Baird, Tadeusz, prominent Polish composer; b. Grodzisk Mazowiecki, July 26, 1928; d. Warsaw, Sept. 2, 1981. He studied music privately in Lódź with Sikorski and Woytowicz (1943–44); then at the Warsaw Cons, with Rytel and Perkowski (1947–51); had piano lessons with Wituski (1948–51); also studied musicology with Lissa at the Univ. of Warsaw (1948–52). In 1949, together with Krenz and Serocki, he founded a progressive society of composers under the name Group 49. In 1956 he became active in initiating the first International Festival of Contemporary Music, during the “Warsaw Autumn.” In 1977 he was appointed prof. of composition at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. As a composer, Baird won numerous awards, among them the Fitelberg Competition of 1958, three prizes of the Tribune Internationale des Compositeurs in Paris (1959, 1963, 1966), and the Polish State Awards for his three syms. (1951, 1964, 1969). He also was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Poland’s Revival (1964) and the Order of the Banner of Labor, second and first Class (1974, 1981). His early music followed the neo-Romantic modalities characteristic of Polish music; further evolution was marked by complex structures in the manner of dynamic expressionism, with occasional applications of serialism.
DRAMATIC: Opera: Jutro (Tomorrow; 1964–66). ORCH.: Sinfonietta (1949); 3 syms. (1950; Sinfonia quasi una fantasia, 1952; 1969); Overture in Old Style (1950); Colas Breugnon, suite for Flute and Strings (1951); Overture giocosa (1952); Concerto for Orch. (1953); Cassazione (1956); 4 Essays (1958); Espressioni varianti for Violin and Orch. (1958–59); Variations without a Theme (1961–62); Epiphany Music (1963); 4 Dialogues for Oboe and Chamber Orch. (1966); 4 Novelettes for Chamber Orch. (Hanover, N.H., July 16, 1967); Sinfonia breve (1968); Psychodrama (1971–72); Oboe Concerto (Warsaw, Sept. 23, 1973); Elegy (1973); Concerto lugubre for Viola and Orch. (1974–75; Nuremberg, May 21, 1976); Double Concerto for Cello, Harp, and Orch. (1976); Scenes for Cello, Harp, and Orch. (1976); Canzona (1980). CHAMBER: 4 Preludes for Bassoon and Piano (1954); Divertimento for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1956); String Quartet (1957); Play for String Quartet (1971); Variations in Rondo Form for String Quartet (1978). VOCAL: Lyrical Suite, 4 songs for Soprano and Orch. (1953); 4 Love Sonnets, after Shakespeare, for Baritone and Chamber Ensemble (1956; also for Baritone, Strings, and Harpsichord, 1969); Exhortations on old Hebrew texts for Narrator, Chorus, and Orch. (1959–60); Erotyki (Love Songs), cycle of 6 songs for Soprano and Orch. (1961); Study for 28 Mixed Voices, 6 Percussion Players, and Piano (1967); 4 songs for Mezzo-soprano and Chamber Orch. (1966); 5 Songs for Mezzo-soprano and Chamber Orch. (1968); Goethe- Briefe, cantata (1970; Dresden, June 6, 1971); Voices from Afar, 3 songs for Baritone and Orch. (1981).
T. Zielinski, T. B. (Kraków, 1966); K. Tarnawska-Kaczorowska, T. B.: Glosy do biograffi (Kraków, 1997).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire