IGNACY JAN PADEREWSKI (1860 – 1941)
Ignacy Jan Paderewski was born on 6th November 1860 in Kurylowka in Podolia. He studied at the Warsaw Conservatory, as well as in Berlin and Vienna under Theodor Leschetizky. In 1888 he achieved great piano success in Paris, and in the following years in Germany and England. From 1891 onwards he gave very successful concerts in America. In 1899 he settled in Switzerland, continuing his artistic tours.
During World War I, together with Henryk Sienkiewicz, he organizes the Polish Relief Committee, then develops in the United States a vivd patriotic activity on behalf of Poland. In 1918 he comes to Poland, becomes president of the council of ministers and signs the Treaty of Versailles. He retires from political life in 1920 and begins performing again in England and the United States. At his estate in Riond Bosson, Switzerland, he trains young pianists. He becomes editor-in-chief of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute’s edition of Chopin’s works. He dies on 29th June 1941 in New York. His ashes are buried in Arlington Cemetery in Washington. In 1992 they are brought to Poland and laid to rest in Warsaw Cathedral.
Paderewski’s compositional output spans the years 1877-1921 and includes piano pieces (concerto, Polish Fantasy, sonata, three cycles of variations, Tatra Album, minor works), symphony in B minor, violin sonata and the opera Manru.