2nd Ignacy Jan Paderewski International Festival - "His heart will beat in the Łazienki"

Jazz, chamber and symphonic music concerts as well as screenings of films and exhibitions - these are some of the attractions of the 2nd Ignacy Jan Paderewski International Festival devoted to the achievements of the outstanding Polish pianist, composer, activist and statesman. The Festival will take place on the occasion of the 155th anniversary of the master’s birthday, and the performing artists will come, among other things, from Australia, Switzerland, United States, Mallorca and Poland.

- We will show the most significant works of Ignacy Jan Paderewski which reflect the Polish identity. We wanted the music pieces to be performed by foreign artists so that the Polish music can resound in a foreign interpretation - Jan Popis, artistic director of the Festival, said at a press conference. He stressed that the programme of the Festival will be very extensive so it can reach the widest possible audience. - This will be a musical mosaic, director Popis assured.

- The international dimension of Paderewski is as much needed as the international dimension of Chopin - stressed Cezary Lusiński, founder of Jan Ignacy Paderewski Foundation from the Lubuskie region. - However, the second of them doesn’t need to be promoted any more, while the first one still does. I would like Paderewski to be as well-known as he should be. Unfortunately, only a few most known of his compositions are commonly played. It is often forgotten that he is the author of many other outstanding compositions, Lusiński added.

The Festival will be held in Warsaw from 6 to 12 November - in the Royal Łazienki, in the Polish Theatre, in the Lutoslawski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio and in the Royal Castle and the Fryderyk Chopin Musical University. It is organized by the “AVE ARTE” Foundation.

- I am very pleased that we were able to conclude an alliance with “AVE ARTE”, thanks to which the Festival was given a boost. The programme is very rich and interesting, Tadeusz Zielniewicz, Director of Łazienki, said at a press conference. He stressed that the heart of the festival will beat even stronger in Łazienki, because it will take place in the renovated interiors of the Royal Theatre and the Palace on the Isle.


The official inauguration of the Festival will be on 6 November, on the 155th anniversary of the birthday of the outstanding Polish pianist. The Polish Theatre in Warsaw (at 8 p.m.) will stage the performance of the Academic Choir of the University of Warsaw which will perform the Rota of Feliks Nowowiejski and pieces of music of the Festival’s patron - Hej, Orle biały and Nad wodą bystrą i czystą. The audience will also hear fragments of the Manru opera by Paderewski performed by soprano Katarzyna Laskowska and tenor Rafal Bartmiński. Barcarole in F sharp major Op. 60 and other works of Fryderyk Chopin will be played on the piano by Wojciech Kocyan.

On 7 November, during the Festival International Day, at the Royal Castle (at 6:30 p.m.) we will hear, among other things, the four-handed performance of the "Polish National Dance Op 9" (Tańce polskie op. 9 na cztery ręce) of Paderewski by a piano duet from Mallorca – Albert Diaz and Xavier Muta and the Piano Sonata No. 3 in h minor of Fryderyk Chopin performed by Zhao Chinese, a Swiss artist of Chinese origin. “Baal Shem Suite” by Ernest Bloch, “Piano and violin suite” of Witold Lutosławski and other pieces will be played by a Swiss duo - Rachel Kolly D’Alba and Christian Chamorel.

On the next day, in W. Lutosławski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio (at 7 p.m.), the Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus will play under the baton of Tadeusz Strugala, accompanied by the Swiss pianist Melodie Zhao.

From 8 November, the 2nd Ignacy Jan Paderewski International Festival will move to the Royal Łazienki. On that day, in the Palace on the Isle (at noon), a concert will take place including piano works composed by I. J. Paderewski.

On the following day before noon (at 11 a.m.), you are invited to the Myślewicki Palace for a panel discussion devoted to the person and works of the outstanding musician, and in the evening (at 6 p.m.) to the Royal Theatre for a concert of the series “Paderewski - Jazz Inspirations”. This year, a special and original programme of songs of I. J. Paderewski and Z. Stojowski was prepared by Krzesimir Debski.

