Ignacy Jan Paderewski
Ignacy Jan Paderewski
Initially he took piano lessons with a private tutor. At the age of 12, in 1872, he went to Warsaw and was admitted to the Warsaw Conservatorium. After graduating in 1878, he was asked to become a tutor of piano classes at his alma mater, which he accepted. In 1880 Paderweski married Antonina Korsakówna, and soon afterwards, their first child was born.
The following year, they discovered that the son was handicapped; soon afterward, Antonina died. Paderewski decided to devote himself to music, and in 1881 he went to Berlin to study music composition with Friedrich Kiel and Heinrich Urban. In 1884 he moved to Vienna, where he was a pupil of Teodor Leszetycki. It was in Vienna that he made his musical debut in 1887. He soon gained great popularity and his subsequent appearances (in Paris in 1889, and in London in 1890) were major successes.
His brilliant playing created a furor which reached to almost extravagant lengths of admiration; and his triumphs were repeated in the United States in 1891. His name at once became synonymous with the highest level of piano virtuosity, and society was at his feet. His position as Prime Minister of Poland lionized his career. Due to this unusual combination of the notable achievements of being a world class pianist and a successful politician, Paderewski has become also a favourite example of philosophers, and is often discussed in relation to Saul Kripke's "A Puzzle about Belief" for having a name that denotes two distinct qualities, that of being a politician and that of being a pianist. Monument to Paderewski in Warsaw's Ujazdów Park. Paderewski the pianist.In 1899 he married Baroness de Rosen.
He was also a substantial composer, including many pieces for piano. In 1901 his opera Manru was performed at Dresden. He was also active as a social worker and donor. For instance, in 1910 he donated to the inhabitants of Kraków the Battle of Grunwald Monument.
In 1913, Paderewski settled in the United States. Paderewski met future president (and avid piano player) Harry S. Truman during a concert in Kansas City. 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. In April 1918, he met in New York City with leaders of the American Jewish Committee, including Louis Marshall, in an unsuccessful attempt to broker a deal whereby organized Jewish groups would support Polish territorial ambitions in exchange for support for equal rights.
However, it soon became clear that no plan would satisfy both Jewish leaders and Roman Dmowski, head of the Polish National Committee. At the end of the war, with the fate of the city of Poznań and the whole region of Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) still undecided, Paderewski visited Poznań. With his public speech on 27 December 1918, the Polish inhabitants of Poznań began a military uprising against Germany, called the Great Poland Uprising. In 1919, in the newly independent Poland, Paderewski became the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs (January, 1919 - December, 1919), and he thus represented Poland at the Paris Peace Conference. In the summer of that year, he signed the Treaty of Versailles, which restored the territories of Greater Poland and Pomerania around the City of Gdańsk to Poland. Although this fell short of what the Polish delegates had demanded, these territories provided the core of the restored Polish state. After being abandoned by many of his political supporters, Paderewski handed Piłsudski a letter of resignation on December 4, 1919, whereupon he took on the role of Polish Ambassador to the League of Nations. In 1922 he retired from politics and returned to his musical life.
His first concert after a long break, held at Carnegie Hall, was a significant success. He also filled Madison Square Garden (20,000 seats) and toured the United States in a private railway car. Soon he moved to Morges in Switzerland. After Piłsudski's coup d'état in 1926, Paderewski became an active member of the opposition to Sanacja rule. In 1936 in his mansion a coalition of members of the opposition was signed; it was nicknamed the Front Morges after the name of the village. PaderewskiAfter the Polish Defensive War of 1939 Paderewski returned to public life.
In 1940 he became the head of the Polish National Council, a Polish parliament in exile in London. The eighty-year-old artist also restarted his Polish Relief Fund and gave several concerts (most notably in the United States) to gather money for it. However, his mind was not what it had once been: scheduled again to play Madison Square Garden, he refused to appear, insisting that he had already played the concert, presumably remembering the concert he had played in the 1920s. In addition to his concert tours, Paderewski was a popular speaker who was renowned for his wit, and was often quoted. He was once introduced to a polo player with the words: "You are both leaders in your spheres, though the spheres are very different." "Not so very different," Paderewski replied.
"You are a dear soul who plays polo, and I am a poor Pole who plays solo." In another incident, Paderewski once recalled, "I established a certain standard of behavior, that, during my playing, there must be no talking. When they began to talk, I would stop. I would say, 'I am sorry to interrupt your conversation. I deeply regret that I am obliged to disturb you, so I am going to stop for a while to allow you to continue talking.' You can imagine the effect it had..." During one such tour in 1941, Paderewski died suddenly in New York, at 11:00 p.m.
on June 29. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington Virginia, near Washington D.C.. In 1992, his body was brought to Warsaw and placed in St. John's Cathedral.
His heart is encased in a bronze sculpture in the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa near Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Today, every major city in Poland has a street named after Paderewski. There are also streets named for him in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and Buffalo, New York. In addition, the Academy of Music in Poznań is named after him. Read more on Last.fm.
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