Among his other honors, he received the State Award, the City of Cologne Prize, the Polish Composers' Union Award, the Koussevitzky Prize, the Award of the Andrzej Jurzykowski Foundation in New York, the Honegger Prize, and in 1977 he was named professor of composition at the Academy of Music in Warsaw. Baird began to compose at a time when new means of musical expression were not well received in Poland. In 1949, he founded "Group 49" along with Kazimierz Serocki and Jan Krenz with an aim to write communicative and expressive music according to the social-realistic ideology of the state. Again with Serocki, Baird founded the "Warsaw Autumn" international contemporary music festival in 1956. Four Love Sonnets and Ballad About a Soldier's Cup illustrate this period in his creativity well. A more radical musical language fused with new means of expression appeared in his 12-tone String Quartet (1957) and in Four Essays for Orchestra (1958).
A mixture of strong emotion, discipline, inventiveness, and spontaneity are the characteristic features of Baird's music. As a composer deeply rooted in the dionysian, romantic stream of art, Baird fully deserved the epithet of a "twentieth-century Romantic," and as such he was mostly interested in the lyrical and dramatic aspects of music. In his lyrical compositions, the melodic lines are played by the more expressive solo instruments in an emotionally moving way (e.g., oboe in Four Dialogs, and violin in Espressioni Varianti). Baird sets a high value on the voice--particularly the full, rich soprano or mezzo-soprano voice, for which he composed song cycles on texts by Małgorzata Hilar and Halina Poświatowska. Among the Polish composers of the twentieth century, Baird seems to be the most typical proponent of musical lyricism, a tradition deeply rooted in the works of Chopin, Schubert, Karłowicz, Mahler, and Berg.
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