Woven Words – Lutosławski Centenary 2013

The Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen have launched a landmark project celebrating the centenary of the birth of one of the twentieth-century’s most influential musical voices, Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994).

WOVEN WORDS: MUSIC BEGINS WHERE WORDS END is a pan-European portrait of Witold Lutoslawski to celebrate his centenary, supported by Adam Mickiewicz Institude as part of Polska Music programme. It includes orchestral music, chamber concerts, study days, film, online resources and commissioned articles celebrating the centenary of the birth of one of the century’s most influential musical voices. The Series Consultant is the composer and Lutoslawski specialist Steven Stucky, who together with Salonen was mentored and inspired by Lutoslawski.

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s tenure as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor has been dominated by landmark multi-disciplinary festivals, exploring the music of key 20th century composers and musical movements in their widest possible cultural, social and historial context. He commented:

Lutoslawski is quite simply one of the most important voices of the twentieth century. This retrospective of his life, in what would have been his 100th birthday year, brings his absorbing, rich, intensely atmospheric music to new audiences, and our digital resources will create a lasting legacy that ensures that this anniversary lasts well beyond its 12-month duration, and the three months of our celebration. Our partnership with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute is allowing us to access source material, archive and historical material that has never been seen before outside Poland and illuminates Lutoslawski’s life and work in unprecedented ways. I can’t wait to show the world everything that we are discovering.
Esa-Pekka Salonen

Lutoslawski emerged as one of the great masters of twentieth century music not through celebrity or fashion, but by virtue of his fundamental values: the ravishing beauty of his sound world, his rich harmonic language, his expressive melodic voice, his lucid forms, his attention to dramatic tension and release, and underlying everything, his drive to communicate.
Steven Stucky

WOVEN-WORDS.CO.UK is a specially designed website for the centenary. It includes full details of planned concerts, films about Lutoslawski’s life, photo galleries and a series of commissioned essays and programme notes.

Find out about the concert series and book tickets

Specially commissioned essays and programme notes

Early Life | World War II | Stalinist Years | Maturity

Images from Witold Lutoslawski’s life



Orchestral concerts
Four concerts in London include the Piano Concerto performed by its dedicatee Krystian Zimerman; the Cello Concerto; the Concert for Orchestra, and Symphony No 4(first recorded commerically by Salonen). The series include three by the Philharmonia under Salonen’s direction; one performed by the Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra conducted by Franck Ollu), also touring in Europe (venues include Warsaw, Berlin and Modena).

Chamber music
Free pre-concert performances, one of contemporary Polish music performed by Kwartludium, and one by two Polish avant-garde groups: Cellonet (eight eminent cellists who combine art with virtuosity) and Cellotronicum (an innovative project for solo cello and electronics). There will also be a late-night concert “El Derwid – Sunspots”, featuring contemporary Polish music performed by Andrzej Bauer (cello), Agata Zubel (voice) and Cezary Duchnowski (computer, piano) interpreting contemporary Polish songs and music influenced by Lutoslawski. These have all been arranged in liaison with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

Royal College of Music Chamber Series
The Royal College of Music will also be presenting a programme of chamber concerts as part of the series, with repertoire including Lutoslawski’s String Quartet, plus works for solo piano, strings and wind, and for brass quintet.

Related events
An ‘Explore Lutoslawski’ day, led by Steven Stucky with talks and chamber music sessions from Polish music specialists and performers, and a pre-concert series introductory event.

Souvenir book featuring commissioned essays by leading academics and Polish music specialists including Charles Bodman Rae, Zbigniew Skowron, Adrian Thomas and Nicholas Reyland as well as Steven Stucky, alongside programme notes, visual imagery and full concert information.

Online and digital resources
A major series of new digital resources at woven-words.co.uk including:
Specially-commissioned new films documenting Lutoslawski’s life and music, the wider Polish cultural and historical context and audio-visual listening guides to key repertoire, led and presented by Steven Stucky and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
A significant archive of photographic material, including many images sourced from Lutoslawski’s family and friends in Poland and never previously seen publicly.
An interactive composing resource using Lutoslawski’s ‘controlled aleatory’ technique from Jeux Venitiens: the Philharmonia will create an online tool to enable website users to re-work and experiment with looping chains of Lutoslawski’s music, allowing them to learn about Lutoslawski’s compositional techniques (to be launched in January 2013).
Commissioned essays exploring Lutoslawski’s life and work.
Audio samples of music by Lutoslawski and his fellow composers within the series.