Polish pianist, composer, and politician. After his debut in Vienna in 1887, he became celebrated in Europe and the USA as an interpreter of the piano music of Chopin and as composer of the Polish Fantasy (1893) for piano and orchestra and the ‘Polonia’ Symphony (1903–09).
During World War I he helped organize the Polish army in France; in 1919 he became prime minister of the newly independent Poland, which he represented at the Peace Conference, but continuing opposition forced him to resign the same year. He resumed a musical career in 1922, was made president of the Polish National Council in Paris in 1940, and died in New York.
He studied at the Warsaw Conservatory and went on his first concert tour in 1877. After teaching 1878–81 at the Conservatory he went to Berlin for further study, finishing with Leschetizky in Vienna and reappearing there and in Paris in 1887. He soon became established as one of the leading virtuosi of the day. In 1890, he paid his first visit to England and in 1891 to the USA. His opera Manru was premiered at Dresden in 1901 and performed at the New York Metropolitan Opera the following year. During World War I, he collected large sums for the Polish relief fund and, in 1919, became the first president of the Polish Republic. He supervised a complete edition of Chopin's music 1936–38.
WorksOpera and orchestral opera Manru (1901), symphony in B minor (1903–09), concerto in A minor (1888), Polish Fantasy for piano and orchestra.
Other violin and piano sonata; sonata in E♭ minor and many other piano works; songs.
Paderewski, Ignacy Jan
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Credit: Frederic Chopin Museum room in Warsaw, Poland / De Agostini Picture Library / A. Dagli Orti / The Bridgeman Art Library Description: Varsavi