The Tadeusz Baird Competition for Young Composers (formerly the Youth Competition of Polish Composers’ Union) has been organised annually since 1958. Its aim is to help young Polish composers launch their careers and to encourage their independent activity. Till 1990, the Competition rules stated that its subject was any piece lasting more than 5 minutes. The participants obtained a 3-month scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and Art for work on this composition. The 1st prize was a scholarship in a Western country, the 2nd prize - participation in a music festival in some country of the Eastern block, the distinction - free stay and participation in the “Warsaw Autumn” Festival in Warsaw. After 1990, the Ministry ceased to grant artistic scholarships. Since then, the main prize - the Tadeusz Baird Award of 2500 dollars for further composition study - has been funded by Alina Sawicka-Baird, wife of the late composer. The distinctions are financed by Polish Composers’ Union Management Board.
Since 1990, the Tadeusz Baird Competition is open to all Polish composers who did not turn 35 until the closing date (earlier, it was reserved only for graduates from state higher schools of music composition classes). The subject of the competition is different in each year.
Since 2003 the competition has two periods. Pieces chosen by Jury to 2nd period are performed during public concert after which ultimate verdict is declared. Then, we learn names of laureates.