• WL100/52: His Last BBC Prom

Twenty years ago today, on Friday 27 August 1993, Lutosławski was in London to conduct the BBC SO in the UK premiere of his Fourth Symphony.  It was to be his last visit to this country, as he died on 7 February the following year.  Before the concert, looking fit and fired up for the performance, he talked to me about the new piece and answered questions from members of the Proms audience.

WL&AT, Proms, 27.08.93

And here’s an article/interview by Stephen Johnson published the same day in The Independent.

Johnson:WL article 27.08.93

• Polish Music at the 2013 BBC Proms

Polish Music at the 2013 BBC Proms

p0179z7mThe 2013 BBC Proms have been launched today.  It is great to see Polish music taking a prominent role, instigated by the centenary this year of the birth of Witold Lutosławski.  This is no mean feat, given that 2013 also marks the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten and the bicentenaries of Verdi and Wagner.  And this is not to mention other anniversaries, like the 50th anniversary of the death of Francis Poulenc.

There are seven pieces by Lutosławski in this year’s programme.  There are also two by both Andrzej Panufnik (his centenary falls next year) and Karol Szymanowski.  And there is one each by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki, who were born 80 years ago.  There is also a concert including music of the Polish Renaissance.  An outline calendar of Polish music at the 2013 Proms is given below.

My essay for the BBC Proms Guide may be read here.

Prom 1 • 12 July
• Lutosławski: Variations on a Theme by Paganini

PCM 1 • 15 July
• Lutosławski: Partita

Prom 8 • 17 July
• Lutosławski: Cello Concerto

Prom 9 • 18 July
• Szymanowski: Symphony no.3 ‘Song of the Night’

PCM 2 • 22 July
• Polish and other European Renaissance Music

Prom 32 • 7 August
• Lutosławski: Symphonic Variations
• Lutosławski: Piano Concerto

Prom 44 • 15 August
• Penderecki: Concerto Grosso

Prom 55 • 23 August
• Lutosławski: Concerto for Orchestra
• Panufnik: Tragic Overture
• Panufnik: Lullaby

PSM 4 • 24 August
• Lutosławski: Paroles tissées

Prom 68 • 2 September
• Szymanowski: Violin Concerto no.1

Prom 71 • 4 September
• Górecki: Symphony no.3 ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’

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