Grazyna Bacewicz

Grazyna Bacewicz was a Polish composer and violinist. She was only the second Polish female composer to have achieved national and international recognition, the first being Maria Szymanowska.

Bacewicz took part in numerous events as a soloist, composer, and jury member. From 1936 to 1938 she was the principal violinist of the Polish Radio Orchestra, which was directed then by Grzegorz Fitelberg. This position gave her the chance of hearing a lot of her own music. During World War II, Grazyna Bacewicz lived in Warsaw, continued to compose, and gave underground secret concerts (premiering her Suite for Two Violins).

After the war, she took up the position of professor at the State Conservatory of Music in Łódź. At this time she was shifting her musical activity towards composition, drawn by her many awards and commissions. Composition finally became her only occupation in 1954 after serious injuries in a car accident. Many of her compositions feature the violin. Among them are seven violin concertos, five sonatas for violin with piano, three for violin solo (including an early, unnumbered one from 1929), a Quartet for four violins, seven string quartets, and two piano quintets. Her orchestral works include four numbered symphonies (1945, 1951, 1952, and 1953), a Symphony for Strings (1946), and two early symphonies, now lost.