• WL100/35: Lutosławski in Riga

This photograph was taken in Riga on 4 May 1935.  Lutosławski was part of a group of music students from Warsaw who were on a little concert tour.  He played his new Piano Sonata, which he’d finished at the end of December 1934 and played on Polish Radio in 1935.  It then disappeared from view and was not published until after his death.


The photograph is interesting for a particular reason.  Karol Szymanowski was also in Riga on what turned out to be his last major concert tour (with his sister, the soprano Stanisława Szymanowska-Korwin and the violinist Wacław Niemczyk) and the two parties met.  Szymanowski is on the left (looking in), Lutosławski on the far right (looking to camera).  It was their one and only meeting.  Lutosławski recalled: ‘Szymanowski was extremely kind to our small group.  He came to our concert, we walked around town together and accompanied him to Radio Riga. […] After our concert, Wacław Niemczyk told me: “Karol liked your Sonata very much; however, he wouldn’t say it to you.”‘

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