganini for violin and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (66) is performed for the first time, in Miami. This is an orchestration of his 1941 piece for solo violin.
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January 3, 1980: Epitaph for oboe and piano by Witold Lutoslawski (66) is performed for the first time, in Wigmore Hall, London.
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January 29, 1980: Novelette for orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (67) is performed for the first time, in Washington.
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August 24, 1980: Double Concerto for oboe, harp, and chamber orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (67) is performed for the first time, in Lucerne.
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April 22, 1981: Grave, metamorphoses for cello and piano by Witold Lutoslawski (68), is performed for the first time, in the National Museum, Warsaw. See 26 August 1982.
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March 11, 1982: Mini-Overture for brass quintet by Witold Lutoslawski (69) is performed for the first time, in the Kunsthaus, Lucerne.
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August 26, 1982: Grave, metamorphoses for cello and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (69) is performed for the first time, in Paris. See 22 April 1981.
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September 29, 1983: Symphony no.3 by Witold Lutoslawski (70) is performed for the first time, in Chicago.
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October 4, 1983: Chain I for chamber orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (70) is performed for the first time, in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London conducted by the composer.
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October 9, 1983: Krzysztof Penderecki (49) receives the Sibelius Prize in Helsinki from the Wihuri Foundation. Previous winners include Jean Sibelius (†26), Igor Stravinsky (†12), Paul Hindemith (†19), Dmitri Shostakovich (†8), Olivier Messiaen (74), Witold Lutoslawski (70), and Benjamin Britten (†6).
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January 18, 1985: Partita for violin and piano by Witold Lutoslawski (71) is performed for the first time, in St. Paul, Minnesota. See 10 January 1990.
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September 27, 1985: Witold Lutoslawski (72) wins the first Grawemeyer Award of the University of Louisville. The award, for his Symphony no.3, brings $150,000.
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December 15, 1985: 17 of the 20 Polish Carols for soprano, female chorus, and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (72) are performed for the first time, in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London conducted by the composer. See 14 December 1990.
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January 31, 1986: Chain 2 for violin and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (73) is performed for the first time, in Zürich.
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September 9, 1986: Fanfare for Louisville for orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (73) is performed for the first time, in Louisville, Kentucky.
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December 10, 1986: Chain 3 for orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (73) is performed for the first time, in Davies Hall, San Francisco conducted by the composer.
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March 26, 1987: Not for You for voice and piano by Witold Lutoslawski (74) to words of Illakowicz is performed for the first time, in Kraków. Also premiered is Were You but a Dream? for voice and piano by Krzysztof Penderecki (53) to words of Przerwy-Tetmajer.
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June 11, 1987: Fanfare for CUBE for brass quintet by Witold Lutoslawski (74) is performed for the first time, at a ceremony at the University of Cambridge wherein he receives an honorary doctorate.
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December 18, 1987: Witold Lutoslawski (74) receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Belfast.
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August 19, 1988: Concerto for piano and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (75) is performed for the first time, in the Kleines Festspielhaus, Salzburg conducted by the composer.
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December 1, 1988: Slides for chamber ensemble by Witold Lutoslawski (75) is performed for the first time, in Merkin Concert Hall, New York, composed in honor of Elliott Carter’s 80th birthday on 11 December.
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May 11, 1989: Prelude for GSMD for orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (76) is performed for the first time, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London conducted by the composer.
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October 12, 1989: Fanfare for Lancaster for brass and percussion by Witold Lutoslawski (76) is performed for the first time, at the University of Lancaster.
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January 10, 1990: Interlude for orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (76) is performed for the first time, in Munich conducted by the composer. Also premiered is Lutoslawski’s orchestration of Partita for violin and orchestra, also conducted by the composer. See 18 January 1985.
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January 14, 1990: The first Lutoslawski (76) International Composers’ Competition opens in Warsaw.
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May 20, 1990: Tarantella for baritone and piano by Witold Lutoslawski (77) to words of Belloc is performed for the first time, in Purcell Room, London. Also premiered is Tractus Clausum et Reconditum for mezzo-soprano and guitar by Peter Maxwell Davies (55) to words of a 15th century legal document from Ferrara.
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December 14, 1990: 20 Polish Carols for soprano, female chorus, and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (77) are performed completely for the first time, in Aberdeen conducted by the composer. See 15 December 1985.
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August 8, 1991: Chantefleurs et Chantefables, a cycle for soprano and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (78) to words of Desnos, is performed for the first time, in Royal Albert Hall, London conducted by the composer.
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May 15, 1992: Three Fragments for flute and harp by Witold Lutoslawski (79) are performed for the first time, in Warsaw, 39 years after they were composed.
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February 5, 1993: Symphony no.4 by Witold Lutoslawski (80) is performed for the first time, in Los Angeles, conducted by the composer.
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May 18, 1993: Witold Lutoslawski (80) is presented with the Polar Prize for Music by King Gustaf XVI of Sweden at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm.
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June 4, 1993: Music to the play Gra for clarinet by Elliott Carter (84) is performed for the first time at the Pontino Festival, Castello Caetani, Sermonetta, Italy. The work is a tribute to Witold Lutoslawski on his 80th birthday.
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October 30, 1993: Witold Lutoslawski (80) receives an honorary doctorate from McGill University in Montreal. He gives two lectures, one in English and one in French.
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November 4, 1993: Fanfare for the Los Angeles Philharmonic for brass and percussion by Witold Lutoslawski (80) is performed for the first time, in Los Angeles.
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December 15, 1993: Witold Lutoslawski (80) is admitted to the Ministry of the Interior Hospital in Warsaw for apparently minor skin surgery.
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December 23, 1993: Witold Lutoslawski (80) returns to his Warsaw home following hospitalization for skin surgery.
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January 19, 1994: Witold Lutoslawski (80) receives a telephone call from the office of President Lech Walesa informing him that he has been awarded the Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest award of any kind.
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February 7, 1994: 22:00 Witold Lutoslawski dies of skin cancer in the Ministry of the Interior Hospital on Emilia Plater Street in Warsaw, Republic of Poland, aged 81 years and 13 days.
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February 16, 1994: After a funeral in the Church of St. Karol Boromeusz, the cremated remains of Witold Lutoslawski are buried in Powazkowski cemetery, Warsaw.
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September 16, 1994: Subito for violin and piano by Witold Lutoslawski (†0) is performed for the first time, in Indianapolis. It was composed as a test piece for the Indianapolis Violin Competition.
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September 21, 1994: In the “Hommage à Witold Lutoslawski (†0)” concert in Warsaw, new works are performed for the first time: In Memory of Witold Lutoslawski for two horns and two trumpets by Iannis Xenakis (72) and Paths--In memoriam Witold Lutoslawski for trumpet by Toru Takemitsu (63).