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Tadeusz Baird. The Composer, His Work, and Its Reception

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Barbara Literska

This book is the first monographic study of Tadeusz Baird – one of the greatest Polish composers of the second half of the 20th century, a connoisseur of music tradition and a prophet of the future of music (postmodernity), a composer of worldwide renown, an erudite. Baird was deeply engaged in art, aware of the threats and problems of contemporary world, and endowed with a sense of a mission. His personality was shaped by traumatic experiences during World War II and during the late 1940s and early 1950s. He was very demanding of himself and others. As signaled in the title, the book is an extensive, monographic representation of the composer's work and concepts in their stylistic, cultural, and esthetic contexts.

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2. Composer

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2.1. Family and friends

Tadeusz Aleksander Baird was the only son of Edward and Maria Baird.11 His father, Edward Jan, was born on 23 September 1894 in Aleksandrów Kujawski to Józef and Wanda (née Zawadzka). Orphaned as a child, he began working for his keep at an early age, while continuing his education. In 1905, he was expelled from the tsarist school for revolutionary activities. At the age of nineteen, he took his final school exams in Piotrków Trybunalski, before taking a course in industry and agriculture at the Museum of Industry and Agriculture in Warsaw. He failed to complete that course due to the outbreak of the First World War. He was drafted into the Russian Army and transported to Siberia. On his release from the army, he worked as a district inspector then provincial inspector of animal husbandry and nutrition, while also lecturing at the agricultural school in Tyumen (western Siberia). On 25 June 1919, he married Maria Popova at the local Roman Catholic Church. On returning to Poland, in 1924, Edward Baird began work as an inspector of animal husbandry at the Central Federation of Farmers’ Associations. In 1927, he became head of the husbandry department. At the same time, he resumed his pre-war training at Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW). In 1928, he obtained his diploma in agricultural engineering, and on 15 October began work in the state administration as Head of the Animal Production...

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