Ignacy Jan Paderewski

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Paderewski, Ignacy Jan


Born Nov. 18, 1860, in Kuryłówka, Podolia; died June 29,1941, in New York. Polish pianist, composer, and statesman.

Paderewski studied piano at the Warsaw Conservatory (until 1878) and composition with F. Kiel in Berlin. From 1884 to 1886 he studied piano with T. Leschetizky in Vienna. After making his debut in Vienna at the age of 27, he gained world renown as one of the leading pianists of his time. A pianist of the romantic school, Paderewski combined virtuosity and verve with a refinement of execution. Chopin’s works dominated his extensive repertoire, and between 1935 and 1940 he was one of the editors of a complete edition of Chopin’s works. Paderewski wrote many short piano pieces, as well as the opera Manru (staged by the Wielki Theater in Warsaw in 1901 and subsequently by many of the world’s largest theaters), a symphony, and a piano concerto.

Paderewski became active in politics during World War I, when he joined the pro-Entente Polish National Committee. He served as the committee’s representative to the USA in 1917. From January to November 1919, he was prime minister and foreign minister of Poland. Paderewski and R. Dmowski represented Poland at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919–20. In 1936, while living in Switzerland, he helped create a bloc of bourgeois parties (Morges Front) opposed to the sanacja regime. In 1940 he became chairman of the émigré National Council.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.