Tadeusz Baird

Tadeusz Baird (26 July 1928  2 September 1981) was a Polish composer.


Baird was born in Grodzisk Mazowiecki, in Poland. His father Edward was Polish, while his mother Maria (née Popov) Russian. Tadeusz Baird studied composition, piano and musicology in Warsaw under Kazimierz Sikorski, among others teachers. In 1949 he founded Group 49 along with Kazimierz Serocki and Jan Krenz. The aim of Group 49 was to write communicative and expressive music according to socialist realism, the dominant ideology in the Eastern Bloc at the time. In 1956, along with Kazimierz Serocki, he founded the Warsaw Autumn international contemporary music festival. In 1974 he began to teach composition at the National College of Music (currently the Music Academy) in Warsaw. In 1977, now a full professor, he was offered a post to teach a composition class at the Warsaw Academy of Music, and also a membership of the Academie der Künste der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik – Berlin in 1979.

He died in 1981, aged 53.


He wrote both large scale symphonies and chamber music, however, of great importance in his output are numerous vocal cycles inspired by poetry. He wrote Tomorrow, a musical drama based on a short story by Joseph Conrad. He was also a composer of a film and theatre music. Baird's music is usually lyrical, very expressive, and intensely subjective. It is often rooted in the post-Romantic tradition, despite serial techniques.

Music for solo instruments

  • Sonatina I (1949) for solo piano
  • Sonatina II (1952) for solo piano
  • Little Suite for Children (1952) for solo piano

Chamber music

  • Two Caprices for Clarinet and Piano (1953) (2nd Prize, Polish Composers' Union)
  • Cztery Preludia [Four Preludes] for Bassoon and Piano (1954)
  • Divertimento for Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, and Bassoon (1956)
  • String Quartet (1957)
  • Play for String Quartet (1971)
  • Variations in Rondo Form for String Quartet (1978)

Orchestral works

  • Sinfonietta (1949)
  • Symphony I (1950) - Polish National Prize, 1951
  • Colas Breugnon: a suite in the old style for string orchestra with flute (1951)
  • Symphony II, quasi una fantasia (1952)
  • Concerto for Orchestra (1953)
  • Cassazione per orchestra (1956)
  • Four Essays (1958) - UNESCO Prize, 1959
  • Variations Without a Theme (1962)
  • Epiphany Music (1963)
  • Four Novelettes for chamber orchestra (1967)
  • Sinfonia Breve (1968)
  • Symphony III (1969) - National Prize, 1970
  • Psychodrama (1972)
  • Elegia (1973)
  • Canzona (1980)


  • Piano Concerto (1949)
  • Four Dialogs for oboe and chamber orchestra (1964) - UNESCO Prize 1966
  • Oboe Concerto (1973)
  • Scenes for cello, harp and orchestra (1977)
  • Concerto Lugubre (1975) for viola and orchestra

Vocal-instrumental works

  • Four Love Sonnets for baritone and orchestra (1956) to texts by Shakespeare
  • Exhortation for reciting voice and orchestra (1960) to old Hebrew texts
  • Erotyki for soprano and orchestra (1961) to texts by Małgorzata Hilar
  • Five Songs for mezzo-soprano and six instruments (1970) to texts by H. Poświatowska - National Prize, 1970
  • Goethe Letters: Cantata for Baritone for mixed choir and orchestra (1970) to texts by Goethe and Charlotta von Stein
  • Głosy z oddali [Voices from Afar] for baritone and symphony orchestra (1981) to texts by J. Iwaszkiewicz (1981)
  • Tomorrow, a musical drama to a libretto by J. S. Sito


Baird's works have limited exposure on record, the principal recordings being a trio of Olympia CDs, focusing on his orchestral output and including the one-act opera Tomorrow. The Colas Breugnon suite has been recorded twice, notably by the Polish Chamber Orchestra under Jerzy Maksymiuk on EMI.

See also

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