Symphonie concertante op. 60 for piano and orchestra, which has a lot of common features with piano concerto, was composed in 1932. Szymanowski intended to write a piece for piano and orchestra for years, and when he finally started composing… it took him less than 4 months to finish it. The piece was dedicated to a great pianist and friend of Szymanowski - Artur Rubinstein. Yet, all along, Szymanowski also planned to include the composition in his own repertoire.
The world premiere of Symphonie concertante op. 60 took place in Poznań on 9th October, the same year. The piece was performed by Szymanowski and Orchestra of the City of Poznań conducted by Grzegorz Fitelberg.
Later the same month, Szymanowski wrote to Zofia Kochańska:
“my piano ‘debut’ with the concerto in Poznań on the 9th. You can imagine what an évenement this was for me! Everything went superbly, so much so that I had to play the whole finale as an encore! Don’t laugh at me – I suppose I really treat my ‘pianism’ as a joke, but I give you my word, people were totally amazed at how I can play like that. I don’t really understand how I managed to get to the point where I could play reasonably correctly in general, and even with some éclat.”
In September this year, participants of the 2nd Szymanowski Competition will perform Symphonie concertante op. 60 in the legendary music hall of NOSPR.