Ignacy Jan PaderewskiDistinguished Polish Personality
Paderewski:ComposerDiplomatPoliticianThe Second Prime Minister of the Republicof Poland
Early ChildhoodHe was born in a village of Kurilovka, Litin uyezdin the Podolia Governorate, on 6th of November1860.His father was an administrator of estatesand his mother died several monthsafter he was born.When his father was arrested due toJanuary uprising, Ignacy was adoptedby his aunt.
Early EducationSince early childhood he was musically talentedand learned by himself to play the piano.Michał Babiński helped in his upbringing byteaching him history, geography, French andPolish literatureAt the age of 12, in 1872, he went to Warsaw andwas admited to The Warsaw Conservatorium
Musical EducationAfter graduating in 1878 he was asked tobecome a tutor of piano classes at his almamater.
Private lifeIn 1880 Paderewski married AntoninaKorsakówna and soon their first child was born.After his birth, he turned out to be handicapped.His wife died 9 months later.Paderewski remarried to Helen RosenHe moved house to United States in 1913.
His CareerHe was playing at parties and private concerts toearn some money.His first biggest concert was in 1888 in Paris. Healso met there and became friends with famouscomposer Camille Saint-Saens.After that he spent some time inLondon, performing for the Queen Victoria.His turnee through United States of Americaturned out to be a huge success.
A substantial composerHe composed many pieces for piano.In 1901 his sole opera Manru received its worldpremiere at Dresden, then it had its Americanpremiere in 1902 at the Metropolitan Opera.To this day it remains the only Polish opera by aPolish composer ever performed there.
Tribute to PaderewskiTo dignify his memory The International PianoCompetition takes place in Bydgoszcz everyyear.Participants come from many different countriesLast winner comes from Russia,his name is Eduard Kunzhe won 30 000 €
His life during World War I Paderewski became an active member of the Polish National Committee in Paris, which was soon accepted by the Entente as the representative of Poland. He became a spokesman of that organisation, and soon also formed other social and political organisations, among them the Polish Relief Fund in London. Thanks him the military Greater Poland Uprising against Germany took place in 1918.
In 1919, in the newly independent Poland,Paderewski became the Prime Minister andMinister of Foreign AffairsAfter being abandoned by many of his politicalsupporters, Paderewski handed Piłsudski a letterof resignation on 4 December 1919, whereuponhe took on the role of Polish Ambassador tothe League of Nations.In 1922 he retired from politics and returned tohis musical life
The Second World War In 1940 he became the head of the PolishNational Council, a Polish parliament in exilein London.He gave several concerts (most notably in theUnited States) to gather money for Polish ReliefFund.
What Paderewski was like…Paderewski oncerecalled, "I established acertain standard ofbehaviour, that, during myplaying, there must be notalking. When they beganto talk, I would stop. Iwould say, I am sorry tointerrupt yourconversation. I deeplyregret that I am obliged todisturb you, so I am goingto stop for a while to allowyou to continue talking.You can imagine theeffect it had..."
During one such tour in 1941, Paderewski wastaken ill on 27 June. Nothing was discussed withhis personal secretary or entourage. But at theinitiative of Sylwin Strakacz, physicians werecalled in for consultation and diagnosedpneumonia.Despite increasing health and signs of recoveryPaderewski died suddenly in New York, at 11:00p.m. on 29 June. He was buried in ArlingtonNational Cemetery, in Arlington Virginia. In 1992,his body was brought to Warsaw and placedin St. Johns Cathedral.
The End Authors: Weronika Pucek Aleksandra Hus Zuzia Grzesiuk Liliana Wałęga Paweł Prządka Janusz Gazda