- Many artists - singers and composers - are looking for new original means of expression. Recently, the new trend has been to perform classical, romantic and contemporary songs not only by a classical opera voice according to the tradition of the 18th and 19th centuries, but also by an individually adapted contemporary voice following the example of jazz, folk, and even broadly understood pop music. Referring to this trend, I propose an original concert programme of songs of Ignacy Jan Paderewski and his friend Zygmunt Stojowski (composer unjustly forgotten) in new orchestral compositions by myself”, Krzesimir Debski says.

Among the soloists we will see: Emose Uhunmwangho from the Capitol Musical Theatre in Wrocław, Anna Jurksztowicz, Mieczysław Szcześniak and Maciej Miecznikowski. - They will perform 10 songs of both composers and I hope that to a large extent their interpretations will help students understand the Great Art - Krzesimir Debski explains.

On 10 November (at 6 p.m.), a recital “The Salon of the Rejected Ones” gathering the pianists who did not qualify for the last stage of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition will take place in the Royal Theatre.

On the Independence Day, on 11 November (at 10 a.m.), in the Officer Cadets School the guests will be invited to watch films dedicated to the memory of Ignacy Jan Paderewski and in the evening (at 7 p.m.) at the Fryderyk Chopin Musical University, a gala patriotic concert will take place with the participation of the students and graduates of the university.

The Festival will end on 12 November (at 7 p.m.) with a concert in W. Lutosławski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio. Sinfonia Varsovia, under the baton of Marta Kluczyńska, will play the Overture in E flat major and the Piano Concerto in A minor op. 17 and Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major Opus 55 “Simfonia Eroica” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

In addition, from 2 to 15 November, the Outdoor Gallery of the Royal Łazienki will host an exhibition devoted to the eminent musician entitled “Paderewski wygrał Polskę na fortepianie” (Paderewski played/won Poland on the piano), which will introduce the personality of our great compatriot.

Also in November, the Royal Łazienki - as Tadeusz Zielniewicz announced - will welcome children and young people for free museum lessons in the Salon of the Mementoes of Ignacy Jan Paderewski in the Officer Cadets School as part of the “Free Admission in November” campaign. During the classes, it will be possible to become familiar with the profile of the outstanding pianist, and to hear emotional anectodes of his artistic life that are full of humour and discover his music. - Ignacy Jan Paderewski is a colourful figure. These lessons will not be boring for young people - Director Zielniewicz assured.

Ignacy Jan Paderewski was born on 6 November 1860 in Kuryłówka in Podolia in the family of land estate administrator. In 1872, he began his studies at the Musical Institute in Warsaw, continued education in Berlin, and then perfected piano artistry in Vienna. At the same time, he composed music.

In 1888, he played a series of concerts in the Salle Erard of Paris, which began his brilliant career as a pianist. Three years later, his tour in the United States was a great success too. From that time, he performed in almost all European countries and both Americas as well as in Africa and Australia. He was considered one of the greatest pianists of his era.

In his piano compositions he introduced the rhythmicity of Polish popular dances. An extensive use of the variation and polifony techniques was their significant feature. The musician left also one opera - “Manru” to the libretto by Alfred Nossiga on the basis of Chaty za wsią of Józef Ignacy Kraszewski.

During the first world war, using numerous connections in the world of politics, he supported the Polish aspirations to regain independence.

On 28 June 1919 , as prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, together with Roman Dmowski he headed the Polish delegation to the peace conference in Paris and signed - on behalf of Poland - the Treaty of Versailles. He resigned from the post of prime minister on 9 December 1919. In January 1920, he left for Switzerland.

During the Second World War, once again, he sought help for Poland, also in the United States. He died 29 June 1941 in New York. He was buried in the Arlington military cemetery in Washington. In 1992, his ashes were brought back to Poland and laid to rest in the metropolitan cathedral of St. John in Warsaw.