Józef Patkowski (founder of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio)


Tomek’s first entry into the experimental studio was very intense. Every composer, especially in the early stages of working in the studio, brings with him some demands and ideas, which, after a confrontation, determine his relations with the team. The 1960s, when Tomek was composing Echoes II and  Antiphons – this was an unforgettable time.

I respected him a lot, because he was an artist with strong views and aesthetics, which does not mean he was not difficult. He may have been more emphatic than anybody else in articulating the generational problem associated with the fact that, in his opinion, we, who had already got hold of various positions, made decisions about everything, while they, the young generation, had their paths blocked in some directions.

In conversations with me he never criticised all my decisions, he was able to admit I could be right. This happed also later, when he was ill and sometimes would call in the middle of the night, talking not quite coherently. It was always about a clash of attitudes, sometimes difficult, because the generational difference between us was very evident. I have to admit I sometimes wish I had organised contacts with him in some way, precisely because he was difficult, although I was aware of the fact that he needed help in his loneliness.

I always admired him for being able to treat musical works in isolation. He quickly presented his judgements about works he had just heard, but they not necessarily influenced his opinion about a given composer, music of a country or milieu. He did not try to build a system of artistic values, he did not engage in aesthetic discussions. (...)

I was involved in the programming of a concert of his music at the 1989 Warsaw Autumn. We were concerned about whether Tomek’s works, one after another, would sound fresh, and whether each would create a distinctive atmosphere for itself. The result went beyond our expectations – each composition revealed its individuality, colour and expression.


 Ewa Grosman, Tomasz Sikorski – zarys monograficzny twórczości [Tomasz Sikorski – a Monograph of His Oeuvre], Kraków 1992.